Students Staff

Graduate employment

Until 2016/17, graduate employment has been measured using the results of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) surveys (part of the national process overseen by HESA, the Higher Education Statistics Agency). This recorded what graduates were doing six months after graduation. Newspapers have used these results to produce employability league tables.

As of the 2017/18 academic year, destination data is being collected through the new Graduate Outcomes survey following the sector-wide review of the DLHE and its discontinuation. Graduate Outcomes is collecting data at a 15 month census point after graduation. The first round of reportable data is expected to be available in Spring 2020.

League tables

The University of Essex has identified the Times Good University Guide league table as the basis for one of its employability key performance indicators (we also monitor the total number of all graduates in any work or study). Specifically, we look at the Graduate Prospect (GP) score, which takes the destinations of home UK students from full-time first degrees only in graduate-level work and adds these to those who go into graduate-level study. This positive score is then expressed as a proportion of all known graduates (after excluding those who are unavailable for work).

The University of Essex’s latest GP score available (drawn from DLHE 2016/17) is 74.3%.

Surveys show that prospective students and their parents, rightly or wrongly, pay considerable attention to university league tables.


We can supply detailed analysis of the destinations of Essex graduates for your department and subject area. Staff can interrogate the data online with Tableau (maintained by the Strategic Planning and Change Section).

Further resources

  • The HESA website also provides free online statistics from the DLHE survey data.
  • The HECSU website gives an excellent overview of the national picture for what happens to graduates from your discipline, based on the DLHE survey, with subject and industry breakdowns.
  • Discover Uni, which has replaced Unistats, provides data, including post-study employment data, at course level with the aim of helping prospective students.