8 UK universities are the best in the world, according to the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2025

In this year’s ranking, one London uni ranked higher than both Oxford and Cambridge

Amy Houghton
Written by
Amy Houghton
Contributing writer
Imperial College London, university in London
Photograph: Ivica Drusany /

Picking a uni is no easy task. Perhaps you want to stay close to home or flee the nest as far away as possible. Maybe you’re after a city university or would prefer to be on a campus, looking for cool contemporary modules or something more traditional. The choices can be overwhelming, but that’s where rankings and league tables come in.

There are a bunch of rankings out there, covering everything from student satisfaction to the best institutions for law. They aren’t the be all and end all, but they can certainly help you narrow down your options. And now, the QS World University Ranking 2025, one of the most prestigious lists out there, has dropped. 

The trusty table, now in its 21st year, listed eight British institutions among the top 50 in the world. Not bad going, eh?  

Beating both Oxford and Cambridge to be named the second best uni on the planet was London’s Imperial College. It was just pipped to the post by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US. 

Oxbridge still did pretty well, though. The University of Oxford ranked third place while the University of Cambridge landed in fifth. University College London (UCL) also made it into the top ten, falling in at number nine.  

UK universities among the top 50 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2025 

2. Imperial College London
3. University of Oxford 
5. University of Cambridge
9. University College London
27. University of Edinburgh
=34. University of Manchester
=40. Kings College London
=50. London School of Economics 

If you want to see what other league tables have had to say, check out Time Out’s coverage of the rankings by Complete University Guide 2025Times Higher Education, the Sunday Times and the Guardian.

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