Skip to main content

Student 2019/20: Support guides

This page provides an overview of the 2019/20 Student collection (C19051).

This should be used alongside the C19051 coding manual, which provides more detailed, technical information about the collection.

Need help? Contact us by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531 

Student overview

What is the Student stream?

We collect data across a number of streams. These streams focus on different aspects of higher education.

The Student stream collects data about students studying at higher education providers in the UK. Details of which students need to be returned to us are included in the Coverage document found in the Coding manual.

The data we collect on behalf of the sector is provided to governments and fundng bodies in order to support the regulation of higher education. We also make anonymised data available to the public to enhance understanding of UK higher education and to support its advancement

What is a coding manual?

Our coding manuals provide you with all the necessary documentation to support your data return. The coding manual contains technical documents giving detailed information on the record's coverage, data specification and submission formats. Familiarising yourself with these documents will help you make an accurate and timely return.

Each collection has its own coding manual which can be found in the Data collection section of our site. By default, you will land on the open collection for each record; you can then select previous or future years.

The coding manuals will be updated throughout the data collection cycle and Record Contacts informed by email when new versions are made live. Be sure to check the manual's Revision history for a summary of changes.

How do I submit data to HESA?

You submit data via our Data Collection system. To access this, you will need to have an appropriate role in our Identity System (IDS). We publish an IDS user guide which includes information on creating and editing your account.

You will need to be given access to the Data Collection system by the relevant Record Contact at your provider.

Once you have access to the system you will be able to upload files, track the progress of your submission, view data quality issues and download reports. An overview of the submission and validation process is given below. Further details are provided in the Coding manual under the 'Submission process and quality assurance' section heading.

Submit data

Where can I find...?

The coding manual homepage includes all the technical information you require, including:

  • The data specification
  • File format specifications
  • A detailed collection schedule
  • Our XML data entry tool (available for some streams)
  • Quality rules.

This Support guides page collects together the following resources:

  • User guide
  • Data collection system: Known issues and release history.

In the Support area of the HESA website, you can find:

Our Data innovation section includes information about:

  • Open and recently completed record reviews, including information about changes we are implementing
  • Our Data Futures programme which will transform the higher education information landscape.

In the About section, you can find:

Where can I find further help with the Student record? Who are Liaison?

Our expert analysts have a thorough understanding of our records and processes. We are here to support you throughout the data submission process.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144 

Find out more about Liaison

Deadlines guidance

C19051: Deadlines guidance

As previously communicated to providers, the approach to deadlines will be different this year.

Return, commit and final commit deadlines – these deadlines are not statutory deadlines for this year and no written confirmation is required if they are not met. We strongly recommend that providers follow the normal timeline to progress through this year’s data collection as achieving these milestones ensures that providers and HESA are well placed to achieve signed off data by the sign-off deadline. HESA and Statutory Customers will still use these as progress points and contact you to check on your progress.

Sign-off deadline – this remains a statutory deadline. Providers are required to have committed a final file, resolved all data quality queries in the Issue Management System, and returned a completed sign-off form to [email protected] by 5pm on the day of the deadline. Please be aware that it can take up to five working days for HESA to check your file once committed and raise any necessary data quality queries. You should therefore aim to commit your final file in good time ahead of the sign-off deadline to ensure your file is checked and any quality queries resolved in time for the sign-off deadline.

Providers in England should notify the OfS via [email protected] if you foresee any issues with meeting the sign-off deadline. If the sign-off deadline is not met, a HESA Late Sign Off form will be required by HESA, signed by your Accountable Officer'.

Providers in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should notify HESA and/or your funder/regulator if you foresee any issues with meeting the sign-off deadline.

If you do foresee any issues, please get in touch as early as possible so that we can provide additional support and guidance as required.


Data collection schedule: Anticipated dates for deadlines 

Please see below the deadlines for the C19051, C20051 and C21051 Student collections. Please note that the deadline dates for the Student return will remain the same across years unless advised otherwise.  


