University Rankings Explained
Fri 03 Apr 2015

The Complete University Guide, The Guardian, The Times and The Sunday Times – annually publish the national ranking of Universities in the UK 

The Complete University Guide has 9 criteria:

- Academic services spend

- Completion (of degree)

- Entry standards

- Facilities spend

- Good honours (proportion of firsts and upper seconds)

- Graduate prospects

- Research assessment/quality

- Student satisfaction

- Student/staff ratio

The most recent league of 2014 ranked the top 30 British Universities:   Rank (1-10) University 1 University of Cambridge 2 University of Oxford 3 London School of Economics 4 Imperial College 5 Durham University 6 University of St Andrews 7 University College London 8 University of Warwick 9 University of Bath 10 University of Exeter   Rank (11-20) University 11 University of Lancaster 12 University of York 13 University of Surrey 14 Loughborough University 15 University of Bristol 16 University of Leicester 17 University of Birmingham 18 University of Edinburgh 19 King's College London 20 University of East Anglia   Rank (21-30) University 21 University of Southampton 22 Newcastle University 23 University of Glasgow 24 University of Nottingham 25 University of Manchester 26 University of Sheffield 27 Aston University 28 University of Kent 29 Queen's University Belfast 30 Royal Holloway London.

The Guardian

• Has 8 criteria:

- Entry score

- Feedback

- Job prospects

- Overall quality

- Spending per student

- Staff/student ratio

- Teaching quality

- Value added Top 30 British Universities according to The Guardian: Rank (1-10) University 1 University of Cambridge 2 University of Oxford 3 London School of Economics 4 University of St Andrews 5 University College London 6 Durham University 7 University of Bath 8 University of Surrey 9 Imperial College London 10 University of Warwick Rank (11-20) University 11 University of Lancaster 12 University of Exeter 13 University of Leicester 14 Loughborough University 15 University of Birmingham 16 University of York 17 University of East Anglia 18 Heriot-Watt University 19 University of Edinburgh 20 University of Kent   Rank (21-30) University 21 University of Glasgow 22 SOAS 23 University of Bristol 24 University of Southampton 25 University of Buckingham 26 University of Strathclyde 27 Newcastle University 28 University of Nottingham 29 Cardiff University 30 Aston University 

The Sunday Times

• Uses 8 criteria

- Student satisfaction

- Teaching excellence

- Heads/peer assessment

- Research quality

- A-Level/higher points

- Unemployment post-graduation

- Firsts/2:1’s awarded

- Dropout rate 

Rank (1-10) University 1 University of Cambridge 2 University of Oxford 3 London School of Economics 4 University of St Andrews 5 Imperial College London 6 Durham University 7 University of Bath 8 University of Exeter 9 University College London 10 University of Warwick Rank (11-20) University 11 University of York 12= University of Surrey 12= Lancaster University 14 University of Leicester 15 University of Bristol 16 University of Birmingham 17 University of East Anglia 18= Newcastle University 18= University of Sheffield 20 University of Southampton     Rank (21-30) University 21 Loughborough University 22 University of Edinburgh 23 University of Nottingham 24 SOAS 25 University of Glasgow 26 University of Manchester 27 King’s College London 28 Royal Holloway, University of London 29= Aston University Birmingham 29= Queen’s University, Belfast

The Times 

• Uses 8 criteria

- Completion

- Entry standards

- Facilities spending

- Good honours

- Graduate prospects

- Library and computing spending

- Research

- Student satisfaction

- Student-staff ratio

As you can see, the choice of each top 30 is fairly similar, which will be a good guide for you when deciding on what University to apply to, in terms of what are considered to be the best Uni’s in the country. However, it is important to note that you should not base your Uni choices on the league tables alone; it is always a good idea to visit each institution in order to get a feel for the place. You could get an offer from a top 30, or even a top 10 UK University, but if you don’t like the location nor the campus, your unhappiness will outweigh the status of the Uni. Consider all the factors of each University, such as their ranking, their student satisfaction and the local area before you decide which one is right for you.


Close