Choosing a university in the UK

The United Kingdom is home to an abundance of excellent universities, recognised across the globe for their creative and challenging environments, modern facilities, and high standards of teaching. Combined with the UK’s diverse culture and affordability compared to other countries, it’s easy to see why the UK is among the most popular choices for international students. 

Choosing the right university is key to making the most of your study abroad experience in the UK, so it’s essential that you do your research. Your interests, skills, professional goals, and financial capabilities are crucial factors to consider when making this decision.

Where in the UK should I study? 

There are great universities in all corners of the UK. But it pays to consider whether you’d prefer a busier or quieter location, cost of living, and any interest you have that might be better supported by certain towns or cities. You can pick from one of the UK nations: England, Northern Island, Scotland, or Wales. Here’s a bit of background on each to help you with your research


England is the largest and the most highly concentrated of the four UK nations. Comprised of many large cities with culturally diverse populations, it’s a welcoming space for people from all sorts of backgrounds. England also has the most number of higher education institutions among all the UK nations, four of which are in the top 10 universities in the world.

London, the capital of England, is the biggest city in the UK and one of the most diverse cities in the world. From its rich history and iconic buildings to its cutting-edge fashion and colourful theatre scene, the reasons to visit London are endless — but if you’d prefer somewhere more quiet, there are plenty of other regions in England that are just as exciting. Northern and eastern England are famous for their natural landscapes, stunning architecture, and vibrant nightlife, while the south of England is known for its laid-back beach living and arts scene. 

Some of GSP’s most popular partner universities in England include: 

  • Reading University
  • Brighton University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • London South Bank University
  • University of London



Wales is the perfect study destination for those seeking to experience the ultimate peaceful countryside life. From the emerald coastlines of Pembrokeshire to the valleys, and lakes of Mid Wales, the Welsh countryside allows students a stunning outdoors education without breaking the bank; for comparison, its capital, Cardiff, is almost three times cheaper than London. 

Pursuing an education in Wales will open many doors for you. Half of the universities in Wales are ranked in the top 500 in the 2022 Times Higher World University rankings, earning much respect from academics from employers all over the world. Welsh universities also offer established connections to industry that can lead to excellent opportunities for your career; over 90 per cent of graduates from Welsh universities are in work within six months of completing their studies.

Some of GSP’s most popular partner universities in Wales include: 

  • University of Aberystwyth 
  • University of Cardiff 
  • Vale College for Wales



Famous for its bagpipes, whiskey, and friendly people, the country of Scotland has no shortage of charm. But make no mistake — it’s also one of the most progressive nations in the world. Scotland has been at the forefront of numerous global issues, like climate change and LGBT+ inclusion. It’s also the first country in the world to provide free period products to students at all education levels, and the first to embed LGBT+ inclusive education across the curriculum. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, Scotland is the most highly educated country in Europe. One of the major strengths of Scottish education is its research; many researchers in Scottish universities have created world-changing innovations, such as the MRI scanner and keyhole surgery. 

Outside of education, Scotland also has plenty of great cultural experiences to offer. Music is a central and historic part of its culture, being home to the legendary rock music venue, the Barrowlands in Glasgow, as well as the world-famous Edinburgh festivals. And with its lush meadows, pine forests, untouched beaches, and more, Scotland is also a dream come true for any outdoor enthusiast or explorer. 

Some of GSP’s most popular partner universities in Scotland include: 

  • University of West Scotland
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Stirling


Northern Ireland

The natural beauty of Northern Ireland has inspired two of the most iconic creative works of our time: the magical Narnia stories of CS Lewis, and the world-famous TV series Game of Thrones. Apart from its landscapes, this country is also globally recognized for its award-winning restaurants and thriving fashion scene — all while having the lowest student cost of living in the UK. 

Northern Ireland has a long and rich history of academic excellence. Its two global universities, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, welcome students from all over the world every year to study on their campuses. The former is part of the prestigious Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities and boasts strong industry links, thanks to its global network that spans 120 countries. The latter is known for its high graduate employability, with 94 per cent of graduates in work or further study within six months of graduating.

Some of GSP’s most popular partner universities in Northern Ireland include: 

  • Queen’s University Belfast

The universities listed in this article are just a few among GSP’s many universities in the UK. As of 2022, GSP has over 100 UK universities and institution partners, each with its own unique strengths and opportunities to offer its students.  If you’re interested in studying at any one of our partner universities or would like to explore our other available options, contact our recruitment experts; we can guarantee that studying in the UK will be an experience you or your students will never forget. 

Request a demo

An upgrad GSP expert will reach out to discuss your needs.

Book a demo