All supporting files from this release are listed for individual download below:
LEO Graduate outcomes provider level data
LEO Graduate Outcomes provider level data: Employment and earnings outcomes of higher education first degree graduates by provider, subject studied and graduate characteristics.
This release updates previously published figures with the latest available data (2020/21 tax year). These are official statistics. For more information on what this means, please see the ‘Official statistics’ section at the end of this publication.
The 2020/21 tax year overlapped with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with official lockdowns being in effect during the 2020/21 tax year between 6th April 2020 and 4th July 2020, between 5th November 2020 and 1st December 2020 and again between 6th January 2021 and 8th March 2021. In addition, there were several local restrictions in place during autumn 2020. The Government Coronavirus employment schemes, Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), covered this period of the 2020/21 tax year. The lockdowns and restrictions negatively impacted earnings and employment outcomes for some graduates in 2020/21. Data on the government’s Coronavirus employment schemes (relating to graduates) are available for context, see LEO Graduate and Postgraduate Outcomes: 2020 to 2021.
This publication provides information on outcomes one, three and five years after graduation for UK domiciled first degree graduates. Prior attainment data is unavailable for the ten years after graduation cohorts, so they are not included in the data. Data for HEIs in Great Britain are discussed below, focussing on the five years after graduation cohort. However, full data for Higher Education Providers (Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), Further Education Colleges (FECs) and Alternative Providers (APs)) are available in the accompanying Excel tables under the ‘Additional supporting files’ section above.
It should be noted that the analysis presented here does not control for differences in the characteristics of graduates, a very important caveat when comparing graduate salaries across providers. For research on how graduate characteristics impact earnings and outcomes, see the report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, The returns to undergraduate degrees by socio-economic group and ethnicity | Institute for Fiscal Studies (ifs.org.uk).
In figures 1, 2, 4 and 8, we present the distributions of provider median graduate earnings by subject/region. Provider median graduate earnings (henceforth referred to as the ‘provider median’) is the median earnings across the graduates who studied at that provider (see about this release section). These are not to be confused with the distributions of graduates of a given subject/region (as seen in LEO Graduate and Postgraduate Outcomes: 2020 to 2021).
Data on full cycle (home, study and current regions) graduate movement is included which shows graduate movement throughout the full cycle of study – before entering higher education (home region), during study (study region), and after completing their course (current region). Data for each provider is available in the ‘Full cycle movement data 2020/21’ file under the ‘Additional supporting files’ section below.
We have also included a provider level table presenting more granular breakdowns of subject areas using the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) subject classification. This table and data can be found in the ‘JACS subject data 2020/21’ file under the ‘Additional supporting files’ section below.
This publication does not compare graduate employment outcomes to non-graduate outcomes, for this comparison see the Graduate Labour Market Statistics publication (Graduate labour market statistics, Calendar year 2022 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK (explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk) ) which compares the earnings of graduates of working age with individuals who are working age but did not participate in higher education. For lifetime labour market returns see The impact of undergraduate degrees on lifetime earnings: research report. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (JISC) also publishes employment and earnings data from the Graduate Outcomes survey.
Headline facts and figures - 2020-21
Graduates’ earnings in some subjects have more variation across providers than other subjects. Five years after graduation in the 2020/21 tax year, Computing, Law and Business and Management had the biggest variations in median earnings between providers (£23,400 to £85,400, £20,400 to £82,300 and £19,700 to £67,900 respectively). Excluding Celtic studies, the smallest variation was seen for Medicine and dentistry (£46,700 to £55,800).
Provider variation is similar across most subjects for graduate employment outcomes. Five years after graduation in the 2020/21 tax year and excluding Celtic studies, Medicine and dentistry and Nursing and midwifery had the smallest variations in the percentage of UK domiciled graduates in sustained employment, further study or both across providers (86.8% to 97.7% and 83.6% to 98.1% respectively). The biggest variation is seen for Media, journalism and communications (50.9% to 100%).
Providers in the North East are most affected by their graduates typically working in regions with lower typical salaries. Earnings are known to be impacted by the region of residence of the graduate so regionally adjusted figures are provided (theoretical earnings based on average graduate regional moves). The effect this had on provider median earnings varied depending on the region of the provider.
The region where providers are most impacted by the regional destination of their graduates is the North East where four out of five providers had regionally adjusted earnings that were more than 5% different to raw earnings (three providers had higher adjusted earnings and one provider had lower adjusted earnings). In London, 65.5% of 29 providers had adjusted earnings that were more than 5% different to raw earnings with most of these having adjusted earnings at least 5% lower than raw earnings.
Most providers and subjects have seen their graduates’ earnings increase at or above the rate of inflation since 2014/15. Between the 2014/15 and 2020/21 tax years, 73.9% of providers and subjects saw an increase of over 10% in their graduates’ median earnings. A 10% increase is similar to the rate of inflation (10.1%) between these tax years based on the consumer price inflation that includes owner occupiers' housing costs (CPIH).
Graduates’ earnings in some subjects are more strongly associated with their prior attainment than other subjects. Five years after graduation in the 2020/21 tax year, the average prior attainment of a provider’s graduates had a varying association with median earnings depending on the subject. Prior attainment bands are created using UCAS points for each graduate’s top three A level grades, and then placed in band 1 (top 25%), band 2 (middle 50%) or band 3 (bottom 25%). For Nursing and midwifery, there was little variation in median earnings across prior attainment bands with median earnings in the top band only £400 more than median earnings in the bottom band. For Computing, the top prior attainment band had higher median earnings than the lowest prior attainment band by £20,200.
Explore data and files used in this release
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These are Official Statistics and have been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.
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