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About Unistats


Who funds and owns Unistats?

Unistats is funded and owned by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, the Scottish Funding Council and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.

What is the purpose of Unistats?

We want to ensure that prospective students and their advisers have access to robust, reliable and comparable information to help them make informed decisions about what and where to study.

Which courses are included on Unistats? 

Unistats provides information about full-time and part-time undergraduate courses. 

To appear on the site these courses must be run through institutions that have their teaching formally assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency

Courses include undergraduate programmes taught through further education colleges in England and Wales (this applies to colleges funded indirectly through a higher education institution and for courses HEFCE funds directly).

The only exceptions are short courses (one-year full-time equivalent or less), those delivered wholly overseas, and closed courses.

It does not include information about postgraduate courses.

More information on coverage can be found on the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) web-site

How do you decide what information to publish?

The core information published on Unistats is called the Key Information Set (KIS).

This includes the information that our research showed prospective students find most useful.

Find out more about the data on Unistats 

Where can I find usage stats for the Unistats website?

Every three months, HEFCE publishes full usage stats for the Unistats site on the HEFCE web-site. See the usage figures.

Using Unistats and the data


I’m having problems with my new password, what should I do?

Rather than re-typing the new password, try copying and pasting it directly. Please ensure you are using the same e-mail address you used to register. If you are still having problems please contact us on kis@hefce.ac.uk

How do I apply for courses at colleges and university?

This information is available from the UCAS web-site. The site also allows users to apply online for colleges and universities across the UK.

Why is there sometimes no data available for a course?

A lack of data does not reflect on the quality of the course. There are several reasons why some courses might not display the full KIS data. For example:

  • Newer courses may not yet have had the opportunity to collect student-satisfaction data from the National Student Survey (NSS), or employment data from the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE).
  • Very new courses will also not have had time to build up data about continuation, qualifications on entry, and the degree that previous students have obtained.
  • Some well-established courses may also not be able to show student-satisfaction data or employment data. This might be because the course runs with a small number of students, so that there are not enough responses to the surveys for the data to be statistically meaningful, or for responses to remain anonymous. Data can be misleading if it only represents a small number of students, and/or less than half the students on the course.

Why are the fees sometimes different on Unistats from those advertised on university websites?

The fee amounts shown on Unistats are the total maximum fee payable for the course divided by the number of years over which the course runs. There is a separate fee amount shown for each country of the UK, as the fee paid may depend on where a student normally lives.

Other web-sites may display the fee payable in the first year of the course so, if fee amounts vary between course years, the amount displayed on Unistats will be different.

Here are two examples explaining how the average annual fee on Unistats is calculated.

Example 1

A three-year degree charging the following maximum fees:

Year 1: 6000

Year 2: 6500

Year 3: 7000

Average Annual Fee = (6000+6500+7000)/3 = 6500 

Example 2

A four-year degree with a sandwich year out charging the following maximum fees:

Year 1: 9000

Year 2: 9000

Year 3(Sandwich year): 2000

Year 4: 9000

Average Annual Fee = (9000+9000+2000+9000)/4 = 7250

What does accreditation mean?

Courses on Unistats are all recognised UK awards. In addition to the awarded qualification some courses may have other accreditation.

This means that a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) formally recognises the professional value of the qualification.

PSRBs include the General Medical Council, the Architects Registration Board, the British Association of Art Therapists, and the Institute of Physics.

I would like my course to be included on Unistats. What should I do?

Unistats includes information on undergraduate courses at UK institutions. 

To have data published on Unistats, UK higher education providers will need to have subscribed to the Quality Assurance Agency(QAA) and may also need to return other data to HEFCE or the Higher Education Statistics Agency(HESA). Please contact us at kis@hefce.ac.uk for further information.

How can I update my institution’s name or contact details on Unistats?

Information about institutions on Unistats is drawn from the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP), which is a portal allowing providers to update their information in one place and share this across agencies such as the Skills Funding Agency, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), UCAS and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Please note that the institutional name that appears on Unistats is the first trading name which appears on UKRLP.

To update the institutional name or contact details (address, telephone and fax number) on Unistats, please ask the person in your institution who can update UKRLP to make the changes. Once changes have been made to UKRLP’s database, they will be reflected on Unistats on the Wednesday of the next weekly update to the site. If the update is showing on UKRLP but does not update on Unistats on the next weekly update, please email kis@hefce.ac.uk.

Why are the statistics shown for my course not as expected and why do they not reflect our latest National Student Survey scores?

This may be due to the fact that we aggregate data in some instances. Where there is insufficient data to provide a significantly robust sample size, data is aggregated at course or subject level over a longer period of time. Where aggregation still does not provide robustness, the relevant data is not published.  

When and how often is the data on Unistats updated?

The data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.

Institutions can then update their data weekly to reflect any changes in their programmes. Updates are usually processed and published every Wednesday at 1200.

The Unistats API does not give me access to previous years’ KIS data. Where can I get this old data?

The Unistats API was designed to allow users to dynamically query the current dataset. The static data (including historical data) is available from HESA. 

KIS data collection


Where can I find information about the 2015 KIS data collection?

Guidance for the 2015-16 collection, including the timetable, is available on the HESA website. 

We also confirm the details of the collection and any changes to the KIS widget in a publication each May.

See the data collection timetable and website updates for 2015

KIS widget


My KIS widget does not display properly. What should I do?

Check that you have followed the 'Unistats widget user guide'.

Often the correct data is not pulled through because course codes may have changed, so check that you are using the most recent codes with the person who submits your KIS data.

We have many different study and fee options for each of our undergraduate courses. Do we need a separate widget for each course variation (for part-time, full-time, etc)?

Full-time and part-time courses have separate data. This means that if a course is provided full-time and part-time, institutions should provide separate widgets for each. 

In general, there should be a separate widget for each course listed on Unistats. 

We expect that institutions will take a reasonable approach where they need to include a large number of widgets on a single page. 

If unsure, please seek guidance from us (kis@hefce.ac.uk).

Communication and advertising


I would like to advertise my organisation’s or company’s services on Unistats. Who should I contact?

As an independent and publicly funded web-site, Unistats does not feature advertising.

We would like to promote Unistats. Do you have any promotional resources we could use? 

We provide a communications toolkit, which includes videos, posters and even lesson plans to help promote the site to prospective university applicants. 

We also have a twitter account.

If these FAQs do not answer your question, please email us at kis@hefce.ac.uk.

Page last updated 8 September 2015

Contact us
  • If these FAQs do not answer your question, please email us at kis@hefce.ac.uk.