The 17 UK universities that produce the most employable graduates

86.4% of Birmingham graduates have no issue finding work in their desired field after leaving university.

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86.4% of Birmingham graduates have no issue finding work in their desired field after leaving university.
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Tom Page/Flickr

As increasing numbers of college-leavers decide to go to university, competition for graduate-level jobs is also set to increase.

The Times and Sunday Times released the Good Education Guide for 2018 in September which ranks institutions based on factors including teaching quality, satisfaction with student experience, and graduation prospects.

The guide analyses the percentage of students from each institution that manage to land themselves a graduate-level job in their desired field, or a place in further education, within six months of graduating from university. This data is gathered from the Hesa Destination of Leavers from HE (DLHE) Record.

Prestigious institutions – which are often considered some of the best in the UK – fall further down the list than might be expected, while the top spot’s occupier may not be on many people’s radars.

Scroll on to discover the 17 UK universities that produce the most employable graduates, ranked in ascending order by the percentage of students that land a graduate-level job or further education in their desired field within six months of graduating.


=15. Swansea University (82.6%) — An impressive 82.6% of Swansea graduates took the first step on their chosen career path within six months of graduating, despite the institution only climbing to 36th place in the Sunday Times Guide overall.

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The Dylan Thomas Theatre, Swansea.
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Flickr/Les Haines

=15. University of Kent (82.6%) —With more than nine in every 10 students completing their degree, the University of Kent’s graduates have no trouble finding a job after university in their desired field and 82.6% of graduates found graduate-level work within six months.

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Flickr/Orangeaurochs

=15. University of Sheffield (82.6%) — With 80% of Swansea graduates achieving a first-class or 2:1 degree, 82.6% of students had no trouble finding a job in their chosen field thanks to their good grades.

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Flickr/Alex Liivet

14. University of Glasgow (83%) —Placing 20th overall, University of Glasgow comes in at 14th for graduate prospects.

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Flickr/nschouterden

13. University of Nottingham (83.3%) — 83.3% of students went straight into further education or a job in their desired industry after graduating from this prestigious Russell Group institution.

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Shutterstock/Shahid Khan

=10. King’s College London (84.1%) — Describing itself as “the most central university in London,” King’s College’s central location introduces its students to fast-paced city living — a key experiential skill for the 84.1% of students that embark on their career path immediately after graduation.

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=10. University of Exeter (84.1%) — Climbing to a respectable 14th place overall, the University of Exeter kits students out with the skillset needed to embark on their chosen career paths, with 84.1% of graduates going straight into work or further study.

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=10. Durham University (84.1%) — The historic and prestigious north England institution helps 84.1% of its graduates find a job within six months of leaving. Students appear to be pretty happy with that statistic, too, with 82.5% of final year students satisfied with the quality of teaching.

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Durham University take on Newcastle at the annual Durham Regatta.
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Wikimedia Commons/kanu101

9. Lancaster University (84.9%) — Crowned the Sunday Times Good Education Guide’s University of the Year, Lancaster University jumped up three places overall for 2018, rising to sixth place. 17 in every 20 Lancaster graduates (84.9%) had no problem embarking on their chosen career path after graduation.

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The computer science building
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Lancaster University

8. University of Dundee (85.1%) — Also ranking highly for its student experience (16th) and teaching quality (17th), 85.1% of Dundee graduates found a job in their chosen career field within six months.

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Wikimedia Commons/John Lord

7. University of Bath (85.2%) — Crowned the Sunday Times’ Sports University of the Year, students at Bath have a wealth of facilities and events available to them to keep them happy during their studies. According to the rate of students finding further study or a job in their chosen career path after graduation, the University of Bath is pretty good for setting their students up for after they leave, too.

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Getty/Matt Cardy/Stringer

6. University of Oxford (85.3%) — Ranked the country’s second best university overall for the last five years, an impressive 85.3% of Oxford graduates leave the prestigious institution and land a job in their chosen field or a place of further study straight away.

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pettifoggist/Flickr

5. University of Birmingham (86.4%) — Birmingham has long been an established and respected institution in the UK thanks to its Russell Group status, meaning that 86.4% of graduates have little trouble finding a job after leaving. The university is launching a second campus in Dubai in 2018, meaning students in the United Arab Emirates can benefit from Birmingham’s stellar graduation prospects, too.

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Tom Page/Flickr

4. London School of Economics and Political Science (87.1%) — Despite being rated the worst in the country for student experience by its students, the London School of Economics still sets graduates up for fruitful careers with 87.1% of students having little to no issues with finding work after leaving.

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Getty/Oli Scarff

3. University of Cambridge (87.5%) — Ranking first in the Sunday Times’ guide overall for the fifth year in a row, this prestigious institution’s legacy is bound to help any graduate take the next step into their desired career after graduation, with 87.5% of students managing to do so within six months of leaving.


2. Imperial College London (90.7%) — Ranked second in the country for research and for expenditure on student facilities, this prestigious London university is also the second best in the country for graduation prospects, with over nine in every 10 students taking the next step with their careers within six months of graduation.

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Wikipedia / CC 3.0

1. St. George’s, University of London (93.6%) — St George’s University in London may rank just 75th in the country overall, but it is officially the best institution in the country when it comes to producing employable graduates, with a massive 93.6% of graduates from this south London medical school going straight into highly-skilled employment.