Skip to main content

Definitions and benchmark factors

Definitions

Coverage (applicable to all tables)

Higher education (HE) students are those students on courses for which the level of instruction is above that of GCE/VCE A levels or SCE Highers/Advanced Highers.

The data used in constructing the indicators have been taken from the HESA Student record. The data specification of the record uses the term 'student instance' to describe a student's engagement with the HE provider, which will normally be a student on a particular course. Because a single student may be undertaking more than one course at the same time, the total number of instances will be greater than the number of actual students. Postdoctoral students are not included in the HESA Student record.

The Experimental Statistics incorporate HE provision registered at alternative providers (APs) in England with specific course designation. See AP coverage document for details.

Population (applicable to T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7)

The UK Performance Indicators population includes all student instances except those for:

  1. Dormant students (those who have stopped studying but have not yet formally left their course)
  2. Incoming visiting and exchange students from outside the UK
  3. Postdoctoral students
  4. Instances where the whole of the course is outside the UK
  5. Instances where the student has spent, or will spend, more than 8 weeks in the UK but the course is primarily outside the UK
  6. Instances where the student is studying mainly overseas as part of a collaborative course between their UK HE provider (HEP) and an overseas HE provider
  7. Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) Student Associates Scheme (SAS) and Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) students
  8. Students on sabbatical years
  9. Non-UK domiciled students (those whose place of permanent residence prior to starting a course was outside the UK)
  10. Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man domiciled students, and
  11. Students who are in the 'writing-up' stage of their course.

Prior to 2010/11, certain students on courses which only contributed a limited amount towards an HE qualification (entitled 'low credit-bearing') were excluded from the UK Performance Indicators population.

Due to changes in funding arrangements, the Scottish Agricultural College are now funded by the Scottish Funding Council and as a result are included in the UK Performance Indicators from 2010/11. The privately funded HE provider, The University of Buckingham, opted to be included within the UK Performance Indicators from 2006/07.

The UK Performance Indicators population approximates to the HESA HE session population of UK domiciled (excluding Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man) undergraduates, but excludes students studying mainly overseas as part of a collaborative course between their UK HE provider and an overseas HE provider (in technical terms HESA field EXCHANGE = Z).

Population (applicable to E1)

The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) record supplements the Student record and collects information about what those completing their HE courses go on to do. However, unlike the HESA Student record, which is a census of all students, DLHE is a survey with an overall response rate of around 80% annually.

The DLHE survey population includes all UK and EU students reported to HESA for the reporting year 1 August to 31 July as obtaining relevant qualifications and whose study was full-time or part-time (including sandwich students and those writing-up theses). Awards made following a gap in active study (so-called 'dormant status') are not included in the survey population. This gap in study might happen for example for an undergraduate student awaiting a late examination result or who took a study break for financial or personal reasons. As with the other indicators, the employment indicator is restricted to students domiciled in the United Kingdom, excluding Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

The DLHE survey population covers students gaining most types of HE qualifications but not all. Relevant undergraduate qualifications include: Professional Graduate Certificates in Education; qualifications leading towards registration with the Architects Registration Board (Parts 2 and 1) (at level H); first degrees with honours/ordinary first degrees (including those leading to qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC), but excluding those from the intercalated pattern); first degrees with honours on the enhanced/extended pattern at level H; first degrees with honours and diploma; graduate diploma/certificates at level H and level I; other qualifications at level H; foundation degrees (including those which on completion meet entry requirement for pre-registration health or social care qualification); Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE); Higher National Diplomas (HND); Certificates of Education (CertHE); Higher National Certificates (HNC).

From 2009/10, the undergraduate population includes graduate diplomas (excluding those specifically for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector); graduate certificates and integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degrees on the enhanced/extended pattern leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body.

Prior to 2002/03, the First Destinations Supplement (FDS) was used to collect data on leavers, this was replaced by the DLHE survey. The DLHE survey collects richer information than the FDS and allows more comprehensive analysis. Because of these differences, the DLHE UK Performance Indicator is not comparable to those published prior to 2002/03.

Domicile (applicable to T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, E1)

Domicile (place of permanent residence prior to starting a course) data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man domiciled students) or country codes. Where no data is supplied about the student's domicile, fee eligibility is used to assign to either 'UK region unknown' category or 'Non-European-Union unknown'. The UK Performance Indicators tables only include those students whose normal residence is in the United Kingdom, excluding Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Age marker (applicable to T1, T2, T3a-T3d, T4, T5, E1)

Age is calculated at 30 September of the academic year in which the student is recorded as commencing their studies. The following definition is used where tables are split between young and mature students:

  • Young students are those who are aged under 21
  • Mature students are those who are aged 21 or over.

Students whose date of birth is not given, or whose date of birth suggests that they are under 10 years, are marked as having unknown age. This means that in tables which provide information about young, mature, and a total for all students, the all students total is not necessarily the sum of young and mature students.

Age marker (applicable to T3e)

Age is calculated at 30 September of the academic year in which the student is recorded as commencing their studies. In Table T3e, the following age split is used:

  • 30 and under
  • over 30.

Students whose date of birth is not given, or whose date of birth suggests that they are under 10 years, are marked as having unknown age. This means that in tables which provide information about 30 and under, over 30, and a total for all students, the all students total is not necessarily the sum of '30 and under' and 'over 30'.

Full-time equivalence (T3e, T6, T7)

Student full-time equivalence (FTE) data represents the HE provider's assessment of how each student instance compares with that of a 'normal' full-time instance within the reporting year 1 August to 31 July. This is used for defining mode of study in tables T3e, T7 and for the module information in table T6.

Mode of study (applicable to tables T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6)
  • Full-time students are those recorded as studying full-time at a HE provider, or on thick or thin sandwich courses, provided that the length of the course is at least 24 weeks.
  • Part-time students are those recorded as studying part-time, or full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks.
Mode of study (applicable to T7)
  • Full-time students are those recorded as studying full-time at a HE provider, or on thick or thin sandwich courses, provided that the length of the course is at least 24 weeks.
  • Part-time students are those recorded as studying part-time or full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, but excluding those students who are studying less than 50 per cent of the time.

    From the 2009/10 publication, part-time mode of study also includes students whose instance spans HESA reporting years and the total load (technical definition: HESA fields LOADYRA from the reporting year and LOADYRB for the previous year) is at least 50%. The impact of this change was minimal for the majority of HE providers.

In 2007/08 and 2008/09, data for the Open University have been excluded from the part-time figures in table T7 due to changes introduced by HESA to the method of apportioning FTEs between years which affected the count of Open University part-time students.

Mode of study (applicable to T3e)

For table T3e only, part-time students are those who are studying at an intensity of 30 per cent of a full-time equivalent (FTE), or higher.

Mode of study (applicable to E1)
  • Full-time students are those recorded as studying full-time at a HE provider, or on thick or thin sandwich courses, provided that the length of the course is at least 24 weeks. Also included are awards from writing-up status where the student’s mode of study was previously full-time.
  • Part-time students are those recorded as studying part-time or full-time on courses lasting less than 24 weeks. Awards from writing-up theses are also included where a student’s mode of study was previously part-time.
Level of study (applicable to all tables)

The level of study is taken from the qualification aim of the student instance. Currently, all UK Performance Indicator tables, excluding the research indicators are restricted to undergraduate students with a split between first degree and other undergraduate students.

First degree includes first degrees (including eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC), postgraduate bachelors degree at level H, enhanced first degrees (including those leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees.

Other undergraduate includes qualification aims equivalent to and below first degree level, including, but not limited to, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at level H (unless shown separately), foundation degrees (unless shown separately), diplomas in higher education (including those with eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body), Higher National Diploma (HND), Higher National Certificate (HNC), Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation courses at higher education level, National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)/Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at NQF levels 4 and 5, post-degree diplomas and certificates at undergraduate level (including those in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector), professional qualifications at undergraduate level, other undergraduate diplomas and certificates including post-registration health and social care courses, other formal higher education qualifications of less than degree standard, undergraduate credit and non-formal undergraduate qualifications.

Technical definition: The HESA fields used to produce this split are course aim (COURSEAIM) from 2007/08 and qualification aim (QUALAIM) prior to 2007/08:

Note: From 2008/09 onwards, table series T3 and from 2009/10 onwards, table series T4 exclude students aiming for credits and no formal qualification (COURSEAIM codes H90, H91, H99, I90, I91, I99, J90, J99, C90, C99).

  COURSEAIM / QUALAIM codes
First degree M22, M26, M28, H00, H11, H12, H16, H18, H22, H23, H24, H50, I00, I11, I12, I16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Other undergraduate H41, H42, H43, H60, H61, H62, H70, H71, H72, H76, H78, H79, H80, H81, H88, H90, H91, H99, I60, I61, I70, I71, I72, I73, I74, I76, I79, I80, I81, I90, I91, I99, J10, J16, J20, J26, J30, J41, J42, J43, J45, J76, J80, J90, J99, C20, C30, C41, C42, C43, C77, C78, C80, C90, C99, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 52, 61, 97
Qualifications obtained (applicable to T3, T4, T5)

Qualification obtained is taken from the qualification awarded to the student during the reporting year, usually at the end of an instance. The qualification awarded may be different to the student's qualification aim, and the student may be awarded more than one qualification during the reporting period.

From 2009/10, the first degree population includes Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/extended pattern leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body (M26). The other undergraduate population includes Diplomas at level H (H41) and Certificates at level H (H42).

Qualifications awarded information is used when looking at progression statistics for table series T3, T4. For the purpose of the progression statistics, credits, non-accredited/non-approved HE qualification, no formal undergraduate/postgraduate qualification are not counted as an HE qualification.

Technical definition: Prior to 2007/08, the HESA fields QUAL1 and QUAL2 are used to determine the highest qualification held and from 2007/08 onwards, the HESA field QUAL is used to determine the highest qualification.

