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What are HE students' progression rates and qualifications?

HE Student Data What are HE students' progression rates and qualifications?

On this page: Numbers of qualifiers | Classifications achieved | Qualifiers by subject area | Progression rates

The tables and charts on this page provide information on the outcomes of students from higher education: the qualifications they achieve and whether they progress from one year to the next. Some information is taken from our Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2016/17 (SFR) and our UK Performance Indicators: Non-continuation, 2016/17 releases. 

Numbers of qualifiers

Chart 10 - Qualifications obtained by level of study

2000/01 to 2016/17


Figure 2 - HE qualifications obtained by level of qualification

2007/08 to 2016/17

What does first degree mean?

First degrees are those that, for the most part, lead to a bachelors degree qualification such as BA or BSc. See the definition for Level of study for more detail.

Figure 16 - HE qualifications obtained by level of qualification

2012/13 to 2016/17


Please note that 'Other undergraduate' includes any qualification not listed above (see definitions for a full list of qualifications). 'Total other undergraduate' includes all undergraduate qualifications excluding first degrees.

Classifications achieved

The graphs below exclude unclassified first degree qualifications.

What does unclassified mean?

Some first degree level qualifications are not subject to classification. These include medical and general degrees, ordinary degrees, and aegrotat qualifications. These unclassified degrees are not included in percentage calculations for class of degree.

Chart 9 - Classified first degree qualifications by class

2006/07 to 2016/17


Figure 17 - Percentage of first degree qualifiers obtaining each classification

2012/13 to 2016/17


The following table gives a breakdown of qualifiers by HE provider. Use the buttons to switch between displaying the number of qualifiers (by level of qualification obtained) and the degree classifications that first degree students achieved. 

Table 16 - HE qualifiers by HE provider and level of qualification obtained





Additional data on qualifiers at alternative HE providers is available in our Higher Education Student Statistics: Alternative Providers, 2016/17 release.

Qualifiers by subject area

Figure 18 - HE qualifications obtained by subject area and sex

2012/13 to 2016/17

Show last:

What is the Combined subject area?

Combined is used for courses that cover a range of subjects, such as modular courses offered by The Open University.

View data about subject of study by HE provider and teacher training qualifiers

Figure 19 - Percentage of HE student qualifications obtained in science subject areas by personal characteristics

2012/13 to 2016/17

Are science subject areas the same as STEM?

There is no single official definition of which subjects make up STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). The HESA science grouping includes subjects like medicine, nursing and agriculture that may not be included in other definitions of STEM.

Progression rates

Data on non-continuation rates and projected outcomes by HE provider are published in the UK Performance Indicators. The following chart indicates the proportion of full-time entrants who do not continue in higher education beyond their first year.

Read more in our UK Performance Indicators: Non-continuation release

Chart 6 - Percentage of UK domiciled full-time entrants not continuing in HE after their first year by academic year

1997/98 to 2015/16


The following chart indicates the projected learning outcomes for full-time students starting their programme of study.

Chart 9 - Projected learning outcomes of UK domiciled full-time first degree starters by academic year

2001/02 to 2015/16


Further data

View more detailed breakdowns, including classifications by subject and HE provider