Student 2021/22 - General qualification aim of course
Fields required from institutions in All fields
General qualification aim of course
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This field describes the general qualification aim of the course and is intended to record the qualification that will be attained as a result of successful completion of studies.
|Applicable to||England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales|
|Valid entries and labels|
Course aim describes the qualification that will be attained as a result of successful completion of the course.
Please note that students aiming for FE level qualifications are outside the coverage of the Student return for providers in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. However, FE level qualifications can be recorded in the Qualifications Awarded entity where students have received an FE level qualification instead of the HE level qualification they were originally aiming for.
Providers in Scotland are required to return all students studying Access to Higher Education courses and all incoming exchange students.
Overall framework and alignment with existing frameworks.
The most relevant are the UK frameworks. For England, Wales and NI the HE qualifications framework identifies five levels (C/4, I/5, H/6, M/7, D/8) and these are aligned with the NVQ levels 4 to 8. The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), which is not HE-specific, is aligned with this except that the lower boundary of Scottish Level 7 is apparently slightly lower than the lower boundary of Level C / NVQ 4 (this is the lower cutoff for what may be regarded as HE in England and Wales, but, significantly, Scottish Advanced Highers fall into Level 7), and Level I /NVQ 5 is split into two levels in Scotland, Level 8 and 9.
The ISCED framework is used for international reporting, and four levels within it are relevant, Levels 4, 5B, 5A and 6. The Bologna framework for European HE harmonisation is still in the process of development, but the current state may be summarised as recognising four levels: short-cycle, first-cycle, second-cycle, and third cycle.
† Note that the QAA level descriptors in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) changed in the 2008 version compared with the 2001 version. Full details are available from the QAA publication The framework for higher education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland published August 2009. Although the 2008 FHEQ qualification descriptor for level 6 states that this can be used as a reference for ordinary Bachelors degrees, for HESA purposes first degrees with honours should be coded at level H, and first degrees without honours should be coded at level I.
There is a summary of qualification levels in the UK and Ireland available from the QAA publication Qualifications can cross boundaries - a rough guide to comparing qualifications in the UK and Ireland.
This coding frame is designed to support the alignment of course qualifications with the frameworks, with the first letter indicating the level. Codes of similar type at different levels have the same two-digit suffix.
Please note that although the first letter of the code identifies a framework level, providers in England will identify the funding level appropriate to a student following a course using Instance.FUNDLEV. This may be different to the level identified in this coding frame.
The codes for visiting students can be used as alternatives to provider credit codes, particularly for informal credit. Students are specifically identified as exchange students in Instance.EXCHANGE.
Additional guidance on specific codes:
L99 Research-based higher degree where the student may ultimately study at levels D or L
Use this code for beginning research students who either have not yet specifically registered for a masters or doctorate degree or are registered on a programme where there is an expectation that a high proportion of students will change their qualification aim between masters and doctoral awards.
Typically students recorded against this code will be on programmes described as "MPhil with possibility to transfer to PhD", such students may formally be aiming for a research masters but should be coded L99 where the normal pattern is that they will progress to a PhD.
M01 Taught Masters degree designed specifically as a training in research methods and intended as a preparation for a research-based higher degree.
This should be used when the MRes degree is primarily taught. When the MRes degree is primarily research-based, L00 should be used.
M02 Masters in Teaching and Learning
The Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL) is a new professional qualification for teachers.
M10 Post-experience taught Masters degree
(MEd, for example). 'Post-experience' implies a period of at least two years' relevant work experience as a pre-requisite for entry to the programme leading to the qualification. Do not use this category simply because a qualification is being taken post-experience.
M11 Master of Business Administration.
Use this code rather than M10 for post-experience MBA.
M22 Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught Masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern.
Use this code for MEng and similar. Such masters degrees comprise an integrated programme of study spanning several years. While the final outcomes of the qualifications meet the expectations for level M in full, these integrated qualifications have an additional period of study at lower levels (typically level H). Use code M22 only where code M26 or M28 are not applicable.
