Which UK Universities are the easiest to get into?
New UCAS data shows that some universities offer places to over 90% of those who apply – but less than a fifth of Oxford applicants get an offer.
Some universities are more difficult to get into than others. Places at Oxford and Cambridge are famously competitive. The lower you go in the university league tables, the easier it gets. Or so you might think.
We’ve crunched the numbers to reveal the percentage of students who receive an offer after applying to each university in the UK, proving once and for all which unis are the toughest nuts to crack.
Use the list and table below to see the offer rate for each uni. There are some surprises in there…
Easiest UK universities to get into
Based on the percentage of students who apply to each university and receive an offer, these are the easiest universities to get into:
- Aberystwyth University (97.6%)
- Bishop Grosseteste University (95.1%)
- Ravensbourne University London (95.1%)
- University for the Creative Arts (92.4%)
- University of Sussex (91.8%)
- Plymouth College of Art (91.5%)
- Coventry University (91.3%)
- University of Wolverhampton (90.8%)
- York St John University (90.8%)
- Cardiff Metropolitan University (90.2%)
- University of Kent (90.2%)
- Nottingham Trent University (90.1%)
- University College Birmingham (89.9%)
- De Montfort University (89.5%)
- SOAS University of London (89.1%)
- Northumbria University Newcastle (88.9%)
- The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (88.7%)
- Liverpool Hope University (88.5%)
- Lancaster University (88.2%)
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham (88%).
In total, 12 unis offer places to over 90% of applicants.
The Hardest UK universities to get into
Once again based upon the percentage of offers made compared to the number of applications received, these are the hardest universities to get into in the UK:
- University of Oxford (19.1%)
- University of Cambridge (21.6%)
- London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (21.9%)
- University of St Andrews (25%)
- Imperial College London (32.5%)
- St George’s, University of London (35.3%)
- The University of Edinburgh (39.3%)
- University College London (UCL) (42.8%)
- University of the Arts London (43.8%)
- University of Strathclyde (44.9%)
- Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (49.3%)
- Leeds Arts University (49.6%)
- Glasgow Caledonian University (51.8%)
- King’s College London (52.9%)
- The University of the West of Scotland (52.9%)
- City, University of London (53.7%)
- University of Dundee (53.9%)
- University of Glasgow (56.3%)
- University of Stirling (57.9%)
- Edinburgh Napier University (58.4%).
Something which won’t surprise anyone is that Oxford and Cambridge are the two most difficult unis to get into. In fact, Oxford offers places to less than a fifth of those who apply.
But it may reassure you to know that beyond Oxbridge, some of the best unis in the UK offer places to around a third of their applicants. Imperial College London, for instance, has an acceptance rate of 32.5%. Meanwhile, The University of Edinburgh’s figure stands at 39.3%.
University acceptance rates
Of course, university admissions are also hugely affected by reputation. The more popular it is, the more applications it’ll receive. The more applications it receives, the fewer places there are to hand out, and hence the offer rate is lower. It’s not all about great Level grades and entry requirements.
In some cases, offer rates are low because unis have a limited number of places or cater to a niche subject area. This is likely to be true of the University of the Arts London and Leeds Arts University (two of only a few specialist arts universities in the UK). It may also apply to St George’s, University of London, which is exclusively a medical school.
But some of the best and most prestigious universities in the UK have higher offer rates than you’d expect. Durham offers places to over 70% of those who apply, while Exeter offers places to almost 80% of applicants.
Taking all universities into consideration, the average offer rate is 72.43%. But feel free to use the table below to see how each university compares.
List of UK university offer rates
|1||University of Oxford||19.1%|
|2||University of Cambridge||21.6%|
|3||London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)||21.9%|
|4||University of St Andrews||25%|
|5||Imperial College London||32.5%|
|6||St George’s, University of London||35.3%|
|7||The University of Edinburgh||39.3%|
|8||University College London (UCL)||42.8%|
|9||University of the Arts London||43.8%|
|10||University of Strathclyde||44.9%|