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The top business schools in the UK

If you are an aspiring business student and have your gaze fixed on the UK as a study abroad destination, you’re probably wondering about the top business schools in the country. We take you through the contenders.

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A degree in business and management tops the list for many international students. Our data reveals that over 150,000 students expressed interest in studying in the field in the last year. Naturally, you want to study at one of the top business schools when you study business abroad. This gives you both a quality education and a degree that opens doors around the world. As one of the most popular study abroad destinations, the UK gives prospective business students a number of high-quality options. In this article, we take a look at the best business schools in the UK and what they offer. 


Before we kick off with a list of the top business schools in the UK, we need to let you know how we put it together. We’re using a combination of the Complete University Guide University League Tables 2021 and the QS World University Rankings 2021, with specific reference to the subject rankings. 


University of St Andrews


One of the UK and Scotland’s top universities, the University of St Andrews is home to just over 10,000 students, 2,100 of whom are studying for a postgraduate degree. The university also has a reputation for a diverse student community with students from over 169 countries calling the St Andrews home. Located on the east coast of Scotland the institution is also widely known for its traditions and a multitude of extra-curricular activities 


The university is ranked as the top business school in the UK by the Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021 and sits in third place overall on the Complete University Guide University League Tables 2021, just behind the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge. St Andrews also sits comfortably within the top 100 universities globally as per the QS World University Rankings 2021. 


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London Business School 


Based in the vibrant and energetic capital city of the UK, London,  the London Business School (LBS) enjoys an enviable reputation as one of the top business schools in Europe and the UK. LBS is accredited by the Association of MBAs, Equis EFMD, and AACSB. The institution was a recipient of the award of the number one ranked two-year MBA programme globally by Forbes in 2019. Further, the Financial Times ranked LBS at number three in the world for their Masters in Management programme. LBS tops the list of the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021 for business and is considered a specialist in the field. 


Feeling a bit confused about the differences between studying for an MBA and a master’s degree? We have the answer. 


The University of Warwick


Based in the city of Coventry in the midlands of the UK, the University of Warwick is placed at number 62 overall globally by the QS World University Rankings 2021 and as a top 25 institution for studying business in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021. The university has also received plaudits for its teaching and learning environment, receiving a top ten place in the Teaching Rankings 2019.


The university has a student community of over 27,000 students, of which over a third come from around the world representing 150 countries. This international outlook is also reflected in the faculty staff, with more than 40 per cent of academics having joined the university from overseas. Warwick is considered to be one of the top ten business schools in the UK, ranked in 7th spot on the Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021 for business and one of the top 20 institutions in the UK by Complete University Guide League Tables 2021.


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University of Bath


The University of Bath enjoys a high ranking for the quality of its business-related qualifications. It often tops the list of desired business schools in the UK. The institution has a strong international student community, with over 30 per cent of those enrolled coming from abroad. The outcomes for graduates of the university are also considered good with Bath having been placed 6th for graduate prospects by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. 


The Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021 ranks the university at number three in the UK for business, with an overall score of 97 per cent and 83 per cent for student satisfaction. The university also enjoys a favourable ranking by the QS World University Rankings 2021 where it is rated as a top 200 global institution. 


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University of Glasgow


Students have had good things to say about the University of Glasgow, especially when it comes to the 95.5 per cent graduate employment success rate. Further, the university is located in the multicultural city of Glasgow that is feted for the vibrant cultural activities on offer for students, from museums to art galleries. Added to this is the rating of the university for its business-related courses and degrees. 


The University of Glasgow is placed in the top ten by Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021 for business and is a top 20 institution as per the Complete University Guide League Tables 2021, making it one of the top schools for business in the UK. The university also holds its own internationally as a top 100 institution in the QS World University Rankings 2021 and the recipient of a five-star rating by QS. 


University of Strathclyde


Another of the UK’s top universities based in Scotland is the University of Strathclyde. 

A two-time winner of the Times Higher Education University of the Year and a recipient of a QS five-star rating for five years in a row, there is much to recommend the university. International students are an integral part of the 23,000 strong student cohort and come from over 100 countries. Students looking to study in business in the UK are in good hands with Strathclyde occupying 8th spot on the Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021. It is also a top 50 UK university as per the Complete University Guide League Tables 2021. 


Looking for some study abroad inspiration? You can read all about some of the well-known and successful international graduates of UK universities. 


Durham University 


Based in the northeast of England Durham University has nine subjects ranked in the top 50 globally and an international student population making up over 30 per cent of all students. Known for the quality of teaching and research on offer, Durham is considered to be a top ten institution for studying business in the UK by Complete University Guide Subject League Tables 2021, ranked at number nine overall. 


The QS World University Rankings 2021 rank Durham in 86th spot globally, making it one of the top 100 institutions anywhere in the world. It is also ranked in the top 200 for the study of business by the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021. 


We’ve picked out some of the standout performers in the delivery of business qualifications in the UK, however, you may feel that some well-known institutions are missing. With that in mind, the top ten business schools in the UK as per the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021 are:


  1. London Business School 
  2. University of Cambridge 
  3. University of Oxford 
  4. The London School of Economics and Political Science
  5. The University of Warwick 
  6. The University of Manchester 
  7. Imperial College London 
  8. City, University of London 
  9. Lancaster University 
  10. University of Leeds


There are of course some other places where you can study business in the UK including:



You should feel more equipped for studying business in the UK now. You may also find our guide to what to expect when studying in the UK useful and our guide to preparing to study abroad could be helpful too. Don’t forget that you can also further your course and university research by using our course matcher tool.


Study in the UK


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