Imperial College London, the highest-ranking university in London, has risen from one position to eighth in the world in 2020. This research and the technology-focused university are renowned for its engineering and natural sciences skills, as well as a prestigious business school and one of the largest medical faculties in the UK.
Imperial College London is another top UK institution with a high international profile, as demonstrated by the vast number of international students (around 60 percent of the student population). Its main campus is in South Kensington, not far from London’s central business district. Students will be next to Hyde Park, the historic concert venue Royal Albert Hall, and other attractions.
2. University College London (UCL)
In this year’s QS World University Rankings, University College London (UCL) slides behind Imperial College London to take the second spot in London, ranked 10th. Imperial, like many other universities, is highly popular with foreign students, who make up more than 48% of the student body. It is a multidisciplinary institute that encompasses a wide variety of subjects (one of the major distinctions between UCL and Imperial) and has a high proportion of postgraduate students – about 46%.
Its faculties and teaching hospitals are all in central London, near to the British Library and a cluster of other leading London universities, including SOAS and Birkbeck, are both close neighbors.
3. King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the University of London’s biggest and oldest campuses, and it is officially ranked joint 31st in the world. This extensive research-led university is a common option for foreign students, who account for more than 40% of the student body (including students from the rest of the EU), and postgraduates account for approximately 40% of the 31,000 enrolled students.
It is particularly well-known for courses in the arts, law, and sciences, including health sciences.
4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
LSE, the United Kingdom’s sole social science institution, is ranked 49th in the world in 2020. Many of the individual subject rankings award it a higher score, reflecting its reputation as a world-leading leader in fields like anthropology, politics, sociology, law, and accounting.
LSE is another multicultural institution with over 100 languages spoken on campus. It also occupies a position near the city’s center, in the Chancery Lane neighborhood, which has long been synonymous with the legal profession. It’s just north of the canal, within walking distance of the British Library, and close to Trafalgar Square’s cultural institutions and nightlife.
5. Queen Mary, University of London
Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL), ranked 114th in the world in 2020, provides teaching and science in a number of areas, including medicine and dentistry at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. Around 4,000 of QMUL’s 27,000 students are attending joint programs in China, Greece, and France.
The university’s main campus is in Mile End, opposite the Regent’s Canal and many of the East End’s newly regenerated and highly hip locations, such as Brick Lane’s curry rooms, Whitechapel, and Hoxton’s art galleries, and Shoreditch’s quirky bars and music venues.
6. Royal Holloway, University of London
Although several of London’s best universities are in the city center, some are a little farther away. Royal Holloway, University of London is situated in the nearby town of Egham, less than an hour’s train ride from central London, though it is still within the London region.
Royal Holloway, which is ranked joint 308th in the world this year, is another multinational university with over 10,500 students, 20% of whom are from outside the EU.
It offers courses in a wide variety of subjects but is particularly strong in the arts and humanities (it is ranked 14th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020 for performing arts).
7. Birkbeck College, University of London
This year, Birkbeck College, University of London, is ranked joint 344th in the world, and it is the only one of these top universities in London that enables students to pursue full-length degrees during evening courses while also getting access to all of the visa and loan advantages that come with the daytime study.
Birkbeck is once again situated in the Bloomsbury community, close to UCL and SOAS and within walking distance of several central London attractions, and its services are structured to encourage students to complete a day’s work before attending class.