The UK’s top 10 universities for student satisfaction, according to the Complete University Guide 2025

The country’s happiest students have been revealed

Annie McNamee
Written by
Annie McNamee
Contributor, Time Out London and UK
Students at St Andrews University in Scotland
Photograph: cornfield /

There’s a lot to consider when choosing which uni to go to. Do you want to go to a campus or city uni? What institution is best for your course? Which streets can you best imagine yourself throwing up on at 3am after taking it just a bit too far? 

Each year, multiple bodies release their official university rankings in the UK, and similar places tend to top them each time. In this year’s Complete University Guide, Cambridge and Oxford were once again awarded the top spot, followed by the London School of Economics. For medicine, one of the most prestigious courses in the country, the list was largely the same, only University College London was in third in LSE’s place. Yawn. We’ve heard that all before. 

What isn’t talked about quite so much is student satisfaction ratings. Prestige isn’t everything, after all. What’s the point in getting a ‘respected’ degree if you are utterly miserable while working towards it? 

Student satisfaction ratings tell us whether or not students are actually having a good time at their unis, and spoiler alert, the ‘better’ universities tend not to do so well by this measure. In the Complete University Guide 2025, LSE and UCL came 58th and 71st out of 128 respectively, and Oxbridge didn’t even bother with it as a metric. So where are students actually happy with their places of study?

At Birmingham Newman University, apparently. There, 83 percent of students are satisfied overall with their experiences. Also scoring highly is St Andrews, a uni which is revered equally by academics and by the students who attend it – 83 percent are happy to be there.

Third goes to Bishop Grosseteste University, which is in Lincoln, with 82 percent satisfaction overall. Most of the top 10 are in this range, all with ratings of 80 percent or above.

The UK’s 10 best universities for student satisfaction

  1. Birmingham Newman University
  2. St. Andrews 
  3. Bishop Grosseteste University
  4. Wrexham University
  5. University of West London
  6. Plymouth Marjon University
  7. Aberystwyth University
  8. Buckinghamshire New University
  9. University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  10. Abertay University

You can find the entire list here if you’re wondering where your past/present/future school places. The first appearance of a Russell Group member, 24 institutions traditionally viewed as offering the highest quality educations in the country, is Imperial College London in 23rd, followed by University of Sheffield in 35th. Perhaps there’s more to a good uni than famous alumni. 

Time Out and Britain’s universities 

On the hunt for more UK university rankings? Here are the country’s finest unis according to Times Higher Education, the Sunday Times and the Guardian.

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