Best Universities

10 Popular Universities Near London

Want to be close to the capital but don’t want to study in it? You’re not alone. If you want to study in the south of England and be close to the action without being in the middle of it, these universities near London could be what you’re looking for!
10 Popular Universities Near London
Published on: 19 Oct 2023
Oxford University

Oxford University should need no introduction. It’s the oldest university in the UK and one of the most famous. Known for the quality of its campus as much as for the quality of its teaching, some of our most famous people are graduates.

If you can secure a place at Oxford, you’re already ahead of the game. Graduating with good grades is tough but the payoff makes the effort well worthwhile.

At only around 60-75 minutes North East of London, it’s not far from the city, either.

Cambridge University

Cambridge University competes constantly for top spot with Oxford. While there’s never any clear winner, every graduate of either school is a winner. Equally hard to get into, equally hard to achieve good grades, yet well worth the effort.

Cambridge is home to some of the world’s best researchers and educators, and the city is home to leading companies who snap up graduates quickly.

Cambridge is a short distance north of the city, on the 90-minute limit, but it has great transport links to London.

Brighton University

Brighton University combines high standards of teaching with an amazing way of life. Located on the south coast, around 45 minutes south of London, the city is small by modern standards but is an amazing place to study in.

The city is vibrant, young and there’s always something going on. Plus, you have the beach, parades and more pubs than you’ll know what to do with!

Brighton University is within an easy commute of London Waterloo and close to Gatwick Airport too.

Kent University

Kent University is based in Canterbury in the heart of Kent. It’s a short distance south east of London, close to Whitstable, Herne Bay and other popular destinations. The university is in the centre of one of the most affordable places to live in the south east, which is one of many reasons to consider studying here.

There are good road and rail links to London and Dover, and the university itself offers very high student satisfaction rates and graduate opportunities.

University of Sussex

The University of Sussex is based in the small town of Falmer, a short distance from Brighton. It’s a rural location in the South Downs and delivers amazing surroundings with a very relaxed vibe.

You’ll have to travel to London or Brighton for a big night out, but Falmer has the basics within walking distance of campus. The University of Sussex offers some great courses as well as the opportunity to enjoy a friendly, more relaxed student experience.

University of Southampton

The University of Southampton is located just north of the city centre by the M27. It’s a popular university with a big presence in research and in business. Courses cover most areas of study, but especially engineering and natural sciences.

Southampton itself is a nice city that borders Portsmouth, and offers two cities for the price of one. Both are friendly and offer a diverse mix of entertainment, cultures and entertainment options. All within 90 minutes of London.

University of Reading

The University of Reading is a top-ranked university 40 miles west of London. It usually ranks in the top 30 universities for earth sciences, land management, agriculture, science and technology. It’s also a global leader in robotics and technology, so if that’s your field, Reading is a sound choice.

The town, not city, is a short rail journey west of London from Paddington Station or a drive down the M4. It’s a short distance from London but has a similar cost of living and rent prices.

University of East Anglia (UEA)

University of East Anglia (UEA) is pushing the commuter boundary a little, but is (just) inside the 90-minute limit if you use an Intercity train. It’s based in Norwich in Norfolk, a small city north east of the capital.

It’s a modest, but friendly city with lots going on and is surrounded by miles and miles of rural landscape. UEA works closely with Norwich Research Park, which has a high concentration of researchers and innovators, offering excellent opportunities once you graduate.

Middlesex University

Middlesex University is based in Hendon, north London. So technically, it’s inside the capital, it’s not in the centre so offers slightly lower living costs and shorter commuting times.

Middlesex University is based in a relatively green space with lots of industry going on around it. The university has good relationships with leading companies, offering plenty of opportunities and specialising in a range of subjects including business, engineering, medicine, arts and natural sciences.

University of Essex

The University of Essex is based in Colchester, Essex. It’s a commuter town around 45 minutes north east of London. It’s easily accessible from Liverpool Street Station or the A12.

Colchester is also a garrison town, so you’ll see lots of army personnel around. It’s a friendly town and the university is on the eastern edge. The university is renowned for accounting, actuarial science, biochemistry, finance, business, computer science and criminology, but offers many courses across subjects.

Top universities near London

So that’s our list of the top universities near London. Each is within 90 minutes’ travel time of the capital and offers the same standards of education and amenities, with lower living costs.

They all have their pros and cons and are known to specialise in different subjects.

If you’re looking for a university close to the centre of the action but don’t want to pay London prices, you have 10 great options here.

Which one will you choose?