Find out how to get a reference through the Higher Education Degree Datacheck, obtain a character reference or request a verification letter or duplicate certificate.

Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD)

The Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) is an online verification service. It allows employers and agencies to verify Nottingham Trent University awards. Please note that this service is only for third parties.

Graduate Prospects developed HEDD in consultation with universities, employers and screening agencies. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funded it. HEDD is now rolling out to institutions throughout the UK.

The UK government supports HEDD. The authorities of UK higher education recognise it.

The aim is to combat the growing market for degree fraud by creating a secure and reliable portal. HEDD ensures the highly competitive employment market treats UK graduates fairly.

HEDD is a secure online verification service. You can use it to check if the UK government recognises a particular UK degree-awarding body. It also allows employers and agencies to verify degree qualifications from UK institutions. This is all possible through a single online portal.

Please note that we no longer respond to any postal reference requests.

Employers and agencies

All requests to verify information about current students, leavers and graduates are now processed through HEDD. Submit all verification requests through the HEDD website.

Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD)

HEDD allows registered enquirers to input data provided by applicants, including:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • institution
  • year of graduation
  • qualification classification.

HEDD checks the information against an encrypted dataset from the institution's student records. It performs the check in real time, and verifies whether there's any match. There's a small fee for each enquiry.

How to register

You must visit the HEDD website and register before you can make an enquiry. Select 'Nottingham Trent University' from the list of UK higher education institutions. Choose the option to 'verify a degree award'. There is a charge of £12 per enquiry. Email HEDD if you need any help.

Making an enquiry

To make an enquiry, you need information about the candidate. You'll need their:

  • name at the time of study
  • date of birth
  • course title, and
  • qualification.

If you're enquiring about a graduate, you'll also need:

  • the year they graduated or received their award, and
  • what result, aware or grade they received.

We recommend you ask to see the degree certificate if there is one. You can then use that as the basis of your verification enquiry. You can also ask individuals to give you their data as they believe it’s recorded in the student records system. That way you have a better chance of getting an automatic verification. If you don't get an automatic verification, the enquiry will go to the NTU student records team. They'll attempt manual verification, with a five working-day turnaround time.

If you want to verify start dates, please ensure you ask for these at the same time you make the enquiry.

Management information

HEDD stores all your enquiries in the system. They can be exported as an MS Excel or CSV file. You can sort your enquiries according to status

Automatically verified

This means your enquiry has been automatically verified.


This means HEDD couldn't automatically verify your enquiry. You're now waiting for a response from the University.

Not verified

The University has responded in the negative.

Partially verified

The University has verified some of the data, but not all of it. For example, you might have submitted the wrong year of graduation.


If you have any problems or queries, email HEDD. Include your phone number if you'd like them to call you back.

Graduate Prospects has conducted previous research with enquirers. It has also run a pilot programme. Your feedback still helps develop the system as it rolls out to other UK universities.

Current and former students

If you're a current or former NTU student, we can provide verification of your study with us. This can include:

  • replacement certificates, or
  • transcripts or other information relating to your studies.

If you graduated in 2001 or before, we may only be able to verify limited information about your studies. This can include the award and the classification and year of the award. We can also produce a duplicate certificate.

Verification letter

This is a formal letter of verification from the University. It confirms:

  • the dates you attended
  • the course you studied
  • any qualifications you achieved.

Please visit our online store.

If you were or currently are a student at one of our validated centres, the process is different. To request a verification letter, email:

Replacement or duplicate certificate

Please note that we can only offer a replacement certificate if you were awarded your qualification in 1993 or later.

Request a duplicate certificate

Copy of my transcript

A transcript is a detailed breakdown of all modules studied and the marks achieved.

Obtain a copy of your transcript

Academic reference

An academic reference confirms:

  • your course
  • the dates that you studied
  • and any awards you achieved.

An academic reference does not comment on your character.

HEDD now processes all academic references for current and former NTU students. Direct your prospective employer to the HEDD website. They'll be able to log in and get an academic reference for you.

The UK government supports HEDD. The authorities of UK higher education recognise it. For more information, visit the HEDD website.

Character reference

A character reference is based on your character. It can only be completed by someone who knows you and your nature, such as a former tutor.

Obtain a character reference

  • Last updated: 03/05/2022