Universities

10 best universities in london for international students

By Guru H• Last updated: Feb 16, 2024
10 best universities in london for international students
Confused about universities?
Explore, filter, shortlist universities with ease and get free counselling

London is home to some of the best universities in the world and hundreds of thousands of international students each year.

The top universities in London have a strong reputation for academic excellence, research, and student satisfaction. They are among the top-ranked universities in the world, as per QS rankings.

Universities in London offer:

  • World-leading education and research
  • Vibrant and inclusive student life
  • Pathways to build your future
  • Immersion in English

What might be your "best" university could depend on your specific goals.

Always research the programs, faculty, facilities, and opportunities to determine which one aligns best with your interests and aspirations. Consider the location, campus environment, available resources, and overall student experience.

If you want to elevate your education and career, contact our counselling service for personalised guidance to find some of the best courses to study in London. Our experts will guide you at every step.

Start your educational journey today and find your perfect university with Edvoy!

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • 10 of the best universities in London for international students and their QS World Rankings
  • The minimum requirements for admission to these universities
  • Answers to commonly asked questions about the best universities in London

Let’s get started!

1. Imperial College London

Established in 1907, Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading public research universities. It is ranked 6th in the QS World University Rankings and is the top-ranked university in London. It is the only university in the UK to focus exclusively on science, engineering, medicine, and business administration.

This university is home to students and staff from over 125 countries, making it one of the most internationally diverse universities in the world. Students from China, India, Pakistan, Africa and many more countries study at Imperial. Imperial also has an international research and teaching community, with expert researchers and lecturers from all over the world.

The main campus is in South Kensington, and the second campus is in White City. The university has a vibrant campus with cafes, restaurants, student accommodations and a cinema, and is surrounded by some of London’s famous attractions, like the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Hyde Park Chapel.

Imperial offers undergraduate and master’s courses in science, engineering, medicine, and business administration. Imperial’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) is worth the investment for those wanting to pursue their careers in the business world. For this, you will need a good GMAT score to apply.

The institution prides itself on its 14 Nobel Prize winners, including Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. Other famous alumni include science fiction author H.G. Wells, Queen guitarist Brian May, former prime minister of India - Rajiv Gandhi, and many more.

If your goals are set at Imperial College London, you must take the IELTS. Make sure you check the other requirements as well.

Also read: Low fee universities in the UK

Confused about universities?
Explore, filter, shortlist universities with ease and get free counselling

2. University College London (UCL)

Established in 1826, University College London (UCL) was the first university in England that let in students of any religion. It ranks 9th in the QS World University Rankings in 2023 and was named “University of the Year 2024”. It is the second-largest university in the United Kingdom by total enrolment and the largest by master’s enrolment.

It is also the first university in England which opened doors for women's education. UCL has over 15,000 students from outside the UK, from more than 150 countries. The Students' Union UCL, founded in 1893, is one of the oldest student unions in England.

UCL is located in the Bloomsbury area of the London Borough of Camden, in Central London. It has a second campus at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London.

The university operates many disciplinary-specific research centres in partnership with other research institutions. UCL offers undergraduate and master’s degrees and executive programs in management, entrepreneurship, information management for business, and business analytics. The courses here are incredibly competitive. So, high grades go a long way in making your application stand out.

UCL’s online MBA provides an interactive curriculum for busy professionals. The program is delivered online rather than being an on-campus program. You may complete your online MBA as per your schedule in as few as 24 months or as many as 60 months.

This program does not require GMAT, GRE or equivalent standardised tests. However, applicants are encouraged to submit their test results if they feel their scores will help them stand out. To apply, take the IELTS and submit your academic documents, letters of recommendation, and Statement of Purpose (SOP).

Also read: 10 UK Universities to study MSc in Business Analytics

3. King's College London

King's College London (KCL) is a public research university. KCL ranks 40th in the QS World University Rankings in 2023. Founded in 1829, it is among the oldest universities in England and in the top seven UK universities for research earnings.

King's College has over 23,000 international students from 185 countries. Founded in 1873, KCL Students' Union is the oldest student union in London. The university is reputed for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research.

In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, King's is ranked 9th by Grade Point Average (GPA), 6th for research power, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education (THE) rankings. King's also has a distinguished reputation in the law, humanities, law, sciences and social sciences.

Located in the heart of London, King's College is an important part of the city. KCL’s main campus is on the Strand, in the heart of London, with another four campuses located at Guy’s Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital, and at Waterloo and Denmark Hill.

