10 Outstanding Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rates

One of the first considerations when applying for universities in the UK is the acceptance rate and the hardest colleges to get into.

Is that important?

Absolutely, the acceptance rate of an institution determines whether or not a student can get into the university or not.

If you are planning to advance your studies in one of the U.K.’s prestigious universities, it’s ideal you consider the acceptance rate if you’re going to have an outstanding application.

In this article, we have come up with a list based on research on the most selective universities in the United Kingdom. Also, we have strategically let you know in this piece that even though these universities are very hard to get into, it doesn’t mean that they are out of reach.

However, what a low acceptance rate simply means is that you will have to prepare well enough to get accepted into these elite schools. Over the years, these schools have had a track record of academic excellence which in response made them selective in admission.

Also, the reason is that their selection processes are very competitive. We are sure this will help you make an informed decision.

However, you might want to consider the Universities with the Highest Acceptance Rate in Canada as well as some UK Scholarships.

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Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rates

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What is the Meaning of a Low Acceptance Rate?

When we talk about the acceptance rate, we refer to the rate at which universities accept students into their schools. Some universities do not consider this as important, whereas others are highly selective due to the kind of education they offer.

Also, these schools with low acceptance rates have little or no chance for students who are not outstanding or the regular pass students.

In other words, they select only the best. Therefore, a  low acceptance rate from these universities means that you have a slim chance to get admission into such a school.

Does that mean it’s impossible?

Not at all, it just means you have to be a little extra to catch the eye of the admission committee.

Why Do Schools in the UK have Low Acceptance Rates?

The main reason why most schools in the UK have a low acceptance rate is that they are elite schools with a track record of excellence over the years.

This we can see in the list of top 100 universities in the world. Most UK universities find themselves in the top ranks in many of the university rankings.

So, whether you are a regional or an international student, getting a chance to study in any of these universities is a dream come true. 

Furthermore, the high rate of contention in the UK can be traced to the fact that they receive a lot of applications due to their history and academic reputation.

Who doesn’t want to study in the UK?

What are the Requirements to Get Admission into the Universities with the Lowest Acceptance Rate in the UK?

One of the major factors of consideration when applying to any school is the admission requirement. This gives you insight into what the school uses as a means to vet your credibility.

For universities with the lowest acceptance rate in the United Kingdom, the requirements to join these institutions are school-specific. Each university has its requirement.

It largely depends on the program you want to pursue and the country grading system.  Nonetheless, your general academic results should meet the entries set by your university of preference.

Read Also: 25 Best Schools For Engineering in the World

Top 10 Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rates

Whether you’re using this information as a guide to help your university search or otherwise, below is a list of the hardest universities to get into in the UK;

#1. London School of Economics

  • Founded: 1885
  • Acceptance Rate: 12%
  • Location: Ontario

The London School of Economics started under the University of London. However, in 2008 it commenced offering its degrees.

This Westminster-based university has a student population of approximately 11,000 with foreign students from across 155 countries.

However, only 12 students out of 100 who send in their admission application to the London School of Economics admission committee make it into the school.

For instance, in 2018, LSE received 6,725 applications, but just 790 students were welcomed into the university. Therefore, from this, we see that LSE is one of the most selective universities with the lowest acceptance rate in the UK.

#2. University of Edinburgh

  • Founded: 1582
  • Acceptance Rate: 12.28%
  • Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

The University of Edinburgh is the 6th oldest university in the UK and one of the oldest in Scotland. Across its 5 campuses, this public university presently has 36,000+ students welcomed in various programs. 

To make it into this college, Edinburgh will consider your UCAS points in its evaluation. And with that, you must score above 224 points to stand a chance of being selected.

Students who have previously applied to the University of Edinburgh say its obe of the hardest universities to get into in the UK.

#3. University of Warwick

  • Founded: 1965
  • Acceptance Rate: 13%
  • Location: Coventry

The University of Warwick is one of the best elite institutions in the United Kingdom.  It ranks 62nd in the world and 10th in the UK. This school was a product of the government’s undertaking of extending higher education in the country.

