The Best UK Specialist Universities to Consider in 2023

Studying at a specialist university in the UK is an excellent opportunity for those who want to pursue their interests and achieve their career goals. These universities offer a range of programs that cater to specific professions or fields of study, providing students with in-depth knowledge, expertise, and skills required to succeed in their chosen careers.

One of the significant advantages of studying at a specialist university is that they have expert faculty members who are active practitioners in their respective fields. This means that students get hands-on experience and practical knowledge from professionals who not only understand the theory but also understand how it applies to the real world. Additionally, these universities often have state-of-the-art facilities and resources tailored specifically for each program, giving students access to industry-standard tools and equipment that they may not find elsewhere.

Attending a specialist university can also provide graduates with significant career opportunities and earning potential.

What is a specialist university and why choose one?

A specialist university is an institution that focuses on providing higher education in a specific field or subject area. These universities are often smaller than traditional universities but have a strong reputation for academic excellence and expertise in their chosen area of study.

One of the benefits of attending a specialist university is that students can receive highly specialised training and education from industry professionals who are experts in their field. This means that graduates are well-prepared to enter the job market with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in their profession.

Specialist universities also offer unique opportunities for research, innovation, and collaboration within their field. As such, they often have close ties with industry partners and other academic institutions around the world, giving students access to global networks and career opportunities.

Specialist Medical Universities


The University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, and University of Glasgow are three of the best specialist medical universities in the UK. These institutions have a rich history and reputation for producing some of the world’s most distinguished doctors, researchers and academics.

At the University of Cambridge, students can enroll in a range of specialty programs such as Clinical Medicine, Medical Science, or Veterinary Medicine. The institution boasts world-class research facilities and an extensive clinical network that allows students to gain practical experience in a variety of specialties. Additionally, the university has strong links with leading healthcare providers which provides students with excellent opportunities for internships and residency programs.

Similarly, at Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division (MSD), students have access to cutting-edge research facilities and a wide range of specialty courses including Biomedical Sciences, Experimental Therapeutics and Clinical Neuroscience. MSD also offers world-renowned postgraduate studies in both clinical medicine and biomedical sciences.

The University of Glasgow is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a long and distinguished history of medical research. The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in medicine, dentistry, nursing, and healthcare. The Faculty of Medicine at Glasgow is renowned for its excellence in teaching and research. Its curriculum covers all aspects of medicine, from basic science to clinical practice, with an emphasis on evidence-based learning. Students benefit from state-of-the-art facilities such as simulation suites and clinical skills laboratories, as well as opportunities for hands-on training through placements at local hospitals and clinics.

Specialist General Engineering Universities


When it comes to Specialist General Engineering, the UK is home to some of the best universities in the world. Among these institutions, Durham University, the University of Bristol, and the University of Southampton stand out for their excellence in this field.

Durham University is a research-intensive institution that provides high-quality education and attracts students from all over the world. The Department of Engineering at Durham offers a range of courses including Mechanical Engineering, Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and Computer Science. Students can benefit from state-of-the-art facilities such as design studios, laboratories, workshops, and computing suites which enable them to apply theory into practice.

The University of Bristol has an outstanding reputation for its engineering programs. It has been ranked 7th in Europe by US News & World Report’s Best Global Universities Rankings for engineering.

The University of Southampton is widely regarded as one of the best specialist general engineering universities in the UK. Located on the south coast, it has a long history of excellence in engineering education and research. The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses that cover all areas of engineering, including aerospace, civil, mechanical and electrical.

Specialist Business and Management Universities


The University of Bath, the University of Warwick, and the University of Oxford stand out as some of the best specialist universities for business and management courses.

The University of Bath has a renowned School of Management that offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs in different fields like accounting, finance, marketing, operations management. The university prides itself on providing a hands-on approach to learning through case studies and simulations. The university also collaborates with various companies to offer students practical experience in their chosen field.

The University of Warwick’s Business School offers an extensive range of programs that cater to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. It boasts a diverse student body coming from over 100 countries worldwide.

