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Choosing the right university city

Which university city will you call home for three years? Discover the right study destination for you with our tips and fun quiz.

Don't know where to begin your university search? Or struggling to choose between offers from two very similar universities? The answer may lie in location (location, location)...

While modules, league table position and graduate prospects are important when picking the right university course for you, the 'city factor' can offer a fresh perspective and is one that can impact your overall university experience. It's definitely worth considering what there is to do for fun, how expensive it is to live there and even just the vibe you get when wandering around.

Discover your dream student city with our fun quiz

Choosing a city to study in: key factors

Mull these over to help you decide the sort of city you'd like to spend your university years in:

Close to home vs further away

If you plan to visit home a few times each term, consider somewhere with good transport links to and from home.

Alternatively, if you have an adventurer spirit – or simply don't want mum and dad popping up at short notice  you might want to think further afield.

Big city vs big town

While a big city like London or Birmingham might sound amazing, offering endless things to do, in reality it can have its disadvantages. Are you really going to have the time (and money) to relish every student night and edgy pop-up restaurant on offer?

A smaller alternative you can get around by foot or bike like Edinburgh, Nottingham or Leeds might make getting to those 9am lectures a lot easier. 

Living costs

Rent and living costs  whether your weekly shop or the price of a pint can vary wildly depending on where you are in the country.

London's choice of universities, long list of (free) things to do, and status as one of the world's most famous cities, might not mean as much when your rent leaves your account each month  there's a reason why students studying in the capital are eligible for a higher maintenance loan.


Your interests and hobbies

Whether you're a history buff or a sports nut, one city might lend itself to your favourite leisure activities more than another. For instance, if you're an avid surfer, you'll find yourself short of options and without a paddle in Sheffield, compared to coastal favourite Brighton.

In fact, the differences might run deeper. Metalheads may flock to the home of Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, Birmingham, leaving 'Mad-chester' to the indie kids. Rugby fans, meanwhile, might prefer Welsh capital Cardiff over home of football's Toon Army, Newcastle.

Discover your dream university city with our quiz

Would you rather spend a rainy day wandering round a museum or enjoying an acoustic set in a quirky café? 

Take our quick personality quiz to see which popular student city could be the perfect fit, based on your interests and preferences...:

But remember: you should still thoroughly research a course and university when making your overall decision, rather than base everything on the local area. Our student city quiz above is an alternative starting point to think about what you want from the city you study in (especially if you're not sure what lies beyond where you live).

Learn more about a course or university, including what students said


Replying to offers?

Learn about the different offers you may receive, including unconditional offers and what they really mean. Once they're all in, get advice on making your all-important first and insurance choices, wisely.

While you wait for universities to reply, you can get ahead on a few post-Ucas deadline tasks, such as figuring out your student finance or sorting out accommodation.

And if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs, find out when you should hear back, or remind yourself of the key dates when applying to university. 


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