Saltburn to You: Every time a UK university campus has been used for filming
Imagine bumping into Jacob Elordi on the way to the library
There is an unparalleled sense of joy you get when you’re watching something and you recognise where it was filmed – even better if it’s somewhere of significance to you. Well, if you’ve ever been sat watching a TV show or film and thought to yourself “hmmm, that looks strangely like the library I write my diss in” then don’t worry you’re not going crazy as actually loads of university campuses across the country have been used as filming locations.
Just imagine you’ve rolled out of bed, unshowered, hair not brushed, running late to your 9am lecture after a heavy night out and you bump into Jacod Elordi filming on your campus. I think I’d simply pass away. So, if you want a bank of movies and shows you can scream “I know where that is!” at the screen whilst watching then here is every time a UK university has been used as a filming location.
University of Oxford
Often, other places and interiors are shot in film rather than Oxford University itself, but Emerald Fennell was determined to shoot Saltburn on location. A lot of the Oxford Saltburn scenes are filmed in Radcliffe Square, one of the most easily recognised areas of the filming locations. Radcliffe Camera, the library in the centre, dominates the scenes it features in thanks to its sheer impressiveness. Students also “kindly loaned” their actual rooms to the production team to film Oliver and Felix in their dorms.
Another production where it would’ve been a crime to film it anywhere else, the Oxford University buildings were used for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. There are some nice shots of the interior wood-panelled buildings where the above abhorrent scene takes place, and the whole thing definitely plays up to the posho-Oxford stereotype for the international audiences.
Royal Holloway, University of London
In season four of the Netflix show You, Joe works at Darcy College, but, of course, people from the UK know it’s actually Royal Holloway, University of London. In the show, Joe is able to walk from the uni to his flat in South Kensington. However in reality, Royal Holloway is located 40 minutes by train into London in a town called Egham.
University of Edinburgh
Most recently, the latest Netflix of One Day has been filmed at Edinburgh Uni. Adapetd from the book of the same name by David Nicholls and, set from 1988 to 2007, it follows Dexter and Emma who meet on their last night of uni. The scenes here were filmed in the courtyard of The Old College, a big boujee building at The University of Edinburgh.
It’s not uncommon for the magisterial buildings of London to feature in many popular series, so it was probably the least surprising to see them used for a show like The Crown. In 2018, Helena Bonham Carter was seen walking around the UCL campus with a film crew. It’s uncertain exactly what she was filming for, but it’s believed it was for The Crown, in which she appeared as Princess Margaret. I don’t remember her wearing a puffer like that in The Crown though.
University of Manchester
Fresh Meat is the ultimate uni TV series, so it’s obviously filmed on the periphery of a real one – Manchester Uni. The slightly non-student-like dwelling of the gang is situated on Mayfield Road, which is a whole 46-minute walk from Sackville. Their local pub is The Kings Arms in Salford, which is a lot more central than their dwelling. Moving onto campus, although the show is set at a fictional university, a handful of scenes were shot on campus at Manchester Metropolitan University as well as in the SU. Jack Whitehall even filmed scenes in the very halls that he lived in as a student in first year.
University of St Andrews
Okay so St Andrews also isn’t technically a Russell Group uni either but it is the university that is favoured by the Royals so if it’s good enough for them then it should be good enough for Russell. Famously, Kate and Wills first met whilst studying there and the sixth and final season of The Crown included many seasons filmed on the Scottish uni campus.
Cardiff University campus has been used a number of times for filming of Doctor Who, including the most recent season featuring Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor. Ncuti was last seen on campus three months ago filming by the Sir Martin Evans building for what was to believed to be for the 2025 Christmas special.
University of Bristol
Two buildings on Bristol University’s campus were used for filming season four of Sex Education. The Wills Memorial library doubles as the fictional Wallace University, where Maeve now studies whilst the School of Chemistry makes an appearance acting as Cavendish College, the new school the cast must learn to navigate following the closure of Moordale in the previous season.
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