The Times Good University Guide Ranking is widely regarded as the most important UK university league table for prospective UK higher education students. In 2024, the University of St Andrews knocked the University of Oxford off the top spot, regaining the number one ranking it lost out on last year.
UK universities have a global reputation for high academic standards, research, and facilities, providing domestic and international students with the best possible platform to become the best they can be upon graduation. Because of this, many UK universities are placed in the top 50 of the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University rankings as well.
Learn more about the top ranking universities in the UK below (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024), and if you would like to apply, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London today.
The Best 10 Universities in the UK
The University of St Andrews is the top university in the UK, moving ahead of Oxford and Cambridge in the Times Good University Guide 2024, published in September.
The University of St Andrews is the 3rd oldest in the English-speaking world. Founded in 1413, St Andrews have over 600 years of history and experience in high-quality teaching and research. The University of St Andrews provides a flexible degree structure for undergraduates to combine study three different subjects in the first two years, which provides a great opportunity for students to explore their study interests.
- Top courses: International Relations MA (Honours), Computer Science (MSc)
- Scholarships: Research Council Scholarships. Sanctuary Scholarships, Saints Abroad Scholarships, St Andrews Access Scholarship, International Undergraduate Scholarships, St Andrews Choral and Organ Scholarships, etc.
- Accommodation: With over 4,000 rooms available, students have a choice of catered or self-catered, single or shared rooms with shared or en-suite bathrooms. Residences range from historic buildings to modern eco-friendly apartments, including the popular Andrew Melville Hall.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of St Andrews offers leading courses, world-class faculty, a rich historical setting, a supportive community, and ample opportunities for personal growth and professional development.
The University of Oxford is a learning, teaching and research centre that is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Oxford is divided into four academic divisions: the Humanities division, the Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences Division, the Medical Sciences Division, and the Social Science Division. Each division is further segregated into other departments, faculties, and schools. A study by The Economist found that career prospects for graduates are also among the best in the country; five years after graduation, their salaries average almost £43,000.
- Top courses: Oxford MBA
- Scholarships: Simon and June Li Undergraduate Scholarship, Reach Oxford Scholarship (for students of low-income countries), Palgrave Brown Scholarship (Annual grant towards living costs), Bright Oceans Corporation Scholarship, etc.
- Accommodation: Oxford’s Colleges offer diverse accommodation choices, ranging from mixed options to dedicated blocks of similar type/cost, catering to individual preferences and needs.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of Oxford offers exceptional academic excellence, renowned faculty members, a rich historical legacy, a vibrant intellectual community, and access to extensive resources. It provides a prestigious global network, diverse interdisciplinary opportunities, and a transformative educational experience that fosters critical thinking, leadership skills, and lifelong connections.
The University of Cambridge is the fourth oldest university in the world and home to over 20,000 students from over 140 countries. The University comprises 31 constituent colleges, and 91% of Cambridge graduates were under permanent employment within 15 months after graduation.
- Top courses: BA (Hons) Economics, BA (Hons) Law
- Scholarships: Cambridge International Scholarships & Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, Cambridge UK Masters Scholarships, Prince Philip Scholarships, Arnold McNair Scholarship in International Law, etc.
- Accommodation: Each college in Cambridge provides its own accommodation, which can vary significantly. Many colleges own houses and flats within the city and offer rooms to undergraduate students throughout their three years of study. The Accommodation Service assists in arranging privately rented housing in the town.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of Cambridge offers exceptional academic rigour, world-class faculty, extensive research opportunities, a vibrant intellectual community, and a prestigious global reputation. It provides a transformative educational experience, opens doors to influential networks, and enhances career prospects in diverse fields.
London School of Economics and Political Science specialises in social sciences, particularly economics, politics, law, and sociology. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is probably the best university to go to for those seeking work in London in financial services.
- Top courses: BSc Economics
- Scholarships: John C Phelan General Course scholarships, The BUTEX Scholarship for North American Students, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Programme, Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship, etc.
