Top universities in UK 2019 : Study in UK Now!
“Give me a spark of Nature’s fire. That’s all the learning I desire”. The words of famous English poet Robert Burns undeniably echo the supreme status of education in British society. Recently, the world has witnessed many technological revolutions and these rapid changes have led to the generation of huge demand for high-quality tertiary education. Hence, what used to be the privilege of the elite few earlier, has now become a lot more accessible and affordable. Students have now become increasingly mobile, willing to study anywhere that promises them the best future prospects. Of course, when we’re talking about the best destinations for international education, how can we not talk about the country that gave birth to this rapidly expanding trend – the United Kingdom?
Why the UK is popular for international students?
As we know the United Kingdom is renowned for having one of the best education systems in the world and an MS from the UK has become an essential element to measure your expertise in the concerned field. The UK is home to various prestigious universities like Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics, King’s College and the University College, London.
Apart from boasting some of the world’s best-known universities, the UK also has a thriving job market that provides a plethora of employment opportunities which certainly inspires international students to look towards the UK as their preferred study-abroad destination.
Top Universities in the UK at a glance
As per the QS World University Rankings 2019, four universities in the UK have ranked among the top 10 universities in the world with 18 universities finding place among the global top 100. Now, we’ll take a look at some of the most sought after universities in the UK for master’s programs, and just what you’ll need to gain admits from them!
1) The University of Oxford: “City of Dreaming Spires”
As per the latest rankings, University of Oxford stood first among the top universities in the UK. One of the oldest universities in the world, this UK University has ranked fifth among the top 10 universities internationally. A member of the Russell Group of research-led British universities, Oxford has much to offer to its students. Here’s taking a closer look:
In order to get accepted to Oxford, you’ll need a pretty strong academic profile. Apart from that, you’ll have to submit proof of your English proficiency i.e. IELTS test scores, on which an overall band score of 7.0 is required with at least 6.5 bands on each of the 4 individual sections. If you’d rather take the TOEFL, you’ll be needing a score of 110 or higher with not less than a 25 on each of the four sections.
Check out the Definitive Guide for IELTS Here
Apart from the academic opportunities afforded by Oxford, students are also enticed by the myriad job opportunities and vibrant nature of life at this historic university.
- Notable alumni include: some of the most prominent names in the world of science, politics and literature: Stephen Hawking, Indira Gandhi, David Cameron, Theresa May and TS Eliot among several others.
2) The University of Cambridge: A wonder near River Cam
The fourth-oldest University in the world, and one that’s ranked second among all UK universities is a collegiate public research institution that is home to more than 18,000 students from all across the globe. Along with its reputation for academic excellence and traditional scholastic values, the University of Cambridge is also a good platform for extracurricular activities like the fine-arts, music, politics and much more.
The University of Cambridge accepts students who have completed at least a 3-year long Bachelor’s degree or 4-year long professional Bachelor’s degree as a minimum qualification for admission. Students from countries where English is spoken as a 2nd language (or non-native speakers of English) like India, for instance, need to submit the scores of a test of English proficiency like the IELTS or TOEFL, with a minimum band of 7.0 per section along with a CGPA of 8 or above. Apart from academics, Cambridge has a lot more in store for students: a truly cosmopolitan outlook, the mixture of country and city life really fascinating and inspiring.
- Cambridge alumni who made it really big include: Srinivasa Ramanujan, Charles Darwin, Amartya Sen, Ernest Rutherford and Charles Babbage
3) Imperial College London: A royal vision indeed
After Oxbridge (the revered pair of Oxford and Cambridge) the Imperial College of London claims the distinction of being the third most highly-ranked university in the UK. Established in the year 1907, the distinctive feature of this institution is its focus on research-oriented studies in the fields of science and technology, in a multicultural environment.
If the applicant wishes to pursue an MS at the Imperial College London, he/she should have scored a minimum of 75% on their Bachelor’s program, which they must have completed at a reputed university. They are also required to have a minimum IELTS band of 7 or above, or a TOEFL score of 100. As a student of Imperial College London, you will have vast employment opportunities upon graduation, with several multinational organizations being headquartered in London. Apart from the job opportunities, the diversity of London, the world-famous theatrical clubs, and musical concerts make this city an enchanting place for students.
- Notable alumni include: Alexander Fleming, Cyrus Mistry and H.G. Wells.
4) UCL (University College London): ‘London’s Global University’.
The University College London (UCL), located in the heart of the city, is another world-class institution renowned for its multi-disciplinary programmes. Founded in the year 1826, UCL is the third-oldest university in England. This university has several acclaimed courses in Computer Science, Medicine and Psychology.
In general, getting accepted to UCL requires an undergraduate degree for graduate admissions and for programs like M.Phil. or Ph.D., a master’s degree is required with a minimum CGPA of 7.75/10, or 75%, where a GPA scale is not used. On the IELTS front, a minimum of 6.5 band is required.
