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Graduate Outcomes survey data usage statement: main

Details how Graduate Outcomes survey data should be used, shared and stored.

Data usage statement

When reviewing and sharing this information please consider the sensitive nature of the data. No graduates should be contacted about their Graduate Outcomes survey responses as the data provided includes individuals who have not given permission for further institutional contact. Survey response data should not be used to make decisions about individual graduates, for example for profiling purposes. All data has been anonymised to avoid the identification of individuals. However, graduate level and small group data may be quite specific and enable individuals to be identified, if for instance, their employer/role makes this obvious. HESA have advised that Job Titles and Employer Names should be shown separately when shared externally, including summaries for our own students. Information should be kept properly secure and confidential, as it counts as personal data.

Further information on storage and data security can be found on the University website:

Graduate Outcomes data can only be used for research and statistical purposes to help us improve the outcomes of our courses and the effectiveness of career services. This research can be used to improve courses and services and to promote them to current and prospective students. No other uses are permitted.

The HESA Rounding and Suppression scheme should be used If you intend to use the raw survey data to calculate and present statistics:

  • Counts of people are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.
  • Percentages are not published if they are fractions of a small group of people (fewer than 22.5).
  • Averages are not published if they are averages of a small group of people (7 or fewer).

Some totals may differ to the sum of the individual counts or percentages due to rounding and/or the exclusion of small numbers.

External use of the data should follow the above HESA Rounding and Suppression scheme and ensure the survey response rate for the group analysed is above 50%. This publication threshold, whereby statistics based on very small group sizes and/or low response rates are to be suppressed, is set since data below this threshold lacks statistical robustness and are not necessarily representative of the whole population.

Raw data is available with restricted access on a Graduate Outcomes wiki space. If you intend to use data from other sources to calculate statistics, please be aware that the above rounding and suppression scheme may have already been used and therefore you may need to refer back to raw data.

Please ensure that whenever you use, reproduce or reference any survey response data you include an attribution and caveat on behalf of HESA in the form below:

Contains HESA Data: Copyright Jisc [2023 for 2020/21 data, 2022 for 2019/20 data, 2021 for 2018/19 data, and 2020 for 2017/18 data]. Jisc cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data.

Please note that HESA has advised all data users against attempting to directly compare data between Graduate Outcomes and Destinations of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) data. Any such comparisons are likely to generate highly questionable results that are open to misinterpretation.

Data quality issues

The survey is owned by HESA. Each Higher Education provider is supplied with their own graduates' coded survey data, complete with additional derived fields. We have cleaned the text fields using our Careers expertise as best we can to provide the detail that we understand is helpful internally. It is an inappropriate manipulation of the data for us to amend the HESA coding. Please note some text fields should not be shared if they include information that could identify individual graduates; for instance, business name could include the graduate’s own name if self-employed or established their own business. It is impossible for such risks to be eliminated when cleaning the data. The 2020/21 graduating cohort is the fourth year of data from the Graduate Outcomes survey.

Further help

If you have any questions about the data or its usage, please contact Careers via


If you have any questions, please contact us.

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