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Student 2019/20 - Year of course

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Student 2019/20

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Year of course

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Short nameYEARPRG

This field indicates the year number of the course that the student is currently studying. This could be different from the year of student if the student has changed course or re-taken a year.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All instances where Instance.REDUCEDI = 00 or 01 unless (provider in Wales and Course.COURSEAIM begins with P, Q, R, S or X).


Courses of less than one year and exchange student instances with the provider should be coded 1 in this field.

Providers may return code 99 if the course structure does not enable year of course to be derived.

In cases where foundation years are integral to degree programmes, the foundation year should be shown as Year 0 in this field and 'degree' in Course.COURSEAIM. This will allow a clear distinction to be made between stand-alone Foundation courses and those which are integral to degree programmes. The relationship between this field and Instance.YEARSTU in these circumstances is shown in the table below.

Foundation year10
First year21
Second year32
Third year43

This field should be incremented for each year of a course a student studies, so should be equal to or less than the Year of student Instance.YEARSTU. Therefore, where students do not repeat any studies, year of course will increment each reporting year. In particular, where students study full-time courses on a part-time basis the year of course should still increment every year. For example, if a student is studying a degree normally taken full-time over 3 years, over 6 years part-time, the year of course should start at 1 and increase each reporting year to 6.

In cases where there are direct entrants to a later year of a course, they must also have an expected course length the same as students who are studying the whole of the course, we would expect to see one of the following:

  • If this is a three year programme and they are a direct entrant onto the third year we would expect to see them recorded as SPLENGTH = 3, YEARSTU = 1 and YEARPRG = 3. This indicates that whilst it is the first year of study for the student, the course they have entered holds an overall expected length of 3 years and they have entered the third of these three years.
  • If this is a standalone 'top-up' year: SPLENGTH = 1, YEARSTU = 1 and YEARPRG = 1.

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.

As with the guidance on Instance.SPLENGTH, for postgraduate research students Instance.YEARPRG should not increment during a writing-up period. Instance.YEARSTU would still increment on the anniversary of the Instance.COMDATE.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this entity are displayed here.
Reason required To track student progression; used in conjunction with YEARSTU, for example, for the identification of direct entrants to later years of programmes, and to identify courses with a foundation year, to support entry qualification calculations, and to identify students for inclusion in the National Students Survey.
Part of
Field length2
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: YEARPRG
Related fields
Date modified2020-02-06
Change management notesGuidance updated to clarify that courses of less than one year and exchange student instances with the provider should be coded 1 in this field.

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