The UK is renowned for its quality higher education – it has almost 400 institutions and attracts 458,000 students from around the world each year. Typically, students from outside the UK immediately look to study in London, as it’s a globally recognised city that they will have been exposed to through media, film, politics or may have already visited. But are there any good universities beyond London?
London is a fantastic place to study and boasts some of the best universities in the world; UCL, LSE, Imperial College London, King’s College London etc, but the university experience can be quite different to that outside of the capital. Often students might be studying and living in different parts of the city rather than in a campus setting. It suits a student who is already quite mature, independent and used to living in a large city. Most of our students at UK Study Options don’t fit this profile and instead seek an undergraduate experience that introduces them softly into the ‘real world’ after living with family their whole life. There is a wealth of universities outside London that rival the capital’s education, diversity, history and fun that don’t get fair consideration as future study destinations.
So here are some of our non-London suggestions that teach a wide range of different degree subjects that we recommend you explore when thinking about university in the UK.
Warwick University – located in central England, this university offers top ranking education on a US-style campus so students can study, live, work and socialise within a safe, but diverse and vibrant environment. They are quite unique in having a theatre, cinema, concert hall and art gallery all on campus. Not far from Birmingham International Airport, it is well connected with the rest of the world.
University of Bristol – Bristol is a trendy and creative city with good access to the South West of England and the coast – great if you love water sports. The uni has the largest student union in the country and hosts 100s of societies and clubs. The city also has its own airport, flying to some international destinations.
Durham University – Durham is a small, beautiful northern England city, steeped in history. This collegiate university does consistently well in student satisfaction and employability surveys. Among UK students it’s a popular alternative to Oxford and Cambridge. They have over 200 sports teams, it’s a great location for outdoor pursuits. It’s also very close to Newcastle International Airport.
University of Edinburgh – an academically outstanding Scottish university that is over 400 years old. As another historically significant place, the city is packed with Medieval and Georgian architecture. It hosts the famous Edinburgh Arts Festival every August which offers students low-cost tickets to comedy, theatre and music shows.
There are plenty more excellent study destinations around the country. The key to selecting the right university, is to look at the whole package of what they offer and see if this is compatible with your criteria. You might discover a city or university that you have never heard of that is perfect for you! Ask yourself:
- Is it ranked highly for the subject I want to study?
- Is it easy to get home from? (Many cities have international airports.)
- Can I practice the sport/activity that I love in the university or the local area?
- Does it offer the right level of independence/security for me?
- Does it fit my budget? (Living costs can vary widely in different parts of the country.)
- What’s the weather like there? (Weather can also vary widely in different parts of the country!)
We always recommend that students visit their shortlisted universities to get a feel for if they are right for them. It’s difficult to know what a place is like from a website but in person you will immediately get a sense of if it’s where you want to be.
At UK Study Options we work closely with students to help identify the right course and university for them as individuals. Get in touch to learn about our university application support.