The ranking comes during a period of huge demand for places at the University College which has seen its admissions team dealing with a 15% increase on last year's total of applications to its arts, design and media degree courses - compared with a sector-wide increase of 5%.
NUCA Principal Professor John Last says: "NUCA's commitment to delivering a learning experience which incorporates our strong links to creative industry companies to prepare our students for work as a graduate is one of many factors to have stood us in good stead. We are delighted that the efforts of our staff and student community are being recognised nationally, not only through The Guardian's league tables but also in increased applications from across the country and also from international candidates."
The Specialist Institutions League Table is calculated through a combination of graduate career prospects, National Student Survey results, value added to academic achievement, student/staff ratio, spend per student and application grade requirements. NUCA rose five places in the table to move above all other universities specialising in arts education in England.