Note: For tables T3, T4, no distinction is made between first degree and intercalated first degree qualifications. This split is used in table T5 only.

  QUAL & QUAL1/QUAL2 codes
Postgraduate D00, D01, L00, L80, E00, E40, E43, M00, M01, M02, M10, M11, M16, M40, M41, M42, M43, M44, M45, M50, M70, M71, M72, M76, M78, M79, M80, M86, M88, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 12, 13, 14
First degree (excluding intercalated) M22, M26, M28, H00, H11, H12, H16, H18, H22, H23, H50, I00, I11, I12, I16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23
Intercalated first degree H24, 24
Other undergraduate H41, H42, H43, H60, H61, H62, H70, H71, H72, H76, H78, H79, H80, H81, H88, I60, I61, I70, I71, I72, I73, I74, I76, I79, I80, I81, J10, J16, J20, J26, J30, J41, J42, J43, J45, J76, J80, C20, C30, C41, C42, C43, C77, C78, C80, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 52
Qualifications obtained (applicable to E1)

Only undergraduate students are included in Tables E1a - E1d and the coverage of the DLHE population means a more limited selection of qualifications are included:

  QUAL & QUAL1/QUAL2 codes
First degree M22, M26, M28, H00, H11, H12, H16, H18, H22, H23, H50, I00, I11, I12, I16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Other undergraduate

H41, H42, H43, H60, H61, H62, H70, H71, H78, H79, H80, H81, H88, I60, 161, I70, I71, I73, I74, I79, I80, I81, J10, J16, J20, J26, J30, J41, J42, J43, J45, J80, C20, C30, C41, C42, C43, C77, C78, C80, 15, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 51, 52

Entrants (applicable to T1, T2, T3a-T3d, T4)

Entrants are defined as students who started a programme of study at that HE provider during the academic year of interest. This is based on the commencement date of the student’s study (in technical terms, HESA field COMDATE). While most entrants go into the first year of a programme of study, some will start on the second, or later, year of programme, for example if they transfer from another HE provider. Entrants who are recorded as leaving before 1 December (in technical terms, HESA field DATELEFT prior to 2007/08 and ENDDATE from 2007/08 onwards) have not been included in the calculations. It has been agreed that students leaving this early in their studies should be disregarded for the purposes of the UK Performance Indicators.

Entrants (applicable to T3e)

Entrants are defined as students who started a programme of study at that HE provider during the academic year of interest. This is based on the commencement date of the student's study (in technical terms, HESA field COMDATE). Entrants who are recorded as leaving within 50 days of their commencement date (in technical terms, HESA field DATELEFT prior to 2007/08 and ENDDATE from 2007/08 onwards) have not been included.

In addition, for table T3e, also exclude entrants:

  • Undertaking and active on more than one course of HE at any HE provider, at any level (postgraduate or undergraduate) or mode of study (full-time or part-time), and a duration of at least 50 days; or
  • Who were active on a full-time or part-time first degree course in the year prior to entry.

These criteria have been introduced for table T3e to help ensure that rates of continuation reflect on the true study intentions of the part-time student and that we are capturing students for whom the part-time first degree is their primary intention, rather than a supplement to another HE engagement.

Entrants (applicable to Experimental Statistics)

Entrants are defined as students who started a programme of study at that HE provider during the academic year of interest. This is based on the commencement date of the student's study (in technical terms, HESA field COMDATE). Entrants who are recorded as leaving within 50 days of their commencement date (in technical terms, HESA field ENDDATE) have not been included.

For those students who start on or after 12 June, their activity for the whole of the 50 day period from the anniversary of their start date would be captured in the following year of HESA data. Therefore, the academic year has been 'dialled back' to determine the entrant population, to consider study commencing within a different window than the standard academic year for the Experimental UKPIs.

Starters (applicable to T5)

The concept of a starter has been used in table T5 to be consistent with the method of projected outcomes and differs from the concept of an entrant used in table series T3. Students at a particular HE provider are defined as starters if they are full-time degree students who have not been studying at that HE provider full-time for a degree in either of the two years prior to the academic year of interest. This means that students who were on a diploma course in the previous year at the current HE provider and have transferred to a degree course in the current year will count as starters (unless they had been on a degree course there in either of the two previous years). Such students will not necessarily count as entrants. On the other hand, a student who has spent one year at a HE provider on a degree course, then spends a year out of studies but comes back onto a different degree course, will not be counted as a starter, but may be counted as an entrant.

Previous HE marker (applicable to T2, T3)

The previous HE marker indicates if the student holds an HE qualification as their highest qualification on entry. The qualifications included in this marker, including the equivalent codes used by HESA can be found Higher education qualifications.

Technical definition: The previous HE marker uses the HESA field QUALENT2 for entrants prior to 2010/11 and HESA field QUALENT3 for entrants from 2010/11. These codes are grouped as follows:

Entry qualification QUALENT2 codes QUALENT3 codes
Previous HE 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31, 29 [from 2010/11 only] DUK, DZZ, D80, MUK, M41, M44, M80, M90, MZZ, H71, M71, M2X, HUK, HZZ, JUK, H11, H80, J10, J20, J30, J48, J80, C20, C30, C44, C80, C90, J49 [from 2010/11 only]
Unknown qualification 99 X06
No previous HE all other codes all other codes
Type of school (applicable to T1)

School type is taken from previous HE provider attended (in technical terms, HESA field PREVINST). All schools or colleges that are not denoted ‘independent’ are assumed to be state schools. This means that students from sixth-form or further education colleges, for example, are included as being from state schools. All schools in Northern Ireland are also treated as state schools.

From 2014/15, for new entrants, the last provider attended field (PREVINST) must contain a valid UKPRN or a valid generic code (see the HESA coding manual for details), rather than the historic UCAS, department and HESA school codes. These have been mapped to school type and grouped up to form the state school marker where appropriate. Where an unknown or invalid PREVINST code has been supplied, these students have been excluded from the calculations of the state school indicator. Due to the changes in the coding frame there is likely to an impact on the quality of the school type data.

Socio-economic classification (NS-SEC) (applicable to T1)

The information on socio-economic classification is taken from the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (in technical terms, HESA field SEC). The classifications used are:

  1. Higher managerial and professional occupations
  2. Lower managerial and professional occupations
  3. Intermediate occupations
  4. Small employers and own account workers
  5. Lower supervisory and technical occupations
  6. Semi-routine occupations
  7. Routine occupations.

The UK performance indicator is the proportion of students from NS-SEC classes 4 to 7 out of those from NS-SEC classes 1 to 7. NS-SEC class 8, long-term unemployed or never worked, has been included with unknown classification for the purposes of the UK Performance Indicators.

For the 2008/09 academic year, UCAS changed the question that informs NS-SEC which affected the majority of applicants for entering in the 2008/09 academic year. The question reverted back to the original wording for 2009/10 applicants.

For applicants up to and including the 2007/08 academic year and for the 2009/10 academic year, UCAS asked:

"If you are under 21, please give the occupation of your parent, step-parent or guardian who earns the most. If he or she is retired or unemployed, give their most recent occupation. If you are 21 or over, please give your own occupation."

For applicants for 2008/09 entry, the question changed to:

"If you are in full-time education, please state the occupation of the highest-earning family member of the household in which you live. If he or she is retired or unemployed, give their most recent occupation. If you are not in full-time education, please state just your own occupation."

The change in question had an impact on the NS-SEC indicators, causing the proportion of students classified as unknown and those classified as falling into NS-SEC groups 4 to 7 to rise in 2008/09. Although the question reverted back in 2009/10, there may still be a slight impact on the NS-SEC indicators resulting from applicants who applied using the 2008/09 form and deferred entry. Given these differences and the lack of any significant external changes to the system, it is safe to conclude that the change in question means that the NS-SEC data for 2008/09 is not comparable with that published prior to and post 2008/09. The 2008/09 NS-SEC data has been labelled as age-adjusted NS-SEC and it is not recommended to include this data in any time series analysis. As a result, the 2008/09 NS-SEC data has been published separately in tables T1ai, T1bi and T1ci and labelled as age-adjusted NS-SEC.

Prior to 2002/03 social class was used as one of the widening participation indicators. More information on the differences between SEC and social class can be found in changes between 2001/02 and 2002/03.

Low-participation neighbourhoods (POLAR3) (applicable to T1, T2, T3 from the 2011/12 publication)

From the 2011/12 publication onwards, the low participation data uses the POLAR3 classification, more information on the POLAR3 classification and the files used in the mapping can be found on the HEFCE website.

POLAR3 is based on the HE participation rates of people who were aged 18 between 2005 and 2009 and entered a HE course in a UK HE provider or English or Scottish further education college, aged 18 or 19, between academic years 2005/06 and 2010/11.

It draws on data provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Data Service, the Scottish Funding Council, UCAS and HM Revenue and Customs. The method used to get the participation rates is broadly similar to the method for POLAR2. There are some noteworthy differences between the two methods. The set of cohorts used to form the classification are more recent. Also, information on entrants to HE courses at further education colleges in Wales are not included, though we estimate that this only has a small impact on the classification.

The POLAR3 classification is formed by ranking 2001 Census Area Statistics (CAS) wards by their young participation rates for the combined 2005 to 2009 cohorts. This gives five quintile groups of areas ordered from ‘1’ (those wards with the lowest participation) to ‘5’ (those wards with the highest participation), each representing 20 per cent of UK young cohort. Students have been allocated to the neighbourhoods on the basis of their postcode. Those students whose postcode falls within wards with the lowest participation (quintile 1) are denoted as being from a low participation neighbourhood.

The POLAR3 data was updated in July 2015 and this updated version was used in the creation of the Performance Indicators from 2014/15. The updated version includes new postcodes which have been added in the UK in recent times.

The POLAR3 data is not comparable with the previous POLAR2 method, but data for 2009/10 to 2013/14 has been produced using both methods for context.

