Red Brick Universities are the universities founded in major industrial cities during the 19th century. Dating back to the Victorian era, the term ‘red brick’ arose because of the distinctive red pressed brick used to build these historic buildings. There are six original ‘Red Brick Universities’ to choose from, but which one is best?

University of Birmingham

Dating back to 1900, this University was the first to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of the Russell Group of British research universities and the international network of research universities. Birmingham’s student population is the fourth largest in the UK. Alumni of this prestigious university include Neville Chamberlain, Stanley Baldwin and the British composer Sir Edward Elgar.

University of Bristol

University of Bristol, red brick university

Founded in 1876, the University of Bristol became the first higher educational institution in England to admit women on an equal basis to men. Now at the cutting edge of global research, Bristol has made innovations in areas ranging from cot death prevention to nanotechnology. With over 500 courses to choose from and students from across 150 countries, Bristol makes an enriching, diverse student experience.

University of Leeds 

With a campus less than ten minutes away from Leeds city centre, the University of Leeds is a warm, bustling community of students and academics. The University achieves academic excellence within a framework informed by values of inclusion, integrity and equality, ensuring it is an open environment for all students. Break a sweat in the state-of-the-art gym, ‘The Edge’ or join one of over 300 clubs and societies based in and around the student union.

University of Liverpool 

University of Liverpool  red brick university

Historically known to be one of the UK’s most multicultural and diverse cities, the university of Liverpool supports many pledges to advocate inclusivity and equality. The university coordinates many equality networks, including the ‘Black and Minority Ethnic Staff Network’ and ‘Disabled Staff Network’ and harbouring a female workforce of 52%. This trendy, fast-paced city is an ideal place for students to thrive.

University of Manchester

With four amongst its staff, the University of Manchester has more Nobel laureates than any other British university and has the highest enrolment rate in Britain. 83% of the research here has been ranked as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ by the Research Excellence Framework in 2014. With a bustling, urban community of students and city-goers, Manchester makes for a great University. 

University of Sheffield

University of Sheffield red brick university

Ranked 1st in the UK for student experience in the Times Higher Education, the University of Sheffield boasts great social life and a high academic reputation. Their award-winning ‘We Are International’ campaign encourages multiculturalism within the university and a diverse range of courses to choose from. Sheffield has strong partnerships with global companies such as Rolls Royce to ensure their students are employable and equipped for life after university.

Author