UK University Rankings

When considering spending your time and money on a postgraduate qualification it is important to know you’re spending money on something that’s worth it. You may have read our blog articles and found a few Universities that you like, but want to see where an institution ranks before applying to it.

We’ve included a comparison table below with a list of universities in UK to show two of the most popular UK University Ranking tables, The Times Good University Guide and The Guardian University Guide so you can find out what the best universities in the UK are.

What do the University Rankings Measure?

  • Student Satisfaction
  • Staff Student Ratio
  • Expenditure / Spend per student
  • Entry requirements (undergraduate level)
  • Research Quality
  • Students career prospects
  • Number of International Students

The exact methodology used to determine the importance of each metric isn’t clear. There are also many factors that league tables do not acknowledge. It is partly for this reason, along with doubts about their methodologies and the difference in position of an institution across different rankings that has drawn a lot of criticism to this approach to comparing institutions.

Why do University Rankings Matter?

Generally, the higher the position of your chosen institution on the table below the better this will look in the eye of your future employer. We strongly recommend that at postgraduate level you should put a greater weighting on the performance of a particular department/school rather than an institution. Find out more about postgraduate faculties. For example, whilst we know that Oxford and Cambridge offer a world class education,  there are universities more distinguished in fields such as Sports Science or Creative Arts.

What next?

Once you’ve seen the overall league table we suggest you take a look at our A-Z of institutions page where you can click straight through to an institution’s profile. subject directories to get a better idea of institutions that perform well in your chosen field and then find postgraduate courses in this area with our course search facility. Make sure you try to attend a University open day before applying, in order to get a better feel for an institution.

Rank The Guardian The Times Good University Guide
1 Cambridge Cambridge
2 Oxford Oxford
3 London School of Economics London School of Economics and Political Science
4 St Andrews St Andrews
5 UCL Imperial College
6 Durham Durham
7 Bath Bath
8 Surrey Exeter
9 Imperial College UCL
10 Warwick Warwick
11 Lancaster York
12 Exeter Surrey (Joint 12)
13 Leicester Lancaster (Joint 12)
14 Loughborough Leicester
15 Birmingham Bristol
16 York Birmingham
17 UEA UEA
18 Heriot-Watt Newcastle (Joint 18)
19 Edinburgh Sheffield (Joint 18)
20 Kent Southampton
21 Glasgow Loughborough
22 SOAS Edinburgh
23 Bristol Nottingham
24 Southampton SOAS
25 Buckingham Glasgow
26 Strathclyde Manchester
27 Newcastle King’s College
28 Nottingham Royal Holloway
29 Cardiff Aston (Joint 29)
30 Aston Queen’s University, Belfast (Joint 29)
31 Manchester Leeds (Joint 29)
32 King’s College London Sussex
33 Coventry Cardiff (Joint 33)
34 Leeds Kent (Joint 33)
35 Oxford Brookes Reading
36 Queen Mary Liverpool
37 City Queen Mary, London
38 Reading Heriot-Watt
39 Royal Holloway (Joint 38) Essex
40 Sheffield (Joint 38) Aberdeen
41 Dundee Buckingham
42 Huddersfield Strathclyde
43 Aberdeen City
44 Brunel Keele
45 Keele Coventry
46 Chester Brunel
47 Northampton Swansea
48 Portsmouth (Joint 48) Goldsmiths College
49 Queen’s Belfast (Joint 48) Dundee
50 Sussex Oxford Brookes
51 Goldsmiths Stirling
52 Bournemouth Robert Gordon (Joint 52)
53 University of the Arts London Chester (Joint 52)
54 Liverpool Arts University Bournemouth (Joint 52)
55 Robert Gordon Portsmouth
56 Lincoln (Joint 56) Bangor
57 Stirling (Joint 56) Winchester (Joint 57)
58 Northumbria Lincoln (Joint 57)
59 Plymouth Northampton
60 Swansea University of West England
61 Birmingham City Nottingham Trent
62 Hull Northumbria
63 Essex Hull
64 UWE Bristol Harper Adams (Joint 64)
65 Sunderland York St John (Joint 64)
66 Winchester Huddersfield
67 Anglia Ruskin Bournemouth
68 Brighton Chichester
69 Liverpool John Moores Edge Hill
70 Edge Hill (Joint 70) Bath Spa
71 Greenwhich (Joint 70) University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth (Joint 71)
72 Sheffield Hallam Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (Joint 71)
73 Nottingham Trent Newman University, Birmingham (Joint 73)
74 Bangor Plymouth (Joint 73)
75 Teesside Ulster (Joint 73)
76 Falmouth Brighton
77 Chichester Falmouth (Joint 77)
78 Bath Spa Sheffield Hallam (Joint 77)
79 Derby University of the Arts London (Joint 77)
80 Gloucestershire Roehampton
81 Queen Margaret Glasgow Caledonian
82 Hertfordshire Aberystwyth
83 De Montfort Liverpool John Moores
84 West London Bradford (Joint 84)
85 Edinburgh Napier (Joint 85) Derby (Joint 84)
86 Salford (Joint 85) De Montfort
87 Central Lancashire Cardiff Met
88 Aberystwyth Central Lancashire
89 St Mary’s UC, Twickenham Manchester Met
90 Bradford Canterbury Christ
91 Newman University Gloucestershire (Joint 91)
92 Staffordshire Birmingham City University (Joint 91)
93 Manchester Met Teesside
94 York St John Middlesex
95 Worcester Cumbria
96 Glasgow Caledonian Sunderland (Joint 96)
97 Ulster Hertfordshire (Joint 96)
98 UC Suffolk Salford
99 Westminster University for the Creative Arts
100 Kingston Edinburgh Napier
101 St Mark and St John (Joint 101) Greenwich
102 Roehampton (Joint 101) Worcester
103 Middlesex Leeds Met
104 Canterbury Christ Church Leeds Trinity
105 Cardiff Met (Joint 105) Abertay Dundee
106 West of Scotland (Joint 105) Westminster (Joint 106)
107 Leeds Met Bishop Grosseteste (Joint 106)
108 Glyndwr Staffordshire
109 Cumbria Glyndwr
110 Bedfordshire Anglia Ruskin
111 Leeds Trinity (Joint 111) Kingston
112 Southampton (Joint 111) West London
113 London South Bank Buckinghamshire New University
114 Abertay Dundee Southampton Solent
115 Bolton Bedforshire
116 London Met University of the Highlands and Islands
117 East London (Joint 117) West Scotland
118 Trinity Saint David (Joint 117) London South Bank
119 Bucks New University Bolton
120 - East London

Rankings based on The Guardian University Guide 2014
and The Times Good University Guide 2014 ranking tables.