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Full-time entrants by subject

Key figures 

Around three-quarters of FT UG entrants studying arts, humanities and social sciences

Almost a quarter of PG students in business and management

Modern foreign language entrants have fallen at UG and PG levels

Approximately three-quarters of all full-time entrants to undergraduate courses are studying arts, humanities and social sciences.

Of the 425,000 full-time entrants to undergraduate courses in 2014-15, 313,000 entered subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Within this broad grouping, the most popular subject groups were business, management and administrative studies (64,000 entrants), social studies (58,000) and creative arts and design (47,000).

There were 95,000 undergraduate entrants to courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in 2014-15. This was an increase of 4.2 per cent on 2013-14.

Most subject areas had an increase in the number of entrants in 2014-15 compared with 2013-14. The largest percentage increases were chemistry and materials science (9.8 per cent), computer sciences (6.9 per cent) and psychology (5.5 per cent).

Almost one in four postgraduate students are in business and management courses.

As with undergraduate courses, roughly three-quarters of entrants to postgraduate programmes are in subjects within arts, humanities and social sciences. However, there are relatively more students in education and business, management and administrative studies, with the latter making up 23 per cent of all postgraduate entrants.

There was little change in 2014-15 to the numbers of entrants to the largest postgraduate subjects, but some of the smaller subjects had reasonably large growth. There were 18 per cent more entrants in sports science than in 2013-14, while there were 13 per cent more in anatomy, physiology and pathology and 9.3 per cent more in physics and astronomy.

The number of entrants to modern foreign languages has fallen at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The number of students starting postgraduate courses in European languages was 9.9 per cent lower in 2014-15 than in 2013-14, while entrants to undergraduate courses fell by 3.4 per cent.

There was also a fall in the number of entrants to non-European languages at the undergraduate level (down 5.8 per cent), although the number starting postgraduate courses was unchanged.

The teaching of European modern languages is heavily dependent on European Union nationals, who make up 46 per cent of academic staff in this subject area.  

Page last updated 21 July 2016