Bath Spa University graduates were earning less on average than those from other South West universities five years after graduation, new figures show.

A spokesperson for money website Save the Student said students are now more confident about finding work after leaving university.

Department for Education figures show first degree graduates from Bath Spa University had a median annual salary of £25,000 in 2021-22, five years after leaving their course.

Bath Spa University graduates who did courses in business and management were earning the most – £32,500 on average. At the opposite end of the spectrum were their peers graduating with a degree in performing arts, taking home around £21,900 a year.

The average Bath Spa University salary was 20% lower than the average salary for the 2015-16 cohort graduating from universities in the South West, which was estimated to be £31,200.

For most providers and subjects, graduate earnings have increased at or above the rate of inflation since 2015-16.

Graduates from almost three quarters of universities had median earnings at least 13% higher in 2021-22 than in 2015-16.

Tom Allingham, communications director at Save the Student said: "On the face of it, this data paints a promising picture for graduates.

"However, it's worth noting that the dataset only runs to the 2021-22 tax year, and therefore doesn't include much of the sky-high rates of inflation seen throughout much of 2022 and 2023."

He said it's not yet possible to say whether this summer's graduates will enjoy the same inflation-matching earnings as their predecessors.

"Nonetheless, the future looks bright for many graduates – particularly those from STEM subjects – and perhaps explains why in our own research, the proportion of students confident about finding work after leaving university has increased dramatically in the post-Covid era, up from 38% in 2021 to 58% in 2023," Mr Allingham added.

The figures also show female graduates from the Bath Spa University were earning a median salary of £24,800 five years into their career, while men were paid £25,500. It meant men earned 3% more than women.

To see the full results of Save the Student’s Student Money Survey 2023, click here.