Top 20 UK Universities

UPDATE: if you are looking for the Top UK Universities (according to the league tables) then have a look at this blog post.

What’s the top 20 Universities in the UK? What order would they come in?

I want you to reply right now to this blog post and add a comment listing the top 20 Universities UK 1-20.

I want people to list them as they perceive them, so don’t go and look up some list, I want to know your 1-20, if you were held at gunpoint and asked to instantly list the the best Universities in the UK, what would you answer.

I know some may be a little reluctant to do this for fear that, even though no one reads this site, it could come back to haunt them or whatever, e.g. your University may be impressed if you put them lower than they think they should be. If this is the case, comment anonymously. Seriously, just reply and leave any old name. Just leave a comment, it isn’t a test.

Some may ask: define ‘best’? what criteria?

The answer is what ever your gut reaction is. If you were an employer and one person had been to University A, and the other University B, (all else being equal) who would be more impressed by?

However I will say, I’m looking more towards the overall reputation of a University, not specifically just teaching or just research.

So your list of 20 Universities please (you can put more or less than 20 if you wish!), try and put them in some sort of order.

I’m hoping to get a few responses and will follow up with another blog post later this week.

Cheers.

UPDATE: I have now collected the rankings of 50 of the top UK Universities from major newspapers and other sources. The rankings have been combined to find out the overall ranking on these universities based on these league tables. You can see the latest version of the Top University table here. –  You can find some more info in this blog post.

50 Replies to “Top 20 UK Universities”

  1. [my guesses…]
    1 Cambridge
    1 Oxford
    3 UCL
    4 Imperial
    5 Edinburgh
    6 Manchester
    7 LSE
    8 Bristol
    9 Warwick
    10 Birmingham
    11 Southampton
    12 Kings College (London)
    13 York
    14 Glasgow
    15 Bath
    16 Leeds
    17 Nottingham
    18 Cardiff
    19 Newcastle
    20 Sheffield

  2. 1 Cambridge
    2 Oxford
    3 Imperial
    4 Durham
    5 Kings
    6 Edinburgh
    7 Southampton
    8 UCL
    9 Bristol
    10 Sussex (has to be in the top 10)
    11 Manchester
    12 St Andrews
    13 Exeter
    14 Cardiff
    15 Bath
    16 Surrey
    17 Reading
    18 Sheffield
    19 Birmingham
    20 Nottingham

  3. Only cos you asked so nicely:

    No specific order – just 20…

    Oxford
    Cambridge
    Imperial
    Kings
    Edinburgh
    York
    Durham
    Nottingham
    Warwick
    Liverpool
    Manchester
    Southampton
    Exeter
    Bath
    St. Andrews
    Birmingham
    LSE
    UCL
    Leeds
    Cardiff

    Now I have listed these exclusively on the basis of my mental map around Britain. Anything more specific would require far more time than I am prepared to offer right now!

  4. I’ve tried not to look at other people’s lists, and have probably missed some really obvious places partly because my English geography is bad, and partly because I think your view of ‘good’ unis depends on which subjects you know about.

    1. Cambridge
    2. Oxford
    3. UCL
    4. Imperial
    5. Bristol
    6. KCL
    7. Southampton
    8. Aberdeen
    9. Edinburgh
    10. Cardiff
    11. LSE
    12. Warwick
    13. Nottingham
    14. Birmingham
    15. City
    16. St. Andrews
    17. Manchester
    18. Sheffield
    19. Huddersfield
    20. Loughborough

  5. Depends on the subject but, OK, I’ll play along. In no particular order:

    Birmingham
    Manchester
    Oxford
    Cambridge
    Durham
    Sussex
    Edinburgh
    Glasgow
    Imperial
    UCL
    Kings
    Nottingham
    Exeter
    Leeds
    Bath
    Bristol
    Sheffield
    UEA
    St Andrews
    Newcastle

  6. Hmm.. Here’s my best 20 based on my interactions with them, and how innovative they are in terms of their library services – as you can probably tell, I’m not a traditionalist…

    1. Glasgow
    2. Warwick
    3. Liverpool
    4. Hertfordshire
    5. UWE
    6. St Andrews
    7. UCE
    8. Southampton Solent
    9. Nottingham Trent
    10. Edge Hill University (mine own)
    11. Huddersfield
    12. Stirling
    13. Coventry
    14. LJMU
    15. Salford
    16. City
    17. Bangor
    18. Chester
    19. MMU
    20. Oxford

    In terms of employment, I feel a degree (from wherever) is just a small part of the package, and would be impressed by the individual, not the University!

