We all know that which university you go to has a lot of importance put on it, and a lot of people hope to get into one of the country’s most prestigious ‘Russell Group’ universities. But which are the worst and best Russell Group universities? Find out here!

Tired of reading about whose the best Russell Group university? No biggie. Check out the best non Russell Group universities instead.

The best Russell Group universities 

Each year, The Complete University Guide organises all of the universities in the UK into a list of best to worst based on their overall score which is comprised of student satisfaction, entry standards, research quality, and graduate prospects.

According to The Complete Rankings 2022, these are the best 10 Russell Group universities.

10. University of Manchester

university of Manchester: Russell group university

UoM places 10th on the list of Russell Group universities, placing it firmly in the list of the best Russell Group universities. Part of the creme de la creme, if you will. Across the country, the university is ranked 13th, alongside the University of Exeter.

9. University of Exeter

The University of Exeter is 9th on the list of Russell Group universities, with an overall score on The Complete University Guide of 79%. This is a compilation of its entry standards score (76%), student satisfaction (81%), research quality (77%) and graduate prospects (80%). With all of these being above 75%, it’s no surprise that the university ended up on our list.

8. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh might be 8th on the list of Russell Groups, but it’s not much lower than that on the general list of universities either, scoring at 12th across the UK. The university has an overall score of 80%, and we can see why – who wouldn’t want to study and live their dark academia dream in the gloomy gorgeous city of Edinburgh?

7. University of Warwick 

Warwick University has had a fair share of controversy in the past few years, but it still ranks highly in terms of academics. Not only does the university place 7th out of the Russell Group universities, but it ranks 9th across the UK. Its overall score is a whopping 84%, with 81% student satisfaction and 84% graduate prospects.

6. University College London

University College London: Russell Group university

8th in the UK, and 6th best Russell Group university, UCL is known for its high entry requirements (hence its score of 89% for entrance standards!), and it also has a high student satisfaction of 79%.

5. Durham University

Often seen as Oxbridge’s little sibling, Durham was obviously going to make the list of the best Russell Group universities. It has an overall score of 89%, placing it 6th in the UK, and is widely known as a top-tier university.

4. Imperial College London 

5th in the UK, and one of the most famous universities in the country, Imperial College London has an overall score of 90%, with entry standards scoring 93%, student satisfaction scoring 80% and their graduate prospects a shocking 95%! When it comes to Russell Group universities, you’re onto a winner with Imperial College London.

3. London School of Economics

The school for anyone who is looking to study economics, the London School of Economics is usually the go-to. And considering it is the 3rd best Russell Group university and 3rd best university in the UK, that’s not a surprise! The university scores an overall 96% with The Complete University Guide.

2. University of Cambridge

university of Cambridge: Russell Group University

And, of course, in 2nd place, we have Cambridge. People travel across the world to go to this university, likewise with its higher up sibling Oxford. Cambridge is tied 1st across the UK and has an overall score of 99%.

1. University of Oxford

Finally, the best Russell Group in the country is the University of Oxford. With an overall score of 100% and entry standards at a scary 96%, it surprises nobody that this university sits as high as it does.

The worst Russell Group universities 

But, of course, not all of the Russell Group universities are as good as each other. Some of them have to falter on some aspects of the rankings (but of course, they are still great institutions!). Here are the 10 lowest ranked, or worst Russell Group universities.

10. University of Birmingham

Ranked at number 19 in the country, and 14th on the list of Russell Group universities, this university is still very much one of the best around. Its overall score sits at 75%, and its student satisfaction is up there with universities higher on this list, sitting at a tight 78%.

9. University of Leeds 

University of Leeds: Russell Group university

20th in the country, the University of Leeds is a wonderful university up north. It has a high student satisfaction (79%), great graduate prospects (80%) and amazing nightlife!

8. Kings College London 

Kings College is one of the most competitive universities in the south, with entry standards of 80%, and an overall score of 75%. The university is based in the capital, and so has plenty to do, as well as a high score for graduate prospects.

7. University of Nottingham

UoN is one of the greenest universities in the country and is perfect for anyone who loves a city and a suburb. The campus is a great mix of suburbia, greenery and old architecture, and the university is ranked 24th in the UK.

6. Cardiff University 

Cardiff University: Russell Group University

Cardiff University is ranked 25th in the UK and has an overall score of 73%. The university also has a Silver Award from the Teaching Excellence Framework, as well as a 79% student satisfaction score and a graduate prospects score of 83%.

5. University of Sheffield 

Sheffield is a great city, with plenty going on everywhere you look. And not only that, but it is home to not just one, but 2 solid universities. The University of Sheffield comes in at 26th in the UK, and 19th in the list of Russell Group universities.

4. University of Liverpool

The University of Liverpool is ranked 30th across the country, with an overall score of 72%. Its student satisfaction score is a huge 81%, and graduate prospects have scored it 78%.

However, this Russell Group university is ranked among the world’s top 100 Times High Education Impact Rankings League, so it can’t be all bad….

3. Queen’s University Belfast

Queen's University Belfast: Russell Group University

Over in Belfast, Queen’s University has managed to place 21st in the Russell Group university list, and 34th in the UK. The university has an overall score of 71%, with 79% student satisfaction. It might be one of the worst Russell Group universities, but it’s still a very good university to attend!

2. Newcastle University 

37th in the UK, Newcastle University has a score of 70%, with a high student satisfaction of 79%. Although that might just be because of the city’s infamous nightlife… We’ll let you decide about that. Sure, this Russell Group university might not be the best… But there’s gotta be a silver lining, right?

1. Queen Mary University of London 

Finally, the worst of the best. Queen Mary University is officially the worst Russell Group university, with a measly score of 67% compared to the other institutions. However, it does still score high on student satisfaction, so perhaps it’s not all bad!

When it comes to Russell Group universities, soz Queen Mary University, it really doesn’t look good, does it?

Why study at a Russell Group University?

The Russell Group represents a collection of 24 leading public research universities in the UK, renowned for their world-class research, outstanding teaching, and impact on society. Opting to study at a Russell Group university offers students an enriched educational experience, characterised by a rigorous academic curriculum, cutting-edge research opportunities, and a community of intellectual peers and eminent scholars.

Russell Group universities are often at the forefront of innovative research projects, allowing you to be part of world leading research and developments in various fields. Plus, if that’s not enough… A degree from a Russell Group institution is highly regarded by employers around the world, often providing graduates with a competitive edge in the job market.

Beyond the academics, these Russell Group members of course offer a vibrant student life, extracurricular actitives and a global network of alumni, for a well-rounded uni experience.

Now you know where to study- here’s what to study. Read on to find out what are the most useful university degrees to study in the UK: 2022