There are, however, a large number of universities around the UK that offer world-class degrees and a wide variety of courses. The prestigious Russell Group of UK universities, which includes Edinburgh, Manchester, Durham, Warwick and Bristol, regularly feature at the top of university rankings for overall performance.
There are several internationally respected organisations that produce university rankings, offering insights on important factors such as teaching quality, student satisfaction and research activity. You can search for the top universities offering your chosen course, or compare universities based on other criteria. These should provide a good starting point for your own research.
QS World University Rankings
This ranking is compiled by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), an education research company in the UK. It’s based on a broad range of factors including: research activity and quality; how each institution is perceived by employers; and ‘international orientation’ – a measure that takes into account the diversity of students and staff.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings
The international diversity of staff and students is also taken into account with this ranking. But it is far more heavily weighted towards an institution’s ‘research influence’ – how often the academic papers it produces are cited by those of other institutions. It is based on data from Thomson Reuters, the US research firm, and published by the UK magazine, Times Higher Education.
The Guardian University Guide
Unlike other rankings of UK universities, The Guardian’s system doesn’t include research scores. Instead it focuses on the elements of university life that ‘matter most to students’, from enrolment through to graduation. An institution’s position is determined by combining scores across eight criteria, including teaching quality, staff-to-student ratio and post-graduation employability.