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HESA Student Record 2007/08 - Unique Learner Number

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HESA Student Record 2007/08

Fields required from institutions in Northern Ireland

Unique Learner Number

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Short nameULN

This field records a 10-digit numeric identifier.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

Compulsory for those students who have been issued with a ULN

Base data typeUniqueLearnerNumberType
Field length10
Part of
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Reason required

To facilitate linking between years of HESA data and between the Student Record and other data sources.


The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is being developed as a part of the Managing Information Across Partners (MIAP) programme. In the long-term it is anticipated that the ULN will replace the plethora of personal identifiers used by different organisations in the education sector.

The ULN is a ten-digit number with a non-zero number in the first position and a check digit in the final position. Further information regarding the ULN from the MIAP web site can be found here. Since the ULN is issued by the Learner Registration Service, an institutions' only obligation will be to check the validity of the number by performing the checksum validation test below.

The ULN checksum follows the same basic principles as the NHS number, but has been designed to ensure that there is no replication of ULN and NHS number. The checksum validation process is as follows:

  • Check that the first digit is nonzero
  • Sum the product of the digits multiplied by the weights 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
  • Divide this number by 11
  • The remainder should be 10.

(e.g. ULN 9276308686. (9*10)+(2*9)+(7*8)+(6*7)+(3*6)+(0*5)+(8*4)+(6*3) +(8*2)+(6*1) = 296. 296/11=26, remainder 10)

For additional information, an Excel spreadsheet showing how the final check digit (and leading digit for Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) based ULNs) is calculated can be downloaded here.

OwnerManaging Information Across Partners programme
Date modified2007-06-30
Change management notesClarification of notes for ULN checksum validation
Business rules

Student.ULN must pass the checksum test

Schema components
Element: ULN

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.