Specifications of the data sets for the GRading and Admissions Data for England (GRADE) project.

Applies to England


GRADE Ofqual data specification

Ref: Ofqual/21/6748/1MS Excel Spreadsheet, 21.6KB

GRADE UCAS data specification

Ref: Ofqual/21/6748/2HTML

GRADE DfE data specification

Ref: Ofqual/21/6748/3MS Excel Spreadsheet, 563KB


The GRADE (GRading and Admissions Data for England) data sharing project is a joint data openness initiative by Ofqual, Ofsted, the Department for Education (DfE) and UCAS. The aim is to provide accredited external researchers with access to linked micro-data to conduct independent research on the educational, assessment and university admission systems in England.

The data shared through this initiative will be accessible through the ONS Secure Research Service. It includes 3 main sources of data:

  • Ofqual – data on GCSE and A level examinations and qualifications collected from awarding organisations
  • DfE – extracts of the National Pupil Database (NPD) for GCSE and A level students
  • UCAS – records from the university application process

For all 3 data sources, the data covers the period from 2017 to 2020.

Mode details on the GRADE data is available in the data specifications, one per data source. The data specifications provide a description of the data and of the information in each data set.

More information on the GRADE data sharing project is available through our document collection page which also includes a link to the privacy notice.

Published 14 October 2021