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HECSU specialises in conducting high quality research into student experiences and graduate employment. Our expertise in the field of higher education and graduate careers means you can have full confidence in our projects and funded work.

Research and insights

If you’re looking to gain a deeper understanding of student and graduate experiences of employment and career planning, we can help.

Working at the heart of the HE sector for more than 45 years, Prospects HECSU are the experts in graduate careers. Through our extensive research into graduate labour market trends, we have unrivalled insights into what graduates do, where they go and what their motivations are.

From careers services and universities to employers and professional bodies, our bespoke research solutions are perfect for anyone looking to evaluate, develop or improve their student and graduate engagement.

We can support you to analyse and interpret data, providing research intelligence that has significant business impact via our portfolio of:

  • workshops and talks;
  • data driven insights;
  • research and surveys

We will work with you every step of the way to identify your needs and suggest research paths that will be most beneficial. Areas to explore can include:

  • Labour market;
  • Student experience;
  • Graduate employment;
  • Graduate study

To discuss your research requirements please contact the team at

For back copies of What do graduates do?, Graduate Market Trends and all past research projects, email

Mark Stow, Head of Careers & Employability, University of Lincoln

‘Working with Prospects and the insight report that they produced has challenged our thinking in relation to targeted, strategic employer engagement activity and the opportunities we generate for our students. ‘


To download full versions, please visit the report section of Prospects Luminate, our student and graduate labour market information website.

  • Fragmentation of careers education and guidance in schools and colleges (2017)

    Laura Aldridge of Liverpool John Moores University asks the question, 'To what extent has the fragmentation of careers education and guidance, offers to young people in schools and colleges, affected the level of career readiness which students have when they arrive at university?'.

    The report examines the impact of the changes that have affected pre-HE careers guidance over the last 15 years, and what that means for HE provision.

    Read more on Prospects Luminate

  • Graduate resilience in the labour market

    This report explores graduate 'resilience', specifically looking at how students transition after graduating.

    Recommendations are made to improve marketing strategy, student engagement and developing graduate confidence. This report, funded by HECSU, aims to explore graduate resilience in relation to their transition after graduation. The research was conducted and reported in 2016 by Shelley Morgan, careers and employability adviser at Lancaster University.

    Read more on Prospects Luminate

  • Futuretrack


    Funded by HECSU and led by a team of researchers at the Warwick Institute for Employment Research, Futuretrack followed the cohort of students who applied to university through UCAS in 2005.

    The project explored why students decide to apply to higher education, how they choose their institution and course, and why they think higher education is a good investment. It also examines their attitudes to money, university careers services, extracurricular activities and unpaid work, and explored post-university experience of employment.

    Please contact for copies of this report.