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What Are the Highest Paying Degrees in the UK?

Choosing the highest paying degrees in the UK is a significant decision, influenced by both the potential earnings and market demands of the degree and one’s passions, talents and career aspirations. Among them, financial considerations are undoubtedly important, then what degree will earn you the most money? We’ve ranked the top 11 highest paying degrees in the UK to help you recognize the most valuable university degrees.

Average Graduate Salary UK

According to the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) statistics, the current average graduate salary in the UK is £33,229. However, the ISE research primarily concentrates on large businesses and graduate schemes. Hence, the data is significantly higher than that conducted by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)—first-degree graduates in full-time employment were £27,340 fifteen months after graduation.

However, going to university is a considerable investment, so it’s crucial that you effortlessly get a job soon after graduation, and your salary should exceed the investment you made before. Under this condition, many students and parents are naturally concerned about the best degrees with a high average graduate income and many job opportunities before applying to colleges.

To save you time searching for information about the highest paid degrees, we have concluded the key findings and listed the top 11 degrees that pay well below. The factors we will consider include which degree will earn you the most money when you are a recent graduate, whether the degree is in high demand in the job market, and the best universities to study at.

Key Findings on the Highest Paying Degrees UK

  • Medicine and dentistry were the best paying degrees UK for many consecutive years. For graduates of these fields, no matter if you were green or skilled, your median salary was the same, £35,000.
  • Veterinary sciences followed closely, taking second place, followed by engineering and technology degrees in third place.
  • Law, media, journalisms, communications, design, creative and performing arts were shown to be  the least popular degrees to study with an averarage salary of £23,000.
  • For those low skilled workers, labourers in education and teaching have the lowest median salary of £19,000.

What Are the Highest Paying Degrees?

Medicine—£35,000/Year

Medicine still ranks first in the list of the highest paying degrees UK. Although one needs to make a great effort to become a doctor or healthcare professional, and medical degrees take more years to finish than others, up to six years, the hard work will pay off after graduation. Even nursing graduates earn more after pay negotiations.

  • Average starting salary: As one of the top paying degrees, the average starting salary is £35,000/year.
  • Job prospects: The job options for graduates include junior doctors, general practitioners, or specialists in fields such as surgery or psychiatry.
  • Top universities: Many universities in the UK offer excellent medical degrees, such as University College London, King’s College London, University of Oxford and others. Those who are interested in medicine and have applied to those colleges could start to find apartments around those universities, such as University College London accommodations and University of Oxford housing.
  • Personal or professional advantages: Moreover, embarking on this rigorous and noble path gives you the chance to significantly impact individual lives and communities. In your long and enjoyable career, you will help hundreds of people, which is regarded as more significant than just making money. If you dream of saving lives, this rewarding degree must be your top choice.

Dentistry—£35,000/Year

As promising as medicine, Dentistry is one of the best degrees to make money. Dentistry today is not just about preventing and treating oral diseases; it’s about offering comprehensive care that addresses the multifaceted needs of patients. 

  • Average starting salary: The graduate’s average wage is also £35,000/year.
  • Job prospects: Dentistry jobs involve dentists, oral surgeons, or officers in dental public health. Because of the high demand for dentists in the UK, it is effortless for the graduates of this degree to get a job soon after graduation. Over 90% of dentistry graduates are employed within 6 months.
  • Top universities: The University of Sheffield and Queen’s University Belfast are the top UK universities for Dentistry. If you have decided to choose this degree, you can focus on these universities. After successful application, you could find the apartments near those universities, such as University of Sheffield housing and Queen’s University Belfast apartments.
  • Personal or professional advantages: From preventive education and routine dental care to complex surgical procedures and cosmetic enhancements, dental professionals play a crucial role in maintaining their communities’ overall health and well-being. Dentistry will be suitable if you want to choose a meaningful career with high pay and many job opportunities.

Veterinary Sciences—£32,000/Year

Graduates in Veterinary sciences are not only medical experts but also guides through the many stages of the beloved animal’s life.

  • Average starting salary: Among the highest paying jobs UK, graduates who studied veterinary sciences earn an annual salary of £32,000/year.
  • Job prospects: Graduates can work as veterinarians, veterinary specialists, or in research and academia. In addition, like dentistry, 91% of graduates will get a job at once after finishing their studies. Veterinary specialists are in high demand across the UK, with opportunities ranging from small practice to large-scale agricultural consultancies.
  • Top universities: Top universities include the University of Liverpool, the University of Nottingham and the University of Central Lancashire.
  • Personal or professional advantages: If you are keen on animals and animal welfare, being a vet could be a happy and suitable career for you.