Like the Imperial College London, UCL is also a gateway to enormous opportunities for its students. It provides a lively and varied campus life and good exposure to employment opportunities and social life.
Some of its most notable alumni include: Alexander Graham Bell, Christopher Nolan, Rabindranath Tagore and Joseph Lister.
5) King’s College London (KCL): A gift of King George IV
Established in the year 1829, King’s College London comes in at the 7th place in the latest QS rankings. Being a leader in technological innovation, it boasts of cutting-edge research facilities and infrastructure.
Like most other UK Universities, for post-graduate admissions, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree with an aggregate of 65% complemented by an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each section.
6) The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE):
A world-class institution for economics, finance, international relations and allied subjects, The London School of Economics (LSE) ranks 8th in the list of top ten universities in the UK. LSE offers a unique approach towards academics and is well renowned for its programs in Economics, Law and Social Sciences.
Admission to LSE generally starts from September of the year prior to entry, and applications are considered on a rolling basis until all the available places are filled. For admission into master’s programs, universities require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum aggregate of 65%. Students must have already completed a bachelor’s degree from an established university that corresponds to a similar degree offered by universities in the UK. Minimum requirements for entry into LSE include an IELTS score of at least 6.5 – 7 or a TOEFL score of at least 100 for most programs. The London School of Economics is a dream university for students looking to pursue careers in the world of finance, banking, and economic policy-making.
Notable alumni of LSE include: George Soros, B.R. Ambedkar, David Attenborough and David Rockefeller.
7) The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester has ranked 6th among top universities in the UK. The second largest university in the UK by enrolment, this UK University is also a popular destination for overseas students.
The entry requirements of Manchester University include requiring applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree with not less than an aggregate of 65%, and an IELTS score of at least 7.0. For MBA programs, a minimum of three years’ work experience is essential. With a highly multicultural environment, the University of Manchester is also well-known for its student-oriented programme ‘Stellify’. And the specific courses designed for employability in mind; there is no doubt that a wonderful future is awaiting you after completing your education from the University of Manchester.
Manchester University boasts of alumni include: Ernest Rutherford, Henry Moseley and Niels Bohr.
8) The University of Edinburgh:
Ranked 5th among the top universities in the UK is the popular University of Edinburgh. This university is particularly known for being the birthplace of the world’s first cloned sheep, ‘Dolly’. It is also one of Scotland’s ancient Universities and has highly acclaimed courses in Engineering, technology and life sciences.
Similar to other universities in the UK, minimum entry requirements for applicants into graduate and postgraduate programs include holding a bachelor’s degree with a minimum aggregate of 60%, along with a minimum IELTS score band of 6.5. Its flexible learning programs also ensure the overall development of students in every sense.
Famous alumni include: Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Daniel Rutherford.
9) The University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is synonymous with excellence in teaching, research, and business innovation and is indeed one of the most prestigious Universities in the UK. This university also offers generous scholarships to deserving international students. At the University of Leicester, the criteria for postgraduate admission is a bachelor’s degree with an aggregate of 75% and an IELTS score band of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 80-100 for students whose first language is not English. It is known for its community engagement and for promoting diversity.
Notable alumni include: Peter Atkins and Malcolm Bradbury.
10) The University of Leeds
The University of Leeds and the University of Wales are the two other Universities which also gained a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. The University of Leeds is part of the famous Russell group universities. As per the QS rankings 2019, this University has found a place in the top 100 Universities of the world.
A first-class bachelor’s degree and an overall IELTS band of 6.5 with no less than a 6.0 on each section or a TOEFL score of 92 are the basic criteria for admission to graduate programs at this university. With the University of Leeds being a favourite among employers, alumni of this university can be found at several prestigious organizations worldwide.
Even though the UK does have quite a few amazing universities boasting of great infrastructure, faculty and a high quality of education, the USA still remains the favorite of master’s aspirants for a few distinct reasons. These are:
- A huge number of learning institutions: The USA boasts of a huge number of universities, with many being among the topmost in the world. However niche your course of choice may be, universities in the US will still have you spoilt for choice.
- Size of the US Economy: While the UK comes in at 5th place, the USA remains the world’s largest economy by a long shot. This means more jobs, higher paying jobs and much more scope of career advancement.
- Highest Research Funding: Top universities in the USA receive some of the highest amount of funding in the world often running into billions of dollars. If research is your thing, you’ll definitely appreciate the importance American institutions attach to knowledge and skill development.
- Worldwide Recognition: Now this is where American universities win, hands down. A degree from a recognized US university is a lifetime asset that will get your resume noticed worldwide. Internationally, the American standard of tertiary education is well renowned and respected, and hence, if you’re looking at really boosting your career prospects, there’s nothing like an American degree.
We hope you now have clarity on the best universities in the UK, and their admissions criteria. Do make sure to make an informed decision when choosing your preferred country and university, as studying abroad can be a pretty sizeable investment of time and money.
If you have any further doubts with your university applications, leave them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you with answers. All the best with your university applications!