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Unistats record 2023/24

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Unistats record 2023/24 - Coverage of the record

Version 1.0 Produced 2023-02-22

The Unistats record is required to be returned by all providers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for all undergraduate courses (with the exceptions outlined below). Undergraduate courses are those:

  • Submitted in the HESA Student or AP Student record (now called Student Alternative from C19054) with Course.COURSEAIM beginning H, I, J and C. Additionally, courses with a Course.COURSEAIM of M22, M26 and M28 (integrated masters courses) should be included.
  • Submitted in the LAD/LARS with a Learning Aim Type of 0031, 0032, 0394, 1406, 1407, 1408, 1409, 9000, 9002, 9107, E007, 1449, 9110, 9111 or 9112 (code lists are available at Aims/Pages/default.aspx).

Courses for which a Unistats course should not be returned

There are some courses at providers for which no Unistats course information is required, these are:

  • All postgraduate courses and graduate entry programmes (including stand-alone Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) part 2 or graduate entry medical courses), with the exception of Course.COURSEAIM of M22, M26 and M28, referenced in the Student record,
  • Courses where the total FTE of the course is one year or less when studied full-time (i.e. 120 credits or less for its entirety),
  • Courses where the total FTE of the course is equal to one year that has more than 120 credits,
  • Closed courses (as defined in Course.CLSDCRS) - courses that are not open to any suitably qualified candidate and will typically be courses offered only to employees of particular organisations,
  • Courses offered mainly overseas, which the funding body has not specifically sanctioned as eligible for funding. A course is considered to be offered mainly overseas if, for all students, the majority (over 50%) of their study is overseas. Sandwich courses and courses incorporating a language year abroad will not typically meet this definition, as the time spent abroad will not be the majority of the course,
  • Intercalated degrees,
  • A course that is run in the UK but only for international and/or EU students,
  • Top-up courses,
  • A course that is run specifically as a part of an apprenticeship.

What data should be included?

The Unistats collection 2023/24 should include records for all courses with start dates between 1 August 2024 and 31 July 2025, including courses that will be offered for the first time.

Providers must ensure a Unistats return is produced for every eligible course on which they will register new students in 2024/25. Where a provider does not have any eligible courses then a nil return form must be returned to HESA. Once published, the nil return form can be found on the coding manual.

Multiple Unistats courses are not required for courses with multiple start dates. If providers change the courses they offer after signing off their Unistats return, they should revise their Unistats return as soon as is reasonably possible, so that correct information is available to students. New courses should be added to the return as soon as they are advertised to students.  

Welsh FE Colleges with provision that they do not report in the HESA Student record themselves should not include that provision in the Unistats record.

How is a course defined, for the purposes of Unistats?

For the purposes of Unistats, a course is defined as a single programme of study to which a student can apply, either through UCAS or directly to the provider. Thus, if students can apply separately to courses in Physics, Chemistry and Biology, each would require a separate Unistats record. If students can only apply to a course in Science and later choose to specialise, then a single Unistats course would need to be produced.

The same guidance applies where courses have optional exit points - if it is possible for a student to apply solely for the lower award then a separate Unistats course would need to be produced, provided that the course met the FTE requirement given above. For example, if a student can apply for either MEng or a BEng then two separate courses are needed. If all apply for MEng with a possibility of leaving with a BEng then only one course is needed. For courses with multiple subjects where students may choose whether or not to follow a balanced or major/minor combination, a separate course is not required for each, however the provider may choose to provide one.

Who should make the data return?

The Unistats returns should only be submitted by the provider with whom the students on the course are registered. More information on this can be found within the ‘Subcontractual and collaborative provision’ document in the coding manual.

Need help?

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