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The Best Universities in the UK in 2019 (By City, Field, and Region)

24 Apr 2019

UK is a long-standing hub for academic excellence. It attracts more than 6,000,000 students on a global scale who seek to take advantage of the privileges offered by the best universities in UK. Close to 150 institutions in the UK today bask in the glory of a global reputation in terms of college core missions which include teaching, research, transfer of knowledge, and international outlook.  These institutions have upheld their reputation of being centers of educational excellence and research hub for various fields ranging from history research paper topics to scientific and medical research. Here, you can little find any course you want and the better part is that the British colleges are quite affordable and you will definitely get lots of valuable experience.

How Are Universities Ranked In UK?

The annual ranking of universities in UK is spearheaded by the Complete University Guide, the Times and Sunday Times jointly, and the Guardian. These rankings play a crucial informational role much to the benefit of potential undergraduate applicants. They inform aspiring students about the UK institutions regarding their positions in terms of key factors such as entry standards, student-staff ratios, research quality, academic services and facilities expenditure per student, complete rates, proportions of firsts and 2:1s, student destinations, and performance in individual subjects.

How Many Universities In UK Are There?

The UK is known to have many of the world-class institutions today. Out of the total number of top colleges, 76 top UK institutions have been featured in the QS World University Rankings 2019. Four of these institutions appeared in the global top 10 and 18 have been constantly featured in the world’s top 100 institutions of higher learning. Most clients that seek essay writing service prefer writers and tutors who have education background from these colleges. Here is a comprehensive guide cutting across all the best universities in UK based on a number of classifications.

Supreme Leaders: Top 5 UK Universities

University League Tables by the Complete University Guide provide the most comprehensive university ranking in UK. These tables adopt 10 key indicators to measure the institution’s performance, some of which include student satisfaction, student-staff ratios, and graduate prospects. The top five UK institutions according to the 2019 Guide’s League Table are:

  1. Oxford
    This is one of the oldest and top-rated institutions in global ranking history. It’s a competitive place of learning with high entry standards. The college has graduated some top figures like Stephen Hawking, Indira Gandhi, and Hugh Grant, including close to 30 world leaders, 27 Nobel Laureates, 27 British prime ministers, and 160 Olympic medalists. Oxford’s graduate employability stands at 95%.   
  2. Cambridge
    Cambridge College consists of 31 colleges in UK, some of which date back 8 centuries, with more than 100 academic departments and a capacity of close to 18000 students and 9000 staff. Cambridge is home for great mathematicians and some renowned British scientists. Undergraduate entry is highly selective with an acceptance rate as lean as 25%.    
  3. Imperial College London
    Imperial College London has consistently garnered global recognition in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, business, and technology. Formed back in 1907 from 3 merged colleges, Imperial College is now a highly international institution for higher education with close to 15,200 students from more than 125 nations across the world.
    Notable Imperial College graduates include H.G Wells and Sir Liam Donaldson, and many more government advisers and policymakers, top scientists, Nobel Prize winners, and field medalists.  
  4. UCL (University College London)
    UCL was the first English College to rise above class, religion, and racial discrimination and male chauvinism thanks to the educational policy of Jeremy Bentham, UCL’s “spiritual founder.” UCL is now one of the most competitive British colleges with high prospects of graduate employment. The most competitive UCL programs include a BSc. In philosophy, politics, and economics. Notable UCL graduates include Alexander Graham Bell, Mahatma Gandhi, and Chris Martin.
  5. University of Edinburgh
    Founded in 1582, the University of Edinburgh is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in Scotland. Edinburgh College of medicine and veterinary medicine claims global leadership in the field. UoE is international with the majority of its students coming from the United States and China. The institution is notable when it comes to offering scholarships for international students in the UK. Some notable figures in UK history such as Alexander Graham Bell, J.K. Rowling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Charles Darwin studied at Edinburgh.

By Region 

Classification of the best universities in UK based on regions takes the following regions into consideration:

  • England
  • Wales
  • Scotland ,and
  • Northern Ireland

Best Institutions in England

  • University of Cambridge
    A collegiate college with some of the most ancient and iconic buildings in the UK.   It boasts of 89 Nobel Prize alumni to date.
  • University of Oxford
    Oxford has garnered ten Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher Education, which is more than any other college has ever had.
  • Imperial College London
    Known for its tough entry requirements, Imperial College has a world-class reputation in science, medicine, and engineering.
  • Loughborough
    With a longstanding recognition in sports, Loughborough's reputation has entered the academic arena to include many subjects such as art and engineering.  
  • Lancaster University 
    Founded in the north west of England, this college strongly advocates for strong student experience and graduate employability.