Apart from its reputed specialisations, King’s also offers business specialisations. KCL offers a two-year-long Executive MBA program in a blended learning environment. Part of this course will be online. Entry requirements for this course require at least 10 years of relevant full-time work experience and standard test scores, including GMAT and IELTS or TOEFL.

If your goals are set at King’s College London, you must take the IELTS or TOEFL.

Also read: Best Universities in the UK to Study Game design

4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a public research university. Ranked 45th by the QS World Rankings, LSE has a long list of notable alumni and staff. Founded in 1895, LSE is one of the best universities in London and one of the UK's top universities for economics and social sciences.

It’s located in the heart of London, surrounded by many cultural landmarks and historical sites. The proximity to key institutions and international organisations provides students with networking and internship opportunities. Students from over 140 countries form the student community at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Despite its name, the school is organised into 25 academic departments and institutes which conduct teaching and research across a range of pure and applied social sciences. LSE offers various social science disciplines, from accounting to law, and management to social policy. Popular courses include Accounting, Finance, Business and Management, Economics, International Relations, and Law.

LSE offers one-year management courses suited for students and working professionals. This will boost their education, exposing graduates to better career opportunities in the business world.

To apply to LSE, you must take the GRE, GMAT and IELTS, depending on your chosen field of study and submit letters of recommendation and SOP.

Also Read: Best Universities for Study MBA with placement 

Confused about universities?
Explore, filter, shortlist universities with ease and get free counselling

5. Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is a public research university in Mile End, East London. QMUL is ranked 145th by the QS World Rankings. In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF), which assesses the quality of research in UK higher education institutions, Queen Mary was ranked 19th for Grade Point Average (GPA) and 21st for research power.

Around 30,000 students study at QMUL, with around half the students from overseas, representing over 170 nationalities. This contributes to a diverse student body, creating a global learning environment.

Uniting the diverse student body and fostering a sense of community is the Queen Mary Students' Union (QMSU), which brings together various clubs and groups. This community enhances the overall student experience across the campus.

The university’s main campus is at Mile End, the largest self-contained university campus anywhere in the city. Queen Mary is organised into three faculties – Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Engineering, and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. QMUL offers undergraduate and master’s programs in Science and Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Law.

To apply, you must take the GMAT or GRE along with IELTS and submit letters of recommendation and SOP.

Also read: Top Young Universities in the UK

6. City University of London

The City University of London is a public research university. Founded in 1894, it is regarded highly in the UK, ranking 328th in the QS World University Rankings and 95th in The Guardian University Guide.

The university is home to nearly 20,000 students from over 150 countries, providing an international student environment. The university offers a varied academic experience to its students through its six schools with multiple departments, research centres, and courses.

City University of London offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas at both undergraduate and master’s levels. The university offers over 200 career-focused degrees and is well known for its business, law, engineering, and social science courses.

The university also provides MBA programs, full-time and part-time, over one year and two years, respectively. City also offers a two-year, part-time, online Global MBA program for working professionals with experience.

You'll need a good IELTS score if you want to pursue your education here. You must submit letters of recommendation and SOP along with the IELTS score.

Also read: Best Universities to study politics in the UK

7. Brunel University London

Brunel University London is a public research university located in the Uxbridge area of West London. Brunel University ranks 40th in the UK and 343rd in the world according to QS World Rankings. The university is organised into three colleges: The College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences; the College of Engineering, Design and Physical Sciences; and the College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

Over 2500 international students from 150 countries study at Brunel, making it a globally famous university. Brunel is also famous for having one of the best university sports facilities in the UK and is used by top UK athletes. This university is known for its sports, engineering, computer science, mathematics, psychology and sociology courses.

Brunel University has a strong academic reputation in engineering and technology-related fields. The university awards various bachelor's and master's degrees in these fields. Brunel also offers an MBA, which can be studied for one year full-time or two years part-time.

This course has three pathway options: The Brunel MBA, the MBA in Digital Innovation Management, and the MBA in Healthcare Management. You will need at least three years of full-time work experience to apply for this MBA program.

Ensure you have the required IELTS or TOEFL scores, and submit your academic documents, letters of recommendation and SOP.

Also read: Universities in the UK accepting backlogs

8. Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London is a research university in Bloomsbury, London, England. It is ranked 374th in the world in the 2024 QS World University Rankings. Birkbeck was established in 1823 and is one of the few universities in the United Kingdom to offer evening higher education.

This means students can balance studying with other commitments. Undergraduate students can complete their courses in 3, 4 or 6 years at a suitable pace. The university has students from over 100 countries, so you’ll be part of a student community from all backgrounds, careers and cultures.

