From education to employment


Studying at university is a popular choice for many, with Great Britain housing over 100 universities for students to attend, and England alone being home to an impressive 106 higher education institutions.

Popularity across the globe in attending university is reflected in the breadth of subjects students can enroll on, from Music to Veterinary Science.

But with a higher education certificate aimed to further your knowledge and help kickstart your career, which subjects are producing the most profitable and successful graduates?

AppJobs has analysed UK Gov data to reveal the average salary graduates can expect to earn in each subject after the first five years of leaving university.

Analysing the average lower, median and upper salary in each subject, as well as the top salary recorded, AppJobs highlight both the courses and the universities with the top earning potential.

So, how profitable is your degree? 

The top 10 subjects producing the highest average median salary


Average median salary

Medicine & Dentistry






Pharmacology, Toxicology & Pharmacy


Mathematical Sciences


Veterinary Sciences


Physics & Astronomy


Architecture, Building & Planning






Medicine & Dentistry rank as the subjects earning the highest average annual salary amongst all graduates in the first five years after leaving university. Notorious for its difficulty to get into, becoming a doctor in the UK requires an average of five years of studying, with the journey to being a qualified GP continuing well after this, due to additional training programmes and placements. A degree in Dentistry also takes a similar period of time.

Sitting at just a three year course on average, Economics holds the second highest average salary at £39,700. With money being saved on tuition fees that stack up to a whopping £9,000 per year in the UK, Economics is an attractive subject to pursue for those wanting to earn more. Other subjects ranked in the top 10 include Politics, Engineering, and Architecture.

The subjects with the highest earnings potential and the universities producing the top earners

Whilst the average salary in each subject shows what students can expect to earn in their first five years of graduating, the highest earning potential in each course varies significantly. For the more ambitious students wanting to push the limits, it is important to see what the maximum possible salary has been earned in each course.

The top five subjects where graduates have gained the highest-salaries in their first five years of graduating include:

  1. Business & Management, University of Oxford: £144,000
  2. Economics, University of Cambridge: £129,000
  3. Computing, The University of Oxford: £94,400
  4. Law, The University of Oxford, £94,100
  5. Mathematical Sciences, The University of Oxford, £80,000

Business & Management students have the highest earning potential, with a graduate earning a jaw-dropping £144,000 during the first five years out of higher education. This figure is well above the average median salary for this subject, which sits at £27,100. Interestingly, this degree is also nearly three times more than the highest earning salary in Medicine & Dentistry, which is £59,000.

Humanities & Liberal Arts rank with the lowest earning potential, with its highest salary at £34,800. Education comes in second from the bottom with its top earner receiving £36,000. The University of Oxford produces the highest figure of top-earning graduates, with 12 of its subjects featuring in the top-salary list, including Law, Computing and Geography. The University of Cambridge has top earners in just four of its subjects, including Architecture and Psychology.

Iwona Polog, Head of Growth at AppJobs comments:

“Attending university is an opportunity to explore your interest in a subject, prepare for the working world and boost your career. The results highlight the importance of considering the job opportunities your degree subject can offer, and what to expect in your first few years of working life. It is also worth considering which university to attend, as each institution holds different earnings potential based on their graduates.

“The salary prospects of a subject are just one important aspect to consider when choosing a degree, with other factors such as location, assessment styles and job availability also influencing this decision.’

Related Articles