England's top cities to study in – that are not London

Making sure you choose the right course is obviously the most important decision to consider when applying to study overseas, but this is closely followed by choosing the right location. Generally, students applying to undergraduate degree courses in England will enrol on to at least a three year programme, therefore it is essential take into consideration where these years will be spent. Popular courses are offered at lots of different universities across England, meaning that students have a wide range of options to choose from.

When considering overseas study in England, most students instantly name London as their ideal destination. However, while London is an excellent student city, there are lots of other destinations in the UK where you can have a great time as a student. Read the guide below to find out more:

North England

Bronze statues of The Beatles stand on the Liverpool waterfront.


Cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, and Newcastle all fall within this geographical location. They all have at least one university and they were all voted in the top 10 best university cities according to the Whatuni Student Choice Awards in 2015. Perfect for football fans, these cities play host to well-known football clubs where you can spend your weekends cheering on your favourite team.

Other sporting events include the Great North Run and the Greater Manchester marathon, so if you’re into keeping fit, one of these could be perfect for you. However, if you’d rather keep fit by dancing along to local bands, then you’re also in luck. With The Beatles hailing from Liverpool and Manchester still very reminiscent of its late 80’s to early 90’s Madchester scene, you’re sure to always be able to find a good gig.


View over Scarborough South Bay Harbour in northern Yorkshire.


England’s largest county, Yorkshire is home to cities including Leeds, Sheffield, York, and Bradford. Similar to the rest of the north of England, these large cities all have numerous universities and each one will expose you to an exciting student scene. For the city dweller, Yorkshire has enough to keep you interested for the duration of your degree, and probably even longer. From restaurants offering a whole range of different cuisines, to indoor ski slopes and trampoline parks, this wonderful region has something for every urban fanatic.

However, if you prefer the quaint countryside, it’s just a short drive away, where you can find some of the UK’s most stunning scenery in the shape of the Yorkshire dales. And that’s before we even mention the National Trust heritage sites and endless parks and gardens. Unfortunately, we can’t promise good weather to match, so make sure you pack a raincoat and some Wellington boots if you want to explore the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

South England

People pass by street art in Bristol’s city centre.


We’re talking about way down south here, as in further south than London. Two famous student cities, Bristol and Bath, are connected by the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, which is a popular hotspot for keen cyclists. The cities are known for hosting a number of cultural festivals and events around the year, including comedy festivals, film festivals, Christmas markets, and the more unique Bristol Balloon Festival and Bath Bachfest. If you’re more of a water baby and want to be by the coast, consider Portsmouth, Bournemouth, or Brighton where you can soak up the rays on the gorgeous beaches as you revise for your exams.

Wherever you decide to go, make sure you think carefully about your decision. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there, so make sure it’s somewhere you know you will enjoy.

Images via Shutterstock

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