What are "Red-Brick" Universities?

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February 24, 2023
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
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The red-brick Universities refer to several UK universities that were founded around the early 20th century. The phrase "red-brick university" comes from the Victorian era, when several specialised colleges became separate universities (late 18th - early 19th centuries). Because of the prevalent brickwork during the period, this is how they got their name. The Victoria Building at the University of Liverpool, namely served as the term's primary inspiration. Large cities with an industrial heritage are host to most red-brick universities . Additionally, they place more emphasis on disciplines that are applied or related to the actual world, such as engineering and architecture.

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Are red-brick universities the same as Russell Group universities?

The words "Russell Group" and "red-brick university" are sometimes used interchangeably by students. But they are two separate university groupings with different connotations. For additional details about it, read our page on Russell Group Universities. Here, it's crucial to remember that universities might belong to both categories (i.e. it can be a red-brick university as well as a Russell Group university, e.g. University of Birmingham).

Which universities are red-brick universities?

The University of Birmingham - Birmingham University is a research-heavy institution. The first of the red-brick institutions to achieve autonomous university status, is also a member of the Russell Group.

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The University of Bristol - The University of Bristol is a Russell Group institution with a focus on research. Situated in southwest England.

The University of Leeds - Situated in northern England, the University of Leeds is a part of the Russell Group of institutions.

The University of Liverpool - Located in the northwest, it is an English port city, Liverpool, the University of Liverpool is a Russell Group institution.

The University of Manchester - The biggest single-site university in the nation, the University of Manchester is a part of the esteemed Russell Group of universities.

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The University of Sheffield - The University of Sheffield, a founding member of the Russell Group of universities, was established in 1897. In northern England, to be precise.

The University of Reading - Reading, a historic town in southern England, is home to the University of Reading, which was granted university status in 1926.

The University of Nottingham - Founded in 1948, the Russell Group university known as the University of Nottingham was first established.

The Newcastle University: Situated in northeaster England, Newcastle University is a Russell Group institution.

It is significant to note that the Russell Group, a distinguished alliance of research-intensive colleges, includes the six original red-brick universities. Many students think that red-brick, or Russell Group, institutions provide a higher level of degree when choosing a university. There are, however, a lot of additional things to consider. What matters most is whether the university has a good reputation for the programme you wish to take. For instance, the University of Strathclyde, which is neither a Russell Group nor red-brick university, is ranked among the best in the UK for engineering and its business school.

The price of tuition, scholarships, bursaries, local living expenses, the university's connections with local businesses, the availability of athletic facilities, and extracurricular activities are other considerations. Choosing the option that best meets your needs requires weighing these aspects against your criteria.

Are you planning to start studying in a red-brick university soon? Here you can find some tips to make the most out of it!

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