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Top unis for nightlife: Which? University Student Survey 2017

When the sun goes down, will your university keep you entertained for three years? Or will your options run dry before the end of your first term? 

We surveyed more than 8,000 undergraduates in the Which? University Student Survey 2017 to find out how they rate the pubs, clubs and music venues found on their doorstep.

Find out below which universities were highly rated for nightlife, according to the students who are there already (and if you are one of said students, tweet us @whichuniuk your tips and recommendations):

Where can you find the best nightlife?

If a great night out is as important to you as campus facilities and teaching, then Newcastle is the place to be (again).

For the second year in a row, both Newcastle University and Northumbria University came top for nightlife, according to students:

Newcastle University

Newcastle University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Find yourself behind bars:
'[Go to] Sinners – there's a cage and they play hella cheesy music.'

Nostalgic in Newcastle:
'I would take them to Bier Keller and get them to sing cheesy songs from the 2000s while dancing on the tables, because we're millennials and singing to Take That and [doing] the macarena has been ingrained in our psyche.'

The 'trebles' are still popular:
'I'd take them to a few trebles bars – [it’s] free entry and three trebles for a fiver. Then we could go to a club nearby – you can walk everywhere in the city centre – and we'd probably go to Quids In at Illegitimate. It's cheap, highly populated with students and a great time.'

Northumbria University

Northumbria University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

The last stop of the night:
'Powerhouse is open until 4am longer than all the other places and is a good way to finish the night.'

Don't worry if you're not into clubbing...:
'I would take them along the Quayside as it has a range of different restaurants and bars with a very good atmosphere, and is scenic.'


Read our Newcastle city guide to learn more about its pubs and clubs, plus living costs, things to do and more.


Not going to Newcastle? Here's the best of the rest...

University of Birmingham (NEW FOR 2017)

University of Birmingham - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Broad Street is the place to be: 

'Broad Street has some of the best clubs in the country.'

University of Bristol

University of Bristol - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Like your cider?
'Bristol has a big cider culture so you will find a variety of pubs and even cider-specialist pubs that brew their own.'

Cardiff University

Cardiff University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

There’s only one word to describe Cardiff’s nightlife:
'It's amazing. There's always a student night in town.'

'The nightlife is amazing! There is always somewhere cheap no matter what night.'

'Night life is absolutely amazing.'

Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC)

Cardiff Metropolitan University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

You won't be bored in Cardiff:
'Cardiff has a club, pub or venue for everyone.'

University of Dundee (NEW FOR 2017)

University of Dundee - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Scotland isn't just Edinburgh and Glasgow:

'Dundee is particularly cheap compared to Edinburgh or Glasgow. There's a good range of places such as Liquid [and] Underground for your typical nightclub night out. Buskers [and] Fat Sams often have live band nights, [and] Reading Rooms have [trance and techno] DJ events.'

University of Glasgow (NEW FOR 2017)

University of Glasgow - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Check out Ashton Lane:

'Ashton Lane is two minutes away from University Gardens [and is] a really quirky place with bars, restaurants and a cinema. It can be a bit pricey but there are always offers on, especially during the weekdays.'

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Head to the centre:
'Sauchiehall Street and Bath Street – diverse range of music genres, bars and clubs in this area.'

University of Leeds (NEW FOR 2017)

University of Leeds - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

If you want to drink somewhere a little unique...:
'The Dry Dock [is a bar on] a boat on land – it's awesome.'


University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

Best of both worlds:
'I would take them to the William Gladstone (named 'Pub of the Year') [for] its reflection of Liverpool's historical heritage. Then for clubbing or for music I would take them to the Cavern Club or Concert Square for its diverse available venues.'

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool John Moores University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

There's still one main place to head to:
'Concert Square, the best bars for student night.'


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    University of Manchester

    University of Manchester - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    Like a laugh?
    'The comedy scene in Manchester needs more recognition because it's great.'

    Manchester Metropolitan University

    Manchester Metropolitan University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    Whatever London can do...
    'London’s nightlife LGBT scene is now going underground, but the LGBT scene in Manchester is thriving.'

    Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    One place came up a lot:
    'Rock City [is] a great alternative club and live music venue.'

    Royal Veterinary College, London (NEW FOR 2017)

    Royal Veterinary College - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    A suitably named destination for veterinary students:

    'Zoo bar [is] where everyone from RVC goes on a night out because we get in for free on Wednesdays.'

    University of Sheffield

    University of Sheffield - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    Lots of variety:
    'I'd take them to West Street and the Devonshire Quarter – a great range of bars, clubs pubs and restaurants for all tastes and budgets.'

    Sheffield Hallam University

    Sheffield Hallam University - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    What do you fancy?
    'There's a night out for everyone, from real ale classic pubs at Kelham Island and day drinks in Leopold Square, to live bands at Leadmill and cheap student bars on West Street.'

    University of Strathclyde

    University of Strathclyde - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    Perfect location:
    'Strathclyde is right in the middle of the busy Glasgow nightlife so there's something to suit everyone. The union is one of the best in Scotland.'

    University of Sussex

    University of Sussex - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    The famous Lanes in Brighton aren’t just for shopping:
    'Great little pubs run amok down there, and lots of them have a great atmosphere. You might not get a student discount or deals there, but the service is top notch.'

    University College London, University of London

    University College London - Which? University Student Survey 2017: Nightlife

    Location, location, location…:
    'It's very close to both Soho and Camden, thus the options are close to unlimited regardless of the genre of music you listen to, or any other form of nightlife activity you may be interested in.'

    About the Which? University Student Survey 2017

    We asked students to score their university on how diverse the local nightlife is.

    We merged the findings from surveying students in March/April 2017 with results from our March/April 2016 student survey so we could characterise a greater number of institutions, using a larger combined base of around 8,745 students.

    Where we have answers from at least 30 students, we analyse the results to calculate average scores and to highlight the group of top-performing universities overall.

    Note: Third year students in the 2016 cohort were excluded from this year’s data set as they would have finished their course.


    Read the full results of the Which? University Student Survey 2017

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