10 Best Student-Friendly Cities to Study in UK

Studying in the UK is an aspiration for most Indian students. It is not without reason; the UK has a wide choice of globally high-ranking institutions offering a wide range of courses that transforms individuals into accomplished academicians and corporate executives. In the UK, there are century-old universities with stellar track records and young universities providing new-age courses that are in great demand. In this post, we will check out the best student-friendly locations to study in UK.

Why Choose UK for Study?

There are several advantages for Indian students to pursue courses in the UK and to list significant ones would be

  • reputation of institutes
  • job opportunities in globally well-known organizations
  • pursuing further studies in most of the globally high-ranking universities
  • cost competitive education with a wide range of scholarships available to international students

Related Articles:

Best Courses to Study in the UK for International Students to Get Jobs

Studying and Working in the UK – Insights and Job Search Tips by Indian Students & Alumni

Best Student-Friendly Locations in the UK

Top of any student’s consideration when choosing a course is the standing of the institute and the courses it offers. However, the very next point to evaluate is the city where the University is located. There are universities all across the UK and each city has some advantages for students. This is of course a bit subjective; some students are passionate about sports and would prefer a city where sporting facilities are in abundance.

Likewise, some students may choose to enjoy the performing arts and will look for a city that gives more such opportunities. Some students will look for a city that houses a large number of multinational corporations to get a job on completion of the course. Here is a brief overview of the top ten student-friendly cities is presented which are spread all over the UK. I am sure it would help you in making an informed choice.


One of the world’s greatest cities, London is the capital and the biggest city in the UK. It has a dozen and half well-known universities to choose a course from. London offers a vibrant and diverse community for international students to explore and enjoy.

It has an amazing public transport system, and a world-class selection of restaurants, museums, and galleries. New job opportunities emerge every year for qualified professionals and that’s really important for those with ‘getting employed after the course’ as a priority.

Not only in the UK, but London has been listed as the Best Student City in the World as per the QS rankings 2022. On the negative side is its cost of living, which is the highest in the UK.

Top Universities in London

  • Imperial College London
  • UCL
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • King’s College London
  • University of London
  • The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • London Business School
  • Middlesex University
  • University of West London
  • University of East London
  • Kingston University
  • London Southbank University
  • University of Westminster


Football lovers from India, many are fans of the Manchester United team and would love to choose this city to pursue a course. It has a very large international student population; a rough estimate puts the figure upward of 40,000 and is ranked 12th in the world for student mix.

The city of Manchester hosts the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the Royal Northern College of Music, a great place to study classical music or other arts.

Greater Manchester is home to bands such as Oasis, The Smiths, Joy Division, and The Stone Roses – and this music legacy continues today. From smaller music venues such as Deaf Institute to unique spaces like the Albert Hall to astronomical venues such as Manchester Arena – there’s always a gig to see somewhere in the city. This city offers a relatively low cost of living and is a great destination for students from India.


Birmingham, the UK’s second-largest city, located in the West Midlands area of England, is home to five different universities, making it a favorite for students from all academic backgrounds. It has a lot to offer in terms of affordability, quality of education, and student desirability. The public transport system of the city is excellent. The city is known for its cultural diversity, over 20% of its residents are from overseas.

The city hosts a variety of fantastic events which include the UK’s biggest Eid celebrations, and the colorful Birmingham Caribbean Festival of food, music, dance, and art. Sports are taken here seriously and it has been awarded the title of the National City of Sports. It hosts international cricket competitions, tennis tournaments, and also golf’s premier international competition. One of the UK’s largest football stadia named Villa Park is located here.

Top Universities in Birmingham

  • University of Birmingham
  • Aston University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Newman University

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This coastal city is popular among young people for generations. The diverse international community, cultural attractions, and entertainment hotspots make it the perfect student destination. You’ll always find it exciting to spend time on the Sussex coast and can enjoy a buzzing and highly inclusive nightlife.

It has two internationally-ranked universities (University of Brighton and University of Sussex) and is ranked 19th in the world for student mix. It offers vibrant arts and design scenes, and there’s no shortage of great music. You can watch first-class performances at the magnificent Theatre Royal, visit the majestic Royal Pavilion, and even explore the world’s oldest aquarium.

The city is about 60 miles (approx. 95 KMs) away from London and takes an hour-long train journey to reach. This opens up the opportunity of availing employment opportunities London offers to young professionals. On the flip side, the cost of living here is on the higher side.


People from Newcastle are known as “Geordies” and are some of the friendliest Brits you will meet. The name originated during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. The Jacobites declared that Newcastle and the surrounding areas favored the Hanovarian King George and were “for George”. Hence the name Geordie is used as a derivation of George.

This student-friendly city in the north has it all: excellent universities (Newcastle University, Northumbria University, etc.), indie music venues, and a low cost of living. Newcastle is one of the UK’s most well-known student cities and international students make up roughly 23% of its student population so you will be in good company.

