University Sports Teams: Who is the best?

Life in the UK
Student Life
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Sport at UK universities is a big deal. At most universities in the country, there are no lectures on a Wednesday afternoon, with the time being dedicated solely to sports events and matches! BUCS (British Universities and College Sports) is the central governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK, delivering more than 50 sports to almost 170 universities. Their league programme consists of over 5,800 teams, with over 120 championship events being held each year.


One of the best things about universities in the UK is the number of sports teams and clubs on offer. Students can take part in everything, from football to quidditch, and from archery to ballroom dancing. No matter what you are in to, you will find fellow like-minded students! 


If you are a major sports fan, you may be considering the quality of the universities teams when deciding on where to study. That's where Team AppUK come in. We've scoured through the BUCS league tables for you, finding the best universities for the sports you love. Read on to find out more!

American Football

The University of Edinburgh

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 3rd

The top university in the Scottish capital came in at 3rd place on the BUCS league tables last year, only narrowly missing out on the top spot. The team, also known as the Edinburgh Predators, are one of the best American Football teams in Scotland.

The university itself is ranked 19th globally, and offers a world class education to international students from all over. Founded in 1583, the historic institution is the sixth oldest university in the English speaking world. The University of Edinburgh offers a wide range of master's courses, from MSc Accounting and Finance, to MA Fashion. 


Cardiff Metropolitan University

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 1st

The football team at Cardiff Metropolitan University are one of the top teams in the UK, and actually play in the Welsh Premier League!  The club has a number of different teams, suitable for all abilities. The 1st team has recently been identified as a 'high performance' club, and as such enjoys additional funding and access to top facilities and coaching.

Cardiff Metropolitan University is the second university in the Welsh capital, and offers a high rate of student satisfaction along with low living and tuition costs. It is extremely popular with students from around the world, boasting an international student population of 21%. Courses available range from MA English Literature, to MSc Mobile Technologies.



University of Birmingham

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 2nd

The University of Birmingham’s athletics squad consistently ranks within the top 3 in the country, and has strong links with Ivy League Universities in the US. Just last year, they travelled over to America to visit, and compete with, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Harvard, and Yale. Previously alumni include Olympians and Commonwealth gold medallists!

The university itself ranks 16th in the UK, and offers a great experience for international students from all over the world. Just over one in ten students at the university are international, coming from over 145 countries. Courses available at the University of Birmingham include MSc Advanced Computer Science, and MA Contemporary History.

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University of Bath

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 2nd

The University of Bath Badminton Club is one of the largest sports clubs at the University and is the second most successful university badminton club in the country. They welcome players of all abilities, whether students want to compete nationally, or are just there for a bit of fun.

The University of Bath ranks 12th in the UK, and is one of the best 'young' universities in the country, having received its royal charter university status in 1966. The campus overlooks the city of Bath, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and offers world class facilities for students. Courses available at the university range from MSc Biosciences, to MA International Relations.


Northumbria University

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 1st

The Northumbria University basketball team, also known as 'Team Northumbria' came top in the BUCS leagues last season. They have a close relationship with the Newcastle Eagles, the professional team in the region, and use the same training facilities and match venues. The team works with the Eagles, and Basketball England to "provide an elite athlete player pathway with high performance coaches".

The university itself is one of the country's highest ranking new universities, and is located in the vibrant and popular city of Newcastle, in the north-east of the UK. With low living costs, and high student satisfaction, it is extremely popular with students from all over the world. Courses available include MA Arts and Media Management, and MSc Engineering Management.


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Leeds Beckett University

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 2nd

The Leeds Beckett University Boxing Club is one of the fastest growing student teams at the university. They welcome students of all abilities, and the competitive team boasts England select representative and members of Team GB Olympic squad!

The university is one of three main universities in the centre of Leeds, and is the 15th largest in the UK. Low tuition fees and living costs makes it a top choice for both international and UK based students. Courses available range from MA Architecture to MSc International Tourism and Hospitality Management.



University of Exeter

-          2015/16 BUCS ranking = 2nd

The University of Exeter's cricket team is one of the best in the country, and enjoys the use of the facilities at the state of the art Sir Christopher Ondaatje Devon Cricket Centre under the supervision of expert coaches. They also have an indoor cricket team, meaning that there is no break during the winter!

The university is based down on the south-west coast of England, in picturesque Devon. Formed in 1955, it is a member of the Russell Group leading universities, ranking in the top 10 in the UK. The university has over 18,000 students, from 130 different countries around the world. Courses on offer at the University of Exeter include MSc Marketing and Financial Services, and MA International Film Business.


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If you have any further questions about university sport in the UK, and how you can apply to any of the above universities, contact Team AppUK on

ApplicationUK's easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.


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