  7. Cambridge
    Oxford
    Edinburgh
    Imperial
    Manchester
    UCL
    Kings, London
    St Andrews
    LSE
    Bristol
    Leeds
    Sussex
    Cardiff
    Kent
    York
    UEA
    Birmingham
    RVC
    RHUL
    QMUL

    Not sure what influenced me here: who I’d like to work for, where’s strong in medicine, veterinary medicine, classics, who’s got the best library, who’s most impressive on University Challenge….; would be interesting to compare with my 1973 UCCA (now UCAS) choices, when my criteria were the radicalness of the politics and the easy availability of recreational drugs :-)…and the teaching. For this exercise the first half-dozen came very easily. After that it was very hard

  8. Oxford
    Cambridge
    Imperial, London
    Kings College, London
    LSE
    St Andrews
    UCL
    Durham
    Bristol
    Warrick
    Manchester
    Leeds
    Newcastle
    Exeter
    Birmingham
    York
    Bath
    Sheffield
    Liverpool
    Nottingham

  9. hi Ali,

    This was the point I was perhaps trying to make with this post. When asked to produce such a list, we choose Universities for various reasons (famous, geographically close, well established) which mean some are unfairly forgotten or higher than they should be.

    You should check out the corosponding post which looks at the rankings of universities from different sources

    http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/combined-uk-university-rankings/

    In particular the excel file holding the numbers

    http://www.nostuff.org/words/wp-content/combined-university-ranking2.xls

    Combing the UK rankings I collected, Loughborough comes 10th, and including the worldwide results around 25-28th (depending which ones you include).

    Chris

  10. Hello.

    Actually, I’m interested in doing my undergraduate studies in the UK. I’m from Asia by the way. The field I have in my mind is Accountancy. I’m currently spending time browsing and researching on various universities. Could you please suggest the relevant universities?

    Thank you! :)

  11. And by the way, a friend of mine gave the names of these universities;

    Exeter
    Loughborough
    LSE
    Warwick
    Manchester
    Essex
    City

    What do you think?

    Again, thank you!

  12. I’m really not the best person to ask about how or where to study in the UK.

    You can check out the guides from the Times and Guardian Newspapers:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/good_university_guide/

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Times-Good-University-Guide-2009/dp/0007273533

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/universityguide

    You can find out how to apply, and more via UCAS and the HERO website
    http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/nonukstudents/

    http://www.hero.ac.uk/uk/studying/index.cfm

    Good luck!

  13. Oxford/Cambridge (Oxbridge) is one
    LSE is a distant second.

    the rest are of no significance

    haha but I’m quite biased since I am currently attending Oxford and will most likely do a Dphil here and I have friends that attended LSE and Cambridge

  14. hiya,

    am considerin a master’s in marketing (sep 09)
    i have done a post grad course in marketing and have a 80% academic track record till date plus a 6 month work ex . can someone please suggest the best uni to pursue this course. any suggestion will be o great help!!

    thanx!!

  15. U know, being preferential in ranking does not make any sense to me!
    I mean, how do we explain Hertfordshire being better than Imperial College (in all or any ranking)? I honestly think we have allowed our sense of reasoning to be clouded by emotions.
    Please leave rankings to professionals who already know how to do it and stop confusing people! Each school has it’s own specialization!!!

  16. Dear Amrita,
    while I would have loved to tell you that there is that 1 school that would get u t he best in an Msc Marketing, I would like to let you know that u should check the business school ranking, especially since your course falls in the business school. Whenever an employer wants to check this, they will definately look at the business school ranking and then rank you based on this.
    looking on the internet, i found this link – http://www.careerdynamo.com/marketing_masters_rankings.html.
    The truith is that this does not make sense to me! If you cabn get into Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Warwick, Manchester, Loughborough, or any other school within the top tiers, please do and do not let anyone tell you otherwise!
    It will get to a stage when employers will no longer be all about what you studied but Where you studied what! So, go out there and please be the best that you can!

  17. helloooooo…

    am considerin a master’s in marketing (sep 09)
    i have done a post grad course in marketing and have a 80% academic track record till date plus a 6 month work ex . can someone please suggest the best uni to pursue this course. any suggestion will be o great help!!

    thanx!!

  18. hey Lumi,

    Thanx a ton for that..i really wish though that there really was that one school that one could zero in on..!! nonetheless..i pretty much had these uni’s in mind..amen’t too sure that Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial offer an Msc Marketing..

    manchester is my numero uno choice..!!

    what about lancaster??

  19. Hi,

    I am considering to do my undergraduate studies in UK as well.I am interested in International Relations. Which uni do u think is better?

    Thanks a lot.

  20. hey all..
    For a masters in marketing:

    manchester
    lancaster
    warwick
    kingston

    can someone please rank this for me!!

    thanx :)

  21. Hi Sam

    Not sure which list you are referig to.

    See my other blog post which looks a the various ranking tables:
    http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/combined-uk-university-rankings/

    Looking at the combined resultsthat I produced, Brunel University comes 50th, which is located on the edge of West London

    Guardian puts Birmingham City at 56
    http://is.gd/gk1K

    The Times puts Birmingham City at 71.
    http://is.gd/gk3b
    Though note The Times puts ‘City’ at 50 (perhaps this is what you were asking about!). This is ‘City University London’ http://www.city.ac.uk/ which is based in the City (business/finance area) of London.

