Skip to main content Skip to navigation

5th Futuretrack survey about to launch

An online survey catching up with UK graduates almost ten years after their graduation to gather data on their working lives is about to launch.

The survey is a key part of the fieldwork for the fifth wave of the Futuretrack longitudinal study into the careers of UK graduates.

The unique Futuretrack study is run by the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment Research (IER) and funded by the Nuffield Foundation. Futuretrack follows a large sample of students who applied to university in 2005/2006 and aims to gather detailed insights into the kinds of jobs graduates are doing in the longer-term, how they got them, whether higher education has contributed to social mobility, and how the experiences of the Futuretrack cohort compares with earlier graduate cohorts.

The fourth Futuretrack study was conducted in 2011/12. It looked at what kinds of jobs recent graduates were doing around two years after their graduation.

The new fifth stage, Degrees of Advantage, provides a timely opportunity to catch up with the Futuretrackers to see how they have navigated the labour market over the longer term.

Commenting on the survey launch, Dr Daria Luchinskaya, joint academic lead on the Futuretrack study, said: “We are really excited about finding out what people have been up to since we were last in touch.

“The information provided will be very useful, especially given recent reports by the IFS questioning the impact that different university degrees have on longer-term earnings outcomes.

“We want to look at the wider picture, and hope that our Futuretrackers will help us with that.

“On a more personal note, when I was speaking with participants during the last stage, I was really touched that so many were asking whether the survey will continue. I’m so pleased that this new stage is under way, and the team and I very much look forward to catching up with everyone.”

The fieldwork will comprise an online survey that should take around 20 minutes to complete, hosted by Qualtrics surveys. New to Stage 5 is the collection and analysis of qualitative data to shed more light on participants' experiences since graduating to date.

IER will be sending an email invitation to existing Futuretrackers to participate in the online survey in the next few days. The research team can be contacted with any questions at

The new fifth stage research team is led by Dr Daria Luchinskaya, with Prof Chris Warhurst and Prof Peter Elias, and Gaby Atfield, Dr Wil Hunt, Rosie Day and Stef Poole at the Warwick Institute for Employment Research.

2 April 2019

For more details visit the Futuretrack project website here.

About the Institue for Employment Research

Established in 1981, the Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER) is a leading international social science research centre. IER researchers have diverse disciplinary backgrounds and work both within and across disciplines. Publishing theoretical, methodological and empirical academic outputs is a core activity, but IER also places great emphasis on maximising its impact among potential users of research. Research questions are tackled in projects funded by a range of public and private sector organisations and through publications in academic journals. Research findings are also disseminated to the academic, policy and practitioner communities through IER’s own publications, research reports published by sponsors, key stakeholder events and international conferences.

About the Nuffield Foundation

The Nuffield Foundation is an endowed charitable trust that aims to improve social well-being in the widest sense. It funds research and innovation in education and social policy and also works to build capacity in education, science and social science research. The Nuffield Foundation is funding this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation. More information is available at

About Futuretrack:

Futuretrack is an ambitious longitudinal study carried out by the Warwick Institute for Employment Research and initially funded by the IER and the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU). It was directed by Professor Kate Purcell, working closely with Professor Peter Elias.

The study began in 2006 with 120,000 respondents.

  • Wave 1 looked at why respondents chose to enter HE and what informed their choice of course and institution

  • Wave 2 took place in 2007 and included questions about respondents’ HE experiences and their possible post-graduation careers.

  • Wave 3 was split into two parts for three-year course completers in 2009 and four-year students in 2010. Information collected in this wave included job-seeking practices, perceptions of advantage in the labour market, and career aspirations

  • Wave 4 took place in 2011/12 and covered employment, use of skills, motivation and job satisfaction in post-graduation employment.

By Stage 4 (2011-12) more than 17,000 of the original participants were still engaged, and it is expected that Futuretrack 5 will reach 8,000 people. Questions will include career history since 2011, career evaluations and aspirations, work-life balance, and longer-term career and family aspirations. The online survey will be followed up by in-depth interviews with selected respondents.


Sheila Kiggins

Media Relations Manager

02476 150423

07876 218166