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UK University Groups

Universities in the UK commonly form alliances or groups when they share common goals, visions or characteristics. University Groups can be a useful place to start when you are looking for a list of similar institutions.
The Russell Group leads the league tables in terms of almost every traditional subject (classics, maths, English etc.) and tend to ask for the highest entry requirements. The University Alliance and Million+ groups contain new (post 1992) universities and provide some specialist or modern courses that you won’t find at the more traditional institutions. These newer universities tend to be more flexible in terms of the qualifications that they accept. The GuildHE Group represents specialist institutions that focus on particular courses. Finally, the Cathedrals Group share faith-based values. 

The Russell Group

is a group of 24 universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement and includes many of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

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

University Alliance

is a group of technical and professional universities who bridge learning with practical experience. They don’t always reach the top of the rankings but for students who want a vocational tertiary education, they provide promising career opportunities.

1.     Cardiff Metropolitan University
2.     Coventry University
3.     Kingston University
4.     Liverpool John Moores University
5.     Manchester Metropolitan University
6.     Nottingham Trent University
7.     Oxford Brookes University
8.     Plymouth University
9.     Sheffield Hallam University
10.   Teesside University
11.   Open University
12.   University of Greenwich
13.   University of Hertfordshire
14.   University of Huddersfield
15.   University of Lincoln
16.   University of Portsmouth
17.   University of Salford
18.   University of South Wales
19.   University of the West of England

Million+ Group

This younger, more modern group of universities focuses on research that drives economic, social and cultural change.

1.     University of Abertay Dundee
2.     Anglia Ruskin University
3.     Bath Spa University
4.     University of Bedfordshire
5.     Birmingham City University
6.     University of Bolton
7.     Canterbury Christ Church University
8.     University of Central Lancashire
9.     University of Cumbria
10.   University of East London
11.   Edinburgh Napier University
12.   Leeds Metropolitan University
13.   London Metropolitan University
14.   Middlesex University
15.   Staffordshire University
16.   University of Sunderland
17.   University of West London
18.   University of the West of Scotland
19.   University of Wolverhampton

GuildHE

is a group of universities, FE colleges and specialist institutions that specialise in art, design and media, music and the performing arts; agriculture and food; education; business and law and health and sports. 

1.     Arts University Bournemouth
2.     Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln
3.     Buckinghamshire New University
4.     Falmouth University
5.     Glyndwr University
6.     Harper Adams University
7.     Leeds College of Art
8.     Leeds Trinity University
9.     Newman University
10.   Norwich University of the Arts

The Cathedrals Group

is the only group of universities and colleges in the UK that unite on ethical and faith grounds. They are a mix of teaching and research institutions that specialise in arts, humanities and social sciences with particular focus on public sector training, in fields such as education, health, social work etc. Members share a common faith heritage and a strong commitment to values such as social justice, respect for the individual and promoting the public good through our work with communities and charities.

1.     Bishop Grosseteste University
2.     Canterbury Christ Church University
3.     Leeds trinity University
4.     Liverpool hope University
5.     Newman University
6.     Plymouth Marjon University
7.     St Mary’s University Twickenham
8.     University of Chester
9.     University of Chichester
10.   University of Cumbria
11.   University of Gloucestershire
12.   University of Roehampton
13.   University of Wales Trinity Saint David
14.   University of Winchester
15.   York St. John University

There are total 87 universities in the above 5 university groups. However, there are more than 120 universities in the UK. This means over 30 universities do not belong to any group. Some top universities, such as St Andrews, Lancaster, Bath, Loughborough, Sussex and Leicester, are regularly ranked highly in league tables but don’t belong to the Russell Group or any other group.

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