Most Expensive Universities in the UK (Updated 2020)

Which UK university is the most expensive to attend?
most expensive uk universities

Here’s our full guide on the most expensive universities in the UK. We break down the most expensive UK university by course and tuition fees.

Table of Contents

Most Expensive UK Universities - Tuition Fees and League Table

The league table below displays the tuition fees for the top-ranked universities in the UK. The figures displayed below are the range of fees charged for the universities’ undergraduate programmes.

UniversityUK RankingTEF RatingTuition Fees
University of Cambridge1Gold£22,227-58,038
University of Oxford2Gold£26,770 -37,510
University of St Andrews3Gold£25,100-32,910
London School of Economics and Poli...4Bronze£22,430
Imperial College London5Gold£32,000-45,300
Loughborough University6Gold£19,100-23,100
Durham University7Gold£21,730-22,900
Lancaster University8Gold£18,700-34,700
University of Bath9Gold£18,900-23,400
UCL (University College London)10Silver£19,970-34,660

Most Expensive UK Universities

Tuition fees are an important factor when choosing a university. Many university league tables factor in the university’s research, facilities and academic services expenditure when determining university rankings. A university that costs more usually invests heavily in its facilities and other services that will improve its students’ experience on campus.

The UK is home to some of the top universities in the world and consistently produces world-leading research. Without a doubt, the prestige of studying in a top UK university comes at a high financial cost, but it pays by giving its graduates a solid foundation in life with abundant opportunities.

Note: Fees shown below are per annum for international students.

University of Bath - £18,900-23,400

Ranked as the 9th best university in the UK, the University of Bath is not only known for its academic excellence, it is also a lively campus that has been rated as one of the safest UK campuses and the university provides great support for international students. Bath is the number one university in the UK for Marketing, offering programmes with a professional placement year which bolsters graduate employability and enriches the students’ learning experience. You could read more about the University of Bath’s Marketing courses on their website here.

Loughborough University - £19,100-23,100

Located in the heart of the UK, Loughborough University is among the top-ranked universities in the UK. The university boasts excellent graduate prospects which it achieves through practice-oriented teaching and by hosting one of the largest career fairs in the UK every year. Loughborough’s Student Union is known for its community spirit and the university has a diverse student body with nearly 20% of its students hailing from outside of the UK and EU.

Durham University - £21,730-22,900

Durham is ranked 7th in the UK with 31 subjects ranked in the top ten for the country. Durham University offers prospective students a broad range of subjects, an excellent student experience, and the opportunity to complete a research or industry placement anywhere in the world. Studying there lets you experience the city’s rich culture, histories and the surrounding lush landscapes. Additionally, Durham invests in supporting facilities which ensure that students have easy access to quality services on campus.

London School of Economics and Political Science - £22,430

LSE is renowned for its excellent graduate employability and it is the only UK university that is dedicated to the humanities. Located in the heart of London, LSE has an incredibly diverse student body, with nearly 50% of its students hailing from outside of the UK and EU. The university is among the top ten ranked universities in the UK for ten subjects which include Law, Accounting & Finance, Politics, Sociology, and more.

Lancaster University - £18,700-34,700

Lancaster University is known for its high standards of teaching and for the student-friendly suburbs where the campus is located. Ranked among the top ten universities in the UK and third in the country for graduate prospects, the TEF Gold-rated university is an outstanding choice and has been ranked among the top ten universities for 18 subjects. Lancaster scored well in league tables for facilities spend, which means that it invests in providing students with good supporting facilities.

UCL (University College London) - £19,970-34,660

One of the largest universities in the UK, UCL is ranked among the top universities in the UK and in the world. UCL welcomes over 18,000 international students, which easily makes it one of the most diverse universities in the UK. Despite its enormous size, UCL provides well for its students as it has some of the lowest student-to-staff ratios among UK universities and it scored well for academic services spend, meaning that the libraries and IT services at UCL are top-notch.

University of St Andrews - £25,100-32,910

Located in Scotland, the University of St Andrews is one of few ancient universities in the UK. The university considers itself a “Scottish university with a global orientation”, as it welcomes over 40% of its students and staff from all over the world while maintaining its distinct culture. Ranked as the number three university in the UK, St Andrews offers a wide range of subjects, with 25 of them ranked among the top ten courses in the UK. St Andrews scored well for academic services spend in league tables, which means that it invests in providing quality library and IT services for its students.

University of Oxford - £26,770 -37,510

The University of Oxford is one of the top-ranked universities in the world. Its unique approach to teaching in the tertiary level lends itself to the university’s success – Oxford has a personalised tutorial system which ensures students get enough contact hours with their tutors. This might be the very reason why Oxford has ranked among the top ten for nearly 40 of its courses. The university has scored well for academic services spend in league tables, so students can expect good library and IT services at Oxford.

Imperial College London - £32,000-45,300

Imperial has the top score among all UK universities for academic services spend, which means that the university invests heavily in providing academic services such as libraries and IT. Students at Imperial can expect to find world-class facilities and easy access to academic resources.

