Student life in Leeds

Leeds is a culturally diverse city and has something to offer to everyone. Over the past two decades Leeds has been transformed from a heavily industrialised manufacturing centre to the leading cultural and commercial centre of the north.


Leeds is internationally recognised as a major centre of learning, with a total student population of more than 200,000. 

The two universities are economic powerhouses, with world-class research facilities and two top business schools. Many students go on to work in the local economy, where there are excellent career opportunities.

The city has eight colleges of higher and further education, including Leeds City College and Leeds College of Music.


Leeds is flourishing as a cultural centre, and the thriving student community is testament to this. The city’s safe friendly environment, fantastic lifestyle and comparative affordability make it the ideal location to live and learn.

Student Life

The centre of student life in Leeds is in Headingly. This lively student district lies a short distance to the north of the Leeds University campus and offers the both the essentials and the luxuries of student life. Most privately rented student accommodation is found here and there are a number of conveniently located supermarkets and other shops to cater for your basic needs.

To keep you entertained on those nights you will not be hard at work studying, Headingly boasts a large number of pubs, restaurants and take away food establishments and is home to no less than three independent cinemas. In and around the city centre you will find a number of large multiplex cinemas.

The city centre is also the focus of nightlife in Leeds. There are a range of cafés, bars, pubs and restaurants to cater for almost any taste. The club scene can rival that in Manchester or London and most clubs hold a student night each week.

London is known for its nightlife scene and Leeds, though not as active as London, has taken its cue from this popular city. There are a number of bars and clubs in Leeds, and there is an emphasis on highlighting the underground local music popular in the area. Travelers interested in getting the full Leeds experience, especially the part making up the youth culture of the area, should make it a point to check out some of the following places:

  • Back to Basics is a popular all-night dance club.
  • Bar Fibre is a gay dance club enjoyed by people of all orientations
  • Bridge Inn is a favorite gay bar in Leeds.
  • Brudenell Social Clubis a place where visitors can hear live local bands.
  • Cockpit is a place where live music can be heard.
  • Creation is a large multi-level dance club.
  • Evolution is one of the most popular multi-room discos.
  • Joseph’s Well is a live music bar popular with University of Leeds students.
  • Majestyk is the all night hot spot.
  • New Penny is a gay and lesbian dance club.
  • New Roscoe is a live music dance club.
  • Sandinista is a cantina bar that serves tapas day and night and has a real party vibe at the weekend
  • Speedqueen is where dance fans can go all night long on the dance floor.
  • Velvet Underground is a popular dance club.
  • distrikt bar provides entertainment enjoyed by all – pre club nights with djs or dinner with the family

Headingly is also home to two major sporting venues, the Headingly cricket ground which regularly hosts test and county cricket matches and the adjacent rugby ground, home to the Rhinos (Rugby League) and the Tykes (Rugby Union).

Elland Road, home to Leeds United Football club is just a short distance away to the south of the City centre. For those more interested in participating in sports, the University has a large range of sports societies that make use of the University’s excellent sports facilities.

The Arts 
Leeds is home to a number of museums, art galleries and theatres. In the centre you will find the well stocked City Library next to the City Art Gallery with its Henry Moore extension. For those with a taste for history there is the highly praised Royal Armouries Museum and for those inclined to natural history and science there is the Thackray Medical Museum. Leeds boasts one of the most prestigious theatres in the country, the West Yorkshire Playhouse, and is home to Opera North, based in the Grand Theatre.

The City Varieties represent the best preserved music hall in Britain and the internationally renowned Phoenix Dance Company as well as the Northern Ballet are based in Leeds. During the summer months many public parks in Leeds play host to open air concerts, some of which are even free.

The pedestrianised city centre is very compact and all national stores are represented. Many smaller boutiques and leading designer outlets are located in the restored Victorian and Edwardian arcades. The Victoria Quarter is crowned by Europe’s largest and most spectacular stained glass roof. The latest independent fashion as well as the weird and wonderful can be found in the many boutiques and small shops housed in the Corn Exchange. Next door to the Corn Exchange is Leeds City Market, the largest indoor market in Europe.

The Great Outdoors 
Leeds is a very green city with one of the largest areas of parkland within its boundaries of any European city. The Yorkshire dales are only a short drive to the north of the city and to the south the peak district offers beautiful countryside to enjoy and relax in.