Top Universities in the UK

Looking for the Top Universities in the UK? Our article takes you through the top universities in all of the UK and for popular subjects.

Table of Contents

top universities in the uk

Top UK Universities for Business Studies

The University of Bath certainly needs no introduction. Ranking number three in the UK for business studies, their four-year Bachelor of Science in Business programme includes professional placements which bolster graduate employability and enrich the students’ learning experience.

In just over a decade, the University of Exeter’s Business school has already established itself as one of the top UK institutions for business studies. Their programme offers a three-year degree with flexible module options and students may opt to study a year abroad or complete a professional placement. Do take note that the University of Exeter’s Bachelor of Science in Business programme is conducted at their campus in Cornwall.

Check out our article Top UK Universities for Business Studies here.

Top UK Universities for Engineering

The University of Cambridge is a great choice for any prospective engineer as it ranks number one for many engineering specialisations such as Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Electrical & Electronic Engineering. In their 4-year courses, you will be taught the fundamentals in engineering in your first and second years, and you will be studying subjects that train you for your chosen discipline in your third and fourth years. They offer degrees in nine areas of specialisation and their Master’s programme is accredited by various professional institutions.

You could read more about the University of Cambridge’s engineering courses on their website or read more about the application process via UCAS here.

Our article Top UK Universities for Engineering has league tables and more.

Top UK Universities for Psychology

A notable mention, the University of Bath sits among top universities like Oxford and Cambridge (who rank number 1 and number 3, respectively). Bath ranks at number 9 in subject ranking for Psychology in the UK. The course is a 3-year program designed to equip you with everything you need to become a fully certified psychologist.

Coming in at number 3 is none other than Scotland’s St. Andrews university. With a long history of academic excellence and northern charm, it makes a prime choice for students who want to experience the coastal city of Fife.

If you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, check out University College London and experience studying and making connections in this well-known metropolis, also a melting pot of cultures from different walks of life.

Our article Top UK Universities for Psychology goes into more detail about the subject.

Top UK Universities for Law

Cambridge University consistently ranked at no.1 for Law studies in the UK. Founded in 1209, this prestigious institution is world-renowned for outstanding academic success, attracting students from all over the world and in the UK.

In 2020, University College London (UCL) ranked 3rd place in the UK for Law degrees. Being near the city area, students get to experience the hustle and bustle of a Londoner’s life as well as the rich culture and exciting social scene London has to offer. UCL also happens to be England’s 3rd oldest university.

The Scottish University of Glasgow ranked 5th for Law in the UK. Based in scenic Scotland, students get to experience a beautiful olden-style castle-like backdrop: The Glasgow University campus. Perfect if you’d like to experience the rich cultural experience the Scots have to offer.

For more information, check out our article Top UK Universities for Law.

Top UK Universities for Computer Science

The University of Cambridge is a great choice for any prospective software engineer as it ranks number one for Computer Science. In their 3-year course, you will be taught the fundamentals of computer science in your first year, while your second year is focused on application of theories and programming. Then, you will work on your thesis in your third year. They also offer a Master’s programme in computer science should you want to undertake advanced studies in computer science. 

Coming in at a close second place on some university league tables, the University of Oxford’s programme in Computer Science is an outstanding choice for computer science studies. Oxford offers four different Master’s programmes for computer science – Mathematics and Computer Science, which is a theoretical computer science degree; Information Engineering; Computer Science; and Computer Science and Philosophy, which is a focused study on artificial intelligence. 

Cambridge and Oxford are known to have extremely high requirements for applicants – typically a minimum of one A* will be required for most of their courses.

Find more information about computer science courses in our article Top UK Universities for Computer Science.

Top UK Universities for Medicine

Scottish Universities are dominating the UK university medicine league table in 2021, with 4 prestigious institutions in the top 5. University of Glasgow and Dundee University are tied at first place for the 2021 rankings. Experience a blend of quality education and historic northern culture when you study at one of these universities.

Holding the fort for England is the University Of Oxford, which ranks no.3 in the UK for medical degrees. Oxford is one of the top-ranking universities globally, and strict and difficult entry requirements ensure only the top students are accepted.

Looking for medical courses in the UK? Take a look at our article Top UK Universities for Medicine here.

Top 10 Universities in the UK

10. UCL

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. In 2019, the university was ranked 6th in the world for Arts and Humanities, making UCL one of the top destinations for this category of subjects. UCL is one of our top picks for Anthropology which we go into further detail about in our article Top UK Universities for Anthropology.

9. University of Bath

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 that 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. 

8. Lancaster University

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.

7. Durham University

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.

6. Loughborough University

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.

5. Imperial College London

Imperial College London offers students a world-class education in London, which has been rated as the best student city in the world in 2019. Imperial is ranked 8th in the world and 5th in the UK, making it one of the top universities to attend. The university is well-known for its courses in science, engineering, medicine and business.

4. London School of Economics and Political Science

LSE is renowned for its excellent graduate employability and it is one of few UK universities that are 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.

3. University of St Andrews

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.

2. University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the top-ranked universities in the world. Its unique approach to teaching at the tertiary level lends itself to the university’s success – Oxford has a personalised tutorial system that 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.

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is among the world’s best universities. The famed university has a strong reputation for academic excellence and education standards. Additionally, it’s one of the most exclusive universities in the UK – Cambridge annually receives around 19,000 applications and has an average of an 18% acceptance rate.

Frequently Asked Questions

The number one university in the UK is the University of Cambridge.

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