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What Do Graduates Do and Earn?

For many prospective university students, graduate prospects and salaries are top priorities when it comes to choosing a degree.

We have compiled data to help you understand the world of work after graduation – from job prospects and starting salaries to graduate gender pay gaps.

Skip to:
• What do graduates do? 
• What do graduates earn?
• Notes about the data

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What do graduates do?

Find out what students do after graduating: whether it be a graduate job, further study, or a combination of the two.

We’ve broken down the destinations of graduates from 70 subject areas into six categories – this includes unemployment data. You can click on a subject to see the best universities for the area.

Professional*

Subject Job Job and Study Study Only
Accounting & Finance 55% 8% 10%
Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering 59% 2% 15%
Agriculture & Forestry 37% 4% 13%
American Studies 34% 1% 25%
Anatomy & Physiology 35% 3% 36%
Anthropology 35% 4% 21%
Archaeology 33% 4% 31%
Architecture 70% 4% 9%
Art & Design 56% 1% 8%
Aural & Oral Sciences 83% 1% 2%
Biological Sciences 32% 2% 36%
Building 78% 4% 5%
Business & Management Studies 55% 3% 11%
Celtic Studies 23% 6% 41%
Chemical Engineering 54% 2% 25%
Chemistry 41% 3% 35%
Civil Engineering 69% 3% 15%
Classics & Ancient History 34% 2% 31%
Communication & Media Studies 51% 2% 10%
Complementary Medicine 80% 6% 5%
Computer Science 65% 2% 11%
Creative Writing 29% 3% 22%
Dentistry 97% 2% 1%
Drama, Dance & Cinematics 51% 2% 9%
East & South Asian Studies 47% 1% 17%
Economics 59% 5% 16%
Education 57% 2% 16%
Electrical & Electronic Engineering 65% 2% 14%
English 35% 3% 27%
Food Science 55% 3% 16%
Forensic Science 37% 2% 21%
French 50% 4% 20%
General Engineering 62% 3% 18%
Geography & Environmental Science 41% 3% 27%
Geology 33% 2% 39%
German 50% 4% 20%
History 33% 3% 31%
History of Art, Architecture & Design 38% 2% 27%
Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism 50% 1% 7%
Iberian Languages 49% 3% 19%
Italian 47% 3% 17%
Land & Property Management 84% 3% 5%
Law 34% 6% 35%
Librarianship & Information Management 63% 2% 11%
Linguistics 40% 3% 23%
Marketing 67% 2% 6%
Materials Technology 51% 2% 15%
Mathematics 47% 4% 27%
Mechanical Engineering 64% 2% 15%
Medical Technology 92% 1% 2%
Medicine 95% 1% 3%
Middle Eastern & African Studies 45% 4% 25%
Music 42% 5% 20%
Nursing 95% 1% 1%
Occupational Therapy 86% 1% 2%
Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics 91% 5% 1%
Pharmacology & Pharmacy 72% 10% 10%
Philosophy 37% 3% 27%
Physics & Astronomy 39% 3% 39%
Physiotherapy 94% 2% 1%
Politics 42% 3% 27%
Psychology 31% 5% 25%
Russian & East European Languages 50% 1% 23%
Social Policy 36% 4% 22%
Social Work 61% 4% 11%
Sociology 32% 3% 21%
Sports Science 41% 5% 23%
Theology & Religious Studies 33% 3% 34%
Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design 60% 6% 17%
Veterinary Medicine 95% 0% 2%
Averages 54% 3% 17%

Non-professional**

Subject Job Job and Study Unemployed
Accounting & Finance 19% 2% 6%
Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering 14% 1% 9%
Agriculture & Forestry 37% 3% 6%
American Studies 28% 5% 7%
Anatomy & Physiology 16% 3% 6%
Anthropology 29% 3% 7%
Archaeology 17% 5% 8%
Architecture 10% 0% 6%
Art & Design 26% 2% 7%
Aural & Oral Sciences 11% 0% 3%
Biological Sciences 19% 4% 6%
Building 7% 1% 5%
Business & Management Studies 22% 2% 6%
Celtic Studies 25% 3% 2%
Chemical Engineering 8% 1% 9%
Chemistry 13% 2% 7%
Civil Engineering 6% 1% 5%
Classics & Ancient History 21% 4% 7%
Communication & Media Studies 27% 2% 7%
Complementary Medicine 5% 1% 3%
Computer Science 11% 1% 10%
Creative Writing 32% 5% 9%
Dentistry 0% 0% 0%
Drama, Dance & Cinematics 30% 2% 6%
East & South Asian Studies 22% 2% 10%
Economics 11% 1% 7%
Education 20% 2% 3%
Electrical & Electronic Engineering 10% 1% 8%
English 24% 5% 6%
Food Science 18% 3% 5%
Forensic Science 28% 4% 7%
French 19% 2% 6%
General Engineering 10% 0% 7%
Geography & Environmental Science 20% 3% 6%
Geology 16% 3% 6%
German 17% 2% 6%
History 23% 4% 6%
History of Art, Architecture & Design 23% 3% 7%
Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism 33% 3% 6%
Iberian Languages 22% 2% 6%
Italian 23% 3% 5%
Land & Property Management 5% 0% 3%
Law 15% 5% 4%
Librarianship & Information Management 14% 1% 9%
Linguistics 27% 3% 4%
Marketing 18% 1% 5%
Materials Technology 21% 2% 8%
Mathematics 13% 1% 8%
Mechanical Engineering 10% 1% 7%
Medical Technology 2% 0% 2%
Medicine 0% 0% 0%
Middle Eastern & African Studies 15% 2% 9%
Music 25% 3% 4%
Nursing 1% 0% 1%
Occupational Therapy 5% 0% 5%
Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics 1% 0% 1%
Pharmacology & Pharmacy 4% 1% 2%
Philosophy 20% 4% 9%
Physics & Astronomy 10% 1% 8%
Physiotherapy 2% 0% 2%
Politics 18% 4% 6%
Psychology 27% 6% 5%
Russian & East European Languages 13% 3% 9%
Social Policy 28% 3% 7%
Social Work 19% 2% 5%
Sociology 33% 5% 6%
Sports Science 24% 4% 3%
Theology & Religious Studies 18% 5% 6%
Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design 11% 2% 4%
Veterinary Medicine 1% 0% 1%
Averages 16% 2% 5%

