10 Best Football Colleges in the UK in 2022

Football colleges in the Uk combine academics and sporting activities creating a fine balance between sporting and intellectual learning.

Football is one of the most popular in the UK, dating back to the 1860s.

Although you may have a natural football talent, football colleges and academies will educate you on how to function properly as part of a team and also develop your talents to a perfect standard.

There are several benefits to attending football colleges as, without them, your footballing career and dream will be rendered obsolete.

Hence, the reason for curating a list of the best football colleges in the UK will certainly help you in your journey toward becoming a professional football player.

Does the UK have Football Colleges?

As one of the oldest and most popular sports, the UK has some of the best football colleges in the world that will certainly improve your football skills.

Uk universities are ideal for student-athletes seeking to get the whole football program experience. Universities like Demont, Manchester Metropolitan, and Liverpool are not only known for having the best football teams but for also offering Sports scholarships, excellent facilities, and an opportunity to join top football clubs.

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How Many College Football Teams are in the UK?

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) is the governing body for higher education sports in the United Kingdom. 

Football is known as the Beautiful Game in the Uk, and about 153 college football teams play actively in the BUCS games. 

Teams such as Cambridge University FC, Newcastle University FC, Team Bath FC, Oxford University A.F.C, Pegasus A.F.C, Team Bury FC, and Andover Town FC are some of the football colleges that play competitive football in the UK.

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Does the UK have Ivy League Schools?

The Ivy League is a collegiate conference of some of the most prestigious institutions such as Havard, Princeton, and Columbia University.

Unfortunately, the Uk does not border any of the Ives. Notwithstanding the situation,   the Russell Group is considered equivalent to the American Ivy League of prestigious universities. 

The Russell Group is a self-selected body representing Britain’s foremost research-led universities. It encompasses about 24 universities around the United Kingdom and is perceived as the best university in the country.

The group comprises the following universities in no particular order:

  1. University of Cambridge 
  2. University of Oxford
  3. University of Warwick
  4. University of Leeds
  5. University of Birmingham
  6. The University of Manchester 
  7. The University of Edinburgh 
  8. University of Bristol 
  9. University of Southampton
  10. The University of Sheffield
  11. Newcastle University 
  12. Nottingham University
  13. University of Liverpool 
  14. University of Glasgow
  15. Cardiff University
  16. University College London
  17. King’s College London
  18. London School of Economics 
  19. Imperial College London 
  20. Durham University
  21. Queen’s University Belfast
  22. University of Exeter
  23. Queen Mary University of London
  24. University of York

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What are the Best Football Colleges in the UK?

The football game is genuinely a British sport, and it is seen as Uk’s pride and glory. It was invented in the UK many years ago, and today it’s the most popular sport both in the UK and Europe. 

Searching for a good football college may be quite challenging as there are so many colleges and academies out there.

Without further ado, in no specific order, here’s a list of the ten (10) best football colleges in the Uk.

#1. University of Liverpool

As one of the Russell Group of Schools,  the University of Liverpool is one of the best UK Universities for student-athletes looking to develop their football skills.

The university is located in the city that lives and breathes football; it is home to UK’s fiercely competitive football teams Liverpool FC and Everton FC who play in the Premier League.

In addition, it has nine grass football pitches spread over two locations: Wyncote and Greenbank. The pitches at Greenbank are reserved for students only and are used for the Campus League. It also has a full-size 3G pitch at Wyncote, which our student clubs train on as well.

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#2. Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University also known as Manchester City is home to the oldest and the most successful football club in England. 

The University takes pride in offering exceptional facilities, sports clubs, and excellent programs for football enthusiasts who wish to build a career in sports. Also, the university is ranked amongst the top 5 universities in the UK for its sports science courses.

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#3. Wolverhampton University

This University is famous for its professional football team known as Wolves FC. Additionally, The University of Wolverhampton has an outstanding sports department that helps professional athletes and students participate actively in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) competition. 

The university also offers Sports Scholarship Scheme for focus sports like Football, Basketball, and Judo valued at £4,500 over three years. 

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#4. DeMont Fort University, Leicester

This is another prominent university that is known for its love for football. Student-athletes in search of football colleges may find interest in this university. 

