Which Are the Best UK Universities for Psychology?

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How to Find the Best University for Your Goals

On this page, we will look at the leading UK university rankings and highlight some of the most flexible and cost-effective part-time online courses in Psychology available from UK universities.

When we highlight a course or university, it does not mean these courses or the institution are better than others. Trying to assess different education options is not a zero-sum game. It’s also good to be aware that some smaller specialised universities do not get picked up in the university rankings. In contrast, other universities choose not to share data with the ranking organisations.

Understanding which is the right course for you depends on your professional development goals and particular interests in the subject area. Doing your research is key to finding the right UK university to study psychology.

UK University League Tables for Psychology

The main rankings in the UK are The Times, The Guardian and the Complete University Guide. The Times and the Complete University Guide focus on research excellence and student satisfaction. Because of this, they produce similar results. In contrast, The Guardian puts more weight on how well students rate the teaching and assessment. This variation in methodology means that the guardian rankings produce different results compared to the other two.

It’s important to remember that there is no definitive way to rank and compare universities when looking at league tables. Below are the top universities for psychology according to the main UK rankings.

Top UK universities for Psychology- The Guardian

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Bath
  • University of Oxford
  • University of St Andrews
  • UCL (University College London)
  • King’s College London
  • Cardiff University
  • University of York
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Warwick


You can view The Guardian rankings in full here

Top UK universities for Psychology- The Times

  • University of Cambridge
  • UCL (University College London)
  • King’s College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • London School of Economics and Political Science
  • University of Kent
  • University of Manchester
  • Cardiff University
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Warwick


You can view the full  The Times rankings here

Top UK universities for Psychology- The Complete University Guide

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Oxford
  • UCL (University College London)
  • University of Bath
  • King’s College London
  • University of St Andrews
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • Durham University
  • Cardiff University


You can view the full Complete University Guide rankings here

Problems with University Rankings

University rankings are an established way of comparing institutions, but they are not perfect or without their critics. Therefore, when looking at rankings, it is vital to understand how and what they are comparing. For example, if the ranking is weighted to undergraduate outcomes, would it accurately reflect a Master’s degree at that university?

Also, there may be very little actual difference between places in a top 10 and a top 20 university. Minor differences can significantly impact the place held in rankings but mean very little in the real world.

A university’s quality of teaching and learning outcomes can be consistent year after year, but they may go up or down in rankings as other universities’ scores change or the way the tables are calculated is updated.

Dr Jelena Brankovic, a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, has written an excellent article about the absurdity of university rankings and how her university climbed 120 places in one year.   

Top Ranked Universities that Teach Psychology Online

In no particular order, these are the Uk universities that are in the main rankings for psychology that provide online courses.

  • Staffordshire University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • Glyndwr University, Wrexham
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Sunderland
  • AECC University College
  • University of Derby Online Learning
  • Aston University, Birmingham
  • Coventry University
  • Brunel University London
  • University of Essex Online
  • University of London Worldwide
  • SOAS University of London
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Liverpool Online Programmes
  • King’s College London, University of London
  • Ulster University
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • Manchester Metropolitan Universit


Specialised Universities that Teach Psychology Online

These universities do not appear in the university rankings s they are specialist education providers who may not produce all the metrics used to quantify and compare institutions, such as research output or scholarships provided. However, all the universities listed on this page have high academic standards and are recognised bodies with degree-awarding status.


Flexibility and Time to Complete

How much time you have to study can impact which courses are an option for you. Most online psychology degrees and Master’s programmes are part-time and have fixed time frames. But some options offer more flexibility. They can be completed full-time or over a longer time frame. 

You can use our study time calculator to get a feeling of timeframes based on how many hours a week you can dedicate to a course to help focus your study options. 

Most Flexible Psychology Master’s Degrees

These online Psychology courses allow studying full or part-time over several years. 

University of Law

MSc Psychology (Conversion)

Full-time or Part-time

University of London – 

Organizational Psychology MSc

1 to 5 years

Psychology Degrees with the Lowest Tuition Fees

These online Masters in Psychology have some of the lowest tuition fees. 

University of Wolverhampton

MSc Psychology


Wrexham Glyndwr University

MSc Psychology


Open university

MSc Psychology


Course Content and Learning Experience

Once you have narrowed down your choice before you submit an application, we recommend contacting the universities and requesting all the information they have about the courses; the syllabus, the academics and the learning platform/ experience. In addition, most universities offer live webinars for prospective students to meet the academics and ask questions about the course.

What's on this page

University Rankings