For the second time in three years, the NHS was voted by undergraduates as the most popular graduate employer 2013 in a poll of more than 23,000 undergraduates conducted by international research firm trendence. The full list of the 300 most popular employers in the UK is published in The Guardian UK300this week, when 100,000 copies are distributed to students at leading universities.

At a time when public sector recruitment is falling, undergraduates have stated their wishes clearly with many of them attracted by the high-quality graduate schemes offered by the NHS. Not only were they the overall winners, the NHS was also the most popular with all year groups surveyed – although they were less popular with men than women.

The Guardian UK300 is a unique partnership between The Guardian and GTI Media, the publishers of TARGETjobs, TARGETcourses and TARGETjobs Events in the UK. It is the fastest growing graduate careers listing publication in the country and records annually the 300 most popular recruiters overall plus the most popular by sector, by gender and by year of study.

The highlights of the 2013 edition are:

Most popular graduate employers:

  1. NHS Graduate Schemes
  2. Google
  3. GlaxoSmithKline

Most popular employers by sector:

  • Accounting and Financial Management: PwC
  • Banking, Insurance and Financial Services: HM Revenue and Customs
  • Charity and Not-For-Profit: Amnesty International
  • Construction: Atkins
  • Engineering: Rolls-Royce
  • Investment Banking: Goldman Sachs
  • IT: Google
  • Law: Allen & Overy
  • Public Sector: NHS
  • Retail: John Lewis Partnership
  • Science: GlaxoSmithKline

Rob Farace, NHS Leadership Academy says: “We are delighted to top The Guardian UK300 again for the second time in three years and at the same time are humbled by the affection and regard people have for the NHS and our graduate scheme”.

Simon Rogers, GTI Media director, says: “It’s extremely important for students to find out how employers are viewed in all the sectors of work that they are interested in. It’s this sort of detail and analysis that makes The Guardian UK300a useful and unique reference work for student jobseekers.”