Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) from Universities: 2014-15: Scotland

This experimental statistics release presents employment and earnings outcomes for graduates five years after graduation.

Technical Annex

Background methodology

Further detailed information is available in the Department for Education releases:

June 2017 release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics

December 2016 release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-by-degree-subject-and-university#content

August 2016 release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/graduate-outcomes-longitudinal-education-outcomes-leo-data

Suppression and rounding

In line with disclosure control rules, information based on fewer than 11 graduates has been supressed.

All counts have been rounded to the nearest five, percentages to one decimal place and earnings to the nearest £100.

Time period

The earliest time period for which employment and earnings data is reported is one year after graduation. This refers to the first full tax year after graduation. So, for the 2012/13 graduation cohort the figures one year after graduation refer to employment and earnings outcomes in the 2014/15 tax year. This time period was picked as using the tax year that overlaps with the graduation date would mean that graduates are unlikely to have been engaged in economic activity for the whole tax year.

Employment outcomes

Outcomes are presented for graduates that have been successfully matched to the Department for Work and Pensions' Customer Information System ( CIS) or if they have been matched to a further study instance on the HESA Student Record. In this publication these individuals are referred to as matched. Graduates that have not been matched to CIS or a further study record are referred to as unmatched.

Graduates that have been matched are then placed in one of five outcomes categories. These are:

Activity not captured: graduates that have been successfully matched to CIS but do not have any employment, out-of-work benefits or further study records in the tax year of interest. Reasons for appearing in this category include: moving out of the UK after graduation for either work or study, being self-employed in the relevant tax year; earning below the Lower Earnings Limit, or voluntarily leaving the labour force.

No sustained destination: graduates with an employment or out-of-work benefits record in the tax year in question but were not classified as being in 'sustained employment' and do not have a further study record.

Sustained employment only: graduates are considered to be in sustained employment if they were employed for at least one day for five out of the six months between October and March of the tax year in question.

Sustained employment with or without further study: includes all graduates with a record of sustained employment regardless of whether they also have a record of further study. A graduate is defined as being in further study if they have a valid higher education study record at any UK HEI on the HESA database in the relevant tax year. The further study does not have to be at postgraduate level to be counted.

Sustained employment, further study or both: includes all graduates with a record of sustained employment or further study. This category includes all graduates in the 'sustained employment with or without further study' category as well as those with a further study record only.

Annualised earnings

Earnings figures are only reported for those classified as being in sustained employment and where we have valid earnings record from the P14. Those in further study are excluded, as their earnings would be more likely to relate to part-time jobs. Earnings from self-assessment are not included.

For each graduate, the earnings reported for them on the HMRC P14 data for a given tax year are divided by the number of days recorded in employment across that same tax year. This provides an average daily wage that is then multiplied by the number of days in the tax year to calculate their annualised earnings.

This calculation has been used to maintain consistency with figures reported for further education learners after study. It provides students with an indication of the earnings they might receive once in stable and sustained employment.

The annualised earnings calculated are slightly higher than the raw earnings reported in the tax year. This is because the earnings of those who did not work for the entire tax year will be higher when annualised. The difference between the annualised and raw figures decreases as time elapses after graudation. Median annualised earnings one year after graduation are around £1,000 higher than the median raw earnings reported in the P14 data. Five years after graduation, the median annualised earnings are less than £500 higher than the median raw earnings.

All earnings presented are nominal. They represent the cash amount an individual was paid and are not adjusted for inflation (the general increase in the price of goods and services).

Data Quality

As these are experimental data there are some limitations around the data included in this publication;


The employment data largely covers those with records submitted through the Pay As You Earn ( PAYE) system. The PAYE system does not collect information on the number of hours worked; therefore, whether an individual is working full-time or part-time cannot be ascertained.

Employment Status:

Self-assessment data for the 2014/15 tax year has been obtained and the graduate cohorts included in DfE's publication have been selected to make the most use of self-employment data. Currently there is no access to self-assessment earnings, and earnings outcomes in this publication are therefore not fully representative of graduates in self-employment.

Career Path:

Different subjects will lead to different career paths, with some careers requiring further learning and training after the completion of their first degree. This in turn may distort the median salaries one, three and five years after qualification.

Subject groupings and intake:

The subject groupings reported can cover a wide range of courses, some of which may yield higher median earnings than others. The selection of courses available at HEIs will vary as will the student intake to each course. As different courses can yield different median earnings, care should be taken when comparing subjects across different HEIs.


No prior attainment is recorded for Scotland as the National Pupil Database ( NPD) only records those who completed A levels at an English school. Coverage at HEIs in Scotland would therefore be limited to graduates who completed their A-levels in England before pursuing higher education in Scotland. The NPD also only covers qualifications obtained since 2002, meaning the majority of mature students are not expected to have an A level record on the NPD. Therefore mature students are not included in prior attainment calculations.


HESA do not publish POLAR figures for Scotland, as Scotland's relatively high participation rate and the high proportion of higher education students in further education colleges could misrepresent Scottish contributions to widening participation. Following that line of reasoning, this publication does not include POLAR figures for Scottish HEIs either.

Open University:

HESA made changes in the way they records Open University graduates by country of national centre in academic year 2013/14. Since fingures in this release date to before this year Open University graduates who registered at any of the four national centres are included in the 'Open University in England'.


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