The city was a key player in the mining, shipbuilding, and wool industries in years gone by, modern Newcastle has a lot to offer in terms of graduate progression. With an economy that includes corporate headquarters, digital technology, tourism, and world-leading research, it’s the perfect city to establish your career.

Newcastle is a truly iconic city in the North of England, with a contrasting blend of industrial heritage and stunning Georgian-era architecture. It is the friendly and modern heart of England.


This Scottish city is ranked 8th in the world for student mix, Glasgow is an eclectic place that draws students from all around the world. It’s also an affordable city to live in and home to friendly locals and a thriving arts scene.

The universities in Glasgow exude old-world charm and come equipped with the best facilities. Glasgow also provides students with the best recreational opportunities along with the vibrant nightlife.

Students who are tired of the hustle and bustle of city life can head to Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow Green, or take a walk through the Botanic Gardens for their romance with nature. The people are quick enough to make you feel at home and are one of the most sought-after study abroad destinations in the UK.

Apart from the University of Glasgow, a major research-led university in the UK, there are popular names like Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Strathclyde, and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.


This Midlands city is a student’s favorite; its universities regularly get high scores in the satisfaction rankings. There’s fun to be had by all in Nottingham. It is one of the most beautiful, lively, and vibrant cities in the UK for international students.

Nottingham is home to the UK’s two most popular universities namely the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. An adventurous city for students who love nature and folklore, the city has the famous Sherwood Forests, the legendary Robin Hood tour, and the City of Caves. The average cost of living in Nottingham is comparatively less than in cities like London and can be cheap for students on a budget.

While all of the regular restaurant chains can be found around the city, Nottingham’s independent culinary industry has exploded in recent years. There are numerous options for eating on a college budget or indulging in special occasions.

Football and cricket are perhaps the two most popular sports here, with Nottingham Forest and Nottinghamshire County CC each having substantial fan bases. This city is home to over 60,000 students at the city’s two major colleges. There are a variety of incentives offered throughout the year to cater to this enormous student population, including student bus and tram passes, club nights, discounted lock-ins, and university societies for virtually anything you can think of.


It is one of the UK’s most popular places for students to go to university. The city is large enough to offer a great range of restaurants, shopping, theatre, cinemas, bars, and culture; yet small enough to find your way around quickly and feel part of the community. In Sheffield’s cultural district, you’ll find theatres, cinemas, and art galleries galore. There are often discounted tickets for students and many of the galleries and museums are free to enter.

At the heart of the UK, Sheffield brings a unique mix of vibrant city life, green spaces, and friendly diversity. Its green spaces offer unlimited chances for relaxation and adventure. The city is diverse, affordable, and safe.

Sheffield’s sports and culture are world-renowned and the local scenery is second-to-none. With so much on offer, it’s little wonder around 60,000 students from all over the world call this city home. There are a number of institutions in this city, the noteworthy ones are The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.


It is a vibrant and exciting city and has one of the largest student populations in the UK. It’s a great place to live and study, with something for everyone. To put it simply, I think Leeds is one of the best student cities in the country. This is down to three main reasons: a low cost of living, great nightlife, and fantastic student culture.

The city is well known for its textile industry, but it’s now also home to nearly 800,000 people and is the cultural, financial, and commercial heart of West Yorkshire. There are several well-known universities in Leeds some of the names are the University of Leeds, University Center Leeds, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Arts University, and Leeds Trinity University.

If you’re a sports lover, there are plenty of things to get involved in. Catch a football game at Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club, or cheer on the Leeds Rhinos at the Emerald Headingly Stadium. You can catch cricket here, too, as the stadium is home to the Yorkshire County Cricket Club. And on top of all that, if running is your thing, Hyde Park has a free weekly park run that you can get involved in, right at the heart of Leeds’s student community.


The city of Bristol lives up to its hip and happening reputation, with plenty to do for students. With multiple galleries and a vibrant street art scene, you’ll struggle to find a more creative place to study.

Bristol has a large and diverse student community and was voted the happiest city in the UK in 2019, so newcomers will feel at home in no time. Both of Bristol’s universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England (UWE), offer a huge selection of subjects to study. Known for teaching excellence and their strong links to industry, attending either will help you achieve your goals.

Both universities have great sporting facilities, with everything from swimming pools to climbing walls, and, as well as a wide range of classes to try and teams to join, sports at both universities have a strong social side.

If you’re feeling especially adventurous, there are plenty of activities to try in Bristol and its surrounding countryside, whether it’s paddleboarding at the harborside, mountain biking in the Clifton Downs, or inland surfing at The Wave.

Other Student-Friendly Cities in UK

  • Aberdeen
  • Coventry
  • Belfast
  • Edinburgh

Featured Image Source: The Statesman

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