What Is A Red Brick University?

Global Ed


If you’ve been exploring global ed in the U.K, then you’ll probably have heard the term, ‘red brick university. To understand what this term means, you’ll need a super quick backstory, about British university history, and a little about the UK higher education system.

We look at it today

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is a red brick university?
  • List of red brick universities
  • Top courses to study in a red brick university

What is a red brick university?


The backstory

Britain underwent enormous social changes during the Industrial Revolution. There was a demand for skilled labour and a technically sound workforce. This demand, in turn, gave birth to many engineering and medical schools in the UK.

These schools were considered to be the centers of knowledge during the time. Over time, these turned into universities. In terms of architecture, these universities were distinct as a gothic-styled red brick was used to build them. And that’s really how few of these universities got the name “red brick universities”.

It was the Victorian building at the University of Liverpool that inspired these universities to build in a particular way, and it was the University of Birmingham that became the first independent university amongst the group of six universities.

Red brick universities, thus, are a group of six universities in the UK that received university status before the first world war. What makes these universities unique is the unique architectural marvel, the beautiful locations these universities are put up in, and the undefined campus.


List of red brick universities


Here is a list of the six universities that are part of the red brick universities and their ranks:

Name of the university UK Rank Year of achieving university status
University of Birmingham 13 1900
University of Bristol 14 1909
University of Leeds 16 1904
University of Liverpool 33 1903
University of Manchester 17 2004
University of Sheffield 28 1905

It is also important to know that all the six red brick universities are also part of the Russell Group, which is a group of prestigious universities that emphasise path-breaking research. Read the article on the Russell Group of universities for for more insights.


Top courses to study in a red brick university


University of Birmingham- University of Birmingham received its university status in 1900, and to date, it has never lost its charm. This university has the highest rank amongst all the other Red brick universities, and it is located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
University of Birmingham is popular for courses like Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Engineering, and Economics.

University of Bristol – University of Bristol received university status in 1909 and is a research university located in Bristol, England. The university is known for courses like Anatomy and Physiology, including biomedical science and neuroscience.

Anthropology, Civil engineering, Electrical engineering, including computer science and electronic engineering.

University of Leeds-Currently with the 16th rank, the University of Leeds is one of the most popular universities amongst the red brick university group. The University of Leeds got its university status in 1904 and is popular for courses like Accounting and Finance, Art and Design, Business and Management, Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, English, Marketing, and Mechanical Engineering.

University of Liverpool- University of Liverpool is a very well-known public research university that is based in the city of Liverpool and got its university status in 1903. Currently, it is ranked 33 in the UK university ranking. Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Architecture are the most popular courses at this university.

University of Manchester- The University of Manchester is a public research university in Manchester, England, which was founded in 2004 and currently has the 17th rank among the UK universities and 27th rank globally, in Engineering, East and South Asian Studies, Iberian, Languages, Marketing, Medicine, Middle Eastern and African Studies, Nursing, Pharmacy are the most popular courses at this university.

University of Sheffield- University of Sheffield got its university status in 1905 as it currently holds the 28th rank in the UK ranking and 95th rank globally according to the QS ranking. Law, Arts and Humanities, Social sciences, Education, Psychology, Clinical and health, and engineering are a few popular courses offered at this university.

So, if you wish to be part of any of these prestigious universities that are known for their research capability and historicity, then get in touch with us.



Date added
22.04.2022

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Global Ed

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