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Definitions - Destinations of Leavers 2002/03


The HESA Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) target population contains all United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) domiciled students reported to HESA for the reporting period 1 August 2002 to 31 July 2003 as obtaining relevant qualifications and whose study was full-time or part-time (including sandwich students and those writing-up theses). The coverage differs from the population used in previous years for the First Destination Supplement (FDS) in a number of ways. Notably, those who obtained any of the relevant qualifications following part-time study are now included, together with those obtaining postgraduate diplomas and certificates (full-time or part-time).

Relevant qualifications for inclusion in the DLHE return are postgraduate degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, Postgraduate Certificates in Education (PGCE), first degrees (excludes intercalated degrees), Diplomas of Higher Education (DipHE), Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE), foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas (HND) or Higher National Certificates (HNC). The population for the DLHE return does not necessarily represent the full cohort graduating during the reporting period: examples of those excluded are professional qualifications (e.g. associate membership or membership of a body such as the Institute of Bankers) and undergraduate diplomas and certificates (other than foundation degrees, HND, DipHE, HNC and CertHE).

The reference date for this DLHE return was 15 January 2004.

Rounding strategy

Due to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Human Rights Act 1998, HESA implements a strategy in published and released tabulations designed to prevent the disclosure of personal information about any individual. These tabulations are derived from the HESA non-statutory populations and may differ slightly from those published by related statutory bodies. This strategy involves rounding all numbers to the nearest 5. A summary of this strategy is as follows:

  • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0
  • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest 5.

So for example 3 is represented as 5, 22 is represented as 20, 3286 is represented as 3285 while 0, 20, 55, 3510 remain unchanged.

This rounding strategy is also applied to total figures; the consequence of which is that the sum of numbers in each row or column will rarely match the total shown precisely. Note that subject level data calculated by apportionment will also be rounded in accordance with this strategy.

Average values, proportions and FTE values prepared by HESA will not be affected by the above strategy, and will be calculated on precise raw numbers. However, percentages calculated on populations which contain less than 50 individuals will be suppressed and represented as '..' as will averages based on populations of 7 or less.

Level of qualification obtained

Postgraduate qualifications are doctorate degrees, masters degrees, higher bachelors degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, and PGCE. In some analyses doctorate degrees and PGCE are tabulated separately, and masters degrees, other higher degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates form another group.

First degrees are first degrees, first degrees with eligibility to register to practice (doctor/dentist/veterinary surgeon), first degrees with qualified teacher status (QTS)/registration with the General Teaching Council (GTC) for Scotland, enhanced first degrees and first degrees obtained concurrently with diplomas.

Other undergraduate qualifications are foundation degrees and all other higher education qualifications not included above which are within the scope of the DLHE return.


Age is as at 31 July 2003.


Domicile data is supplied to HESA in the form of postcodes (UK domiciled students) or country codes. Postcodes are mapped to counties, unitary authorities and UK nations following consultation with Geoplan Postcode Marketing. Countries are mapped to geographical regions following consultation with the Department for Education and Skills. Where no data is supplied about the student's domicile, fee eligibility is used to determine whether domicile is European Union, including the UK, or not.

UK domiciled students are those whose normal residence is in the UK, including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Of those students who are not UK domiciled, other EU students are those whose normal residence is in countries which were European Union members as at 1 December of the reporting period. Non-EU students are those whose normal residence prior to commencing their programme of study was outside the EU.

Subject areas

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. Therefore subject data is not comparable to that previously published.

Additionally, from 2002/03, a new procedure of apportionment has 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.

For split programmes not involving an initial teacher training (ITT) component, the apportionment algorithm is as follows:

  • 50%:50% for a balanced two-way split
  • 66.667%:33.333% for a major/minor two-way split
  • 33.333%:33.333%:33.333% for a balanced three-way split.

ITT students at undergraduate level who also have a specialism subject recorded (typically, secondary ITT students) are apportioned 50% to the 'Education' subject area and the remaining 50% is further apportioned according to the algorithm for non-ITT students. Where no subject other than education is recorded, or where the student is on a PGCE course, apportionment is 100% to the 'Education'; subject area.

