Vocational degrees from former polytechnics are at times proving better money-spinners than some academic degrees from the prestigious Russell Group universities.

Researchers have found that these new courses have even trumped law and neuroscience for better pay for students within five years of graduating.

Data analysis by Discover Uni, a government-backed source of information about UK higher education, uncovered the surprising findings.

Students at Aberystwyth University who studied BA in computer graphics, vision and games took home an average salary of £34,000.

And graduates who gained a BSc in games design from Bournemouth University earned an average salary of £32,000.

It was a similar story for graduates with a BSc degree in e-sports production from Nottingham Trent University who earned an average of £31,500.

While students with a BA in English can also expect to earn an average of £31,500 five years after leaving.

However a law student from Liverpool will take home £29,000, while a graduate of neuroscience from Nottingham University will earn an average of £30,500.

Other traditional degree courses which fell short include education from Cambridge University with £31,000, history at Edinburgh with £31,500 and biochemistry at Exeter where students earned an average of £26,500.

Craig Chettle, the founder of the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, said: “I’ve got no problem with people going to the Russell Group because it’s a great thing to do, but it’s not the only route.”

The Institute offers three-year degrees on courses including e-sports, virtual production and content creation. It is part of Nottingham Trent University.

Music production graduate Gaddiel Nketia, 23, said he earned between £25,000 and £30,000 in his first year as a self-employed music composer.

He has since earned £3,000 a day for TV composition work and composed the music for the James Bond No Time To Die promotion on Sky.

Mr Nketia said: “A career in music wasn’t seen by either me or my parents as a safe choice – but I just knew I wanted to give it a shot, and it’s been so rewarding.

“If you go into university with a ready-to-learn attitude, meet people and don’t shy away, you can take away so much more.”

Nick Hillman, the director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “It’s not only parents but also teachers and ministers who need to end their obsession with the Russell Group.”

A Russell Group spokesman said: “Russell Group universities deliver strong outcomes for students of all backgrounds.”

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