Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622599
Title:
Employability outcomes for university joint honours graduates.
Authors:
Pigden, Louise ( 0000-0002-9749-7855 ) ; Moore, Andrew Garford
Abstract:
Purpose In the UK, the vast majority of university students specialise and study just one subject at bachelor degree level, commonly known in the UK as a single honours degree. However, nearly all British universities will permit students if they wish to study two or even three subjects, so-called joint or combined honours degrees, internationally known as a double major. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether the study of a joint rather than a single honours degree had an impact on employment outcomes six months after graduation. Design/methodology/approach The authors analysed the complete data set provided from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Destination of Leavers from the Higher Education survey. The data were analysed to establish whether there was a difference in the highly skilled graduate employability of the joint honours students. The authors established whether there were any differences inherent in completing a joint honours degree in a post-1992 higher education institution, by nation within the UK or within a Russell Group higher education institution. Findings The authors found an approximately consistent 3 per cent point negative gap nationally in the highly skilled employment rates of joint compared with single honours graduates. This gap was at its lowest in the highly selective Russell Group universities (−1.52 per cent points) and highest in post-1992, vocationally oriented universities (−7.13 per cent points) and in Northern Ireland universities (−12.45 per cent points). Joint honours graduates of Scottish universities fared well, with a +3.09 per cent point advantage over the national average for joint honours. The authors found that universities that had a higher proportion of joint honours graduates generally had a lower employability gap between their joint and single honours graduates. Research limitations/implications This study focussed on joint honours degrees in the UK where the two or three principal subjects fall into different JACS subject areas, i.e. the two or three subjects are necessarily diverse rather than academically cognate. Future work will consider the class of joint honours degrees where the principal subjects lie within the same JACS subject area, i.e. they may be closer academically, although still taught by different academic teams. This grouping will include, for example, pairs of foreign languages, some social sciences pairings such as politics and sociology, and pairings such as history and theology from the historical and philosophical subject area. Originality/value The potential disbenefits of studying for a joint honours degree are apparent in this study. Joint honours students may face organisational, academic and cultural challenges that require a positive, conscious and sustained effort to overcome, on both the part of the student and the higher education institution. In particular for graduates of the post-1992 universities, it appears that there is a negative relative impact on highly skilled employment. This impact is lessened if the university is Scottish (four-year degrees with in-built breadth of study) or where the proportion completing joint honours degrees is relatively high.
Affiliation:
University of Derby
Citation:
Pigden, L. and Moore, A. G. (2018) 'Employability outcomes for university joint honours graduates,' Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, DOI: 10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088
Publisher:
Emerald
Journal:
Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Issue Date:
11-Apr-2018
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622599
DOI:
10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088
Additional Links:
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088
Type:
Article
Language:
en
ISSN:
20423896
Sponsors:
N/A
Appears in Collections:
Department of Mechanical Engineering & the Built Environment

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorPigden, Louiseen
dc.contributor.authorMoore, Andrew Garforden
dc.date.accessioned2018-04-13T08:27:33Z-
dc.date.available2018-04-13T08:27:33Z-
dc.date.issued2018-04-11-
dc.identifier.citationPigden, L. and Moore, A. G. (2018) 'Employability outcomes for university joint honours graduates,' Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, DOI: 10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088en
dc.identifier.issn20423896-
dc.identifier.doi10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10545/622599-
dc.description.abstractPurpose In the UK, the vast majority of university students specialise and study just one subject at bachelor degree level, commonly known in the UK as a single honours degree. However, nearly all British universities will permit students if they wish to study two or even three subjects, so-called joint or combined honours degrees, internationally known as a double major. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether the study of a joint rather than a single honours degree had an impact on employment outcomes six months after graduation. Design/methodology/approach The authors analysed the complete data set provided from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Destination of Leavers from the Higher Education survey. The data were analysed to establish whether there was a difference in the highly skilled graduate employability of the joint honours students. The authors established whether there were any differences inherent in completing a joint honours degree in a post-1992 higher education institution, by nation within the UK or within a Russell Group higher education institution. Findings The authors found an approximately consistent 3 per cent point negative gap nationally in the highly skilled employment rates of joint compared with single honours graduates. This gap was at its lowest in the highly selective Russell Group universities (−1.52 per cent points) and highest in post-1992, vocationally oriented universities (−7.13 per cent points) and in Northern Ireland universities (−12.45 per cent points). Joint honours graduates of Scottish universities fared well, with a +3.09 per cent point advantage over the national average for joint honours. The authors found that universities that had a higher proportion of joint honours graduates generally had a lower employability gap between their joint and single honours graduates. Research limitations/implications This study focussed on joint honours degrees in the UK where the two or three principal subjects fall into different JACS subject areas, i.e. the two or three subjects are necessarily diverse rather than academically cognate. Future work will consider the class of joint honours degrees where the principal subjects lie within the same JACS subject area, i.e. they may be closer academically, although still taught by different academic teams. This grouping will include, for example, pairs of foreign languages, some social sciences pairings such as politics and sociology, and pairings such as history and theology from the historical and philosophical subject area. Originality/value The potential disbenefits of studying for a joint honours degree are apparent in this study. Joint honours students may face organisational, academic and cultural challenges that require a positive, conscious and sustained effort to overcome, on both the part of the student and the higher education institution. In particular for graduates of the post-1992 universities, it appears that there is a negative relative impact on highly skilled employment. This impact is lessened if the university is Scottish (four-year degrees with in-built breadth of study) or where the proportion completing joint honours degrees is relatively high.en
dc.description.sponsorshipN/Aen
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherEmeralden
dc.relation.urlhttp://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/10.1108/HESWBL-11-2017-0088en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learningen
dc.subjectUKen
dc.subjectEmployabilityen
dc.subjectGraduate destinationsen
dc.subjectHigher educationen
dc.subjectJoint Honours Degreeen
dc.subjectSkillsen
dc.titleEmployability outcomes for university joint honours graduates.en
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentUniversity of Derbyen
dc.identifier.journalHigher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learningen
dc.contributor.institutionSchool of Engineering and Technology, University of Derby, Derby, UK-
dc.contributor.institutionDepartment of Policy and Public Affairs/Corporate Planning and Performance, University of Derby, Derby, UK-
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