The act of pursuing education in a foreign country can be an anxiety-inducing endeavour. The act of relocating one’s life and starting a new life in a different location requires a considerable amount of bravery. When it comes to studying in the UK, understanding the options is crucial. In this blog, we will explore the ‘Top 5 Russell Group Universities in the UK,’ which can offer a transformative educational experience.

In light of these circumstances, the selection of an appropriate country and university becomes paramount. Among the numerous options available, we recommend considering the United Kingdom as a favourable destination for pursuing your academic aspirations. Specifically, we propose directing your attention towards the esteemed Russell Group universities, as they can potentially facilitate the realisation of your study abroad ambitions.

What is the Russell Group? 

The term “Russell Group” may have come to your attention, although you may be uncertain of its precise definition. In this description, we elucidate the nature and characteristics of Russell Group Universities UK, as well as provide an overview of its application procedure.

The Russell Group is an organisation that serves as a representative body for a consortium of 24 publicly funded research-intensive universities in the United Kingdom. The group holds the belief that-

People and ideas are the key to meeting global challenges. Through world-class research and education, we are helping to create a dynamic economy, stronger communities, and a better future for the UK.”

The group, which eventually came to be known as the “Russell Group,” was formed in 1994 and initially convened at the Hotel Russell in London. Over the course of time, other universities have joined the collective, leading to the formal establishment of the organisation as a recognised entity in the field of higher education in the year 2007.

There is a prevailing belief that these universities hold the highest level of prestige within the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the extent of this prestige is contingent upon the specific academic programme one selects, as the disparity in day-to-day educational experiences between Russell Group and non-Russell Group universities is improbable.

The objectives of the Russell Group encompass collaborative efforts in lobbying the government of the United Kingdom, generating and composing reports, establishing a platform for deliberation on problems and topics, and fostering cooperation in research endeavours.

Russell Group Universities list in 2024

  1. University of Birmingham, England
  2. University of Bristol, England
  3. University of Cambridge, England
  4. Cardiff University, Wales
  5. Durham University, England
  6. University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  7. University of Exeter, England
  8. University of Glasgow, Scotland
  9. Imperial College London, England
  10. King’s College, London, England
  11. University of Leeds, England
  12. University of Liverpool, England
  13. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), England
  14. University of Manchester, England
  15. Newcastle University, England
  16. University of Nottingham, England
  17. University of Oxford, England
  18. Queen Mary University of London, England
  19. Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  20. University of Sheffield, England
  21. University of Southampton, England
  22. University College London (UCL), England
  23. University of Warwick, England
  24. University of York, England
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Top 5 russell group universities in the uk 4

Top 5 Russell Group Universities ranking 2024

Here is a list of top 5 universities that are members of the Russell Group:

1. University of Birmingham

Established in the year 1900, the University of Birmingham is a renowned public research and educational institution that holds a prominent position among the top 100 universities worldwide. Furthermore, it holds the prestigious status of being a distinguished member of the highly regarded Russell Group.

The University is distinguished by its established practise of doing research and fostering innovation, both of which have yielded significant advancements, contributing to the expansion of knowledge and enhancing the well-being of individuals.

University at a glance: 

  • Intake: September
  • Location: Birmingham, England
  • Students Satisfaction: 78%
  • Graduate Employability: 82%
  • Specialised In: Engineering, Economics, Medicine
  • Int. Student Percentage: 24%
  • Int. Fee Range: £19,000 – £42,000
  • 3rd best UK university for producing CEOs ( 2016)
  • 2nd most frequently targeted university for graduate recruits (High Fliers Research 2020)
  • 5th in the UK for graduate prospects (Complete University Guide 2019)
  • Russell Group Member University
  • 22nd in the UK (Times University Guide 2024)
  • 37th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2024)
  • 84th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024)

2. University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is widely recognised globally for its exceptional standards in education and research. The institution integrates scholarly distinction with a self-reliant and progressive mindset.

Established in the year 1876, the University of Bristol is recognised as one of the prestigious institutions belonging to the Russell Group university list, which comprises 24 universities known for their strong focus on research and academic excellence. This institution is classified as one of the initial red brick universities, which were established in the prominent industrial cities of England.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2024, the university is ranked among the top ten institutions in the United Kingdom and holds the 55th position globally. According to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022, it is positioned as the seventh highest-ranking institution in the United Kingdom in terms of graduate employability.

