This report was commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) following the publication of the fourth (and final) stage of the Futuretrack study in November 2012.
The aim was to investigate the characteristics of those who progressed to postgraduate study and outcomes particularly for those who indicated they intended to study to postgraduate level during their undergraduate course.
Since this report was written, a decision to introduce a new postgraduate Master’s loan was announced at Autumn Statement 2015, to remove the barrier faced by many wishing to study at this level.
The research questions that guided the work are:
• What are the characteristics of UK-domiciled students who progress to postgraduate study (i.e. subject discipline, type of institution, level and mode of postgraduate course undertaken)?
• Is the distribution of socio-economic characteristics amongst UK-domiciled postgraduate students similar to or different from that at undergraduate level?
• What motivates UK-domiciled students to take up postgraduate study?
• Is motivation to take up postgraduate study associated with subject discipline, type of institution, expectations of study and outcomes, fees, or funding support?
• Does the intention to take up postgraduate study change during undergraduate study?
• Does anticipated level of debt on completion of undergraduate study influence the decision to take up postgraduate study?
• Is work, work experience or work placement whilst an undergraduate associated with the take up of postgraduate study?