universities with the best student life

The UK universities with the best student life: Ranked

There are so many important factors to consider when choosing a university; the campus, the course, the city. However, one thing a lot of people don’t look at is the student experience. In fact, it’s hard to gauge which universities have the best student life, as all universities will claim it’s them. But, luckily for you, we’ve got University Compare’s Student Life rankings to figure out exactly which universities give the best experience.

These rankings are based on real student experiences, scored by students to reflect their experiences at university and the local areas. That means rating everything from nightclubs, pubs and bars to restaurants and cafes.

20. Loughborough University

loughborough university student life
Source: Leicester Mercury

Firstly, we start with Loughborough University which got a score of 4.4 stars out of 5 on the University Compare’s rankings, with a recommended percentage of 99%! In fact, the university is rated 10th in the country in 2022. Plus, it offers a huge range of courses from humanities to sports degrees.

19. Aston University 

Aston uni student life
Source: Aston University

Following on, Aston University scored a 4.41 stars out of 5, and a 97% recommended percentage from previous and current students. In fact, the Birmingham-based university is ranked 9th in the country. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it scores so highly on the University Compare list.

18. University of Birmingham 

university of birmingham student life
Source: The Guardian

Next up, the University of Birmingham is rated 4.42 stars out of 5 and has a recommendation percentage of 96%. As a Russell Group university, it’s not shocking that it’s on our top 20. Besides, Birmingham is well known as a party city. Therefore, it’d be ideal for any extroverted students looking for places to drink it up. You can check out some things to do in Birmingham here. 

17. University of Portsmouth 

University of Portsmouth student life
Source: Ponoyre and Prasad

One of the few southern universities on the list, Portsmouth has always been a rowdy, social city. Known for its naval connections, the city has a lot of places for officers to chill out, party up and enjoy themselves. Students clearly enjoy this too! In fact, it was rated 4.42 stars out of 5 and with a recommended percentage of 96%, it’s a strong 17th place on the list.

16. Manchester Metropolitan University 

Manchester Met student life
Source: Manchester Metropolitan University

Back to our northern universities, Manchester Met is rated 4.45 stars and has a recommendation percentage of 96% on University Compare’s list. However, the university itself isn’t rated as highly as some of its competitors on the list. However, clearly the students there don’t mind too much!

15. Leeds Beckett University 

leeds beckett student life
Source: Leeds Beckett University

Following on is Leeds, a city renowned for its nightlife. People have been travelling up to the city for entertainment for years and will continue to do so. Between great nightlife and 2 brilliant shopping centres, we’re honestly surprised Leeds Beckett is only 15th on our list and not higher! What’s more, the university received a 4.47 out of 5 stars, which is very impressive.

14. Swansea University 

Swansea University student life
Source: Swansea University

The Welsh aren’t exactly known for being a quiet bunch, so obviously at least one Welsh university had to appear on this list. In fact, Swansea University is in the top 50 universities in the UK, and received 4.48 stars out of 5 on the UC list.

13. University of Manchester

manchester university student life
Source: The Independent

Yet again, Manchester has made its way onto our list of the best student cities. The University of Manchester is a prestigious Russell Group university and received 4.5 stars out of 5 on the University Compare list. Clearly, Manchester is one of the best places to be as a student! Check out some things to do in Manchester here. 

12. Liverpool John Moores University 

Liverpool John Moores University student life
Source: Institute of the Arts Barcelona

Next on our list is Liverpool John Moores University- it received 4.51 stars out of 5, and a recommendation percentage of 97%. Furthermore, the university is in the top 75 universities in the country and offers a huge range of courses from great undergraduate courses to intriguing postgraduate courses.

11. Sheffield Hallam University 

Sheffield Hallum Uni student life
Source: Sheffield Hallam University

Once again, Sheffield is a city known for cheap nights out and great venues. So it really comes as no surprise that this northern gem is on the list of universities with the best student life.

In fact, the uni received 4.51 stars out of 5, and a recommendation percentage of 95%, meaning students really must love it there!

10. University of Bristol 

University of Bristol student life
Source: Shiksha Study Abroad

Next up is Bristol, a place that’s known to be a party city. With so many creative people in one city, it was bound to be a good place for a night out, trip into town, or pretty much anything else. So it’s not a shocker that the University of Bristol has 4.52 stars out of 5, and a recommendation rating of 97%! Check out some of our favourite things to do in Bristol here. 

9. Northumbria University 

northumbria university student life
Source: Northumbria University

Following on, Newcastle isn’t exactly known for being a dull place. There’s plenty to do, for not a lot of money. So of course, Northumbria University wound up in our top 10 universities with the best student life!

The university received 4.52 stars out of 5 and a recommendation percentage of 96%.

8. Cardiff Metropolitan University 

cardiff metropolitan university student life
Source: ILW Education Consultants

Another Welsh university, Cardiff Metropolitan has scored a place in our top 10 with a rating of 4.52 stars out of 10 and a recommendation percentage of 94%.

This university is in a vibrant and affordable city with great cultural activities and even better recreational (that means pubs) activities.

7. University of Nottingham 

university of nottingham student life
Source: West Bridgford Wire

Next is Nottingham. It has 2 universities and is a big city full of things to do. From student discounts at Revolution to their huge Waterstones and fabulous indie cafes, you’re bound to find something in the city that tickles your fancy!

So, it’s no wonder the uni was rated 4.54 stars out of 5.

6. University of Liverpool 

university of liverpool student life
Source: Kaplan International Pathways

Liverpool is a great city to visit, and apparently an even better city to live in as a student! In fact, the city has so much going on, all of the time, that we’re not sure how students in Liverpool even find time for their university degrees. But regardless, the uni was ranked 4.55 stars out of 5 for its student life.

5. University of Sheffield 

university of sheffield student life
Source: University Compare

So both universities in Sheffield have found their way onto the list of the universities with the best student life. Clearly, Sheffield is the place to be! The University of Sheffield has been rated 4.56 out of 5, and has a recommendation percentage of 97%.

4. Cardiff University 

Cardiff university student life
Source: Cardiff University

Next is another city that’s found its way onto the list multiple times! Of course, Cardiff really is a beautiful city with friendly citizens, great bars, restaurants and amazing Instagram opportunities (we’re looking at you, Cardiff Bay). What’s more, Cardiff University was rated 4.59 stars out of 5 for its student life!

3. Nottingham Trent University 

nottingham trent student life
Source: University Compare

Aaaaand another duplicate. Clearly the midlands and above have some really great student lives! Nottingham Trent University has received a great rating of 4.67 stars out of 5 and a recommendation percentage of 98%.

2. Newcastle University 

the university of newcastle student life
Source: The Guardian

We’ve all seen the memes about how much northerners love a night out, so nobody should be surprised at all that Newcastle University has the 2nd best student life in the country! The university was rated 4.71 by its students, with a recommendation percentage of 98%.

1. University of Leeds 

the university of leeds student life
Source: The Independent

Finally, in our top spot, we have the University of Leeds. As we’ve said, Leeds is an amazing city with fabulous nightlife, a great shopping scene, independent cafes and great bars, and plenty of students to meet and interact with. No wonder it was rated 4.72 stars out of 5!

So, that’s a wrap up for our list of the top 20 universities with the best student life. Do you agree with this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Are you applying for university this year? Be sure to check out our other guides such as the best Russell Group unis and the unis with the best nightlife

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