Russell Group finish degrees

These are the Russell Group unis where students are least likely to finish their degrees

Brb just dropping out


Have you ever thought of dropping out of uni? You throw the phrase around when you’re about seven weeks behind in your lectures but for a lot of people, their course, their uni or just university in general isn’t for them and do genuinely end up dropping out.

Well, The Complete University Guide 2025 ranks all universities on continuation, AKA the percentage of first-year students who finish their degrees or transfer to another course or uni. In other words, the percentage of students who don’t drop out.

The Russell Group university with the least number of dropouts is Cambridge, once again topping yet another ranking. 99 per cent of Cambridge students finish their degrees, leaving just one per cent of students to drop out. With an average of 4,300 first-year students, this means around 43 students drop out each year.

But the Russell Group with the highest dropout rate is Queen Mary University of London, which is also the lowest-ranking Russell Group overall. QMUL has a five per cent dropout rate which, given the average number of first-year students, is around 300 each year.

So these are the Russell Group unis where students are least likely to finish their degrees:

24. University of Cambridge – 99 per cent continuation rate

23. London School of Economics – 99 per cent continuation rate

22. University of Oxford – 98 per cent continuation rate

21. Durham University – 98 per cent continuation rate

20. University of Edinburgh – 98 per cent continuation rate

19. University of Bristol – 97 per cent continuation rate

18. University College London – 97 per cent continuation rate

17. University of Exeter – 97 per cent continuation rate

16. University of Southampton – 97 per cent continuation rate

15. University of Liverpool – 97 per cent continuation rate

14. University of Sheffield – 97 per cent continuation rate

13. University of York – 97 per cent continuation rate

12. University of Glasgow – 97 per cent continuation rate

11. University of Manchester – 97 per cent continuation rate

10. Newcastle University – 96 per cent continuation rate

9. University of Nottingham – 96 per cent continuation rate

8. University of Leeds – 96 per cent continuation rate

7. Cardiff University – 96 per cent continuation rate

6. University of Birmingham – 96 per cent continuation rate

5. University of Warwick – 96 per cent continuation rate

4. Queen’s University Belfast – 96 per cent continuation rate

3. Imperial College London – 95 per cent continuation rate

2. King’s College London – 95 per cent continuation rate

1. Queen Mary University of London – 95 per cent continuation rate

Related stories recommended by this writer:

These are the apprenticeships where you can actually earn more than Russell Group grads

• The Russell Group unis that have got worse this year, according to the Complete Uni Guide

• These are the most improved Russell Group unis in this year’s Complete University Guide