Low-participation neighbourhoods (POLAR2) (applicable to T1, T2, T3 from the 2006/07 publication)

From the 2006/07 publication onwards, a new method (POLAR2) for producing the low participation neighbourhoods has been used which is not comparable with the old (Super Profiles) low participation method used previously.

The POLAR2 method is based on the HE participation rates of people who were aged 18 between 2000 and 2004 and entered a HE course in a UK HE provider or GB further education college, aged 18 or 19, between academic years 2000/01 and 2005/06. It draws on data provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Learning and Skills Council, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, the other UK funding bodies and HM Revenue & Customs.

The POLAR2 classification is formed by ranking 2001 Census Area Statistics wards by their young participation rates for the combined 2000 to 2004 cohorts. This gives five young participation quintile groups (qYPR) of areas ordered from '1' (those wards with the lowest participation) to '5' (those wards with the highest participation), each representing 20 per cent of UK young cohort. Students have been allocated to the neighbourhoods on the basis of their postcode. Those students whose postcode falls within wards with the lowest participation (quintile 1) are denoted as being from a low participation neighbourhood.

More information on the POLAR2 classification and the files used in the mapping can be found on the HEFCE website.

POLAR2 and POLAR3 data for Scotland (applicable to T1, T2, T3)

The POLAR low participation measure is based on a UK wide classification of areas into participation bands. The relatively high (in UK terms) participation rate in Scotland coupled with the very high proportion of HE that occurs in FE colleges means that the figures for Scottish HE providers could, when viewed in isolation, misrepresent their contribution to widening participation. Therefore, low participation data has not been produced within the UK Performance Indicators for HE providers in Scotland from 2007/08.

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) produce their own indicators relating to young full-time Scottish domiciled undergraduate entrants, showing proportions from the most deprived datazones and also from social classes NS-SEC 4-7. These measures are produced and published independently of ‘UK Performance Indicators in HE in the UK’. The UK Performance Indicators Steering Group bears no responsibility for the SFC measures. More information about the participation measures for Scotland can be found here.

Low-participation neighbourhoods (Super Profiles) (applicable to T1, T2, T3 prior to the 2006/07 publication)

The Super Profiles low participation method uses Census enumeration districts (EDs) in England and Wales, and output areas (OAs) in Scotland. The classification is based on data collected in the 1991 Census of Population, supplemented with data from other sources. Areas belonging to the same group, or cluster, will not necessarily be geographically adjacent. For example, one cluster might contain suburban areas of semi-detached housing from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, and another may contain inner city areas from those same cities. Postcodes can be used to identify the ED (or OA) and hence the clusters. This ‘postcode mapping’ allows nearly all students to be allocated to one of the clusters, on the basis of their home postcode.

A small proportion of postcodes cannot be mapped to EDs, either because they have been wrongly recorded or because they are too new to have been included in the postcode file. Similarly, a small proportion of EDs have not been classified, for example if the number of residential dwellings in the area is too small to provide reliable information. In either case the result will be a cluster whose neighbourhood type is unknown. The 160 clusters which resulted from this method were classified as ‘low participation neighbourhood’ or ‘other neighbourhood’ by estimating, for each cluster, the participation rates in higher education for young entrants. These rates vary from under 5% to over 95%. Clusters with participation rates less than two-thirds of the national average were defined as ‘low participation’.

The participation rates as defined above depend on two elements: the population of the area and the number of students from that area. The number of students is taken from the HESA database, with postcodes used to allocate students to areas. The population estimates are an uncorrected projection of the 1991 Census population figures.

The Super Profiles low participation data is not comparable with the POLAR2 low participation data used from 2006/07 onwards.

Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) (applicable to T7)

Identifies whether the student with a disability is in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA) or not.

In technical terms the Disabled Students' Allowance data uses the HESA field DISALL and provides the proportion of students in receipt of DSA, those with DISALL=4.

Non-continuation data (applicable to T3, T4, T5)

A student who begins an engagement with an HE provider in a particular year may achieve one of a number of possible outcomes after a given period of time. These can be summarised as:

  • Qualify, whether or not that qualification exactly matched their original study intention.
  • Continue at the same HEP, either on the same course or elsewhere in the HE provider.
  • Transfer to another HEP, either to a similar course or to an entirely different study experience.
  • Absent from HE registered at a HEP.

Table series T3 considers entrants to full-time undergraduate courses and looks to see what they are doing the year after they entered. Table series T4 considers those entrants who were no longer in HE the year after they entered to see if they returned to HE the following year.

Table T5 considers full-time first degree starters to HE courses and uses a projected model to see what proportion are likely to have obtain a degree, obtain an other undergraduate qualification, transfer to another HEP or neither obtain an award nor transfer after a period of time. The model bases the projection on the current population of students studying at an individual HE provider and projects the starters forward until they reach one of the final states given above.

For more detailed information on the non-continuation methods, please refer to the technical document.

Module information (applicable to T6 - Welsh HE providers only)

HE providers in Wales submit data to HESA in a modular format. For each student, at least one module with associated subject and cost centre information is returned. Table T6 provides the number of modules for which information has been returned, the average number of modules for student for each HE providers and the percentage of full-time equivalent (FTE) students per module.

The indicator is based on modules for which results are available. There are a number of reasons why results for these students may not be returned to HESA. In some cases the student may have withdrawn from the course, in others they may have decided not to be assessed in that module. In particular, students who are studying a module out of personal interest may decide that they do not wish to be assessed. The table shows the percentage of student modules for which results are available and the percentage of these modules which have been passed. If results are available for only a small proportion of modules, the pass rate should be treated with caution.

Employment indicator (applicable to E1)

Respondents to the HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey are able to report separately what they are doing in relation to both employment and study and a matrix of possible outcomes is constructed. This matrix is used to define the key categories of outcomes such as employed and unemployed. As leavers report separately what they are doing in relation to employment and further study, it is possible to be involved in employment only, further study only or employment and further study.

In 2011/12, the DLHE questionnaire was modified and the first question allows leavers to report what they were doing in relation to both employment and study. If not ineligible, or have explicitly refused to provide information, respondents were able to report up to eight individual activities (HESA field ALLACT), of which one must be indicated to be the 'most important' (HESA field MIMPACT). Previously, the leaver was asked in two separate questions which activity best described their employment circumstance (HESA field EMPCIR) on the reference date (only one activity could be ticked), and if the leaver was also involved in any full-time or part-time study (HESA field MODSTUDY). Due to these changes, the matrix which identifies which leavers were in employment and/or further study on the reference date differs prior to 2011/12 and from 2011/12 onwards and is not strictly comparable.

From 2011/12, the activity matrix below provides the publication categories as used in the standard HESA publications and reflects the range of activities undertaken. Leavers identified as ineligible, or who have explicitly refused to provide information are grouped for publication as 'Ineligibility or explicit refusal'. All other respondents are categorised according to their range of activities.

The indicator is the percentage of those respondents who were working or studying out of those who were working, studying or unemployed and seeking work.

In technical terms, the indicator is the number of respondents in categories 01-06 below, divided by the number in categories 01-08. All other categories are excluded from the indicator.

Status (STATUS) Most important activity (MIMPACT) If any other activity includes (ALLACT) Derived activity category
Ineligibility or explicit refusal     XX Ineligibility or explicit refusal
All other Working full-time Engaged in full-time study, training or research OR Engaged in part-time further study, training or research 03 Primarily in work and also studying
Otherwise 01 Full-time work
Working part-time Engaged in full-time study, training or research OR Engaged in part-time further study, training or research 03 Primarily in work and also studying
Otherwise 02 Part-time work
Unemployed and looking for work   08 Unemployed
Due to start a job in the next month Working full-time 01 Full-time work
Engaged in full-time further study, training or research, provided that Working full-time has not been selected. 05 Full-time study
Working part-time, provided that Working full-time AND Engaged in full-time further study, training or research have not been selected. 02 Part-time work
Otherwise 07 Due to start work
Engaged in full-time further study, training or research Working full-time OR Working part-time 04 Primarily studying and also in work
Otherwise 05 Full-time study
Engaged in part-time further study, training or research Working full-time OR Working part-time 04 Primarily studying and also in work
Otherwise 06 Part-time study
Taking time out in order to travel   09 Other
Something else   09 Other

The matrix below shows the classification of the DLHE responses prior to 2011/12, based on the employment circumstances (HESA field EMPCIR) and study information (HESA field MODSTUDY) returned by the leaver. The categories are as follows:

  • W - working or studying or both
  • U - unemployed and seeking work
  • NA - not available for work or study, or no information supplied
  • X - question not answered

The indicator is the percentage of those respondents who were working or studying out of those who were working, studying or unemployed and seeking work.

In technical terms, the indicator is the number of respondents in category W divided by the number in categories W and U. All other categories are excluded from the indicator.

  Study (MODSTUDY)
Employment Circumstances (EMPCIR) Full-time study (1) Part-time study (2) Not in study (3)
Employed full-time in paid work (01) W W W
Employed part-time in paid work (02) W W W
Self-employed/freelance (03) W W W
Voluntary work/other unpaid work (15) / Voluntary work (04) W W W
Permanently unable to work/retired (16) / Permanently unable to work (06)/Retired (08) NA NA NA
Temporarily sick or unable to work/looking after the home or family (17) / Temporarily sick or unable to work (07)/Looking after the home or family (09) W W NA
Taking time out in order to travel (10) NA NA NA
Due to start a job within the next month (11) W U U
Unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training (12) W U U
Not employed but NOT looking for employment, further study or training (13) W W NA
Something else (14) W W NA
Question not answered (XX) X X X

For context, table E1 also includes the percent not available for work which is the percentage of all respondents who are classed as NA in the above table.

The percent who refused to take part in the survey is the percentage of all respondents for whom the method of data collection (HESA field METHOD) was recorded as 'Reply received explicitly refusing to provide information'.

