University Rankings - The best universities in 2020
UPDATE: Interested to find out the latest winners from 2021? Check it out here.
We are excited to reveal the top 20 UK universities based on StudentCrowd reviews.
To create this award, we analysed 22,774 reviews, consisting of 11 different categories that students rated out of 5 stars. Please note, these rankings are a snapshot from 2019/20 reviews (the live university league table is updated daily with the latest review scores).
Peer to peer reviews give prospective students an invaluable insight into different aspects of university life and enable them to get a real feel for what it would be like to study there. You can share your personal experience of your university and support future students by writing a review here.
Online reviews have become even more critical over the last few months, as students have been unable to attend physical open days.
Congratulations to Bangor University for topping the StudentCrowd rankings and performing particularly well in the categories of teaching, job prospects, campus WiFi and course content.
Take a look below to see all top 20 UK universities as voted for by students.
A wonderful place filled with supportive, fun and encouraging people. I get to be challenged and educated both in my lectures, through clubs/societies and navigating uni life.
Bangor University is located in north Wales, in an idyllic setting between the coast and the Snowdonia mountains. The university is 136 years old, making it one of the oldest and most prestigious degree-awarding institutions in the UK. It has a reputation for teaching excellence, which has been recognised with a gold rating from TEF. The cost of living is attractive to students, as Bangor was ranked the most affordable place to study in the UK in 2019 by Totally Money. Bangor University offers an excellent student experience. The surrounding area provides plenty of opportunities to socialise and explore in the great outdoors, and there are over 200 clubs and societies that are free to join and are consistently ranked amongst the best in the UK. Bangor University puts an emphasis on helping students strengthen their career prospects through work placements, industry partnerships and professional accreditations. This has shown to be a success as 94% of graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating.
Harper Adams University
Harper is fantastic, despite being one of the smalllest Universities, it’s most definitely the mightiest! All the staff are willing and able to help each and every student succeed.
Harper Adams University is set in 635 hectares of farm land and has just over 3,000 undergraduate students enrolled. It is on the smaller side of most universities when it comes to the student population. This gives it a fantastic community feel with students describing it as having a friendly and inclusive atmosphere. The university has had investment of over £45 million to the campus which has created a modern university with state-of-the-art facilities in a stunning rural campus. Harper Adams specialises in agriculture, animal sciences, development of food production, engineering, land management and sustainable business with each course having a placement year in industry. The teaching has been awarded a gold rating from TEF and 99% of graduates are in work or further study after six months of leaving the university.
My experience at Loughborough has been amazing, the best four years of my life! There is something for everyone, campus is amazing, so many sports/societies, and the community of students is so welcoming and friendly.
Loughborough University is a stunning, single-site campus university spread across 440 acres in the East Midlands. The university boasts top-of-the-range facilities, investing £124M in facilities over the past two years (2018-20). Loughborough University is consistently ranked in the top 10 of every UK league table and the quality of teaching is rated gold - the highest possible standard – according to the Teaching Excellence Framework. The university has excellent links with industry and offers all students the opportunity to take a placement as part of their course to boost their employability. There is a great sense of community spirit amongst Loughborough students, helped by the huge array of sports, clubs and societies to get involved in, as well as an active Students' Union.
University of Bath
The university of Bath is an amazing university in terms of its faculty, campus and its quality of education. It is a place where you feel valued and your opinions are truly heard and acted upon.
Located in the beautiful and historical city of Bath in South West England, the University of Bath is a campus university with a reputation for teaching and research excellence. The university offers courses in engineering, humanities, management, science and social science, taught by impressive teachers who are experts in their fields. The campus has had over £450 million invested in it over the last decade which includes accommodation, academic buildings and sports facilities. Bath is one of 13 universities who are most often targeted by Britain’s top graduate employers and their graduates have a mean salary of £27,000 which is £4,000 higher than the equivalent for all higher education providers in the UK.
University of Exeter
A brilliant university with excellent teaching and lots of student support. The student community really makes the experience, with fantastic student-led societies and events to take part in.
Split over 4 campuses in Devon and Cornwall, the main campus is 20 minutes walk away from central Exeter. Streatham Campus is beautiful and green, with hills that will test your quads while you’re striding up to your 9 o’clock. Exeter has heavily invested in research and has a renowned reputation in the humanities and social sciences, as well as a gold rating for its teaching in the Teaching Excellence Framework. With over 25,000 students enrolled in this Russell Group university, prospects are positive for students, with 97% of graduates in work or further study six months after graduation.
University of Nottingham
Great university, highly recommend. Not only is the accommodation some of the best you'll get in UK universities but the services and academic quality provided are great too. Lovely city.
Home to the world’s most famous outlaw Robin Hood and rebellious writer D. H. Lawrence, Nottingham has made its mark on the world as a hot bed of creativity and revolutionary thinking. Located in the heart of the country, the University of Nottingham has a large and diverse student population (33,000+) split over 4 award-winning campuses in and around the city. One of the largest campuses in the country, University Park boasts green space and its own boating lake. The eco credentials don’t stop there, as it’s ranked 4th greenest university in the world according to the latest Green Metric World University table.The university has an excellent reputation for teaching, with a gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. It’s also renowned for its world-changing research - it was the birthplace of the MRI machine, and in recent months has helped in the fight against COVID-19. Courses at the University of Nottingham cover medicine, science, law, engineering, humanities and social sciences.
