The University of Northumbria is an international design powerhouse, driven by the huge success of its former alumni such as Apple VP of industrial design Jonathan Ive.

Ive's design department continues to support the college. Its students have "enjoyed placements and projects with Apple under the expert tutelage" of Ive, The Observer reports.

The cutting-edge commercial design course offers several advantages to students, not least its strong links with industry – which sees them on work placements globally, and offers students office space and support to form their own companies.

The college ethic also drives its reputation, according to senior lecturer Mark Bailey: "The projects we get involved with are usually led by us. If a company asks us to think about next year's kettles, we're likely to say, "You don't want kettles. You want to look at ways of boiling water."

Post-study recruitment is also high: 90 per cent of fashion students and 80 per cent of design for industry students get jobs on graduation.