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Student Alternative 2020/21 - Postcode

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Student Alternative 2020/21

Fields required from institutions in All fields


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Short namePOSTCODE

This field identifies the postcode of the student's permanent home address prior to entry to the course. It is not necessarily the correspondence address of the student.

Applicable toEngland

All entry profiles where EntryProfile.DOMICILE = XF, XG, XH, XI, XK, XL, GG, JE, IM.


UK domiciled, for the purposes of this field, means domiciled in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

In the event that the full postcode is not known, providers must return at least the outward part. The first part of the postcode (the outward part) is essential for allowing HESA to do geographic analysis.

For students entering through UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction

Information about postcodes and postcodes for known addresses can be obtained from Postcodes Online

Country of domicile is collected in EntryProfile.DOMICILE.

Where the student is domiciled in the UK (EntryProfile.DOMICILE) a UK postcode should be returned.

Student Record Systems should allow for this postcode to be held separately to ensure that it can be returned to HESA if there is an additional term-time or correspondence postcode for the student.

British Forces Post Office (BFPO) postcodes

Where BFPO codes relate to UK locations, providers will need to locate the Royal Mail equivalent postcode for the base.

The business rule structure validation will be slightly less strict than that described in UK Government Data Standards Catalogue, as not all parsers will support the full GDSC definition. All postcodes are validated against valid postcodes at exception.


A typical postcode such as GL50 3DA would be coded with a blank in the fifth character position. A postcode such as B1 6SR would have a blank in position 3. The part of the postcode before the space is known as the outward part of the postcode and can be 2, 3 or 4 characters long. The part of the postcode after the space is known as the inward part of the postcode and is a fixed length of 3 characters. The space between the outward and inward parts of the postcode must always be shown as part of the postcode.

Quality rules
Quality rules relating to this entity are displayed here.
Reason required To monitor student population and participation by local areas, especially in the widening participation context. Also used to support funding allocations and in policy analysis.
Part of
Field length8
Minimum occurrences0
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Related fields
Date modified2021-01-06
Change management notesScotland removed from applicable to as only English providers are returning to C20054.

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