These are the Best Student Cities in the UK

Applying for a place at university soon but don’t know where to choose? You're in the right place 👇

Picking which universities to apply to is a tough decision. You'll want a uni which is good for your dream course, whilst also benefiting from a city that embraces student culture. Whether you're looking for the best cities in the UK for international students, or you're wondering if your hometown is the one, we've pulled together a list of the best student cities in the United Kingdom.


It would be impossible not to include London on any list of the best student cities in the world, let alone the UK. The capital is a hub of culture, entertainment and education - three ingredients all undergraduates look for during their time at university.  Prospective students are spoilt at the quality and volume of unis in the Greater London area. Whatever direction you want your career to take, London is home three of the most prestigious universities in the world: University College London, Imperial College London and London School of Economics - so you're surrounded by impressive institutions.


Famous around the world for its incredible nightlife, Newcastle is a city that should be considered by all soon-to-be students who have an affinity for clubbing culture. The cost of living is considerably cheaper than universities further south - and Geordies are famous for their warm greetings.

Newcastle University boasts both sporting and academic excellence and has a healthy rivalry with the nearby Durham University. It also recently ranked 23rd in the CompUniGuide rankings, cementing itself as one of the best cities for university students in the UK.


It's official; Bristol has finally arrived as a go-to ‘destination city' for prospective students. Bristol is the perfect size for people who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of bigger cities like Manchester or London, but don’t want to lose out on unforgettable nights out and postgraduate employment opportunities. It’s also home to plenty of green spaces and boasts a beautiful harbourside for those seeking somewhere scenic to study. Bristol University outranks UWE for educational prestige, but both universities offer some of the best student life cities in the whole of the UK.


Home to the Beatles, recent Premier League champions and a resurgent local economy, Liverpool is fast becoming one of the best cities in the UK for international students. Liverpool University ranks as the 34th best university in the WhatUni student rankings and is home to 22,000 undergraduate students annually.

Not only is Liverpool packed full of culture, friendly faces and excellent employment opportunities, the students are an integral part of what makes Liverpool great. So, no matter where you’re from, it won’t be long before you feel a part of the community. 


Cardiff is a city renowned for castles, Doctor Who and a cracking bayside. Cardiff is one of the friendliest cities in the whole of the UK, and is home to excellent sports teams and a vibrant cultural scene. Everyone who studies here comes home with stories a-plenty from great nights out – in other words, if you know, you know. Cardiff University is known for its cutting-edge research and leading educational facilities, making it the premier location for studying Wales. Notable alumni include Susanna Reid, Adrian Chiles, and Adam Price to name but a few.


For decades, Manchester has held onto the crown as the best student city in the UK. Undergraduates from around the world gather to study at Manchester Uni or Manchester Metropolitan University, and many go on to live and work in the city they inevitably fall in love with. Manchester University is one of the highest regarded unis in the world, while Manchester Metropolitan University boasts one of the most active student communities in the UK. It really is rare to hear someone who didn’t have a positive experience of their student life in this city.


Famous for its pier, liberal values and hilarious comedy scene, getting to study at the University of Brighton is a hot ticket. Events like Brighton Pride and Brighton Fringe will make you the envy of your mates all year round – plus, you’ll get to tuck into the best fish and chips in the world on a regular basis. Brighton has become one the best student cities in the whole of the UK, and over 94% of graduates find employment, training or continue to study within six months of graduation.


If you fancy studying somewhere that feels different to some of the other big-name universities, but still want to feel the buzz of a big city, Leeds could be the university city for you. Leeds boasts Premier League football, a happening nightlife, a bustling city centre and several excellent universities. Speaking of which, the University of Leeds has been around since 1886 and recently came 16th in the CompUniGuide rankings!


Bath may look like the sleepy cousin of Bristol, but don’t judge a book by its cover. Bath is a hotbed of student culture and is home to not one, but two excellent universities. Both are embedded into the rich tapestry of the city, and there is a booming tech sector offering internships and opportunities aplenty. The city of Bath has excellent transport links to both London and Bristol, is home to an excellent rugby team and is renowned for hosting the world famous “Bath Christmas Market”. Whether you choose to attend University of Bath or Bath Spa Uni, you’ll be inundated with mates wanting to stay and see what the magic of Bath is all about.


Loughborough may technically be a town rather than a city, but it is undeniably one of the best places to study in the UK. Loughborough University is synonymous with two things: a culture of winning and viral student union videos. In 2020, Loughborough Uni was crowned ‘University of the Year’ at the 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards and won both the ‘University Facilities’ and ‘Sports and Societies’ categories. What more could you need?

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