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Graduates' subjective wellbeing

HE Graduate Outcomes Data Graduates' subjective wellbeing

Experimental statistics

On this page: Graduates' subjective wellbeing by graduate activities | subject area of degree | classification of first degree | sex | domicile

The 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes survey was sent to graduates who qualified from their higher education course between August 2018 and July 2019. Surveying commenced in December 2019 for the first of four cohorts. Shortly after surveying began for the second cohort, the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. This meant that many graduates were completing the survey at various points during the pandemic. The Graduate Outcomes quality report details further information about survey alterations due to the pandemic.

The quality of data used in this release is not thought to be adversely affected by the pandemic. Results and trends emerging from the data this year do however reflect the circumstances under which it was collected. In particular, small changes around the activities of graduates are apparent (including an increase in the proportion of graduates unemployed and a drop in those taking time out to travel). Further details about the analysis we have undertaken to explore the impact of the pandemic on the 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes dataset is provided in an insight briefing: The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Graduate Outcomes 2018/19

Accompanying this release is a suite of supporting information in the form of a user guide. This contains guidance on the history and background to the survey, survey methodology and the Graduate Outcomes quality report.

All tables and charts include a link underneath allowing you to download the data you see on screen, including filters. Many tables also include a link to download the complete source data as a machine-readable CSV file.

The Graduate Outcomes survey asks four questions that were developed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to measure people’s own assessment of their general wellbeing. The same questions are used by ONS and other survey organisations across many social surveys.

There are many factors that influence individuals’ state of wellbeing and data users are advised not to draw causal relationships between higher education experience and wellbeing approximately 15 months after HE course completion. Published statistics are aggregated to a high level to ensure that all responses remain anonymous.

See Definitions: Graduate Outcomes for information on the banding of responses in published charts.

Please see this blog post for more detailed discussion of subjective wellbeing in Graduate Outcomes: Asking graduates how they feel

Graduate activities

Key fact: There was little difference in the responses of the subjective wellbeing questions for 2018/19 graduates compared to those from 2017/18. This was despite the fact that most 2018/19 graduates were surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Chart 10 - Graduates' subjective wellbeing by activity

Academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19



View more detailed tables on graduates' activities and characteristics

Subject area of degree

Chart 11 - Graduates' subjective wellbeing by subject area of degree

Academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19



Classification of first degree

Key fact: Across all classifications of first degree, the percentage of graduates who said they felt anxious yesterday was lower for those who studied part time relative to full-time

Chart 8 - Graduates' subjective wellbeing by classification of first degree

Academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19



View more detailed tables on previous study characteristics


Chart 7 - Graduates' subjective wellbeing by sex

Academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19




Chart 9 - Graduates' subjective wellbeing by domicile

Academic years 2017/18 to 2018/19



Next: Survey and respondent attributes

Return to: Graduates' reflections on activity

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