About the Top Undergraduate Employers 2020 - 2021

This is the definitive guide to the UK’s leading student employers. The Top Undergraduate Employers is based on reviews submitted by students on RateMyPlacement. These companies offer the very best placements, internships, insights and vacation schemes.

How the Top 100 & Top 65 are created

A student writes a review of a placement, internship, insight or vacation scheme and submits it to RateMyPlacement.

Students respond to 15 questions about their role, the organisation and the social perks of their scheme, ranking the company out of 5 for each question.

All reviews are quality checked by the RateMyPlacement team.

Once a company has 15 reviews they are eligible to be a Top Employer. Companies that hire more than 20 students go into the Top 100, and organisations that hire between 3 and 20 go into the Top 65.

Our digital team plug all the scores into an algorithm (created by the founders of RateMyPlacement) and lo and behold, the Top 100 and Top 65 tables are formed!


Breakdown of the Top Employers

26% 36% 27% 11%

6,541 (36%) Internships

Internships usually take place during the summer, in which an intern will work full-time for a company to gain experience and knowledge of an industry

4,813 (27%) Placements

A placement student spends a full academic year working for one company as a full-time employee, before returning to university for a final year.

4,672 (26%) Insights

Insight schemes take place throughout the year and are designed to give you a taste of the company or industry.

1,926 (11%) Vacation Scheme

Vacation schemes are short periods of work experience, specifically in law firms. Many law firms use this time to identify recruits for their training contracts.

How much will you be paid?

Average undergraduate salary in the UK: £18,670

The average salary for a student getting work experience in the UK is £18,670. That’s based on 5,855 reviews submitted on RateMyPlacement last year.

Of course, salaries vary across different regions; employers located in London tend to pay more because of the high costs of living.

You can check out the average salaries for each specific region in the UK by hovering over the icons on the map.


Total number of reviews across all Top Employers

The average salary across the UK:



Why work experience is so, so important


A report from the Institute of Student Employers revealed 63% of employers believed graduates who had undertaken work experience were work-ready. This is compared to 48% of graduates who hadn't undertaken work experience, which shows the impact work experience has on your graduate employability!

Across all of the Top Employers, 47% of their previous placement students and interns came back as graduates last year. This could be you!

Employers use work experience schemes to discover future talent, and introduce them to the team and company culture.

This is why it’s so important - now more than ever - to get work experience before you graduate. Placements and internships increase your chances of starting a career straight after university.