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Best films and shows about university life

Best films and shows about university life


As new university students hit the (virtual) halls for the first time this month, we look at all the best films and TV shows in higher education

By Simon Ward, Content Editor

Freshers Week will be very different this year. Although you could end a sentence about practically any activity in 2020 with “…will be very different this year,” and you’d be spot on. Dating? Different. Walking down a street? Different. Buying sausages? Different. So this shouldn’t be a surprise.


But there’s no denying this year’s intake of university freshers will be missing out – those friendships forged at 2am sat on random corridor floors in those first weeks are life-long. You’ll laugh with them. You’ll cry with them. They’re your future groomsmen and bridesmaids! (As unlikely as that may seem at 2am!).



So, if you’re heading to university (digitally or in person), or if you just want to relive #TheGloryDays – and you feel that you’re missing out – here are the best films and TV shows about uni life.


Fresh Meat

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Rule one of TV comedy: trap your main characters, be it emotionally, financially or geographically. Or in Fresh Meat’s case, all three works too. From the makers of Peep Show and starring Jack Whitehall, Greg McHugh and Zawe Ashton, anyone who has ever shared a student flat will cringe and laugh at the same time.


Pitch Perfect

Find it in Apps & Games > Amazon Prime Video

Freshers Week is about joining clubs and societies that you eventually discard four weeks later, convinced you’ve made enough mates for a decent night out. Not Beca (Anna Kendrick), however. She joins The Bellas, Barden University’s all-girls singing group, and the rest… is history. You aca-believe it!



Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Tragically, this successor to genius oddball hospital comedy Green Wing only lasted a single series. Featuring a similar surreal tone and editing style to its more famous cousin, it was written off at the time as being too similar to its predecessor. But this 2011 comedy is darkly funny and well worth a reappraisal.


Starter For 10

Find it in Apps & Games > Amazon Prime Video

A romantic comedy set around the TV show University Challenge sounds like something you’d blurt out on day one of a creative writing course and be laughed out the room, but this is good. Bonus reason for watching: a young Benedict Cumberbatch playing the role of the nerd-in-chief is quite something.



Find it in Apps & Games > Netflix

The genius of Community warrants its own 10,000-word dissertation because there are so many perfect episodes – and some break the concept of a sitcom altogether. But we suggest you start from the beginning, and when those big hitters come – ohmygodthepaintballepisode – you are in for a treat.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Find it in Apps & Games > All 4

Once Buffy was done with High School, she moved onto college (in series 4, since you’re asking). It wasn’t exactly an authentic university experience – never once did you see Buffy eating a mug of baked beans – but the show holds up remarkably well. Series 1-7 are available on All 4 and it’s your perfect next big binge.



Available in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert 15

Every student wants to find that tutor at university who inspires them to become the best version of themselves. It’s hard to shake JK Simmons’ face from that idea, largely because of Whiplash (and a bit because of Spider-Man). Miles Teller plays the young jazz drummer who Simmons ruthlessly propels to greatness.



Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

There’s a lot of comedy on this list – but Clique reframed university life as a thriller. When childhood pals Georgia and Holly venture to Edinburgh for their first year of studies, Georgia is pulled into a new group that has her acting erratically. What will Holly find when she follows her into the closely guarded circle?


Dear White People

Find it in Apps & Games > Netflix

Following the critically acclaimed 2014 film of the same name, this series delves into student life and the tensions between student groups, pivoting on the build-up and aftermath of a party thrown at a fraternity. It’s a brilliant series that uses the university setting so well, with lives colliding and secrets being spilt.


Legally Blonde

Find it in Apps & Games > Amazon Prime Video

Is this the ultimate university film? Well, that’s not for us to say (it is!), but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. It’s a story of being true to yourself and your values, it’s about working hard, proving doubters wrong and – crucially – why the bend and snap has an “83% return on a dinner invitation.”


How to watch Amazon Prime Video with Virgin TV

Prime Video is available to all Virgin TV customers with a V6 box, powered by TiVo®. Simply sign up to Amazon Prime Video via their website, and you can log in on the box. And because Prime Video is fully integrated into TiVo®, you can search without even going into the app. Just select Search & Discover from the Home menu and type in the name of the show or movie you’re after.


How to watch Netflix with Virgin TV

If you have a TiVo® box or Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo®:


Press home on your remote

Select Apps & Games

Select All Apps 

Select Netflix


If you’re already a Netflix subscriber, you can also access the app through Search & Discover or by pressing Red on channel 204. Just sign in with your existing login and start watching. And you’ll only have to log in the first time you use it. 


If you’re new to Netflix, then you’ll need to subscribe to use the app. The easiest way to do this is by going to You can also subscribe using the Netflix app in Apps & Games.


Watch on the go

If you subscribe to Sky Cinema on Virgin TV, you can watch on the go with Virgin TV Go. And with loads of sport and Box Sets to try out, too, you’ll always be entertained wherever you are!


The app is available to all Virgin TV customers at no extra cost and is compatible with Android, iOS, Windows 10 and PC/Mac. Get downloading (from the links below) and you’ll be one step closer to watching what you want, when you want. 


Download the Virgin TV Go app from the Apple app store

Download the Virgin TV Go app from Google Play

Download the Virgin TV Go app for Windows 10


Upgrade to Sky Cinema now

Don’t have Sky Cinema? You can find out about our Sky Cinema package and upgrade here.

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TV channels: Channels, content and features available depend on your chosen package. Channel line-ups and content are subject to change at any time and to regional variations.

HD: HD TV set, V HD Box, TiVo box or Virgin TV V6 connected with HDMI cables required for HD channels. Number of inclusive HD channels depends on package.

Amazon Prime Video: Amazon Prime subscription required at extra cost. 18+. Click here for T&Cs. 

Netflix: Netflix subscription required at extra cost.

Sky Cinema on demand: Sky Cinema subscription required.

TV Go: Content available to view depends on TV package. Not all channels/content from relevant pack available. Live streaming and On Demand requires broadband/WiFi or 3G/4G access. UK only (or while temporarily in EU). Access via PC, Mac or TV Go App (selected iOS devices and Android™ devices only). Maximum 5 compatible devices per account can watch TV.

Premium channels (add-ons): 30 days’ notice required to remove premium channels/packs.