Exam results 2015: Top 10 UK universities where you're most likely to get a graduate job from

A helping hand for those students who have not yet made their mind up on which university to head for post-exam results

Aftab Ali
Tuesday 18 August 2015 15:55 BST
(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The dust has gradually been settling after a tumultuous and anxiety-ridden A-level results day for the some 250,000 students across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland who eagerly tore open that dreaded brown envelope.

Thankfully, though, the news this year has been largely positive as the 2015 pass rate saw a rise of 0.1 per cent on last year, bringing this year’s rate up to 98.1 per – back to the record level set two years ago.

As well as this, Ucas was quick to confirm that, by the end of the weekend following results day, the total number of people who have now been placed in UK higher education is almost 453,000 – an increase of three per cent on the same point last year.

For those who are still not quite settled on where to go to post-exam results, here’s a countdown of the ten universities in the UK from which you’re most likely to land a graduate job, along with their graduate employment rate:

10) Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen – 97.2 per cent

Situated on what it calls “one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK,” RGU’s teaching staff have an excellent reputation for quality and academic research and the university’s track record of seeing graduates into work is one of the best in Scotland.

Notable alumni include businessman and football club chairman, Stewart Milne, and Scottish musician, Donnie Munro.

9) Courtauld Institute of Art, London – 97.3 per cent

As one of the self-governing colleges of the University of London, the Courtauld Institute of Art describes itself as being the world’s leading centre for the study of the history and for the conservation of art and architecture.

Impressive facilities for students include vast libraries, the Research Forum which offers access to speakers visiting from overseas, and The Courtauld Gallery – which is also open to the public – with its extensive collection of paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures.

The Institute also featured in the top ten of all UK universities for overall course satisfaction with an impressive score of 94 per cent, compared with the UK average of 86 per cent.

Notable alumni include prominent art critic, Brian Sewell, and Anita Brookner who went on to become the first woman to hold the oldest professorship of art at Cambridge, the Slade Professorship.

8) Arts University Bournemouth, Poole – 97.4 per cent

This self-proclaimed leading arts university for the creative industries has, in place, six core values for helping students to graduate successfully: make, inspire, live, collaborate, engage, and achieve.

Similar to Courtauld, the AUB has an extensive library containing over 50,000 books on art, design, and media, and it too has a gallery which is open to the public and displays touring exhibitions from artist at home and abroad.

Well-known alumni include Academy Award-winning Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter, Simon Beaufoy, and fashion photographer, Nick Knight.

7) Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester – 97.8 per cent

As a relatively young institution, shy of just 50 years, the RNCM came about when 1893’s Royal Manchester College of Music merged with the Northern School of Music in 1973.

It has quickly become a leading international conservatoire with a reputation for attracting talented academics, students, professors and musicians from across the globe.

The National Student Survey say the RNCM be recognised as the highest scoring UK independent music college with an overall student satisfaction rate of 86 per cent.

Notable alumni include Liverpudlian composer, Emily Howard, and classical pianist, Stephen Hough.

6) Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow – 98 per cent

As the third conservatoire to make up the top ten for highest graduate employment, the RCS became the first conservatoire in the country to be given its own degree-awarding powers up to taught Masters level.

The RCS collected two awards this summer at the Herald Higher Education Awards, which included recognition for its hard work in work in making performing arts education more accessible for young people from underprivileged backgrounds.

Well-known alumni – who need no introduction – include James McAvoy, David Tennant, Alan Cumming, and Robert Carlyle.

5) University of Buckingham – 98.1 per cent

With its traditional Oxbridge-style teaching, coupled with expert academics and well-planned degrees, this university was proud to beat both Oxford and Cambridge with its graduate employment rate, and the National Student Survey revealed an impressive student satisfaction score of 95 per cent.

Well-known alumni include founder and CEO of Open Quest Media LLC, June Arunga, and Conservative politician, Mark Lancaster.

4) Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln – 98.1 per cent

Surrounded by great scenery, this institution has been churning out successful graduates for over 150 years.

To keep on with its commitment to higher education and to enhance the student experience, BGU has recently refurbished its student accommodation to build new halls of residence, doubled the size of its library, and added new dining facilities.

Alumni include West End theatre producer, David Pugh, and Paralympic silver medallist in skiing, Jade Etherington.

3) Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester – 98.2 per cent

Founded in 1845, the RAU’s graduates have successfully moved into employment within agricultural, land, business management and the food industries, as the institution has recently partnered with education specialists to highlight the importance of accessibility to higher education for all.

The RAU’s National Student Survey student satisfaction rate climbed an impressive 81 places on last year to hit an overall score of 89 per cent.

Notable alumni include radio and TV presenter, Jonathan Dimbleby, and the late Princess Diana’s father, John Spencer.

2) Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London– 99.1 per cent

As the country’s only conservatoire dedicated, not only music, but contemporary dance, Trinity Laban calls itself a leader in music and contemporary dance education, all the while striving to be diverse.

Not only this, but the institution also open its doors to the get the public involved and has health initiatives in place.

Well-known alumni include contemporary dance choreographer, Matthew Bourne, and motion picture composer, John Powell.

1) Royal College of Music, London – 100 per cent

Last, but not least, the fourth conservatoire to round-off the top ten with a perfect graduate employment score of 100 per cent, the RCM’s notable alumni includes musical theatre maestro Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the late composer James Horner.

The RMC is known to be one of the world’s greatest conservatoires for shaping-up talented musicians for prominent careers at home and abroad.

With world-renowned musicians for professors tasked with moulding the talented artists of tomorrow, it hardly comes as a surprise that the RMC’s teaching staff achieved a 92 per cent satisfaction rating in this year’s National Student Survey – the highest figure from all UK conservatoires.

Data has been obtained from the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) UKPIs: Employment of leavers (table E1)

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