- Accommodation: The London School of Economics ensures first-year students secure a spot in University Halls. Additional accommodation options are offered through University of London partner institutions, and the Accommodation Office helps students find affordable and suitable housing for their stay.
- Benefits of studying here: By choosing the London School of Economics, you gain access to a distinguished academic reputation, exceptional faculty members, a multicultural student community, valuable networking prospects, state-of-the-art research resources, and the chance to immerse yourself in London's lively atmosphere surrounded by influential institutions and industries.
Imperial College London is a top ten global university (QS and Times Higher Education World Rankings) and maintained its top five positions in this year’s Times Good University ranking. If you are interested in studying business, Imperial is accredited by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations worldwide.
- Top courses: MEng Mechanical Engineering, MBBS/BSc Medicine
- Scholarships: Alvin Li-Shen Chua Memorial Scholarship, Basil Furneaux Memorial Fund, Civil Engineering Dixon Scholarship, DeepMind Scholarship - Department of Computing, etc.
- Accommodation: Imperial College London provides a selection of 20 halls of residence strategically situated in South Kensington and Chelsea. First-year undergraduates are given priority access to these facilities, while older students and postgraduates often opt for private sector accommodations supported by the college's private housing office.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at Imperial College London offers a world-class education, renowned faculty, cutting-edge research opportunities, global networking prospects, and a prestigious degree. Its focus on science, engineering, medicine, and business fosters innovation, academic excellence, and access to diverse career pathways, making it a top choice for ambitious learners.
SI-UK can help you apply to study in the UK. Book a free consultation, either online or at our London office.
University College London (UCL) is a public research university that is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world. The university has a diverse student body, with students from over 150 countries, and offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in subjects spanning arts and humanities, engineering, law, sciences, and social sciences. UCL has produced numerous Nobel Prize winners and influential figures in fields such as medicine, law, economics, and computer science. In 2024, The Times named it their University of the Year.
- Top courses: Science and Technology, Law LLB
- Scholarships: UPC Progression Scholarships, UCL Global Masters Scholarship, UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship, etc.
- Accommodation: Full-time, first-year international undergraduate and postgraduate students are provided with guaranteed accommodation options, including catered Halls of Residence, self-catered student housing, inter-collegiate halls with meal plans, and privately rented accommodation through partner organisations.
- Benefits of studying here: UCL has a prestigious reputation, world-class faculty, diverse courses, vibrant student life, access to cutting-edge research facilities, extensive industry connections, and a global alumni network, offering excellent career prospects and personal growth opportunities.
Durham University is one of the world's best universities, cemented by a world top 100 position in the QS World University Rankings as well. Durham University also operates a collegiate system - there are 17 colleges to choose from, and each college offers the full range of facilities you’d expect to find at a university. Durham also has a triple-crowned business school with AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditations, and more than 150 countries are represented at the University.
- Top courses: BA English Literature
- Scholarships: Chevening Scholarships, Masters Achievement Scholarship, Master in Business Analytics Scholarships, Chinese Scholarships Council, etc.
- Accommodation: Durham University's college system provides diverse student accommodation choices, fostering a sense of community. With excellent study, social, and recreational facilities, colleges offer fully catered options and opportunities for engagement, allowing students to contribute to their college's organisation and well-being.
- Benefits of studying here: By choosing to study at Durham University, you gain access to a wealth of advantages. You'll experience exceptional academic degrees renowned worldwide, learn from esteemed faculty members, thrive in a nurturing educational atmosphere, engage with a lively student community, explore diverse extracurricular activities, and forge valuable connections for personal development and networking opportunities.
The University of Bath was founded in 1966 and is known for its research-led education, innovative teaching methods, and strong links with industry and business. The University has a diverse student body, with students from over 130 countries, and offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in subjects such as engineering, business, and law. The University of Bath is a member of the Russell Group, a network of leading research-intensive universities in the UK.
- Top courses: Management BSc (Hons), Humanities
- Scholarships: Deans Award for Academic Excellence Scholarship, Global Leaders Scholarship, Great Scholarships, etc.
