Tax Year 2017-18Graduate outcomes (LEO): postgraduate outcomes

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This release focuses on outcomes in the 2017/18 tax year for those who graduated with a Level 7 (masters) or Level 8 (doctoral) postgraduate degree one, three, five and ten years after graduation from an English higher education institution (HEI).

Please note: The outcomes in this release are presented as raw figures. They do not seek to control for differences in graduate characteristics that may influence outcomes over time or across different graduate populations. 

This publication also references outcomes for first degree graduates. These are taken from the previous publication: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-leo-2017-to-2018

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Headline facts and figures - 2017-18

UK domiciled postgraduates

  • 2017/18 saw an increase in Level 7 (Masters level) postgraduate earnings one, three and five years after graduation, although earnings ten years after graduation saw no change in nominal terms.
  • For the years covered in this publication (2014/15 to 2017/18 tax year) median earnings for the most recent postgraduates (one year after graduation) increased by £1,400 (5.6%) and by £1,200 (3.9%) for the five years after graduation cohorts. However, in real terms recent postgraduates saw no increase in their median earnings and those five years after graduation saw a fall of £500.
  • Five years after graduation, level 7 postgraduates earn more than first degree graduates (£32,200 compared to £26,600). However those who continue onto postgraduate study are a non-random subset of the first degree population and these figures do not control for differences in the characteristics of those who continue to postgraduate study.
  • The absolute increase in earnings between 2014/15 and 2017/18 for Level 7 postgraduates five years after graduation is largely equal for males and females but the gender gap is larger than that seen for first degree graduates. Five years after graduation male Level 7 graduates earn 19.1% more than females compared to first degree graduates where males earn 14.3% more than females.

 

International graduates

  • For EU domiciled graduates, those who completed a Level 8 qualification were more likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK after graduation compared to those who completed a Level 7 (taught) qualification. For example, 43.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 35.3% of Level 7 (taught) graduates. This pattern is also true for Non-EU graduates where 28.9% of Level 8 graduates were in sustained employment and/or further study one year after graduation compared to 13.0% of Level 7 (taught) graduates.
  • Overall, within each study level, Non-EU domiciled graduates were less likely to be in sustained employment and/or further study in the UK than EU domiciled graduates. However, when looking at those who graduated with a Level 7 (taught) qualification ten years after graduation, nearly the same proportion of EU (18.1%) and Non-EU (17.6%) domiciled graduates were still working and/or studying in the UK.
  • Median earnings five years after graduation for Non-EU domiciled Level 7 graduates are in line with those for UK domiciled graduates (£32,100 compared to £32,200).  Whereas earnings for EU graduates are higher at £35,000.
  • However, this pattern varies by English region.  London has a similar picture to the overall national data but in a number of regions UK domiciled graduates have the highest regional earnings. This is particularly noticeable in the more northern regions. For example, in the North West median earnings for UK domiciled graduates are £29,600 compared to £27,400 for EU graduates and £26,600 for Non-EU graduates.

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