The percent of medical, dental or veterinary graduates is the percentage of the population of leavers whose subject of study was medicine or dentistry or veterinary science. In technical terms, those students coded in the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) in subject group A, or whose principal subject is coded D100 or D200.

The percent of graduates from sandwich courses is the percentage of the population of leavers whose mode of study was recorded as sandwich.

Rounding strategy

Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest multiple of 5 and suppressing percentages and averages based on small populations.

HESA Services Standard Rounding Methodology:

  1. All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
  2. Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
  3. Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
  4. Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
  5. Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
  6. The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
  7. Financial data is not rounded.

Total figures are also subject to this rounding methodology after calculation; so the sum of numbers in each row or column may not match the total shown. Suppressed values are normally represented as '..' in published tables (prior to 2006/07 these were represented as a blank value within the UK Performance Indicators.

Note: The suppression level within the UK Performance Indicators changed from 20 to 22.5 in 2011/12.

From 2011/12, data within the employment indicators have been suppressed and represented as a blank cell where the response rate for a HE provider is less than 85 per cent of the target response rate (68.0% for table E1a, 59.5% for tables E1b-E1d). Data for these HE providers have been excluded from all indicator and benchmark calculations.

From 2012/13, where data for a HE provider has been suppressed, they have been removed from all totals and benchmark calculations, see PITG paper 13/01 [pdf 65 KB]. Also from 2012/13, in the event that a HE provider's data contains more than 50 per cent unknown values within the benchmarking factors, the benchmark has been suppressed and represented as a blank cell. This data has, however, been retained and included in totals and benchmark calculations for the rest of the sector. See PITG paper 13/03 [pdf 71 KB] and PITG minutes, 28 February 2013 [pdf 114 KB].

Benchmark factors

Subject group (applicable to T1, T2, T3, T5, T7, E1)

Since HESA took over the publication of the UK Performance Indicators, there have been four main changes to the subject groups used in the benchmark calculations. These took place in 2002/03, 2004/05, 2007/08 and 2012/13.

In 2002/03 a new subject classification was introduced called the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS 1.7). This subject classification looks similar to that previously published but has been devised in a different way. Therefore subject data published from 2002/03 is not comparable to that previously published. For details of the changes to the groups in 2002/03, see JACS subject groups.

There was also a change to the subject area groups in 2004/05. The UK Performance Indicators Steering Group (UKPISG, formally PISG) agreed to use the standard HESA JACS subject groupings, but with medicine & dentistry grouped with veterinary science. This change had very little effect on the benchmarks

From 2007/08 onwards, subject codes JACS2 have been used. There has been little change at subject area level, but the following subjects have moved to a different subject area:

  • "C230 Plant biotechnology Involves the molecular and microbial manipulation of plants" has moved from 3 Biological Sciences to "J710 Plant biotechnology (crops, trees, shrubs, etc.) Involves the molecular and microbial manipulation of plants" which falls within subject area 9 Engineering & Technology.
  • "C560 Biotechnology The molecular and microbial bio-organisms for processes such as fermentation and enzyme technology." has moved from 3 Biological Sciences to "J700 Biotechnology The use of biological processes or organisms for the production of materials and services. Biotechnology includes the use of techniques for the improvement of the characteristics of economically important plants and animals and for the development of micro-organisms to act on the environment" which falls within subject area 9 Engineering & Technology.

For 2012/13, a review of a selection of the existing subject areas of the JACS coding system resulted in the implementation of a revised 'JACS3' version of the coding frame. The JACS2 version it replaced had been in existence since 2007/08. The full listing of JACS3, including a mapping between JACS2 and JACS3, can be found here. JACS3 and JACS2 are not directly comparable at any level other than subject area, although many codes have been retained in the newer coding frame. From 2012/13, the JACS3 subject areas have been used within the widening participation benchmarks and were used within the non-continuation benchmarks from 2013/14.

Since the move over to the JACS coding frame in 2002/03, HESA defined nineteen subject areas based on the JACS codes to present a useful broad-brush picture. If a student is studying a combination of subjects, a procedure of apportionment is used:

For split courses not involving an initial teacher training (ITT) component, a percentage is assigned to each subject to reflect the split (from 2007/08 HE providers could choose to assign their own percentages based on a broad assessment of the relative contribution of subjects to a course), with the following standard percentages recommended (obligatory in Scotland):

  • Balanced 50% for each of the two subjects
  • Major - Minor 67% and 33%
  • Triple 34%, 33% and 33%.

The following grouping of JACS2 (2004/05 to 2011/12) and JACS3 (2012/13 onwards) are used for table series T1, T2, T3a-T3d, T5 and T7, these follow the standard HESA JACS subject groupings, but with medicine & dentistry grouped with veterinary science.

Subject of study JACS subject area codes
Medicine & dentistry and veterinary science 1, 4
Subjects allied to medicine 2
Biological sciences 3
Agriculture & related subjects 5
Physical sciences 6
Mathematical sciences 7
Computer science 8
Engineering & technology 9
Architecture, building & planning A
Social studies B
Law C
Business & administrative studies D
Mass communications & documentation E
Languages F
Historical & philosophical studies G
Creative arts & design H
Education I
Combined subjects J

For table T3e only, a grouping into fourteen subject areas was defined and differs from those used in the full-time indicators. The groupings have been chosen so that, as far as possible, the students within each group are relatively homogeneous. Where subject areas have relatively small numbers of part-time first degree students they have been grouped with subject areas that exhibit similar patterns of continuation rather than those that are academically coherent:

Subject of study JACS subject area codes
Medicine & dentistry; veterinary science; Architecture, building & planning 1, 4, A
Subjects allied to medicine; Agriculture & related subjects; Mathematical sciences 2, 5, 7
Biological sciences 3
Physical sciences 6
Computer science 8
Engineering & technology 9
Social studies B
Law C
Business & administrative studies D
Mass communications & documentation; Languages E, F
Historical & philosophical studies G
Creative arts & design H
Education I
Combined subjects J
Entry qualification groups (applicable to series T1, T2 from 2008/09 onwards; T3a-T3d from 2009/10 onwards and T5, T7, E1 from 2012/13 onwards)

The following entry qualification groups were used for table series T1, T2 from 2008/09 onwards; T3a-T3d from 2009/10 onwards and T5, T7 from 2012/13. A top down approach has been used to classify the students.

Note: A grouped version of these entry qualifications categories was used for table E1 from 2012/13 onwards, details below.

PIENTRYTYPE Entry qualification (28 groups) Specification

01 - AAAA

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades AAAA or
  • Scottish Highers grades AAAAAA

A levels, Advanced Highers and VCEs

Students with A levels, Advanced Highers or VCEs (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and QUALTYPE:

  • GCE Advanced (A),
  • SQA Advanced Highers (AH),
  • GCE A Level (Double) (DA),
  • VCE Advanced (V),
  • VCE Advanced Double Award (V2)

with the specified grade combinations.

For each student, take their best 4 (or less) grades within each subject. For students with GCE A Level (Double) and VCE Advanced Double Award, split the grades into two single grades (ignoring any #'s) and treat them as GCE Advanced (A).

Scottish Highers

Students with Scottish Highers (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and QUALTYPE: SQA Highers (H) with the specified grade combinations.

For each student, take their best 6 (or less) grades within each subject.

02 - AAA

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least AAA or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least AAAAA

03 - AAB

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least AAB or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least AAAAB or AAAAC or AAABB

04 - AAC

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least AAC

05 - ABB

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least ABB or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least AAABC or AAACC or AABBB or AABBC

06 - ABC/BBB

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least ABC or BBB or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least AABCC or ABBBC or ABBCC or ABBBB or BBBBB

07 - ACC/BBC

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least ACC or BBC or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least AACCC or ABCCC or BBBBC or BBBCC

08 - BCC/CCC

A levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and VCEs

  • A levels / VCE / Advanced Highers grades at least BCC or CCC or
  • Scottish Highers grades at least ACCCC or BBCCC or BCCCC or CCCCC

19 - BACC

International Baccalaureate Diplomas and Certificates

  • For students entering prior to 2010/11 also
  • includes other Baccalaureate qualifications but does
  • not include International Baccalaureate certificates

 

Students with International Baccalaureate Diplomas or Certificates (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**) and qualification type (QUALTYPE): International Baccalaureate Diploma (IE) (QUALGRADE ≥ 24).

International Baccalaureate tariff points (IB, ID, IS) make up more than half of the total tariff score or International Baccalaureate point score (IE, ID, IS, IB, IC, IX) > 15 and International Baccalaureate tariff score is at least as high as the BTEC tariff score [from 2013/14 onwards]

or highest qualification held (QUALENT2): Baccalaureate (47)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3): International Baccalaureate Diploma (P62) International Baccalaureate Certificate (P63)

22 - BTEC/ONC

BTEC

  • For students entering prior to 2010/11
  • also includes ONC, OND & SQA equivalents

Students with BTECs* (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • BTEC (B)
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE)

and from 2011/12:

  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)

and from 2012/13:

  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group A (NQF/ASL) (0B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group B (NQF/ASL) (1C)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group C (NQF/ASL) (2C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group A (NQF/ASL) (3C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group B (NQF/ASL) (4B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Certificate (NQF/CQF) (4C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group C (NQF/ASL) (5B)
  • BTEC Certificate Group D (NQF/ASL) (6B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group A (NQF/ASL) (7B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group B (NQF/ASL) (8B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group C (NQF/ASL) (9B)
  • BTEC National Award (NQF) (B5)
  • BTEC National Certificate (NQF) (B6)
  • BTEC National Diploma (NQF) (B7)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Certificate (NQF/ASL) (BB)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Award (NQF/CQF) (BD)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Diploma (NQF/CQF) (BF)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Foundation Diploma 120 (QCF/FAD) (BI)
  • BTEC Lvl 4 Foundation Diploma 120+ (QCF/FAD) (BJ)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Cert (= 50% of National Award 28-36) (QCF/CQF) (BT)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Subsidiary Dip (was National Award 60+) (QCF/CQF) (BU)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma (was National Certificate 120+) (QCF/CQF) (BV)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Dip (was National Dip. 180+) (QCF/CQF) (BW)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Foundation Diploma (NQF/FAD) (BX)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Certificate (NQF/ASL) (BY)
  • BTEC 90 Credit Diploma (QCF) (BZ)

and from 2013/14:

  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Diploma (5C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Certificate (6C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Subsidiary Certificate (7C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Award (8C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Subsidiary Award (9C)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • ONC or OND (including BTEC & SQA equivalents) (41)

*Include students whose only BTEC qualifications have unknown/invalid grades unless they have A levels, Advanced Highers or VCEs qualifications in addition to the BTECs.

