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Discover the best Students' Unions in the UK to make the most of your student experience at university.

We are excited to reveal the top 20 best Students’ Unions for 2023, according to reviews on StudentCrowd.

Students have shared in reviews that an excellent Union will represent students, organise social events, throw weekly club nights and host a wide range of clubs and societies. 

What is a Student Union?

Often named a Guild, Union or Students’ Association, they are usually based in a union building close to the university campus. Most Unions are part of the National Union of Students, which is a nationwide organisation that helps to empower students to make change in higher education. 

The Union is also a hub for sports clubs and societies. This includes cultural groups for international students, general interest clubs and competitive sports. To view the top 20 UK universities for clubs and societies, click here.

Some Students’ Unions also have large venues for hosting concerts and night club events. For example, Cardiff Students’ Union (#3) has a 1,500-capacity hall and Queen’s Students’ Union (#6) just opened a new events venue, right next to campus.

How was this top 20 award-winning list of Student Unions created?

To calculate this league table, we interpreted 24,041 authentic student reviews written on StudentCrowd between June 2021 and May 2023. When students review their university, they give it a rating out of 5 stars for ‘Students’ Union’. We used this rating across all universities in the UK to showcase the BEST 20 according to students. 

The StudentCrowd Awards 2023 is the only university ranking based 100% on verified students in the UK, using their email address. This includes international students who attend UK universities. 

Looking for last year's league table results?

Best Universities for Students' Union 2022


Explore more university winners in our other league tables…

Read about all of the StudentCrowd University Awards 2023 and FAQs for the awards here

If you want to read more about what a Students’ Union has to offer, why not check out our clubs and societies top 20 league table?


Scroll down below to see the Top 20 Best Universities for Students’ Union 2023!


Students' Union League Table 2023


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Adobe Stock

Sheffield Students' Union - The University of Sheffield

"The University of Sheffield has made the transition into University easy. The student union provides all the services you could need, and there is a club or society for anything you could be interested in."

Overall rating

For the third year running Sheffield Students’ Union has won our SU award! Students have consistently rated it highly in reviews, commenting on the support and excellent events hosted by the union. From club nights to campaigning, Sheffield SU aims to provide the best experience for all its students!





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Facebook / Greenwich Students' Union

Greenwich Students' Union - University of Greenwich

"The campus is absolutely gorgeous with an old English university feeling so I feel like it's an authentic student experience being at campus. Because the campus main buildings are old, some facilities are a little outdated, but the new and modern library makes up for it. The student union and clubs makes the student experience very social and there are many opportunities for all interests you might have, most of them free or at a very reasonable price."

Overall rating

Greenwich Students’ Union supports students throughout their time at university, both academically and socially. At each campus, the union hosts events encouraging students to meet new people and build networks (such as community breakfasts and dinners), runs a free and independent advice service, and several not-for-profit outlets. As members, students can set up their own clubs and societies or join one of the many existing groups to relax and socialise outside of university work.





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Facebook / Cardiff Students' Union

Cardiff Students' Union - Cardiff University

"I have enjoyed my time at Cardiff uni immensely... Cardiff student's union actually listens to students, change happens and your voice is definitely heard. They seem to foster well-being much more than other universities and particularly in my experience the experience is much more well-rounded rather than being a factory for students."

Overall rating

Cardiff Students’ Union is a central part of university life in Cardiff. With an emphasis on student voice, the union actively engages with students on academic concerns, mental health support and hosting amazing events. The Great Hall and Y Plas venues have a 1,500 capacity, running weekly club nights and live music throughout the year.





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Leeds University Union - University of Leeds

"Studying at leeds has made my student life so far better than I could have ever imagined. professors are outstanding but kind and encouraging and the campus and the union have to offer is incredible compared to anyone else’s universities that I’ve heard about. Leeds is such a vibrant and exciting city... It’s a modern prestigious university that’s doing everything right."

Overall rating

Leeds University Union aims to help every student enjoy their time in Leeds. The union supports students through events, societies, advice and academic representation. Students at Leeds have shared how social their experience has been thanks to weekly club nights, free wellbeing events and the annual Leeds Ball.





