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On this page: Employed leavers, Performance indicators, Longitudinal survey, Salaries, More HESA services, Publications, Unistats, External sources, FAQ

Creative Commons License All tables and charts on this pages are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

General early survey results (6 months after graduation)

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey asks leavers from higher education what they are doing six months after graduation. About three quarters of leavers complete the survey. Some published statistics are restricted to certain types of leaver such as first degree (bachelors level) graduates or leavers who studied full-time.

Statistical First Release 237

Overview of DLHE data 2014/15.

Table 2 sex; age; disability; ethnicity
Table 3 level of study
Table 4a full-time leavers
Table 5a part-time leavers
Table 6a full-time, first degree graduates by subject area
All tables in one workbook
Older Statistical First Releases

DLHE publication

Press Release 239 - What 2014/15 graduates did next

Introduction - sector level tables and charts
Table A survey response rates
Table B activity & employment
Table C sex
Table D age group
Table E subject
Table J further study
Table L teachers
All intro tables in one workbook


 DLHE FT Leavers by level 1415
 More information in SFR237
Leavers by activity 2014/15 (all survey respondents)
Activity Number Percentage
Full-time work 237940 59.6%
Part-time work 48385 12.1%
Primarily in work and also studying 12845 3.2%
Primarily studying and also in work 10025 2.5%
Full-time study 47120 11.8%
Part-time study 4480 1.1%
Due to start work 3450 0.9%
Unemployed 17150 4.3%
Other 17955 4.5%
Total employed 309190 77.4%
Total unemployed 20600 5.2%
Total survey respondents 399345  
% employed by level and mode of study 2014/15
  Employed Unemployed
Postgraduate 85.9% 4.3%
  Full-time PG 83.5% 5.5%
  Part-time PG 90.4% 2.1%
Undergraduate 74.6% 5.4%
  Full-time UG 73.5% 5.8%
  Part-time UG 81.8% 3.3%
Total 77.4% 5.2%

Employed leavers

Where leavers tell us they are employed, we ask them what sort of work they are doing (industry/occupation), where they are working and their basis of employment (permanent/self-employed/internship etc.). 

Statistical First Release 237

Overview of DLHE data 2014/15

Table 7 occupation (def) and subject area
Table 8 industry (def) and subject area
Table 9 salaries of UK first degree graduates by sex
Table 10 salaries of full-time UK first degree graduates by subject
Table 11 location of employment vs. location of study
Table 12 location of employment vs. domicile
All tables in one workbook
Older Statistical First Releases

DLHE publication

Press Release 239 - What 2014/15 graduates did next

Introduction - sector level tables and charts
Table F professional occupations
Table G location (UK/EU/non-EU)
Table H employment basis
Table I location (UK region)
Table K salaries
Table L teachers
All intro tables in one workbook


Employment basis of leavers in employment 2014/15
Employment basis Number Percentage
Self-employed/freelance 15355 5.0%
Starting up own business 1980 0.6%
On a permanent or open-ended contract 189870 61.8%
On a fixed-term contract lasting 12 months or longer 45560 14.8%
On a fixed-term contract lasting less than 12 months 22695 7.4%
Voluntary work 3480 1.1%
On an internship/placement 6980 2.3%
Developing a professional portfolio/creative practice 985 0.3%
Temping (including supply teaching) 7350 2.4%
On a zero hours contract 7655 2.5%
Other 5445 1.8%
Unknown 1840  
Total 309190  
Occupations of leavers in employment 2014/15
Occupation Number Percentage
1 Managers, directors and senior officials 13735 4.4%
2 Professional occupations 146385 47.4%
3 Associate professional and technical 76740 24.9%
4 Administrative and secretarial 16720 5.4%
5 Skilled trades 3525 1.1%
6 Caring, leisure and other service 16840 5.5%
7 Sales and customer service 21595 7.0%
8 Process, plant and machine operatives 1305 0.4%
9 Elementary occupations 11970 3.9%
Total professional jobs (1-3) 236860 76.7%
Total non-professional jobs (4-9) 71950 23.3%
Unknown 380  

For headline statistics on industry of employment see FAQ below

UK Performance Indicators (by HE provider)

Comparative data on the proportion of leavers from each HE provider entering work or further study. UKPIs are specified by the HE funding bodies.

