How to Get Admission into Top UK Universities

If your child is studying or going to study in the UK; how to get admission into top UK Universities might be at the top of your mind. There are several things to consider in addition to some unknown tips and best practices.

The decisions start right from choosing the right A-Level school that will prepare your child for the future. Other things to consider are the right combination of subjects for the A-Level’s, how to access scholarships and more.


top uk universities
Ashbourne A-Level College London

In 2018 and 2019; 54% of students who attended Ashbourne A Level College have gone onto Russell Group Universities.

At Ashbourne, on average incoming grades are improved by 1.65 grades per subject entry. Therefore, on average retake students come in with BBB and achieve a minimum of A*AA when they join Ashbourne.

The right A level subject combination is very important. Russell Group prefers students to have at least two facilitating subjects (Sciences, Mathematics, Geography, History, Modern Language).

Learn more about the Top UK Universities

What are the Russell Group Universities? They are a group of 24 of the UK’s top higher education institutions and promote excellent teaching and research. These schools are at the top of the UK rankings, as well as some global league tables.

List of Russell Group Universities
  • University of Birmingham
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Cambridge
  • Durham University
  • University of Bristol
  • King’s College London
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Exeter
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Glasgow
  • Imperial College London
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • LSE (London School of Economics & Political Science)
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • UCL (University College London)
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York
Teaching Staff Ratio

On average, there are more teaching staff available per student at a top UK University than other universities. Their graduates have a great reputation for securing high-paying jobs.

Choice of A-Level Subjects

The right A level subject combination is very important for securing entry into a top UK University. In general, the Russell Group Universities prefers students to have at least 2 facilitating subjects which include; Sciences, Maths, Geography, History, or Modern Language.

Many people have absolutely no idea what they want to do at university or for their career. In this situation it is not a problem, what is important is to keep your options open when it comes to your A-level choices. The best thing to do in this scenario is to choose subjects you enjoy.

It is also important to keep in mind that it is not advisable to take courses that are too similar. It is better to demonstrate a wider breadth of knowledge and skills; so rather than choose Biology and Human Biology which are very similar, you can choose subjects such as Biology and Chemistry. In another scenario, if a student wants to study music; in addition to music; recommended subjects could be English Literature, History or Mathematics.

Could there be wrong choices?

When it comes to applying for a top university it is best to avoid non-traditional subjects; such as general studies, dance or home economics. Rather the choice of these should be as the fourth or fifth subject alongside three solid traditional choices.

How Important are Facilitating subjects?

Choosing subjects from the list of facilitating subjects are critical in increasing your chances. These are the subjects that are most often required by top universities. These subjects include; Mathematics and Further Mathematics, English Literature, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History and Languages (Classical and Modern).

Picking options from this list will keep your options open. Furthermore, it is important to think about a wider set of possibilities. So rather than choosing Business Studies, Economics and Law; which will set you well for an Economics degree at most universities. You can choose Mathematics, Geography and a language will be equally good preparation for an Economics degree.

FREE Workshop



Ashbourne College WorkshopYou are invited to a FREE workshop on how to prepare yourself for a top UK University. The workshop is in collaboration with LagosMums and Mike Kirby, Principal of Ashbourne College, an A-Level College in London.

The format of this workshop is a great one as it gets you to learn in-depth what it takes to prepare your child or ward to get admission into a top UK University. The choice of your A-Level School is an important aspect of this process.

The workshop is FREE to attend but registration is required.

Date: Saturday, February 29 2020

Time: 9am – 12 noon

Venue: Southern Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos

Register at

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