By Gowri Ramesh – last updated 20th April 2024

With a rich tapestry of culture, a thriving economy, and a massive student population of 70,000, Leeds has firmly established itself as a prime destination for higher education. The city boasts five prestigious universities, each with its unique academic programmes to best suit your interests. 

Leeds Beckett University stands as the oldest institution, founded way back in 1824. It is renowned for its real-world learning experience and employability opportunities. 

The University of Leeds has the largest campus among the city’s universities, with old British charm buildings and modern facilities. 

Meanwhile, Leeds Trinity University offers a more close-knit community atmosphere with specialised media and journalism courses, while the Leeds Art University has been nursing creative talent since 1846. 

The University of Law is one of the UK’s leading law schools with students from across 40 countries!  

Let’s now take a closer look at each university and explore the unique opportunities they offer.   


  1. University of Leeds  
  2. Leeds Beckett University 
  3. Leeds Trinity University 
  4. Leeds Art University 
  5. University of Law 
  6. Finding the right Leeds university for you  

University of Leeds 

University of Leeds exterior shot on a cloudy day.

Founded in 1904, the University of Leeds in England offers a world-class education with a rich history. Diversity is a hallmark here, with over 38,000 students from 170 countries creating a vibrant international atmosphere. Not only will you gain top-notch education, but you’ll also be joining a network attractive to top employers – The latest High Fliers ‘The Graduate Marketing in 2024’ Report reveals that Leeds is positioned as the 4th most sought-after university by graduate recruiters across the UK. So, it’s definitely your springboard to academic excellence and a successful career.   

Is Leeds University in the Russell Group? 

Yes! Ranked 75th in the QS World University Rankings, Leeds is a member of the esteemed Russell Group, known for its research excellence. 

Location and campus 

Situated centrally in Leeds, the university benefits from excellent travel connections, including proximity to the train station. The campus itself is conveniently situated: a 20-minute walk from Leeds City Train Station and is close to the heart of the city’s social hubs and cultural attractions.   

The university is a single, centralised campus which makes it easy to navigate between classes and social spaces with iconic red-brick buildings that stand alongside contemporary structures. A prominent landmark is the Parkinson Tower, which is often lit up to mark events including Leeds Light Night, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and LGBT History Month.   

The Leeds University Union (LUU) has over 300 student-led clubs and societies. Whether you’re into sports, music, debate, or anything else you can possibly think of, there’s something for you. 

Need to know: 

  • A short 20-minute walk from Leeds City Train Station.
  • Just a 5-minute stroll from the city centre.   
  • 300+ student societies. 

If you’re looking for a high-end student accommodation with a happening social scene, Study Inn Brotherton House just has it all. It is just a 10-minute walk from the University and 5 minutes from the city centre, putting the best of Leeds at your doorstep!  

Academic focus 

The university boasts a QS World Ranking of 75. With over 300 graduation courses and a vast selection of undergraduate programmes, Leeds caters to a wide range of academic interests with flexibility. In-depth undergraduate degrees allow you to delve deep into a specific subject, while some offer the freedom to choose a major and minor later in your studies. Many courses offer internships, placements, or work experience opportunities, giving you a head start in the job market.    

Arts and Humanities 36
Food Science and Technology 23
Professor Alan Mackie, Head of the School of Food Science and Nutrition, said: “We are clearly delighted that we remain the UK’s leading School of Food Science and Nutrition. 
Environment and Ecology81
Civil Engineering82
Economics and Business86 

Need to know:  

  • Has a QS World Ranking of 75. 
  • Offers over 300 post-graduation courses. 
  • Ranked 23rd in the world for Food Science and Technology and is UK’s leading School of Food Science and Nutrition. 

Student experience

The majority of undergraduate (UG) students are under 21 years old, and this trend has remained consistent compared to the previous year. As for postgraduate (PG) courses, there are proportionally more students over the age of 25 now compared to the previous years. 

While the majority demographic remains White, the college is inclusive and fosters an environment where all backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated with Asian, Black, and minority ethnic (BAME) students contributing to its diverse tapestry. 

To provide a first hand perspective on student life at the University of Leeds, let’s hear from one of its students:

Need to know:  

  • Dedicated teachers offer personalised support. 
  • Flexible module choices cater to individual interests.
  • Lively nightlife and events create a vibrant social scene.
  • Nearby Yorkshire Dales provide peaceful retreats.  

