Definitions: Students 2022/23
The following definitions relate to our Student record for 2022/23 onwards.
For earlier student data definitions see Definitions: Students 2007/08 to 2021/22.
For more information on changes to the Student record for 2022/23 see New student data model 2022/23.
Populations and counts
The session population forms the basis for counts of full-time equivalent (FTE) student instances. These derivations identify if an Engagement satisfies the criteria to be counted within the HE session population based on the data returned during the period of interest (reference period or cycle):
An Engagement is included in the HE Session population unless the Engagement relates to:
- A student who is dormant for the entire session within the period of interest
- A student who is intercalating out to another provider for the entire session within the period of interest
- An Engagement for an incoming visiting and exchange students
- Postdoctoral students
- A student who primarily studies outside the UK for the Engagement
- A programme of study outside of the UK
- The 'wrapper' programme aim of Apprenticeship Standards.
Incoming visiting and exchange students are excluded from the session population in order to avoid an element of double-counting with both outgoing and incoming students being included.
Created for all engagements returned in the cycle. If the engagement is not counted in the session population, then it is not counted within the standard registration population. This means student engagements are excluded if the student is:
- Dormant for the entire cycle
- Intercalating out to another provider for the entire cycle
- Incoming visiting and exchange student
- Postdoctoral student
- A student who primarily studies outside the United Kingdom (UK)
- A programme of study outside of the UK
Moreover, if the course was expected to be two weeks or less in length and the student is not writing-up, the standard registration population aligns with the session population. Otherwise, the student would need to be active (not dormant, writing-up or intercalating at another provider) for at least one day after the anniversary of the engagement start date plus two weeks which falls within the cycle. The anniversary of the engagement start date is the start date itself in the first year of study.
The qualifiers population is a count of student engagements associated with the award of an HE qualification during the academic year. This includes qualifications awarded from dormancy, after active study has ceased, and writing-up status. The population excludes any students who:
- do not have a qualification awarded during the period of interest.
- have qualifications awarded but these have been returned in a previous reference period.
- hold institutional credits as their highest qualification awarded during the period of interest.
- are incoming visiting and exchange students.
- are primarily studying outside the UK and are outside the UK for the entire period of interest.
A Student Course Session associates a student with the course that the student is engaging with. In most cases, the Student Course Session will represent a year of the student's study.
More detail from the coding manual: Student course session.
Engagement records a student's commitment to an educational aim. One engagement is to be returned for each commitment a student has to an educational aim. If a student has more than one educational commitment, such as studying towards more than one qualification, they will have more than one engagement.
More detail from the coding manual: Engagement.
Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a concept that considers the proportion of the full-time course that the student is studying. A student on a full-time, full year course would be returned as 1.0 FTE, whereas a student on a part-time course that is 60% of a full-time course would be returned as 0.6 FTE. This counting method therefore gives the number of full-time equivalent students rather than an actual count; for example, two students each studying a part-time course that is 50% of a full-time course would together count as only 1.0 FTE.
FTE data represents the HE provider's assessment of the full-time equivalence of the student instance during the reporting period 1 August to 31 July.
There are two methodologies for calculating the FTE split over the home nations, this makes the methodology incompatible with legacy Student.
- Calculated for providers in England, Northern Ireland, Wales and The Open University in Scotland. The FTE for each cost centre within the Engagement, based on modules which overlap the cycle. This calculation is only applicable for a full cycle and is based on the cycle student load.
- Calculated for providers in Scotland (excluding the Open University), the FTE per cost centre for each Engagement returned in the cycle which have associated Student Course Sessions with a completed end date. This calculation is only applicable for a full cycle and is based on the cycle student load, rather than for a reference period.
The following do not have FTE calculated in either methodology:
- Postgraduate research students,
- Engagements with no associated module information,
- APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) modules,
- Inactive module instances and those where cost centre data is unavailable.
This field indicates the providers best academic judgement of the Full Time Equivalence (FTE) of the student for this Student Course Session. This can be combined with FPE in place of FTE where this is more useful for some analyses.
As with FTE, Student Load has two derivations which makes it incompatible to legacy Student.
- For providers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and The Open University in Scotland: Calculated for every Engagement returned during the cycle, represents the total student load to date across all reference periods within the cycle.
- For providers in Scotland (other than the open university) it represents the predicted student load for unended Student Course Sessions and the student load for ended Student Course Sessions.
More detail from the coding manual: Student load.