Student (C19051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

30 October 


06 November 


Student (C20051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

01 November


08 November 


Student (C21051) 


15 September 


21 September 

Final Commit 

31 October 


07 November 


Student record JISCMail list

Our JISCMail groups allow you to discuss specific streams with colleagues from across the sector. We also use the lists to circulate news regarding data requirements and coding manual and validation kit releases.

Join the HESA-Student JISCMail list

If you encounter any problems, contact Liaison

Data collection system: Release history and known issues

Known issues (C19051)
Issue Summary Status Date raised Date resolved

We are aware that ModuleSubject.MODSBJP has erroneously been set as Minimum Occurrence = ‘0’. The consequence is that unless the field is returned then the full-time equivalence (XFTE01) across cost centres will be zero. We are working to build a ModuleSubject.MODSBJP business rule to enforce the return of this field. Resolution - New error ModuleSubject.MODSBJP.2 released into production.

Resolved 2020-09-10 2020-09-15
There is a known error in the XTPOINTs appendix. The Pearson BTEC Level 3 (Extended Diploma in Advanced Manufacture Engineering) combination QULATYPE '7V' QUALGRADE 'P' has been attributed 32 Tariff points. This should be corrected to 48 Tariff points.  Resolved 2020-08-26 2020-09-24
QR.CourseSubject.SBJCA.29 is incorrectly triggering where more than one XCAH02 subject is submitted per course. The current subject is not necessarily being compared against the same past subject, but another subject. Resolved 2020-08-26 2020-09-10
A new condition is to be added to QR.C19051.Instance.YEARSU.3 to trigger only where Instance.STULOAD>0. This is to fix an identified clash with a new C19051 rule QR.C19051.Instance.MODE.36.   Resolved 2020-08-21 2020-09-10
QR.C19051.Student.HUSID.2 is incorrectly triggering where the HUSID includes the INSTID of a provider that is no longer current - for example where digits 3-6 of the HUSID are '1099'. Resolved 2020-08-17 2020-08-27

Continuity rules which relate to the Entry Profile entity (i.e QR.C19051.EntryProfile.POSTCODE.13) are triggering incorrectly where an Entry Profile has not been resent for a continuing instance.

Resolved 2020-08-04 2020-08-13
Following the guidance change in Version 1.5 of the Coding manual, consideration is being given to how the amended MODE guidance impacts reduced returns. Open 2020-07-02  
QR.C19051.CourseSubject.SBJCA.1 is currently triggering as it has not been converted to use HECoS codes as yet (awaiting confirmation from UKRI before progressing), and currently all HECoS codes have 0 as the second character. Resolved 2020-04-28 2020-07-16

QR.C19051.Instance.INITIATIVES.11 is incorrectly triggering where the Instance.INITIATIVES field has not been returned.

Resolved 2020-03-31 2020-04-09


Release history (C19051)
Release ID Release date Release summary
48 24 Sep 2020

The Frequency counts report (Occurrences of valid entries) is now available from the Data Collection dashboard (this will be visible when a new file is submitted)..

An update has been made to the XTPOINTS library, correcting the tariff points for the combination QUALGRADE 7V, QUALGRADE P. This is used in several validation rules.

The DfE WEBAPI (that sends details of ITT students submitted in the collection to the DfE) is now available to the DfE. 

There has been an update of the Office for National Statistics and UKRLP lookup tables, which will update information in postcode validation and provider information (used in quality rules PREVINST.8, TINST.9/10, COLPROV.1).

The following rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • ModuleSubject.MODSBJP.2 - new error to enforce coverage
  • QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.6 - Edge Hill added to list of providers
  • Instance.MODE.36 - description amended to clarify.

Please note that the IRIS reports (output files provided by the OfS, HEFCW and SFC) are available from the Data Collection dashboard.

