The header page in the PDF version of each data resource includes definition notes for the variables and statistics in that data resource.
This page provides some additional technical notes and guidance for the data resources.
The definitions document (245.89 KB) also contains further information on the specification used in the end of cycle data resources.
Coverage of UCAS data
For people living in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, UCAS covers the overwhelming majority of full-time undergraduate provision. Statistics relating to these countries in the data resources can be taken as being close to all recruitment to full-time undergraduate higher education. The data tables cover applications to providers in the UK, with applications and acceptances to provider A57 – Amsterdam Fashion Academy having being removed (which accounted for a small number of applications and acceptances).
In Scotland, there is a substantial section of provision that is not included in UCAS' figures. This is mostly full-time higher education provided in further education colleges, which represents around one third of young, full-time undergraduate study in Scotland, and this proportion varies by geography and background within Scotland. Accordingly, the statistics on UCAS acceptances in these data resources reflect only that majority of full-time undergraduate study that uses UCAS.
In 2015, around 120 courses at providers in Scotland that were previously part of the UCAS Teacher Training scheme, moved into the UCAS Undergraduate scheme. The numbers for providers in Scotland in 2015 and later recorded through the UCAS Undergraduate scheme will include those which were previously part of UCAS Teacher Training – estimated to be around 2,000 acceptances per year, mostly aged 21 or over.
Entry year-based tables only
Only acceptances from two UCAS cycles are included in the totals for each entry year. For each entry year, only acceptances from that cycle and the previous cycle are included. For example, acceptances to the 2013-14 entry year are considered from the 2013 and 2012 cycles only.
If a provider code was not present in one of the two cycles contributing to an entry year cell, or was present but recorded no acceptances in that cycle, the table cells for that entry year are reported as 0.
A small number of in-year acceptances (for example from the 2013 cycle to the 2012-13 entry year which would occur if the intended start date was January 2013) are not included in the entry year counts.
A small number of acceptances who defer entry for more than one year are also not included.
Records of Prior Acceptance (RPAs)
Data resources that report total acceptances (rather than acceptances from applicants who applied before 30 June) may include very late acceptances that are recorded through the Record of Prior Acceptance entry route.
The number of these acceptances can vary from cycle to cycle and in 2014, there were around 2,000 fewer RPAs than in other cycles recorded for providers in Scotland. This variability may mean that the number of applicants and acceptances to Scottish UCAS providers in 2014 recorded through UCAS could be understated compared to how applicants and acceptances have been reported in recent cycles.
The time series of applicants and acceptances who applied by the 30 June deadline does not include RPAs and so is unaffected by any variability in RPA use from year to year.
Numbers in the data resources are rounded to the nearest five. Each number is rounded independently, so the sum of rounded categories may not add to the rounded sum of those categories, within or between data resources.
The listing of a category in an output table does not imply that data was recorded for that category. The CSV data files only contain data items that are not rounded to zero. The omission of a category in these data files does not imply the unrounded total was zero.
Context technical notes supplied by providers for the 2017 cycle
University of East London (E28): In the 2017 cycle a large number of RPAs were not recorded for the University of East London (E28). The actual values for the total number of placed applicants and the number admitted through RPA for this provider will be higher than those reported.
Context technical notes previously supplied by providers for the 2014 cycle
University of Huddersfield (H60): The data for H60 includes applications to University Campus Oldham (up to September 2012) and applications to University Campus Barnsley (up to September 2013). Following de-mergers in August 2012 and August 2013 respectively, applications to the former university campuses now appear under The Oldham College and Barnsley College. Data for September 2014 entry onwards reflects applications to the single Huddersfield campus.
Context technical notes previously supplied by providers for the 2013 cycle
University of Bedfordshire (B22): Between the 2011 and 2013 cycles there were changes in the institution under which acceptances to certain types of provision are counted. In the most recent cycles acceptances for these types of provision are counted against the individual partner institutions, whereas in the earlier part of this period they were included in the total for the University of Bedfordshire (B22).
University for the Creative Arts (C93): In the 2013 cycle a campus was closed which had previously had around 200 acceptances per cycle. Some of this provision has been transferred to other campuses of the institution and some withdrawn.
Queen’s University Belfast (Q75): Nursing and Midwifery students were admitted through UCAS for the first time in the 2013 cycle. These acceptances total 436 for the 2013 cycle.