Engineering—£30,000/Year

Engineering is a degree that combines science with art, turning theoretical concepts into practical solutions that shape the world around us.

  • Average starting salary: Engineering, one of degrees that pay the most UK, the average starting salary for an engineer is about £30,000/year, while high-skilled engineers can earn up to £75,000/year. If you want to choose your career from the highest paying university degrees UK , engineering is undoubtedly a fabulous option.
  • Job prospects: Engineering is popular in the modern world. Its employment spectrum is vast, including civil engineering, manufacturing, electronics and aeronautics. As an engineer, you will never be short of work. 
  • Top universities: Some UK colleges offer excellent General Engineering courses, such as Staffordshire University, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Leicester.
  • Personal or professional advantages: If you’re inspired by the possibility of making a tangible impact on the world, engineering might be your calling. It’s a career that offers endless opportunities for innovation, creativity, and growth.

Maths Sciences—£30,000/Year

Currently, there is a trend in UK education to restore Maths to its rightful place, since Maths is the most basic subject, the source of most of our societal advancements, inventions, and discoveries.

  • Average starting salary: Among the highest paid degree jobs UK, the average starting salary of a maths graduate is £30,000/year, and you can expect a rapid increase.
  • Job prospects: Whether you decide to go into banking, economics, management consultancy or any other maths-related fields—you are overwhelmingly likely to earn high pay.
  • Top universities: University of Bath, Coventry University and Loughborough University are famous UK universities for studying Maths. If you have succeeded in applying to those colleges, it’s time to find apartments near them, such as University of Bath apartments and Coventry University housing.
  • Personal and professional advantages: If you are mathematically gifted, then a degree in mathematics will not only help you feel a sense of self-worth but will also pay well.

Computing—£30,000/Year

In an era where technology permeates every aspect of life, a degree in Computing is a golden ticket to the forefront of innovation.

  • Average starting salary: As for Computing, one of the most well paid degrees, its graduates earn the same wages as maths and engineering graduates (£30,000/year). 
  • Job prospects: There are a handful of employers and industries for you to choose from, such as top tech companies, start-ups, and traditional industries alike. They will give you impressive salaries, may be a 6-figure income.
  • Top universities: The University of Greenwich and the University of Exeter offer outstanding computing programs.
  • Personal or professional advantages: If you are interested in computer sciences, this career must be promising. After all, a degree in computing is more than just a passport to the tech industry; it’s a gateway to shaping the future.

Easy Degrees That Pay the Most UK

Physical Sciences—£28,000/Year

Physical sciences, encompassing fields like Physics, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences, are pivotal in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

  • Average starting salary: For Physical sciences, among the highest paying graduate degrees, the graduates will begin with around £28,000/year, increasing to around £40,000/year in your first ten years.
  • Job prospects: You have various careers, from research and development roles in innovative industries to high-level consultancy and environmental management positions.
  • Top universities: the University of Exeter, the University of Bath and the University of Glasgow are prestigious UK universities offering renowned Physics programs.
  • Personal or professional advantages: If you are good at physical sciences and fond of this field, you could choose this major. It offers attractive salaries and the satisfaction of contributing to meaningful and impactful work.

Social Sciences—£28,000/Year

Social sciences, which study society and human behaviour, are increasingly recognised for their value in shaping policies, businesses, and communities.

  • Average starting salary: The average starting salary for a graduate of Social sciences, one of the highest earning degrees UK, is £28,000/year.
  • Job prospects: Graduates can work in various roles, such as politicians, psychologists, economists, financial analysts and so on. Besides that, they are also well-prepared for careers in public service, non-profit organisations, and private sector roles that require strong analytical and communication skills.
  • Top universities: Lancaster University, University of Liverpool and University of Bath provide renowned programs in social sciences.
  • Personal or professional advantages: These degrees offer insights into human behaviour, societal structures, and the factors influencing public policy. In this way, graduates possess a deep understanding of societal issues. If you are passionate about Social sciences, you can manage to enter into this rewarding and lucrative field.

Business and Management—£27,000/Year

A degree in Business and management is a versatile asset that opens up many high-paying career paths.