DeMont Fort University offers exceptional facilities, training workshops, and events to help students participate in competitive sports and represent the university through different sports teams. 

In addition, it also supports its students with scholarship awards of up to £6,000, sports clubs, and a range of courses to excel in the sports industry.

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#5. Cardiff Metropolitan University

As one of the most promising universities in the field of football, the university offers opportunities for young talents to improve their football skills.

Its sports academy functions under the Football Association of Wales (FAW). Today, it is considered to have one of the most credible football programs in South Wales. 

Gratitude to the qualified coaches, who are a part of Cardiff Met FC in the JD Welsh Premier League, Cardiff Met FC members develop both physical and academic skills.

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#6. University of South Wales (USW)

The University of South Wales (USW) is known for its impressive football programs which are aimed at producing qualified coaches, professional footballers, and sports scientists.

Additionally, 94% of USW students are pleased with their curriculum and future job opportunities, which cover both European and American vacancies. 

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#7. Durham University

Durham University is recognized for involving students from different colleges in three (3) football and three (3) futsal teams they manage on campus. These six (6) teams successfully perform in the BUCS league, which serves as an essential career upgrade for the players. 

Quite a few great professional football players have graduated from this university. For example, Jonny Giles graduated from Durham University and signed up with renowned UK men’s football teams.

Also, both residents and international students can apply for scholarships, however, they can either do an undergraduate or postgraduate one respectively.

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#8. University of Bath

Bath teams were made from the former Team Bath FC’s FA, which brought the university under the spotlight. It’s been years since Bath teams started cooperating with Bath City FC, which allowed them to easily transfer student-athletes to the higher leagues. 

Aside from advancing your football skills, the university ensures that students grab the available academic opportunities.

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#9. St. Mary’s University

St. Mary’s University is proud of its women’s futsal teams taking the leading positions amongst the competitors in the South-Eastern Region. 

The local FC also has teams for men, in both football and futsal. What is interesting is that they welcome players regardless of their talent – to develop their skills properly.

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#10. Northumbria University

The university is based in Newcastle upon Tyne. It is definitely among the best colleges to play soccer. Team Northumbria is highly popular across the globe for its well-trained football players. Slowly, by giving stellar performances in various games, the competitive team made its way up the Northern Football Alliance and later on, to the Northern League. 

Now, the university has five football and six futsal teams, all of which are very popular and well-known for their achievements.

Again, the social aspect is crucially important for Northumbria. Therefore, there are multiple University cups held annually with players of all levels being involved.

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What are the Division 1 (d1) Football Colleges in the UK?

As the highest division, it comprises colleges and academies that generate the highest revenue in football. It usually consists of about 24 teams.

Listed in no particular form, the Division 1 (d1) football colleges in the UK are as follows:

  1. Liverpool
  2. Manchester United
  3. Everton
  4. Aston Villa
  5. Arsenal
  6. Manchester City
  7. Burnley
  8. Bolton Wanderers 
  9. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  10. Sunderland
  11. Blackburn Rovers
  12. Tottenham Hotspur
  13. Newcastle United
  14. West Ham United
  15. Derby County
  16. Sheffield United
  17. Leeds United
  18. Preston North End
  19. Leicester City
  20. Crystal Palace 
  21. Sheffield Wednesday
  22. Portsmouth 
  23. Nottingham Forest
  24. Middlesbrough

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What are the Division 2 (d2) Football Colleges in the UK?

This is one of the lowest divisions of football colleges. It consists of 24 teams. Such teams include Bradford City, Mansfield Town, Rochdale, and Hull City.

To see a comprehensive list of the teams, click here 

What are the Division 3 (d3) Football Colleges in the UK?

Also one of the lowest divisions consists of about 24 teams. These teams include Leyton Orient FC, Exeter FC, and Mansfield Town FC.

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What are the Best Junior Colleges in the UK for Football?

Junior colleges are known as sixth-form colleges in the UK. It is an educational institute where students aged 16-19 study for advanced school-level qualifications. Students in these colleges study for two years, known as year 12 and year 13.

Junior football colleges were established to help kick start young athletes’ football careers early.