University at a glance: 

  • Intake: January, September
  • Location: Bristol, England
  • Students Satisfaction: 79%
  • Graduate Employability: 94%
  • Specialised in: Engineering, Medical Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Business
  • Int. Student Percentage: 28%
  • Int. Fee Range: £20,100-38,000
  • 16th in the UK (Times University Guide 2024)
  • 17th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2024)

3. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge possesses a wealth of historical significance, as evidenced by its renowned colleges and university structures, which draw tourists from many corners of the globe. However, the museums and collections affiliated with the university include numerous valuable artefacts that provide a captivating glimpse into the intellectual pursuits of the university’s faculty and students, both historically and presently.

Top 5 russell group universities in the uk

The University of Cambridge, established many centuries ago, holds the distinction of being one of the most ancient educational institutions globally and is among the largest universities within the United Kingdom. The university’s global recognition for exceptional academic performance is indicative of the intellectual accomplishments of its students as well as the high-quality original research conducted by its faculty members and affiliated colleges.

University at a glance: 

  • Intake: January, September
  • Location: Cambridge
  • Student’s satisfaction: 90%
  • Graduate employability: 81.60%
  • Specialised In: Arts and Humanities, Medicine
  • Int. student percentage: 40%
  • Int. fee range: £24,507- £63,990
  • 2nd in the worlds (QS World University Rankings 2024)
  • 5th in the world (World University Rankings 2024)

4. Cardiff University

Cardiff University is a renowned public research institution located in Cardiff, Wales. The institution is affiliated with the prestigious Russell Group universities and is situated in a picturesque and vibrant setting.

The institutional motto is “Truth, Unity, and Concord.” The institution prides itself on its strategic and innovative research endeavours, as well as its esteemed reputation for fostering strong international partnerships. The institution is dedicated to providing a distinctive educational experience for students by fostering a robust connection with various industries.

University at a glance:

  • Intake: January, September
  • Location: Cardiff, Wales
  • Students Satisfaction: 76%
  • Graduate Employability: 95%
  • Specialised In: Architecture/Built Environment, Communication and Media Studies, Psychology, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Accounting & Finance, Geography, English Language & Literature, Sports Science, Law
  • Int. Student Percentage: 17.5%
  • Int. Fee Range: £18,700-23,950
  • 25th in the UK (Times University Guide 2024)
  • 29th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2024)
  • 154th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024)

5. Durham University

Durham University, based in Durham, England, is a prestigious educational institution. Established in 1832, it is one of the UK’s and the world’s oldest and most prestigious educational institutions.

There is a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programmes in the arts, sciences, business, and law available at Durham University. The university’s professors and research facilities have earned international acclaim, earning it a reputation as a premier educational institution.

University at a glance:

  • Intake: January, October, and September
  • Location: Durham, England
  • Students Satisfaction: 80%
  • Graduate Employability: 85%
  • Specialised In: Psychology, IT, and English
  • Int. Student Percentage: 27%
  • Int. Fee Range: £17,400 – £22,000
  • 7th in the UK (Times University Guide 2024)
  • 7th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2024)
  • 78th in the world (QS World University Rankings 2024)

How and when to apply

Applying to a Russell Group university is as simple as applying to any other university in the UK through the AHZ unified application system. Students can use their application platform to submit applications to institutions around the United Kingdom, including those in the prestigious Russell Group.

The application requirements for institutions in the Russell Group are the same as those of any other university in the United Kingdom. And, surprisingly, the process is free of charge, and AHZ’s worldwide experts will inform every international student on when and how to apply.


In conclusion, Russell Group universities have a strong reputation and a high level of student satisfaction. They are also highly ranked internationally, and their degrees are respected everywhere. Therefore, you should include these schools in your considerations for studying in the United Kingdom.


What are the top 5 Russell Group universities?

Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, UCL, and Edinburgh are the top five Russell Group universities. The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings are a compilation of the greatest schools in the world.

What is the hardest Russell Group university to get into?

LSE (36.5%), Imperial College London (42.9%), and the University of Edinburgh (51%), all members of the Russell Group, have the lowest acceptance rates after excluding Oxford and Cambridge.

What is the easiest Russell Group to get into?

The minimum to board the Queen Mary is 144, while the minimum to board the Liverpool is 147. Glasgow is, surprisingly, more picky with UCAS points than Durham, LSE, UCL, or Warwick. Now, everyone: It comes as no surprise that Oxford and Cambridge are at the top of the list.

Which Russell Group university is cheapest?

Queen’s University Belfast, on the other hand, has the lowest average weekly housing expenditures among the Russell Group institutions, at just £95. Sheffield University, the second lowest of the Russell Group universities, reportedly charges its students an average of £100 a week.

How is Cardiff University ranked?

The world’s best universities have put Cardiff University at #152. Rankings of schools are based on how they perform on a variety of established criteria for quality education.