It is possible to access a wide variety of university league tables, such as The Times, the Sunday Times and the Guardian. These all use different criteria when making their gradings, which makes it difficult to definitely identify the top ten universities in the UK.
To even out some of the differences, applytouni.com have created our own university league table using the average position for each university. Based on this unique analysis, the top ten Universities UK are:
1. Cambridge University
3. The London School of Economics (LSE)
4. Durham University
4. St Andrew’s University
6. Imperial College, London
6. Warwick University
8. Bath University
9. University College London
10. Exeter University
Geographically, the top ten UK universities are widely spread, from Bath and Exeter in the West, to Cambridge in the East, including Warwick in the Midlands, Durham in the North East and St Andrews in Scotland. Surprisingly, only three of the top ten universities in the UK are based in London, the London School of Economics, Imperial and University College London, although the umbrella organization, The University of London, ranks highly on many league tables.
No, there are a few colleges that do not make it into our average rankings of top ten universities in the UK, but which are top ten UK universities according to individual lists. These include Lancaster, which is seventh in the Guardian’s top ten UK universities, and Heriot-Watt, which is ninth in the Sunday Times top universities in the UK. Generally, however, the top guides tend to agree about which are the top ten UK universities, even if they disagree on their exact rankings.
Several universities have dropped out of the top ten UK universities leagues in the last few years, including Loughborough and York, although this may reflect improvements in other top ten UK universities, rather than any lowering of standards on their part.
You should check what is most important to you before selecting which league of top ten UK universities to look at, as the best for you may not be the best for someone else. That said, if your chosen college has made it into the top ten universities in the UK, it is safe to assume that it is excelling across a broad range of criteria, and will provide an excellent education whichever subject you choose and whatever your personal priorities.
There will certainly be more competition for places at top ten UK universities, and you will be surrounded by the best of the best. If you feel this will inspire you, then go for it and aim high. However, if you are worried about keeping pace with the cream of the crop, then perhaps one of the top universities in the UK is not the best choice for you. You should seek advice from your teachers, friends and the universities themselves to help you make your choice and, above all, go and see the place.