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Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17

HESA’s publication Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 reveals further details of the activities of graduates six months after leaving.

Tables from the online introduction reveal the differing outcomes for graduates from different subjects of study. Over 93% of full-time first degree medicine, dentistry and veterinary graduates were in full-time work 6 months after graduation while the highest rates of unemployment were among graduates from computer science at 9.5%. Overall 16.8% of UK domiciled full-time first degree graduates were in further study only (excluding those both working and studying). The subject areas with the highest proportions of graduates entering further study were law and physical sciences, with over 30% of these graduates going on to further study.

Chart 4 - Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree leavers by subject area and activity 2016/17

Breaking down the DLHE survey results by sex reveals differences in the types of jobs that male and female graduates enter, and the salaries of those in full-time employment.

75.3% of male UK domiciled full-time leavers entered professional occupations1, while the figure for female graduates was 72.5%.

Chart 5 - Percentage of UK domiciled full-time leavers in employment by sex and Standard Occupational Classification 2016/17

Male UK domiciled full-time first degree graduates in full-time UK employment were more likely than female graduates to be in jobs with salaries of £25,000 or higher. 38.7% of male graduates and 22.4% of female graduates were paid over this amount. The median salary of this group was £22,500 for male graduates and £21,500 for female graduates.

Chart 9 - Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree leavers who entered full-time work in the UK by salary band and sex 2016/17

Destinations publication

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17 provides detailed information on the activities of graduates six months after leaving higher education. The 51 tables in the publication include breakdowns by activity, employment, demographic and educational characteristics. The free online introduction to the publication includes national level tables and charts covering various aspects of the survey results.

The publication covers leavers who gained higher education qualifications in the 2016/17 academic year. This cohort is the last to answer the DLHE survey, as leavers from the current 2017/18 academic year will be the first to answer the new Graduate Outcomes survey. The new survey will ask graduates what they are doing 15 months after graduation and include further additional measures of graduate success. Graduate Outcomes results will be published as open data in spring 2020.


  1. See Definitions: Destinations of Leavers for explanations of terms used in this release. ‘Professional occupations’ means jobs coded 1, 2, or 3 in the Standard Occupational Classification: SOC2010 – please follow the link for a list of detailed codes and examples.
  2. Results of the 2016/17 DLHE survey are also published in the Statistical First Release and the UK Performance Indicators.
  3. View the pre-release access list for this release.

About HESA

HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency) is the recognised source of data on higher education in the UK, and the designated data body for England. Its experts collect, analyse, and disseminate accurate and comprehensive statistical information on all aspects of UK higher education to support the strategic aims of its users and enhance the effectiveness of the sector as a whole. It is a charity and a company limited by guarantee. It operates as an independent organisation, working in collaboration with higher education providers, regulators, funders, government departments, policy makers, and other stakeholders.



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Press Officer