10 of the Best UK Universities for Graduate Employability in 2019 | Top Universities

10 of the Best UK Universities for Graduate Employability in 2019

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Belkis Megraoui

Updated Apr 13, 2021



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The UK is famously home to many of the world’s best institutions for higher education, and with that title comes a high standard of graduate employability.

Following the launch of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019, the results show that there are 52 UK universities featured among the world’s top 500 for graduate employability this year – 14 of which are in the global top 100.

Read on to discover the top 10 UK universities for graduate employability – starting with the 10th, and assessed by employer reputation, alumni outcomes, graduate employment rates and more.

10. King’s College London (KCL)

UK Universities

Consistently ranked in the top 50 universities in the world and top 10 in the UK of the QS World University Rankings®, King’s College London (KCL) is one of the oldest UK universities, established in 1829. It has an excellent reputation for outstanding teaching and research, boasting a distinguished prominence in the humanities, the sciences, law, and a vast range of health areas such as psychiatry and dentistry, as well as social sciences.

Up five places from last year, KCL currently ranks 58th in the world for graduate employability, achieving its highest scores in graduate employment rate and employer reputation.

9. The University of Edinburgh

UK Universities

The University of Edinburgh is ranked 18th in the world in the QS World University Rankings® 2019, and as the largest provider of online distance programs in the Russell Group research-intensive universities, offers over 60 online programs for distance learners. Established in 1582, it has educated some of the world’s best pioneers, inventors, and Nobel Prize winners.

In this year’s graduate employability ranking, the University of Edinburgh ranks 57th in the world, achieving 38th place for employer reputation. 

8. University of Leeds

UK Universities

A redbrick member of the Russell Group of leading UK research universities, the University of Leeds is one of the leading universities in the world, with a reputation for strong research and innovation credentials.

Up an impressive 17 places from last year, it now ranks 53rd in the world for graduate employability overall, achieving its best score for graduate employment rate (44th).

Graduates from the University of Leeds have gone on to pursue notable careers in politics, business, science, entertainment, the arts and more.

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

UK Universities

Having achieved global recognition for its leadership in the social sciences, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is one of the world’s leading UK universities, boasting a high degree of excellence in both teaching and research.

Currently ranking joint 49th in this year’s graduate employability rankings, LSE achieves remarkable scores across most graduate employability categories, with its highest score under the employer reputation indicator, at eighth in the world.

6. University of Bristol

UK Universities

Located in the south-west of England and just under two hours away from London, the University of Bristol was founded in 1876, and is home to world-class teaching, cutting-edge global research, and strong industry connections.

The university has a worldwide alumni network of famous politicians, writers, journalists, scientists, musicians, and many more, and ranks 47th in the world for graduate employability this year, gaining its highest score for employer reputation.

5. The University of Manchester

UK Universities

Ranked 29th in the world according to this year’s world university rankings, the University of Manchester is a prestigious red brick and Russell Group university, offering over 1,000 degree programs in a variety of subject areas including the humanities, business, science, and engineering.

With 15 Nobel Prize winners among its current and former students and staff, the University of Manchester holds 35th place in the world this year for graduate employability, achieving 20th place for the employer reputation indicator.

4. Imperial College London

UK Universities

As a world-renowned university with a prime focus on science, engineering, medicine, and business, Imperial College London is ranked eighth in the world in the QS university rankings. It was founded in 1907, however, its various constituent former medical schools (now wholly part of the university) were established as early as 1823.

Imperial College ranks joint 33rd in the world for graduate employability this year, achieving an impressive seventh place for the employer reputation indicator – which is the indicator’s second-highest score of all the UK universities featured.

3. UCL (University College London)

UK Universities

UCL (University College London) is recognized globally for its reputation in quality research and teaching, and excels in subjects such as medicine, astrophysics, law, engineering, languages, and history.

With 33 Nobel Laureates and counting amongst its alumni and faculty members, UCL ranks 18th in this year’s graduate employability ranking and achieves its highest score in the employer reputation category, at 19th.

2. University of Oxford

UK Universities

As the world’s fifth best university according to the world university rankings, the University of Oxford continues to lead the league tables as the most prestigious UK university, together with its friendly rival Cambridge. With an academic pedigree tracing back to as early as the 11th century, it’s the oldest university in the English-speaking world and comprises 44 colleges and halls, as well as the largest library system in the UK.

Oxford ranks 10th in the world for graduate employability this year and scores perfect marks for employer reputation and alumni outcomes, with its third top score listed under partnerships with employers.

The list of famous Oxford alumni is endless, and includes world-renowned figures in science (such as the late Stephen Hawking), literature (C.S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), politics (Bill Clinton and Benazir Bhutto), and business (Rupert Murdoch) – to name a few. 

1. University of Cambridge

UK Universities

With a history that spans 800 years, the University of Cambridge is the second-oldest University in the English-speaking world (after Oxford), and the fourth-oldest in the world. It consists of 31 autonomous colleges and excels in six academic schools which include arts and humanities, sciences, and technology.

Cambridge is the number one UK university for graduate employability this year, standing at seventh place. Just like Oxford, it leads the table for employer reputation, and scores a remarkable ninth place for alumni outcomes – which is no surprise, given its vast array of noteworthy alumni over the centuries, including influential scientist, mathematician and theologist Isaac Newton; famous British actor Hugh Laurie; and English broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough.

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