The figures for student data are based upon the count of student engagements. A student working towards an educational aim has their own engagement, students may have more than one engagement if they are working towards multiple educational aims.
If student data includes subject of study information, it is our standard to present this data as a count of Full-Person Equivalent (FPE), instead of a count of students. A course can cover multiple subjects, to represent this we apportion the instance to indicate the proportion of a course that relates to each subject. Each student engagement has a value of 1, so it is still a count, but when analysed against subject of study information, the student engagement is apportioned against their subject(s) of study, please see the examples below:
- Student A is studying a joint course with equal amounts of Mathematics and English. They are represented as 0.5 in each.
- Student B is studying a joint course with equal amounts of Mathematics and Physics. They are represented as 0.5 in each.
- Student C is studying Mathematics (50%) with Physics (25%) and French (25%). They are represented as 0.5 in Mathematics, and 0.25 in each of Physics and French.
- Student D is only studying French. They are represented as 1 in French.
The total FPE by subject is:
- Mathematics 1.5
- English 0.5
- Physics 0.75
- French 1.25
- Total 4
Full-time equivalent (FTE) is a concept that considers the proportion of the full-time course that the student is studying. Students on a full-time, full year course would be returned as 1.0, whereas students on a part-time course that is 60% of a full-time course would be returned as 0.6. This counting method gives the number of full-time equivalent students rather than an actual count. For more detail see Full-time equivalent (FTE).
Higher education providers are given the opportunity to make post-collection amendments to a dataset through the fixed database facility. The fixed database collection opens following the closure of the corresponding live data collection, and remains open for between 6 and 15 months, depending on the data stream; typically longer for the Student Record and shorter for other collections.
Onward use of information between closure of the live data collection and closure of the fixed database (for example in open data) will normally be based on the original data collected. Onward use of information after closure of a fixed database will usually be based on the fixed data.
For data protection reasons we implement 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 Standard Rounding Methodology:
- All numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5
- Any number lower than 2.5 is rounded to 0
- Halves are always rounded upwards (e.g. 2.5 is rounded to 5)
- Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed
- Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed
- The above requirements apply to headcounts, FPE and FTE data
- Financial data is not rounded
- Median figures (e.g. salary) based on 14 or fewer individuals are suppressed
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.
This methodology is sometimes also referred to as the Heidi Plus Rounding Methodology or the HESA Rounding Methodology depending on context. These names all refer to the same methodology described here.
For more information on the rounding methodology, including worked examples and instructions on how to apply rounding, please see Rounding and suppression to anonymise statistics.
Fields used in open data
Age of the student is derived from the student’s date of birth. This is returned at the start of the student Engagement. Student age is recorded August 31st of the first reporting year, the age on entry of the course, and July 31st of the qualifying year.
- Undergraduate students are considered mature if they are 21 or over on the start of their course.
- Postgraduates are considered mature if they are 25 or over on the start of their course.
More detail from the coding manual: Birthdate.
The student’s highest qualification awarded during the cycle. Also known as the classification of their first degree. This information is compulsory for students who have achieved an undergraduate degree qualification.
Unclassified includes first degree qualifications that are not subject to classification such as medical and general degrees. It also includes ordinary degrees and aegrotat qualifications awarded to students who are unable to take their final exams.
Third/pass includes third class honours, fourth class honours and pass.
Lower second includes lower second and undivided second-class honours.
Cost centre is a financial concept which assigns students to common groupings of academic departments to enable analysis between the Student, Staff and Finance streams. It reflects the way resources are deployed within a HE provider as it carries out its activities.
For Providers in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and The Open University in Scotland, the cost centre calculation is only applicable for a full cycle and is based on the cycle student load i.e. the calculation is not applicable for periods spanning less than 12 months.
For Providers in Scotland (excluding the Open University), the cost centre calculation is based on the FTE per cost centre for each Engagement returned in the cycle which have associated Student Course Sessions with a completed end date. This calculation is only applicable for a full cycle and is based on the cycle student load, instead of the reference period.
The following are excluded from Cost Centre FTE calculations:
- Engagements for which all associated Student Course Sessions are postgraduate research study.
- Student Course Sessions which have no associated Module Instances overlapping the cycle (even if cost centre information is available).
- Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) Module Instances.
- Inactive Module Instances
- Modules with missing cost centre information
- Those modules without an end date within the Student Course Session (For HE providers in Scotland only, excluding The Open University).
