Skip to main content

07 June 2022

Physiology graduates contribute £22.6 billion to the UK economy every year

King's Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences contributed to report launched in parliament today


A new report launching in Parliament today and featuring a case study from the Centre for Human & Applied Physiological Sciences (CHAPS) at King’s College London shows that physiology graduates contribute £22.6 billion to the UK economy ever year. This is equal to supporting 777,200 jobs.

In the first independent analysis of its kind to quantify the impact of physiology education on the UK economy, it was found that every £1 invested by a student in their physiology education yields them £4.40 in higher future wages.

Approximately 97% of students who study physiology related courses stay in the UK after graduating, contributing a staggering £35.6 billion to society and the public purse through higher earnings and added tax revenue. Plus, they will save £825.9 million in social costs across healthcare, unemployment benefits and crime.

In addition to the economic analysis, the report also features case studies showing the variety and impact of occupations help by physiology graduates. From CHAPS, Professor Stephen Harridge, Dr Peter Hodkinson, Dr Ross Pollock, and Dr Tom Smith along with Dr James Clark (School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Medicine), spoke about the role of physiology in supporting military and civilian aviation. Our internationally recognised Diploma in Aerospace Medicine course, run in partnership with the Royal Air Force Centre of Aviation Medicine, is in its 55th year and has been delivered at King’s for over 20 years. It is run in collaboration with the UK Civil Aviation Authority, British Airways, Martin Baker, the Royal Navy, Army and many other organisations.

Case studies like this one show that, beyond the lab, physiologists are working in communities, hospitals, elite sport settings, schools, universities and many other environments with huge benefits for society as a whole.

The analysis, carried out by independent economy agency Emsi Burning Glass for The Physiological Society and Academy for Healthcare Science, demonstrates the importance and need for physiology to be at the heart of university courses, public health and clinical care.

The report will be launched in Parliament on Tuesday 7 June at a reception hosted by Stephen Metcalfe MP and including contributions from Catherine Ross, Scotland’s Chief Healthcare Science Professions Officer and Chi Onwurah MP, the Shadow Science Minister. The event also features MPs from across the country, as well as leading physiologists, educators and practitioners.

The report is focused on the economic impact of courses related to the physiological sciences delivered by UK higher education institutions in terms of added income to the UK economy and jobs supported. The findings are based on student data from the academic year 2018-19. The total contribution to the UK economy could be greater than calculated in this report.

Read the full report

In this story

Steve Harridge

Professor of Human & Applied Physiology


Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Physiology

Headshot - Tom Smith

Reader in Aerospace Medicine

James Clarke profile pic

Professor of Cardiovascular and Physiology Education

Peter Hodkinson

Head of Aerospace Medicine (Clinical and Education)