ILR specification: 2020 to 2021

Occupation Code: Field


Used to record the occupation of the learner if aged 21 or over at the start of the course, or the occupation of the learner's parent or guardian, if the learner is under 21. It can be derived from the UCAS admissions system for UCAS entrants.

Reason Required

To assess the levels and trends in participation by those from various occupational backgrounds. This information is used in projections and planning for the sector and analysis of trends in the take-up of Higher education.

Schema Definitions

XML Entity Name
Field Length
Data type
Minimum occurrences
Maximum occurrences

Collection Requirements

  • Learners entering through UCAS

Valid Entries

The valid SOC2000 and SOC2010 codes can be found in Appendix L of the ILR Specification.
For learners who enrolled on or after 1 August 2014 a SOC 2010 code should be used.


  • If the learning aim started on or after 1 August 2014, a SOC2010 code should be used as detailed in Appendix L.

  • Further details on SOC2000 and SOC2010 codes can be obtained from the Office of National Statistics website at

  • For full guidance about this field, please refer to the HESA specification.

  • This field relates to the learner on entry to the programme of study. New entrants from UCAS will have this completed by UCAS and sent to institutions.

  • The student should be asked for parental occupation or, if 21 or over, for their own occupation. For example, “if you are under 21, please give the occupation of your parent, step-parent or guardian who earns the most. If he or she is retired or unemployed, give their most recent occupation. If you are 21 or over, please give your own occupation.”