Russell Group Universities: What are they and do they matter?

Russell Group Universities: What are they and do they matter?


With so many courses to choose from and so many things to consider, choosing the right university can be tough. Students have to think about the grade expectations, if they like the university environment, if they like the course on offer and probably most importantly, what their prospects will be after graduating.

So how do people choose the right university?

How can you choose a university that will give you the best chance of success in the future? To find out more about what you need to consider when choosing a university, you can read our blog here

Some of the most prestigious universities in the UK are part of the Russell Group.

But what are these universities? Do they matter, and how can they help your child?

The Russell Group is a cluster of 24 prestigious universities. The universities are world-renowned for their high standard of academic excellence in both teaching and research.

These leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, maintain a highly competitive selection process, and they boast of a high quality of students and graduates.

Graduates from these universities include famous scientists like Stephen Hawking, Alexander Graham Bell and Alexander Fleming and famous writers such as JK Rowling, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and  Oscar Wilde.

The Russell Group Alumni also include actors like Gerard Butler, Bond actress Naomie Harris, British athlete Christine Ohuruogu, Important leaders such as Desmond Tutu, politicians such as Mahatma Gandhi and even musicians like Chris Martin and other members of the band Coldplay.

The Russell Group universities offer a range of internationally renowned courses and receive almost two thirds of all university research grants in the UK and Russell Group universities produce 30% of the UK’s science and engineering graduates and around 80% of doctors and dentists.

Research by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has identified that male graduates of Russell Group universities earn 16% more, and female Russell Group graduates 9% more, over their lifetime on average than graduates from other universities.Source:

Because they are also highly rated in European universities and global university rankings, it is not surprising that top employers are keen to recruit from these universities.

So the question is: Do Russell Group universities matter? Our answer is Yes!

With over 20 universities to choose from, it’s definitely worth considering these universities in your UCAS application.

  • 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