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Leicester for students

Known for its rich history and green surroundings, Leicester is new to the Best Student Cities ranking, coming in at 118th overall, and 14th in the UK.

Leicester boasts two leading universities; University of Leicester and De Montfort University, which both feature in the most recent QS World University Rankings®.  

Leicester ranks highest for the ‘Student Mix’ indicator at 23rd, which reflects the wide diversity of the student population.

Have you studied in Leicester? Share your experience

Best universities in Leicester - QS Best Student Cities ranking: 118th

More about Leicester

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

University of Leicester (joint 242nd in the world)



Average international fees (at ranked unis)


Desirability rank


Employer Activity rank


Affordability rank


Student View rank


To find out how each of the above categories is calculated, view the methodology.

Why study in Leicester

Plenty of employment opportunities

Several large companies have their headquarters in Leicester and there are plenty of jobs available for graduates in the retail, food and drink and manufacturing industries.

Good transport links

With excellent rail and road transport links it’s easy to travel across the UK. London is an hour away by train and East Midlands Airport only takes 25 minutes to get to.

The diversity of its students

International students make up 30 percent of the students at Leicester’s universities and the city also earns a high score for student mix.

The city’s history

History lovers can enjoy the King Richard III visitor center where his remains were found in 2012. You can also learn more about the city’s history in Leicester Castle.

Cost of studying in Leicester

Studying in Leicester isn’t cheap, with tuition fees costing international students an average of US$21,800 per year. 

The cost of living in Leicester is fairly high, but significantly lower than other cities in the UK, such as London. According to Numbeo, a one bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around US$766 per month, compared to $1,725 per month in London.

Life and culture in Leicester

If you’re looking for something to do after lectures have finished, there is always plenty to entertain you in Leicester.

Those interested in history will be able to enjoy the King Richard III visitor center, built around the former car park where his remains were found in 2012, as well as Leicester Castle (which is only a few minutes’ walk from the town center).

Those who are more into sports will be able to study in close proximity to the King Power Stadium, home to the world-renowned Leicester City FC. Plus, the Leicester Tigers rugby union team play a prominent role in the city’s sporting history.

Anyone who likes a bit of retail therapy in their spare time will love Leicester’s Highcross shopping center, with over 120 shops, plenty of restaurants and even a large Cinema de Lux where you can unwind with your friends. Leicester also has an excellent nightlife, teeming with a large variety of bars and nightclubs, making it a hit with students.

Leicester has excellent public transport links, making travel easy when you want to explore the surrounding areas, or even travel further afield, with direct trains to London St Pancras taking just over an hour.

Career in Leicester

Leicester earns its second highest score this year for employer reputation, ranking 118th in the world.

Prominent sectors in Leicester include the food and drink industry, manufacturing, IT and retail, meaning there are plenty of employment opportunities for graduates in Leicester.

The city is home to prominent engineering firms including Jones & Shipman and Transmon Engineering; major UK fashion retailer, Next, and the world’s biggest crisp factory, Walkers Crisps.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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