Lead Data Scientist, UCAS
Everyone, regardless of age, gender or background should be encouraged, and able to, study the subjects that truly excite them.
Insight gleaned from UCAS’ application data shows that more women are continuing to smash stereotypes, by applying for undergraduate courses in STEM subjects.
In 2012, a grand total of 368,570 women applied to study at a UK university and college. By 2021, it had risen to 434,965, an increase of 18% – as the appeal of studying at the UK’s world-class universities and colleges continued to grow, despite continued population decline throughout the decade.
However, what is much more significant is the sizeable increase in women looking to specifically study computer science within the space of a decade. There were 25,275 applications from women in 2021, up a colossal 103% from 12,475 in 2012.
Engineering applications also rose at a substantial rate, by 70% to 31,910. Each year there are now over 20,000 applications from women to study mathematical sciences too.
Looking to the year ahead
As for the current 2022 application cycle, for students looking to start their course this autumn, our analysis has already shown increases in demand for STEM courses from women is here to stay.
Within this cycle applications from women to study medicine and dentistry are up 7% this year to 87,710, which also equates to 23,000 more applications than before the pandemic in 2019.
We’ve also seen 7,500 more applications from women within those last three years wanting to study computing. It now tops 30,000 for the first time.
In 2012, a grand total of 368,570 women applied to study at a UK university and college. By 2021, it had risen to 434,965, an increase of 18%.
There are noticeable increases in women wanting to study psychology (up 6% to 117,080) and physical sciences (up more than 1%, to over 35,000 for the first time).
Women have submitted more than 32,000 applications to study engineering and technology at UK universities and colleges and 15,160 for veterinary sciences courses too.
Opportunities for all
With students also able to explore and consider degree level apprenticeships through UCAS, as well as traditional full-time undergraduate courses, all the numbers clearly show that there are opportunities in STEM regardless of your gender. More women than ever are standing ready to embark on an exciting, challenging and rewarding career within a STEM field.