Designated courses

Decisions on applications for specific designation are made at the discretion of the Welsh Government.

From 1 April 2018, HEFCW are responsible for managing the specific designation process, including processing applications and the ongoing monitoring of providers who have had courses specifically designated by the Welsh Ministers prior to this date. HEFCW will also advise the Welsh Ministers on whether or not to award specific course designation.

The list of specifically designated courses for 2023 to 2024 academic year as of 17th August 2023 is listed below.

View the specifically designated courses for academic year 2023 to 2024 (Download PDF 456KB, opens in a new tab)

Specific Designation of Undergraduate Courses, Postgraduate courses and Postgraduate Courses for the Purposes of Disabled Students’ Allowance

The Welsh Government consulted on revised arrangements for specific course designation in 2015. The Welsh Government’s policy, updated in 2020, can be downloaded below. The policy applies to the designation of undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses and also designation of postgraduate courses for the purpose of enabling students to access Disabled Students' Allowance. The policy applies to the designation of courses which started on or after 1 September 2017.

Welsh Government Policy for Specific Course Designation (Download PDF 308KB, opens in a new tab)

Please note that specific designation only applies to eligible students who meet the residency criteria for Wales. Institutions wishing to apply for courses to be designated for eligible students ordinarily resident in:

Scotland should apply to the Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

Northern Ireland should apply to the Department for the Economy (DfE)

England should apply to the Department for Education via the Office for Students.

Who to contact

If you wish to submit an application for course designation or have any queries about the guidance and process, please contact HEFCW:

If you have any queries about designation, you can also contact Welsh Government at