Where are the best student cities in the UK in 2022?
There are over 70 cities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but how do you choose the top spot for your time at university?
This year, the top 20 student cities are distributed across the UK. Though the regions which featured the most in this league table are the North East and Yorkshire.
You might be seeking out the UK’s largest cities, with universities such as Nottingham Trent University or the University of Manchester, or you may be looking for a smaller town with excellent transport links - this list covers all bases.
Even if you are applying for top universities, it's important to also consider the city you will be living in, as it will impact your overall student experience. This is where our student cities ranking can help you make an informed university decision!
To create this list of cities, we analysed 6672 reviews submitted by students in the last 24 months. In each review, StudentCrowd users rate the cost of living, eating out, night life, shopping and public transport in their university location. To see a list of the highest ranked student cities across all time, view our dynamic league table here - this list is updated constantly as new reviews come in.
But how do you decide which city in the world or in the United Kingdom is best for you? Your choice will depend on your individual preferences.
Some questions you could ask yourself are:
★ Is there any relevant employer activity in the city?
★ Does the city have a good transport system?
★ Are you interested in urban areas or more rural areas?
★ Is there a large student population?
★ Is the city popular with international students?
Here are the Best Student Cities in the UK 2022, as voted by students, starting with Newcastle Upon Tyne!
2023 Update release date: Tuesday 12th December 2023
Newcastle upon Tyne
"Newcastle is the best city for nights out, food and sight seeing. With the quayside only a short walk away, it's a city of beauty and culture wrapped into one."
Students have mentioned in reviews that they enjoy the nights out and bustling city life in Newcastle upon Tyne.
“Liverpool is a great city for students. Lots of entertainment and events happening all year round, very artsy, affordable, and they have the friendliest people.”
In reviews students have mentioned great restaurant and takeaway options for eating out, as well as Liverpool being compact and walkable.
“Cardiff is the perfect city for a university student in my opinion with not being too big and most places are in walkable distance but you can also find everything you can in a big city.”
Students love how friendly people are in Cardiff, alongside it being an ideal coastal location.
“Sheffield is one of the most affordable cities to study and live. the living cost isn't expensive and you can go everywhere with just a few pounds. Transport and eating out are affordable.”
“Manchester is a very big city, shopping is very convenient, almost everything can be bought in shops here. To be honest, you can meet all kinds of people here, this is an inclusive city.”
“There's a lot to see and do in Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Cheap bus links and a quick subway make getting around easy. You'll be stuffed for choice in dining options or takeaways. Relative cost of living in good for city living although finding accommodation can be a challenge.”
“The city of Leeds has everything a student could need, the city centre is filled with all sorts of shops and the nights out are perfect for students.”
“Norwich is a great equal with nice nature filled areas and historical areas to places which are modern and offer places to eat out, places to meet and hang out with friends and a variety of different shops. Transport is also good with bus services taxi services and the train station not too far away.”
“Belfast is a welcoming city, with loads of facilities to keep you entertained. The food and night life is great, making spending your free time with friends much better.”
“Birmingham I feel is the perfect hub of students life. Anything you want you name it! It has great places to eat out, historical sites/museums and I feel the best clubs for a night out in the UK. The city is easy to travel round and if you love shopping the bullring is the place to go they have literally everything!”
“Edinburgh is one of the best cities to spend your university years. Great pubs, welcoming people and incredible landscapes and architecture.”
“I like the city of Reading very much. It is very quiet and has good city facilities. Love everything here.”
Universities in Reading: University of Reading
"Bristol I believe is the best city to live in the U.K. People here are very friendly, the city is beautiful, a lot of green spaces, art, clean and just beautiful. Living here is a bit expensive but as for shopping, transport, nights out, you can find everything so many choices. Would not change living in this city."
“Plymouth is a great location being in close proximity to the sea. Transport links are great, with the train station being very close to the university. It's easy to find your way around with a good selection of shops and places to eat. Night life is good too.”
“I love York. I don't really like cities in general but York is my kind of city. It's beautiful, pretty safe, and has a lovely community feeling due to its smaller size. However, rent is not cheap! You'll probably need to have a bit of money saved up.”
“Dundee is a small city but it is full of students so you'll definitely make friends here. Everything is quite close so you can go walking everywhere you want. Also is one of the sunniest cities in Scotland.”
“Leicester isn't too expensive, the food is good, with company, even better. you shouldn't have any problem finding what you need, you're always within 10 minutes of a shopping centre. an added bonus is its diversity, unlike other large cities it even has an overflow of international restaurants. regardless of how niche your taste may be, you will find somewhere that caters to you.”
“Such a lovely area to live with so many facilities within walking distance. the city is visually appealing and contains all of the facilities that a student needs. there is a variety of food shops to choose to shop at and lots of places to visit. Chester zoo being within walking distance is really lovely.”
Universities in Chester: University of Chester
Are you currently in higher education? Take a few minutes to review your student city or town - your review will contribute to our league table next year!