    Thanks
    Chris

  22. hey all..
    For a masters in marketing:

    manchester
    lancaster
    warwick
    kingston

    can someone please rank this for me!!

    thanx

  23. Amrita,
    In all honesty, Warwick will be a better option for you. Apart from the fact that they have a higher ranking than these other schools, the M.sc marketing comes with an added degree strategy’ (i.e. M.sc Marketing & Strategy). Going through their class profile, they have an employment rate of 92%.
    Warwick Business School is currently No.22 in the World as I was made to understand and it is the very next to London Business School. I also understand that IBM as well as other compaines send their employees to their Business School for MBA programs.
    Chech out their Website – http://www.warwick.ac.uk
    Need any other thing, pls let me know!

  24. Amrita,
    In all honesty, Warwick will be a better option for you. Apart from the fact that they have a higher ranking than these other schools, the M.sc marketing comes with an added degree strategy’ (i.e. M.sc Marketing & Strategy). Going through their class profile, they have an employment rate of 92%.
    Warwick Business School is currently No.22 in the World as I was made to understand and it is the very next to London Business School. I also understand that IBM as well as other compaines send their employees to their Business School for MBA programs.
    Chech out their Website – http://www.warwick.ac.uk
    If you need any other thing, pls let me know!

  25. Lumi,

    First o all thank you so much for your patience and the help…really sorts things out for me..!!

    Warwick is now certainly an option now..!!ans the marketing et strategy is a sup[er combo..!!

    thank you sooooooooo much..!!

    regards,

  26. It depends on the subject and, even then, it depends on what area you’re talking about. That said, for my own subject law:

    Oxford
    Cambridge
    LSE
    UCL
    Nottingham,
    KCL,
    QMUL,
    Durham
    Manchester,
    Edinburgh,
    Bristol,
    Dundee,
    Southampton,
    Aberdeen
    Warwick,
    Glasgow,
    Birmingham,
    Leicester,
    Leeds,
    Kent

  27. ok:

    1 oxford
    2 cambridge
    3 Warwick
    4 LSE
    5 Imperial
    6 UCL
    7 Bristol
    8 Kings
    9 Edinburgh
    10 Bath
    11 Loughborough
    12 Durham
    13 Manchester
    14 Birmingham
    15 Southampton
    16 St andrews
    17 Leeds
    18 Aberdeen
    19 Lancaster
    20 Cardiff

  28. I’m currently considering an MBA in Finance and I am LOST.

    I want to go to a school within the top 20 and I dont want it to be too expensive either.

    Pl help!

  29. hi,i wanna do a masters in marketing & retail,from uk.please help me out,that which university is good,in their present ranking.what about these universities….
    Birmingham university
    birmingham city university
    dundee university
    yele university
    Greenwich university

  30. Hey…

    I’M planning for a masters in Marketing….Can anyone lemme know if its too late to start applying??Will the Universities accept applications if I apply till the 5th of April??

  31. Hi!

    I am an international student and am interested in studying dentisry in the UK. What colleges/universities are best for this course?
    Thank for your help in advance!

  32. needed an opinion on the M.Sc Advanced Marketing at Lancaster Uni…also how does it rate agains the M.Sc Marketing and Strategy at Warwick Biz School…??

    Will really appreciate a response asap…cuz am runnin otutta time!!

  33. Hi all,

    Needed some information on the masters in marketing courses I have conditional offers from
    Lancaster University: M.Sc in Advanced Marketing
    Warwick Business School: M.Sc Marketing and Strategy

    I have appeared for my IELTS and awaiting the results. I am positive that the scores will be sufficient to qualify for both the universities (8 for Warwick and/ or 7 for Lancaster).

    My dilemma really is that I am unable to determine which of the aforementioned courses is more suitable. I understand that the marketing component at Lancaster will be more advanced than Warwick, since it’s a more streamlined course. On the other hand Warwick offers a dual specialization, Marketing and Strategy. Further, I think that to judge a course or the university only on the various rankings available is a very shallow approach.

    Can somebody out there help clear this confusion and aid in making what seems to be a decision almost impossible to make!!

    Thank you and looking forward to a response ASAP!!

  34. Hi Amrita

    I don’t know the answer to your question.

    I suggest you look at this page

    http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/combined-uk-university-rankings/

    I also suggest you look at the Guardian and Times websites (the page above has links to their University Guides), these have reviews of each University and provide ratings on a subject by subject basis, would should provide some useful information.

    Good luck!

    Chris

  35. i want to do my masters in marketing from uk.i dont have work experience.so please suggest me best universities for masters in uk.

  36. Shipra and all

    I’m really not the best person to ask about how or where to study in the UK.

    (as you would have seen if you had read the other comments I’ve written above!)

    You can check out the guides from the Times and Guardian Newspapers:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/education/good_university_guide/

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Times-Good-University-Guide-2009/dp/0007273533

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/universityguide

    You can find out how to apply, and more via UCAS and the HERO website
    http://www.ucas.ac.uk/students/nonukstudents/

    http://www.hero.ac.uk/uk/studying/index.cfm

    Good luck!

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