The salient features of a nanostructured carbonaceous material like graphene or graphene oxide have provided innovative alternatives for the development of nanocomposite membranes with better selectivity without having a compromise in throughput, which as a result have a promising role to play in desalination and water purification. Here, nanostructured reduced graphene oxide (nRGO) is synthesized from graphite powder and characterized. Using non-solvent induced phase inversion technique, a series of nanocomposite ultrafiltration (UF) membranes are developed by in situ impregnation of the as synthesized nRGO in polysulfone (Ps) polymer matrix with variation of nRGO from 1 to 8 w/w%. The physicochemical features and transport properties offered by the membranes are evaluated. Structural characterization of the Ps-nRGO composite UF membranes is done by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The variation in porous morphology of the membranes upon impregnation of nRGO is evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. Variation in skin surface topography is analyzed by atomic force microscopy. The change in surface hydrophilicity is evaluated by contact angle studies. The thermal and mechanical properties of the membranes are assessed by thermogravimetric analysis and tensile strength measurements, respectively. The studies reveal that an optimum loading of nRGO (2 w/w%) in the Ps matrix resulted in membranes with elimination of the trade-off between the flux and selectivity that exists with the conventional UF membranes. In addition, the optimum loading of nRGO resulted in membranes with improved thermal and mechanical stability. Thus, nRGO as an emerging potential nanofiller can lead to the development of an ideal membrane with desirable attributes. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.