- Accommodation: The campus offers over 3,500 rooms, while an additional 1,100 rooms are located in the city centre. Students reside in clusters with shared kitchen/dining spaces. They can choose single-sex or mixed kitchen groups and request different room sizes and types. The Student Living team is accessible for resident support and assistance.
- Benefits of studying here: The University of Bath provides students with a strong academic standing, exceptional facilities, a lively student community, and a strong emphasis on employability. With research-led teaching, valuable industry partnerships, and a beautiful campus location, it's an appealing destination for those seeking a comprehensive and career-driven education.
The University of Warwick is a world-leading campus university renowned for providing a strong academic challenge. Warwick is 64th in the QS World University Guide 2023 and, in 2022, was the University of the Year Runner-Up (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and the University of the Year for Teaching Quality (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide).
The University of Warwick was founded in 1965 and is also known for its supportive and inclusive environment and is consistently ranked highly in national and international league tables for its teaching and research excellence.
- Top courses: WMG, MBA, Politics and International Studies BA
- Scholarships: Economics Excellence Scholarship, Excellence in STEM Scholarships, Warwick Undergraduate Global Excellence Scholarship (WUGES), etc.
- Accommodation: The University of Warwick offers a wide selection of campus accommodation options to cater to various preferences and budgets. Students can choose from flats or halls of residence featuring en-suite or shared bathrooms. Limited same-sex accommodation is also provided.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of Warwick provides numerous benefits, including a prestigious academic reputation, a diverse range of degrees, world-class faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, extensive career opportunities, vibrant campus life, strong industry connections, and a supportive community fostering personal and intellectual growth.
Loughborough University is one of the top 20 research-led universities in the UK, as well as ranking in the top 10 overall, and in 2024, it also climbed to highest ever position in the QS World University Rankings, finishing 212th. Loughborough has strong relationships with industry, government, and community organisations, which provides students with valuable networking opportunities and hands-on experience.
- Top courses: Architecture BArch
- Scholarships: Loughborough invest in excess of £ 1 million each year in scholarships and bursaries for international students for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
- Accommodation: Loughborough University has several halls of residence offering both catered and self-catered options. Catered halls provide meals as part of the package, while self-catered halls have communal kitchens where students can prepare their own meals. Halls often provide a community atmosphere and are a great way to meet other students.
- Benefits of studying here: By choosing to study at Loughborough, you will immerse yourself in a prestigious and internationally renowned education guided by experienced faculty members.
Study in the UK
If you are interested in studying in the UK, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London today.
UK Study FAQ
When selecting the top university in the UK, consider criteria such as academic reputation, available courses, faculty expertise, research prospects, campus amenities, student support services, location, and cost. Evaluate university rankings, visit campuses if feasible, and consult with current students or alumni for valuable perspectives. Furthermore, assess how well the university aligns with your academic and career objectives.
Firstly, UK universities are widely acknowledged for their academic excellence and global reputation, which can significantly boost career prospects. The UK offers a multicultural setting that encourages international connections and fosters rich cultural experiences. Additionally, students have the opportunity to utilise state-of-the-art research facilities and engage in groundbreaking research initiatives. The country's fascinating history, lively cities, and robust support for international students contribute to a truly fulfilling and enriching educational journey.
Medical professionals like surgeons, anesthesiologists, and psychiatrists command substantial salaries due to the intricate nature and high demand for their specialised expertise. Likewise, occupations such as chief executives, financial managers, IT directors, and marketing directors are recognised for their well-paying nature. Lucrative career paths include investment banking, law, and petroleum engineering.
The UK is known for its inclusive atmosphere, making it an excellent destination for international students. Renowned universities offer diverse academic courses, providing global recognition and quality education. International students can immerse themselves in a multicultural environment, accessing top-notch research facilities and enjoying personal and professional development opportunities. The UK also offers extensive support services, including help with visas and dedicated international student societies.