Press release 238 - overview of 2014/15 employment indicators

UK Performance Indicators 2014/15 - Employment of leavers

Comparison tables with benchmarks:

   Table E1a full-time first degree
   Table E1b part-time first degree
   Table E1c full-time other undergraduate
   Table E1d part-time other undergraduate

Sector level context tables. Undergraduate employment rates by:

   Table SE1 subject
   Table SE2 entry qualifications
   Table SE3 age on entry to HE
   Table SE4 gender
   Table SE5 ethnicity

PIs Definitions

Performance Indicators Summary. Note break in time series for 2011/12.
PIs image
Click the graph for full-size version in context.

Longitudinal survey results (3½ years after graduation)

Every 2 years a sample of leavers who complete the early DLHE survey are contacted again 3½ years after graduation.

Press release 221 - overview of the latest survey

Report - 2010/11 leavers surveyed in November 2014

Tables - list of Excel tables in the report

Earlier surveys - results of biennial survey since 2002/03

Longitudinal DLHE satisfaction questions
Click the graph for full-size version in press release 221.

Longitudinal survey definitions

Comparison of early and longitudinalsurveys for 2010/11 leavers
Click the graph for full-size version in press release 221.


Approximately two thirds of survey respondents in full-time paid employment provide information about their salary.

Early survey (six months after leaving)

Statistical First Release 237:
  Table 9 - average salaries by sex & mode of study
  Table 10 - salaries of full-time leavers by subject & sex
  Older Statistical First Releases

Publication introduction:
  Table K - first degree graduates by gender and salary band
  Older publications  

Early survey definitions 

Longitudinal survey (3½ years after leaving)

2010/11 report:
  Table 11a - by level, mode, gender, mission group, region
  Table 11b - by level and subject
  Table 11c - early survey comparison by level and subject
  Older reports

Longitudinal survey definitions

 DLHE sex and salary
 More information in SFR237
Median salary of full-time first degree leavers in full-time paid employment 2006/07 to 2014/15
Year of graduation Early survey Longitudinal survey
2014/15 £21,000 -
2013/14 £20,000 -
2012/13 £20,000 -
2011/12 £20,000 -
2010/11 £19,000 £25,000
2009/10 £19,000 -
2008/09 £20,000 £24,000
2007/08 £20,000 -
2006/07 £19,000 £24,000

More HESA services

Other ways to get HESA information.

Get a customised data extract

If the stats on the website couldn't answer your question, why not ask the experts directly?

The Bespoke Data Service can provide the exact statistics you require. Give them a call on +44 (0) 1242 211133 - or go straight to the data request form

Press and media enquiries

See the Press Office section for press releases and contact details

Follow HESA on Twitter: @ukhesa

Topical statistics blog:

Mobile app

UK HE Stats - free app contains five years' data for all HE providers.

iPhone - iPad - Android

Use anywhere. Does NOT require a WiFi, 3G or other connection. All data is contained in the App.

Subject Benchmarking Report

Subject-specific market intelligence with analysis of performance against chosen competitor institutions. Data and graphical analysis cover the student life cycle from enrolment to graduate destinations.

For more information, and to view a sample Subject Benchmarking Report go to


HESA publications are downloadable collections of the most useful data in Excel tables.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions 2014/15

See contents

Read the Introduction online - includes many more useful summary tables  


Destinations of
from Higher
Education Institutions
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Institutions

To view all HESA publications and special offers see the Publications home page or the 2016 product catalogue.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey
Free report of biennial sample survey covering leavers 3½ years after graduation

2010/11 leavers (published 2015)
2008/09 leavers
2006/07 leavers
2004/05 leavers 
2002/03 leavers 

Destinations of
from Higher
Education Institutions
Longitudinal Survey
Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Longitudinal Survey

Older publications for 1994/95 to 2009/10 can be downloaded for free from the Publications Archive.