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UCL Students' Union

Students' Union UCL - University College London (UCL)

"Excellent facilities, libraries and campus buildings all walkable distance from each other. Student Union very active and covers a wide range of topics, as well as offering multiple cafes and bars with cheap food and drink and a place to chill, socialise or study..."

Overall rating

Students' Union UCL aims to help students do more with their time at university. With over 360 clubs and societies, weekly events and volunteering opportunities, students have more than enough to choose from. There are 22 different sabbatical officer positions at this union, ensuring everyone is represented in key student decisions and campaigns.





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Queens University Belfast

Queen's Students' Union - Queen's University Belfast (QUB)

"Very helpful lecturers amazing student union."

Overall rating

Since the opening of its new building One Elmwood, Queen's Students' Union has been thriving. The union building is home to the Mandela Hall, a new 1000-capacity venue which hosts live music and comedy shows. Over 25,000 students at Queen's also make use of the union's volunteering, enterprise and university support throughout the year.





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Birmingham Guild of Students - University of Birmingham

"Great campus facilities, great guild nights."

Overall rating

As a students' union for over 36,000 students, Birmingham Guild of Students provides support, employment and societies on campus. The Guild works closely with the University of Birmingham to ensure the student voice is heard in academic and institutional matters. In the day-to-day, the Guild hosts weekly events e.g. the ‘De-stresstival’ wellbeing sessions in yoga and other exercise classes.





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Strath Union

Strath Union - University of Strathclyde

"Great university and brilliant location and incredible union and study facilities."

Overall rating

Strath Union has been supporting students in Glasgow since 1964. Recently opening up a new students' union building, Strath Union boasts non-profit cafes and a bar for students to enjoy. The Advice Hub at the union provides students with support on housing, finance and academic studies. There are also over 200 societies including sports teams, run by the union.





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Glasgow University Union - University of Glasgow

"The university campus is simply amazing with a mix of old and new buildings. The new Learning Hub is fantastic with lots of spaces for study. There are over 300 clubs but most of them are focused on undergrads but are not exclusive to them... The student unions are very active and hold events regularly..."

Overall rating

Glasgow University Union is known for its successful debating teams and historical union building. The union hosts weekly debate training, open mic nights and nightclub events. In the union building, students enjoy Beer Bar and the Billiards Hall, which has the cheapest snooker table hire in Glasgow!





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Facebook / Loughborough Students Union

Loughborough Students' Union - Loughborough University

"Clubs and societies are really good, there’s a large range of societies and clubs to join. Wifi is always decent and there’s good service. There’s lots on offer at the LSU and so much to get involved in."

Overall rating

Loughborough Students’ Union is well known for its excellent athletics union, societies and social events on campus. Students can choose from over 90 different groups relating to academics, faith, arts and sports. The union is home to the biggest clubbing venue in Loughborough, making it a hub for socialising and local nightlife.





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Nottingham Trent Students' Union - Nottingham Trent University (NTU)

"NTU is an amazing uni, I always feel included and help is always there when I need it. It’s facilities are great, the lecture halls, library, Student Union are all places that I can sit and complete uni work. The clubs and societies are also so diverse and is so easy to make friends."

Overall rating

Nottingham Trent SU supports students across the City, Brackenhurst and Clifton campuses. From weekly night clubbing events to hiking and summer celebrations, there is an activity for every type of student at Nottingham Trent. The union also offers ‘give it a go’ events, where students can try new things and discover a society or club they may not have thought of joining!





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Facebook / University of Southampton Students Union

SUSU - University of Southampton

"As a new student I feel welcomed and able to connect to other people at uni. The student union and hub are really helpful and the societies I’ve joined I feel involved in."

Overall rating

SUSU is run by students for students. The Students' Union is over 100 years old, starting as a small group of student representatives and now is an innovative, bustling hub on campus for over 12,000 students. The union has various places students can eat and drink on campus, including a vegan cafe and outdoor courtyard bar.





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Liverpool Guild of Students - University of Liverpool

"A very great school and I love it so much. The lecturers are very nice and easy to approach. Student Union is doing their jobs well and we got so much activities throughout the year. The career studio is always there to help too! There is also many career opportunities provided by the university. Overall a great school and i have the best experience here."

