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The most ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree in Britain: Students who take Hull media studies course are still on minimum wage five years after graduating with a £95,000 debt (and yes, there is a module on Disney Studies)


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A media-studies degree at the University of Hull which features a Disney module has been crowned the ultimate ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree by the government itself – with graduates expected to earn below minimum wage for five years after completion. 

According to the Department for Education (DfE), Hull graduates of media, journalism and communications degrees earned on average just £16,100 five years after leaving university – the lowest in the UK.  

The Telegraph reports that in many cases, this rate of remuneration would lead to the cost of the degree eventually ballooning to nearly £95,000 – at which point the debt would be cancelled by the government. 

In the past, Universities have been accused of having a vested interest in running these ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses because they are cheap to lay on and students still pay £9,250 a year in tuition fees. 

In 2022, the DfE urged all universities to include data on how many graduates get a decent job as well as how many actually finish their three years to help students spot courses less likely to lead to a stable job. 

A media-studies degree at the University of Hull which features a Disney module has been crowned the ultimate 'Mickey Mouse' degree

A media-studies degree at the University of Hull which features a Disney module has been crowned the ultimate ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree

According to the Department for Education (DfE), Hull graduates of media, journalism and communications degrees earned on average just £16,100 five years after leaving university

According to the Department for Education (DfE), Hull graduates of media, journalism and communications degrees earned on average just £16,100 five years after leaving university

In the past, Universities have been accused of having a vested interest in running these 'Mickey Mouse' courses

In the past, Universities have been accused of having a vested interest in running these ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses

The University of Hull’s media degrees relate to their 2014/15 cohort’s PAYE salaries in the 2020/21 tax year. 

The University of Hull has said these figures are not a reflection of the courses they offer today. 

On the university’s website, the Disney module is described as an ‘in-depth exploration of the history and impact of Disney’s global entertainment empire.’ 

Across the entire UK, media studies graduates on average earned around £24,800 five years after they graduated – the fourth lowest in the UK. 

Degrees that ranked lower included Celtic studies (£24,700), creative arts and design (£22,400) and performing arts (£22,000).

MailOnline has approached the University of Hull for more information. 

 Last year, the government promised to crackdown on poor-quality degrees by placing caps  on the numbers who can be recruited on to courses that are ‘not worth the paper they’re written on’.

Degrees with high dropout rates and poor employment prospects will be limited by the Office for Students, the universities watchdog.

At the same time, there were new measures promised to boost access to alternatives to university such as apprenticeships.

Nearly three in ten graduates do not progress into highly skilled jobs or further study within 15 months after graduating, according to the Office for Students.

And the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that one in five graduates would be better off financially if they had not gone to university.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was supportive of the move, saying at the time: ‘Too many young people are being sold a false dream and end up doing a poor-quality course at the taxpayers’ expense that doesn’t offer the prospect of a decent job at the end of it. 

That is why we are taking action to crack down on rip-off university courses, while boosting skills training and apprenticeships provision.

‘This will help more young people to choose the path that is right to help them reach their potential and grow our economy.’



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