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The Complete University Guide League Tables 2023

League tables and rankings are the ideal way to research and compare universities. There are few better than the Complete University Guide League Tables. We explore and analyse the results for the 2023 league tables.

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If you’re considering studying in the UK, you’d have been researching your options. One of the best ways of doing this is to use comprehensive, detailed, and trusted university league tables and rankings. You’re in the right place as there are few league tables or rankings for studying in the UK as respected and esteemed as the Complete University Guide League Tables. The 2023 edition has just been revealed, with some interesting insights and information to help you on your study research journey.


What are the Complete University Guide League Tables?


To understand the value of the Complete University Guide (CUG) League Tables, it’s important to look at what they are. The league tables are the ultimate evaluation and test for universities in the UK. The tables are judged by experts using a set of criteria most relevant to students. The tables cover:


  • Research quality
  • Research intensity
  • Student-staff ratio
  • Facilities spend
  • Academic services spend
  • Graduate prospects
  • Degree completion
  • Entry standards
  • Student satisfaction


So where exactly do the experts get their information and data? Well, it’s gathered, analysed, and examined from highly trusted sources, including:



To create the league tables, statistical modelling and techniques are used for each criterion to get a final score. These scores are then added together for a final ranking. Remember that the league tables also consider subjects offered by universities. That’s why there is an overall ranking table and a subject league table. If you want to find out more about how the tables are compiled you can refer to CUG.


How do you use the CUG League Tables?


It’s much easier to use the league tables than you may think. You won’t spend hours searching for the information you need. Your first move is to choose the table that you would like to view and assess:


  • Overall university league tables 
  • Subject-specific league tables (over 70 subjects available)
  • Regional league tables 


The specific league table will allow you to compare universities based on the criteria most important to you. For example, universities that rate highest for engineering or medical degrees. You can then see how these institutions score in other key areas such as student satisfaction, research and facilities. 


With this, you can note your favourites and start narrowing down your list and perhaps even the area of the UK you want to study in. Some of the most popular subject CUG league tables include:



You may find our guide on how to compare universities helpful.


What do the 2023 CUG League Tables reveal?


The winners for 2023 on the CUG League Tables are undoubtedly the University of Oxford. The university underlined its reputation as the top university in the UK and one of the best in the world. The institution received a perfect overall score of 100 per cent. This marked two years in a row that the university claimed the top spot, beating old rivals the University of Cambridge, who placed in the silver medal position.


These were not the only significant developments for the top 10 this year. The University of Bath rose two places to number eight, regaining the ranking spot it had lost in 2022. This saw University College London and the University of Warwick drop to nine and 10 respectively.


What is interesting about this year’s top 10 is the remarkably consistent performance of some of the UK’s top universities. Positions one to seven remained unchanged from the 2022 league tables, with institutions like Durham University and Loughborough University maintaining their high standards.


What does the overall top 10 for 2023 look like?






University of Oxford



University of Cambridge



London School of Economics



University of St Andrews



Imperial College London



Durham University



Loughborough University



University of Bath

Up 2


University College London

Down 1


University of Warwick

Down 1


The top 20 on the CUG League Tables also make for interesting reading. There have been some changes of fortune and some universities putting in excellent performances when compared to 2022. 


Let’s turn our attention to the universities occupying positions 11 to 20 on the CUG League Tables:


11. Lancaster University 

12. University of Edinburgh

13. University of Southampton

14. University of Birmingham 

15. University of Bristol 

16. University of Leeds

17. University of Manchester 

18. University of Surrey

19. University of York

20. University of Exeter


What about the top subjects in the UK?


With over 70 subjects rated and graded by the CUG Subject League Tables, you’ll be able to find one to suit your interests and ambitions. The tables cover everything from medicine to art and design. All you need to do is select the subject you’re interested in, check what the subject area covers (such as specialisations), and you can start comparing universities.  


Using the league tables is a great way to get to know the UK study landscape. They can be an extremely valuable tool for international students when deciding on where to apply and what to study. They provide a wealth of information and are easy to navigate. Why wouldn’t you use them? 


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