With over 160 universities to choose from in the UK, and limitless courses and study options on offer, you can make your UK university experience as unique as you are.
There are different types of university in the UK: from world-renowned historic institutions; to more modern innovative facilities; to pioneering and progressive, specialist research centres in locations all over the country. This endless choice means you have the chance to tailor your learning in line with your own aspirations and career goals.
But it can be hard to know where to start. Here are some things to consider when deciding which university to study at in the UK.
Higher education institutions are ranked each year by a variety of organisations. These rankings, which are based on a number of factors, are compiled for prospective students to help them make decisions on where they want to study.
The QS World University Rankings, for example, focus heavily on research and reputation, but don’t include the quality of teaching or students’ views. Other league tables, for example the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings and the Complete University Guide focus more on research strength and student satisfaction. The People and Planet University League even ranks UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance.
Rankings are a good place to start your research, but they won’t tell you everything you need to know which university is right for you. It’s helpful to understand what different rankings are based on, as this can help inform your decision. For example, rankings for specific subjects can be very different from rankings for universities’ overall quality.
When choosing a university, it’s worth considering the following:
- Which universities offer the right course options and flexibility to suit you?
- How do they rank for student satisfaction and care?
- What might your career prospects be after graduation? What percentages of their students go straight into employment or further study after finishing their studies?
- What are their teaching standards like?
- How do they perform in terms of research activity?
- What facilities are on offer? Consider things such as libraries, lecture halls and study spaces.
- How might extra-curricular life fit in with what you’re looking for – for example active student unions, societies and sports teams?
- Are they based on one campus or spread out over a city?
- What are the course fees and accommodation costs and standards like?
- Are the institutions recognised by UK authorities as having UK degree awarding powers?
Visit our choosing a course page to find out more about how to decide what course is right for you.