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London

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London for Students 

For the second year running, London has been ranked as the world’s number one student city. With improved scores for the desirability and student view indicators, climbing four places to rank ninth worldwide for the latter, London has tightened its grip on the top spot this year. 

London is home to a huge 18 universities featured in the QS World University Rankings 2021, with two of these making it into the global top 10: Imperial College London in eighth place, and University College London (UCL) in 10th.

Best universities in London – QS Best Student Cities Ranking: 1st


More about London

Number of universities ranked by QS

18

Highest-ranked institution

Imperial College London (8th in the world)

Population

9,304,000

Average international fees (at ranked unis)

US$21,200

Desirability rank

17th

Employer Activity rank

3rd

Affordability rank

118th

Student View rank

9th

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

Why study in London?

An academic hotspot

London has by far the most universities of any UK city, with four of these making it into the top 50 globally. There are 17 universities featured under the University of London banner, with the largest number of university students in the UK. 

A large international community

London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with citizens and students from all over the globe – so if you’re feeling homesick, you’re sure to be able to find others who share your culture (and most importantly, home foods!)

Free culture!

The city is home to some of the best museums in the world, including the Natural History Museum, the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The best part? They’re all free to get in, so you can easily get your culture fix as a broke student.

Buzzing nightlife

London has some of the best nightlife in Europe, with people coming from all over the UK to experience nights out in places such as Shoreditch, Brixton and, for the more well-heeled, Mayfair.

Greenery everywhere

Nearly half of London is classified as ‘green space’ – 47 percent of the city is made up of parks, commons, outdoor athletics spaces, and more. So whilst you’re in a big city, you can still have a great connection to the natural world.

Cost of Studying in London

Of course, London is not exactly a cheap option for international students, home and EU students alike. In addition, rent and living costs are significantly higher in London compared to the rest of the UK. 

The average tuition fee for international students in London is around US$21,200, which, whilst high, is significantly lower than many US institutions. Domestic students in London can expect to pay £9,000 a year on tuition.

The London School of Economics (LSE) recommend that students budget around £1,100 to £1,300 per month (approx. US$1,470-1,740) for living expenses, including accommodation, bills, travel and socialising.

Life and Culture in London

London is a truly global city, with 36.7 percent of its residents born outside the UK. This means that many areas of London carry a distinct flavour of other cultures, such as the Bangladeshi population of Tower Hamlets (and the curry houses of Brick Lane).

Despite having a huge student population of around 300,000 students, the city itself is so large that you won’t simply be living in a ‘student bubble’ – it’s a great city for students but also for graduates. 

Careers in London 

London is the European and global hub for many industries, most notably finance, with the headquarters of major banks like Barclays and the Bank of England located in the City of London. 

The city comes third in the rankings for employer activity, showing just how sought-after graduates from London universities are by employers. Many international companies recruit in London, such as Google, Amazon and Unilever.

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Erva Nur K, Sipho M & 45 others saved this
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Written by QS Staff Writer

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23 Comments

Hello! I am saba ahmad student of botany. I want to know the procedure of free( no coast) scholarship
Please guide me

Hi Saba, If you're interested in studying in the UK, you should take a look at the article on UK scholarships, which will allow you to study in the UK for a lower cost. If you're looking to study elsewhere in the world, take a look at our list of scholarships worldwide. You can also find out where you can study online for free here.

Hello,
I am Versha, A student of Aerospace Engg.
I want to know the procedure for free scholarship

Hi Versha, You can find out about scholarships to study in the UK here or you can find out where in the world you can study for free here. There is also advice for getting a scholarship which might come in handy here. I hope this helps and good luck! 

Mine own cater-cousins, this city is not f'r thou. But instead f'r us. I bid thee all yond thee shall not has't the same experience as us (in education form yond is). T is howev'r the greatest city to study in. We art the most knowledgeable of all top countries and we art very very hard to findeth else whither. We art the masters of english. Farewell.

Hello, I'm Kazi Mahnaz. I'm from Bangladesh. I want to free scolership. I'm a Management student.

Hi Kazi, please take a look at our list of Business and Entrepreneurship Scholarships Around the World, which includes options to study management.

Hello, am Kambendiho Cassius from Uganda, i have a degree in archeology but i would like to have scholarship to further my studies in archeology in either united States or India. Thanks i Hope to receive a positive response .

Hi Kambendiho, we have a list of scholarships to study in the US here, and you can find scholarships for India included among our scholarships to study in Asia article.

Guys, you should not believe this ranking. I study in London, and even if they know how to sell themselves, the reality is completely different. Life is very expensive, houses are not easily affordable. People are too focused on money, which means that you may be disappointed. Homeless around the city are increasing, It is very strange, for a western country, especially if you think that in this city there are very wealth people. Pollution is another huge problem, especially if you bike a lot. Public transport are efficient but very expensive. Students get 30% discount, but only for the metro travel card which is more expensive than the bus pass. Pubs and beers are too expensive too. You should also avoid London if you don't like drugs. London in this moment is facing a huge change. I don't think is honest to deceive people in this way. If you want a nice student life, That's not London. London is a cosmopolitan place, but in here there is a lot of discrimination. People of "good carhacter" and meek is pretty much what London relies on in this moment.

Well then according to affordability this ranking is bang on target it places london at 113 rank for affordability

Hi, I am Abigael from Nigeria. I want to ask about how to go about applying for admission on masters program for special education in London or Canada. Thanks

Hi I am Yonatan,I want to free scholarship & I am a student of pharmacy.

hello am mohamed from sierra Leone, I would love to get a scholarship please

nice

Hi Mohamed, please take a look at our list of scholarships to study in the world's best student cities, which includes options to study in London. You could also check our list of scholarships to study in the UK. :)

Hi...I am Mahmood from Afghanistan ,I am a student in Kabul university but I want to study in London the fees problems do not let me to study in london.... my question is that Is there any free scholarship for students from out of London?

Hi Mahmood, yes! Please take a look at our list of scholarships to study abroad in the world's best student cities, which includes options to study in London. Good luck with your search!

Hi.. l am prabhakar. I am planning to study my masters(computer science) in London. Please suggest me the list of the universities to apply and the fee details of the universities.

i am a computing student looking for a scholarship in mba

Hi Prabhakar, we have an article on the top 10 universities in London, and you can find general information on tuition fees here. I'd advise you to check the official websites of the universites you're interested in to see what their particular tuition fees are for their master in computer science courses. Hope this helps! 

Hello laura,
I am Vikash from India has completed my MSc(CS) in 2014, i want to apply for MS/PhD Program in these universities. Please tell me that what i have to do for admission ?? and how can i will get notification for admission in these universities???

Hi Vikash - please see my response to your question here.