Top 10 Universities

Top Universities in the UK

The UK has some of the best academic institutions in the world, and we have selected from the huge range of great options, 10 of the top universities in the country. From the busy bustling Central London campus at University College London, to the quiet idyllic student town of St Andrew’s in Scotland, we have put together a top 10 that has a variety of options.

1) Cambridge

2) Oxford

3) St Andrew’s

4) University College London

5) Imperial College London

6) University of Bath

7) London School of Economics

8) Durham University

9) University of Warwick

10) King’s College London

The University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in the English speaking world, and third oldest surviving university in the world. Recognized as not only one of the oldest academic institutions in the world, it is also considered one of if not the best academic institution in the world. A collegiate system allocates students different colleges within the university, many students stay on campus and many of the buildings in which people stay or attend lectures are of historical importance.

The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English speaking world, and the second oldest surviving university in the world. Along with Cambridge, it is also considered one of the finest and most elite academic institutions in the world. Due to the similarities it shares with Cambridge, they are sometimes referred to jointly as ‘Oxbridge’, for example: their historical significance, their age, and the collegiate system. Oxford is renowned for producing politicians, having educated twenty-six British Prime Ministers.

The University of St Andrews is the third oldest university in the English speaking world, and the oldest of the four ‘Ancient Universities’ in Scotland. Whilst not having a full collegiate system comparable to ‘Oxbridge’, St Andrews does also have different colleges. There is a very diverse student body, with a large international intake. St Andrews is also home to many ancient traditions, which includes the wearing of academic dress on frequent occasions. St Andrews also has amongst the highest student satisfaction rates in the country, across all faculties.

University College London (UCL) was founded in 1826, and was the first university institution established in London, as well as the first wholly secular institution in England. They accepted students regardless of religion or gender. Located in one of the most bustling areas of Central London, UCL has a lively atmosphere and a massively diverse student body. It has the highest number of students of any higher education institution in the UK and also the most postgraduates (16,000 undergraduates, 19,000 postgraduates), this is largely in part to the plethora of courses that UCL offers and the heavily interconnected nature of their departments.

Imperial College London (Imperial) was formerly a constituent college of the University of London but from 2007 became fully independent. Established in 1907, Imperial specializes in science, engineering, medicine, and business. Located in South Kensington, with a wide array of other campus locations, the university is mid-sized in terms of student body compared to some of the other institutions. A major science university, Imperial has many mergers with hospitals, research centers and scientific institutions. Due to it’s central campus location, Imperial is situated in an cultural and academic hotspot.

The University of Bath is located in one of the most beautiful locations in the UK, the city of Bath being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bath is a campus university, meaning that it’s teaching and accommodation is located on one location as oppose to a city university such as UCL where departments and locations are spread out. It has been recognized as one of the best campus universities in the UK, and always has very high student satisfaction rates, in 2013 they were ranked 1st for satisfaction. A student population of 16,000 and a very active sports scene and student union make for a vibrant student culture.

London School of Economics (LSE) specializes in social science, and constitutes part of the University of London. Founded in 1895, the university has many areas of research other than economics. Located in Central London, between Covent Garden and Holborn, LSE is in an ideal location for exploring the city. The university is a world leader in terms of research, from economics to statistics and philosophy, LSE is considered a global leader in the social sciences and as such is considered one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Having produced 16 Nobel Prize winners and 37 world leaders, LSE is an elite institution.

Durham University claims to be the third oldest university in England, being founded in 1832. Many of its buildings are listed, including the 11th century castle, where the university is based. Residences on campus often stay in listed buildings, or in the case of Durham castle, reside in a World Heritage Site. Durham itself is a beautiful historic city, with a lively student scene. Like ‘Oxbridge’, Durham operates a collegiate system and is often considered as the Northern alternative to ‘Oxbridge’. Durham, owing in part to it’s collegiate system, also has many traditions and the student body is very active, having approximately 130 clubs and organizations.

University of Warwick (Warwick) was founded in 1965 as part of a government drive to expand higher education in the UK. Since it has been established, Warwick has gone on to become one of the most prestigious universities in the country, also producing world-leading research, whilst maintaining a close knit campus atmosphere. It offers a huge variety of degrees, and is considered one of the best universities that has been established for less than 50 years. Due to it’s campus atmosphere, student life largely revolves around campus activities and being heavily involved in the Students’ Union and student events.

King’s College London (King’s/KCL) was founded in 1829, and has became one of the world leading institutions in many fields. Spreading itself over four campuses, King’s is renowned not only for its humanities but for its medical and dental schools, the medical and dental schools at King’s are prestigious and have roots dating back to 1173. Considered one of the leading higher education institutions in the world, King’s has 12 Nobel Prize laureates amongst it’s alumni and some in current faculty. Graduates of King’s are some of the most sought after across the glove. King’s College London Student Union (KCLSU) has over 50 sports clubs, and over 200 activity groups, allowing for a rich and diverse student body.