The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s top professional, scientific and technological universities. Named as The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2016, Surrey has a world-class profile and a leading reputation in teaching and research. The Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey has an international reputation as a centre of excellence in research. A particular area of strength is research methodology. We were also praised for our research environment, which was rated joint 6th in the country. This reflects our strong postgraduate community, diverse research centres, research training activities, and funding successes.



Durham University is distinctive - a residential collegiate university with long traditions and modern values. We seek the highest distinction in research and scholarship and are committed to excellence in all aspects of education and transmission of knowledge. Our research and scholarship affect every continent. We are proud to be an international scholarly community which reflects the ambitions of cultures from around the world. We promote individual participation, providing a rounded education in which students, staff and alumni gain both the academic and the personal skills required to flourish.



Newcastle University has a world-class reputation for research excellence. We are a member of the Russell Group: the association of leading research-intensive UK universities. We have one of the largest European Union research portfolios in the UK. Our research links cross the globe, including strategic partnerships with Monash University in Australia and Groningen University in the Netherlands. We have a proven track record of meeting the most pressing societal challenges through socially relevant research. REF 2014 confirms our global academic status. The University’s research into areas such as neuroscience, english language and literature and computing science rated as amongst the leading in the UK.



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UCL is one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary universities, with more than 13,000 staff and 38,000 students from 150 different countries. Established in 1826 in Bloomsbury, UCL was one of the two founding institutions of the University of London.


With founding principles of academic excellence and research aimed at addressing real-world problems continuing to inform its ethos to this day, UCL operates in a global context and is committed to excellence, innovation and the promotion of global understanding in all its activities, from research, teaching and learning to enterprise and community engagement.


Six Grand Challenges support cross-disciplinary research, a key part of UCL's Research Strategy. These challenges are Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Cultural Understanding, Human Wellbeing, Transformative Technology, and Justice & Equality. UCL’s dedication to world-class research, education and innovation is recognised through its top ten world ranking (QS World Rankings 2019). In the most recent Research Excellence Framework, UCL was the top-rated university in the UK for research strength.


Warwick University

The University of Warwick has made outstanding progress in a very short time. We are one of the UK's leading universities, with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry. We’ve secured a unique reputation through our ability to combine excellence, creativity and intellectual rigour with agility, professionalism and sustainability.



Founded on principles of excellence, equality and opportunity for all, the University of York opened in 1963 with just 230 students. Since then we have become one of the world's leading universities, carving out a reputation as an academic powerhouse where a clear focus on excellence has secured national and international recognition alongside longer established institutions.  A member of the elite Russell Group of universities, we are a dynamic, research-intensive university committed to the development of life-saving discoveries and new technologies to tackle some of the most pressing global challenges.