University of Birmingham
Stunning campus, great facilities, insane sports centre and pitches, sick SU (Fab is lit), loads of societies and sports, amazing accommodation set in beautiful parkland, tutors and lecturers are brilliant - wouldn't want to be anywhere else
The University of Birmingham was one of the first red brick universities in the UK. The Old Joe keeps a watchful eye over all who enter the Edgbaston campus, much like the tower of Isengard in Lord of the Rings, but in a less creepy way, of course. It has its own train station, making it super easy to pop into the city for the shops or a night out. The University of Birmingham boasts admirable sports clubs and leisure facilities, with a gym and olympic-sized swimming pool, making it easy to compete in a wide variety of high-performance sports. It has received a gold rating from the TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) for its teaching. It has been noted for its careers department and the large support network for students offering help to those that need it.
Glasgow Caledonian University
I love studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. It’s a brilliant atmosphere with great tutors and support. I’ve made so many new friends and I am learning so many new skills.
One of three universities in a three-mile radius, Glasgow Caledonian University is located in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, and is home to more than 16,000 students, as well as the original Tikka Masala recipe apparently (take that, Leicester!). It has excellent facilities, including an award-winning library. Six months after graduation, 95% of graduates are in work or further study and the university is ranked first in Scotland for work experience opportunities. It has won awards for its widening access programme, as well as its extensive research programme tailored towards the sustainable development goals set by the UN, all reflecting the university’s motto: for the common good.
University of Liverpool
Top notch uni with all the facilities you might require. Great campus location, 5 minutes away from the city centre. All the societies are there, so you should be sure to enroll in some of them.
All you need is... Liverpool, or so the Beatles' song almost goes. This city on the River Mersey has a global reputation for sport, music, architecture and culture, and the University of Liverpool is right at the heart of it. Around 30,000 students come to study at this prestigious university, which is a research leader in the health and science fields in particular. Their teaching has also been awarded a silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. The Guild of Students has recently undergone a £14.25 million refurbishment, rendering it one of the largest and best equipped Students’ Unions in the country. With a very high 98% of graduates reported to be in study or work six months after finishing their degrees, the University of Liverpool is a strong choice for those seeking to advance in their field of study.
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is one of the top universities in the world and has world-class teaching, facilities and opportunities for growth.
With an admirable legacy dating back centuries, the University of Cambridge is undeniably one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is a collegiate university, with students allocated a place in one of the 31 colleges. The university offers courses in humanities, social sciences, sciences and engineering. The teaching and research is globally recognised and has been awarded a gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Being a student at Cambridge puts you in good stead for employment after graduating, proven by the statistic that 96% of their graduates are in work or further study 6 months after finishing university. When starting at Cambridge you will come to learn about all the weird and wonderful traditions that go hand-in-hand with being part of the university. They even have their own Cambridge terminology, so our top-tip is do some reading up before you start!
Many opportunities to socialise and learn new skills. Excellent Careers Service and teaching staff!
Newcastle University has a reputation for world-class research and teaching; they have been awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework. The university offers over 200 undergraduate degrees, a huge range of specialist facilities and access to outstanding IT services. Newcastle is ranked among the world's best for sustainable development: they declared a climate emergency as a university and have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. You’ll never get bored living in Newcastle as it’s one of the best cities in the UK for students, especially when it comes to social life and cost of living. Newcastle offers all the perks of a big city but in a space that’s safe, compact and friendly.
University of Warwick
There is something for everyone at Warwick. Being a campus university, everything is close by and you feel safe, protected and part of a family. The new sports facilities are going to be amazing.
The University of Warwick is a campus-based university on 750 acres of land, just outside Coventry. The university prides itself on having expert teachers who are among the world’s best researchers and have been recognised with a silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Warwick has over 26,000 students enrolled hailing from 147 countries. Students from Warwick are among the top-ranked in the country for employability with the university being renowned for producing graduates with skills to succeed in the global workplace. When you are in need of a well-earned break from studies, you can get involved with over 300 clubs and societies. From films and martial arts, to astronomy, you’ll easily find like-minded people with similar interests and if none of the societies float your boat, then why not start your own?!
Manchester Metropolitan University
The best place to study. Teaching stuff are excellent, always ready to help Great environment to socially connect and learn State of the art facilities to enhance teaching and learning. I rate MMU the BEST.
Manchester Metropolitan University has a community of over 34,000 current students and it is one of the UK's most applied-to universities. The university's well-connected campus, which is located in the city centre, is designed around students’ experience. It boasts impressive academic facilities, many of which are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and specialist equipment. Students can make the most of multiple sports facilities, a five-storey library, as well as IT areas across campus with PC access and free Wi-Fi throughout. Manchester is one of the UK’s most popular cities for students. It has something for everyone: culture, nightlife, shopping... and is easy to get around. It is no surprise that so many students decide to stay in Manchester after completing their studies.
