Postcode data

We use data relating to students’ postcodes to monitor access to higher education from low participation groups, and to calculate some of our funding.

Postcode data used in national measures and funding methods

On this page you will find lists of postcodes that are used in calculating the HEFCW widening access national measure and in the access and retention premium, the latter of which forms part of our teaching funding method.

These lists of postcodes have been produced from HEFCW’s own postcode database, which is derived from Ordnance Survey Code Point data. Lists of postcodes from other sources may not be identical due to the age, source and method of mapping of the postcodes to geographical areas of interest.

National measures – widening access

Below are csv files containing a list of postcodes used for monitoring the widening access national measure. The year at the end of the filename indicates the year of HESA student record data the postcodes were used with.

The file contains the postcode and one look up field, WIMD2014_q. If WIMD2014_q=1 then the postcode is counted in the bottom quintile of areas defined by the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2014 (WIMD2014). If WIMD2014_q=2 then the postcode is counted in the second from bottom quintile of areas defined by WIMD2014.

More information about national measures is on our website.

More information on how we calculate the widening access national measure is in Annex J of our latest data requirements circular (W20/30HE).

Low participation and widening access postcodes

Below are csv files containing lists of postcodes used for calculating the access and retention premium (2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 funding). The year at the end of the filename indicates the year of HESA student record data the postcodes were used with.

The low participation postcode file contains postcodes that are counted in areas of low participation for part-time students. Areas of low participation for part-time students are the bottom two quintiles of areas as defined by the proportion of working age adults with HE level qualifications, as measured using Census 2001 data.

The widening access postcode file contains postcodes that are counted in Communities First areas.

The Communities First programme has ended and 2001 Census data is out of date. However, we continue to use this data until the funding method changes.

More information about the access and retention premium, and our funding allocations more generally is on our website and in our latest funding allocation circular (W20/20HE).

More information about the sources of data we use and the purposes we use them for is in our latest data requirements circular (W20/30HE). For postcodes used with older data including with our Corporate Strategy targets please email hestats@hefcw.ac.uk.


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