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10 British Universities With The Best City Life

10 British Universities With The Best City Life

british universities with best city life

When you’re looking for your dream uni accommodation it’s important to think about not only what sort of house you want, but also its location. Want to be in the hustle and bustle of a busy nightlife? We know a few places.!

Earlier this year Whatuni asked students to rate their university based on a range of things, from teaching and student unions to general facilities and job prospects. Here are the universities that came top for their city life.

 Newcastle British Universities for city life

10. Newcastle University

Before you’ve even left campus, Newcastle University’s student union can offer you quite a lot, including a space that holds 1,500 students for gigs as well as the standard SU bar.

Most fun things in the city are either under one roof or very close to each other. Want a night out? The Gate has a cinema, restaurants, nightclubs, bars and weirdly, an actual casino. Want some retail therapy? Head to Northumberland Street, they’ve got over 50 places for you to spend your monies. Want to catch some music or theatre? The City Hall is a calling you!

It’s also massively easy to get back home, as their campus is right in the centre of Newcastle and most of their accommodation is in the city centre too!

And with one in six people in Newcastle being a student, you certainly won’t be short of people to enjoy the nightlife with!


Newcastle top British Universities for life

9. University of Glasgow

With one of the largest student populations and the third largest city in the UK, you’ll never be lonely or bored when you’re checking out Glasgow’s city life! That’s why the University of Glasgow made the list.

There are an incredible 700 bars, pubs and clubs for the party animals, seven cinemas for the film fanatics, over 130 music events every week for the music lovers, and is constantly voted as one of the top places to shop outside London. Seriously, everyone catered for here.

And importantly, there’s great transport links so you can explore the city life around Scotland and beyond!

8. University of Manchester

To give you an idea of how much city life there is in Manchester, when we wrote a guide about it we couldn’t include everything in the list…that’s how much.

Students at the University of Manchester have easy access to one of the best music scenes in England. There are loads of places to listen to live music, let’s face it the place is steeped in history of famous bands like Oasis and The Chemical Brothers, and that list is pretty endless too.

One thing you can’t miss though is The Lowry, where you can see a mix of art exhibitions, comedy nights and theatre (including some rather fun interactive shows!). And if your comedy bug isn’t satisfied with what’s on there, you’ve got the world renowned Comedy Store right on your doorstep.

Want to be amongst students? One of the most popular places is the Northern Quarter. They put on themed nights. What more could you want?


Leeds top Universities for quality of life

7. University of Leeds

The University of Leeds has plenty to offer in terms of city life, particularly if you’re a movie fan as it’s home to one of the oldest cinemas in the country.

One of the most popular places for students is Call Lane. Providing a mix of restaurants, nightclubs and bars for all your nightlife needs, all within seconds of each other. So you can have a nice meal with friends, and then meet more friends in a club without walking for miles.


Sussex city life top Universities

6.University of Sussex

Going to the University of Sussex puts you within close proximity to a variety of cities. London is a mere hour away, and Brighton is pretty nearby too.  You’re also half hour away from Gatwick Airport if you really want to get away from it all!

So whether you head into Sussex or venture out, you’ll be close to many city opportunities, which means more places to shop, relax and dance all night should you want more to do off campus.


Cardiff top city Universities

5. Cardiff University

Cardiff was voted the best Welsh university for its city life by students on our site. And because the cost of living is lower than most capital cities, more money can be spent on your city activities.

Like a bit of culture? You’ve got plenty of options!

Chapter Arts Centre has two cinemas, three theatres and a visual arts centre.
The Wales Millennium Centre
The Welsh National Opera
National Museum

And that’s just the start of it.

Liverpool top University for city life

4. Liverpool John Moores University

Although Liverpool is the fourth largest city in the UK, everything you’ll need to have fun is in one place.

Because it’s compacted, you’re part of the community and close to everything you’ll ever need. So it’s not a huge surprise that Liverpool has won awards for both its nightlife and retail district.

If sports are a big part of your life you’ll be particularly happy as students at Liverpool John Moores will give you free off-peak membership for 12 Lifestyles Fitness Centres, so it’s easy to work out before or after lectures.

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Newcastle British Universities for quality oflife

3. Northumbria University

Entering the top 3 is Northumbria University. Without even leaving the Student Union you’ve got access to 3 award winning bars as well as club nights and gigs throughout the year.

When you eventually head into town, because there’s so much compacted into the area you can have tons of fun off campus without being too far away from home. It’s especially good for music fans, whether you like mainstream artists (Metro Arena and O2 Academy) or prefer more jazz, folk or classical (Sage Gateshead).


studying in Nottingham

2. Nottingham Trent University

A close runner up, you can’t get closer to the city life if you tried at Nottingham Trent. Plus with links to take you to Birmingham in less than an hour, and London in less than 2, you’ve got plenty of places to choose from.

In Nottingham Trent itself, you’ll always have somewhere to go with your course friends. Whether you want a few drinks after a tough lecture or fancy being a little bit cultural for the day, there’s something for you.  In fact there’s so much, Nottingham Trent have an entire section of their website dedicated to it.


Bristol best University for city life

1. University of Bristol

Top of the charts was Bristol University. And considering the university is less than a mile away from the nearest train station, making off campus fun really accessible, it’s easy to see why.

You’re also surrounded by a range of bars and clubs, so whether you want a soft drink before the cinema or a cocktail to celebrate handing in an essay before the deadline you’re sorted.

And whatever music you’re into, whether it’s dance (Motion nightclub, Basement 45), live bands (02 Academy, Colston Hall) cheesy pop music  from the past (Pop World, Rewind) or mainstream (Syndicate, Walkabout), there’s something to cater for every taste.

They’re actually currently in the process of revamping the area, including Cardiff Bay, so the city life is always adapting and changing to suit modern times.

By Eleni Cashell, Editor of


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