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Published: 05 June 2013

Ten out of ten

Surrey celebrates ten subjects in the Guardian's latest rankings.

Ten of the subjects taught by the University of Surrey have achieved top ten rankings in the Guardian’s latest university league tables – with Tourism and Hospitality occupying the number one position for the fifth consecutive year.

Professor Graham Miller, Head of Hospitality, Tourism and Management, highlighted the significance of the ranking.

“We are delighted to have retained our place at the top of the Guardian’s league table for another year. The methodology used in the Guardian makes this an especially pleasing result, incorporating factors such as student satisfaction survey results.”

Economics and also Electronic & Electrical Engineering have both jumped to second position in their individual league tables (from seventh and eighth in 2012 respectively). Mechanical Engineering has risen three places from number 8 to 5, whilst Civil Engineering and Sociology are both in strong positions, each ranked at number 6 in their subject tables.

Politics is one of Surrey’s biggest success stories having had an impressive rise of 51 places in three years, leaping from 58th in 2010 to 7th in 2013.

Dr Simon Usherwood, Deputy Head of the School of Politics, said: “Politics’ success has been built on a very strong sense that we need to treat students like people, rather than as statistics on a spreadsheet. For that reason, we have put a lot of effort into supporting the community within the School, engaging with students as much as possible outside of formal sessions like lectures or seminars, to help encourage a culture of open debate and collective identification of issues.”

Psychology has gone up 11 places to 8, and Chemistry has reached number 9, a rise of five places from 14th position in 2012. But it’s the programmes within the Guardian’s Nursing and Paramedical Studies category – including Surrey’s Adult, Child and Mental Health nursing courses - that have experienced the most significant annual increase, rising 15 places from 22 to 7.

Professor Lisa Roberts, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, said: “I am delighted to see our nursing and paramedical studies programmes receiving the credit and recognition they deserve. This reflects the hard work and dedication of my colleagues in delivering programmes that are recognised as some of the best in the UK.”

New research has revealed that students use the Guardian’s rankings when deciding which course to apply for. Researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London, analysed university applications data for the past eight years to discover how scores given to departments by the Guardian affected the number of student applications.

The researchers made two findings: subject departments that score highly in the tables receive more applications, and rising tuition fees make league tables more influential. According to the study, departments moving up a subject-level league table experienced a rise in applications of almost 5%.

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