The Best UK Universities Ranked By THE | Student Reviews & University Rankings EDUopinions

The Best UK Universities Ranked By THE


Are you a Leeds lad looking to be a grad? Perhaps you are a Glasgow lass that wants to go to class. Whoever you are, and wherever you come from, if you are searching for a great education in a place rich with history and culture, the United Kingdom and its famous universities might be for you.

If you want to learn more about studying in the UK such as visa requirements, financial help and how to apply, then visit our dedicated United Kingdom page.

Respected college ranking publication Times Higher Education released their list of top universities in the UK last year, and these are the results.

Top 15 UK Universities (THE)

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. Imperial College London
  4. University College London
  5. London School of Economics and Political Science
  6. University of Edinburgh
  7. King’s College London
  8. University of Manchester
  9. University of Bristol
  10. University of Glasgow
  11. University of Warwick
  12. Durham University
  13. University of Sheffield
  14. Queen Mary University of London
  15. University of Southampton

Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 and explore why they’re at the top of the rankings:

University of Oxford

Consistently ranked as one of the ten best universities in the world, it is no surprise that this ancient institution won the top spot in the UK.

Dozens of heads of state, Nobel laureates, and other influential figures count among its graduates. Some of its most notable alumni include philosopher John Locke, physicist Stephen Hawking, and former US President Bill Clinton.

Oxford is also home to the Rhodes Scholarship. This full-ride grant is given to only the most competitive graduate students.

All this prestige comes at a price, however. According to its website, only about 16% of applicants met Oxford’s rigorous admission standards last year.

University of Cambridge

The top two universities on this list are so often ranked together that some simply refer to them as “Oxbridge”. And this year is no different.

Our number two university is most famous for its mathematics and science programs, having produced such world-changing figures as Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Its English, history, and other liberal arts programs also earn Cambridge worldwide praise. Cambridge academics in these fields and others have won a total of 92 Nobel prizes.

The school is divided into 31 distinct colleges, three of which are reserved for female students. Scattered throughout campus are 114 extensive libraries and eight museums that cover everything from zoology to early polar expeditions.

The admission rates here are slightly more forgiving than Oxford, letting in 25% of applicants.

Imperial College London

As the first university on this list located in the capital city of its country, Imperial College London is well situated to provide a culturally and intellectually stimulating environment, especially for students from outside the UK.

Imperial is well known for welcoming foreign learners. Its student body represents over 125 nationalities. High student diversity is also present in the extracurricular opportunities provided at the university. These include sports teams, art clubs, and professional programs.

Imperial College London is based in the neighbourhood of South Kensington. This area was designed by Prince Albert in the 1800’s to be a progressive hub of arts and sciences. Sometimes called “Albertopolis” the neighbourhood achieves this vision with multiple parks, museums, a ballet, and an auditorium.

University College London

University College London is also located in England’s capital, but its neighbourhood, Bloomsbury, is more centrally located than others. This means that no matter what your interests, you are sure to find something to do when you are not immersed in research.

And at this school, you can expect that research to get the attention it deserves. UCL is the second-most cited university in Europe.

As University College London graduates Alexander Graham Bell and Mahatma Gandhi prove, you can expect a world-class education here to prepare you for success in whatever field you choose.

London School of Economics and Political Science


Obviously, LSE’s key subject areas are economics and politics, but it also receives praise for its history, philosophy, and law programs. Some postgraduate programs in these subjects are so prestigious that they only admit 7% of applicants.

As a whole, however, the school is fairly inclusive, especially with international students. Out of the top five universities on this list, LSE boasts the highest percentage of foreigners; an astonishing 70%.


There are loads of great universities to choose from in the UK, so make a “Brexit” from your home country or “stay” if you’re from there for an excellent education!

Have you studied at one of these Universities? Feel like yours should be there? Why not rate your own University by leaving a review!

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Sergio Hans Martinez is a photographer and English teacher currently living in Vietnam. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2015. Since then, he’s been doing everything he can to see the world and make his hobbies his job.

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