09 - >290

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 290

For students who are not included above and who hold tariff bearing qualifications (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and qualification type (QUALTYPE) is one of the tariff bearing qualifications with points greater than zero.

10 - >260

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 260

11 - >230

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 230

12 - >200

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 200

13 - >160

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 160

14 - >100

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 100

15 - >0

Level 3 tariffable qualifications

Total tariff > 0

16 - COMB3

Combination of level 3 qualifications with unknown or not applicable points

Only applicable for students prior to 2010/11

For students who have any combinations of GCE 'A'/SQA 'Higher'/SQA 'Advanced Higher' & GNVQ/GSVQ or NVQ/SVQ at level 3 (QUALENT2 = 40) and do not satisfy any of the criteria above.

17 - LEV3

A level equivalent qualifications with unknown or not applicable points

For students who have unknown or non-tariffable 'A' level equivalent qualification not elsewhere specified or any combinations of GCE 'A'/SQA 'Higher'/SQA 'Advanced Higher' & GNVQ/GSVQ or NVQ/SVQ at level 3 [from 2010/11 onwards] (QUALENT2 = 39 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) or QUALENT2 = 40 [from 2010/11 onwards] and do not satisfy any of the criteria above.

18 - GNVQ/NVQ

GNVQ / NVQ

Only applicable for students entering prior to 2010/11

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • GNVQ/GSVQ level 3 (37)
  • NVQ/SVQ level 3 (38)

20 - FOUND

Foundation course

For students entering from 2010/11 onwards:

  • includes only HE level foundation students

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Foundation course at HE level (29)
  • Foundation course at FE level (43)
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) (72)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Foundation course at level J (J49)

21 - ACCESS

Access course

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Access course (QAA recognised) (44)
  • Access course (not QAA recognised) (45)
  • ACCESS course (Code only available if COMDATE before 01/08/2002) (48)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Higher education access course, QAA recognised (X00)
  • Higher education access course, not QAA recognised (X01)

23 - HEPG

Higher education qualification - Postgraduate

For students holding postgraduate qualifications (see list of HE qualifications).

24 - HEFD

Higher education qualification - First Degree

 

For students holding first degree qualifications (see list of HE qualifications).

25 - HEOUG

Higher education qualification - Other Undergraduate
(excluding HE foundation course)

For students holding other undergraduate qualifications, excluding HE foundation course (see list of HE qualifications).

26 - NONE

No previous qualification

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL/APL) (92)
  • Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience (without formal
  • APEL/APL) &/or HE provider's own entrance examinations (93)
  • Student has no formal qualification (98)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience
  • and/or admissions test (X02)
  • Student has no formal qualification (X05)

27 - OTHERS

Other qualifications not given elsewhere

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • GCSE/'O' level qualifications only; SQA 'O' grades
  • & Standard grades (55)
  • Other non-advanced qualification (56)
  • NVQ/SVQ level 2 (57)
  • Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (94)
  • Other non-UK qualification, level not known (97)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • 14-19 Higher Diploma (level 2) (Q51)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Intermediate Diploma (level 2) (Q52)
  • Other qualification at level 2 (Q80)
  • 14-19 Foundation Diploma (level 1) (R51)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation Diploma (level 1) (R52)
  • Other qualification at level 1 (R80)
  • Other qualification level not known (X04)

28 - UNKNOWN

Unknown qualification

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Not known (99)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Not known (X06)
Entry qualification groups (applicable to series T1, T2 2007/08; T3a-T3d 2007/08 - 2008/09; T7 2007/08 - 2011/12; T5 2008/09 - 2011/12)

The following entry qualification groups were used for table series T1, T2 in 2007/08 only; T3a-T3d for 2007/08 to 2008/09; T7 from 2007/08 to 2011/12 and T5 from 2008/09 to 2011/12.

Note: A grouped version of these entry qualifications categories was used for table E1 2007/08 to 2011/12, details below.

PIENTRYQUALS Entry qualification Specification

TAR480+

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 481 tariff points and above

Students with A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers  QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • GCE Advanced (A),
  • Advanced Subsidiary (A1),
  • GCE AS Level (AS),
  • SQA Highers (H),
  • SQA Advanced Highers (AH),
  • SQA Intermediate 2 (I2),
  • GCE AS Level (Double) (AD),
  • GCE A Level (Double) (DA),
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (WB)

and not Vocational qualifications (QUALTYPE):

  • BTEC (B),
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE),
  • VCE Advanced (V),
  • VCE Advanced Subsidiary (V1),
  • VCE Advanced Double Award (V2)

and from 2011/12 not:

  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)

To get the tariff point scores, sum the entire tariff scores associated with these qualifications and remove any duplicates within subject. To this, add on points from Welsh Baccalaureates.

TAR480

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 421 to 480 tariff points

TAR420

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 381 to 420 tariff points

TAR380

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 351 to 380 tariff points

TAR350

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and
no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 321 to 350 tariff points

TAR320

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 291 to 320 tariff points

TAR290

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 261 to 290 tariff points

TAR260

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 231 to 260 tariff points

TAR230

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 201 to 230 tariff points

TAR200

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 161 to 200 tariff points

TAR160

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 101 to 160 tariff points

TAR100

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with 001 to 100 tariff points

PTSNK

A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers and no Vocationals

A levels / AS levels / Advanced Highers / Highers with unknown or not applicable tariff points

BACC

International Baccalaureate Diplomas and Certificates

For students entering prior to 2010/11 also includes other Baccalaureate qualifications and does not include International Baccalaureate certificates

 

Students with International Baccalaureate Diplomas or Certificates (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**) and qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (IE) (QUALGRADE ≥ 24)
  • International Baccalaureate Certificate Higher Level (IB) (QUALGRADE H3-H7) [from 2010/11 onwards]

or highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Baccalaureate (47)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (P62)
  • International Baccalaureate Certificate (P63)

BTEC/ONC

BTECs

For students entering prior to 2010/11 also includes ONC, OND & SQA equivalents

Students with BTECs (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • BTEC (B)
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE)

and from 2011/12:

  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)

VCE_ASC

Combination of A levels / AS levels / Highers / Advanced Highers and Vocational

Students with A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • GCE Advanced (A),
  • Advanced Subsidiary (A1),
  • GCE AS Level (AS),
  • SQA Highers (H),
  • SQA Advanced Highers (AH),
  • SQA Intermediate 2 (I2),
  • GCE AS Level (Double) (AD),
  • GCE A Level (Double) (DA),
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (WB)

and Vocational qualifications (QUALTYPE):

  • BTEC (B),
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE),
  • VCE Advanced (V),
  • VCE Advanced Subsidiary (V1),
  • VCE Advanced Double Award (V2)

and from 2011/12:

  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)

VSC

Vocationals and no A levels / AS levels / Highers or Advanced Highers

Students with A levels, AS levels, Highers, Advanced Highers (QUALENT2 = 39, 40 or QUALENT3 = P**, excluding P62, P63) and Vocational qualifications (QUALTYPE):

  • BTEC (B),
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE),
  • VCE Advanced (V),
  • VCE Advanced Subsidiary (V1),
  • VCE Advanced Double Award (V2)

and from 2011/12:

  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)

and not qualification type (QUALTYPE):

  • GCE Advanced (A),
  • Advanced Subsidiary (A1),
  • GCE AS Level (AS),
  • SQA Highers (H),
  • SQA Advanced Highers (AH),
  • SQA Intermediate 2 (I2),
  • GCE AS Level (Double) (AD),
  • GCE A Level (Double) (DA),
  • Welsh Baccalaureate (WB)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

GNVQ/GSVQ level 3 (37)

NVQ/SVQ level 3 (38)

ACCFND

Foundation or Access course

For students entering prior to 2010/11: also includes some FE level foundation students

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Foundation course at HE level (29)
  • Foundation course at FE level (43)
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) (72)
  • Access course (QAA recognised) (44)
  • Access course (not QAA recognised) (45)
  • ACCESS course (Code only available if COMDATE before 01/08/2002) (48)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Foundation course at level J (J49) Higher education access course, QAA recognised (X00)
  • Higher education access course, not QAA recognised (X01)

HE

Higher education qualification

For students holding higher education qualifications (see list of HE qualifications).

NONE

No previous qualification

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL/APL) (92)
  • Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience (without formal APEL/APL) &/or HE provider's own entrance examinations (93)
  • Student has no formal qualification (98)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Mature student admitted on basis of previous experience
  • and/or admissions test (X02)
  • Student has no formal qualification (X05)

OTHERS

Other qualifications not given elsewhere

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • GCSE/'O' level qualifications only; SQA 'O' grades
  • & Standard grades (55)
  • Other non-advanced qualification (56)
  • NVQ/SVQ level 2 (57)
  • Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (94)
  • Other non-UK qualification, level not known (97)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • 14-19 Higher Diploma (level 2) (Q51)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Intermediate Diploma (level 2) (Q52)
  • Other qualification at level 2 (Q80)
  • 14-19 Foundation Diploma (level 1) (R51)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Foundation Diploma (level 1) (R52)
  • Other qualification at level 1 (R80)
  • Other qualification level not known (X04)

UNKNOWN

Unknown qualification

For students with highest qualification held (QUALENT2):

  • Not known (99)

or highest qualification held (QUALENT3):

  • Not known (X06)

For entrants prior to 2007/08, see entry qualifications prior to 2007/08 document.