Unistats provides official data for all undergraduate courses providing key information for prospective students. This includes DLHE data on average salaries, % in employment, % in professional jobs and the most common jobs that leavers go into.

Unistats website - the official source for information on HE courses

Unistats dataset - raw data underlying the Unistats website available for developers to download in XML and CSV format

Unistats - from universities and colleges in the UK

External sources

The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) is an independent research charity specialising in higher education and graduate employment.

HECSU publish What do graduates do a detailed report based on HESA DLHE data, along with other reports based on DLHE and sources of information. HESA is not affiliated with HECSU or responsible for the contents of its website or reports.

Frequently asked destinations statistics questions

Got a question? If the answer's not online contact one of our Bespoke Data Service experts by email: [email protected]

Q. Which institution's leavers are most likely to be employed?

A. See the Performance Indicators section above for comparison tables.

Q. What do students on my course go on to do?

A. See the Unistats website section for information about undergraduate courses.

Q. What questions does the survey ask?

A. The 2014/15 early survey questionnaire is here:

The 2010/11 longitudinal survey questionnaire is here:

Q. How many leavers respond to the survey?

A. Response rates are published in Table 1 of the early survey Statistical First Release and in the longitudinal survey reports.

For the 2014/15 early survey 416,190 UK and EU domicile leavers responded to the survey out of a target population of 528,545. This is a response rate of 79%.

The 2010/11 longitudinal sample survey received 81,650 responses out of 396,650 leavers who had completed the early survey.


Q. Which subjects have the best employment prospects?

% employed by subject area 2014/15
Subject area Employed Unemployed
Medicine & dentistry 89.7% 1.3%
Subjects allied to medicine 88.5% 2.2%
Biological sciences 68.5% 5.6%
Veterinary science 92.8% 0.4%
Agriculture & related subjects 69.3% 5.7%
Physical sciences 63.6% 7.3%
Mathematical sciences 64.9% 7.1%
Computer science 76.4% 9.4%
Engineering & technology 76.9% 7.0%
Architecture, building & planning 83.9% 4.9%
Social studies 74.3% 5.9%
Law 65.8% 4.9%
Business & administrative studies 81.0% 6.0%
Mass communications & documentation 80.3% 7.6%
Languages 67.0% 6.1%
Historical & philosophical studies 64.4% 6.1%
Creative arts & design 77.2% 7.0%
Education 89.4% 1.6%
Combined 67.8% 3.9%

Q. What industries do employed leavers enter?

Industries of leavers in employment 2014/15
Industry Number Percentage
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 730 0.2%
Mining and quarrying 1255 0.4%
Manufacturing 14105 4.6%
Electricity & gas 1280 0.4%
Water supply & waste management 860 0.3%
Construction 5260 1.7%
Wholesale/retail trade & vehicle repair 30185 9.8%
Transport and storage 4110 1.3%
Hotels & restaurants 12970 4.2%
Information and communication 17755 5.8%
Financial activities 11695 3.8%
Real estate 3235 1.0%
Professional, scientific and technical 34425 11.2%
Administrative and support services 11640 3.8%
Public administration/defence/social security 16190 5.2%
Education 63680 20.6%
Health & social work 62565 20.3%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 12030 3.9%
Other service activities 3740 1.2%
Private households with employed persons 335 0.1%
International organisations and bodies 390 0.1%
Unknown 760  


Viz first published in Press Release 239. Download background data: HESA_PR239_DLHE_data_2014-15.xlsx


Creative Commons License All tables and charts on this pages are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.