Subjects with the Highest and Lowest Professional Premiums

Scroll down to see which subject areas have the highest and lowest professional premium†, as well as which subject groups have seen the greatest increase and decrease in professional premium over the last five years.

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Top 10 subjects with the highest professional premium – 2015 graduates

SubjectProfessional
Starting Salary
Non-professional
Starting Salary
Professional Premium
Chemical Engineering £28,603 £17,187 £11,416
General Engineering  £27,157 £16,585

 £10,572

Economics £28,175 £18,132 £10,025
Social Work £24,716 £15,365 £9,396
Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering £25,588 £16,239 £9,349
Physics & Astronomy  £25,047 £15,847

£9,200

Geology  £24,818 £15,839 £8,979
Electrical & Electronic Engineering £26,146 £17,253 £8,893
Computer Science  £25,203 £16,315  £8,888
Mathematics £25,840 £17,108 £8,732

Top 10 subjects with the lowest professional premium – 2015 graduates

SubjectProfessional
Starting Salary
Non-professional
Starting Salary
Professional Premium
Pharmacology & Pharmacy £19,746 £17,105 £2,641
Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism £20,130 £16,966 £3,164
Law £20,421 £16,939 £3,482
Agriculture & Forestry £20,696 £17,071 £3,625
Communication & Media Studies £19,258 £15,630 £3,628
Politics £23,603 £19,911 £3,692
Architecture £19,864 £16,149 £3,715
Sports Science £19,888 £16,032 £3,856
Italian £21,731 £17,840 £3,891
Art & Design £19,669 £15,756 £3,913

Top 10 subjects with the greatest increase in professional premium 2010–15

SubjectProfessional Premium
2010^
Professional Premium 2015£ Change
2010–15^
% Change
2010–15^
Celtic Studies £2,873 £6,132 £3,259 113%
Librarianship & Information Management £4,415 £7,756 £3,341 76%
Iberian Languages £3,932 £5,654 £1,722 44%
Classics & Ancient History £5,404 £6,946 £1,542 29%
Chemistry £5,820 £7,270 £1,450 25%
Anthropology £3,319 £4,127 £808 24%
Town & Country Planning and Landscape Design £4,255 £5,284 £1,029 24%
Archaeology £4,065 £4,983 £918 23%
Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation & Tourism £2,588 £3,164 £577 22%
East & South Asian Studies £5,601 £6,611 £1,011 18%

Top 10 subjects with the greatest reduction in professional premium 2010–15

SubjectProfessional premium
2010^
Professional premium
2015
£ Change
2010–15^
% Change
2010–15^
Pharmacology & Pharmacy £5,766 £2,641 -£3,125 -54%
Politics £7,423 £3,692 -£3,731 -50%
Law £6,823 £3,482 -£3,341 -49%
Geography & Environmental Science £6,752 £3,968 -£2,784 -41%
Civil Engineering £9,389 £6,483 -£2,906 -31%
Sociology £6,272 £4,562 -£1,710 -27%
German £6,692 £5,009 -£1,683 -25%
History £6,429 £4,856 -£1,573 -24%
Geology £11,878 £8,979 -£2,899 -24%
Nursing £6,074 £4,619 -£1,455 -24%

Source: HESA 2014–15
Published October 2016

Notes:

  • This data is based on the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 2014–15. The annual survey is conducted approximately six months after students leave. Approximately two-thirds of survey respondents in full-time paid employment provide information about their salary.
*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.
Professional premium refers to the average difference in salary between those starting professional employment*, and those starting non-professional* employment.
^Indicates data adjusted for inflation at 1.15% (using the Bank of England inflation calculator, based on composite price index published by the Office for National Statistics).