Best Institutes in Wales

  1. Cardiff University
    Topping the  best institutions in Wale’s list, Cardiff College comes first in occupational therapy and remains one of the highest quality research in the region.
  2. Swansea University
    Swansea University claims first place in complementary medicine in the UK and has the best graduate employability in the region.
  3. Bangor University
    Six subjects taught at Bangor got top-ten scores this year. The teaching system at Bangor received a gold-standard rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework 2017.

Best Graduate Schools in Scotland

  1. Oxford
    This is the best college in the UK and one with the highest entry standards in the region.
  2. Surrey University
    Out of the top universities in uk, Surrey is the best when it comes to upholding students’ satisfaction.
  3. University of Southampton
    University of Southampton is an excellent research center flaunting the highest research intensity of 0.9 out of the possible 1.0.
  4. University of Sussex
    Coming fourth in the region, the University of Sussex is a home for spirited students craving for a creative and intellectually challenging learning environment.
  5. University of Dundee
    Known for its interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research. It is an institution with high graduate prospects.

Best Universities in Northern Ireland

  1. Queen’s University Belfast
    Dating back in 1908, Queen’s University Belfast is among the best and highly selective institutions in the UK.
  2. Ulster University
    One of the best institutions in the region, located in the urban setting of Coleraine.

By City 

City classification takes the following cities in consideration:

  • London
  • Edinburgh
  • Manchester
  • Belfast
  • Liverpool
  • Cardiff
  • Glasgow
  • Bristol, and
  • Birmingham


London School of Economics is among the best social science institutions with an international intake and global reach in the world.


Edinburgh is the second-best student city after London for the fourth time in a row. The notable best college in the city is the University of Edinburgh which ranks fifth in the larger UK and 23rd globally.


Manchester College in Manchester city is the best university in the region, known for its inclusivity and commitment to quality.


Belfast’s Queen University is the best in the city with a rich history of investing in students and upholding integrity.


It is a member of Russell Group with a global ranking and best in the city.


This is among the best places to study for students from the city and beyond. The quality research and top-rated Occupational therapy put this institution in a leading position.


Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is famous in the city for its career-focused programmes and a mission to support students to rise to leadership roles in the global context.


Leading in Bristol city is Bristol University, a member of Russell Group and an educational institution at the center of global research. Bristol is a top five research institution in the UK.


This is a modern and dynamic college with highly practical and career-focused courses.

UK University Ranking By Subject 

In pursuit of choosing the best colleges in the UK, it is also advisable to have an idea about what subjects the institutions are best at. It is also important to note the difference between higher education vs further education to help make up your mind about which college to consider, its location as well as the subjects it’s good at offering.

Computer Science and Engineering

  1. Oxford
  2. Cambridge
  3. University of St Andrews
  4. Imperial College London
  5. University of Bristol


  1. Cambridge
  2. University of Durham
  3. Oxford
  4. University of St. Andrews
  5. University of Suffolk


  1. Oxford
  2. Cambridge
  3. University of St. Andrews
  4. University of Leeds
  5. University of Stirling


  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. University of Dundee
  4. London School of Economics
  5. University of York


  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. University of Swansea
  4. University of Aberdeen
  5. Newcastle University


  1. University of St. Andrews
  2. University of Durham
  3. University of Birmingham
  4. University of Oxford
  5. University of Liverpool


  1. University of Bath
  2. Loughborough University
  3. University of Leeds
  4. University of Strathclyde
  5. University of Buckingham


  1. University of St. Andrews
  2. Cambridge
  3. Oxford
  4. University of Bristol
  5. Loughborough University

Business and MBA

  1. Oxford
  2. University of St. Andrew
  3. University of Warwick
  4. University of Bath
  5. University of Loughborough


  1. Cambridge
  2. Oxford
  3. University of Surrey
  4. University of Durham
  5. University of St. Andrew

With such a huge pool of the best colleges in UK to choose from, it is advisable to explore this extensive guide before settling for a particular institution. It is, however, with no doubt, the UK is an international center for academic excellence and any potential undergraduate seeking entry into one of the institutions among the listed choices will land an opportunity to experience the best education system upon meeting the minimum entry requirements with the possibility of securing high paying jobs thereafter.

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