The allocation of an HE provider to a geographical region is done by reference to the administrative centre of that HE provider. There may be students registered at HE providers who are studying in regions other than that of the administrative centre of the HE provider.
Regions in this context are the nine England Regions (formerly Government Office Regions) and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Students enrolled at The Open University (OU) have been split into its four country campuses in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Records the type of disability or disabilities that a student has, based on the student's own self-assessment. Students can return more than one disability. In instances where a student has returned more than one disability, the data can be grouped as ‘Two or more disabilities’ or each specific disability can be shown.
More detail from the coding manual: Disability.
Records the ethnicity of the student, on the basis of their own self-assessment. Where a student is based in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man, their higher education provider must provide them with the opportunity to declare their ethnicity each year and throughout a student’s Engagement.
HESA follows the Office for National Statistics (ONS) ethnicity frame for UK-wide data collection. However, there are variations to ethnicity coding adopted in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Note: this field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
More detail from the coding manual: Ethnicity.
Returns the reporting provider for the student.
For more detailed HE provider information, please see the venue field for a more accurate location for where the student is studying.
Each higher education provider is allocated two different unique identifiers:
Higher education provider identifier (INSTID) is the unique identifier allocated to a provider by HESA. The only exception here is The Open University – The Open University has a different INSTID for each home nation.
UK Provider Reference Number (UKPRN) is the unique identifier allocated to a provider by the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP). Unlike with INSTID, The Open University has only one UKPRN.
The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) is a measure of relative deprivation. The indicators used for the IMD are different across the UK countries, therefore IMD is not comparable between UK administrations. IMD can be returned as quintiles or deciles. There are four Indexes available;
- English Indices of Deprivation (IMD) - Returned for students with a permanent address from England
- Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) - Returned for students with a permanent address from Scotland and studying at a provider in Scotland
- Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) - Returned for students with a permanent address from Wales
- Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM) - Returned for students with a permanent address from Northern Ireland
Note: this field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
Providers register all new initial teacher training (ITT) trainees with the Department for Education (DfE). Providers can register trainees by submitting data to the ITT collection which will then be sent to the DfE’s register trainee teachers (Register) service.
Those students enrolled on ITT courses can be returned in the Student Record and identified using marker or course identifiers.
Level of study indicates the educational aim of a student during their engagement. This information is reflective of the educational aim of the engagement; however, the student is not guaranteed to qualify at this level.
Level of qualification refers to the educational achievement of a qualifier.
Most analyses by level of study use one of the following three standard groupings:
- 2-way: Postgraduate; Undergraduate;
- 4-way: Postgraduate (research); Postgraduate (taught); First degree; Other undergraduate;
- 8-way: Doctorate (research); Masters (research); Other postgraduate (research); Doctorate (taught); Masters (taught); Other postgraduate (taught); First degree; Other undergraduate;
More detail from the coding manual: Qualification category.
The POLAR4 classification is calculated by Office for Students.
POLAR classifies local areas into five groups - or quintiles - based on the proportion of young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old. Quintile one shows the lowest rate of participation. Quintile five shows the highest rate of participation.
Students have been allocated to the neighbourhoods based on their postcode. Those students whose postcode falls within areas with the lowest participation (quintile 1) are denoted as being from a low participation neighbourhood.
Note: this field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
For every Engagement returned, captures the last submitted mode of study information, based on latest Student Course Session.
Covers students studying for at least 24 weeks, those on sandwich courses, and those on a study-related year out of their higher education provider. Full-time students are expected to undertake at least an average of 21 hours of study, tuition or work experience.
Full time accelerated
Applicable to providers in England only. Returned when a student is expecting to complete a course in one year fewer than normal.
Part-time is returned when the student studies fewer than 21 hours per week on average. Also covers students studying at full-intensity but for less than 24 weeks, or for any other reason do not meet the standard definition of full-time.
Where a student withdraws early or is writing up their dissertation, they should retain their previous mode of study.
More detail from the coding manual: Student course session mode.
Records whether a student has declared that any parent, including natural parents, adoptive parents, stepparents or guardians, hold a higher education qualification(s). Typically sourced from University and College Application Service (UCAS) applications and passed to a higher education provider. Useful for measuring widening participation. This is only returned for students with a permanent home address based inside the UK.
Note: this field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
More detail from the coding manual: Parental education.
The student’s home address before starting their course. This may also be referred to as domicile. Permanent address is recorded as a postcode for UK, Guernsey, Jersey, and Isle of Man students. For international students it is recorded as a country code. Various geographically breakdowns are available for students with a UK permanent address.
