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Qualification category (QUALCAT)

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Key Value
Name Qualification category
Short name QUALCAT
Part of Qualification (Qualification)
Description This field records the qualification category.
Applicable to England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
Coverage All Qualifications.
Notes

This field collects the level and type of the qualification being returned.


Where a Course potentially leads to two or more qualifications, return the qualification that is the highest level.


Overall framework and alignment with existing frameworks


The first character of the valid entries in the coding frame indicate the level of the qualification. The table below shows how these levels map to the following qualifications frameworks:



  • CQFW: Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales

  • FHEQ: Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (QAA framework)

  • SCQF: Scottish Credit and Qualification framework


HESA levelCQFWFHEQSCQFResearch/Taught
D8812Research
E8812Taught
L7711Research
M7711Taught
H6610
I559
J558
C447
P36

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.


Guidance on specific valid entries


M0002 Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern


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).


M0006 Post-experience taught Masters degree


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 code simply because a qualification is being taken post-experience.


M0007 Master of Business Administration (MBA)


Use this code rather than M0006 for post-experience MBA.


H0003 UK first degree with honours


This could be an MA in Scotland


P0002


Valid entries at HESA level P should only be returned for qualifications being awarded to students where they have been awarded an FE level qualification having aimed for an HE level qualification. Students aiming for FE qualifications only are not within the coverage for the HESA Student Return.


Research based higher degree


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 of having a larger research element than taught and compliance with chapter B11 in the above referenced document.


It is common for students to follow a 1+3 pattern to their study, where the first year is a research masters level and then a 3-year PhD. However the student is often intending to study the PhD from the outset, so it forms one coherent engagement of study.


In this example providers should return the following:



  • Year 1: QUALCAT = L0000, STUDYINTENTION = D0003

  • Year 2-4: QUALCAT = D0003


Access and Pathway codes


Codes C0009, J0012, H0019, M0023 and E0004 can only be used by Tier 4/Pathway providers.


Quality Rules Quality rules to follow
Optional? No
Reason required To record the qualification students are aiming for, to establish the level that students are studying at, to group Students and Leavers for analysis.
Field Length 5
References
Revision History
Coding Manual Version Element Version Notes
1.1.0 1.1.0 Valid entry I0013 (Access course or pathway programme at level 5) amended and changed to J0012 (Access course or pathway programme at level 5).
Valid Values
Code Label
D0003 Doctorate degree that meets the criteria for a research-based higher degree
D0004 Credits at level D
E0000 Doctorate degree that does not meet the criteria for a research-based higher degree
E0001 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level E
E0002 Highly specialist diploma from a professional body
E0003 Credits at level E
E0004 Access course or pathway programme at level 8
L0000 Masters degree that meets the criteria for a research-based higher degree
L0001 Other postgraduate qualification at level L that meets the criteria for a research-based higher degree
L0002 Credits at level L
M0002 Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern
M0003 Masters degree that does not meet the criteria for a research-based higher degree
M0004 Taught masters degree designed specifically as a training in research methods and intended as a preparation for a research-based higher degree
M0006 Post-experience taught masters degree
M0007 Master of Business Administration (MBA)
M0008 Fellowship at level M
M0009 Diploma at level M
M0010 Advanced professional certificate at level M
M0011 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level M
M0012 Certificate at level M
M0013 Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) 5
M0015 Professional taught qualification at level M other than a masters degree
M0016 Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education
M0017 Post-registration education qualification at level M other than a masters degree for serving schoolteachers
M0018 Postgraduate Diploma in Education
M0020 Level 7 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
M0021 Other taught qualification at level M
M0022 Credits at level M
M0023 Access course or pathway programme at level 7
H0003 First degree with honours
H0004 First degree with honours on the enhanced/extended pattern but at level H
H0005 First degree with honours and diploma
H0006 Diploma at level H
H0007 Certificate at level H
H0008 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level H
H0009 Postgraduate bachelors degree at level H
H0010 Graduate diploma/certificate at level H
H0012 Professional qualification at level H other than a first degree with honours
H0013 Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
H0014 Professional qualification at level H for serving schoolteachers other than a first degree with honours
H0015 Level 6 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
H0016 Other qualification at level H
H0018 Credits at level H
H0019 Access course or pathway programme at level 6
I0001 Ordinary (non-honours) first degree
I0002 Graduate diploma/certificate at level I
I0004 Professional qualification at level I other than an ordinary (non-honours) first degree
I0005 Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC) only
I0006 Professional qualification at level I for serving schoolteachers
I0007 Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) only
I0008 Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training (DET)
I0009 Level 5 Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
I0010 Other qualification at level I
I0012 Credits at level I
J0000 Foundation degree
J0001 Foundation degree which on completion meets entry requirement for pre-registration health and social care qualification
J0002 Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE)
J0003 Higher National Diploma (HND)
J0004 Diploma at level J
J0005 Certificate at level J
J0006 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level J
J0007 Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) 4
J0010 Other qualification at level J
J0011 Credits at level J
J0012 Access course or pathway programme at level 5
C0000 Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE)
C0001 Higher National Certificate (HNC)
C0002 Diploma at level C
C0003 Certificate at level C
C0004 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) at level C
C0005 Level 4 Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector
C0006 Level 4 Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector
C0007 Other qualification at level C
C0008 Credits at level C
C0009 Access course or pathway programme at level 4
P0002 Award at level 3

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