The eight most underrated universities decided by students

Are you too heavily influenced by uni rankings or the big name universities everyone talks about? 
League tables can't tell you everything, and students have chosen these universities based on their reputation for individual courses and their experiences studying there. 

“I think many people assume that just because a university is ranked in the top 10 it's automatically better than the rest of the lot, when that's certainly not always the case,” says Cazzem. 

The original discussion thread has 305 replies and over 20,000 views, but if you're short on time we've summarised the results for you. Here are the top eight most underrated universities, as discussed by TSR members.

1) UEA


UEA was the most mentioned university for being underrated. “I hadn't even heard of it until I came to applying for unis,” says Neurosci. 

“UEA are constantly improving and moving up the rankings for law” says ddogi. It was the third best uni under 50 in the UK in 2012, and scores well for student satisfaction. So why haven't you heard about it?

“It does really well on the league tables, does a lot of research, but it's not a Russell Group, so often gets forgotten,” says sj10. 

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"Everything about it, whether it be my course or social life has exceeded my expectations," says CelineHawkinss.

"They're a very young uni so not set in their ways and they're constantly trying to update facilities and improve," writes an anonymous reviewer.


UEA on TSR: 
The UEA 2017 entry applicant thread 
UEA ask a question thread 
UEA Uni Guide

2) Bath

The second most underrated university in the list, Bath scores highly for student satisfaction. It also does well for graduate prospects. 

“It isn't RG or that well-known in my circle, but is great at Architecture and Engineering,” says JohnGreek. “I agree,” says Morgan8002. “It's around 6th for my course, but a lot of people ignore it because it's non-RG.” 

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"Definitely come to an open day and see for yourself how likable bath and the campus is & good research facilities + teaching," says BlueStrawberries.

" I meet with my personal tutor every week which is a really nice arrangement because I can deal with any problems straight away," says Helen Miutter.


University of Bath on TSR: 
University of Bath applicants for 2017 entry 
Ask a University of Bath official rep anything 
University of Bath uni guide

3) Manchester


“Top 50 in world rankings and considered abroad as one of England’s best universities... yet in the UK, it doesn't have the same recognition, ” says lad1997. “I agree Manchester deserves more recognition,” says INF10.

“Going to Manchester myself, I feel it doesn't get mentioned so much because it's so large and it offers so many courses,” says Harvey.Specter. 

Manchester has a reputation for being a great student city, but don't forget that the uni itself is also a great place to study. 

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"The learning facilities here are fantastic with so many libraries and learning spaces," says Empalmer.

"The teaching standard is high, the nightlife is wild and there is huge number of things to do," says NathanE

Manchester University on TSR: 
Manchester applicants for 2017 entry 
Manchester uni FAQ 
Manchester uni guide


4) St Andrews

“St Andrews definitely, incredibly underrated,“ agrees Okorange. 

Considering it's ranked third in the UK behind Oxbridge, and is the third oldest university in the English speaking world, you'd expect more hype around St Andrews. “I had never heard of it till I applied for uni,” says MeeranB. 

“It's pretty high in the rankings but I don't hear many people say they want to go there,” adds strangequark. 

It may be to do with location. St Andrews is a small town near Dundee, Scotland so students may not come across it when looking by city. 

“Another factor is course offerings - for example, it has no engineering or law departments,” says Smack.

But don't let this put you off - St Andrews is a small uni with a communal feel. It also attracts a lot of international students so you will get to meet people from all over the world. 

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"Tiny, ancient and unique, with a really strong sense of family and community," says Charlotte-xoxo.

"What we don't have in nightlife the uni makes up for in amazing and bizarre traditions, e.g. May Dip, Raisin Weekend," writes an anonymous reviewer. 


University of St Andrews on TSR: 
Ask a current student thread 
St Andrews 2017 entry applicant thread 
University of St Andrews uni guide

Find your perfect uni in 60 seconds

5) Nottingham

“I went there on an open day and there is no way it is only 25th in the country,” says Pro Crastination. 

“You can visually see that [funding is] being put to good use in the buildings, staff and services” says serebro, “I'm SO glad I ended up at Nottingham as it's brilliant.“ 

“I chose Notts cause of it's reputation and fantastic teaching,” says LordPhylogeny. 

You might not know that Nottingham has a great reputation for employment prospects, ranking second in the UK for alumni who are CEOs of the top 500 companies. It was also placed 11th in the UK in the 2015 Global Employability Rankings.

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"The teaching is great and it's really well structured," says Madison Rose.

"They truly care about all the students. I am never afraid to contact a lecturer," says kendellex.


University of Nottingham on TSR: 
Nottingham Uni guide 
Nottingham 2017 entry thread 
Ask a current Nottingham student anything

6) Southampton


”It's the second best in the country for engineering,” says Bishoy. “I wish I'd applied” says Tanyapotter. “I wish I’d applied there too” agrees Student403. 

If you're thinking about studying engineering, Southampton is one to watch. All it's engineering schools are ranked very highly. 

One of the original founders of the Russell Group, Southampton has a great reputation for research excellence. It's also the biggest university in the South East. 

Current student reviews from Uni Match

"it really is a friendly and international campus, with lots of facilities, societies, cinema and student pubs," says Athena.

"The services are fantastic, library is absolutely huge plus there is another library specifically dedicated to modern language students, meaning that I have a range of options to find information," says rach_lizzie


University of Southampton on TSR: 
Southampton applicants for 2017 entry 
Ask a current Southampton student anything 
Southampton uni guide

7) Sussex & Surrey

In joint seventh place are the University of Sussex, and the University of Surrey. 

“You find a lot of Sussex graduates in good jobs and if you work in government/politics their academics and research centres are used a lot,” says MagicNMedicine.

“Surrey has really been improving, a lot different to how I remember it 4-5 years ago” says captainslow69.

Current student reviews from Uni Match


"There are so many opportunities to enrich the experience and promote understanding of your course," writes an anonymous reviewer. 
" A good location and a campus based life which is a huge benefit when moving out for the first time," writes another anonymous reviewer.


"Surrey wasn't my firm choice, Imperial was, but i didn't make it. I can tell you that I am glad I didn't make it," says Odaibasha. 
"The staff at the university are very welcoming and will help you with any issue," says Crimsonflame

Sussex and Surrey on TSR: 
Sussex applicants 2017 
Surrey university Q&A 
University of Sussex guide
University of Surrey guide

What other universities do you think are underrated? Let us know below.