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DLHE Survey

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) captures information on student activity after they have graduated.  All students are asked to complete the survey six months after they complete their studies. This information is anonymised and is used to inform prospective  students and higher education policy.

DLHE is designed and strictly controlled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), who state that every institution must achieve a response from 80% of their UK full-time graduates each year.  You can take a look at the questionnaire 2015 for the questions asked.

The survey we are asking you to take part in is a national survey of everyone who has recently qualified from any university or HE college in the UK. The information you provide will also be very useful to us at the University of Salford to advise our current students about the opportunities that might be available to them.

Of those who obtained qualifications across the UK in 2010/11, 80% responded to the survey. Of full-time, first degree leavers, 63% reported that they were in work in the UK or abroad, with a further 8% working and studying. 16% were undertaking further study, and 8% were assumed to be unemployed. More results can be found on the HESA's website.

If we don't hear from you we will try to contact you again, possibly by phone, so please let us know if you change your address or phone number. If we can't get in touch with you at all, we may try to get information about what you were doing from someone else we can reach using the contact information you have previously provided. If you don't want us to do this, or you don't want to give us any information at all, please tell us. Click here to find out what happens to your information after it is sent to us.

A follow-up survey is planned for three years time so that we can get even more information about the early careers of those with HE qualifications. You might be asked to take part in this follow-up survey as well, which will be carried out by a different organisation. The current survey may also be audited - that is, checked to make sure it has been carried out correctly. If you don't want to take part in the follow-up survey, or to be contacted during an audit, please let us know. You can also let us know that you do not want to take part in the follow-up survey by ticking the box at the end of the questionnaire.

Each year, the University asks graduates what work or study they are doing a few months following graduation by means of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey. All universities take part in this survey. This information allows us to better serve you, by continuing to provide you with career support, and it allows the University to improve the services we provide to current and prospective students by letting them know about the kinds of jobs graduates get when they leave the University. This is an integral part of our service.

Yes please. Although entitled ‘Destination of Leavers survey’ the questionnaire should be completed by all graduates – even if you have not left but are now on another course of study. We need to know the title of your new course and whether you are also employed. Information about postgraduates in part-time work, for example, is useful to organisations like the NUS and can help to shape education strategy nationally.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) ask us to contact all leavers who have been awarded a qualification, even if that qualification was not their original one. Please tell us what your employment and study status was on the census date.

Yes – please tell us about any employment or further study you were doing on the census date. Do remember, if you need help from Careers & Employability please contact us on 0161 295 5088 or email:

Whatever your role, clear detail about your job title and responsibilities will enable us to code it correctly to ensure the data we send back to HESA is as accurate as possible.  Roles with supervisory or managerial responsibility are more likely to be coded as graduate level roles. You may have seen the Times League Table refers to “Graduate Level Roles” such as Managers, Directors and Senior Officials. This is coded according to the responses the graduates give. Other reports may look at graduate employment levels in certain sectors, or geographical locations which is why these questions are asked.

Yes please! If you are due to start a job within 4 weeks from the census date please complete Section A where there is an option for this. If you are not otherwise employed on the census date, you do not need to complete Section B . If your job does not start within one month of the census date, please let us know what you were doing on the census date instead.

You can complete the survey at any time during the collection period (November-March for the January census date and April-June for the April census date) however, we are interested in what you will be doing or were doing on the specific census date.

No thanks, this section is for recently qualified QTS Graduates only and should not be completed by other Graduates.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) requires this information to help inform potential students about their degree choices. All information you give to us on the survey is confidential and will not be attributable to you in any way when shared with HESA. Gathering this information from as many of our graduates as possible helps the University of Salford present accurate salary information within each section of the Key Information Sets. If insufficient salary data is collected to provide a significantly robust sample size, data is aggregated at course or subject level over a longer period of time. (see for more information.)

HESA provides the results of this survey to a variety of government agencies. Employer postcodes would be used to show geographical areas where graduates are employed and to measure the effect of graduates on local economies.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the completion of the survey, please contact us either by email at, by phone on 0161 295 5088 or call in person to the Careers & Employability Office, University House, open 09:00-17:00 Monday to Friday.

The Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) uses statistics from the Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey to produce a publication which explores the data in more detail to give the national picture of what graduates do next. Click the links below to see the most recent publications. 

What Do Graduates Do - 2016

What Do Graduates Do - 2015

What Do Graduates Do - 2014

DLHE data is used by HESA and several other organisations to compile reports on the graduate labour market and in the compilation of league tables.  

Latest Results 2014-15 Graduates

The latest published data relates to 2014-2015 leavers approximately six months after graduation*. 

  • Response Rates - 83.2% of University of Salford full-time, first degree, home graduates responded to the DLHE survey an increase of 1.7% from 2013-14. 79.3% of all University of Salford graduates responded, an increase of 1.75% on 2013-14.
  • Destinations - Of those that were available* for work and/or study 90% gave working, studying or due to start a job as their main activity. 71.9% of those were in professional or managerial graduate level roles, compared to 63% from 2013-14.

The data can also be used to give current students a glimpse as to what they can do after graduation and the types of organisations they could work for.

The links below show the Top 10 most frequent Employers and Occupations for the most recent graduates from each school of study.

Programme Level Results

Unistats uses DLHE data to give information at programme level about what graduates are doing six months after finishing their course, including:

  • Average salary
  • Employment level
  • Most popular job types

For more information visit the Unistats website

* 2014-15 graduates unavailable to engage in work/further study (due to travel, retirement, illness or looking after home/family) was 3.8%, compared with 3.85% for 2013-14 graduates.

Data taken from the 2015-16 Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) Survey of 2014-15 Graduates. This reflects the status of graduates on specific dates, who gave responses to the DLHE survey.

