Postgraduate Sector Data
Information about who is studying for a postgraduate award in the UK
Enrolments for postgraduate research degrees in 2020/21
Enrolments for taught Masters degrees in 2020/21
% of the student population registered for a postgraduate degree in 2020/21
Types of Postgraduate Award
The UK Council for Graduate Education is primarily concerned with postgraduate awards which reach the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications thresholds for Level 7 (Masters or M Level) and Level 8 (Doctoral or D Level). However there are a number of other categories of postgraduate award.
The Higher Education Statics Agency defines postgraduate awards in the following way:
- Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees, diplomas and certificates (including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M) (unless shown separately) and professional qualifications) which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification (i.e. already qualified at level H).
- Postgraduate (research) includes doctorate (incorporating New Route PhD), masters degrees and postgraduate diplomas or certificates (not Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M) studied primarily through research.
- Postgraduate (taught) includes doctorate, and masters degrees, postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M and postgraduate diplomas or certificates not studied primarily through research, including Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level M (unless shown separately), Masters in Teaching and Learning, level M Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, and professional qualifications.
- Higher degree (research) includes doctorate (incorporating the ‘New Route PhD’) and masters degrees studied primarily through research. Many students who study for a doctoral qualification will initially be enrolled on a masters course and will transfer to a doctorate course after a year or two. For this reason, numbers of doctoral students may be under-counted and numbers of masters students may be over-counted where this factor is not taken into account.
- Higher degree (taught) includes doctorate and masters degrees not studied primarily through research, and postgraduate bachelors degrees at level M. Masters in Teaching and Learning are included in this category.
- Other postgraduate includes postgraduate diplomas, certificates and professional qualifications, Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE at level M), level 7 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector, HE provider postgraduate credits and non-formal postgraduate qualifications
- Postgraduate Certificate in Education are those PGCE qualifications which are studied or awarded at level M. The Postgraduate Diploma in Education is a similar initial teacher training qualification to the PGCE, but with a greater proportion of study at level M.
Total Postgraduate Enrolments 2016 — 2021
|Other postgraduate research||12,120||11,000||10,615||9,000||9,235|
|Institutional credit at postgraduate research||315||330||335||325||205|
|Postgraduate Certificate in Education||24,030||24,960||26,340||25,890||31,175|
|Other postgraduate taught||75,150||76,040||73,415||71,215||81,585|
|Institutional credit at postgraduate taught||25,985||23,540||23,070||23,630||32,120|