Ask Study Coach for Academic Support – Russell Group Universities Entry UK

Do you aim to study at a Russell Group University UK? Study Coach Academic Support is here to help you through raising some questions and providing some answers. It is great to aspire to study at a Russell group University and it is also wise to consider studying for a foundation course at an Independent School, if present A levels are not yet at the right grades for admission to a Russell Group University. 

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A frequently asked question is: What is the best University in the UK? A short answer is that it depends on what you want to study and what is mean’t by ‘best’.  Many people will know of Oxford University and Cambridge University, and if you aim to study science then you should consider joining Oxford or Cambridge. If you want to study Dramatic Arts then perhaps RADA would be a better choice (best). Subject matter is therefore important when you consider if a Russell Group University will be the best place to study. 

RADA – Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts

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Question: Name 5 Russell Group Universities

Answer: London School of Economics (LSE); Kings College London; Oxford University; University College London; Queen Mary London (the list of 5 is not in any particular order, and excluding Oxford, Russell Group Universities outside of London are purposefully not mentioned in the list of 5). I will explain below. 

Question: Is London Southbank University (LSBU) in the Russell Group?

Answer: Good Question! The answer is ‘NO’. There are many universities in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland that are not part of Russell Group. Please note that location of London is not a criteria to become part of Russell Group. The majority of Russell Group Universities are located outside of London. 

Question: What is the main criteria for a University to become part of Russell Group?

Answer: Russell Group Universities are public research universities. The universities not only offer a place of learning for students to achieve a undergraduate degree (example: BSc Science), but the University is focused on producing research and receives funding in order to make new discoveries and extend knowledge to benefit society at a national and global level. 

Independent School/College: 

If ‘A’ level results are not yet at the right grade for acceptance to a Russell Group University, it is possible that the university will suggest to the student that they should undertake a foundation course of study to improve grades. Students could also choose to study at an Independent School/College in order to re-sit ‘A’ levels and study for additional ‘A’ levels. 

Academic Results:

Achieving ‘A’ level grades ‘B’s and ‘C’s will get you a place at a UK University. In order to secure a place at a Russell Group University the stakes will however be higher, students will need to achieve above ABB. There are few places on offer and many students seeking the few places, so expect to hear that students applying at a Russell Group University have achieved AAA and above. Don’t get stressed, you can only do your best, we all have different circumstances to cope with in life. 

International Students Applying to UK: 

If you are an American considering studying in the UK and Russell Group is a new term for you (don’t worry). It is simply a different word for Ivy League. Students coming from Japan will know the term ‘Imperial Universities’; in Germany there is TU9 alliance of 9 leading Technical Universities, and in India there is the Institutes of National Importance (premier universities). Elite/prestigious institutions of learning are great, and students should aspire to study with the best in the world, but this is not to say that non-Russell Group Universities are inferior. There are super intelligent students attending other Universities, and great professors teaching at these Universities. Many Lecturers/Professors teaching at non-Russell Group Universities were trained at a Russell Group University, so take advantage of their knowledge and experience. 


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