Access to postgraduate study - representation and destinations: discussion paper

Independent paper from the Commissioner for Fair Access considering representation of students from the most deprived areas of Scotland in postgraduate study and their destinations.

Discussion paper: Access to postgraduate study: representation and destinations

This is one of a number of discussion papers that will be published on the Commissioner for Fair Access website on key issues relating to fair access. The aim is to bridge the gap between detailed research (where it exists), which is often only accessible to experts, and the wider public conversation, especially in political circles and the media. The hope is that these papers will contribute to, and stimulate, that conversation by presenting data and evidence as accessibly and objectively as possible. Each paper will also include a commentary section by the Commissioner.

Summary of key points:

  • Representation of full-time entrants from deprived areas (SIMD20) is lower at postgraduate level than first degree level. This reflects the lower progression rates from first degrees to postgraduate degrees among leavers from these areas.
  • Differences in progression rates between students from the least and most deprived areas can be accounted for by differences in first degree outcomes, subject studied and institution attended between these groups.
  • Differences in leaver destinations between SIMD20 leavers and other leavers at postgraduate level are starker than those observed at first degree level and persist when subject studied, institution attended and qualification type are accounted for.



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