Graduate employment

Graduate employment is measured using the results of the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) surveys (part of the national process overseen by HESA, the Higher Education Statistics Agency).

The main survey records what graduates do six months after graduation. The Employability and Careers Centre gathers the results on behalf of the University. We code the responses using nationally agreed definitions of what constitutes a graduate-level job or graduate-level study. Newspapers use these results to produce employability league tables.

League tables

The University of Essex has identified the Times Good University Guide league table as the basis for its 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 graduates 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 larger the number of negative destinations (graduates in non-graduate job/courses or who are unemployed), the lower the GP score.

The TGUG calculates this for home UK students from full-time first degrees only. Although the DLHE surveys gather data on EU and, since the 2011/12 collection, international students, as well as postgraduate and other qualifications, this data isn’t reflected in TGUG league tables. The Government initiative to publish Key Information Sets (KIS) for all undergraduate departments in English universities also uses a subtly different methodology! The KIS is available on the Unistats resource.

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. We are currently working with the Strategic Planning and Change Section in developing the Planning Portal to allow staff to interrogate the data online.

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.

The HESA website also provides free online statistics from the DLHE survey data.

Contact us

If you are looking for information about Essex graduate destinations, please contact Oli Mawdsley (Careers Information Officer (Systems)) by e-mailing to discuss your requirements.