47 10 Sep 2020

The following rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • QualAwarded.QUAL.5 - UKPRN 10007160 added to rule description
  • Course.AWARDBOD.5 - COURSEAIM I00, I11, I12, I16 added to rule criteria
  • Instance.YEARSTU.3 - Instance.STULOAD > 0 added to rule criteria
46 27 Aug 2020

The Cost Centre Analysis Table (comparing cost centres returned across collections), and the PGR Transfers IN report (for providers with collaborative provision) are now available from the Data Collection Dashboard. These will appear when a new file is submitted.

The following rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • Instance.INITIATIVES.49 - amend fields to display to add in STULOAD
  • ModuleSubject.COSTCN.4-9 exceptions have been updated with the latest cost centre static data.

The following Credibility reports have been amended:

  • WSL3 - amend to incorporate the new HECoS Welsh Studies subject codes.
45 13 Aug 2020

Credibility reports are now available, with the following amendments made:

  • APP1, APP2, APP3, FE1 and FE2 have been deleted. 

A lot of static data has been updated, including: Franchise partners, UKPRN, URN, StarJ data, Provider Profile, OfS fees data and Research Council numbers. 

The following rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • Course.COURSEAIM.21
  • CourseSubject.SBJCA.29 (new)
  • ModuleSubject.MODSJB.1 (amended)
  • QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.20 (new)
  • Student.HUSID.7 (amended)
  • Student.SSN.9 (new)
  • Instance.ENDDATE.17 (new)
  • Instance.FUNDCOMP.5/6/7/8/9/10 (amended)
  • Instance.GROSSFEE.35 (amended)
  • Instance.INTERCALATE.2 (amended Plain English only)
  • Instance.MODE.36 (new)
  • Instance.SPECFEE.7 (amended)
  • Instance.STULOAD.11 (amended)
  • Instance.STULOAD.30 (new)
  • Bug on continuity rules where Entry Profile previously returned (fixed bug)
44 31 Jul 2020

The following reports are now available from the Data Collection Dashboard and will appear when a new file is submitted:

  • Continuity (Year on year checks) report
  • Continuity population (Expected Instances population for next year) report
  • PGR transfers out (PGR collaborative students transferred out) report

Additionally last year's Check documentation excel workbook has been replaced by three new web reports (displaying the same information as each of the Check documentation tabs, and persisting with the same Check documentation table numbers, and including an excel download for each report). These are now available from the Data Collection Dashboard and will appear when a new file is submitted:

  • Campus report
  • Collaborative franchise report
  • Institutional information report

The following Continuity rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • EntryProfile.PGCESBJ.3 (amended)
  • EntryProfile.PGCESBJ.4 (removed for 1 year until PGCESBJ HECoS data is available)
  • Instance.INTERCALATE.4 (amended)
  • Instance.NUMHUS.3 (amended)
  • Student.SEXID.2 (deleted)
  • Course.FEQAIMC.8 (deleted)
43 16 Jul 2020

The Data Supply report (identifying raw data and derived fields) is now available from the Data Collection Dashboard and will appear when a new file is submitted.

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • Instance.GROSSFEE.35 (new)
  • CourseSubject.SBJCA.1 (amended) 
  • Instance.GROSSFEE.16,20,22,28,29,31 (amended)
  • Instance.INITIATIVES.49 (amended)
  • Instance.MODE.13 (amended)
  • Instance.ENDDATE.7 (amended)​
  • Course.AWARDBOD.8 (amended)
42 02 Jul 2020

A number of Static data tables have been updated to enable exception rules:

  • Welsh Learning Aims for Course.CourseSubject.4
  • New static data lists of UKPRNs allowed to use new Access Courses C13, E13, H13, J13 and M13
  • Degree Awarding Powers list for Course.AWARDBOD.5/6/7/8.