Records the sex of the student. The information must be updated throughout a student's Engagement where applicable. Students can refuse to return this information.
More detail from the coding manual: Sex identifier.
Returns the socio-economic classification of students if 21 years of age or over at the start of their Engagement or parental classification if under 21 years of age. The classification is based on occupation, and if the parent or guardian is retired or unemployed, this is based on their most recent occupation.
This field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
More detail from the coding manual: Socio economic classification.
Where the school/college type is known, the previous provider attended can be grouped so that this field can return a private and independent school marker. This field is intended to capture information on the pre-HE UK schools attended by students and is therefore only applicable to undergraduate students whose permanent home address was in the UK before beginning their studies.
Note: this field only available for students whose permanent address is in the UK.
Subject of study provides a standard way of defining the areas of knowledge or learning that are studied by students.
Allocation of subject codes to courses
Students may study combinations of subjects. Up to five subjects can be associated with a course. The proportion of time allocated for each subject studied on a course is represented by a percentage. Percentages are based on a broad assessment of the relative contributions of each subject to individual students' programmes of study. No subject proportion less than 5% is recorded.
Most providers will apply similar percentages to their courses and only vary this where there is a substantially different expectation. The following standard percentages are recommended.
- Balanced: 50% for each of the two subjects,
- Major–Minor: 67% and 33%,
- Triple: 34%, 33% and 33%.
Where broad assessment of the subject contributions markedly differs from these normative percentages alternative values can be returned.
Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS)
The Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) subject coding scheme was introduced in 2019/20. This is the most detailed level of subject data available. The HECoS vocabulary is a single flat, non-hierarchical, list of subject terms that categorises courses and modules at a consistent level.
Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH)
The Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH) provides standard groupings of related HECoS subject terms. The CAH is a comprehensive aggregation of the entirety of HECoS at each of three hierarchical levels or tiers.
The science grouping is an aggregation of CAH level 1 codes CAH01 through to CAH13 and CAH26 with the exception of CAH26-01-03 (Human geography). CAH26 (Geographical and environmental studies) has been disaggregated so that CAH26-01-03 (Human geography) is presented in the non-science grouping labelled as 'Geographical and environmental studies (social sciences)'. All other CAH level 3 codes within CAH26 are presented in the science grouping labelled as 'Geographical and environmental studies (natural sciences)'. This grouping of science subjects has been created by HESA.
More detail from the coding manual: Qualification subject.
Tariff points transform students pre-HE qualifications and grades into a numerical value. Each qualification is awarded a certain number of tariff points. The tariff field returns the combined tariff score of a student's pre-HE qualifications.
The tariff point scoring system is maintained by UCAS and updated as new qualifications are added to the UCAS tariff or there are any changes in tariff point scores.
This field is returned for undergraduate students where their highest qualification on entry is level 3. This includes A levels, Highers or a postgraduate certificate of education, but excludes those with an international baccalaureate or higher education access qualification.
Identifies the type of accommodation a student is living in during term-time. This field is required to be returned for all full-time students, if a student transfers to full time part way through their engagement, their accommodation type will be returned.
More detail from the coding manual: Term time accommodation type.
Fields used only in Tailored datasets
Identifies whether a student is undertaking an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship can be recorded at Student Course Session level or Engagement level, and both are considered in the calculation of this field.
Higher/Degree Apprenticeship incorporates a work-based learning programme and leads to a nationally recognised qualification at NVQ levels 4, 5, 6 or 7 or equivalent. Where the Student Registration comprises any part of the study component of a Higher/Degree Apprenticeship Framework or Standard. Degree level apprenticeships that are HEFCW funded are also included in this marker.
For more information please see:
Returns a student’s specific course title. This is a free-text field, with minimal checks on the quality or validity, so caution should be used when analysing this field. Course title can be a useful way of searching for courses that cover a specific topic not included in Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) or Common Aggregation Hierarchy (CAH).
More detail from the coding manual: Course title.
Continuation status refers to whether students have progressed from one academic year into the next. This field is defined by comparing tracked records for students in two successive year’s data.
Records the organisation(s) involved in the delivery of teaching or supervision of research of the Course, including associated proportions. Where the delivery organisation has a UKPRN, this will be returned in this field.
More detail from the coding manual: Course role HESA identifier.
