What Are The Best Student Cities to Live In?
Calton Hill, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash

What Are The Best Student Cities to Live In?

Zoe Kramer December 26, 2022

It’s important to find a university and a course that suits you, but where you live is integral to the student experience as well. You might enjoy the peace and quiet of a remote campus, or you might prefer the hustle and bustle of a city. There are many criteria upon which you might judge a city you’re considering living in: size, job prospects, cultural centres, arts communities, nightlife, and so on. Taking these factors into consideration as well as public opinion, here are some of the best student cities to live in.


Edinburgh is home to the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier University. The city has a high percentage of students compared with the overall population, which means you won’t feel out of place there as a student. It’s well known for its unique style, with Edinburgh Castle providing a lovely landmark amongst its characteristic medieval and Georgian architecture. It is the #2 ranked student city in the UK according to QS.

Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle is home to Northumbria University and Newcastle University, with Durham University nearby. The Quayside part of the city is home to some of the city’s best restaurants and pubs. It’s a friendly city with reasonable prices and a lot to offer. Newcastle is the #1 ranked student city on StudentCrowd, based on public opinion.

Photo by Adam Jones on Unsplash

See also: The Seven Wonders of Birmingham: Student Edition


Birmingham is home to the University of Birmingham and Aston University. The centre of Birmingham night life is on Broad Street, which makes it handy if you want to go bar or club hopping. It has a reasonable cost of living and is known for its many festivals, including the Birmingham Comedy Festival. It is the #7 ranked student city in the UK, according to TopUniversities.


Manchester is a culturally rich city known for its music scene and world-famous football clubs. It is home to the University of Manchester, the University of Salford, the University of Bolton, the Royal Northern College of music and many more. It is a multicultural city with a sense of community. It is the #4 ranked student city, according to QS.


Brighton is a vibrant and inclusive city with plenty to offer. Known as the unofficial LGBTQ+ capital of the UK, Brighton is a small city with a lot to offer. It has a fantastic beach and the top calibre of night life. Unfortunately it’s not the most affordable city, so you might have to watch your spending if you decide to live there. It is the #14 ranked student city according to TopUniversities.

The best student cities to live in have it all. And the list above certainly ticks those boxes…and then some.

See also: Is Manchester a Russell Group University?

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Zoe Kramer has been writing for GRV Media’s student-centric website Freshered since October 2022 and is now also contributing to HITC. She graduated from Cardiff University in 2022 with a BA in Journalism, Media and English Literature. During her time in university, she worked for her student newspaper as well as completing an internship with a book publisher. She has also written and continues to write book and theatre reviews. She is excited to now be pursuing a career as a journalist and learning something new every day. In particular, she loves writing about student life, books, the Internet, and travel. Originally from the United States, she is enjoying living abroad in the UK.