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Student 2020/21 - Course title

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Student 2020/21

Fields required from institutions in All fields

Course title

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Short nameCTITLE

This field will be determined by the provider and in this context relates to the complete programme of study leading to the qualification aim referred to in fields Course.COURSEAIM and CourseSubject.

Applicable toEngland Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All courses


Although a compulsory field, this field is not subject to specific checks regarding its validity. The only validation check is that the field contains at least one character.

Providers need to ensure that the CTITLE field contains course titles that would be meaningful to a wide range of stakeholders including potential students and that the course titles are consistent across data sources and marketing materials.

Feedback from users of the Discover Uni site has indicated that they would want to see information at the course level. With the introduction of the course entity it is likely that the funding councils will want to explore this option further. Should users of the HESA data choose to publish course level information it is likely that the course title will form a critical part of this.

Please note that CTITLE is also used in the Graduate Outcomes survey, during the introduction of the telephone survey.

This field can be used by the provider as a cross-check to fields Course.COURSEAIM and CourseSubject.

Valid characters

The valid characterset available for this field follows the Data Standards in the HESA student record.

  • The general policy is to support all Latin-based characters for names, addresses and general text fields, but not non-Latin characters.
  • All Unicode code charts for Latin characters are supported. These are Basic Latin (excluding the C0 control characters), Latin-1 (excluding the C1 control characters), Latin Extended A, Latin Extended B and Latin Extended Additional. This set corresponds to Unicode code points U+0020 to U+007E, U+00A0 to U+024F and U+1E00 to U+1EFF.
  • Schemas are built in such a way that an individual project can further restrict the set if required.

The character set chosen will support Welsh and Gaelic languages as well as all European and most other languages using a Latin-based character set.

The Unicode charts that list each of the characters in this range can be found on the Unicode web site. The specific sets that are defined here are shown in the following PDF documents:

Files must be encoded with UTF-8 and schema validation will be in place to ensure this. Providers must specify the encoding used in their XML files in the first line of the file (i.e. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>) and to ensure that their files are actually saved with that encoding. If XML files are edited with some text editors and the encoding is not specified or does not match the actual file encoding, there may be problems when submitting these files for validation.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this entity are displayed here.
Reason required To facilitate HESA cross-checking with providers and to identify the title of courses in onward analyses. To aid in more detailed understanding of provision than can be gained from broad qualification and subject descriptors.
Part of
Field length255
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: CTITLE
Data type: TitleType
Related fields
OwnerInformation Standards Board - Aligned Data Definitions
Date modified2021-05-26
Change management notesGuidance updated to add clarification on the importance of returning meaningful information in the CTITLE field.

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