Top 10 Best Colleges at York University

Top 10 Best Colleges at York University

York is a fantastic university with an acceptance rate of around 79%. While it may not be the easiest to get into, its exceptional reputation and high-quality education make it a dream destination for many students. 

The University of York is a unique collegiate system, which enables a dynamic and supportive community for its students. Similar to Oxford or Cambridge, but much easier to get into and it’s a part of a Russell Group university.

In this guide, I will suggest the top 10 best colleges at the University of York, providing you with insights to help you make an informed decision when choosing a York college that best fits your needs.

Choosing a York College: Understanding the Collegiate System

Before we dive into the best colleges at York University, it’s essential to understand how the collegiate system works. 

The University York Collegiate system of 11 colleges. Each college has its unique character, traditions, and accommodation options, ensuring a diverse and enriching experience for students.

The collegiate system represents a small community within the larger university setting, fostering a sense of belonging and support. Students have the opportunity to participate in various social, cultural, and sporting activities organised by their colleges, creating a great university experience.

University of York Campus in England, UK

However, in my opinion, the best things and why I think York is a good university are COLLEGES and their student communities. You will feel the same vibe as in Oxford or Cambridge, but less pushy.


Most Popular York Colleges: What Sets Them Apart?

According to the latest data from York University, some of the most popular colleges by number of students are:

  • Halifax College
  • Vanbrugh College
  • Goodricke College
  • James College
  • Langwith College

Below is a full table University of York Colleges with a number of students attending in the academic year 2023/4.

CollegeNo of Students
Halifax College1,870
Vanbrugh College1,720
Goodricke College1,690
James College1,675
Langwith College1,660
Constantine College1,650
Anne Lister College1,350
Alcuin College1,315
Derwent College1,315
David Kato College1,100
Wentworth College50
Top 10 Best Colleges at York University

Top 10 Colleges at York University

Now let’s explain the best colleges at York University. 

Constantine College

With its prime location on the university’s East Campus, Constantine College is known for its excellent accommodation and vibrant international community. Opened in 2014 and very soon gained a reputation as one of the best colleges at York University. 

This college is particularly popular among law, management, and PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) students.

One of the standout features of Constantine College is its impressive room and student accommodation quality, which is considered among the best on campus. Additionally, the college offers a weekly free meal, providing students with a convenient and delicious dining option.

Langwith College

Langwith College is renowned for its lively atmosphere and strong sporting culture. Often referred to as the “party college” on the East Campus, it attracts students from various backgrounds who enjoy an active social life

It’s definitely the best college at the University of York for social life. 

The college boasts excellent room quality and a wide range of events and activities, including the popular Glasshouse, a social space that hosts various events throughout the year. 

Goodricke College

Goodricke College may not have a specific stereotype, but it is widely regarded as one of the best colleges at the University of York. With its modern buildings, high-quality rooms, and a generally quieter atmosphere, Goodricke College offers a conducive environment for an academic career.

Like several other colleges, Goodricke also provides a weekly meal, adding to its appeal. Its central location on the East Campus, close to various departments and amenities, makes it a convenient choice for many students.

James College

James College is known for its strong sporting tradition and lively social scene, especially among STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), psychology, and English students.

The college offers a mix of accommodation options, including catered and self-catered rooms, as well as ensuite and shared facilities. 

One of the advantages of James College is its prime location near several academic departments, making it convenient for students in those fields. 

Also, if you are in sports – then James is all about sports activities. You will not make a mistake choosing it.

Derwent College

Derwent College is often referred to as a very social community and is renowned for its lively social atmosphere. With its central location on the West Campus, it offers easy access to various amenities and departments.

While Derwent College is known for its lively nightlife and social events, it also provides a range of accommodation options, including catered and self-catered, ensuite and shared rooms. 

The college is praised for its good-quality catered food, making it an attractive choice for students seeking a well-rounded experience.

Vanbrugh College

Vanbrugh College is a diverse and well-rounded community, attracting students from various academic backgrounds, including sports, music, and the humanities. It offers a range of accommodation options, both catered and self-catered, with ensuite and shared facilities.

One of the advantages of Vanbrugh College is its central location on the West Campus, providing easy access to various departments and amenities. 

Vanbrugh College is known for its affordable prices, making it an attractive option for students on a budget.

Halifax College 

While Halifax College may be located further from the main campus, it offers a unique “village” atmosphere that many students find appealing. This college is particularly popular among students studying physics, engineering, and mathematics, as it is conveniently located near those departments.

Halifax College offers self-catered accommodation options, with both ensuite and shared facilities available. One of the standout features of this college is its own on-site Nisa shop, providing students with convenient access to essential goods and groceries.

Alcuin College

Alcuin College is a very quiet and academic college. It’s very popular among medical, chemistry and other Natural Science students. This means that is one of the best colleges at York University for Natural Science. 

Many students appreciate the college’s tranquil environment conducive to focused study.

The college offers self-catered, ensuite accommodation, and its prime location on the West Campus provides easy access to the library, medical school, and various other departments. 

Alcuin College is conveniently situated near a Nisa shop and a bus stop, making it a practical choice for many students.

Anne Lister College

As one of the newer colleges at the University of York (opened in 2022), Anne Lister College stands out for its top-notch accommodation and excellent facilities. 

The college is situated on the East Campus, making it an ideal choice for students studying subjects such as law and management.

There is a big stereotype that college has a strong LGBTQ+ community due to Anne Lister’s footsteps.

All rooms at Anne Lister College are ensuite and self-catered, providing students with a comfortable living environment. I can say one of the best colleges at the University of York in terms of accommodation.

With its modern facilities and strategic location, this college is expected to attract a diverse mix of students seeking a well-rounded university experience.

Wentworth College

Wentworth College is the graduate college at the University of York, catering primarily to postgraduate students. It’s expensive as well.

As expected, the college offers a more serious and focused environment, attracting students who prioritise their studies, work and research.

Wentworth College provides self-catered, ensuite accommodation, including the option for studio apartments. 

While it may be more expensive than some other colleges, the college’s high-quality facilities and exclusive graduate community make it an attractive choice for postgraduate students seeking a dedicated academic environment.

Final Thoughts

By considering factors such as location, accommodation options, academic reputation, and social atmosphere, future students can make an informed decision about which York College best suits their preferences and needs

Ultimately, the University of York’s collegiate system offers a rich and diverse range of experiences, ensuring that every student can find a community that aligns with their aspirations and personal goals.