The Times Good University Guide Ranking is widely regarded as the most important UK university league table for prospective UK higher education students. In 2024, the University of St Andrews knocked the University of Oxford off the top spot, regaining the number one ranking it lost out on last year.
UK universities have a global reputation for high academic standards, research, and facilities, providing domestic and international students with the best possible platform to become the best they can be upon graduation. Because of this, many UK universities are placed in the top 50 of the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education World University rankings as well.
Learn more about the top ranking universities in the UK below (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024), and if you would like to apply, arrange a free consultation with SI-UK London today.
The Best 10 Universities in the UK
1. University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is the top university in the UK, moving ahead of Oxford and Cambridge in the Times Good University Guide 2024, published in September.
The University of St Andrews is the 3rd oldest in the English-speaking world. Founded in 1413, St Andrews have over 600 years of history and experience in high-quality teaching and research. The University of St Andrews provides a flexible degree structure for undergraduates to combine study three different subjects in the first two years, which provides a great opportunity for students to explore their study interests.
- Top courses: International Relations MA (Honours), Computer Science (MSc)
- Scholarships: Research Council Scholarships. Sanctuary Scholarships, Saints Abroad Scholarships, St Andrews Access Scholarship, International Undergraduate Scholarships, St Andrews Choral and Organ Scholarships, etc.
- Accommodation: With over 4,000 rooms available, students have a choice of catered or self-catered, single or shared rooms with shared or en-suite bathrooms. Residences range from historic buildings to modern eco-friendly apartments, including the popular Andrew Melville Hall.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of St Andrews offers leading courses, world-class faculty, a rich historical setting, a supportive community, and ample opportunities for personal growth and professional development.
2. University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a learning, teaching and research centre that is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Oxford is divided into four academic divisions: the Humanities division, the Mathematical, Physical & Life Sciences Division, the Medical Sciences Division, and the Social Science Division. Each division is further segregated into other departments, faculties, and schools. A study by The Economist found that career prospects for graduates are also among the best in the country; five years after graduation, their salaries average almost £43,000.
- Top courses: Oxford MBA
- Scholarships: Simon and June Li Undergraduate Scholarship, Reach Oxford Scholarship (for students of low-income countries), Palgrave Brown Scholarship (Annual grant towards living costs), Bright Oceans Corporation Scholarship, etc.
- Accommodation: Oxford’s Colleges offer diverse accommodation choices, ranging from mixed options to dedicated blocks of similar type/cost, catering to individual preferences and needs.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of Oxford offers exceptional academic excellence, renowned faculty members, a rich historical legacy, a vibrant intellectual community, and access to extensive resources. It provides a prestigious global network, diverse interdisciplinary opportunities, and a transformative educational experience that fosters critical thinking, leadership skills, and lifelong connections.
3. University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is the fourth oldest university in the world and home to over 20,000 students from over 140 countries. The University comprises 31 constituent colleges, and 91% of Cambridge graduates were under permanent employment within 15 months after graduation.
- Top courses: BA (Hons) Economics, BA (Hons) Law
- Scholarships: Cambridge International Scholarships & Vice-Chancellor’s Awards, Cambridge UK Masters Scholarships, Prince Philip Scholarships, Arnold McNair Scholarship in International Law, etc.
- Accommodation: Each college in Cambridge provides its own accommodation, which can vary significantly. Many colleges own houses and flats within the city and offer rooms to undergraduate students throughout their three years of study. The Accommodation Service assists in arranging privately rented housing in the town.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at the University of Cambridge offers exceptional academic rigour, world-class faculty, extensive research opportunities, a vibrant intellectual community, and a prestigious global reputation. It provides a transformative educational experience, opens doors to influential networks, and enhances career prospects in diverse fields.
4. London School of Economics and Political Science
London School of Economics and Political Science specialises in social sciences, particularly economics, politics, law, and sociology. Founded in 1895 by Beatrice and Sidney Webb, LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is probably the best university to go to for those seeking work in London in financial services.
- Top courses: BSc Economics
- Scholarships: John C Phelan General Course scholarships, The BUTEX Scholarship for North American Students, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Programme, Fund for Education Abroad Scholarship, etc.
- Accommodation: The London School of Economics ensures first-year students secure a spot in University Halls. Additional accommodation options are offered through University of London partner institutions, and the Accommodation Office helps students find affordable and suitable housing for their stay.
- Benefits of studying here: By choosing the London School of Economics, you gain access to a distinguished academic reputation, exceptional faculty members, a multicultural student community, valuable networking prospects, state-of-the-art research resources, and the chance to immerse yourself in London’s lively atmosphere surrounded by influential institutions and industries.
5. Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a top ten global university (QS and Times Higher Education World Rankings) and maintained its top five positions in this year’s Times Good University ranking. If you are interested in studying business, Imperial is accredited by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations worldwide.
- Top courses: MEng Mechanical Engineering, MBBS/BSc Medicine
- Scholarships: Alvin Li-Shen Chua Memorial Scholarship, Basil Furneaux Memorial Fund, Civil Engineering Dixon Scholarship, DeepMind Scholarship – Department of Computing, etc.
- Accommodation: Imperial College London provides a selection of 20 halls of residence strategically situated in South Kensington and Chelsea. First-year undergraduates are given priority access to these facilities, while older students and postgraduates often opt for private sector accommodations supported by the college’s private housing office.
- Benefits of studying here: Studying at Imperial College London offers a world-class education, renowned faculty, cutting-edge research opportunities, global networking prospects, and a prestigious degree. Its focus on science, engineering, medicine, and business fosters innovation, academic excellence, and access to diverse career pathways, making it a top choice for ambitious learners.