If you are a registered HEi-know user, please log in to continue.

Unregistered Visitors

You must be a registered HEi-know user to access Briefing Reports, stories and other information and services. Please click on the link below to find out more about HEi-know.

Find out more

Which? ranks universities by student lifestyle

Universities have been rated by Which? according to factors affecting the lifestyle of their students.

The third annual Which? University student survey, based on the views of more than 12,500 undergraduates, outlines the top-rated universities for sports, local nightlife, creative and political scenes, and a variety of student union activities.

Eleven of the 15 universities voted highly for having a diverse local nightlife are in Northern and Scottish cities, but this year two London universities - University College London and London School of Economics - have both made it into the top group.

Universities in London or the south-east also scored highly for their political scene, but fell down on sports - five universities were voted into the least sporty group by students.

Four universities offer a particularly strong extra-curricular scene - University of Leeds, University of Glasgow, University College London, and University of Edinburgh - scoring well across the board in nearly all categories.

Jenni Allen, Which? University spokesperson, said: “With tuition fees now averaging nearly £9,000 a year, it’s important that prospective students do their homework, find out everything they need to know about different universities, and weigh up all the options before deciding where they want to study. Which? University is a free website to help students compare universities on both the extra-curricular and academic experience and make the right choice for them.”

YouthSight, on behalf of Which?, interviewed 4,519 students in their second year or above, online between 9th and 29th October 2014. This data was merged with the previous year’s survey, which interviewed 8,053 students in their first year or above, online between 8th July and 8th August 2013. Students who were surveyed in 2013 were not surveyed in 2014.

The lists of universities in each category are not ranked in order but are a list of universities that are in the highest scoring groups. The scores of the universities within these groups are not necessarily significantly different.

Top universities for diverse local nightlife

London School of Economics and Political Science

University of Manchester

Newcastle University

Liverpool John Moores University

Glasgow Caledonian University

University of Strathclyde

Northumbria University

University of Bristol

University of Leeds

University of Liverpool

University of Sussex

University College London

Leeds Beckett University

Nottingham Trent University

University of Glasgow


Top "sporty" universities

Loughborough University

St Mary’s University, Twickenham

University of Bath

University of Stirling

Durham University

Brunel University

University of Worcester

Cardiff Metropolitan University

University of Birmingham

Harper Adams University 

University of Surrey

Northumbria University


Top creative universities

Falmouth University 

Goldsmiths, University of London

University of the Arts London

Bath Spa University

University for the Creative Arts

Southampton Solent University


Top political universities

SOAS, University of London

London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London

University of Sussex

University of Oxford

Goldsmiths, University of London

University of Cambridge

University of Glasgow

University College London, University of London

University of Essex

University of Edinburgh

University of Manchester


Top universities for varied student union activities

University of Leeds

University of Sheffield

Loughborough University

University of East Anglia

Harper Adams University 

Keele University