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Top universities for graduate starting salaries

Your graduate prospects are something you should consider early on – even if you haven’t firmed up what or where you want to study yet. But what sort of pay packet could you receive?

Here are the universities whose students earn the most money on average six months after graduation, stats that are collected as part of the annual Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey. Remember that it’s only six months – lots of grads don’t choose to go straight into work after finishing uni – so use it simply as a snapshot of graduate employment

With the most graduates and the highest wages in the UK, it’s hardly surprising that London unis dominate the top 10. But do bear in mind that different parts of the UK can have more jobs for certain industries, such as engineering, so factor in regional employment when considering your prospects.

1. London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London: £28.9k

As the name might suggest, LSE is a specialist university with a particular focus on the social sciences. Its courses range from philosophy and economics through to social policy.

Careers tip: as part of their careers services, LSE publish a magazine called LSE Career Insights, featuring detailed career profiles of LSE alumni and their advice for students looking to go into those professions.

Take a look at LSE's courses.

2. Imperial College London: £28.5k

Like LSE, Imperial has its specialist areas – for undergraduate courses, these are science, engineering, technology and medicine.

Careers tip: Imperial students have access to a range of online resources include '10 Minutes With' video interviews and recorded careers events and presentations.

Take a look at Imperial's courses

3. St George's, University of London: £27.5k

Part of the University of London, St George’s is the UK’s only independent medical and healthcare higher education institution.

Careers tip: it shares a site with St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, one of London’s busiest hospitals – ideal for budding medics.

Take a look at St George's courses

4. University of Cambridge: £25.4k

The first uni in the list outside of London but probably one you were expecting to see, Cambridge offers undergraduate degree courses in the arts, social sciences, sciences, engineering and medical sciences.

Careers tip: Cambridge runs a Careers Service Summer Bursary Scheme to support those seeking work experience in areas such as the public interest, media, arts and heritage.

Take a look at Cambridge's courses

5. University of Oxford: £25.1k

Another uni outside of the capital that probably comes as no surprise, Oxford courses span the humanities, maths, physical and life sciences, medical sciences and social sciences.

Careers tip: Students can get hands-on careers advice at Oxford’s regular careers events, including sessions on CVs, specific careers and skills such as teamwork and interview techniques.

Take a look at Oxford's courses

6. University College London, University of London: £25k

Another college that sits under the broader University of London umbrella, UCL offers a wide mix of undergrad courses - covering humanities subjects as well as the sciences.

Careers tip: the university runs eight sector-specific ‘themed weeks’ which usually include employer panel discussions, presentations on how to get into the profession and networking events.

Take a look at UCL's courses

7. Royal Veterinary College, University of London: £24.9k

Again, the name of this uni gives away its specialism – veterinary science. Royal Veterinary College aims to produce practising veterinary surgeons, bioveterinary scientists and veterinary nurses.

Careers tip: as another member college of the University of London, RVC students have access to the Careers Group, which offers one-to-one sessions and a careers library.

Take a look at RCV's courses

8. Institute of Education, University of London: £24.8k

We spot a pattern here – it’s another specialist uni, this time focusing on education studies and related social sciences. Undergraduate courses include psychology with education and education working with children.

Careers tip: Students can attend employability workshops and lectures run by relevant organisations – as well as accessing the services on offer through the Careers Group.

Take a look at IoE's courses

9. King’s College London, University of London: £24.6k

Like UCL, King’s offers a wide range of undergraduate courses, including humanities subjects, law, the sciences and social sciences.

Careers tip: King's has an online resource called Inspirational Careers, featuring podcasts of people talking about their jobs, their day-to-day activities and the skills they use.

Take a look at King's courses

10. City University: £24.2k

City University London specialises in business and the professions, with degrees including banking and communications.

Careers tip: City has an Ask Alumni database, allowing students to contact 'Alumni Mentors' who can offer advice on the world of work.

Take a look at City's courses

Next: Use our university finder and course finder to compare average graduate starting salaries. Remember, though, as a six month snapshot these average graduate salaries only show you the short-term picture - and will vary hugely according to the profession you choose to go into after you graduate.

Note: DLHE survey salary data is based on stats from 2006/7 – 2010/11.


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