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What is the Russell Group?

What is the Russell Group?

by Caroline Hardaker

If you are thinking about studying at a UK university you will probably have heard of the Russell Group.

But what is it? Which universities are in the group? And what makes them special? Read on to find out.


What is the Russell Group?

The Russell Group is a group of 24 world-class, research-intensive UK universities that are committed to:

  • producing the very best research
  • providing an outstanding teaching and learning experience
  • developing strong links with business and the public sector

When was the group formed?

The group dates back to 1994 and Newcastle University is one of its founding members.


How old are the universities in the Russell Group?

This varies – from 50 years old to nearly 1,000 years old. Newcastle University can trace its origins back to its School of Medicine and Surgery, established in 1834, and Armstrong College, founded in 1871.


What is special about the Russell Group?

Each member university is unique, but as a group they produce more than two-thirds of the UK's world-leading research.

This world-class research also shapes how Russell Group universities teach, with top academics at the cutting edge of their discipline passing on their expertise to students.

As a result, the group has a global reputation for the high-quality education its universities offer.

Russell Group universities also work with government and industry, and have strong links with major multinational businesses and international organisations.


Is the Russell Group prestigious?

Universities in the group rank highly – not just in UK league tables, but in international rankings, too.

Because of their reputation for research and academic excellence, they attract some of the best academics, and a diverse student population from around the world.


How hard is it to get into a Russell Group university?

Because of the reputation of Russell Group universities, competition for places can be tough, and you may need higher grades to apply.

However, entrance requirements do vary depending on the course you choose and the university. Always check the entry requirements of the Russell Group university you are interested in.


Are Russell Group universities popular with international students?

The Russell Group estimates its universities teach:

  • a quarter of all undergraduate students
  • a third of all postgraduate students
  • four out of five doctors and dentists
  • more than a third of engineers
  • 63% of mathematicians
  • 58% of physical scientists
  • 50% of linguists

Nearly a third of students at Russell Group universities come from outside of the UK.


What can I study at a Russell Group university?

Russell Group universities offer a huge range of degree programmes – at Newcastle you can choose from over 185 undergraduate degree programmes and more than 300 postgraduate degrees.


Will a Russell Group education help me get a job?

A degree from a Russell Group university is respected around the world.

The group’s close ties with business and industry mean you will get real opportunities to network with potential employers.

Because of the outstanding teaching Russell Group universities deliver, you will become a highly-qualified, highly-motivated graduate with the skills employers are looking for.

We hope you have found this blog useful. You can find out more about the Russell Group here and you can also explore what the Russell Group learning experience is like at Newcastle University here.