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • REFData.UOA2014.2 and UOA2014.3 (amended)
  • Course.AWARDBOD.5/9 (amended)
  • EntryProfile.PREVINST.4 (deleted)
41 18 Jun 2020

A number of Exception rules have been enabled following on from Student derived field development. 

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • Instance.GROSSFEE.18, FUNCODE.35, INITIATIVES.37/46/47/54, MSTUFEE.1, FEEREGIME.1/10/11 (Amended), FinancialSupport.10 (Deletion)​
  • QualificationAwarded.QUAL.6/12/13 (Amended)​
  • Course.COURSEAIM.3/13 (Amended)​
  • EntryProfileUCASAPPID.7, QualificationsOnEntry.2/6/7/8/9, QUALENT3.8/9 (Amended)
40 04 Jun 2020

The Validation kit has been updated in line with the C19051 coding manual version 1.4 schema update.

39 21 May 2020

The latest version of the XTPOINTS library has been added to the domain to ensure validation matches the complete list of QualificationsOnEntry.QUALTYPES listed in the coding manual.

38 07 May 2020

The Validation kit has been updated in line with the C19051 coding manual version 1.3 schema update. 

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • Instance.INITIATIVES.52/53/54/55 added 
  • CourseSubject.SBJCA.27/28 - added
  • Instance.ITTPlacement.1 - amended 

The Entry Profile report, showing missing Entry profile data, has been updated for 2019/20 and is now available.

37 23 Apr 2020

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • QR.Instance.FESTUMK.9, 10 - added to prevent submission of valid entries 1, 4 and 5
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.49, 50, 51 - added for new code 16 (accelerated provision)
  • QR.ModuleSubject.MODSBJ.2 - added as now optional for England
  • QR.QoE.QUALGRADE.2/3 - amend to exclude non-scoring grades QQ, XX and UU
  • QR.QualificationsAwarded.QUAL.18 - amend for removal of ILR
  • QR.Student.RELBLF.5 - amend to clarify that RELBLF is not optional.
36 09 Apr 2020

The latest version of the XTPOINTS library has been added to the domain to ensure validation matches the complete list of QualificationsOnEntry.QUALTYPES listed in the coding manual.

The following validation/quality rules have been added/amended in this release:

  • A number of Continuity rules that utilise XTPOINTS and the Continuity Register have been enabled 
  • Exception rules, using rolled-on static data from C18051, have been enabled.
  • QR.Instance.MODE.1/2 amended to remove code 99 in line with schema
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.30 amended to include new valid entry 17 and remove code W
  • QR.Instance.CSTAT.2, ENDDATE.4 and PROGRESS.4 amended due to the removal of FE for providers in England
  • QR.Student.Instance.1 amended to remove COURSEAIM Z99 
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.3 amended to include COURSEAIM M28 and increase the maximum fee to £37,000.
35 26 Mar 2020

This release includes a number of updates to the Quality Rules:

  • Amendments to FEEREGIME, EntryProfile, SPLENGTH, MSFUND, FEEREGIME, SPECFEE, UNITLGTH, FEQAIM coverage rules due to the removal of Further Education components from field coverage
  • Amendments to MSFUND, CSTAT, EntryProfile coverage rules due to the removal of the Individual Learner Record components from field coverage
  • Amendments to various COMDATE, COURSAIM, DHFUND, GROSSFEE, INITIATIVESMODE, QUAL, SBJCA business rules for the change from JACS to HECoS
  • Other specific rule changes:
  • QR.Instance.FUNDLEV.12 amended to include COURSEAIMs H78, H81, H88 and I81 following a review from the OfS
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.33 amended to include Instance.ENTRYRTE 02 (School Direct tuition fee)
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.10 amended to allow up to three occurrences of INITIATIVES for ‘Accelerated provision’
  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.11 amended to include new valid entries 13, 14, 15, or 16, applicable ot providers in England
  • QR.Instance.TREFNO.2 updated to exclude Scotland from the return of this field.
34 12 Mar 2020

The Data Collection System for the C19051 Student collection is now open, to enable the submission of data. The Quality rules and Quality rules compare reports are available. Further functionality will follow.