Due to its reputation, the University of Warwick is very competitive and highly selective. This makes it one of the hardest universities to get into in the UK.

Out of 23,000 student applications, only 3,000 of them were enlisted in their various programs. Therefore, Warwick has one of the lowest acceptance rates in the UK.

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#4. University of St. Andrews

  • Founded: 1413
  • Acceptance Rate: 8%
  • Location: St Andrews, Scotland

The University of St. Andrews is a public university and the third oldest in the United Kingdom after Oxford and Cambridge.  St. Andrews is made up of many colleges and schools which offer an assortment of programs.

Over the years, this university has preserved and kept developing into a world-class institution. The University of St. Andrews accepts students from all ethnicities with about 45% of its student population being foreign students.

To get into the university is very competitive hence why it’s one of the universities in the UK with the lowest acceptance rates. For every 100 applications, only 8 students are offered a chance to study at the university making the University of St Andrews have an acceptance rate of 8%.

#5. University of Cambridge

  • Founded: 1209
  • Acceptance Rate: 11.5%
  • Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

The University of Cambridge is the 2nd oldest university in the UK and the 4th in the world. Cambridge prides itself on its exotic department. It has many institutions, 6 schools, 100 departments, and over 30 colleges.

As a world-class university, the University of Cambridge receives tons of applications. However, just 11 or 12 students out of 100 make it into the university making the University of Cambridge have an acceptance rate of 11%.

What this means is that you must be an A+ student to make it into the University of Cambridge.

Most successful applicants score between 40 and 42 points and 776 for subjects in Higher Level. 

#6. University College London

  • Founded: 1826
  • Acceptance Rate: 11%
  • Location: London, England

The University College London is the first university to exist in London. At this university, the curriculum is dedicated to seeing that every student evolves academically, socially, and talent-wise. 

To foster this, the school has over 135 organizations and clubs for everyone to express themselves. However, the University College London is an elite university hence why its acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the UK.

To make it into UCL you must have a score in the range of A*A*A-ABB in A levels or GCSE equivalent results.

#7. Imperial College London

  • Founded: 1907
  • Acceptance Rate: 14%
  • Location: Silwood Park, South Kensington, London.

Imperial College London currently hosts over 18,000 students with 9,500 of them as undergraduate students.

Like most of the universities in this list, ICL has about 60% international students from over 140 countries.

Currently, it ranks 69th worldwide, which makes it one of the hardest universities to get into in the UK because of its lowest acceptance rate. Out of its 8,500 applications in 2018, only 1,260 students were enrolled.

#8. University of Oxford

  • Founded: 1096
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Location: London

Aside from being one of the universities with the lowest acceptance rate in the UK, the University of Oxford is the most aged-university in the UK and the 2nd-oldest in the world.

In 2018, the University of Oxford got over 47,000 applications and only 8,800 got admitted. It’s without a doubt that this can be traced to its excellent academic history.

#9. Durham University

  • Founded: 1832
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Location: Durham, North Carolina

Durham University is a public highly recognized research university in the UK. What many do not know is that Durham University is a collegiate university.

This means that its main operations are distributed to various departments and colleges. Durham is one of the hardest universities to get into in the UK due to its very high academic standards. 

You have just about a 17.68% chance of getting admission into Durham University.

#10. University of Strathclyde

  • Founded: 1796
  • Acceptance Rate: 20%
  • Location: Glasgow, Scotland

The final institution on our list of the universities in the UK with the lowest acceptance rate is the University of Strathclyde.

Strathclyde is a public research university that became the first technological institution in the UK. Joining Strathclyde is not easy it is one of the hardest universities to get into in the UK.

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These schools with the Universities in the UK with the Lowest Acceptance Rate are not out of reach. However, you need to know that you must be a little extra to get into any of them.

Once you’ve chosen the institution, visit the school website for details on the requirements and application deadline.

I hope that this article on the universities in the UK with the lowest acceptance rate was helpful.


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