Qualifications obtained by and examination results of higher education students at higher education institutions in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2004/05
This Statistical First Release (SFR) has been produced by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in collaboration with Department for Education and Skills (DfES) statisticians. It provides provisional details of qualifications obtained by and examination results of higher education (HE) students at HE institutions (HEIs) in the United Kingdom (UK) for the academic year 2004/05.
Note: The time series shown in this SFR have been re-calculated and so will not match those published in previous years. For further details see Notes to Editors 3.
In 2004/05 there were 306,365 first degree graduates compared to 292,090 in 2003/04, an increase of 5%.
Of those gaining a first degree in 2004/05, 11% obtained a first class honours award compared to 10% in 2003/04, and 43% obtained an upper second class honours award compared to 44% in the previous year.
11% of first degree graduates gained their award through part-time study in 2004/05, the same as in 2003/04.
56% of first degree graduates in 2004/05 were women, the same as in 2003/04.
In 2004/05, 42% of first degree graduates achieved their qualification in a science discipline, compared to 43% in the previous year. Of these science graduates, 49% were women, compared to 48% in 2003/04.
6,175 students were awarded a foundation degree in 2004/05 compared to 3,135 in 2003/04.
The number awarded other undergraduate qualifications (excluding foundation degrees) was 128,680 in 2004/05, an increase of 9% from 2003/04.
191,820 students obtained HE qualifications at postgraduate level in 2004/05. Of these, 28,570 (15%) were awarded a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE), 19,195 (10%) completed their studies mainly by research, and a further 144,055 (75%) obtained qualifications after following taught postgraduate courses other than PGCE.
44,105 undergraduate and 68,445 postgraduate students obtaining HE qualifications in 2004/05 came from non-UK countries. Non-UK students accounted for 18% of all students awarded HE qualifications in 2004/05.
Table 1 shows the Qualifications Obtained by Students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by Mode of Study, Domicile, Gender and Level of Course, 2000/2001 to 2004/05.
Table 2 shows Examination Results of Students Obtaining First Degree Qualifications at HEIs in the UK by Gender and Mode of Study, 2000/2001 to 2004/05.
Table 3 shows the Qualifications Obtained by Students on HE courses at HEIs in the UK by Level of Course, Gender and Subject Area, 2000/2001 to 2004/05.
Notes to Editors
- The statistics in this SFR are derived by HESA from data collected from all publicly funded HEIs in the UK (including The Open University) and from The University of Buckingham, which is privately funded. The figures therefore exclude HE qualifications obtained by students at further education colleges and at other private and independent HE colleges.
- The 2004/05 figures in this SFR are provisional.
- Changes have been made to bring this SFR in line with other HESA publications. Awards from dormant status are now included; undivided second class degrees are included with lower second class degrees; foundation degrees are no longer included with other undergraduate HE but are shown separately; references to ‘overseas’ have been replaced with ‘non-UK’. The time series shown in this SFR have been re-calculated to reflect these changes.
- A number of qualifications awarded have been adjusted in previous years to take account of differences in reporting practices, mis-coding or mis-reporting of qualifiers by some institutions. Details of these adjustments can be found in earlier versions of this SFR.
- The figures presented in this SFR include all qualifications submitted to HESA by a reporting deadline; however this deadline has changed over the years. Details of reporting schedules are given in earlier versions of this SFR. These changes are not thought to have affected the number of qualifications reported.
- A statistical reference volume Students in Higher Education Institutions, 2004/05 setting out more information about students in higher education in the UK will be published by HESA in Spring 2006 and will also include data from The University of Buckingham.
From 2002/03 onwards, the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS) of subject classification has been used as the basis for grouping by subject area in the HESA returns, replacing the HESA code. Although JACS and HESA code look similar and are closely related, they are not by any means identical, and so are not directly comparable.
The shift of numbers shown between 2001/02 and 2002/03 in Table 3 is largely attributable to the introduction of a new procedure of apportionment for dealing with students, notably those on combined/split programmes, rather than to the changes in the way subjects are classified. It can also be seen that improved reporting practice has led to further reduction in the numbers on combined programmes shown in 2003/04.
Details of both the differences between HESA code and JACS and this apportionment algorithm can be found in our Support area.
- Higher education students are those students on courses that are of a standard that is higher than the Advanced Level of the General Certificate of Education, the Higher Grade of the Scottish Certificate of Education, GNVQ/NVQ level 3 or the BTEC or SCOTVEC National Certificate/Diploma.
- The figures presented in Table 3 of this SFR are produced using an apportionment algorithm (see Notes to Editors 7) with the exception of those for 2000/01 and 2001/02, which are counts of student enrolments.
Level of course
Postgraduate courses are those leading to higher degrees and diplomas and certificates (including postgraduate certificates of education and professional qualifications), which usually require a first degree as an entry qualification.
First degrees include first degrees, first degree leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care or veterinary statutory regulatory body, first degrees with qualified teacher status, enhanced first degrees, first degrees obtained concurrently with a diploma and intercalated first degrees.
Foundation degrees were first introduced in September 2001. They are vocational higher education qualifications and are at Level 5 in the new QCA National Qualifications Framework.
Other undergraduate HE includes all HE courses not listed above (e.g. Post Registration health and social care courses, Diploma of Higher Education, Higher National Diploma, Diploma in HE leading towards obtaining eligibility to register to practice with a health or social care regulatory body, etc).
Mode of study
Full-time students include all students studying full-time (for more than or equal to 24 weeks in the academic year), students on thick or thin sandwich courses, and those on a study-related year out of their institution. Awards from dormant status and those writing-up theses are also included where a student’s mode of study was previously full-time.
Part-time students include those studying part-time, on block release, during the evenings only, full-time for less than 24 weeks in the academic year or those employing other modes of study. Awards from dormant status and those writing-up theses are also included where a student’s mode of study was previously part-time.
UK domiciled students are those normally resident in the United Kingdom, including those living in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
References to ‘overseas’ have been replaced with ‘non-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 the award, notably medical and general degrees. These, together with ordinary degrees, fourth class honours and unclassified honours have been included within the ‘Pass’ category. Undivided second class degrees have been included with lower second class degrees.
In the text the figures presented are rounded to the nearest 100. The figures presented in the tables are shown in thousands, or percentages calculated on the base data.
The symbols used in the tables are:
‘-’ non-zero, less than the least significant figure shown (50).
- Press enquiries should be directed to Press Officer at the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ: Tel: 01242 211133. General enquiries about the data contained within this SFR should be addressed to Carole Barrington, Head of Data Quality and Analysis, HESA (at the same address): Tel: 01242 255577.
10 January 2006, 9:30
Education and training
HESA, 95 Promenade, Cheltenham, GL50 1HZ