THE University of Bolton's building studies course has been ranked the best in the country.

According to the National Student Survey, which draws on feedback from final-year students, the course was the best of its kind.

Meanwhile, the institution's mechanical engineering course was also rated in the top three, analysis of the survey in national newspapers revealed.

Both departments are part of the School of Built Environment and Engineering.

School director Alan Cornthwaite said the success was as a result of student support and guidance, small teaching groups and resources.

"Students like to be taught in smaller groups," he said.

"In other universities, students can find themselves in lecture theatres with 200 or more other students. We have also invested in new equipment this year - for both engineering and building-related studies students."

The School of Built Environment and Engineering has 1,400 students based at the university's Deane Campus, of which 450 are on engineering courses.

Engineering students moved into new state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in the University of Bolton's £1.7 million Innovation Factory this year.

Mr Cornthwaite said: "To discover our students value us so highly is extremely pleasing."