Graduates who completed their studies between August 2014 and December 2014 were asked for their status on 14th April 2015 and graduates who completed their studies between January 2015 and July 2015 were asked for their status on 12th January 2016.

The university will use the information supplied by you on this form for the purposes set out in the Data Protection statement here:

Data from this survey will be collected onto our student records system for internal statistical analysis and management purposes. This data may be linked to other information about you held by the university, and information we collect may be added to your Alumni record. Your responses may be used  to send you information about support the Careers Service provides to alumni. Your responses may be used to identify opportunities which other university departments can offer you (where relevant to your circumstances). You can let us know if you do not wish to receive this information, by emailing

The data will also be used in an anonymised form to inform current and prospective students (and graduates) of the opportunities available on completion of their courses, both on our website in our graduate destinations reports and Key Information Sets on our course pages, as well as on the Unistats website. It will not be possible to identify you from any published data.

Additionally, anonymous information about the destinations of graduates is used by staff in Careers and Employability to help current students with their career planning, and statistical information will be available through the University website as part of our Course Finder and Key Information Sets.  If HESA audit university processes on any occasion, your name and address may be released to the auditors for that purpose only.

We will send information from this form to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This data will be linked to other information held about you as a student, including similar information you gave when you enrolled, and details of the qualification you gained. Your HESA record will not be used  in any way that affects you personally. The HESA DLHE Record is used for three broad purposes:

  1. Statutory functions  

The HESA record is used by the organisations listed below, or agents acting on their behalf, to carry out their public functions connected with education in the UK.

  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Welsh Assembly Government
  • Scottish Government
  • Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland
  • Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
  • Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council
  • Training and Development Agency for Schools
  • Research Councils
  • Department for Education
  • General Social Care Council

The HESA record may also be used by the Office for National Statistics and the National Audit Office to fulfil their statutory functions of measuring population levels and monitoring public expenditure.

2. HESA publications

HESA use the HESA record to produce anonymised data in annual statistical publications.  These include some National Statistics publications and online management information services.

3. Research, equal opportunity, journalism, other legitimate interest/public function

HESA will also supply anonymised data to third parties for the following purposes:

  • Equal opportunities monitoring - Your HESA record may contain details of your ethnic group and any disabilities you have. This data is only used where it is needed to promote or maintain equality of opportunity or treatment between persons of different racial or ethnic origins, religious beliefs or  different states of physical or mental conditions
  • Research. This may be academic research, commercial research or other statistical research into higher education where this is of benefit to public interest.
  • Journalism, where the relevant publication would be in the public interest e.g. league tables
  • Anonymised data for the above purposes is supplied by HESA to the following types of user:
  • Local, regional and national government bodies who have an interest in higher education
  • Higher education sector bodies
  • Higher education institutions
  • Academic researchers and students
  • Commercial organisations (e.g. recruitment firms, housing providers, graduate employers)
  • Unions
  • Non-governmental organisations and charities
  • Journalists

HESA will take precautions to ensure that individuals are not identified from the anonymised data which they process. Your rights Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have rights of access to the data HESA holds about you. You will have to pay a small fee for this. For further information about the  HESA record please see

What is DLHE?

Information on the status of our graduates (in work, in study, in work and study, unemployed, other) on a specific date following their award is collected by every higher education institution. This data is termed the “Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education” (DLHE). The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) provides specified processes and timescales that each institution must work to when collecting and collating this data and for submitting the data to HESA. This includes prescribed questions, categorisation of answers, approved survey methods and reporting procedures. A presentation aimed at University staff explains how DLHE operates. An example DLHE survey can be viewed here.

How and when does DLHE take place?

DLHE data is collected from graduates who receive their award between August and December in the following April to June period (asking for their status on a specific day in April) and is collected from graduates who receive their award between January and July in the following November to March period (asking for their status on a specific date in January).

Graduates are contacted and encouraged to complete an online form. Graduates who do not complete the online form are telephoned and asked to answer DLHE questions online or over the telephone.

How can I support DLHE?

DLHE promotional materials could be prominently displayed around teaching and social areas, used by final year students to raise awareness of the survey and show results of previous surveys for the students.  Support staff could assist us by putting these materials in prominent places where students will be able to see them (School Offices, contact points, etc.)  

There is also a presentation which can be shared with your students to give them more information about the DLHE survey.  The slides contain sufficient information to be used on their own, but the accompanying notes give more detail which can support further discussion and answer any questions which may arise. These can be used by any staff members who are delivering sessions to groups of students and should take no more than 5 minutes to tag on to the end of any presentation.  

Whilst increasing engagement levels with DLHE is important, ultimately we want to increase employment prospects and you can find out more about improving the employability of your students here

University of Salford staff use of DLHE data

DLHE data should be carefully used to review the performance of programmes of study, for marketing and recruitment purposes and to inform prospective and current students of the graduate destinations (occupations, average salaries, sectors of work, % who engage in further study…).   

An online interactive system called "Interact" provides University of Salford staff with access to DLHE data. DLHE data is commercially sensitive and should not be shared with anyone who is not a University of Salford member of staff. Any external use of DLHE data should be verified with Student Life staff responsible for DLHE (see below). 

To access DLHE data, University of Salford staff must complete an online terms and conditions form before a web-link, username and password can be issued. This form can be accessed here.

The “Interact” online tool allows staff to review destinations data for University of Salford graduates at University, College, School or Programme level.

Ad-hoc Requests for DLHE data

For more complex review of DLHE data, 5 years historical data is kept by the CDE team.  Requests for data should be made using the online form.

Please contact Linzi Mackie (5668) or Ian Boardman on (54421) for more information on the DLHE statistics and their usage.