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HESA Student Record 2007/08 - Expected length of study

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HESA Student Record 2007/08

Fields required from institutions in Northern Ireland

Expected length of study

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Short nameSPLENGTH

This field is used to indicate the normal elapsed time in the units indicated by Instance.UNITLGTH from the commencement of study, (the first learning/teaching week) to completion of the instance. This will normally include time for examinations. It does not purport to indicate the amount of study time, learning time or contact time.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All instances where Instance.REDUCEDI = 00, 01 or 02

Base data typePositiveIntegerWithNullStructure2
Field length2
Part of
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Related fields
Reason required

To monitor patterns of study.


An instance lasting for two and a half years would be coded 30 months.


This should be the length applicable to the instance as a whole even if particular students may have different lengths of study, e.g. because of direct entry into the second year.

Where there are both part-time and full-time students following a programme of study, the expected length of study should be the normal length applicable for the mode of study of the student.

Cases where there is not a defined normal length for the programme of study, or where the programme of study is self-paced with an indefinite length, should have an empty element returned with the ReasonForNull attribute set to 9 (not applicable), i.e:

           <SPLENGTH ReasonForNull="9"></SPLENGTH>

Validation will ensure that if this field is an empty string then Instance.UNITLGTH must be coded 9.

Length of study includes holiday time.

For postgraduate research students, any extra writing-up period must be ignored. For example, a full-time PhD would typically be coded 3 years.

Foundation years

It is not expected that the length of study be adjusted for individual students. However, where there are different options that students can take, for example, foundation years and sandwich placements, it is expected that the length reflects the options taken. For example, where a student undertakes an integrated foundation year it is normally expected that the length be recorded as one year longer than if the student had just taken a stand-alone degree.

Sandwich courses

Where the option of a sandwich course is available but it is not taken up by a student then Instance.SPLENGTH should be revised at the point where the student makes a decision not to take-up the sandwich option, normally by the end of their second year, to reflect the expected length excluding the sandwich year. For example students coded 4 in Instance.SPLENGTH and 1 in Instance.UNITLGTH in the first year should be recoded 3 in Instance.SPLENGTH at the end of the second year if they are not expected to take the sandwich option. This re-coding is required to ensure that the correct cohort of student is identified in the National Student Survey (NSS) target list.

The length of this field is 2 characters, however the move to XML enables data to be returned with or without leading zeros, e.g. 03 or 3.

Date modified2008-05-30
Change management notesUpdated datatype from PositiveIntegerWithNullStructure to PositiveIntegerWithNullStructure2, and guidance added on the format for numeric data
Business rules

Instance.SPLENGTH must exist where Instance.REDUCEDI = 00, 01 or 02


Where exists, Instance.SPLENGTH must not be coded 99 by institutions in England where Instance.FESTUMK is coded 1 or 3


Where exists, Instance.SPLENGTH cannot be greater than 09 where Instance.MODE = 01, 02, 23, 24 or 25 and Instance.UNITLGTH = 1


Where exists, Instance.SPLENGTH cannot be greater than 72 where Instance.MODE = 01, 02, 23, 24 or 25 and Instance.UNITLGTH = 2


Instance.SPLENGTH must not be null except when ReasonForNull = 9


Instance.SPLENGTH must be null when ReasonForNull = 9

Schema components

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