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Educational attainment, United Kingdom

Codes and Frequencies

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EDUCUK indicates the person's educational attainment based on the United Kingdom's system of qualifications.

Comparability — General

No attempt has been made to harmonize the education variable between the 1991 and 2001 censuses. Moreover, within the 2001 census, there are two different education classifications: one for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland; and one for Scotland.

The 1991 levels of highest qualification and their meaning are:

Level A: higher degrees of UK standard;
Level B: first degrees and all other qualifications of UK first degree standard; and
Level C: qualifications that are: (i) generally obtained at 18 and over (ii) above GCE 'A' level standard; and (iii) below UK first degree standard.

The 2001 levels of highest qualification for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland and their meaning are:

Level 1: 1+ 'O' level passes, 1+ CSE/GCSE any grades, NVQ level 1, Foundation GNVQ
Level 2: 5+ 'O' level passes, 5+ CSEs (grade 1). 5+ GCSEs (grades A-C), School Certificate, 1+ 'A' levels/ AS levels, NVQ level 2, Intermediate GNVQ
Level 3: 2+ 'A' levels, 4+ AS levels, Higher School certificate, NVQ level 3, Advanced GNVQ
Level 4/5: First degree, Higher degree, NVQ levels 4 and 5, HNC, HND, Qualified Teacher status, Qualified Medical Doctor, Qualified Dentist, Qualified Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor
Other qualifications/level unknown::

The 2001 levels of highest qualification for Scotland and their meaning are:

Group 1: 'O' Grade, Standard Grade, Intermediate 1, Intermediate 2, City and Guilds Craft, SVQ level 1 or 2 or equivalent
Group 2: Higher Grade, CSYS, ONC, OND, City and Guilds Advanced Craft, RSA, Advanced Diploma, SVQ level 3 or equivalent
Group 3: HND, HNC, RSA Higher Diploma, SVQ level 4 or 5 or equivalent
Group 4: First degree, Higher degree, Professional Qualification


  • United Kingdom 1991: Persons with higher qualifications
  • United Kingdom 2001: Persons age 16-74 who are not non-resident students


  • United Kingdom: 1991, 2001