The Validation kit has been updated in line with the C19051 coding manual version 1.2 schema update. Please note that all rules referencing the JACs coding frame have not yet been updated to HECoS valid entries. These will follow in subsequent releases.

The data entry tool is live. This is the program which will produce XML data in the format required for submission to HESA. The link will be added to the next release of the coding manual, but can be downloaded here:

This update includes the following business rule updates:

  • The remaining business rules that included the validation of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been amended to remove reference to the ILR fields, in response to the ILR file generation process no longer being included in the collection
  • The large number of business rules that validated the return of Further Education (FE) data have been removed or amended, following the removal of the FE fields in Coding manual release 1.2
  • Various EntryProfile, QualificationsAwarded and Instance rules have been amended to ensure the checking of country is consistent across the board.
33 26 Feb 2020

The *J data for UCAS file has been loaded into the system for 2019/20. This is used in various quality rules.

The following Quality Rules have been amended in this release:

  • QR.Student.TTPCODE.12 - Amended to no longer trigger only when an Entry Profile submission of postcode is submitted in the current reporting year
  • QR.Instance.MSTUFEE.22 - New rule to validate postgraduate students starting after 31st July 2018
  • QR.Instance.MSTUFEE.22 - Amended to validate only undergraduate students starting after 31st July 2017
  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.39 - New rule to validate postgraduate students starting after 31st July 2018
  • QR.Instance.FUNDCODE.36 - Amended to validate only undergraduate students starting after 31st July 2017
  • QR.Instance.GROSSFEE.32 - Amended to remove the SSN clause to align with the field's coverage
  • QR.Instance.FUNDLEV.4 - Plain English amended to bring into line with the valid entry update ' 'Not a countable year in the HESES population' in the Coding Manual 
  • The remaining Business Rules for validating the return of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been deleted, as the ILR file generation process is no longer included in the collection.
32 13 Feb 2020

The following Quality Rules have been amended in this release:

  • QR.Instance.INITIATIVES.46/47/48 - amended to include/exclude Course.COURSEAIM L00 (Masters level research degree, which is funded by a Masters Loan) 
  • QR.Instance.ENDDATE.11 - amend to refer to Graduate Outcomes
  • A number of rules validating the return of the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) have been deleted as the ILR file generation process is no longer included in the collection.
31 29 Jan 2020 This release includes:

  • The roll-on of the quality rules (business rules). Please note that the 2019/20 changes have not been made at this stage, and the rules are based on the final position of 2018/19
  •  The downloadable validation kit including a roll-on of the 2018/19 business rules.

Please note that access to the data collection system is governed by the Identity system. Users will need to ensure that they have the relevant permissions attached to their Identity system account in order to access the data collection system.

The following quality rules have been deleted (due to the removal of the fields for 2019/20):

  • QR.Instance.HEAPESPOP.2
  • QR.Instance.HEAPESPOP.16
  • QR.Instance.Instance.DHREGREF.1
30 16 Jan 2020

The HUSID Lookup Service is now available.

Upcoming releases (C19051)

A high-level summary of the C19051 major component releases are highlighted below. This is a guide to the proposed sequence of releases only, and releases may occur before or after the month indicated depending on internal and external factors:


  • HUSID lookup service
  • Roll-on of collection
  • Validation kit with rolled on business rules from the previous year


  • * J for UCAS loaded into the system for validation
  • Business rules to match coding manual schema and coverage updates


  • Business rules to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • Opening of the Data Collection System with rules and rule compare functionality


  • Business rules to match coding manual schema and coverage updates
  • Rolled-on exception rules that are not depended upon derived fields
  • Continuity Register update
  • Derived field development