M26 Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught Masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern leading towards eligibility to practice with a Health or Social Care or Veterinary statutory regulatory body
This code can be used for degrees in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science comprising an integrated programme of study and professional practice.
M28 Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 1 and Part 2 qualification)
This code should be used for programmes of study that integrate both of the Part 1 and Part 2 qualifications. Programmes of study that lead only to eligibility to register as Part 1 should use 'H18 First degree with honours leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 1 qualification)'. Programmes that lead only to eligibility to register as Part 2 should use 'M88 Taught qualification at level M (where a qualification at level H is a pre-requisite for course entry) leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Part 2 qualification)'.
M70 Professional taught qualification at Level M other than a Masters degree.
Use M71, M72, M76, M78 in preference if applicable.
M71 Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education.
See H71 for Professional Graduate Certificate in Education. See Statement on the PGCE Qualification. Postgraduate Diplomas in Education are distinct fom M71 and should be coded as M73.
M73 Postgraduate Diploma in Education
This code is distinct from either the M71 Postgraduate Certificate in Education / Professional Graduate Diploma in Education, and from the H71 Professional Graduate Certificate in Education. It is not considered to be a PGCE. See Statement on the PGCE Qualification.
H00 First degree with honours.
This could be MA in Scotland.
H11 First degree with honours leading to QTS/registration with a GTC.
This code should only be used for BEd if it is at level H.
H61 Graduate Diploma/Certificate at Level H.
Use this code where a previous qualification at Level H is a pre-requisite for course entry; use H50 in preference if applicable.
H70 Professional qualification at Level H other than a first degree with honours.
Use H71, H72, H76, H88 in preference if applicable.
H71 Professional Graduate Certificate in Education.
See code M71 for Postgraduate Certificate in Education. See Statement on the PGCE Qualification.
H81 Other qualification at Level H but where a previous qualification at Level H is a pre-requisite for course entry.
Use H50, H71, H72, H76 in preference if applicable.
I11 Ordinary (non-honours) first degree leading to QTS/registration with a GTC.
Code BEd here unless it is at level H.
I70 Professional qualification at Level I other than an ordinary (non-honours) first degree.
Use I76 in preference if applicable.
Health and Social Care courses
Courses which lead to a qualification to teach nursing, midwifery or health visiting courses should be coded 2 in Course.TTCID .
Post-registration health and social care students studying for other qualifications should be coded to the appropriate code for that qualification. For example, a post-registration health and social care student studying for a first degree should be coded 'H00' for First degree, rather than H76. Quality rules have been relaxed to allow regulatory body information to be returned for these post-registration students.
H16 'First degree leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a Health or Social Care or Veterinary statutory regulatory body' will be used in combination with the subject code or codes to identify those degrees which lead to eligibility to register to practice with a Health or Social Care or Veterinary statutory regulatory body.
Social work courses
Providers offering courses leading to eligibility to register to practice with a social care statutory regulatory body should return regulatory body information in Course.REGBODY and Instance.DHREGREF.
Codes are specifically set up for courses leading to registration with the Architects Registration Board. Use code H18 for Part 1 (even if your assessment of the course is that it is at another level, such as level I). For parts 2 and 3, use the appropriate code to indicate the level of course as assessed by the provider (H88 or M88 for part 2, H78 or M78 for part 3). For integrated courses that span parts 1 and 2, use code M28.
Non-accredited and non-approved qualifications
QCA is nearing completion of its process of accrediting external awarding bodies (i.e. awarding bodies other tha HEPs). It is important that qualifications made by external awarding bodies are distinguished between those with and those without QCA recognition.
Once completed, the Office for Students will only fund courses leading to qualifications made by external awarding bodies if they have received the appropriate QCA accreditation, or if the continued funding has been approved as part of transition arrangements. Codes for professional qualifications ('_70' ) should only be used for qualifications that have been accredited by QCA. Students who are on courses that are not QCA accredited should be indicated by code '99' in Instance.FUNDLEV.
For Welsh providers to be eligible for funding, it is expected that qualifications made by external awarding bodies will be included (or awaiting inclusion) in the QCA framework.
