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Jobs & Careers

Universities with the highest graduate salaries

Find out if your uni has made the top 10 in the UK according to graduate salary.

graduate hats in the air with pound signs

Credit: hxdbzxy, DeawSS – Shutterstock

When choosing where to study, don't just look at the overall rankings of the top universities in the UK.

Of course, it's important to consider the course, location, facilities and prestige of the institution. But, eventually, you'll need to decide what you want to do afterwards. And that involves thinking about money.

Wondering which uni will give you a professional boost? The University Admission Center UK (UACUK) has ranked universities based on graduate salaries.

Top 10 graduate earnings by university

Here are the best universities for graduate earnings:

  1. Imperial College London – £33,500
  2. London School of Economics – £32,000
  3. Cambridge University – £30,100
  4. University College London (UCL) – £30,000
  1. Oxford University – £30,000
  1. King's College London – £29,000
  1. St George's, University of London – £29,000
  1. Warwick University – £29,000
  1. Bath University – £28,500
  2. Bristol University – £28,000
  1. Queen Mary, University of London – £28,000.

UACUK used the average course salary data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). With this data, they've calculated the median graduate salary for each UK university.

The figures above give a general idea of what graduates can earn after completing their course. But, remember that salaries can vary widely depending on what subject you studied.

Imperial takes first place on this particular graduate salary list.

The list differs slightly from the Complete University Guide (CUG) rankings (which list the top 10 unis in the UK). However, most of the universities have made it onto both lists.

Salaries also vary widely depending on your job and degree. We have a guide to the average graduate salary for different industries.

Why do some graduates earn more than others?


Another interesting feature of the results is geography. This league table consists mainly of universities in the south of England. It may be because there are more jobs with higher salaries in London and the surrounding areas.

There are no universities from Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland on this list.

Despite this, there are still loads of great graduate jobs for you to apply to in every corner of the UK. Don't let the rankings put you off!

Also, these numbers don't tell the full story. Many graduates will earn more or less than the figures above.

What's more, these are only the salaries that students are earning six months after graduation. They'll often increase in the following years as graduates get promoted, finish training, and progress in their careers.

How to choose the right university for you

Choosing where to go to uni can feel stressful, and sometimes it's difficult to know where to start.

The best way to begin is to write a list of what's important to you when it comes to university. Everyone has different preferences.

There are loads of factors you could consider, including:

If you can get to an open day, they're the best way to gauge whether or not you should apply. Sometimes places seem good on paper, but look and feel totally different once you're there.

Then, when graduation is looming, you have another choice to make: what to do next?

Graduate salaries will often come into the mix. But, it definitely isn't the only factor to consider when thinking about your career after uni.

Consider what you want to do on a day-to-day basis, what you enjoy, where your skills lie and what your values are. Are factors like employee benefits and location important to you?

This guide to graduate schemes might help you make a start. However, there are also many alternatives to graduate schemes.

You might even choose to see the world after finishing university. If so, don't feel as though you're harming your career prospects – travelling can get you a job too!

To increase your chances of landing the perfect graduate job, make sure you check out our guide to writing the perfect CV.

Lucy Skoulding

WRITTEN BY Lucy Skoulding

Lucy Skoulding specialised in student news reporting while writing for Save the Student, sharing the latest data and top stories affecting our readers.
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