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We've been helping students find the right postgraduate course for over a decade.
It's no surprise that more graduates are choosing postgrad study. The availability of student loans for UK Masters degrees has seen to that. But which subjects are most popular? And do lots of other graduates take your subject further with a Masters?
This information is interesting, but it can also be quite useful. Perhaps you're a recent graduate, or you're about to begin your final year at uni. You might be trying to decide whether to look for a job, or stay on for a Masters. Knowing what other people do could help with that. You can see whether your subject is popular at postgrad level and get some idea whether other job seekers in related careers are more or less likely to have a Masters.
The table below gives the latest official numbers for people studying different subjects at postgraduate taught level (so, Masters degrees, as well as shorter courses like Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas, but not PhDs) at UK universities. You can read a little bit more about the data at the bottom of this page.
|1||Business & Administrative Studies||96,240|
|2||Education (including Teacher Training)||65,465|
|3||Nursing, Health & other Subjects Allied to Medicine||65,415|
|4||Economics, Politics, Sociology & other Social Studies||43,635|
|6||Engineering & Technology||23,630|
|7||Creative Arts & Design||22,510|
|9||Architecture, Building & Planning||15,055|
|11||Medicine & Dentistry||11,670|
|12||Languages, Literature, Linguistics & Classics||10,805|
|13||Mass Communications & Media Studies||10,735|
|14||History, Archaeology & Philosophy||10,095|
|The information in this table is based on official HESA statistics for student numbers in the 2017-18 academic year.|
It might not be surprising to see that Business and Management subjects are so popular: these are areas where postgraduate study on MBAs and other Business Masters degrees can really provide an edge. They're also popular with people looking to progress in their career, as well as new graduates.
Vocational subjects like Education and Nursing are also popular, with lots of students taking up PGCEs or other professional qualifications after getting their first degree. The fact that specific funding is available for teaching and healthcare also helps!
Other subjects are a bit less popular at the moment, so perhaps there's an opportunity for Agriculture grads to plough new fields and Mathematics grads to get their numbers up with some extra training. Sorry.
We've worked out the most popular postgraduate subjects using information published by the UK's Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). They collect data and publish official statistics for UK higher education.
Decided a Masters is for you? Here's what you're going to need to apply (spoiler: it's simpler than you probably think).
Good news for next year's students as we already know that Masters loans (and PhD loans) are going up in value!
We asked the winners of our 2019 Postgrad Awards to share their postgrad study tips.
Great! We're always adding new advice articles, funding tips and student stories. Our free newsletter will keep you updated.