Birkbeck is located in Bloomsbury, one of the city's hotspots, and offers excellent facilities, transport links, support services, and programs. Programs are offered across humanities, social sciences, business, law and science.

Birkbeck is a combined research and teaching institution, a vibrant centre of academic excellence. Over 90% of the academics are research-active. The university also offers a part-time, two-year MBA program on campus.

This course enables you to pursue your studies part-time while continuing in your full-time career. You will need at least three years of relevant professional experience to apply. To study at Birkbeck, take the IELTS or TOEFL and submit your academic documents, letters of recommendation and SOP.

Also read: Oldest universities in the UK

9. Royal Holloway University of London

Royal Holloway University of London is one of the top public universities in London, ranked 413th in the QS World University Rankings 2024. It was founded in 1879 and has six schools, 21 academic departments and over 10,000 students from over 100 countries at undergraduate and master’s levels.

Royal Holloway collaborates with Queen Mary University of London to help run programs at the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). This offers undergraduate and master’s students the chance to study at the University of London's French Studies degrees in France.

The campus is located west of Egham, Surrey close to London, and provides various courses and social facilities. There are various subjects to choose from, including engineering, business and management, accounting, economics, computer science, law, and psychology.

The university provides a variety of academic degrees, including Single Honours and Joint Honours. Discounted fees are offered to students who stay on to complete a master’s degree. The university also offers online degrees in business administration and management.

The School of Management has all three of its MBA programs accredited by AMBA. To pursue your education here, you’ll need a good IELTS score. Check their website for more information on test scores for specific programs.

Also read: Top UK Universities Accept Duolingo

10. SOAS University of London

SOAS University of London (School of Oriental and African Studies) is a public research university located in the Bloomsbury area of central London. SOAS was founded in 1916 and is a centre for the study of subjects concerned with Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It is ranked 511th in the QS World University Rankings 2024.

SOAS provides a global outlook and international exposure to students from over 100 countries. The university has over 6000 students, almost half of whom are international students.

The university offers around 350 bachelor's degree combinations, over 100 one-year master's degrees, and PhD programs in every department. The university offers undergraduate and master’s degrees in Anthropology, Development, Languages, Finance, and Law and Politics. SOAS is well known for its unique courses relating to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

To study at SOAS, you’ll need a good IELTS score. Check the university website for more information on specific programs.

Also read: 10 Universities to Study Big data analytics in the UK

Summary of 10 best universities in London 

UniversityQS Ranking
Imperial College London6
UCL9
King's College London40
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)45
Queen Mary University of London145
City, University of London328
Brunel University London343
Birkbeck, University of London374
Royal Holloway University of London 413
SOAS University of London511

10 best universities in London: Your questions answered!

At Edvoy, we pride ourselves on simplifying the study-abroad process for students. If choosing London is your choice, you have plenty of universities to choose from!

To assist you in your study abroad journey, we’ve collated answers to commonly asked questions about the best universities in London. Find your answers below!

How many universities are there in London?

London has one of the largest concentrations of universities and higher education institutions in the world. It has almost 40 higher education institutions offering different levels of education. Check out some of the top universities in London with Edvoy.

What are the universities in London for masters in computer science?

Here are some of the top universities in London for masters in computer science:

  • Imperial College London
  • University College London (UCL)
  • King's College London
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • City, University of London
  • Brunel University London
  • Birkbeck, University of London
  • Royal Holloway University of London 
  • SOAS University of London

What are the universities in London for the January intake?

Some of the universities in London for international students for the January intake are:

These universities have some of the best courses to study in London. In addition to the January intake, they also offer other intakes.

What are the universities in London for masters in mechanical engineering?

Some of the top universities in London for masters in mechanical engineering are:

  • Imperial College London
  • University College London (UCL)
  • City, University of London
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Coventry University
  • Brunel University London
  • University of Greenwich

What are the universities in London for masters in data science?

Here are some of the top universities in London for masters in data science:

  • Imperial College London
  • University College London (UCL)
  • King's College London
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • City, University of London
  • Brunel University London
  • Royal Holloway University of London 

Edvoy helps you navigate the top universities in London, making your decision process seamless. Discover the perfect institution to boost your education.

Why compromise? Choose excellence with Edvoy's assistance!

Click here to explore the possibilities with Edvoy!

Related tags:
universities in london
london institutions
0 Likes
Share this article:
author avatar
Written By

Study Abroad Expert

Passionate content writer with rich experience in crafting compelling and engaging content.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions shared in this site solely belong to the individual authors and do not necessarily represent t