Best teaching universities in the UK: Higher learning is an essential aspect of building a teaching career. It provides you with expert knowledge, skills and research relevant to the teaching profession. Knowing which tertiary institutions have outstanding teaching departments and courses can help you choose the best one for you. In this article, we list the 18 best teaching universities in the UK.
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What are the best teaching universities in the UK?
The best teaching universities in the UK are exceptional tertiary institutions with global recognition and are in various cities and towns. They provide world-class learning experiences and have some of the best facilities and academic experts in the field of education. They offer students a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), BA, MA and PhD in education.
Top 18+ teaching universities in the UK
The following are 18 prestigious universities in the UK with outstanding courses in education:
1. University College London
Founded in 1826 in the centre of London, UCL is one of London’s leading multidisciplinary universities, with over 13,000 staff members and 42,000 students from 150 countries. UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society has a renowned global reputation for equipping students with the means to excel in a teaching career. Its Department of Education ranks first in the Guardian University Guide 2022, as it delivers some of the best undergraduate and postgraduate teaching courses available (teaching universities).
2. Kingston University London
Kingston University London (teaching universities) is a public research university in South West London. Founded in 1899 as the Kingston Technical Institute, it’s currently one of the top 50 universities in the country. It has over 16,820 students and four campuses in Kingston and Roehampton. It offers a variety of teacher training courses, such as three-year BAs in primary teaching and one-year PGCE courses in early years, primary teaching and secondary teaching.
3. University of Bristol
The University of Bristol (teaching universities) is one of the most successful UK universities, ranking 62nd in the QS World University Rankings 2022. Founded in 1876 as University College, Bristol, it attracts over 20,000 students from over 150 countries annually. It offers undergraduate degrees in education studies, PGCEs in initial teacher education and postgraduate degrees in education, the psychology of education, mathematics education, neuroscience and education and more.
4. Anglia Ruskin University (ARU)
Originating from the Cambridge School of Art and founded by William John Beamont in 1858, ARU (teaching universities) is a public university in East Anglia with over 39,400 students. It has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough and London. It offers undergraduate degrees in early childhood studies, early years and education and primary education studies. It also offers postgraduate and online courses for full-time and part-time students and distant learners.
5. University of Chichester
Founded in 1840, the University of Chichester (teaching universities) is a prominent university based in West Sussex. It has over 5,000 students and two campuses in Chichester and Bognor Regis. It also has an associate campus on the Isle of Wight. It offers undergraduate degrees in primary teaching, physical education and mathematics and secondary education. It also provides one-year PGCE courses in early years and primary education.
6. University of Plymouth
The University of Plymouth (teaching universities) has over 23,000 students from over 100 countries. Founded as the Plymouth School of Navigation in 1862 and established in 1992, it ranked 58th in the Times University Guide 2022. It offers undergraduate degrees in education and early childhood studies and various PGCE and postgraduate programmes in education.
7. University of Dundee
Founded in 1881, the University of Dundee (teaching universities) is a prominent Scottish university with over 18,000 students. It ranked 35th in the Times University Guide 2022 and 7th in the UK for education degrees in the Guardian University Guide 2022. It offers undergraduate degrees in childhood practice, childhood studies, primary education and secondary education. It also provides various postgraduate degrees.
8. University of Wolverhampton
With four campuses across the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire, the University of Wolverhampton has over 21,000 students. Founded in 1827, for 190 years it has been a prominent tertiary institution. It offers three-year undergraduate courses in primary education and various one-year PGCE courses in secondary education.
9. University of Hull
Formed in 1927, the University of Hull has a proud history of academic excellence, ranking 52nd in the Times University Guide 2022. Located in the most affordable student city in the Natwest 2018 Student Living Index, it’s home to over 16,000 students. It has a robust School of Education that offers various undergraduate degrees in early childhood education and education studies. It also offers PGCEs in primary education.
10. University of Reading
Founded in 1892 as University College, Reading, the University of Reading has an outstanding reputation, ranking 10th for education degrees in the Guardian University Guide 2022. It has four major campuses and is home to over 23,000 students. It offers undergraduate programmes in various topics, including children’s development and learning, education studies and primary education. It also provides a foundation degree in children’s development and many postgraduate courses in education.
11. University of Hertfordshire
Founded in 1948, the University of Hertfordshire has built a remarkable reputation, ranking among the top 100 universities in the world in the Times University Guide 2022. Located in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, it has over 800 academic employees and houses over 26,000 students. It offers innovative undergraduate and postgraduate education courses. These courses explore educational assessment, curriculum development, higher education teaching, early childhood training and STEM education.
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12. University of Edinburgh
Founded in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of the oldest universities in the country and is prominent for its teaching education and research. It’s one of the largest and most distinguished universities in the world. It currently ranks in the global top 20 in the QS World University Rankings 2022. Its School of Education offers a host of undergraduate, PGDE, PGCE and master’s programmes that provide an excellent foundation for a career in teaching or community learning and development.
13. University of Southampton
Founded in 1862 as the Hartley Institution, the University of Southampton is one of the top 100 universities in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings 2022. Its campuses in Southampton, Winchester and Malaysia are home to more than 21,000 students from over 130 countries. It offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes that enable you to pursue a career in teaching.
14. University of Oxford
Founded in the early 11th century, the University of Oxford is the oldest tertiary institution in English-speaking countries. It’s one of the world’s leading academic institutions. It ranked 2nd in the QS World University Rankings 2022 and 1st in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022. With various campuses across Oxford, it’s home to over 22,000 students. It has contributed immensely to the field of teaching with its world-class undergraduate and graduate programmes.
15. The University of the West of England Bristol (UWE Bristol)
Founded in 1595 by the Society of Merchant Venturers, UWE Bristol is one of the top 30 universities domestically, with excellent world-class academic and learning facilities. Their modern campuses and renowned departments house over 31,000 students from more than 140 countries. Its education courses rank 15th in the Guardian University Guide 2022. It offers foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development education and teaching courses that cover every aspect of teaching at various levels.
16. Plymouth Marjon University
Ranked 16th in the Guardian University Guide 2022 for its education courses, Plymouth Marjon University has a small population of around 5,000 students. It offers training in graduate-level skills that prepare students for various aspects of a career in education. It has several undergraduate degrees in teaching that come with qualified teacher status (QTS) and PGCE courses in different primary and secondary education areas.
17. Edge Hill University
Founded in 1885 as Edge Hill College, Edge Hill University has grown in international status, and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) gave it a gold rating for delivering excellent teaching and gaining impressive results from its students. It’s home to over 15,000 students who enjoy its world-class education facilities and lectures from experts in the field. It offers undergraduate and graduate programmes in early child, primary education and secondary education. You have the option to take most of these courses part-time, and many come with QTS.
18. University of Sheffield
Founded by the merger of three institutions in 1897, the University of Sheffield is a world-renowned tertiary institution in Northern England. Ranked amongst the world’s top 100 universities by the QS World University Rankings 2022, it houses over 28,000 students from more than 120 countries. Students voted it number one for student experience in a Times survey. Its education courses rank 19th in the Guardian University Guide 2022, and it offers undergraduate, PGDE and PGCE programmes in various education-related subjects.