Graduate Outcomes Survey

Information for UCA higher education leavers on the Graduate Outcomes Survey

This page provides our HE leavers with further information in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Graduate Outcomes Survey.

  • What is the Graduate Outcomes survey?

    The Graduate Outcomes survey (GOS) is the bigget annulal social survey undertaken in the UK and captures the perspectives and current status of graduates.  All graduates who completed a higher education course in the UK after August 2017 will be invited to take part in the survey 15 months after they finish their studies.

    The survey is delivered by HESA (Higher Education Statistics Agency). HESA supports the advancement of the higher education sector by collecting and publishing timely and reliable data about the sector.

    Taking part in the Graduate Outcomes survey is an essential part of your higher education journey. As the biggest UK annual social survey, the collective graduate voice is powerful and will directly impact the future of education for prospective students. 

    During the survey you will be asked a number of questions about the activities (work, further study, training, portfolio development, travelling, etc) you will be undertaking on a selected census week and how you feel your studies prepared you for those activities. 

    The administration of the Graduate Outcomes survey is undertaken by third-party survey contractors who work in collaboration with HESA and UCA.


  • Why should I take part in GOS?

    Information from this survey is used to provide the data to try to answer questions in higher education, particularly those that involve graduate careers. There are some questions that the Government or other bodies want answers to every year – such as how many new university graduates are in work and this data informs many top level statistics about graduate employability including the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

    The information you provide as part of the survey provides very useful data on the wide range of options you might have once you have left university. These options could be within the world of employment, further study or training and your response would also help determine whether these options have been influenced by your studies. 

    We also want to understand the non-traditional routes that our graduates are taking following education. Employment isn’t the only successful outcome: we want to know what you do, and really understand what you see as fulfilling.

    Your question responses will be collated with responses from graduates across the country to give sector-wide insight into what graduates are doing after graduation.

    The results of the survey will be added to the Unistats site and will form part of the information used by potential students to help them make choices about where to study. 

    Taking part in the survey also provides a service to future students and helps UCA to learn more about the destination outcomes of our students to help inform future planning and development activities.

  • How can I take part in the survey and when is it open?

    UCA will pass on your contact information to HESA. All you need to do is make sure we have accurate contact information for you – especially a valid email.

    It is important that once you leave UCA, you keep your personal contact details up to date. One of the ways you can do this is to join our new LinkedIn Alumni Network and be part of our growing global creative community.

    Graduates will be grouped across the year into four cohorts based on the end date of your course. Depending on when your course ended, you will receive your survey invitation around 15 months later. For example, if your course ended in August to October 2017, you’ll receive the survey in December 2018.

    The table below shows when you’ll be surveyed:

    End date of course Survey invitation
    August - October 2017 December 2018
    November - January 2018 March 2019
    February - April 2018 June 2019
    May - July 2018 September 2019

    You’ll have approximately 12 weeks to complete the survey and you will receive emails and texts to remind you to take part. In addition, you may also receive a telephone call to complete the survey over the phone. 

    If you are not contactable, information may be sought from a third party, for example from a family member.

  • What happens to the information I provide as part of GOS?

    In the email survey invitation, HESA will provide a link to the privacy information page on theit website which shares detailed information about how your data will be processed, who will receive it, and what they will use it for.

    HESA is the official source of data about UK universities and higher education colleges. This survey information will be linked to other information held about you as a student, including information you gave when you enrolled, and details of the qualification you gained. Together this forms your HESA Record. 

    The basis of UCA's processing of your personal information with HESA is undertaken to comply with our legal obligation.

    The information you provide to HESA is covered by HESA's own privacy information which can be found here. 

    If you have any other questions about HESA and data protection, please contact HESA's Data Protection Officer:

  • Where can I find further information?

    For further information on the Graduate Outcomes Survey, please visit the Graduate Outcomes website.

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