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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.

Comments

Chris Keene says:

[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

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

Sally says:

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!

E says:

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

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

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!

Tom Roper says:

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

Kate says:

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

STANLEY KIBET LANGAT says:

I would wish to join one of your universities.

I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN YOUR UNIVERSTY,

Anonymous says:

my guess,
1.get a life

ali says:

WHY HAS EVERY1 FORGOTTEN LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY WHEN ITS THE TOP 5!!!

Chris Keene says:

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

Nikoletta says:

and where is Lancaster University?????

Chris Keene says:

Nikoletta,

In Lancaster, I believe.

(but 17th according to this http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/combined-uk-university-rankings/ not bad). See comment 14 above.

Chris

Nadia says:

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! :)

Nadia says:

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!

Chris Keene says:

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!

Nadia says:

Oh ok. Thanks anyway! :)

waqas says:

there is no unclude leichter uni which is also comes in ist 20

Laco says:

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

amrita says:

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!!

Lumi says:

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!!!

Lumi says:

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!

amrita says:

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!!

amrita says:

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??

Jobie says:

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.

amrita says:

hey all..
For a masters in marketing:

manchester
lancaster
warwick
kingston

can someone please rank this for me!!

thanx :)

sam says:

hi all can someone please tell me is it birmingham city university on 50th number

thankx

Chris Keene says:

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

amrita says:

hey all..
For a masters in marketing:

manchester
lancaster
warwick
kingston

can someone please rank this for me!!

thanx

sam says:

hi chris thanks for that

Lumi says:

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!

Lumi says:

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!

Lumi says:

Amrita,
Here are some links to check on your business school/ marketing research!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/displayPopup/0,,32607,00.html

http://i.cs.hku.hk/~tse/topten.html#UK

One thing is sure, Marketing falls into the business achool. If a business school is solid, then the courses will be solid!

amrita says:

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,

Susan Bright says:

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

arnaud says:

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

vaneesa says:

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!

maanas says:

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

NIK says:

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??

Anna says:

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!

amrita says:

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!!

amrita says:

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!!

amrita says:

HELP!!!!!

Chris Keene says:

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

shipra goyal says:

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.

Chris Keene says:

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!

Chris Keene says:

OK

People seem to be asking the same questions over again, and I am not the right person to answer them, but have pointed to some starting places above

Have a look at comment 49 and also at my other blog post:
http://www.nostuff.org/words/2008/combined-uk-university-rankings/

So comments are now closed on this blog post.

Thanks
Chris

Comments closed