Key Information Set (KIS)

About the KIS

Key Information Sets are comparable sets of standardised information about undergraduate courses  They are designed to help allow prospective undergraduate students (and other interested parties, including the media) to compare data between programmes and institutions.  The development of KIS is a result of the HEFCE consultation on information about higher education (2011), HEIs were asked to gather the data for publication from September 2012 and the KIS dataset is updated at least annually.  The data is published through the Unistats (UK HE comparison) website and through widgets hosted on institutions' prospectus webpages.

Note: only programmes with direct entry and which are more than a year long need to produce a KIS. For programmes with p/t and f/t modes, only f/t need to produce a KIS.

What's in the KIS?

The KIS contains 18 items of information that students have identified as useful:

  1. Staff are good at explaining things (from NSS, % agree)
  2. Staff have made the subject interesting (from NSS, % agree)
  3. Overall, I am satisfied with the quality of my course (from NSS, % agree)
  4. I have received sufficient advice and support with my studies (from NSS, % agree)
  5. Feedback on my work has been prompt (from NSS, % agree)
  6. Feedback on my work has helped me clarify things I did not understand (from NSS, % agree)
  7. The library resources are good enough for my needs (from NSS, % agree)
  8. I have been able to access general IT resources when I needed to (from NSS, % agree)
  9. I am satisfied with the Students' Union (from NSS, % agree)
  10. Proportion of time spent in various learning and teaching activities (by year/stage of study - links to programme specification)
  11. Proportion of summative assessment by method (by year/stage of study - links to programme specification)
  12. Professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (those that recognise programme and type of recognition - as specified in programme specification)
  13. Institution owned/sponsored accommodation (institution owned average annual costs, upper & lower quartiles, number of units and private rental accommodation average annual costs, upper and lower quartiles)
  14. Financial support available from institution (fee waiver; means-tested support; non means-tested support; National Scholarship Programme)
  15. Average fees per year (by country of UK domicile)
  16. Destinations (from the DLHE, graduates six months after completing programme)
  17. Destinations (from the DLHE, of those employed, proportion in managerial/professional jobs)
  18. Salary data for those in full-time employment  (from the DLHE, course data: upper quartile, median & lower quartile after six months, JACS subject data: regionally adjusted upper quartile, median & lower quartile across all institutions after six months and also the regionally adjusted upper quartile, median & lower quartile for JACS subject across all institutions at 40 months after graduation

About the widget

The KIS data is accessible both from the Unistats website and also via a widget hosted on institutional prospectus webpages. The KIS widget contains the items listed below which are displayed on a rolling basis.  The widget links to the full KIS dataset on the Unistats site.

Rolling KIS widget items:

  1. Percentage of students that agree that "staff are good at explaining things"
  2. Percentage of students that agree that "staff have made the subject interesting"
  3. Percentage of students that agree that "I received sufficient advice and support"
  4. Percentage of students that agree that "overall I am satisfied with the quality of the course"
  5. Percentage in work or study six months after finishing
  6. Percentage of students that go on to professional/managerial jobs at six months
  7. Typical cost of institution accommodation
  8. If programme has professional accreditation
  9. Percentage of time spent in lectures, seminars or similar
  10. Percentage of programme assessed by coursework

Below is an example of what the widget looks like in the online prospectus:

Publication schedule

Institutions are required to annually update their Key Information Sets; this is done to the following schedule:

  • early August - deadline for institutional annual KIS submission to HESA
  • late August - HESA make the annual update of KIS dataset live on Unistats and widgets

Institutions are able to update their Key Information Set data at any time during the year, for example as a new programme is advertised, the KIS dataset shown on Unistats and widgets is updated weekly.

HESA & HEFCE guidance


If you have any queries or if you are worried that programme data shown on Unistats or through the widget may be incorrect please email in the Academic Quality and Policy Office.

How is KIS Compiled?

Key Information Set Steering Group (now dissolved)

The University created a short term steering group in order to co-ordinate the various tasks required to institute the Key Information Sets. The Group was dissolved after the submission of the first round of the KIS data collection in October 2012.