Note on HESA data

The Annual Admissions Statistical Report provides some national context for Oxford’s data, primarily based on figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This includes information on the numbers of students achieving Oxford’s minimum standard offer: three A grades or better at A-level and equivalent Scottish qualifications. It also compares Oxford’s data with the higher education sector as a whole and the Russell Group of leading universities.


The data presented in Overall numbers, including domicile have been restricted to all first-year, first-degree undergraduate students in academic year 2020/21 in the UK. In all other sections, the data comprise all first-year, first-degree, UK-domiciled undergraduate students in academic year 2020/21 in the UK. NB: This includes students domiciled in Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man.

The AAA+ A-level pool comprises students who achieved at least AAA at GCE/VCE A-level (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking), or at least AA at Scottish Advanced Higher and at least AAAAB at Scottish Higher. Students with equivalent qualifications, eg equivalent in IB points, are removed from this pool. When the AAA+ A-level pool is broken down into its constituent categories (A*AA, A*A*A, A*A*A*), candidates obtaining at least AA at Scottish Advanced Higher and at least AAAAB at Scottish Higher are included in every category.

ACORN categories 4 and 5 presented here do not include Type 34 (‘Student flats and halls of residence’), which falls within category 4. This type is included within the remaining ACORN categories.

The information available for school type is: state school, other school, unknown. It is assumed that ‘other school’ comprises predominantly independent schools.

The data provided for gender records the sex of the student, as opposed to the gender with which they identify. ‘Other’ is included for students whose sex aligns with terms such as intersex, androgyne, intergender, ambigender, gender fluid, polygender and gender queer. Further details are available here:

Students with unknown ACORN, POLAR, school type, domicile, region and ethnicity status are excluded from the relevant analyses.

‘Russell Group excluding London universities’ comprises the following subset of the Russell Group:

  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Cambridge
  • Cardiff University
  • Durham University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Leeds
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • Queen’s University Belfast
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

Rounding Policy

The data presented adhere to HESA’s rounding methodology:

  • 0, 1, 2 are rounded to 0.
  • All other numbers are rounded to the nearest multiple of 5.
  • Percentages based on fewer than 22.5 individuals are suppressed.
  • Averages based on 7 or fewer individuals are suppressed.


HESA Student Record 2020/21.

Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited.

Neither the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited nor HESA Services Limited can accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from data or other information supplied by the Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited or HESA Services Limited.

Was this page useful?*