If you're interested in a graduate job, check out our list of the top graduate employers.

What do graduates earn?

Money should not be the only factor to consider when choosing a degree. However, with universities now charging up to £9,250 per year, it is worth thinking about potential starting salaries.

Use this table to see the average starting salaries for graduates from 70 subject areas.

Top 5 Subjects for Average Graduate Salaries

Rank Subject Professional Salary* Non-professional Salary**
1 Dentistry £31,340
2 Medicine £30,636
3 General Engineering £28,649 £18,344
4 Economics £28,287 £18,466
5 Veterinary Medicine £28,277

If your subject isn't in the Top 5, scroll through the full table below. To see the university rankings table for each subject, simply click on the link.

Full table of Average Graduate Salaries

Subject Professional Salary* Non-professional Salary**
Accounting & Finance £23,818 £18,895
Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering £26,736 £18,121
Agriculture & Forestry £21,428 £18,121
American Studies £20,645 £17,307
Anatomy & Physiology £22,210 £16,421
Anthropology £21,471 £17,369
Archaeology £20,066 £15,929
Architecture £21,004 £17,714
Art & Design £19,746 £16,374
Aural & Oral Sciences £22,380 £16,663
Biological Sciences £21,669 £16,727
Building £26,304 £19,365
Business & Management Studies £24,437 £18,953
Celtic Studies £20,363
Chemical Engineering £27,734 £17,950
Chemistry £23,427 £17,113
Civil Engineering £26,729 £17,882
Classics & Ancient History £21,863 £16,416
Communication & Media Studies £20,017 £17,005
Complementary Medicine £24,872
Computer Science £25,828 £17,262
Creative Writing £18,456 £16,787
Dentistry £31,340
Drama, Dance & Cinematics £20,238 £16,790
East & South Asian Studies £22,889 £16,865
Economics £28,287 £18,466
Education £22,002 £16,181
Electrical & Electronic Engineering £27,659 £17,995
English £20,186 £16,730
Food Science £22,153 £17,597
Forensic Science £20,323 £17,145
French £22,782 £17,945
General Engineering £28,649 £18,344
Geography & Environmental Science £22,144 £17,130
Geology £22,490 £17,335
German £22,280 £19,048
History £22,404 £16,844
History of Art, Architecture & Design £20,329 £16,912
Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism £21,012 £17,465
Iberian Languages £23,057 £17,223
Italian £21,944 £17,429
Land & Property Management £25,065
Law £21,135 £17,842
Librarianship & Information Management £24,973 £17,606
Linguistics £21,050 £16,916
Marketing £21,968 £17,848
Materials Technology £24,458 £17,368
Mathematics £26,415 £17,772
Mechanical Engineering £26,937 £18,786
Medical Technology £23,080 £18,453
Medicine £30,636
Middle Eastern & African Studies £24,195 £18,012
Music £19,788 £16,720
Nursing £23,057 £18,233
Occupational Therapy £22,992 £15,599
Optometry, Ophthalmology & Orthoptics £16,662
Pharmacology & Pharmacy £20,370 £17,359
Philosophy £23,521 £17,603
Physics & Astronomy £26,731 £18,030
Physiotherapy £22,728 £23,045
Politics £23,959 £17,797
Psychology £20,360 £16,806
Russian & East European Languages £24,191 £18,997
Social Policy £21,137 £17,177
Social Work £25,111 £16,371
Sociology £21,869 £17,128
Sports Science £20,447 £16,963
Theology & Religious Studies £21,421 £16,300
Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design £23,269 £17,657
Veterinary Medicine £28,277
Averages £23,131 £15,774

Notes about the data

Source: HESA 2016–17
Published September 2018.

  • This data is based on the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education 2016–17 (DLHE) survey and looks at the mean salaries of full-time, first degree leavers entering professional employment or self-employment.

*Professional employment refers to a job or occupation which normally requires a degree.
**Non-professional employment refers to a job or occupation which doesn't normally require a degree.