It’s great that you consider studying abroad. Studying abroad will offer new opportunities for you and open doors to wherever you go across the globe. Learning from globally recognized universities with their innovative teaching methods and interacting with leading minds will help you reach your true potential. Some of the top universities in the UK offer a wide range of degree courses and programs to students from all over the world.

The UK is one of the most preferred study abroad destinations among international students. The UK has some of the finest and most reputed universities offering world-class degrees. Along with getting an excellent education, you will also enjoy student life in the UK. We have listed the five top universities in the UK in this article.

List of Best Universities in the UK

The UK is home to some of the top-ranking universities in the world offering quality education at various levels of study. The University of Oxford leads in the list of top universities in the UK. Given below are some of the best universities in the UK ranked by various national and international ranking institutions:

  1. Oxford University
  2. Cambridge University
  3. Imperial College London
  4. University College London
  5. The London School of Economics

Oxford University

Oxford University is one of the best universities in the UK. It is also the oldest and most prestigious research university located in Oxford, Oxfordshire. The university consists of thirty-nine constituent colleges, six permanent private halls, and a wide range of academic departments, organized into four divisions. Oxford has a list of famous and notable alumni, which includes not only 28 prime ministers of the United Kingdom but also many heads of state and government across the globe. 

Oxford University is ranked first in the UK and is also placed among the top best 5 universities in the world. Oxford offers a great student life, along with excellent academics. There are sports championships between different colleges and departments annually. There are independent student radio shows, magazines, and newspapers. You can choose to join various clubs and societies to make your student life more exciting and fun.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University is ranked second in the UK and seventh in the world. It is a research university located in Cambridge, founded in 1209. Cambridge University is the second-oldest English-speaking university and the fourth-oldest university in the world.

Apart from the 31 colleges, it consists of more than 150 departments, faculties, and schools. Some of the popular courses are Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Medicine, Physical Sciences and Technology. The annual tuition fee for domestic students is 9,250 GBP and 21,732 GBP for international students.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a popular public research university located in London, United Kingdom. It is one of the most reputed academic institutions in the UK, offering a wide range of courses. It is the only college in the UK that focuses on Engineering, Science, Medicine, and Business. The Imperial College is ranked third in the UK and comes under the top 10 universities in the world. 

An Imperial degree looks great on your portfolio and is also highly valued by employers. The tuition fee for domestic or local students is 9,250 GBP (2017 – 18). The acceptance rate of Imperial is 14.3% (2015), making the admission process very competitive for the students. 

University College London (UCL)

University College London, also popularly known as UCL is a public research university located in London. The university was founded in 2005 and is a member of the federal university of London. UCL is also a member of various other academic organizations, like the Russell Group and League of European Research Universities. UCL has many notable alumni like Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander Graham Bell.

UCL is one of the top universities in the UK known for its degree programs in Arts, Humanities, Brain Sciences, Law, Life Sciences, etc. The approximate tuition fee for domestic students is 21,000 GBP and 35,000 for international students. With an acceptance rate of 63%, the admission process is slightly easier for the students.

The London School of Economics 

The London School of Economics is one of the top public research universities in the UK. It is located in London and one of the members of the federal University of London. The LSE is also a part of the Russel group and the European Universities. 

LSE offers some of the best courses in a wide range of social science subjects and is known globally for studying real-world issues, economics, politics, law, sociology, accounting, and finance. LSE has an acceptance rate of 8.9% (2016), and its tuition fee for the local students is 9,250 GBP approximately. 

Top UK University Rankings

The UK has over 90 universities that have been named in the QS World University Rankings 2021. Four out of these universities make it into the global top 10 and another four are included in the global top 50. The top UK university rankings according to the QS World University Rankings 2021 are given below:

UK University Name QS University Rankings 2021
University of Oxford
  • Ranked #1 in the UK
  • Ranked #5 in the world
University of Cambridge
  • Ranked #2 in the UK
  • Ranked #7 in the world
Imperial College London
  • Ranked #3 in the UK
  • Ranked #8 in the world
UCL (University College London)
  • Ranked #4 in the UK
  • Ranked #10 in the world
University of Edinburgh
  • Ranked #5 in the UK
  • Ranked #20 in the world
The University of Manchester
  • Ranked #6 in the UK
  • Ranked #27 in the world
King’s College London (KCL)
  • Ranked #7 in the UK
  • Ranked #31 in the world
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • Ranked #8 in the UK
  • Ranked #49 in the world
University of Bristol
  • Ranked #9 in the UK
  • Ranked #58 in the world
The University of Warwick
  • Ranked #10 in the UK
  • Ranked #62 in the world

Top MBA Universities in the UK

An MBA program in the UK is a 12-21 months program that costs around $31,450 to $87,900. Top MBA universities in the UK allow students to choose their own programs and subjects. Listed below are some of the best universities in the UK for MBA for international students:

  1. University of Oxford
  2. University of Cambridge
  3. London School of Economics and Political Science
  4. University of Warwick
  5. University College London
  6. University of Bristol
  7. University of Bath
  8. Lancaster University
  9. CITY, University of London
  10. Durham University

Top Universities in the UK for Masters

The UK is one of the most popular study destinations offering master's degree programs in various specializations such as engineering, business, medicine, and more. Some of the top universities in the UK for masters are listed below:

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Cambridge
  • Imperial College London
  • University College London
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Edinburgh
  • King’s College London
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Bristol


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