10 of the Best Universities in the UK for Graduate Employability 2020 | Top Universities

10 of the Best Universities in the UK for Graduate Employability 2020

By Chloe Lane

Updated April 3, 2021 Updated April 3, 2021

The QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2020 features 49 UK universities in the global top 500, with 33 of these claiming positions in the top 250.

The Graduate Employability Rankings are deigned to help students compare universities based on how employable its graduates are. This is based on a multitude of factors, with five indicators used to compile these rankings; employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer/student connections and graduate employment rate. You can read more about the methodology here.

Read on to find out about 10 of the top universities in the UK for graduate employability.

The 10 Highest Ranked Universities in the UK for Graduate Employability

UK rank

Global rank




University of Cambridge



University of Oxford



UCL (University College London)



Imperial College London



The University of Manchester



London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)



University of Edinburgh



University of Leeds



University of Bristol



The University of Nottingham

10. University of Nottingham

Univeristy of Nottingham

In 10th place in the list of the top universities in the UK for graduate employability is the University of Nottingham, situated in the Midlands, coming in at 62nd place, with its best score in the partnerships with employers indicator at 50th. The university’s careers and employability service holds regular recruitment and careers fairs in different sectors to help university students meet potential employers in the industry of their choice. The careers service also runs employer talks and skills workshops to help students improve their employability.

9. University of Bristol

University of Bristol

In the south west of England, we have the University of Bristol, which ranks ninth among the top universities in the UK for graduate employability, and 58th in the world (dropping 11 places this year). The University of Bristol’s best score was earned in the employer reputation indicator, where it comes 47th in the world. Bristol is one of the UK’s prestigious research-intensive Russell Group universities and has connections with hundreds of employers, which students can benefit from by visiting the career fairs offered by the university.

8. University of Leeds

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds ranks at 51st in the world, and eighth in the UK for graduate employability in the UK. Situated in West Yorkshire, the university scores well in the employer reputation and the partnerships with employers indicators, ranking 63rd and 79th respectively.

Leeds offers accredited careers modules, which allow students to develop a clearer picture of career motivations, take a work placement year and find out about the graduate job market from recruiters and career consultants.

7. University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh

Heading to Scotland, where the University of Edinburgh rises 11 places to rank 48th in the world and comes in at seventh place in the UK. The university ranks 37th place for employer reputation, and offers a strong careers service, which offers careers events, information, advice and guidance services and even the opportunity to complete an Edinburgh Award, an award that helps you gain work experience through either the university’s summer internship program, international volunteering, enterprising or work experience.

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

London School of Economics (LSE)

Ranking 45th in the world for graduate employability is another of the top universities in the UK, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). LSE has a strong academic reputation worldwide and produces cutting edge research, as well as world renowned teaching in the heart of the UK’s capital city. With famous alumni including John F. Kennedy, Mick Jagger, David Attenborough, David Rockefeller and George Soros, it’s hardly surprising that LSE scores well in the alumni outcomes and the employer reputation indicators, where it ranks 13th and eighth respectively.

5. The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester

Falling six places to rank 41st in the graduate employability rankings this year is The University of Manchester, placing fifth in the UK. The University of Manchester scores well in the employer reputation indicator in 20th place, being a part of the reputable Russell Group and with the university’s career center offering many opportunities to meet employers and professionals on campus, and well as providing training for things like psychometric tests, which are a common requirement for graduate job applications. 

4. Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Up three places this year in the graduate employability rankings, Imperial College London is undoubtedly one of the top universities in the UK, at fourth place in the UK and 30th in the world. Imperial College London has an excellent academic reputation, as a part of the research intensive  Russell Group, as well as being an extremely international university which is involved in significant research collaborations worldwide, so it is unsurprising that employer reputation is where Imperial College London performs best, placing seventh in the world.

3. UCL (University College London)


In the top three universities in the UK is UCL (University College London), ranking 22nd in the world for graduate affordability. Based in central London, UCL’s best scores are in the employer reputation and the alumni outcomes indicators. UCL’s notable alumni includes David Attenborough, Mahatma Gandhi, Robert Browning and Alexander Graham Bell. UCL has a strong international reputation due to the quality of its research and world class teaching offered across all its courses, with research-based teaching methodology, which means that research is integrated into many of the courses offered.

2. University of Oxford

University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is probably the most widely known university in the UK, as well as the oldest university in the English-speaking world, having been established in 1096. Its history and influence has given it a prestigious reputation as one of the best universities in the world, placing 10th this year for graduate employability. The university’s alumni include 28 of the UK’s prime ministers, 69 Nobel Prize winners, 160 Olympic medalists. It is therefore unsurprising that the University of Oxford earns its highest scores in the employer reputation and alumni outcomes indicators, where it places third and fourth respectively.

1. University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge

Top of our list of the best universities in the UK for graduate employability is the University of Cambridge, coming in at eighth in the world. The university’s best score is for its employer reputation, where it places second, reflecting its proven academic excellence and traditional scholarly values, which have contributed to making Cambridge one of the top universities in the world for teaching, research and an international outlook.

With notable alumni including Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, Emma Thompson, Lord Byron and Charles Darwin, the University of Cambridge also scores well on the alumni outcomes indicator, ranking eighth in the world. 

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This article was originally published in September 2019 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. She enjoys writing articles about a wide range of topics for a student audience. 

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