Destinations data

The University of Sheffield Careers Service collects data on the destinations of graduates approximately six months after graduation in accordance with guidelines set by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This data forms part of the national Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey that is conducted at all UK universities. Information about how the DLHE information is collected at this University can be viewed at 'Guide to DLHE'.

If you have any queries about destinations data or about GEMS please contact:
Stephen Davie
Tel: 2220929

Destinations data dhle staff information

Access data

Accessing destinations data for the University of Sheffield

In line with the requirements of the Data Protection Act this data must not be made available to anyone other than members of University staff having a legitimate interest in it.

GEMS (Graduate Employment Market Statistics)

GEMS is an interactive database that enables staff to interrogate destinations data for most graduates who completed first and higher degrees, diplomas and certificates from the past five years. The system is flexible, easy to use and results are almost immediate. Key features include:

  • the facility to differentiate between graduate and non-graduate employment outcomes
  • identify employers who have recruited graduates
  • produce calculations that mirror the Graduate Prospects scores used in media university league tables
  • track destination trends
  • view salary information.

Key analyses of the most recent survey are available as downloads from this screen including a table showing the performance of departments in the subject league tables published by The Times , The Guardian and The Complete University Guide.

GEMS logo

Guide to DLHE

What it is, annual time frames, how data is collected and presented

What it is

DLHE is an annual survey which seeks to determine what graduates are doing approximately six months after graduation. All UK higher education institutions participate. HESA (the Higher Education Statistics Agency) manages the survey and is responsible for the design of the questionnaire and the central collation and publication of national data. At Sheffield responsibility for running the DLHE survey lies with the Careers Service.


The survey covers UK, EU and non-EU international graduates who were registered as full-time, part-time or distance learners. The annual cohort includes anyone who successfully completed a course at first or higher degree levels (includes degrees, diplomas and certificates).

How data is collected

HESA require very high response rates:

  • 80% for full-time UK graduates
  • 80% for Research Council-funded graduates
  • 70% for part-time UK graduates
  • 50% for EU graduates
  • 20% for non-EU international graduates

In order to achieve these targets the Careers Service contacts graduates continuously over the data collection periods.

Ensuring that data collected is accurate, HESA require (that wherever possible) the information we obtain comes directly from the graduate. For that reason our first data collection activities are centred around strategies which are most likely to result in a response from the graduate themselves.

57% of the 2015/16 survey data was collected electronically (a series of personalised emails and text messages are sent linking directly to an online questionnaire). In addition we use social media (University Facebook and Twitter accounts). Telephone surveying is also conducted with UK and EU graduates and generates a further 31% of responses. We use both mobile and landlines and ring each number a minimum of six times. Once we can demonstrate that all of these avenues have been exhausted, HESA allow us to interrogate our own University Student Record to identify any non-respondents who have registered for further study (3% of responses). Only once all of these processes have been completed are we able to contact academic departments to see if staff can provide information about unknown graduates (6% of responses). The remaining graduates are those who decline to participate in the survey.

Frequently asked questions



Annual timeframes

The annual survey is undertaken in two separate sections:

Section 1 - commences mid-April when graduates who completed degrees between 1 August and 31 December in the previous year are contacted (approx 3500 individuals). This group consists mainly of higher degree graduates. The data collection period continues until late June. This information is then set aside.

Section 2 - commences mid-November when graduates who completed degrees between 1 Jan and 31 July are contacted (approx 6000 individuals). This group consists mainly of first degree graduates but a significant number of higher degrees are also included. The data collection period continues until early March.

In March the two parts of the survey are merged and submitted to HESA. The 2015/16 DLHE data submitted in March 2017 will therefore cover UGs who completed courses in June 2016 and also PGs who completed their studies as far back as August 2015.

During March and April HESA subject the data to a number of validation processes to confirm the accuracy and consistency of the submission.

Once the data has passed validation it is signed off by the Vice-Chancellor and can then be made available to the University.