Leeds Beckett University 

Leeds Beckett University exterior shot, showing its lawn and building on a cloudy day

In 2014, the university adopted its current name, Leeds Beckett, in homage to one of its founding colleges, Beckett Park. 

Originally focused on technical education, the university now offers a diverse range of subjects spanning arts, humanities, science, and technology, while maintaining its expertise in technical fields through three prominent research institutes focused on sport, sustainability, and health. 

The University has been awarded the Athena Swan Bronze Award, for working towards gender equality.  

Fun Fact: Did you know that Andrew Joseph McDonald, a Member of Parliament for Middlesborough attended Leeds Beckett University before entering British politics? 

Location and campus 

Just like the University of Leeds, Leeds Beckett benefits from a central location within the city. The main campus is a short walk from Leeds City Train Station, putting you at the heart of the action. You can enjoy easy access to shops, restaurants, cultural attractions, and the city’s vibrant nightlife scene. 

Leeds Beckett University offers a unique double-campus experience. The Headingley campus pulsates with sports energy, boasting excellent facilities for creative programmes and green spaces for relaxation. Located. next to a renowned sporting venue (Headingley Stadium), it’s ideal for those drawn to sports science or artistic pursuits. 

The City Centre campus places you in the heart of the action. Modern facilities and proximity to businesses make it perfect for students pursuing business or marketing degrees. With museums, art galleries, and theatres all within reach, the City Centre campus fosters cultural exploration alongside academic pursuits. A free shuttle service connects the two campuses, ensuring you can experience the best of both worlds. 

Need to know: 

  • Centrally located in Leeds.
  • Easy access to shops and transportation. 
  • Two campuses: Headingley for sports and creative courses, City for business.
  • Modern facilities, green spaces, and a free shuttle between campuses.

Academic focus 

Although the university holds a QS World Ranking of 1001-2000, Leeds Beckett University still has impressive credentials such as the focus on industry connections and practical skills. It remains a leader in technical areas with renowned research in sports science, sustainability, and health.  

With a wide range of offerings, including over 150 undergraduate and 190 postgraduate courses, as well as foundation and pre-sessional English courses, the university provides ample opportunities for students to pursue their academic and professional goals.   

Social Sciences and Public Health431
Best Global Universities in the United Kingdom86 

Need to know: 

  • Offers over 150 undergraduate and 190 postgraduate courses. 
  • A reputed university for social sciences and public health programmes.  

Student experience 

Leeds Beckett University embraces a global perspective, welcoming students from over 100 countries. This creates a vibrant and multicultural environment where you can learn alongside classmates from diverse backgrounds. The university further fosters this sense of community through its extensive range of clubs and societies, catering to interests as varied as fashion and data science, clubbing and debating. 

Leeds Beckett University prides itself on its diverse student body, with international students comprising approximately 12.77% of the total student population. Undergraduate degrees make up about 21.22% of the degrees awarded, while master’s degrees and doctoral degrees constitute around 4.92% and 0.31%, respectively. The university also boasts a multicultural academic staff, with international staff members representing roughly 13.23% of the total. 

Need to know:   

  • Welcomes students from 100+ countries.
  • Diverse clubs and societies for personal growth.
  • Approximately 12.77% of the student body are international students. 

Leeds Trinity University

Leeds Trinity University exterior shot on a sunny day with students walking past

Unlike its counterparts, Leeds Trinity University boasts a more intimate atmosphere. Founded in 1966, it was originally established to educate teachers for Catholic schools and attained full university status in 2012. It is known to offer a range of foundation, undergraduate, and postgraduate degrees in humanities and social sciences.

Location and campus 

Situated on the outskirts of Leeds in Horsforth, Leeds Trinity offers a beautiful leafy campus. This peaceful environment provides a perfect balance to the vibrant city life of Leeds, which is easily accessible by train or bus. Since Leeds Trinity University is about a 20-minute car ride from the city, opting for on-campus accommodation can indeed save you time and the hassle of daily commuting.  

Need to know: 

  • Located in Horsforth, offering a peaceful environment close to Leeds city. 
  • About a 20-minute car ride from the city, with accessible transportation options. 

Academic focus 

Leeds Trinity University focuses majorly on the employability of graduates. The courses are unique and span fields like Digital Marketing, Police Constable, Supply Chain Leadership through apprenticeships. 