University of Cambridge - £22,227-58,038

The famed University of Cambridge has some of the most expensive tuition fees compared to the other top UK universities. Cambridge also scores well for facilities and academic services spend – this means that tuition fees are invested into improving the university’s academic services such as the library and IT infrastructure, as well as supporting facilities such as career counselling, health, and sports services.

Check the other tables below for the most expensive UK universities for Medicine, Business and Law programmes.

Most Expensive UK Universities for Medicine

UniversitySubject RankingTuition Fees
University of Dundee1£44,650
University of Glasgow1£49,950
University of Oxford3£35,380
University of Aberdeen4£43,500
University of Edinburgh5£32,100- £49,900
Queen Mary University of London6£40,650
University of Cambridge7£58,038
University of St Andrews8£32,910
Imperial College London9£45,300
Swansea University10£ 36,750
most expensive medical course in the uk

The University of Cambridge offers a Bachelor of Medicine programme which costs £58,038 in annual tuition fees for international students, making it the most expensive programme among top-ranked medical courses in the UK. Cambridge is ranked 7th in the UK for programmes in Medicine and it is ranked among the top 10 universities in the world. The university is one of the most prestigious universities to attend and is popular with international applicants – Cambridge receives around 7,000 applications annually from overseas applicants and has a 12.5% acceptance rate for international students.

Be sure to check out our article Top UK Universities for Medicine for more information about Medicine-related courses in the UK, including university rankings and our recommended Medicine schools.

Most Expensive UK Universities for Business

UniversitySubject RankingTuition Fees
University of St Andrews1£25,100
King's College London2£26,700
University of Bath3£21,000
UCL4£23,290
Loughborough University5£19,100
University of Exeter6£18,800
University of Warwick7£25,770
University of Strathclyde8£15,300
Durham University9£22,900
University of Glasgow10£19,350
most expensive business course in the uk

King’s College London is ranked among the top 10 UK universities for Business. King’s College offers one course in Business Management which costs £26,700 per annum for international students. King’s has five campuses located across London, providing students with easy access to the city for a culturally immersed experience while studying here.

Do read our article Top UK Universities for Business for more information about Business courses in the UK, including important information such as university rankings and our recommended Business schools.

Most Expensive UK Universities for Law

UniversitySubject RankingTuition Fees
University of Cambridge1£22,227
University of Oxford2£28,370
UCL3£23,300
King's College London4 £23,550
University of Glasgow5£19,350
University of Aberdeen6£17,200
University of Edinburgh7£20,950
University of Strathclyde8£17,150
London School of Economics and Political Science9 £21,570
Durham University10£21,730
most expensive law course in the uk

The University of Oxford is the most expensive Law programme among the top UK universities, with a tuition fee of £28,370 a year for overseas students. Oxford is one of the top universities in the world, which is why applying to Oxford is highly competitive. The university’s Law programme has an average of 8.4 applicants per place. 

Our article Top UK Universities for Law provides more information about Law courses in the UK. We also have a Complete Guide for Studying Law in the UK which goes into more detail about taking the LNAT and writing a good UCAS personal statement for law.

How to Apply to Study at a UK University?

Step 1: Choose A University

The first step is to look for popular and high-ranking Universities in the UK that offer courses you are interested in. Refer to the table above to start your search. Here are some things to consider when applying:

  • Location
  • Employability/Graduate prospects
  • Fees
  • Entry requirements
  • University Ranking

Step 2: Preparations

Once you have narrowed down the search to your top five universities, the first step is to prepare necessary documents and forms. This includes school leaving certificates, exam results, the UCAS application form and a written Personal Statement, among other documents that may be required.

Step 3: Submit UCAS Application

The application process for UK universities differs from local universities as applications go through an organisation known as UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. UCAS handles all admission applications to UK universities, including those submitted by international candidates like you.

To ensure a better chance of getting accepted, it is important that you prepare all the necessary documents and fill out all forms correctly. We also recommend that you apply for multiple universities simultaneously to ensure that you get your preferred offers. Read our full guide on UCAS here

More about UCAS

The entire application process might be daunting and lengthy for some, so let us help you. Make a free appointment with us today for professional assistance in submitting applications to your prefered UK universities.

UK University Entry Requirements

Here are some of the common entry requirements and tests a student has to pass before being accepted at a UK university.

  • English Language Test requirement – such as IELTS or TOEFL.
  • Criminal records declaration (DBS/Disclosure Scotland for Scottish Universities)
  • Health checks.
  • Entrance interviews.
  • Personal statement. This is a supporting document and part of your application to a UK university. Usually, you will write about what you hope to achieve studying at the course, what you plan to do after graduating and why you are applying for this specific university. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Tuition fees will vary depending on the course. The most expensive course is the University of Cambridge’s Medical programme which costs £58,038 a year for international students.

Most UK universities will require English language tests, criminal record declarations, health checks, entrance interviews and submission of a personal statement.

Depending on your programme, the tuition fees at the top ten UK universities range between £18,700 and £58,038 a year for international students.

The UCAS deadline for most programmes is 15 January in the year of admission. The UCAS deadline for Oxford, Cambridge, and selected programmes including Medicine is 15 January.

Get Free UK University Application Assistance

If you would like a free consultation on any step of the application process, contact us today or come visit us at our office in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. Book an appointment with us now!

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