Top ten postgraduate subjects for starting salaries
Postgraduate courses come at an extra cost, and you’ll naturally consider starting salaries when deciding whether to take this route. Here we list the ten best subjects for postgraduate starting salaries.
10. Architecture, Building and Planning
Average starting salary: £31,755
Qualifying as an architect can take up to seven years of specialist training, making it one of the most expensive careers to pursue. However, the generally high levels of pay mean this often becomes an investment worth making. Going into building and planning can take less time but offers similarly impressive postgraduate starting salaries.
Average starting salary: £32,699
Postgraduate law courses give you the skills needed to practise law. The Legal Practice Course (LPC) is aimed at budding solicitors, while the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) is for future barristers. There's even a course aimed specifically at students of other undergraduate subjects: the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Postgraduate law students will usually go on to be trainee barristers or solicitors, generally starting on a very good salary.
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8. Social Studies
Average starting salary: £32,881
Social studies encompass the full suite of social sciences subjects including economics, politics, social work, and anthropology. Postgraduate subjects in this area are often open to degree holders from a range of educational backgrounds.
7. Medicine-related degrees
Average starting salary: £34,601
Anatomy, Ophthalmics and Medical Technology are just some of the subjects allied to medicine. Society cares deeply about the standard of its healthcare, so it's understandable that postgraduate students of these subjects get a good starting pay.
6. Veterinary Medicine
Average starting salary: £35,331
Veterinary science postgraduate students are more concerned with the science behind veterinary medicine than the actual clinical practice itself. Many postgraduate students study subjects that will prepare them for vet support roles.
5. Mathematical Sciences
Average starting salary: £35,370
Postgraduate courses in mathematical sciences include those in mathematics, operational research, and statistics. Maths is literally everywhere and is applied to all industries, so it’s no wonder people with high-level mathematical skills are remunerated well.
4. Computer Science
Average starting salary: £36,522
As computers are used so widely, those with expertise in computer science can find employment in any industry, and they usually get paid very well. Most postgraduate computer scientists come from computing or mathematical backgrounds, but there are some courses specially designed for students with less relevant undergraduate degrees.
3. Engineering and Technology
Average starting salary: £36,930
Whichever field of engineering you specialise in, you’ll likely find well-paid, professional-level employment straight after graduation. Bear in mind postgraduate degrees in engineering require applicants to have a relevant undergraduate qualification.
2. Medicine and Dentistry
Average starting salary: £44,836
It's no secret that medics and dentists start their careers on a good salary. Get a postgraduate degree in the field and this will be boosted even more. Not only will you earn a decent package, you'll also make a worthwhile contribution to society’s well-being.
1. Business and Administrative Studies
Average starting salary: £46,966
Degrees exploring commerce lead to the highest starting salaries of all. As you'll be in a position to work for a money-making entity in a reasonably senior position, this does make sense. Postgraduate students studying business and administrative studies come from all kinds of educational backgrounds, and go on to work in all sorts of industries.
Average starting salaries recorded of postgraduate students in full-time professional employment six months after graduation. All data from HESA (2016–17).