Housing over 150 top-ranking universities, the United Kingdom is undoubtedly a dream destination for students. However, it can be really confusing for you to pick one city out of so many beautiful, unique, and historic cities. It's like dipping your pinky in a stream- once you do it, you'll be enthralled to go all the way in.

Deciding where to live and study in a foreign land is governed by many significant factors. For example, the cost of living, quality of education, and how the city's culture, heritage, and vibe appeal to you. Some cities may appeal to you more than they do to others. It all depends on your ambitions and taste.

We understand that however simple this task sounds, it's complex & challenging in its own way. But to clear the unwanted fog from your mind, we've turned the complex into simple and jotted down a list of top 5 UK cities to live and study in as a student. From the bustling cosmopolitan cities to the serene university towns, you're assured of finding your new haven in one of these magnificent UK cities.

Top 5 Student Cities in the UK

International students planning to pursue higher education in the UK consider factors like comfort, treatment of immigrants, economic and political conditions, career prospects, affordable student accommodation, and career prospects while shortlisting the cities to study. There are several big cities in the UK that come with a hustle work culture and London tops the list. Find below some of the top student cities in the UK for international students:

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Coventry


If cities had star ratings, London would surely be a 7-star city. Housing over 40 higher education universities, out of which many claim the top spots in global rankings, London is one of the most lucrative student cities worldwide.

Imperial College London is the top-ranking university in the city with an acceptance rate of 18%. It offers over 250 degrees through its masters and Ph.D. programs constituting various Medicine studies, Business programs, and STEM courses. You can easily find affordable student accommodation near Imperial College. Queen Mary University, King's College London, University College London, etc., are some of the other renowned universities in London.

Aside from academics, the city ranks 3rd in the Employer Activity Indicators suggesting that London graduates have a better chance at business and job opportunities. It's also one of the best culture and travel spots in Europe, with loads to offer students looking for variety and life experience. And if you're a Harry Potter fanatic, don't forget to check out the legendary WarnerBros Studio.

However, everything worthwhile comes at a price. London is deemed one of the most expensive cities globally; nevertheless, you can prosper on smaller resources. Renting a shared flat, cooking your food rather than dining out, working part-time jobs, and taking advantage of student discounts are just a few ways to save big while living in London.


If one thing you need to know about Manchester, it's the city's love for the game of Football. Home to two of the world's most successful clubs- the streets of Manchester are divided in blue (Manchester City) and red (Manchester United). And if you're a football fanatic, you'd love the passion oozing from this city. Apart from Football, Manchester is known for its excellent academics.

The city of Manchester ranks 29th in the world with its top-ranked university- the University of Manchester ranking 27th in the world rankings. Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Bolton, etc., are some of the other renowned universities in Manchester. With roughly 100,000 students inhabiting the city, this student-friendly city is packed with cafes, budget-friendly eateries, and fantastic entertainment venues in the UK.

The beautiful city knows how to take care of its students' comfort; as there are many affordable student accommodations in Manchester, a plethora of opportunities for part-time work, plenty of libraries and art galleries, museums, theatres, etc. Manchester is way more economical than other major cities in the UK, amplifying its desirability status amongst international students.


Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, ranks 15th in the World's Best Student Cities and houses 67,995 students. In addition, the city ranks 37 in terms of business activity and 82 in affordability. Edinburgh's highest-ranked university is the University of Edinburgh, which also holds a global rank of 20 amongst the world's best universities. In addition, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland's Rural College University, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh Napier University, etc., are some of the best universities in Edinburgh.

The city is known for its lively culture and serene nature, you'll find it comfortably peaceful here. Edinburgh consistently bags the top spot for being the UK's greenest metropolis, thanks to the low pollution levels and plenty of parks and flourishing spaces. Moreover, the city's hospitality towards international students earns them a lot of praise. 

There's also a lot to explore in Edinburgh- Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, Palace of The Royal Mile,  National Museum of Scotland, Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Abbey, Royal Yacht Britannia, etc. 

Besides its highly-esteemed institutions, the city also boasts some of the best private student halls in the UK. Student housing in Edinburgh is easy on your pocket and can always be found near the major universities.


The rise of Glasgow as a top student city is remarkable. The city is a perfect blend of affordability and top-notch quality. Glasgow is ranked 39th on a list of the world's top 50 universities. The UK acknowledges it as the 4th best student city in the country. Furthermore, Glasgow stands at 57th in the employer activity list and 89th in terms of affordability. 

The University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow School of Art, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University, etc., are some of the highest-ranking universities not just in Glasgow but all around the globe. With all these stellar universities in Glasgow, there's also a surge in demand for purposely built student accommodation (PBSA), which the city is handling quite gracefully. Student accommodation in Glasgow is luxurious, spacious, tidy, comfortable, and highly affordable. They're built to make you feel at home.

Amidst the well-known academies and student-friendly living costs, Glasgow is the perfect destination to spend some years studying. The city has its own unique heritage and history for you to explore. Some of the fascinating places in Glasgow are- Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow School of Art, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Riverside Museum, and the Merchant District.


Coventry is one of the most pleasant student destinations in the UK. Named in Britain's top 5 student cities, the University of Warwick is the city's highest-ranked university and one of the top 100 in the world. Coventry University is another reputable university in the city. Furthermore, the city also stands at 47th in the Best Student Cities Index, 44th in employer activity rank, and 104th in affordability.

Since the major universities are located close to the city center, you can easily find a suitable and affordable student property in Coventry that suits your taste. Economical private studios or student flats in Coventry are smoothly connected to public transports, making traveling anywhere in town easy. Also, it's just an hour away from London, you can plan for a day trip with friends during the weekend.

Famous for its deep culture and love for art, the city hosts several art galleries, theatres, music venues, etc. In addition, there are tons of sports venues and bars where you can enjoy yourself or challenge your friends to a game. Evidently, Coventry has also been identified as the UK City of Culture for 2021 for its diversity and history.

Some of the most attracting tourists' attention in Coventry are- Coventry Transport Museum, Coventry Cathedral, the Coventry Music Museum, St. Mary's Guildhall, War Memorial Park, and the Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve.

How can Amber help you?

AmberStudent is devoted to giving you the best experience and option for student accommodation worldwide because they apprehend its value. It has upgraded continuously with the COVID policies and would be more than eager to assist you in those. 

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