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What Do Postgraduate Students Do?

Many students carry on studying at postgraduate level to enhance their career prospects. 

The tables below show what postgrad students for each subject do, after full-time and part-time postgraduate study. The tables are ranked by the sum of three 'positive' destinations:

  • employed in a professional job,
  • employed in a professional job and studying,
  • studying and not employed.

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Postgraduate students' destinations after full-time postgraduate study

Professional*

Subject Group Job Job & Study Study Only
Agriculture & related subjects 66% 8% 7%
Architecture, building & planning 82% 5% 3%
Biological sciences 67% 3% 11%
Business & administrative studies 72% 2% 4%
Combined 90% 0% 0%
Computer science 73% 2% 10%
Creative arts & design 67% 3% 6%
Education 93% 2% 1%
Engineering & technology 73% 2% 8%
Historical & philosophical studies 52% 3% 17%
Languages 56% 3% 14%
Law 69% 3% 14%
Mass communications & documentation 72% 1% 3%
Mathematical sciences 67% 3% 20%
Medicine & dentistry 76% 2% 14%
Physical sciences 71% 2% 12%
Social studies 71% 4% 8%
Subjects allied to medicine 81% 3% 8%
Veterinary science 79% 3% 11%
Averages 72% 2% 9%

Non-professional**

Subject Group Job Job & Study Unemployed
Agriculture & related subjects 13% 0% 6%
Architecture, building & planning 4% 0% 5%
Biological sciences 12% 1% 6%
Business & administrative studies 12% 0% 9%
Combined 0% 0% 10%
Computer science 6% 0% 9%
Creative arts & design 16% 1% 7%
Education 2% 0% 1%
Engineering & technology 7% 0% 10%
Historical & philosophical studies 20% 1% 6%
Languages 20% 1% 7%
Law 9% 0% 5%
Mass communications & documentation 16% 0% 8%
Mathematical sciences 4% 0% 6%
Medicine & dentistry 4% 0% 4%
Physical sciences 8% 0% 6%
Social studies 10% 0% 6%
Subjects allied to medicine 4% 0% 4%
Veterinary science 5% 0% 1%
Averages 9% 0% 6%


Postgraduate students' destinations after p
art-time postgraduate study

Professional*

Subject Group Job Job & Study Study Only
Agriculture & related subjects 76% 5% 4%
Architecture, building & planning 94% 2% 2%
Biological sciences 77% 6% 6%
Business & administrative studies 89% 4% 1%
Combined 93% 3% 0%
Computer science 82% 6% 3%
Creative arts & design 76% 4% 4%
Education 88% 6% 3%
Engineering & technology 90% 4% 2%
Historical & philosophical studies 64% 6% 12%
Languages 68% 4% 9%
Law 78% 8% 7%
Mass communications & documentation 73% 3% 4%
Mathematical sciences 79% 5% 6%
Medicine & dentistry 90% 5% 3%
Physical sciences 79% 4% 6%
Social studies 83% 5% 5%
Subjects allied to medicine 86% 6% 5%
Veterinary science 93% 7% 0%
Averages 82% 4% 4%

Non-professional**

Subject Group Job Job & Study Unemployed
Agriculture & related subjects 11% 2% 2%
Architecture, building & planning 1% 0% 1%
Biological sciences 7% 0% 3%
Business & administrative studies 3% 0% 2%
Combined 0% 0% 3%
Computer science 4% 1% 4%
Creative arts & design 11% 1% 4%
Education 2% 0% 1%
Engineering & technology 2% 0% 2%
Historical & philosophical studies 13% 2% 3%
Languages 13% 1% 4%
Law 5% 0% 2%
Mass communications & documentation 14% 1% 6%
Mathematical sciences 5% 1% 6%
Medicine & dentistry 0% 0% 1%
Physical sciences 6% 0% 4%
Social studies 5% 0% 2%
Subjects allied to medicine 1% 0% 1%
Veterinary science 0% 0% 0%
Averages 5% 0% 2%

Published September 2018

Notes

  • Date source: HESA 2016–17, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE), which asks UK and EU domiciled graduates what they are doing on a particular reference date roughly six months after graduation. 
  • Combined – courses that cross more than one subject group.
  • *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.
  • Combined – courses that cross more than one subject group.