I am trying to get admission into a British university.

I would like to choose a university in an area where the local people speaks in Posh accent.

Which region of UK speaks in Posh accent?

  • Why would you want to acquire a posh accent? RP accent is a dead accent people don't speak like that anymore so why would you decide to speak like a sixty years old English man unless you were also sixty years old. Dec 26, 2016 at 9:53
  • 2
    @LucianSava RP or Standard British accent, or whatever it's called nowadays, isn't dead by a long shot. On the other hand, the aristocratic posh accent is, or it's become an endangered species, but it's not dead either. Now, however, linguists say that “RP” is as strong as ever, but has simply evolved into a more modern form
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:17
  • (Cont'd) Younger speakers have developed a “less posh”, more relaxed form of the accent from previous generations, by losing its characteristic elongated vowel sounds. The Daily Telegraph
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:22
  • @Mari-LouA, actually, they are not my words, I just quoted her. That I believe her or not that's another story. Dec 26, 2016 at 10:51
  • 3
    Where are the Italics, or the inverted commas? Where is the name of the source in your "quoted" phrase?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:56

2 Answers 2


If you think that there is an idyllic part of England where everyone speaks like Jacob Rees-Mogg, then you are very mistaken. Hardly anyone speaks like that now, apart from some sections of the British aristocracy.

There are YouTube videos that explain British accents far better than I can. Generally speaking, people in South England speak with accents closer to RP (received pronunciation) than do people living in the North.

My advice is to choose your university depending on what you want to study. It doesn't even need to be in the UK. You can get voice coaching in British RP anywhere.

  • Hmmm...University of Bristol! 41st in the QS ranking!
    – user615
    Dec 26, 2016 at 4:30
  • @djna I have yet to meet anyone from Cornwall, Devon or Somerset with a distinct West Country "burr". The native Bristolians that I have known all spoke excellent standard English, although they could put on the "Oooh, Aarghs" when they felt like it.
    – Mick
    Dec 26, 2016 at 7:20

If the OP really wants to go to a university, and area where he's more likely to hear RP then I'd recommend either Oxford or Cambridge University.

YouTube Video Oxford University students have their say

Not all, but a significant number of the students in the video have what I would call Received Pronunciation, inasmuch as their accents and speech are not regionally marked.

Wikipedia explains

Received Pronunciation (/rᵻˈsiːvd prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃən/; RP) is the accent of Standard English in the United Kingdom, with a relationship to regional accents similar to the relationship in other European languages between their standard varieties and their regional forms.

  • RP is defined in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary as "the standard accent of English as spoken in the south of England", although it can be heard from native speakers throughout England and Wales.

  • Peter Trudgill estimated in 1974 that 3% of people in Britain were RP speakers.

  • RP enjoys high social prestige in Britain. It has thus been seen as the accent of those with power, money, and influence, though it has in recent times been perceived negatively by some as associated with undeserved privilege.

  • Since the 1960s, a greater permissiveness towards regional English varieties has taken hold in education

But just as the expression posh accent is considered derogatory and disrespectful, RP is considered archaic, and reminiscent of the British empire era. Nowadays, some writers use the term General English, BBC Pronunciation or Standard Southern British.

Received Pronunciation has sometimes been called "Oxford English", as it used to be the accent of most members of the University of Oxford. The Handbook of the International Phonetic Association uses the name "Standard Southern British". Page 4 reads:

P.S As for the OP's criteria for choosing a university, I am not here to judge, but perhaps the OP thinks he will understand RP/SSB more easily than a Scottish or Geordie accent, and they wouldn't be very wrong. However, British universities are attended by a huge range of people from different social backgrounds, accents, cultures, and countries. This is true for any part of Britain because it is a multicultural society.

  • There is not too much RP in that YouTube video. Good English, certainly, but English that you can hear anywhere in the UK. It is true that you are more likely to come across people that have attended British public schools at Oxbridge universities, but I would question that that is a good enough reason in itself to go there. I went to a polytechnic in Coventry 40 years ago, and the students there (from all over the UK) all spoke good English.
    – Mick
    Dec 26, 2016 at 7:59
  • @Mick I suggested which universities the OP was more likely to hear "posh" accents, and for many northerners I suspect they would classify the majority of those speakers in the YouTube video as sounding posh. As for his criteria for choosing a university, I am not here to judge, but perhaps the OP thinks he will understand RP more easily than a Scottish or Geordie accent, and he wouldn't be wrong.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 26, 2016 at 8:12
  • It has been so for a long time, if not to say always. If somebody thinks that the members of the 60s British rock wave spoke posh everyday, as if in the manner whereas they sang and gave interviews for the public interntationally, he's way too wrong.It has been so in every other branch of the language application.
    – kngram
    Dec 6, 2021 at 12:37

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