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HESA Student Record 2013/14 - Unique Learner Number

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HESA Student Record 2013/14

Fields required from institutions in Scotland

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 students at institutions in England where any Instance.FESTUMK is coded 1 or 3.


The Unique Learner Number (ULN) is being developed, and the specification of this field falls within the scope of the Aligned Data Definitions and follows the Data Standards in the HESA student record. 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 can be found on the Learning Records Service web site. Since the ULN is issued by the Learning Records 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.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this field are displayed here.
Reason required

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

Part of
Field length10
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: ULN
OwnerLearning Records Service

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