Socio economic classification(SEC)

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Socio economic classification
Short Name
Parent Entity
Applicable To
England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

All students where EntryProfile.UCASSCHEMECODE exists and Qualification.QUALCAT has a HESA level of H, I, J or C or is M0002 and EntryProfile.PERMADDCOUNTRY = XF, XG, XH, XI, XK, XL, GG, JE or IM except where (Leaver.ENGENDDATE - Engagement.ENGSTARTDATE <= 14 days and RSNENGEND = 03, 05, 11, 12).

Must not be returned for students outside of the stated coverage.

This entity collects the socio-economic classification of students if 21 or over at the start of their Engagement or parental classification if under 21.

This data is required at entry to a student's Engagement and is not required to be maintained throughout a student's Engagement.

This collects the socio-economic background of students aged 21 and over at the start of their course, or for students under 21 the socio-economic background of their parent, step-parent or guardian who earns the most is returned. It is based on occupation, and if the parent or guardian is retired or unemployed, this is based on their most recent occupation.


Code 09 'Not classified' includes the 3 categories:

  • Students
  • Occupations not stated or inadequately described
  • Not classifiable for other reasons

For students entering through UCAS this information will be available from UCAS via the *J transaction, however the legacy codes from 2021/22 will be supplied instead and there is no direct mapping to the 2022/23 codes. Providers are expected to survey students against the new coding frames each year. The details of the coding that will be provided by UCAS can be found in the *J specification.

Reason Required
To classify the social background of students in a standard way. Used to monitor the impact of widening participation policies, and analyses relating to widening access and data quality.
Field Length
Quality RulesQuality Rules to follow
Minimum Occurrence
Maximum Occurrence
Primary Key?
Valid Values
CodeCoding Frame Label
01Higher managerial & professional occupations
02Lower managerial & professional occupations
03Intermediate occupation
04Small employers & own account workers
05Lower supervisory & technical occupations
06Semi-routine occupations
07Routine occupations
08Never worked & long-term unemployed
09Not classified
Revision History
Coding Manual VersionElement VersionNotes amended as data must not be returned outside of coverage. Guidance added regarding the *J transaction. amended to exclude the SLC two week rule for all providers. updated to match legacy Student and Student Alternative returns - Change to exclude 2 week SLC rule and where RSNENGEND = 03, 05, 11, 12.