Russell Group Universities: 5 Things You Should Know

The Russell Group Universities in the UK are focused on research and have a reputation for high academic standards. They are often ranked highly in national league tables.

Why was the Russell Group formed?

Universities in the Russell Group receive up to two-thirds of the total research funding in the UK, giving them an enormous influence on the country’s intellectual, cultural, and economic life.

Because of this, top students and academics are drawn to study and work at Russell Group universities, similar to Ivy League in the USA. They produce world-class research across various subjects and fields, which helps drive the UK’s economy forward.

According to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF), universities from the Russell Group produce most of the UK’s world-leading research and a high percentage of the country’s research with an outstanding impact.

For international students, Russell Group universities tend to have better employment prospects than non-Russell Group institutions and higher staff-student ratios.

List of Russell Group Universities

There are currently twenty-four universities within the Russell Group:

  1. University of Birmingham
  2. University of Bristol
  3. University of Cambridge
  4. Cardiff University
  5. Durham University
  6. University of Edinburgh
  7. University of Exeter
  8. University of Glasgow
  9. Imperial College London
  10. King’s College London
  11. University of Leeds
  12. University of Liverpool
  13. London School of Economics & Political Science
  14. University of Manchester
  15. Newcastle University
  16. University of Nottingham
  17. University of Oxford
  18. Queen Mary, University of London
  19. Queen’s University Belfast
  20. University of Sheffield
  21. University of Southampton
  22. University College London
  23. University of Warwick
  24. University of York

How do I get into a Russell Group University?

There are no specific criteria for admission into a Russell Group University. You must show evidence of interpersonal skills and experience and how you fit within the university’s values and ethos. For a masters degree, it is incorrectly assumed that applicants must either hold a degree from a red-brick university in the UK or have a first-class degree if you are from overseas.

For a bachelor’s degree admission into a Russell Group University, you are expected to submit it via UCAS. A high A Level grade is often required. You may need to complete an international foundation year if you are an international student.

Can I get into a Russell Group University master’s programme with a 2.2 or third class?

Usually, a 2.1 degree will suffice for admission, but in some cases, you may be admitted into a master’s degree with a 2.2 if you hold an overseas qualification. A third class degree is not likely to be acceptable. However, we will encourage you to contact the university admissions office for further enquiries.

Will going to a Russell Group University get me a graduate job?

A top-class degree from one of the UK’s leading Russell Group Universities could put you ahead of other applicants. The Russell Group Universities are known for offering high-quality degrees, attracting thousands of international students annually. 

So what does your degree say about you? Do employers look favourably upon graduates from Russell Group Universities? Yes. If you study at a Russell Group University, your chances of being offered a place will likely increase dramatically.

Why study at a Russell Group University?

Russell Group universities offer excellent teaching, research and university life. They also have more teaching resources per student than other universities, and they graduate with a good reputation for securing well-paid jobs. One in three students receive financial support from scholarships or loans to help pay for their studies.

Do I need to attend a Russell Group university to get a good degree?

Some top-ranked UK universities with prestigious degrees are not included in the list, including St Andrews University, Surrey, and Bath University, even though they frequently appear in the top 10 UK uni­versities list.

Depending on the courses and subjects you want to take at university, you may find that some universities are better suited than others.

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