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Preparatory Student course session flag (PREPFLAG)

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Key Value
Name Preparatory Student course session flag
Short name PREPFLAG
Part of Student course session (StudentCourseSession)
Description This field indicates that the StudentCourseSession represents a preparatory phase of the students studies.
Applicable to England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales
Coverage All StudentCourseSessions where applicable

Some students undertake a preparatory phase at the start of their studies with a provider in order to gain access to their course. Bridging courses are an example of this.

StudentCourseSessions in most cases must represent a year of the students study. For students undertaking these preparatory courses, the first StudentCourseSession can be shorter to record just this preparatory element. The subsequent StudentCourseSessions can then align with other students undertaking the same activity.

Where the student signs up to study only the preparatory phase, and on completion would have to apply again for the full programme, this would not be seen as coherent progression so the two elements would be returned as two Engagements. The first would have the StudentCourseSession returned associated with a Course with an aim of credits, as this is the students aim for this Engagement. The StudentCourseSession would also have this field returned.

If the student then chose to complete the full qualification and this is not part of a coherent progression, a new Engagement would be returned with the appropriate qualification aim.


A student is completing a Foundation degree to degree bridging course for a month over the Summer before studying the final year of a first degree at the same time as other students who completed the full degree. They would have two StudentCourseSessions returned.














H0003 (First degree)

H0003 (First degree)

Year of programme



SessionYear start date



SessionYear end date



The lengths of the first StudentCourseSession and SessionYear are just the length of the bridging element. The preparatory phase flag must be returned to indicate that the StudentCourseSession is recording this preparatory element.

The year of programme for the first StudentCourseSession would be returned as 0.

The second StudentCourseSession can then record all the activity associated with the student undertaking the final year of the degree course.

This allows a group of students on the final year of the degree course to be returned on the same SessionYear regardless of whether any of the students undertook the preparatory element.

The Qualification.QUALCAT would be a first degree in both StudentCourseSessions, reflecting the students overall aim.

Quality Rules Quality rules to follow
Optional? Yes
Reason required To identify students who undertake bridging courses and other preparatory phases in order to allocate funding, monitor progression and identify top ups to degree courses. To assist in the validation of short StudentCourseSessions.
Field Length 2
Revision History
Coding Manual Version Element Version Notes
1.2.0 1.0.1 SessionYear start and end dates have been added to the example for clarity.
Valid Values
Code Label
01 Foundation degree to degree bridging StudentCourseSession
02 HND to degree bridging StudentCourseSession
03 Other preparatory StudentCourseSession

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