Records the end date of the student's engagement. This is the date of the last activity by a student, inclusive of the exam period. However, this field excludes retakes. If a student withdraws from the course, this field should reflect the date at which the student stops engaging in learning, teaching and assessment activities.
More detail from the coding manual: Engagement end date.
Records if the student is distance learning and whether they are inside or outside the UK. Distance learning students are students of the reporting institution who are not in attendance for the whole of their course, with the possible exception of occasional attendance, such as examinations or summer schools.
Distance travelled is calculated in a straight line (in kilometres) between two geographical locations. Any two locations collected in the Student record can be used to create this field, including Permanent address postcode, Term time postcode, HE provider postcode and (main) Venue postcode.
Each of these postcodes are linked to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) postcode directory to give the easting and northing of each home and higher education provider location according to the Ordnance Survey National Grid reference system. The straight-line distance is calculated by the differences between the northings, eastings and Pythagorean theorem.
Please note that in some cases the accuracy of the ONS grid reference is approximate to within 50 metres only (see the ONS postcode directory user guide for further details).
This methodology cannot be applied in the following cases:
- Where a student’s permanent address before starting their course was outside the UK, distance to or from this address cannot be calculated, as HESA would typically only collect the country.
- Distances are only calculated for Northern Irish students studying at Northern Irish higher education providers and are not calculated for students whose permanent address is in England, Wales and Scotland who go to HE providers in Northern Ireland because the system is different.
- Distances are not provided for any students who were studying at the Open University.
- Any students who were wholly franchised to other teaching providers and any students whose location of study was not at the returning provider for the whole year.
- Students living in any of the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
This field is an indication of normal elapsed time from the commencement of study to the completion of the engagement. For taught students, this should include any planned assessment periods but not retakes (of exams or assessments). For research students where the programme includes a planned writing-up period, this should be included in the expected period of study. This field is usually return as below:
< 5 weeks
>=5 weeks and <24 weeks
>=24 weeks and <=1 year
>1 year and <=2 years
>2 years and <=3 years
>3 years and <=4 years
>4 years and <=5 years
>5 years and <=6 years
>6 years and <20 years
Distinguishes those students who are eligible to pay home fees and those who are not, in cases where there are separate levels of fees for 'home' students and for others.
Records the type of financial support that the student is in receipt of, including disabled students' allowance.
More detail from the coding manual: Financial support type.
Indicates whether the student is counted as 'fundable.' If a student is eligible for funding, the funding code of funding council or regulating body is returned in this field. The definition therefore may vary between England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, in line with their funding methods.
Records the gender identity of the student. Students indicate whether their gender identity is the same as the gender assigned to them at birth. This is based upon the students own self-assessment.
More detail from the coding manual: Gender identity.
Returns the highest qualification held by the student prior to their engagement. This is not necessarily the qualification they require to enter the course. This field reflects the highest qualification on entry and will not reflect any qualifications gained during their engagement.
Shows whether the students is an exchange student. Students are considered incoming or visiting exchange students if they are coded as an incoming reciprocal Turing Scheme, incoming ERASMUS student, Taith or other incoming exchange or visiting student. These students are excluded from the session, standard registration and qualifiers populations.
More detail from the coding manual: Incoming exchange.
Records the majority source of tuition fee funding to the Student Course Session. The predominant source is selected where there is more than one source of funding.
- Fees paid by Student
- Research Council
- Charitable foundation
- Other UK gov., gov. dept. or public body
- Non-UK sources
- UK industry/commerce or student's employer
- Provider own funds
- Not applicable
- Other / Not known
More detail from the coding manual: Invoice HESA identifier
Records a student’s nationality. Where a student has dual nationality there is a first preference to return the UK and then second preference to European Union (EU) countries where available. Where students hold multi-nationality outside both the UK and EU, any country can be returned. This field is optional for students studying at a provider based in Northern Ireland.
More detail from the coding manual: Nationality.
Identifies the last provider the student attended, for example, this could be a school, college, or HE provider. In most cases, this information will be returned as a UKPRN, however, if a UKPRN cannot be retrieved, generic codes will be returned.
More detail from the coding manual: Previous provider.
Records students who will spend the majority of their Engagement outside the UK. Some students are mainly studying outside the UK throughout their Engagement but are returned in the Student record as they will spend more than 8 weeks in the UK during their Engagement. For students studying wholly outside of the UK, please see the Aggregate Offshore Record.