Sheffield Hallam University
Sheffield hallam is a great uni with all of its courses to choose from and it’s amazing staff and state of the art equipment.
Sheffield Hallam University is one of the UK's largest universities and is based in the heart of Sheffield, one of the UK’s biggest student cities. It has a reputation for delivering innovative and high-quality teaching with a strong focus on applied learning, and provides students with a number of opportunities to gain real-world work experience during their course. Some of Sheffield Hallam's stand-out facilities include 3D virtual radiotherapy rooms, flight simulators and the largest Sony PlayStation teaching lab in the world! Based across two campuses, the University offers courses across a wide range of subject areas. It is one of the UK's largest providers of health and social care courses, teacher training, and sport and physical activity courses, and is also home to one of the UK's oldest established art and design institutions. Sheffield has everything from independent shops to student bars, yet in a 20-minute bus ride you can be in the middle of the Peak District National Park.
University of Portsmouth
I went to the University of Portsmouth for 3 years. It was the best experience I have ever had. From the campus, having so many facilities and opportunities to the societies which take you above and beyond new skills.
Located in the UK’s only island city, the University of Portsmouth is one of just four universities in the South East to achieve a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. To improve the student experience and boost research, the University is investing over £400 million into its campus and facilities - including the nation’s greenest sports centre, opening 2021. The University helps students become more employable by offering work-related learning and work experience opportunities with a wide range of businesses. It works: 97.5% of 2017 Portsmouth graduates were in work or further study six months after completing their degree. Living in Portsmouth, students can experience the best of both worlds: bustling city and miles of beach.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU)
The university is very diverse and welcoming. My experience at NTU has been very exciting and good. I love all the facilities the university provides and the efforts they put in to make our experience memorable.
Nottingham Trent University is in the lively city of Nottingham, where there is a huge student population that caters for everything a student would need during their time studying and living there. The university has a reputation for delivering industry-focused courses, award-winning research, gold-rated teaching and world-class facilities. Recognised as one of the UK’s most employment-focused universities, students benefit from industry-standard facilities and a variety of work experience opportunities. NTU has an award-winning Students' Union with superb social areas and over 160 societies and clubs to get involved with. Together with their Student Support Services, the university is dedicated to helping students feel supported, happy and relaxed throughout their time at NTU.
University of Hull
An excellent university with supportive staff and fantastic facilities for all courses.
The city of Hull has spent the last few years regenerating its city centre and was awarded the UK’s Cultural City 2017, making it an increasingly attractive prospect for students considering studying at the University of Hull. It is England’s 14th-oldest university and the university is proud of its academic excellence which has been given a silver rating in the TEF. In 2014, 62% of the university’s research was internationally recognised with the uni showing particular research expertise in social justice, environmental technologies and maritime history. The University of Hull has also invested millions in providing students with top-class facilities, which in recent years have included a £28-million health campus and a £9.5 million refurbishment of Middleton Hall into one of the region’s best performance venues and cinemas.
Brunel University London
Truly one of the best Universities you could attend. A great campus, community, teaching style and so much more. Amazing!
Brunel University is located in Uxbridge, Greater London. It is a single-site campus with everything reachable within a 10-minute walk. There are over 10,000 students enrolled and Brunel welcomes students from across the globe with 150 countries represented in the student body. The university has been recognised with a Silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework and sits in the top 25% of UK universities for research. They boast state-of-the-art sports facilities that are among the best in the country and have even been used by some of the world’s top athletes, including the legendary Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake!
University of Chester
The staff are always willing to help what ever the time. After now finishing my accounting course the careers team have helped get me an amazing job lined up in London.
The University of Chester is made up of seven sites in Chester, Warrington and Shrewsbury. The majority of the sites are based in Chester itself, which is a small city steeped in history and charm. To enhance the student experience, many millions of pounds are continually invested in accommodation, resources and facilities. The university has over 300 courses on offer and has been recognised with a Silver rating for their teaching excellence. The University of Chester offers work placements, study abroad programmes and a fantastic careers service to help students increase their employability once they have graduated.
University of Bristol
I've loved my experience at the University of Bristol. I've had inspiring and interesting lecturers, opportunity for developing other skills, such as through the career service and other academic skills.
The University of Bristol is a Russell Group university located in South West England and is made up of over 25,000 students. The university has prominent buildings all across the beautiful and vibrant city of Bristol, making it easy to enjoy all that the city has to offer in breaks from studies. The reputation for teaching has been recognised with a Silver rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. Bristol is at the cutting edge of global research and they put an emphasis on their teaching being innovative and informed by researchers who are at the forefront of their field. The university sees a strong 94% of graduates in work or further study six months after they have graduated with an average salary of £25,000. The city is also officially ‘cool’, having been voted number 11 on the list of hippest destinations in the world by National Geographic Traveller!