Want to know how the rich and famous made their fame and fortune? Not all of them went to university, but thanks to Debut, we know where and what the ones that did studied to achieve their success. Their analysis breaks down the universities and degree subjects that churned out the most rich and famous celebrities. So why not take a glance and see whether your degree and uni will let you follow in their footsteps?

The universities that churned out the highest number of celebrities

The list above shows the most common eight universities amongst British celebrities. As two of the most distinguished universities in the world, it is no shock that the Oxbridge universities top the list. The University of Cambridge is home to 13 of the 200 celebrities looked at, including King Charles III, Sir Ian McKellen and David Attenborough. Meanwhile, Hugh Grant, Andrew Lloyd Webber, David Cameron and Tony Blair all went to the University of Oxford.

Middlesex University London and Royal Central School of Speech and Drama tie at four. They were the universities that many A-list celebrities went to, including Helen Mirren, Catherine Tate, Dawn French, Alan Carr and Johnny Vegas. More TV personalities also went there, including Dermot O’Leary, Gok Wan and Fern Britton.

At the bottom half of this list, we can see the universities that more rich and famous celebrities went to, including:

  • actors like Daniel Craig, Orlando Bloom and Ewan McGregor
  • comedians such as Matt Lucas and Michael McIntyre
  • musicians such as James Blunt and Will Young
  • public figures such as Zara Phillips and Gordon Brown
  • and TV personalities and writers such as Pippa Middleton and J. K. Rowling respectively.

Most popular degree subjects that celebrities and the rich and famous studied at university

Did you know that Sting, Ian McKellen and Hugh Grant studied English? The list above shows the most popular degrees studied by the UK’s finest.

The likes of Orlando Bloom, Ewan McGregor, David Walliams and Benedict Cumberbatch studying drama. And Alan Car, Alan Davies and Ellie Goulding studied drama and theatre studies. However, some surprising finds include John Cleese, star of Fawlty Towers, Harry Potter and Monty Python studied law. Nick Clegg and Hugh Laurie studied archaeology and anthropology, and Louis Theroux and George Osborne studied modern history. And rather than music and politics, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Gordon Brown and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex studied history.

The list also includes more ‘expected’ degree subject choices include Jon Snow, Sadiq Khan and Nicola Sturgeon also took up law at university.

The most popular universities the richest people studied at

The list above shows the most common universities amongst the UK’s richest people. While the University of Cambridge may house the most UK celebrities, the University of Oxford is home to the richest. These include eregrine Cavendish, 12th Duke of Devonshire, Mike Danson, Guy Weston, Nicky Oppenheimer and Merlin Bingham Swire. At Cambridge, the likes of Henry Keswick, John Reece, Simon Arora, Mark Coombs, Andrew Currie and David Harding all studied there.

So if you’re in it for money over fame, Oxford triumphs. And if you’re seeking the limelight but less bothered about the riches, Cambridge is your go-to.

Harvard University and London School of Economics have three each to their name, while the rest of the list have two each.

Most popular degrees that rich people study

It seems like if your name is John, you’re destined to study to economics, as half of the richest people in the United Kingdom who studied economics are named John.

The list above shows the most popular university courses amongst the UK’s richest people. Close behind economics is law, with Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, Stephen Rubin, John Coates, Simon Arora, Mark Coombs and Guy Weston having studied it. History, business administration and physics were studied by half the number of those who studied of law, and include the likes of Michael Moritz, Jörn Rausing and Michael Spencer. The rest of the courses on this list consist of two people, and include Nadmi Auchi, Paul Coulson, Navin Engineer, Tony Murray, Robin Arora, Andrew Currie, Sri Prakash Lohia, George G. Weston, Zameer Choudery and Chris Rokos.

However you define success, it is clear to see that there are many different ways of getting there.

So, whichever path you take, just remember a few things: patience is the key to success, don’t compare yourself to anyone in the world, take some risks and, as Bill Gates says, “if you think your teacher is tough, wait till you have a boss.”