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Law School in UK top 10 for higher law graduate earnings

Press release issued: 20 June 2018

A recent study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), which calculates the impact of university and degree choices on wages, ranks Bristol in 6th place for higher Law School graduate earnings.

The study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies measures the influence a particular degree at a particular university can have on graduate earnings, showing the difference in wages five years after finishing university, relative to an average degree for a man or a woman.

The Law School was listed as the 6th most impactful institution to study law in terms of higher wages earned five years after graduating, with University of Bristol law graduates likely to earn on average £13,147 or £12,715 more, for male and female graduates respectively.

Using data from England’s Department for Education, the study set out to explore whether differences in earnings were due to the direct effect of degree subject and institution, examining differences in wages while keeping factors such as socio-economic background, region, and prior attainment fixed.

The report, which can be read in full here, states the following conclusions:

  • “Characteristics determined before students begin HE are important for future earnings, but even after accounting for these characteristics different subjects and institutions have significantly different impacts on the earnings of there students.
  • Medicine, economics and business are amongst the highest returning courses, with creative arts, philosophy and English amongst the lowest returning courses.
  • Even after accounting for the fact they take students with the highest prior attainment, Russell Group universities still have the highest returns.
  • Choosing a ‘high-return’ subject is not enough to guarantee high earnings. There is a wide variation in returns to studying the same subject at different institutions.
  • These results focus solely on the earnings returns to different degrees and there are clearly many other important outcomes which factor into students’ HE decisions and the evaluation of universities.”


Further information

Other rankings for the Law  School include: 

  • Top 5 UK law school for research intensity (REF 2014) 
  • Top 8 Law School in England and Wales (Guardian University League Tables 2019)
  • Top 50 Law School in the world (Times Higher Education World University Rankings for Law 2018)
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