- Approved (fee cap) – HE providers in this category are eligible for direct grant funding by UKRI through Research England and teaching grant funding by OfS. Eligible students can apply for tuition fee loan support up to the permitted maximum (over £9,000).
- Approved – HE providers in this category are not eligible for UKRI or OfS grant funding. There is no cap on tuition fees, but eligible students can only receive loan support up to the “basic fee” amount (just over £6,000).
- Northern Ireland HE provider
- Scotland HE provider
- Wales HE provider
- Wales further education college
Records the reason a student’s Engagement at a provider has ended. Reasons for leaving include qualifying from their engagement or transferring to another provider. The full list of reasons returned can be found via the link below.
More detail from the coding manual: Reason for engagement ending.
Records the religious belief of a student, based on their own self assessment. This field is compulsory for all students at providers in England and Wales, however optional for all students at providers in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
More detail from the coding manual: Religion.
In Northern Ireland, an additional question is asked of students about which religious background they were raised as.
More detail from the coding manual: Religious background.
Records where the student Course Session contains a placement.
The student is undertaking a placement that causes a continuous absence from full-time study of at least one year of the course.
The student is undertaking a placement that does not cause a continuous absence from full-time study of at least one year of the course, but the cumulative total of placements undertaken is 30 weeks or longer. This should only be returned once the student reaches this total.
For student does not meet the definitions of thick sandwich and thin sandwich.
Records a student’s sexual orientation, based on their own self-assessment. Compulsory question for students studying at providers in England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Optional for students studying at providers in Scotland.
More detail from the coding manual: Sexual orientation.
Records whether the student is studying abroad as part of the course.
Records the name for the venue that the student is studying at. It is defined by the provider and providers are encouraged to use a name that would be understood by someone outside the reporting provider. Students can return more than one venue, in these instances either the main venue (based on the highest proportion of the student’s activity) can be returned, or all venues can be returned.
More detail from the coding manual: Venue name.
For courses with more than one subject the data has been ordered so subject 1 is the subject allocated the largest percentage, then subject 2 has the next largest percent and so on for subjects 3, 4 and, where it exists subject 5 has the smallest percent value. Where percentages are equal, subjects are then ordered alphabetically by HECoS term. This methodology can be used when data is returned as a count of students or Full Time Equivalent. For more information about how subjects are returned, see the definition for subject of study.
A balance indicator has been created to indicate what proportion of time on a programme of study each subject account for. The balance indicator derived field has the following valid entries to indicate the subject split:
- 0 - Indicates a Single: This includes all courses where only one subject is returned in the data
- 1 - Indicates a balanced combination: This includes all courses where two subjects have been returned and both percentages are 50%
- 2 - Indicates a major/minor combination: This covers all courses with two subjects where the percentage for subject 1 - is greater than the percentage for subject 2
- 3 - Indicates a Triple: this includes all courses with three subjects returned, with any combination of percentages.
- 4 - Indicates that four or more subjects were returned.
Subject of module is returned as a higher education classification of subjects (HECoS) code. This will give greater detail than the overall subject of a course.
Note: Optional for providers in England, and required for providers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
More detail from the coding manual: Subject of module.
Records the postcode for a student’s term-time address. This information is returned if students spend any time in attendance of the provider. It is not returned if they are dormant, on a placement, studying abroad or distance learning for the entirety of the academic year.
It is expected that in most cases the postcode will change year to year, as students move between different types of accommodation. For example, moving from university managed halls of residence in year to a shared house in the private rental sector in year two.
More detail from the coding manual: Term time address postcode.
Reflects the top 4 highest grades on entry to the current engagement from any of these qualifications:
- GCE A Level
- GCE A Level (Double)
- A Level Double Award (Reformed)
- Reformed A Level England
- Reformed A Level Wales
- Reformed A Level Northern Ireland
- SQA Advanced Highers
- VCE Advanced
- VCE Advanced Double Award
This field is returned as a string of values depicting the entry qualification grades of the students.
This provides an anonymous personal identifier for each engagement in the record, allowing for detailed analysis. A student’s unique identifier is specific to each reference year, so it can’t be used to track a student between years.
Identifies the year of programme that applies to the Student Course Session. The programme year correlates with the increment for each year of a course a student studies. Therefore, where a student does not repeat any study, programme year would increment in each Student Course Session.
More detail from the coding manual: Programme year.
For detailed guidance used by HE providers when submitting data to HESA see the Coding manual data dictionary.
For bespoke data extracts contact Tailored datasets.