Student Guides

The Ten Healthiest Universities In The UK Have Been Revealed

One in five students now identify as teetotal.


When you think of student life ‘health’ probably isn’t the first word that pops into your head.

Despite that, the stereotype of your typical student has witnessed a huge shift in recent years. In fact one in five students now identify as teetotal.

Not too long ago, we conducted the ‘Student Problem insight piece‘ which looked at the changing habits of students at university. We found that students were drinking less, smoking less and drug use had dropped.

Now new research from has highlighted the ten healthiest universities in the UK. This factors in the breadth of amenities across health, fitness and wellness, and the cost for students to access them. The research also looked at how student unions cater for sober students, with dedicated societies and events for overall wellbeing.

Points were attributed to:

  • Cost of top-tier student health+fitness membership
  • Range of facilities available under top tier health+fitness membership
  • Number of accessible yoga societies (as offered by student union)
  • Number of accessible meditation societies (as offered by student union)
  • Number of accessible mindfulness resources (inc. courses, campaigns, workshops and societies)
  • Number of societies for sober students/non-drinkers

Research found that the University of Nottingham was the best in the UK for healthy student living.

Nottingham offered the most comprehensive and accessible health and fitness facilities in the UK. That was reinforced by the university being crowned Sports University of the Year in the 2019 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. Its student gym membership was also found to be one of the most affordable, with the most comprehensive priced at just £159; with some universities demanding up to £630 for similar memberships. The university also offers mindfulness programmes to support students with maintaining mental wellbeing at all times, and not just during times of exam stress.

Coming in a close second was the University of Edinburgh, boasting a health and fitness membership equating to just £2.50 each week, and some of the best-ranked facilities in the UK. For mental wellbeing, the university even offers Mindfulness Training for students, and free weekly mindfulness sessions run by the university’s Honorary Mindfulness Chaplain. All the better when experienced in one of the country’s most serene and historical cities.

Below are the full standings for the UK’s healthiest universities:

  1. Nottingham
  2. Edinburgh
  3. York
  4. Glasgow
  5. Bristol
  6. Cambridge
  7. Newcastle
  8. Exeter
  9. St Andrews
  10. Imperial
  11. Birmingham
  12. Dundee
  13. Sussex 
  14. Lancaster
  15. Southampton
  16. Manchester
  17. Warwick
  18. Aberdeen
  19. Queen Mary
  20. Kings


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