  • Average starting salary: Most undergraduate students who study Business take an MBA postgraduate degree. You will likely start on around £50,000 a year with an MBA. If you complete your business degree and go to work, you will start at around £27,000/year.
  • Job prospects: Graduates are primed for success in various roles, from entrepreneurship and consultancy to leadership positions in multinational corporations. 
  • Top universities: London School of Business and Finance, University of Bedfordshire, and University of Essex are the 3 prestigious UK universities offering top Business and management programs. If you have chosen Business and management, those top universities will be your top choices. After the successful application, you could live in accommodations around those colleges, like University of Bedfordshire accommodations and University of Essex housing.
  • Personal or professional advantages: It equips students with a comprehensive understanding of business operations, financial management, and strategic planning, which is one of the most valuable university degrees.

Environmental Sciences—£27,000/Year

Environmental sciences is a beacon of hope and innovation in our collective quest to understand the complex interplay between natural ecosystems and human societies.

  • Average starting salary: After graduating from Environmental Sciences, you will first have £27,000/year.
  • Job prospects: You have many options, such as multinational companies, charities or public sector organisations. This degree is also in high demand on the agenda of most organisations due to climate change and sustainable development.
  • Top universities: University of Oxford, Imperial College London, and University College London are 3 acknowledged colleges for Environmental sciences.
  • Personal or professional advantages: Studying environmental sciences can be regarded as saving the planet. If you have ever dreamed of saving the world when you were young, it may be the closest way to approach your dream.

Architecture—£26,000/Year

As a graduate of Architecture, their duties are to blend creativity with practicality to design the future of our physical world.

  • Average starting salary: Architects could earn about £26,000/year.
  • Job prospects: There are many job opportunities after graduation, such as site supervision, urban planning, and designing iconic buildings.
  • Top universities: Birmingham City University, Falmouth University, and Manchester Metropolitan University are the top UK universities for studying architecture.
  • Personal or professional advantages: The degree impacts society’s fabric, offering a unique combination of creative fulfilment and financial reward. If you are passionate about this career, you can try to enter into this high paying field.

You can read the full findings of the analysis below.

The 11 highest paying degrees in the UK
RankDegreeSalaryEmployment
and further study compared to last year
Unemployed compared to the last year
1Medicine and dentistry£35,0001,030130
2Veterinary sciences£32,0007015
3Engineering and technology£30,0002,1551,435
4Maths sciences£30,000710395
5Computing£30,0001,5301,275
6Physical sciences£28,000865525
7Social sciences£28,0004,1502,065
8Business and management£27,0004,9503,275
9Environmental sciences£27,000225110
10Combined and general studies£27,000325135
11Architecture£26,000840340
12Subjects allied to medicine£26,0004,1401,075
13Historical, psychological and religious studies£26,0001,605810
14Education and teaching£26,0002,6201,015
15Language and area studies£25,5001,580830
16Biological and sport sciences£25,0001,955910
17Agriculture, food and related studies£25,000300145
18Psychology£24,5002,495815
19Law£24,0002,1751,045
20Design, and creative and performing arts£24,0002,6601,725
21Media, journalism and communications£23,000565460

Passion vs. Paycheck: Choosing a Major for Your Future

Choosing the right degree is influenced by two aspects: one’s passions, talents, career aspirations, and the potential earnings and market demands of the degree. Both are significant.

For one thing, If we only consider our own preferences and choose a favourite degree yet with poor employment prospects, we may be faced with the challenge of not being able to find a job or having a very low salary after graduation. For another, if we only consider employment and income and choose a disliked degree, then we will live in pain every day. Under this condition, we need to figure out how to strike the balance between passion and paycheck. It involves a visionary approach, identifying intersections where your interests meet the world’s needs. There are two suggestions for you.

  • It’s about harnessing your love in a way that also ensures financial stability, perhaps by acquiring diverse skills that increase your adaptability in the job market.
  • When making the final decision, you should stay true to yourself, remain open to growth, and learn every step of the way.

Conclusion

The top 11 highest paying degrees in the UK have been introduced. You can choose the degree in terms of both your interests and the world’s needs.

FAQ

The highest paying jobs involve the following options, which are the most popular jobs in the UK.

  • IT
  • Lawyer
  • Marketing director
  • Chief executives
  • Doctor
  • Engineer
  • Architect
  • Accountant

The most useful degrees today include the following majors 

  • Computer science
  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Information technology

Speaking of the worst degrees for earning a high salary, the following choices are listed.

  • Psychology
  • Hospitality
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Fine arts
  • Social services

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