Overall rating

The Liverpool Guild of Students is a democratically-run union with over 27,000 student members. Students have a choice of over 200 clubs and societies, from sports to general interest groups. The guild also provides advice for students on housing, finance and mental wellbeing, ensuring everyone is enjoying their time in Liverpool.





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Facebook / UUSU

UUSU - Ulster University

"Great art facilities, students union is very friendly."

Overall rating

Ulster University Students' Union currently represents over 25,000 students in Northern Ireland. They aim to be an inclusive and supportive community where students can have their views heard and campaigned for. UUSU annually recognises student successes in it's Student Excellence Awards and monthly Society Spotlight.





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Reading Students Union

Reading Students' Union - University of Reading

"Reading has been good so far, the lake is beautiful and the campus is filled with so much to do. The student union is excellent and cannot be faulted they do a lot for us as students."

Overall rating

Based on the Whiteknights campus, Reading Students’ Union is a student-led organisation that aims to make student life at Reading University the best it can be. Within each school at Reading, Wellbeing Champions are linked to the union, making sure students have access to mental health services when they need it. The union is also home to over 150 societies including sports, campaigning groups and careers-focused clubs.





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Bristol SU - University of Bristol

"Fantastic uni, great city, lecturers and tutors are inspiring and clearly passionate about their subject. The university facilities are fantastic and the location is great within the city. The Student Union is first rate, there is honestly something for everyone there. Plus there is lots face to face learning once again, and the same can’t be said for some other universities."

Overall rating

Bristol SU aims to support academic achievement, provide somewhere for students to socialise, and represent all students on important issues. There are around 400 clubs and societies at Bristol SU, making it one of the most diverse in the country. Students can find the best groups for their interests by filling in a quiz on the SU website. This then recommends which club or society is perfect for them!





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The Union MMU - Manchester Metropolitan University

"Student Union and the support offered by the school is excellent. There are also frequent events offered by the university to encourage sociability. If you don’t like your course it’s straightforward to change. Pastoral care is really good."

Overall rating

The Union at Manchester Metropolitan University is a hub of opportunities, spaces to socialise and activities for students. There’s The Cafe, The Shop and even an on-campus pub—The Salutation. Students can start new societies or join one of the many existing options, as a way of meeting new people and enjoying their time at uni.





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Adobe Stock

Northumbria Students' Union - Northumbria University

"Students union is very good and has a lot to offer. The campus has good facilities and a modern library open 24 hours."

Overall rating

Northumbria Students' Union represents students across every campus at Northumbria University. The union is run by a team of students who are there to listen to any concerns or issues people have while at uni. Students can benefit from employability opportunities such as volunteering events or through the women in leadership scheme.





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Richard Sutcliffe / University Shop and Rector's Cafe, Market Street, St Andrews / CC BY-SA 2.0

St Andrews' Students' Association - University of St Andrews

"In terms of the social side, the uni has many diverse clubs and societies meaning there’s something for everyone and I’d recommend joining as many as possible in first year if not just to meet new people! The nightlife is pretty niche too but I loved it. The Union is great, it has a club attached for those who like that vibe or else there are other pubs/ bars around town. The aforementioned clubs and societies also put on events of their own throughout the year which are a fab time."

Overall rating

St Andrews Students’ Association has ranked in the top 20 again, according to student reviews! Representing students in all areas, the union has subcommittees to advocate for the diverse community at St Andrews. Across both semesters, the union hosts themed weeks such as careers, disability and community relations, providing a range of events to entertain and educate students.







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Exeter Students' Guild / Facebook

Exeter Students' Guild - University of Exeter

"I've had a great experience so far. Good selection of societies, good Student Guild, lots of career services, good wifi. Pretty campus - love how close it is to Exmouth beach and cornwall. Plenty of opportunity to explore the beauty of the South West of England. Had no issues with teaching and have enjoyed my first and second year studying English. Plenty of opportunities to get involved in societies and meet likeminded people!"

Overall rating

As a student-led organisation, Exeter Students' Guild exists to represent students in their time at university. Students have access to the Advice Service, where they can seek help with finance, housing, wellbeing and academic concerns. Hundreds of societies host weekly events at the union including intramural sports, discussion groups and day trips.



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