Entry qualifications (applicable to table T3e from 2012/13 onwards)

For table T3e from 2012/13, group the entry qualifications listed above to give the following 8 categories:

PIT3EQUALS Entry qualification (8 groups) Grouping of PIENTRYTYPE
01 - PG Higher education qualification - Postgraduate 23 - HEPG
02 - FD Higher education qualification - First degree 24 - HEFD
03 - OUG Higher education qualification - Other undergraduate 25 - HEOUG
04 - AH A levels, AS levels, Scottish Highers or equivalent, excluding vocational, BTEC and International Baccalaureate Certificates 01 - AAAA, 02 - AAA, 03 - AAB, 04 - AAC, 05 - ABB, 06 - ABC/BBB, 07 - ACC/BBC, 08 - BCC/CCC, (09 - >290, 10 - >260, 11 - >230, 12 - >200, 13 - >160, 14 - >100, 15 - >0, 16 - COMB3, 17 - LEV3, 18 - GNVQ/NVQ) and no vocational or BTEC qualifications 19 - BACC (excluding QUALENT3 = P63 and QUALENT2 = 47)
05 - ACCFND Foundation or Access course 20 - FOUND, 21 - ACCESS
06 - VOC Vocational, BTECs, International Baccalaureate Certificate
and other qualifications not given elsewhere
22 - BTEC/ONC, 27 - OTHERS, QUALENT3 = P63, QUALENT2 = 47 (09 - >290, 10 - >260, 11 - >230, 12 - >200, 13 - >160, 14 - >100, 15 - >0, 16 - COMB3, 17 - LEV3, 18 - GNVQ/NVQ) and no vocational or BTEC qualifications
07 - NONE No previous qualification 26 - NONE
08 - UNKNOWN Unknown qualification 28 - UNKNOWN
Entry qualifications (applicable to table T3e from 2008/09 to 2011/12)

As with subjects, the groupings of entry qualifications used in the benchmark calculations for Table T3e have been chosen so that, as far as possible, the students within each group are relatively homogeneous. The table below shows the categories used for part-time entrants, their descriptions, and the highest qualification on entry (HESA field QUALENT2) used in the definition. In addition, for 2007/08 entrants onwards, if they hold A levels, Highers or equivalent level 3 qualifications (QUALENT2 = 39 or 40) then the type of qualifications held (HESA field QUALTYPE) is used to determine whether the student holds A-levels, Highers (QUALTYPE = A,A1,AS,H,AH,I2,AD,DA), VCEs (QUALTYPE = V,V1,V2) or BTECs (QUALTYPE = B,BE). If a student holds a combination of A levels/Highers, VCEs and BTECs, they are included in the category "VCEs and other qualifications not given elsewhere". For 2006/07 entrants, if a student holds A levels, Highers or equivalent level 3 qualifications (QUALENT2 = 39 or 40) then the tariff scores from VCE A levels and AS levels (HESA fields VCEATS and VCEASTS) have been used to determine whether the student holds VCE qualifications.

PIQUALENT2 Entry qualification (9 groups) QUALENT2 code
01 - PG Higher education qualification - Postgraduate 01, 02, 03, 04, 05
02 - FD Higher education qualification - First degree 11 (includes 10 from 2010/11)
03 - OUG Higher education qualification - Other undergraduate 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 30, 31 (10 included prior to 2010/11)
04 - AH A levels, AS levels, Scottish Highers or equivalent, but not known to have VCEs or BTECs 39, 40
05 - BTEC/ONC BTEC, ONC, SCOTVEC or equivalent, but not known to have VCEs, A levels or highers 41 (and 39,40 from 2007/08)
06 - ACCFND Foundation or Access course 29, 43, 44, 45, 48, 72
07 - VCE VCEs and other qualifications not given elsewhere 37, 38, 47, 55, 56, 57, 94, 97 (and 39, 40 where VCE is present)
08 - NONE No previous qualification 92, 93, 98
09 - UNKNOWN Unknown qualification 99
Entry qualifications (applicable to table E1 from 2012/13)

For table E1 from 2012/13, group the entry qualifications listed above as follows to give the following 11 categories, see PITG paper 13/05 [pdf 389 KB] and PITG minutes,28 February 2013 [pdf 114 KB] for further information.

PIENTRYTYPE_E1 Entry qualification (11 groups) Category
01 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with grades ABB and above or
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
01 - AAAA, 02 - AAA, 03 - AAB, 04 - AAC, 05 - ABB or QUALENT3 = P62 or QUALTYPE = IE and QUALGRADE ≥ 24 (excluding HE)
02 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with grades BBC and above 06 - ABC/BBB, 07 - ACC/BBC
03 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with grades CCC and above 08 - BCC/CCC
04 Level 3 tariffable qualifications (including IB Certificate) with over 260 tariff points 09 - >290, 10 - >260 or BACC with total tariff score from all quals greater than 260 points
05 Level 3 tariffable qualifications (including IB Certificate) with up to 260 tariff points 11 - >230, 12 - >200 or BACC with total tariff score from all quals up to 260 points
06 Level 3 tariffable qualifications (including IB Certificate) with up to 200 tariff points 13 - >160, 14 - >100, 15 - >0 or 19 - BACC who do not satisfy any of the criteria above
07 Combination of level 3 qualifications with unknown or not applicable points 16 - COMB3, 17 - LEV3
08 Access qualification and FE level foundation 21 - ACCESS, 20 - FOUND (FE level only, QUALENT2 = 43,72)
09 Vocational or BTEC qualification 18 - GNVQ/NVQ, 22 - BTEC/ONC
10 Higher Education qualification (HE) 23 - HEPG, 24 - HEFD, 25 - HEOUG, 20 - FOUND (HE level only, excluding QUALENT2 = 43,72)
11 Other, including none and unknown 26 - NONE, 27 - OTHERS, 28 - UNKNOWN
Entry qualifications (applicable to table E1 from 2007/08 to 2011/12)

For table E1 from 2007/08 to 2011/12, combine the entry qualifications listed above with the entry qualification prior to 2007/08 to give the following 10 categories:

PIENTRYQUALS_E1 Entry qualification (10 groups) Category
PTSNK A levels and equivalents with unknown / not applicable tariff pts PTSNK
TAR160 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with up to 160 tariff points or Baccalaureate TAR100, TAR160, APTS4, APTS6, APTS8, BACC
TAR200 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with over 160 and up to 200 tariff points TAR200, APTS10, APTS12
TAR230 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with over 200 and up to 230 tariff points TAR230, APTS14, APTS16, APTS18
TAR290 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with over 230 and up to 290 tariff points TAR260, TAR290, APTS20, APTS22, APTS24
TAR480 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers with over 290 tariff points TAR320, TAR350, TAR380, TAR420, TAR480, TAR480+, APTS26, APTS28, APTS30
ACCFND Foundation or Access course ACCFND
BTEC/ONC VCEs, VCEs and A levels or Highers, ONC or OND (including BTEC & SQA equivalents) VCE, VCE_ASC, BTEC/ONC
HE Higher education qualification HE
UNKNOWN Other, including none and unknown NONE, OTHERS, UNKNOWN

Analysis of continuation rates across students with different entry qualifications has been used to determine the groupings of entry qualifications shown above. Those entry qualifications held by small numbers of part-time first degree students have been grouped with appropriate entry qualifications that exhibit similar patterns of continuation.

Region of domicile (applicable to table series T1, T2 - location adjusted benchmarks)

The domicile regions used in the location-adjusted benchmark are the nine Government Office regions in England, plus the three other countries of the United Kingdom: Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Note that the UK Performance Indicators tables only include students whose normal residence is in the United Kingdom, excluding Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Regions
North East
North West*
Yorkshire and The Humber
East Midlands
West Midlands
East of England
London
South East
South West
England region unknown
Wales
Scotland
Northern Ireland
*includes Merseyside
Ethnicity (applicable to E1)

Students domiciled in the UK are required to report their ethnic origin. It is HESA's intention to adopt national classifications where they exist and are appropriate. The use of Census 2001 ethnicity coding in the Student record is an example of this practice. The coding frame is that recommended by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for UK-wide data collection. However, there are variations to the Census 2001 ethnicity coding adopted in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The ethnic category groupings used in the employment benchmarks are:

Categories HESA codes (HESA field ETHNIC)
White
  • White (10)
  • White - British (11) [pre 2007/08 only]
  • White - Irish (12) [pre 2007/08 only]
  • White - Scottish (13) [pre 2007/08 and 2012/13 onwards]
  • Irish Traveller (14)
  • Gypsy or Traveller (15) [2012/13 onwards]
  • Other White background (19) [pre 2007/08 and 2012/13 onwards].
Black
  • Black or Black British - Caribbean (21)
  • Black or Black British - African (22)
  • Other Black background (29).
Asian
  • Asian or Asian British - Indian (31)
  • Asian or Asian British - Pakistani (32)
  • Asian or Asian British - Bangladeshi (33)
  • Chinese (34)
  • Other Asian background (39).
Other
  • Mixed - White & Black (41)
  • Caribbean Mixed - White & Black African (42)
  • Mixed - White & Asian (43)
  • Other Mixed background (49)
  • Arab (50) [2012/13 onwards]
  • Other Ethnic background (80).
Unknown
  • Not known (90)
  • Information refused (98).

Note that due to the increased number of graduates who have the ETHNIC variable coded as mixed race or other, from 2007/08 they have been separated out from the unknown category.