A recognised Access to HE course is one validated by an Authorised Validating Agency that has been licensed for the purpose by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), under the terms of the QAA Recognition Scheme for Access to Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Relevant Access courses are recorded on the Access to HE Courses Database. QAA does not licence any AVAs in Scotland.
Early Years Initial Teacher Training (ITT) programmes
Students on such programmes should code using H12, I12 or I73 as appropriate.
Further guidance on the coding requirements for those on EYITT programmes may be found in the 'Further guidance about Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programmes' document.
Research-based higher degrees
A research-based higher degree is a postgraduate programme comprising a research component (including a requirement to produce original work) that is larger than any accompanying taught component when measured by student effort. The arrangements for assuring and maintaining the academic standards and enhancing the quality of these programmes should be fully compliant with chapter B11 (Research degrees) of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's 'UK Quality Code for Higher Education'.
Some specialist doctoral degrees, such as Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsychol), may include a research component but also include significant taught components and supervised practice. These degrees do not generally require the student to produce the same amount of original research as a PhD. Students registered for a specialist doctoral degree should only be included as research students if they satisfy both criteria.
Only those courses that meet this definition should use codes D00, L00, L80 or L99.Other guidance
The General qualification aim of course should be consistent with funding council HESES/Early Statistics.
Higher bachelors degrees at undergraduate level should be coded H50.
M22 includes Finniston degrees and other 'undergraduate masters' degrees, e.g. MEng. Such courses should be coded M22 throughout.
J10 and J16, Foundation Degrees, are intended to cover those programmes which HEPs are running as Foundation Degrees which are consistent with the 'Statement of Design Principles' for Foundation Degrees issued by UUK and SCOP.
Postgraduate professional qualifications are those which, regardless of their level, normally require the possession of a first degree for admission. Undergraduate professional diplomas and certificates should be coded to the appropriate '_70' code.
Where a student is following a programme of study leading potentially to two or more qualifications concurrently, and that combination is not specified under valid entries, please return the qualification code that is highest in level.
For HE level students funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) or WG-DfES (coded 3 in Instance.FESTUMK) this field must be completed in full.
However, codes P80, Q80 or R80 for Other qualification below HE level' may be returned as a default in this field for all FE level courses.
Certificate in Further Education should be coded M80 if at postgraduate level or H80 if at undergraduate level.
If a foundation course or year is integrated into another qualification e.g. a first degree, code H00 'First degree' should be returned in this field.
Post/Higher Doctorates should not be included in the return.Foundation Degree bridging courses
The HESA Student record for a Foundation Degree bridging course should indicate this in Instance.BRIDGE. The FTE recorded in Instance.STULOAD should be increased to reflect the additional FTE of the bridging course. Where the bridging course spans two academic years, the first of these academic years should be returned as 'non-standard' in Instance.TYPEYR. Where a student is only active for the bridging course during the academic year (i.e. when a student withdraws during or following completion of the course, or where they transfer in from another provider prior to commencing the course), this field should be completed with either H90, I90 or J90 to reflect the appropriate level of credit. In comparing HESA data to HESES, Office for Students will use the above information to generate two countable years for such students.
Students entering with enhanced first degrees, that is qualifications that would be coded H22/M22/M26/M28 in the COURSEAIM field, should be recorded as having a higher degree (01) in EntryProfile.QUALENT2 field, or M2X in EntryProfile.QUALENT3. Enhanced first degree programmes typically include study equivalent to at least four years full-time (five in Scotland), of which study equivalent to at least one full-time academic year is at masters level. Study at bachelor's level is integrated with study at master's level.Access and Pathway codes
Codes C13, J13, H13, M13 and E13 can only be used by Tier 4/Pathway providers.
To allow analysis of the student population by specific qualification aims beyond broad level descriptors. Used in a wide variety of calculations and analyses.
Quality rules to follow
|Reason required||To allow analysis of the student population by level of study.|
Data type: COURSEAIMCodeContentType
|Change management notes||The QAA link for the 'Statement on the PGCE qualification' has been updated within the sections 'M71 Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education' and 'M73 Postgraduate Diploma in Education'.|
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