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Happy Dry January! These are officially the top 10 most sober universities in the UK

How is the University of Manchester on the list?


Being sober as a student isn’t easy, with many activities, socials and society events revolving around alcohol in some way or another. Whether it be the trebs of Newcastle or the venoms of Exeter, heavy drinking at uni is almost a given, regardless of where you study. But despite the stereotypes and during a move by young people away from excessive boozing for multiple beneficial reasons, many universities are creating resources for sober students or those who are looking for alternative ways to spend their weekends while at uni.

A new study by This Is Fresh has revealed the most sober UK universities, taking things like supportive environments, the number of societies where drinking is not part of the specified culture, the numbers of pubs and bars in the area, and support services available for students who may be struggling with drinking habits and mental health into account. And some of the unis which made the cut are seriously surprising. These are officially the top 10 most sober UK universities.

10. Coventry University

most sober uk universities

Coming in at a respectable 10th place, Coventry University has been placed as one of the most sober UK universities. Be that the laid back air Coventry has about it, or perhaps the lack of clubs to go out in – it’s an achievement nonetheless. Jokes aside, Coventry has a total of 58 sober societies and nine support services. Putting that together with the 110 bars in the area, the wide range of alcohol-free activities including escape rooms and tabletop gaming place the university in 10th place.

9. University of Bristol

The university of Bristol has been awarded ninth place, with over 386 sober societies available for students to join. Not only that, there are 12 support services available, despite a total of 242 bars in the local area.

The university has clearly cottoned on to the new surge in sober students in the UK, hosting numerous sober Freshers’ Week events including jewellery making socials, coffee get togethers and yoga. It also provides support to students struggling with addiction, with counselling, treatment or rehabilitation offered through student services, as well as the student counselling service. Students are also able to suspend their academic studies to provide them with a period of rehabilitation and recovery. Go Bristol!

8. University of Nottingham

Providing a range of health and wellbeing services, students can also find facts about substances and addiction and a booklet on alcohol and drug safety on the university’s website. Not bad for a city that does it all.

7. Nottingham Trent University

most sober uk universities

Showing up uni of and the second Notts based university to make the top 10 list, Nottingham Trent University has been considered the seventh most sober university in the UK. With a total of 132 sober societies and 17 support services, there are 260 local bars in the area and plenty of alcohol free activities to do.

Nottingham Trent also provide a list of sober activities for students to try out on their SU website, including taking part in a student version of Come Dine With Me and making DIY room decor. How wholesome.

6. University of Leeds

The University of Leeds got sixth place due to the the large amount of support services available to students who may be struggling with addiction or alcohol related issues. With 24 different access to support and 366 sober societies, the university have plenty of opportunities for students to try new things and have fun without alcohol. The Uni of Leeds has 440 local bars and has recently submitted an to Medium listing a wide variety of sober activities to enjoy during the notoriously boozy Freshers’ Week.

5. University of Edinburgh

If you’re a sober student in the Scottish capital you’re in luck, because the University of Edinburgh has 434 sober societies and nine support services on hand for students. It may come as a surprise to hear it’s the fifth most sober UK university, but with a huge range of activities to get on with that don’t come with a hangover, Edinburgh Uni has plenty to offer. The university even has a nice list of music, dance, art and film societies at the uni on their students’ association website.

4. King’s college London

most sober uk universities

Vibrant nightlife isn’t all London has to offer, with King’s College being surrounded by a whole range of wholesome activities for students to indulge in. With 299 sober societies and 50 support services, King’s has a healthy choice of sports clubs, societies, volunteer opportunities and student media events. That being said, the uni is in the middle of no less than 3540 bars, so there’s something for everyone if Dry January isn’t going well for you.

3. University College London

With just the slightest smidge of competitiveness, UCL beat King’s by one place and secured itself as the fourth best sober university. Situated across London, there really are no end of options for students dodging the booze. With 377 alcohol-free societies, and access to 50 support services, UCL students have a huge range of choice when it comes to alternative ways to keep busy.

2. University of Manchester 

Although drinking culture may seem big in Manchester, with 1912 bars accessible from the university, the UoM has been recognised as of one of the best institutions to consider for non-drinkers. Crowned as the second best sober university in the UK and with 415 sober societies and 33 support services available, there’s not a lot you can’t do in the northern powerhouse. If brunching or sports doesn’t quite cut it, the university even provided a handy list of sober activities on its website.

1. Glasgow University

most sober uk universities

Taking the bacon and crowned as number one most sober university in the UK, Glasgow University has impressed us all. Despite a healthy 223 local bars, and the notoriously known Pints of Fun that you’ll no doubt have heard of if you know absolutely anyone who studies there, the university actually offers 344 sober societies and 19 support services for students.

On top of that, students can find a list of resources on the university website to help with battling addiction and substance misuse. Rather unsurprisingly, students can never be short of something to do in Glasgow, so it makes sense that it’s the number one place to go as a student whose life doesn’t revolve around a vodka and coke.

For more fun features like this rundown of the most sober UK universities, like The Tab on Facebook. 

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