  • Further quality rule updates
  • Further release of exception rules following derived field development
  • Entry Profile, Data Supply, PGR transfers In/Out report, Continuity (A, B, C) and Expected Instances reports
  • Credibility reports roll-on, Frequency Counts reports
  • Exception rule updates using available external static data
  • IRIS reports
  • Cost Centre, Campus, Collaborative Franchise, Institutional information tables
  • DfE webservice
  • Credibility reports updates
  • Revisions to XTPOINTs appendix


  • Unistats, NSS reports
  • Commit functionality and Sign-off form

Stages of data submission

Stage 1: Submitting and validating data

A. Sending data

Send data by clicking on the 'send data' button in the data collection system. Note that actions not currently available will be greyed out.

Data collection system - Process flow

Browse your computer to locate the file you wish to submit, and upload the file to the data collection system. 


  • Files can have any name
  • Files must be in XML and conform to the relevant XML Schema Definition (XSD) file
  • Files can be compressed using PKZip/WinZip which will significantly reduce the upload time
  • Only a single file can be held on the system.

B. Validation

Automated validation checks (quality rules) will now run.

Further details on the quality rules which apply to this collection can be found in the coding manual.

The Quality rules report will contain the details of any rules triggered by the submission. Make any necessary amendments to the data and resubmit the file to the system. To pass validation, the file must not trigger any validation errors.

You can run some of these validation checks through our validation kit before submitting data to the data collection system. The kit enables you to test your data locally against schema and business stage validation rules prior to submission. You are strongly encouraged to use the validation kit as part of your data preparations.

Remember that you need to process and pass the business-stage validation in order to meet the requirements of the return deadline.

How to obtain a switch

When errors are triggered in the Data Collection system but the data has been checked and is genuine, you need to request a switch. This is because your file will not pass the validation requirements of the collection deadlines if there are any remaining errors.

Please email your switch request to Liaison, stating which rule is causing the error to be triggered and for how many records, together with an explanation as to why the data is genuine.

This will then be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for them to review. They may agree the switch, ask for more information or state how they wish the data to be returned so that an error is no longer triggered.

This request should be sent well in advance of any deadline, to allow sufficient time for a decision to be made.

When a switch has been agreed, it will be applied to your data for the count specified and the data will be reprocessed. This will resolve the error.

If the count increases, the rule will be triggered again, and you will need to request that the count on the switch be increased. This will be forwarded to your funding council/regulator for approval.

Stage 2: Committing and decommitting data

To proceed to the next stage in the submission process, a valid file needs to have been submitted. The data will then be classed as 'committable' and the option to process a COMMIT transaction will be made available through the data collection system.  

Prior to committing data, you should review all of the reports produced on the data collection system and make any necessary corrections to the data.

The COMMIT transaction sends a copy of your submission to our data quality assurance team and, where appropriate, to the relevant funding council. We analyse your return in parallel with your own analysis.


A passed commit transaction will lock the system to prevent the data from being amended. This is to allow our data quality assurance team to analyse the submission. To unlock the system you will need to request a DECOMMIT transaction.

Request a decommit by email or on +44 (0)1242 211144

Remember that you need to process and pass a COMMIT transaction in order to meet the requirements of the commit deadline.

Stage 3: Credibility checks

Once we have analysed your committed return, data quality queries will be posted onto the Issue Management System data quality database. Relevant users will be notified by email when these queries are available to view. The Issue Management System user guide provides help on using the Issue Management System.

Access the Issue Management System data quality database

Stage 4: Sign off

Once your data has passed all the stages of validation, and any issues highlighted during credibility checking have been addressed, we will set the return to CREDIBLE. This produces the sign-off form.

When data is set to credible, a link to the sign-off form is automatically emailed to the head of the submitting organisation as well as the appropriate record contact. The form should be completed and signed by the head of the reporting organisation and returned to us by email or post. This verification offers both you and us assurances regarding onward use of the data.

Sign-off completes the data collection process.