The modes of study include full-time and part-time options, with different durations ranging from 1 to 4 years. 

While the number of societies in the university may not be extensive, there are opportunities for students to get involved in recreational, academic, as well as social activities such as Computer Science, Bollywood, or RolePlaying.  

Course/DepartmentRanking (CUG The Complete University Guide 2023)
Arts and Visual Performing32
Sports Science77  
Languages and Literature78
Social Studies and Humanities98

Need to know: 

  • There is an emphasis on employability of graduates at this university.  
  • Is ranked well for arts, sports science, and language and literature programmes. 

Student experience

Leeds Trinity prides itself on its supportive environment. Class sizes are intentionally small, fostering a close-knit community where professors are readily available for one-on-one guidance.  

In the academic year 2019/20, Leeds Trinity had nearly 5,000 students, with the majority being full-time. The gender ratio among students is 35% male and 65% female.   

The university priorities student success, offering a variety of academic support services to ensure you reach your full potential. Additionally, every degree program at Leeds Trinity includes a professional work placement opportunity, facilitated by the university’s connections with local businesses, industries, and schools. 

For international students, the university offers pre-sessional English courses to ensure a smooth academic transition.

Need to know: 

  • The student population is less, with just about 5,000 students and predominantly females. 
  • Every degree programme comes with a placement opportunity.  

Leeds Arts University

Leeds Art University exterior shot at night time.

As the only specialist arts university in the North of England, Leeds Arts offers a unique and immersive environment for aspiring artists.  

Established in 1846 as the Leeds Government School of Art and Design, it has played a pivotal role in shaping art education nationally and internationally. The university was granted “Taught Degree Awarding Powers” in 2016 for its outstanding facilities and achieved full university status in 2017.  

Although Leeds Arts University has a ranking of 147 in the United Kingdom, it is renowned for its exceptional focus on student success. 

Location and campus 

Situated in the heart of Leeds, Leeds Arts University offers students the perfect blend of artistic inspiration and urban energy. The main campus is located opposite the University of Leeds, placing students at the centre of a dynamic and creative hub. 

It is just a 15-minute walk from the city centre and is 20 minutes away from the train station on foot. 

This vibrant location provides easy access to galleries, museums, theatres, and other cultural venues, offering a constant source of inspiration and opportunities for collaboration.     

Leeds Arts University actually has two campuses, each with its own distinct vibe:

  1. Blenheim Walk Campus (Higher Education)

This is the main campus, situated opposite the University of Leeds. 

It caters to undergraduate and postgraduate students. 

The atmosphere leans towards a more professional art school environment, likely due to its focus on preparing students for careers in the creative industries. 

  1. Vernon Street Campus (Further Education) 

Located just off Millennium Square, this campus is closer to the city centre. 

It houses students enrolled in foundation and extended diploma courses. 

The Vernon Street campus might have a bit more of a fresh-out-of-school energy, catering to those starting their artistic journeys.  

Need to know: 

  • Situated in the heart of Leeds, just a 15-minute walk from the city centre.
  • Close proximity to cultural venues provides abundant opportunities for collaboration.
  • Two campuses: Blenheim Walk Campus for higher education and Vernon Street Campus for further education.

Academic focus  

While the university is ranked 99th in the country, Leeds Arts University’s academic focus is squarely on the arts and their courses are designed to foster creativity and innovation in students, preparing them for careers in related industries.  

Some of their programmes include animation, fashion design, textile design, photography, and film making. 

Courses combine both lectures as well as studio work and practical application to help students develop the hands-on skills they need. 

In fact, the instructors are not just academics, but also seasoned professionals and accomplished artists who bring real-world experience into the classroom. 

The University also has a large-scale exhibition programme at the Blenheim Walk Gallery which attracts the university community, local residents, and international tourists. Previous exhibitions even featured famous artists Marwa Arsanios and Yoko Ono!            

Course/DepartmentUnited Kingdom RankingWorld Ranking
Art History1341863
Aesthetics 1403053
Mathematics 1426199

Need to know:   

  • The university’s focus on creativity and innovation is reflected in its diverse course offerings.
  • Courses combine lectures and practical studio work to develop hands-on skills.  

Student experience 

Leeds Arts University hosts a small but dynamic student population, just under 5,000 strong. Predominantly, 91% of students hail from the UK, while 6% represent international communities, and 3% come from the EU. The student body comprises 25% male and 75% female students. While this distribution may not be perfectly balanced, it fosters an environment where diverse perspectives and voices are valued and appreciated.  

