A Guide to the Russell Group


Now, many of you students will have heard of the Russell Group of universities – but what actually is it? Well, it’s a group of 24 leading British research universities which are committed to maintaining the best research, teaching and learning experience in universities. They also have “unrivalled links with business and the public sector”. This guide to the Russell Group provides more information about its member universities.

Initially, there were 17 universities forming the Russell Group and since then a further 7 universities have joined. The most recent of these are Durham, Exeter, Queen Mary, University of London and York who all joined in 2012. In fact, all of these universities had previously been members of the 1994 Group (for more information see our guide to the 1994 Group in the Applying section).

Established in 1994, the Russell Group is the most well-known group of universities within the UK and they have quite a reputation! It won’t be uncommon for your teachers to be encouraging you to apply to universities that are a member of this group – read on to discover exactly why…

Why should I study at a Russell Group university?

Higher than average student satisfaction rates

Lower than average drop-out rates

Russell Group graduates typically receive a 10% salary top-up over other graduates

Russell group objectives

Lead the research efforts of the UK

Maximise the income of its member institutions

Attract the best staff and students to its member institutions

Create a regulatory environment in which it can achieve these objectives by reducing government interference

Identify ways to co-operate in order to exploit the universities’ collaborative advantage.

Key facts

56% of all doctorates awarded in the UK in 2012 were awarded by Russell Group members.

409 million – the University of Oxford’s research income in 2011/12 (the highest in the group).

81% of doctors and dentists in the UK are produced from Russell Group universities.

75%+ of first degree entrants at Russell Group universities are from state schools and colleges.

University 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

But despite all these great advantages, you should remember that a Russell Group university might not be the right choice for every student. There are other universities out there who have extremely good graduate prospects and a high standard of research and teaching! Check out our full institution list for other choices available to you.