Benchmark factors prior to 2007/08

Entry qualifications prior to 2007/08

With the introduction of the new HESA student record in 2007/08 and the availability of more detailed entry qualification data, the entry qualifications categories used in the production of the benchmarks were modified slightly. Since T1, T2 and T3 are based on entrants, the new entry qualification groups could be used for these tables from the 2007/08 publication (T1, T2) and 2008/09 publication (T3) respectively. Data used in tables T5, T7 and E1 are not restricted to entrants and therefore will include a number of students who commenced their course prior to 2007/08 (and some who commenced their course prior to 2002/03). For these students, the more detailed entry qualification information is not available and linking back to the 2006/07 (and in some cases 2001/02) is required to obtain their entry qualification information.

In order to be able to combine the new entry qualification groups with the old ones, the new groups were defined to be broadly similar to the old entry qualification groups. The abbreviation codes given in the table below indicates how the categories are grouped with those from 2007/08 onwards. The majority of students in the UK still enter higher education with either A levels or Scottish Highers, and this is recognised in the groupings of entry qualifications. The groupings were chosen so that as far as possible the students within each group are relatively homogeneous.

Another change to the HESA student record took place in 2002/03 with tariff point data collected for entrants in place of the A level and Higher points collected previously. For the 2003/04-2006/07 publications (T7 and E1) and 2004/05-2007/08 publications (T5), information on A level and Higher points for students with commencement date (HESA field COMDATE) prior to 1 August 2002 was obtained from the 2001/02 student record and, where applicable, combined with the 2006/07 entry qualification groups. As the A level and Higher points are not comparable with the tariff points, the A level and Higher points categories cannot be combined with the 2006/07 tariff categories.

Entry qualifications (T1, T2 for 2002/03 - 2006/07; T3a-T3d for 2003/04 - 2007/08; T7, E1 from 2002/03 onwards; T5 from 2003/04 onwards)

For entrants between 2002/03 and 2006/07, grades achieved in A levels, Scottish Highers, Vocational A levels and some other examinations have been converted to tariff scores instead of the old points scores. Full details of the tariff are provided on the UCAS website. (HESA tariff fields GCEASTS, GCEATS, SAHTS, SHTS, VCEASTS, VCEATS, KSQTS, UKSATS, SCSTS, SI2TS, SSGCTS and TOTALTS).

The table below shows the categories used for entrants 2002/03 - 2006/07, their descriptions, and the values of the QUALENT2 field used in the definition. In addition, if QUALENT2 has a value of 39 or 40 (A levels, AS levels or Scottish Highers) then the values in the fields GCEASTS, GCEATS, SAHTS, SHTS, VCEASTS, VCEATS, KSQTS, UKSATS, SCSTS, SI2TS, SSGCTS and TOTALTS have been used to determine whether the student has A levels, AS levels or Scottish Highers with a tariff score, Vocational only, or some combination of A levels, AS-levels, Highers or Vocationals.

To determine the number of tariff points, the scores in the HESA fields KSQTS, UKSATS and SCSTS have been subtracted from the total score in the TOTALTS field.

Abbreviation Entry qualification (22 groups) QUALENT2 code
PTSNK A levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, unknown tariff score 39, 40
TAR100 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 001 to 100 tariff points 39, 40
TAR160 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 101 to 160 tariff points 39, 40
TAR200 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 161 to 200 tariff points 39, 40
TAR230 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 201 to 230 tariff points 39, 40
TAR260 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 231 to 260 tariff points 39, 40
TAR290 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 261 to 290 tariff points 39, 40
TAR320 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 291 to 320 tariff points 39, 40
TAR350 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 321 to 350 tariff points 39, 40
TAR380 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 351 to 380 tariff points 39, 40
TAR420 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 381 to 420 tariff points 39, 40
TAR480 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 421 to 480 tariff points 39, 40
TAR480+ A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers, with no VCE or GNVQ, 481 to 999 tariff points 39, 40
VCE VCE or GNVQ and no A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers 39, 40
VCE_ASC VCE or GNVQ and A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers 39, 40
BACC Baccalaureate 47
ACCFND Foundation or Access course 29, 43, 44, 45, 48
BTEC/ONC BTEC, ONC, SCOTVEC or equivalent 41
HE Higher education qualification 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31
NONE No previous qualification 92, 93, 98
OTHERS Other qualifications not given elsewhere 55, 56, 94, 97
UNKNOWN Unknown qualification 99

Prior to 2008/09, for table T5, combine the entry qualifications listed above with those given below to form 35 distinct categories: PTSNK, 12 tariff categories, 13 A-level categories, VCE_ASC, BACC, ACCFND, VCE, BTEC/ONC, HE, NONE, OTHERS, UNKNOWN.

For table E1, group the above entry qualifications into 10 groups.

Entry qualifications (applicable to tables T1, T2 prior to 2002/03; T3 prior to 2003/04; T7, E1 prior to 2007/08 and T5 prior to 2008/09)

For students with COMDATE before 1 August 2002 (applicable to tables T5, T7, E1)

Students with A levels, AS levels, Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications are those with QUALENT2 = 40 and ALEVELS = 01,02,03,04,97 or null or HIGHERS = 01,02,03,04,05,06,07,08,09,10,11,97 or null or VOCQUALS = 98,99 or null or QUALENT2=39. To get the point score, take the highest of ALEVPTS and HIGHPTS.

Abbreviation Entry qualification (22 groups) Qualent2 code
PTSNK A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with unknown points 39, 40
APTS4 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 1-4 points 39, 40
APTS8 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 5-8 points 39, 40
APTS10 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 9-10 points 39, 40
APTS12 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 11-12 points 39, 40
APTS14 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 13-14 points 39, 40
APTS16 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 15-16 points 39, 40
APTS18 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 17-18 points 39, 40
APTS20 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 19-20 points 39, 40
APTS22 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 21-22 points 39, 40
APTS24 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 23-24 points 39, 40
APTS26 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 25-26 points 39, 40
APTS28 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 27-28 points 39, 40
APTS30 A levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers or equivalent and no vocational qualifications with 29-30 points 39, 40
BACC Baccalaureate 47
ACCFND Foundation or Access course 29, 43, 48
VCE GNVQ or equivalent, level 3 and no A-levels / AS levels / Scottish Highers 40
BTEC/ONC BTEC, ONC, SCOTVEC or equivalent 41
HE Higher education qualification 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30
NONE No previous qualification 92, 93, 98
OTHERS Other qualifications not given elsewhere 55, 56, 94, 97
UNKNOWN Unknown qualification 99
Subject groups (applicable to tables T1, T2, T3, T5, T7, E1)

In 2002/03 a new subject classification was introduced called the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS). This subject classification looks similar to that previously published but has been devised in a different way. Additionally, from 2002/03, a new procedure of apportionment was been introduced. Under apportionment, each headcount is, where necessary, divided in a way that in broad-brush terms reflects the pattern of a split programme. This is analogous to the use of FTE calculations, but should not be confused with them, since the splits used for apportionment are conventional rather than data-based.

The subject categories have been obtained from the subjects of qualification aim, HESA fields SBJQA1, SBJQA2, and SBJQA3. The table below shows the codes used for the subject categories, and the subjects they represent. These differ from the standard HESA categories.

JACS subject area of study New PI subject category Old PI subject category
Medicine & dentistry 1 A
Veterinary science 1 A
Subjects allied to medicine 2 B
Biological sciences 3 C
Agriculture & related subjects 5 D
Physical sciences 6 C
Mathematical sciences 7 E
Computer sciences 8 E
Engineering & technology 9 F
Architecture, building & planning A G
Social studies B H
Law C H
Business & administrative studies D I
Mass communications & documentation E I
Languages F J
Historical & philosophical studies G J
Creative arts & design H K
Education I L
Combined subjects J M

General notes

Higher education qualification groupings

The following table indicates how highest qualification of entry (in technical terms, HESA fields QUALENT2 and QUALENT3) has been grouped into the higher education categories used within the benchmarks. From 2010/11, HE foundation courses are grouped with other undergraduate qualifications.

Type of HE qualification Specification (QUALENT2 / QUALENT3)

Postgraduate

For students with highest qualification held:

QUALENT2 codes:

  • Higher degree of UK institution (01)
  • Postgraduate diploma or certificate, excluding PGCE (02)
  • PGCE with QTS/GTC Registration (03)
  • PGCE without QTS/GTC Registration (04)
  • Postgraduate equivalent qualification not elsewhere specified (05).

QUALENT3 codes:

  • UK doctorate degree (DUK)
  • Non-UK doctorate degree (DZZ)
  • Other qualification at level D (D80)
  • UK masters degree (MUK)
  • Non-UK masters degree (MZZ)
  • Diploma at level M (M41)
  • Certificate at level M (M44)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (M71)
  • Other taught qualification at level M (M80)
  • Taught work at level M for institutional credit (M90)
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Education (H71).
First Degree

For students with highest qualification held:

QUALENT2 codes:

  • First degree of UK institution (11)
  • Undergraduate qualifications with QTS (10) [from 2010/11 only].

QUALENT3 codes:

  • Integrated undergraduate/postgraduate taught masters degree on the enhanced/
  • extended pattern (M2X)
  • UK first degree with honours (HUK)
  • Non-UK first degree (HZZ)
  • First degree with honours leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)/
  • registration with a General Teaching Council (GTC) (H11)
  • UK ordinary (non-honours) first degree (JUK).

HE Foundation course

(from 2010/11 onwards only)

For students with highest qualification held:

QUALENT2 codes:

  • Foundation course at HE level (29).

QUALENT3 codes:

  • Foundation course at level J (J49).

