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QS Best Student Cities ranking: 1st

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. 

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. Yet thanks to the concentration of world-class universities, professional and social opportunities, and a mind-boggling cultural confluence that mixes the corporate and the alternative, the historical and the cutting-edge, studying in London may well be worth every penny.

Few cities in the world can rival London's credentials as a nerve-center of global academia. Among its fleet of internationally ranked universities, the current leaders are UCL (University College London) and Imperial College London, which rank eighth and ninth respectively in the QS World University Rankings® 2020.

King’s College London is also featured in the global top 35, and a whole host of other prestigious institutions are scattered throughout the metropolis – along with world-leading facilities such as the British Library, which constitutes one of the most extensive and significant collections of books and manuscripts in the world.

And of course, the UK's capital is not just an academic hub – it’s an epicenter of international finance and business, culture and creativity, famed for its museums, arts scene, nightlife and diversity. Anything you want to try, see, eat, learn or experience: it’s here.

Are you dreaming of studying in London? Tell us why.

Internationally ranked universities in London

More about London 

Number of universities ranked by QS


Highest-ranked institution

UCL (University College London) (8th 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.

Related categories:

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Written by QS Staff Writer

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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.

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


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.