Interested in applying to a junior football college in the UK, Here’s a list of some of the best junior colleges

  • Brockenhurst College 
  • Victory Academy
  • Holcombe Grammar School
  • The Halley Academy
  • Myddleton Academy
  • Hereford Sixth Form College
  • Stockton Sixth Form Football Academy 
  • Elite Football Academy
  • Harris Sixth Form Academy 

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How to Join a Football Club in the UK

A football career is as exciting as it is frightening. Many young talents may never emerge into the spotlight, and the truth is that young athletes crave a golden opportunity to play in top-flight clubs in Europe, Asia, and America. Unfortunately, football teams have limited spaces for players. 

However, there may not be one sure way to find yourself in the UK playing football in one of the top teams. Nevertheless, we’ll tell you the directions you must take to actualize your dream of joining a football club in the Uk.

While luck may happen to you, here are five (5) ways to join a football club in the UK.

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Join a Football Academy in the UK

It is a known fact that football is a progressive and futuristic game. A football team doing well today wants to continue that way for a long time. Many top clubs in the UK have football academies where they groom youngsters intending to play professional football.

If you are asking why you must join a football academy in the UK, here’s your answer: UK teams are mostly interested in nurturing home-grown talents.

However, all expectations are not lost if you’re not a UK resident. What it indicates is that you must be in a local academy in your country and be at the top of your game. Also, you’ll have to apply to a UK club to send their scout to watch you play. Hopefully, you can stand a chance of getting selected for the club’s academy trail.

Meanwhile, you may not only need to apply to the club’s football academy. There is also a good number of independent football academies in the UK that admits youth footballers. Scouts in their hunger for young talents come to scout for players in these academies. Such academies include; FCV International Football Academy, UK Pro Academy, and Manchester International Football Academy.

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Get discovered by Scouts

When you can’t get to the UK to enroll in a football academy, your next option is to get discovered by scouts. Scouting is a very serious business; all major top-flight clubs have several scouts searching for young talents. 

One of the advantages of getting discovered by scouts is that you don’t have to be a very young player to be discovered. This is because scouts go talent-hunting with specifications from the clubs they represent.

Thus, a football team with a score of young and developing players would likely send its scouts out for an older player with a lot of experience in his position of play. You see now that even though actualizing your football career dreams may be difficult, it is not impossible.

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Attend Showcase Tournaments

You may have this chance if you’re already on the top team in your local league. These tournaments are tryouts put together by organizations for a group of players. 

Organizations invite scouts from different professional clubs to watch these players play. 

Here, instead of one scout watching you play, you could have ten to thirty different scouts watch you at once!

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Stand Out Every Time You Play

Even though you play football to the delight of others, You must enjoy the thrill you get whilst playing. Therefore, you want to always be at your best. Honestly, there are no two ways about it – you just have to play better each day because you never know who’s watching.

For this reason, every time there is a ball at your feet, believe you are on a tryout.

When you grow this kind of mentality, your performance will improve.

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Brush up your social media 

 Many teams want players who are responsible. What does your social media handle say about you? Clean it up and take a fresh start.

Avoid controversial situations and as a word of advice, post majorly yourself training rigorously or showcasing your football skills.

Conclusion

To get to the height of playing for top clubs, you’ll have to be an extremely good player. But like every other career, you can’t become excellent overnight. It takes a long time to develop your football skills.

Enlisting at a good football college will help you achieve the goal of developing your talents and getting noticed by A-list football clubs.

Another Interesting Read: 10 Best Football Colleges in Colorado in 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you join a football academy at 16?

Normally, one of the best ages to join an academy is around 13 as Pro Contracts can be given from the age of 16 and 18. It is better to join before this age. 

However, every situation is different. You can always become a professional player regardless of what people tell you.

Do college football athletes get scholarships?

80% of all student-athletes receive some form of an academic grant or need-based scholarship; institutional gift aid totals $17,000 on average.

How do college football athletes get paid?   

In addition to brand deals, student-athletes run branded training clinics and have been paid for appearances and autograph signings. Unlike professional influencers, college athletes tend to have small audiences on social media.

Can student-athletes get jobs?

Employment rules and regulations are the same for both the regular academic year and the summer semester. Essentially, a student-athlete may be employed as long as they notify the Compliance Officer. A student-athlete cannot be hired based on their athletic abilities or reputation in any way.

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