Other Undergraduate, excluding HE foundation course

For students with highest qualification held:

QUALENT2 codes:

  • Graduate of EU institution (12)
  • Graduate of other overseas institution (13)
  • GNVQ/GSVQ level 5 (14)
  • NVQ/SVQ level 5 (15)
  • Graduate equivalent qualification not elsewhere specified (16)
  • OU credit(s) (21)
  • Other credits from UK HE institution (22)
  • Certificate or diploma of education (i.e. non-graduate
  • initial teacher training qualification) (23)
  • HNC or HND (including BTEC & SQA equivalents) (24)
  • Dip. HE (25)
  • GNVQ/GSVQ level 4 (26)
  • NVQ/SVQ level 4 (27)
  • Professional qualifications (28)
  • Other HE qualification of less than degree standard (30)
  • Foundation Degree (31)
  • Undergraduate qualifications with QTS (10) [prior to 2010/11 only].

QUALENT3 codes:

  • Other qualification at level H (H80)
  • Foundation degree (J10)
  • Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) (J20)
  • Higher National Diploma (HND) (J30)
  • Certificate in Education (CertEd) or Diploma in Education (DipEd) (J48)
  • Other qualification at level J (J80)
  • Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) (C20)
  • Higher National Certificate (HNC) (C30)
  • Higher Apprenticeship (level 4) (C44)
  • Other qualification at level C (C80)
  • Undergraduate credits (C90).
Tariff bearing qualifications (applicable to series T1, T2 from 2008/09; T3a-T3d from 2009/10 and T5, T7, E1 from 2012/13)

The following qualifications are included in the tariff calculations used in the entry qualification groups for series T1, T2 from 2008/09; T3a-T3d from 2009/10 and T5, T7, E1 from 2012/13.

QUALTYPE

Applicable from 2008/09 onwards:

  • Music examinations: Theory Grade 6 (6M)
  • Music examinations: Theory Grade 7 (7M)
  • Music examinations: Theory Grade 8 (8M)
  • GCE 9 Unit Award (9U)
  • GCE A level (A)
  • Advanced Subsidiary (A1)
  • CACHE Theory (AC)
  • GCE AS Level (Double) (AD)
  • Advanced Extension Award (AE)
  • Scottish Advanced Higher (AH)
  • GCE AS Level (AS)
  • BTEC (B)
  • BTEC National in Early Years (BE)
  • CACHE Practical (CA)
  • Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (COPE) (CO)
  • GCE Advanced Double Award (A level (Double)) (DA)
  • Financial Services Diploma (FD)
  • Free Standing Maths (FM)
  • Financial Services Certificate (FS)
  • Scottish Higher (H)
  • International Baccalaureate (IE)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Higher (IL)
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Ordinary (IO)
  • Music examinations: Practical Grade 6 (M6)
  • Music examinations: Practical Grade 7 (M7)
  • Music examinations: Practical Grade 8 (M8)
  • OCR National Certificate (O6)
  • OCR iPro Certificate (OC)
  • OCR iPro Diploma (OD)
  • OCR National Extended Diploma (OE)
  • OCR National Diploma (OT)
  • VCE Advanced (V)
  • VCE Advanced Subsidiary (V1)
  • VCE Advanced Double Award (V2)
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Core (WB)

From 2009/10 onwards also include:

  • Level 3 NVQ in Accounting (AG)
  • CACHE Certificate in Child Care and Education (CC)
  • CACHE Diploma in Child Care and Education (CD)
  • CACHE Award in Child Care and Education (CE)
  • Speech and Drama Studies Grade 6 (D6)
  • Speech and Drama Studies Grade 7 (D7)
  • Speech and Drama Studies Grade 8 (D8)
  • EDI level 3 certificate in Accounting (EA)
  • EDI level 3 Certificate in Accounting (IAS) (EI)
  • Extended Project (EP)
  • EQL level 3 Certificate (British Horse Society) (EQ)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fashion Retail (FR)
  • Level 3 Certificate in Speech and Drama: Perforance Student (PCertLam) (PL)
  • Higher Sports Leader Award (HL)

From 2010/11 onwards also include:

  • Asset Languages - Listening (AL)
  • GCE Advanced Level with Advanced Subsidiary (9 units) (AN)
  • Asset Languages - Speaking (AP)
  • Asset Languages - Reading (AR)
  • Asset Languages - Writing (AW)
  • Int. Baccalaureate (Higher level) (IB)
  • IB Bonus points (ID)
  • Scottish Inter Disciplinary Project (IN)
  • IB Standard (Subsidiary) Level (IS)
  • Advanced Diploma (PA)
  • Progression Diploma (PD)
  • Scottish PP Passport (PP)
  • Principal Learning (PR)
  • Pre-U Certificate (UC)
  • Pre-U GPR (UG)
  • Pre-U Short Course (US)

From 2011/12 onwards also include:

  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Diploma (1B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Certificate (2B)
  • BTEC specialist (QCF): Award (3B)
  • AAT Level 3 Diploma in Accounting (QCF) (AT)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Extended Diploma (B1)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Diploma (B2)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Subsidiary Diploma (B3)
  • BTEC qualifications (QCF) (Suite of qualifications known as Nationals): Certificate (B4)
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) (C1)
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) (C2)
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) (FA)
  • iMedia Certificate (MC)
  • iMedia Diploma (MD)
  • Certificate in Mathematics for Engineering (ME)
  • City and Guilds Land Based Services Level 3 qualifications: Extended Diploma (N1)
  • City and Guilds Land Based Services Level 3 qualifications: Diploma (N2)
  • City and Guilds Land Based Services Level 3 qualifications: Subsidiary Diploma (N3)
  • City and Guilds Land Based Services Level 3 qualifications: Certificate (N4)
  • Scottish National Certificate (Band A) (S1)
  • Scottish National Certificate (Band B) (S2)
  • Scottish National Certificate (Band C) (S3)
  • CISI Introduction to Securities and Investment (SI)
  • Institute of Arts Award (Gold) (TA)
  • Community Volunteering Award (VA)
  • Community Volunteering Certificate (VC)
  • Certificate for Young Enterprise (YE)

From 2012/13 onwards also include:

  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group A (NQF/ASL) (0B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group B (NQF/ASL) (1C)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Award Group C (NQF/ASL) (2C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group A (NQF/ASL) (3C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group B (NQF/ASL) (4B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Certificate (NQF/CQF) (4C)
  • BTEC Certificate Group C (NQF/ASL) (5B)
  • BTEC Certificate Group D (NQF/ASL) (6B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group A (NQF/ASL) (7B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group B (NQF/ASL) (8B)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma Group C (NQF/ASL) (9B)
  • BTEC National Award (NQF) (B5)
  • BTEC National Certificate (NQF) (B6)
  • BTEC National Diploma (NQF) (B7)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Certificate (NQF/ASL) (BB)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Award (NQF/CQF) (BD)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 National Diploma (NQF/CQF) (BF)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Foundation Diploma 120 (QCF/FAD) (BI)
  • BTEC Lvl 4 Foundation Diploma 120+ (QCF/FAD) (BJ)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Cert (= 50% of National Award 28-36) (QCF/CQF) (BT)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Subsidiary Dip (was National Award 60+) (QCF/CQF) (BU)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Diploma (was National Certificate 120+) (QCF/CQF) (BV)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Dip (was National Dip. 180+) (QCF/CQF) (BW)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Foundation Diploma (NQF/FAD) (BX)
  • BTEC Lvl 3 Extended Certificate (NQF/ASL) (BY)
  • BTEC 90 Credit Diploma (QCF) (BZ)
  • Cache Extended Diploma for Children & young people workforce (CW)
  • Graded Dance Grade 6 (G6)
  • Graded Dance Grade 7 (G7)
  • Graded Dance Grade 8 (G8)
  • Music Practitioner Extended Diploma (R1)
  • Music Practitioner Diploma (R2)
  • Music Practitioner Subsidiary Diploma (R3)
  • Music Practitioner Extended Certificate (R4)
  • Music Practitioner Certificate (R5)
  • Vocational Dance Advanced Foundation (VF)
  • Vocational Dance Intermediate (VI)

From 2013/14 onwards also include:

  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Diploma (5C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Certificate (6C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Subsidiary Certificate (7C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Award (8C)
  • BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Children's Play, Learning and Development (NQF): Subsidiary Award (9C)
  • ASDAN Level 3 Award of Personal Effectiveness (QCF) (AoPE) (AF)
  • Sports Leaders UK – Level 3 Certificate in Higher Sports Leadership (QCF) (HC)
  • City and Guilds Land Based Services Level 3 qualifications: 90 Credit Diploma (N5)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical: Extended Diploma (O1)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical: Diploma (O2)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical: Subsidiary Diploma (O3)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical: Introductory Diploma (O4)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical: Certificate (O5)

From 2014/15 onwards also include:

  • IB Theory of Knowledge (IC)
  • IB Extended Essay (IX)
  • AQA Level 3 Certificate in Enterprise, Employability and Personal Finance (AJ)
  • CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland) (CB)
  • OCR Level 3 Certificate in Quantitative Methods (O7)
  • Edexcel Level 3 Award in Algebra (NQF) (PB)
  • Edexcel Level 3 Award in Statistical Methods (NQF) (PC)
  • University of the Arts London: Level 3 Diploma in Performing & Production Arts (U8)
  • University of the Arts London: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing & Production Arts (U9)
  • University of the Arts London: Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design (UA)
  • University of the Arts London: Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design (UB)

Additions to existing qualification types:

  • Music Practitioner Extended Diploma (R1) (Change in points for D, M, P grades and addition of D*)
  • Music Practitioner Diploma (R2) (Change in points for D, M, P grades and addition of D*)
  • Music Practitioner Subsidiary Diploma (R3) (Change in points for D, M, P grades and addition of D*)
  • Music Practitioner Extended Certificate (R4) (addition of D* grade)
  • Music Practitioner Certificate (R5) (addition of D* grade)
  • Financial Services (Diploma) (FD) (addition of A* grade)
  • Financial Services (Certificate) (FS) (addition of A* grade)
  • Pre-U Certificate (UC) (addition of Q grade)