What is a Russell
Group University?

What does Russell Group mean?

The Russell Group is a collection of British research universities who first joined together in 1994 at a hotel in Russell Square in London.

The group was formed to protect the universities' mutual interests and to help each other maintain a high standard of teaching and research. Member universities are often considered to be the most prestigious institutions in the United Kingdom.

Two young adults sit at a desk and
NCUK brochures on red table cloth
White medal icon


of UK graduate jobs are held by former Russell Group students

White medal icon


of world-leading research is carried out at Russell Group universities

students chatting outside the University of Birmingham

Are Russell Group universities better?

While there is no way of saying whether particular universities are objectively 'better' or 'worse' than others, many students are drawn to the Russell Group because of their focus on research and high teaching standards. For example, 10 out of the 24 members hold gold awards by the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

Others choose to apply to member universities because they believe it will make it easier to get a job. This is backed up by a survey from the Office of National Statistics that found that Russell Group graduates hold 61% of all UK jobs that require a university degree, despite being only 17% of all higher education graduates.

It is also important to note that a number of excellent institutions are not Russell Group members and that course quality will vary by the department in all universities. Other factors such as student social life, location and course structure are just as important to consider when applying to university.

academic English student holding books at BSC London

How to get into a Russell Group university

The best way to make sure you'll be able to get into any prestigious university is to score highly in your A levels or equivalent high school diploma. In particular, you will want to achieve good grades in the subjects that are essential to the understanding of your chosen degree. You can check which subjects to take on the Informed Choices website.

If you're an international student, you might also want to consider completing a Pathways course to improve your academic English and gain a deeper understanding of the UK university system.

All students who successfully complete our University Pathways programme are guaranteed entry to one of our partner universities, of which many are Russell Group members.

Our Russell Group partners

exterior of college in Oxford

Full List of Members

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • King's College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • London School of Economics & Political Science
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen Mary, University of London
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University College London
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

Get guaranteed entry to a UK university

Every year we help students from around the world achieve a place at university in the UK. Contact us to find out more.