New figures show high level of employment among East Midlands arts graduates

High numbers of graduates from arts courses across the East Midlands are securing their professional future, according to new figures. 

The latest data from the Complete University Guide (CUG) have revealed an encouraging trend for graduates in creative courses – in particular De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) music students – to further their careers after leaving university. 


The latest release of the CUG reveals that 71.6% of graduates from DMU’s music programmes gain positions in graduate-level or professional roles or pursuing postgraduate education. 

Professor Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “Although the value of creative courses is often criticised, it is usually done so in narrow, monetary terms.  

“Art has a value far higher than this and we are proud to still place the teaching of creative courses right at the centre of what we do at DMU, more than 150 years after we first opened as the Leicester School of Art. 

“The strength of these figures across the region shows that there are many rich and rewarding careers in the arts, in a creative sector worth so much to our culture and economy.” 

These figures are in addition to 73.1% of creative writing students at University of Derby and 85.4% of music students at Nottingham Trent University progressing their careers in similar ways. 


The figures are from the graduate outcomes survey carried out by the CUG, measuring the success of graduates progressing into graduate-level or professional roles, or postgraduate education. 

Professor Amanda Chetwynd, Chair of the Complete University Guide advisory board, said: 

“Today's data from the Complete University Guide’s 2025 rankings show the value of higher education in shaping the careers of graduates across the UK. In this increasingly complex and competitive job market, it's great to see that 80% of graduates nationwide are not only quickly moving into graduate-level roles but also embracing opportunities for continued learning and professional development through postgraduate study. 

“In the East Midlands we can see that studying the arts at university will equip students well for the future and can no longer be seen as the poor relation to STEM subjects. 

“These new data show that whatever subject students are passionate about studying, our league tables will help point them to universities that will help them secure an excellent career.” 

The CUG figires also show that students in the East Midlands are benefiting from institutions delivering the best outcomes in four years. Statistics show that graduate prospects now stand at 77.8%, up from 74.3% in 2023. 

Posted on Tuesday 14 May 2024

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