The university’s societies are closely associated with creative pursuits like literature, poetry, performing arts, animation, and life drawing.   

Some students feel the need for more facilities and face challenges with communication. However, overall, Leeds Arts University seems to offer a student experience that is both creatively stimulating and supportive, all set in a dynamic city environment.    

Need to know:  

  • The student body is comprised of 91% UK students, with 9% from international communities. 
  • Societies cater to creative pursuits, fostering a dynamic and supportive environment.
  • While some students express the need for more facilities, overall satisfaction remains high.

University of Law 

University of Law in Leeds exterior shot at night time.

Craving a legal education that’s as dynamic as the courtroom itself? 

The University of Law – Leeds (ULaw Leeds) is a prestigious institution offering a unique blend of academic rigour and practical legal training. Formerly known as The College of Law of England and Wales, it achieved university status in 2021 and is now one of the largest law schools in the UK.  

While ULaw Leeds doesn’t have a traditional QS ranking, it boasts a remarkable record in student satisfaction. It was named the best university in England for Overall Student Satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2020 (NSS). 

ULaw Leeds boasts a faculty unlike any other. More than 250 of the instructors are qualified lawyers and business professionals, bringing their extensive practical experience directly into the classroom.  

The university’s extensive network reaches 91 of the top 100 law firms in the UK and includes exclusive relationships with prestigious US firms like Burges-Salmon and Howard Kennedy. 

Location and campus 

ULaw Leeds doesn’t have a sprawling campus. It occupies a centrally located building in Leeds, a major city in northern England. This prime location provides easy access to public transportation, including Leeds Railway Station, which offers connections to major UK cities.   

The campus does have a library, a mock courtroom, a café and study spaces. However, it is just a 3-minute walk from the Trinity Shopping Centre which has popular shops and a cinema complex.  

Need to know:  

  • Central Leeds location offers easy transit and access to amenities.
  • Campus features a library, mock courtroom, and vibrant social scene. 

Student experience 

ULaw Leeds fosters a global learning environment with over 8,000 students from more than 120 nationalities. This diversity enriches the campus community and provides a platform for international exchange. It also recognises the importance of language skills for international students. They offer pre-sessional English courses to help students hone their language abilities before embarking on their law studies.  

Need to know: 

  • Pre-sessional English courses aid international students.
  • Global student body of 8,000+ enhances campus diversity.    

Academic focus  

Forget memorising endless legal jargon. ULaw Leeds prioritises practical legal training. Their curriculum is designed to transform you into a courtroom-ready legal mind.   

SubjectRanking (CUG The Complete University Guide 2024) 
Law11th in the UK
Criminology15th in the UK

Think interactive workshops, simulated legal scenarios, and real-world problem-solving exercises – all under the guidance of experienced legal professionals. You won’t just be learning the law; you’ll be actively applying it, building the confidence and skills to tackle legal challenges head-on.

ULaw Leeds offers a comprehensive range of law degrees, including contract law, foundations of law, constitutional and administrative law, and criminal law. Students can also choose from various optional modules, such as human rights law and family law.  

The Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) are top contenders, equipping you with the qualifications to launch your legal career in the UK or abroad.  

Need to know:  

  • Ranked 11th in the UK for law and 15th in the UK for criminology. 
  • Practical legal training via workshops and real-world exercises.
  • LLB and GDL programmes prepare students for legal careers.  

Finding the right Leeds university for you 

Choosing the right university from the five great choices Leeds has to offer is all about finding your perfect fit. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling energy of city life or the supportive community atmosphere, Leeds has it all.  

From the world-class education and bustling campus life at the University of Leeds to the practical focus and industry connections at Leeds Beckett University, each university offers a unique experience. Leeds Trinity University provides an intimate and supportive atmosphere, while Leeds Arts University immerses students in the creative arts. The University of Law – Leeds offers dynamic legal education.

To make the most of your university experience, why not opt for fully furnished, all-inclusive accommodation, allowing you to focus on your studies and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle? 

We have a detailed guide to help you uncover the best areas to live, average rent prices, and accommodation options tailored to your needs and budget.  

For further information, you can contact the Study Inn Brotherton House Leeds office or book a room viewing to get a sneak peek into the accommodation!