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10 of the Best UK Universities for Graduate Employability 2018

10 of the Best UK Universities for Graduate Employability 2018 main image

Click here to find out the 10 highest ranked UK universities for graduate employability in 2019.

There are 47 UK universities featured in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2018, including 14 in the global top 100. Unsurprisingly, given their highly respected reputations, the list below is led by Oxbridge. However, the ranking doesn’t just consider employer reputation, it also assesses alumni outcomes, graduate employment rates, employer partnerships and employer-student connections.

Read on for an overview of the 10 best UK universities for graduate employability.

1. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge continues to be the highest ranked UK university in the Graduate Employability Ranking as well as the sixth best in the world, receiving an unbeatable score in the Employer Reputation indicator. Cambridge also receives a top 10 score for the Alumni Outcomes category, as it’s known for producing very successful alumni, including Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, David Attenborough, Emma Thompson, Arianna Huffington and Stephen Hawking, just to name a few.  

2. University of Oxford

Oxford University

Ranked eighth in the world for graduate employability, the University of Oxford is just one place behind Cambridge for Employer Reputation (ranked second in the world) and achieves a higher score than its rival Cambridge for Alumni Outcomes (ranked third), with 27 British Prime Ministers among its alumni. Other famous Oxford graduates include Oscar Wilde, Hugh Grant, J.R.R. Tolkien, Nigella Lawson, Felicity Jones, T.S. Eliot and Benazir Bhutto.

3. UCL (University College London)

Up seven places this year to rank 17th in the world for graduate employability, UCL achieves its highest score for Employer Reputation. According to a survey from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), UCL graduates on taught programs earn an average of £30,628 (~US$39,660) as their starting salary – those in research programs earn even more, an average of £36,720 (~US$47,600).

4. Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is ranked 29th in the world for graduate employability, with a particularly impressive score in the Employer Reputation category (eighth in the world). As a science-focused university, Imperial produces very in-demand graduates, with six-month industrial placements included in the third year of the university’s MEng course, providing students with invaluable real-world experience.

5. The University of Manchester

University of Manchester

Next in our look at the best UK universities for graduate employability is the University of Manchester, ranked 33rd in the world. It’s ranked 20th for the Employer Reputation category, its strongest score, and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group. According to 2016 statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, 94% of Manchester’s graduates go straight into employment or further study.

6. University of Bristol

University of Bristol

Ranked 50th in the world for graduate employability, the University of Bristol offers students the chance to get involved with a wide variety of employability events such as careers fairs, interactive workshops, skill placement days, employer presentations and more. It also supports student enterprises and start-ups with its Business Basecamp, a service providing mentoring support to help get student start-ups off the ground.

7. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


Another London-based institution to rank as one of the best UK universities for graduate employability, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) climbed from 61-70 to 54th this year. LSE is known for being a leading university for social sciences subjects, and boasts a very high score for its Employer Reputation (seventh in the world). LSE graduates earn an average starting salary of £29,000 (~US$37,500).

8. The University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is ranked 55th for graduate employability and is one of the top 10 UK universities targeted by the largest number of leading graduate recruiters, according to the results of the Graduate Market in 2017 report from High Fliers. It’s invested £1 million into its careers service and has also been named University of the Year for Graduate Employability in The Times’ Good University Guide 2017.

9. University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

In Scotland, the University of Edinburgh is placed 60th in the world for graduate employability, with 90% of graduates in employment in further study six months after graduating. The university aims to help students develop their ‘Edinburgh EdGE’ to stand out in the competitive jobs market, and provides the EdGE database to help students get involved with student societies, work experience, volunteering, travel abroad and more.

10. King's College London (KCL)

King's College London

Concluding our look at the 10 best UK universities for graduate employability is King’s College London (KCL), ranked 63rd in the world. King’s Careers & Employability service and Entrepreneurship Institute are dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurial potential in current students and recent graduates, for example with the university’s year-long King's20 Accelerator program, and the university has its own exclusive vacancy board (CareerConnect).

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Sabrina Collier's profile image
Written by Sabrina Collier
The former Assistant Editor of TopUniversities.com, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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Thank you Sabrina!!