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Aggregate overseas record 2008/09 - Level of provision

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Aggregate overseas record 2008/09

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Level of provision

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valid entries
Short nameLEVEL

This field describes the level of qualification that will be attained as a result of successful completion of studies.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All records

Base data typeLEVELCodeType
Field length1
Part of
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Reason required

To distinguish between higher education and non-higher education qualifications and also between different undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research qualifications.


The coding frame is based on that used for Course.COURSEAIM in the HESA individualised student record. Within this coding frame the first letter indicates level; further detail is provided through a two-digit suffix. For this return coding by first letter is sufficient. There is no requirement for the two-digit suffix to provide a further detailed breakdown.

Overall framework and alignment with existing frameworks.

The most relevant are the UK frameworks. For England, Wales and NI the HE qualifications framework identifies five levels (C, I, H, M, D) and these are aligned with the NVQ levels 4 to 8. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), which is not HE-specific, is aligned with this except that the lower boundary of Scottish Level 7 is apparently slightly lower than the lower boundary of Level C / NVQ 4 (this is the lower cutoff for what may be regarded as HE in England and Wales, but, significantly, Scottish Advanced Highers fall into Level 7), and Level I /NVQ 5 is split into two levels in Scotland, Level 8 and 9.

The ISCED framework is used for international reporting, and four levels within it are relevant, Levels 4, 5B, 5A and 6. The Bologna framework for European HE harmonisation is still in process of development, but the current state may be summarised as recognising four levels: short-cycle, first-cycle, second-cycle, and third cycle.

D12- DoctoratesD - Doctoral degreeResearch N/A6Third cylce
ETaught8 - Highly specialist Diploma from a professional body5A
L11 - Masters, SVQ 5M - Master's degree, postgraduate diplomas, postgraduate certificatesResearchN/A6?
MTaught 7 - NVQs, Level 7 Diploma, Level 7 Fellowship, Level 7 Advanced professional Certificate5ASecond cycle
H10 - Honours degree, Graduate Diploma/Certificate H- Bachelors degrees with honours, Graduate certificates and diplomas 6 - NVQs, Level 6 Certificate, Level 6 Diploma5AFirst Cycle
I9 - Ordinary degree, Graduate Diploma/CertificateI - Ordinary bachelors degree, foundation degrees, Diplomas of higher education and other higher diplomas 5 - NVQs, Level 5 Certificate, Level 5 Diploma, Higher National Diploma5BShort Cycle
J8 Higher National Diploma, Diploma in Higher Education, SVQ 4
C7 - Higher National Certificate, Certificate of Higher EducationC - Certificates of Higher Education4 - NVQ's, Level 4 Certificate, Level 4 Diploma ? 5B/4 ? Short Cycle / below classification

FAdvanced Higher - 3 - NVQ's, Level 3 Certificate, Level 3 Diploma - - -
6 - Higher, SVQ 3
F 5 - Intermediate 2, Credit Standard Grade, SVQ 2 - 2 - NVQ's, Level 2 Certificate, Level 2 Diploma - - -
F 4 - Intermediate 1, Credit Standard Grade, SVQ 1 - 1 - NVQ's, Level 1 Certificate, Level 1 Diploma - - -
F1,2,3 Access Levels - Entry Level - - -
X - - - - - -

The HESA coding frame is designed to support the alignment of course qualifications with the frameworks, with the first letter indicating the level.

Date modified2009-07-09
Change management notesMinor consistency edit to valid entry label text descriptions. No change to valid codes or label meaning
Schema components
Element: LEVEL
Valid entries and labels
DResearch doctorates
ETaught doctorates
LResearch masters
MTaught masters
HBachelors degrees with honours
IOrdinary bachelors degrees
JHigher education (HE) diplomas
CHigher education (HE) certificates
FFurther education

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