The 19 broad subject areas have been retained. Further details have been outlined in the HESA Student Circular 02/03 'Subject Areas and Related Issues'.

Location of institution

The allocation of an institution to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that institution. There may be students registered at institutions who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the institution.

The Open University is counted as a wholly English institution. The administrative centre is located in England, although The Open University teaches throughout the UK.

Classification of first degrees

The classification of an undergraduate degree indicates the qualification class that the student obtained. Certain qualifications obtained at first degree level are not subject to classification of award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees, have been included within the unclassified category. Third class honours, fourth class honours and the pass category have been aggregated. Lower second and undivided second class honours have been aggregated.

Mode of study

Full-time includes full-time and sandwich study, plus those writing-up theses following full-time study.

Part-time includes part-time study, full-time study on courses lasting less than 24 weeks, block release or studying during the evenings, plus those writing-up theses following part-time study.

The Standard Occupational Classification

In 2003 HESA adopted the new SOC2000 Standard Occupational Classification (which replaced SOC90), for comparability of sector data with other areas of the economy. A variant of the SOC2000 was created for the coding of occupational information collected in the DLHE survey. The classification is termed SOC (DLHE) and details are available on the HESA website.

The Standard Industrial Classification

The Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) provides a framework for the collection, tabulation, presentation and analysis of data about economic activities. The present version (SIC(92)) is aligned with similar classifications in all member states of the European Union and is obligatory in all cases where the UK is required to transmit statistics broken down by economic activity to the European Commission.

Standard industry codes for economic activity are used to describe the relationship between the inputs and outputs of such activity. In cases where multiple activities take place, classification usually relates to the single most important activity. In the case of destination statistics, this will usually be the most important activity undertaken by an employer (or self-employed person). Economic activities are measured by enquiring into the nature of an employer's (or self-employed person's) business.

Employment categories

In the DLHE survey leavers 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 either employment only, further study only or employment and further study. Therefore where the terms employment and further study are used, it is important to note that:

  • Employment includes those in employment only, and those in both employment and further study
  • Further study includes those in further study only, and those in both employment and further study.

Matrix of standard categories for publication from DLHE

Employment circumstances Full-time study (1) Part-time study (2) Not in study (3)
Employed full-time (01) D D A
Employed part-time (02) D D B
Self-employed/Freelance (03) D D A
Voluntary work (04) D D C
Other unpaid work (05) D D C
Permanently unable to work (06) G G G
Temporarily sick or unable to work (07) E E G
Retired (08) G G G
Looking after the home or family (09) E E G
Taking time out in order to travel (10) G G G
Due to start a job within the next month (11) E F F
Unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training (12) E F F
Not employed but NOT looking for employment, further study or training (13) E E O
Something else (14) E E O
Explicit refusal (XX) X X X

Publication categories


Full-time paid work only (including self-employed) A
Part-time paid work only B
Voluntary/Unpaid work only C
Work & further study D
Further study only E
Assumed to be unemployed F
Not available for employment G
Other O
Explicit refusal X


Employment only includes those graduates who reported that they were in full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, voluntary or unpaid work, and who were not also studying.

Full-time employment only includes those who reported that they were in full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance) and who were not also studying.

Combination of work and further study includes those who reported that they were in full-time paid work (including self-employed/freelance), part-time paid work, voluntary or unpaid work, and who were also studying full-time or part-time.


Assumed to be unemployed includes those students who gave their employment circumstances as unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training, and who were also either in part-time study or not studying, plus those who were due to start a job within the next month and who were also either in part-time study or not studying.

Further study

Further study only includes those who gave their employment circumstances as temporarily sick or unable to work, looking after the home or family, not employed but not looking for employment, further study or training, or something else and who were also either in full-time study or part-time study, plus those who were due to start a job within the next month or unemployed and looking for employment, further study or training and who were also in full-time study.