Known as one of the world’s most prestigious institutions, The University of Oxford has a long-standing reputation for providing high-quality teaching and research, developing entrepreneurial skills and innovative thinking among students. Many successful business leaders have graduated from Oxford, including Sir Richard Branson and Bill Clinton. The university’s Saïd Business School provides an outstanding learning environment with state-of-the-art facilities and experienced faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.

Specialist Arts, Drama & Music Universities


The Guildhall School of Music & Drama is one of the best specialist arts, drama and music universities in the UK. It is located in London and has a long history of excellence in performing arts education. The school offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music, drama, technical theatre, and production arts. The Guildhall School of Music & Drama has an impressive list of alumni who have gone on to successful careers in the performing arts industry. These include actors like Daniel Craig and Ewan McGregor as well as musicians such as Sir Bryn Terfel and Jacqueline du Pré. The school’s faculty includes highly experienced professionals from the entertainment industry who provide students with practical training as well as academic instruction.

At the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities including performance spaces, recording studios, practice rooms, costume workshops, and more.

The Royal Academy of Music in London was founded in 1822 and has since produced some of the world’s greatest musicians. The academy offers courses ranging from undergraduate to doctoral level, with a focus on classical music performance and composition.

The Royal Academy of Music is renowned for its rigorous training programs that offer students ample opportunities to showcase their talents. This prestigious institution has an impressive list of alumni, including Sir Elton John, Annie Lennox, and James Galway. The academy also has an extensive library collection that includes rare manuscripts dating back to the 16th century. With such a rich history and legacy behind it, studying at the Royal Academy can open up doors to a bright future in music for aspiring students.

The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester, is known for its world-class teaching, excellent facilities, and vibrant student community. The RNCM offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in music performance, composition, conducting, production and management.

The RNCM attracts students from all over the world who are looking to pursue a career in music. The college has an outstanding reputation for producing successful alumni who have gone on to perform with some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and opera companies. Many graduates also go on to teach at leading universities or become renowned composers. With state-of-the-art facilities including a concert hall, recording studios and practice rooms, students have access to everything they need to achieve their goals.

Specialist Legal Universities


The University of Oxford is widely regarded as one of the top law schools in the country. With a rich history dating back over 800 years, it has consistently been ranked as one of the best universities in the world for law. Oxford’s Faculty of Law offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs that cover topics such as public international law, criminal law, and human rights.

University College London (UCL) is another top-ranked institution for legal education in the UK. UCL has been providing legal education since 1826 and today it is recognised as one of Europe’s leading centers for research and teaching in law. UCL’s Faculty of Laws offers both undergraduate and graduate programs with an emphasis on interdisciplinary study.

King’s College London is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the UK, renowned for its high-quality teaching, research, and academic excellence. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate law courses that are recognised globally. These courses cover various aspects of law such as civil litigation, criminal justice, commercial law, human rights law, and international law.

Considerations before applying to a specialist university

Many students dream of attending a specialist university in the UK, however, before applying to these prestigious institutions, there are several factors that should be considered.

Firstly, it is important to research each school’s entry requirements thoroughly. Some universities require applicants to complete certain subjects at A-level or have specific grades in science and math subjects. Additionally, applicants may need to sit an admissions test as part of their application process.

Another consideration is the cost of tuition fees and living expenses. Specialist schools can be significantly more expensive than other universities due to their highly specialised nature. Students must also take into account living costs such as accommodation, food and travel expenses when considering whether they can afford to attend a specialist medical school in the UK.

Final thoughts on the benefits of choosing a specialist university

There are numerous benefits to choosing a specialist university in the UK. From receiving focused and tailored education to gaining access to world-class research facilities and industry connections, students who attend these institutions are equipped with valuable skills and knowledge that set them apart from their peers. By attending a specialist university, you’ll be joining a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for your chosen field of study. So, if you’re considering pursuing higher education in the UK, we highly recommend exploring the many options available at specialist universities across the country. It’s a decision that can significantly impact your future success and career prospects.