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Universities and colleges

Couple at theSainsbury's Centre Of Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich

Most UK higher education courses are taught by universities, but plenty are also taught at colleges, specialist art institutions, business schools and agricultural colleges.

You can use the UK course search to find all types of institution that teach the courses you're interested in, or find a school, college or university by name here.

Choosing a reputable university or college

The UK has a well-deserved reputation worldwide for providing high quality and well-respected higher education. When you are choosing a course, make sure it is with a reputable university or college that has met strict standards set by the UK government and education sector.

Please see www.gov.uk/recognised-uk-degrees for more details.

These recognised and listed universities and colleges must undergo regular inspections to ensure the standard of their teaching, facilities, academic education and student care is high.

Finding the ‘top’ universities and colleges

Many international students ask us to recommend the best UK universities and colleges. The UK government does not have a ranking system for its higher education universities and colleges. There are a number of independent ranking systems. These can be useful, but bear in mind that they only tell part of the story.

We recommend that you consult a range of different sources, to find a university or college that is right for you. For example, you may want to investigate how the institution performs in terms of:

  • Student satisfaction
  • Career prospects
  • Student care
  • Cost
  • Teaching standards, etc.

The following websites should help to give you a better idea of what each university and college has to offer you:

  • Unistats allows you to search for and compare information on university and college courses across the UK. You can use Unistats to find out what previous students thought about the course you're interested in, the likely costs, and the kind of jobs or further study that students went on to after graduating. Find out more about Unistats here.

  • QAA conducts reviews of all recognised and listed UK higher education institutions, evaluating the quality of their teaching, facilities and academic education. Have a look at their website to find out how each institution performed.

  • The Research Excellence Framework evaluates UK universities and colleges in terms of the quality of their academic research. Visit their website for reports on each institution that took part in the assessment.


Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to study in the UK (find out if you need a visa here). If you do need a visa, you must study at a school, college or university that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration.

Search Education UK

Click here to browse universities and colleges that offer your chosen course, or click here to find an institution by name.