According to The Complete University Guide’s 2017 ranking, these are the hardest universities in the UK to get into. They’re ranked by points – which indicate the UCAS tariff score of new undergraduates. The UCAS points all add up to give an overall number and they are then adjusted to take account of the subject mix at the university.
20. University of Newcastle
Newcastle is one the country’s biggest and most popular universities. They typically only accept students, for most courses, who get ABB or higher. They also judge your application as a whole to see how likely you are to succeed at their institution.
19. University of York
As one of the youngest universities that has rocketed into the World Top 100 tables, York has a reputation second to none. Typically their offer range is AAA-BBB depending on the course you wish to pursue.
18. University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is number one for graduate employability when compared with chartered universities in England. Which is no wonder why it’s one of the hardest universities in the UK to be accepted into. Their intake typically receive grades AAB-ABB at A-Level.
17. University of Manchester
With Brian Cox as a lecturer, Manchester’s Physics department is world renowned, but you’ll need A*A*A to get onto his courses. However, most of the courses offer students places if they get AAB-BBB.
16. University of Aberdeen
Aberdeen is the fifth oldest university in the UK and the region boasts the highest concentration of health and life scientists anywhere in Europe. To be a part of it, you’ll need AAB-BBB at A-Level.
15. Kings College London
As the oldest and largest members of the University of London, KCL is probably the university with the best location in the entire country. Their typical entry requirements are A*AA- BBB, so make sure you revise well for your exams!
14. University of Exeter
Typical entry standards are A*AA-BBB depending on the course you want to study. Renowned for their English and Modern Languages departments, you’ll be up against the best of the best.
13. University of Glasgow
Glasgow’s huge student population makes it extremely popular, which is probably why the entry standards are so high. You’ll want to achieve AAB-ABB to get into this university.
12. University of Strathclyde
Even though this university has high entry standards, it actually ranked quite poorly in the overall ratings (46th place), mainly due to a poor student satisfaction. However, as the 12th hardest university to get into in the UK, you’ll need AAA-ABB.
11. University of Bristol
Bristol was the first university in the country to admit women on an equal basis to men. You’ll need between A*AA – ABB.
10. University of Bath
Bath ranks high for student experience most years, but you’ll need to try hard to get accepted. For science – based degrees, they request typically AAA/A*AB, but for foreign languages you can get in with just ABB
9. University of Edinburgh
The university has a very prestigious reputation around the world, and their entry standards reflects this. They look for A-Levels of at least ABB-AAA depending on the course you want to study.
8. University of Warwick
Not one you’d expect to be quite so high, Warwick proves itself as rather hard to get into. The Maths department is highly regarded in particular. You’ll have to get at least 1 A* (in maths) if you want to pursue it here though! But for humanity subjects you’ll be able to scrape in with ABB.
7. University College London
UCL prides itself on being the first university in England to admit students of any race, class or religion. Expect to get between A*AA-AAB to study here though!
- London School of Economics
If you’re looking to study Economics here, you’ll need at least A*AA, with an A* in Maths. However, the university also specialises in subjects ranging from Anthropology to Criminology – for which the minimum is AAB
5. University of St Andrews
Typically you’ll need AAA to secure a place in this prestigious Scottish university. Maybe you’ll find your prince there too?
4. Durham University
For most core subjects, you’ll now need a minimum of A*AA to be accepted. These include English, Law, Geography, Physics, as well as more. Find out more here.
3. Imperial College London
Imperial has the best reputation among the London universities. It’s a world leader in global health and climate change, and its research centre has one of the largest incomes in the UK. They say you’ll need between AAA – A*A*A to be considered here.
2. University of Oxford
As the oldest in the English-speaking world, Oxford is a world leader amongst universities. They won’t even look at you if you don’t get at least AAA in your A-Levels. You’ll also need to show them what you’re capable of in their stringent interview phase too.
1. University of Cambridge
Named as the 4th best university in the world, Cambridge student will need at least a hefty A*A*A to get in, as well as acing the seemingly impossible interviews and entry exams.
An in case you wanted to know, the easiest to get into are:
- London Met
- London South Bank
- Anglia Ruskin
- Buckinghamshire New
- Canterbury Christ Church
- Southampton Solent
By Holly Smith