Best paying universities and degrees for graduates

In its latest study, Emolument.com analysed 2,400 salaries from graduates (less than 2 years' experience) with a bachelor degree from UK universities to find out which institutions and fields of studies guarantee the best income. Results show that a degree from a top university doubles the rate of pay.


Pay by university

University Rank Graduate Pay
London School of Economics 1 38,000
City University London 2 36,000
Cambridge University 3 35,000
Oxford University 4 34,000
Bath University 5 33,000
Edinburgh University 6 32,000
Durham University 7 31,000
Imperial College London 8 31,000
Loughborough University 9 30,000
Warwick University 10 30,000
Bristol University 11 30,000
University College London 12 29,000
Manchester University 13 29,000
Aston University 14 28,000
Nottingham University 15 28,000
Birmingham University 16 27,000
Sussex University 17 27,000
Middlesex University 18 27,000
Keele University 19 27,000
King's College London 20 27,000
Southampton University 21 27,000
Strathclyde University 22 27,000
Leicester University 23 26,000
Leeds University 24 26,000
York University 25 26,000
Queen Mary University of London 26 26,000
Exeter University 27 26,000
Hull University 28 26,000
Glasgow University 29 26,000
Surrey University 30 26,000
Staffordshire University 31 25,000
Liverpool University 32 25,000
Essex University 33 25,000
Heriot-Watt University 34 25,000
Kent University 35 25,000
Hertfordshire University 36 25,000
Gloucestershire University 37 25,000
Newcastle University 38 25,000
Cardiff University 39 24,000
Sheffield University 40 24,000
University of East London 41 24,000
Northumbria University 42 24,000
Huddersfield University 43 24,000
Brunel University 44 24,000
Greenwich University 45 24,000
Lancaster University 46 24,000
London Metropolitan University 47 24,000
Plymouth University 48 24,000
Portsmouth University 49 24,000
Royal Holloway 50 24,000
The Open University 51 24,000
University of East Anglia 52 24,000
University of the West of England 53 24,000
Westminster University 54 24,000
Leeds Metropolitan University 55 24,000
Northampton University 56 23,000
Kingston University 57 23,000
Nottingham Trent University 58 23,000
Bangor University 59 23,000
Canterbury Christ Church University 60 23,000
Reading University 61 23,000
Sheffield Hallam University 62 22,000
Coventry University 63 22,000
Oxford Brookes University 64 22,000
Birmingham City University 65 22,000
Bournemouth University 66 22,000
Brighton University 67 22,000
London South Bank University 68 22,000
Manchester Metropolitan University 69 21,000
Roehampton University 70 21,000
Southampton Solent University 71 21,000
University of the Arts London 72 21,000
Swansea University 73 21,000
West London University 74 21,000
De Montfort University 75 20,000
Salford University 76 20,000
Ulster University 77 20,000
Aberystwyth University 78 19,000
Queen's University Belfast 79 19,000
University of Central Lancashire 80 19,000
Anglia Ruskin University 81 19,000
Goldsmiths University 82 19,000
Liverpool John Moores University 83 19,000
Cardiff Metropolitan University 84 18,000

*Median Salary & bonus


Twice as good? Highest paid graduates (LSE, at 38,000 per year) earn more than twice as much as lowest paid (Cardiff Metropolitan University - 18,000 per year).


Are all degrees worth it? According to our data, those starting their career without a higher education degree can expect a salary of 19,000 at the beginning of their career, inches from the amount lower paid graduates will earn (graduates from the bottom 10 universities earn less than 20,000). From a solely financial point of view, a degree may not always be worth it.


What is the pay gap between disciplines?

Subject Graduate pay*
Economics 33,000
Engineering 28,000
Management & Strategy 27,000
Mathematics & Statistics 27,000
Computer Sciences 27,000
Accounting, Business & Finance 27,000
Physics, Life Sciences & Healthcare 27,000
Law 26,000
Modern Languages 26,000
Humanities (History, Geography, Politics...) 25,000
Chemistry & Natural Sciences 23,000
Psychology 23,000
Media, Marketing & Communication 21,000
English Literature 21,000
Fine Arts & Design 19,000

*Median Salary & bonus


Pick wisely... Regardless of the university, the subject students pick can mean a 14,000 pay difference at the beginning of their career: predictably, economy graduates earn 33,000, while fine arts & design grads only earn 19,000.


Science & business pay more than arts: The 7 best paying majors are all in business, sciences or economics, and offer salaries of up to 33,000 to graduates. Even the best paying art major (modern languages at 26,000) only reaches 9th place out of 15 subjects.


Alice Leguay, Co-founder & COO at Emolument.com said: 'With fees due to increase by over 9,000 this year, and students graduating with over 50,000 of debt on average, it is worth asking if the financial rewards a degree brings are worth the investment. Beyond a hoped-for increase in pay upon graduation, university offers opportunities for friendships, self-development through societies and sports, and a wealth of learning. However, if a degree cannot secure higher pay, it may be that university can no longer be seen as an investment but a boon only available to the well-off.'

 

Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.


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