Data sets

Data set Completed degree Surveyed
2011/12 1st Aug 11 - 31st Dec 11 (Graduated Jan 12) April - June 2012
1st Jan 12 - 31st July 12  (Graduated Summer 12) November 2012 - March 2013
2012/13 1st Aug 12 - 31st Dec 12 (Graduated Jan 13) April - June 2013
1st Jan 13 - 31st July 13 (Graduated Summer 13) November 2013 - March 2014
2013/14 1st Aug 13 - 31st Dec 13 (Graduated Jan 14) April - June 2014
1st Jan 14 - 31st July 14 (Graduated Summer 14) November 2014 - March 2015
2014/15 1st Aug 14 - 31st Dec 14 (Graduated Jan 14) April - June 2015
1st Jan 15 - 31st July 15 (Graduated Summer 14) November 2015 - March 2016
2015/16 1st Aug 15 - 31st Dec 15 (Graduated Jan 16) April - June 2016
1st Jan 16 - 31st July 16 (Graduated Summer 16) November 2016 - March 2017
2016/17 1st Aug 16 - 31st Dec 16 (Graduated Jan 17) April - June 2017
1st Jan 17 - 31st July 17 (Graduated Summer 17) November 2017 - March 2018

2016/17 will be the last data set collected by UoS before DLHE becomes centralised nationally (see NewDLHE).

National results

National results

HESA online destination statistics Headline DLHE statistics including employment activity and most important activity by level of qualification obtained and mode of study. Data from 1994 to present available.
HESA employment performance indicators The employment indicator (EPI) expresses the number of UK domiciled graduates who say they are working or studying (or both) as a percentage of all those who are working or studying or seeking work. The tables provide a breakdown by Higher Education institution and include the response rates of the DLHE survey, as well as the EPI score and benchmark.
Graduate labour market information The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) is an independent research charity specialising in higher education and graduate employment.HECSU logo

HECSU aim to:
- improve the dissemination of information about higher education and graduate employment
- contribute to knowledge of student and graduate career development and employment by conducting and commissioning research
- work with careers advisers, academic staff, and employers to support graduate employability

What do graduates do? Published annually, What Do Graduates Do? is a collaboration between AGCAS and HECSU: HECSU provides the facts and figures from the DLHE returns and members of the AGCAS Education Liaison Task Group apply their expertise to provide commentary and written articles to help interpret the figures.
Unistats subject/institution comparison site The official website for comparing UK higher education course data. The website includes official data for undergraduate courses on each university and college's satisfaction scores in the National Student Survey, jobs and salaries after study and other key information for prospective students.
University league tables
The Times Good University Guide

Results released approximately late September. (Subscription required to access full data tables)The Times Good University Guide logo

The Complete University Guide

Results released approximately late April.the-complete-university-guide

Guardian University Guide

Results released approximately late May.The Guardian logo



What is it?

Between July 2015 and June 2017, there has been a major review of destinations and outcomes data, referred to as the NewDLHE review.

The NewDLHE review drew on extensive collaboration with experts from the HE sector and beyond, and has designed a new model for collecting information about what higher education (HE) students do after graduation. This model will capture rich, robust and comprehensive data using a more efficient and future-proof methodology.

Why is this happening?

HESA launched the review in summer 2015 with the 4 key aims:

  • Future-proofing – a fundamental reconsideration of the kinds of data that will be required for the foreseeable future, taking into account a labour market that is changing at a structural level, and increasing demands for rich information about graduate outcomes.
  • Efficiency – taking advantage of new capabilities to link data sources and use modern survey technology to increase value for money and reduce the cost of data acquisition.
  • Fit for purpose – ensuring the data collection methodology allows the data to be used in new and emerging contexts, with confidence.
  • Supporting legislation – taking into account the legal gateway opened by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, and supporting developing government purposes for destinations and outcomes data, across the UK.

Key Changes

  • Graduates will be surveyed approximately 15 months after graduation rather than 6 months.
  • There will be four surveys each year, beginning in December, March, June and September.
  • UoS will no longer collect the survey responses, NewDLHE will be administered by a central survey contractor that will collect all UK HEI’s data.
  • NewDLHE will aim to exceed a response rate of 70% to enable publishing of granular data.
  • There will be several new performance measures based on ‘the graduate voice’ e.g. How meaningful or important they feel their activity to be.

Further details of the new survey structure can be found on the HESA website.

What does it mean for us?

Increased time lag
The last data collected by UoS will be submitted in March 2018. After a short data quality checking period, the 2016/17 results will be available approximately towards the end of June 2018.
There will then be a gap whilst NewDLHE is implemented and data is collected. The next set of data will be available January 2020.
It is worth noting the increased time lag as the 2016/17 results will be the only available statistics for over 18 months.

Contact details
HE providers will be expected to maintain and supply comprehensive and accurate contact details for their graduates.
To meet this expectation, the Careers Service will review current contact details and make appropriate plans. Further details on this will be announced in due course.