Updating the error messages displayed in the add and edit course flows

We improved the error messages on the ‘Add course’ and edit course flows to make the language clearer and more specific to the options presented on the page.

What we changed

We have updated the error messages for:

Subject level

If the user does not select a subject level, we show an error message:

Select a subject level

Subject level error message
Subject level error message

Special educational needs and disabilities

If the user does not select if this is a special educational needs and disability (SEND) course, we show an error message:

Select if this is a special educational needs and disability (SEND) course

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) error message
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) error message

Subject

We show a different page if the user has previously chosen the ‘Primary’ subject level or ‘Secondary’ subject level.

Primary subjects

If the user does not select a primary subject specialism, we show an error message:

Select a subject

Primary subject specialism error message
Primary subject specialism error message

Secondary subjects

If the user does not select a subject from the first subject drop-down, we show an error message:

Select a subject

Secondary subject error message
Secondary subject error message

If the user selects a subject from the optional second subject drop-down, which matches the first subject chosen, we show an error message:

First subject and second subject cannot be the same

Secondary subject error message if subjects are the same
Secondary subject error message if subjects are the same

Modern languages

When a user selects ‘Modern languages’ as a first or second subject, we show a list of languages.

If the user does not select a language, we show an error message:

Select at least one language

Languages error message
Languages error message

Engineers teach physics

When a user selects ‘Physics’ as the first subject for the course, we show an ‘Engineers teach physics’ page.

If the user does not select if the course is part of the Engineers teach physics programme, we show an error message:

Select if this course is part of the Engineers teach physics programme

Engineers teach physics error message
Engineers teach physics error message

Age range

We show age ranges depending on the user’s chosen subject level.

If the user selects the primary subject level, we show the primary age ranges; if they choose secondary, we show the secondary subject levels. We do not show the age range page for the further education subject level.

Primary

If the user does not select a primary age range, we show an error message:

Select an age range

Primary age range error message
Primary age range error message

Secondary

If the user does not select a secondary age range, we show an error message:

Select an age range

Secondary age range error message
Secondary age range error message

Another age range

If the user selects ‘Another age range’ but does not enter a range, we show an error message:

Enter start age

And

Enter end age

Other primary age range error message
Other primary age range error message
Other secondary age range error message
Other secondary age range error message

If the course is primary and the user enters an age that is not between 3 and 11, we show an error message:

Enter an age between 3 and 11

If the course is secondary and the user enters an age that is not between 11 and 19, we show an error message:

Enter an age between 11 and 19

If the user enters a start age that is more than the end age, we show an error message:

Start age must be less than end age

Age ranges must be a minimum of 4 years. If the user adds another age range that is less than 4 years, we show an error message:

End age must be at least four years after start age

Qualification

We show qualifications depending on the user’s chosen subject level.

Primary and secondary

If the user does not select a qualification, we show an error message:

Select a qualification

Primary and secondary level qualification error message
Primary and secondary level qualification error message

Further education

If the user does not select a qualification, we show an error message:

Select a qualification

Further education qualification error message
Further education qualification error message

Funding type

If the user does not select a funding type, we show an error message:

Select a funding type

Funding type error message
Funding type error message

Teaching apprenticeship

If the user does not select if this is a teaching apprenticeship, we show an error message:

Select if this is a teaching apprenticeship

Apprenticeship error message
Apprenticeship error message

Full time or part time

If the user does not select if the course is full time, part time or both, we show an error message:

Select full time or part time

Full time or part time error message
Full time or part time error message

Location

In the ‘Add course’ flow, the location page is only shown if there is more than one location a user can choose from. If there is only one location, we default the answer and skip the page.

If there is more than one location and the user does not select a location, we show an error message:

Select a location

Location error message
Location error message

Accredited body

In the ‘Add course’ flow, the accredited body page is only shown if there is more than one accredited body a user can choose from. If there is one accredited body, we default the answer and skip the page.

If there is more than one accredited body and the user does not select an accredited body, we show an error message:

Select an accredited body

Accredited body error message
Accredited body error message

Visa sponsorship

We show different visa sponsorship questions depending on whether the course is fee-paying or salaried.

Fee-paying courses

If the user belongs to a lead school or school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and they do not answer the Student visa sponsorship question, we show the error message:

Select if Student visa sponsorship is available for this course

Student visa error message
Student visa error message

If the user belongs to a higher education institution (HEI) and they do not answer the Student visa sponsorship question, we show the error message:

Select if your organisation can sponsor Student visas for this course

Student visa error message (HEI)
Student visa error message (HEI)

Salaried or apprenticeship courses

For all provider types, if the user does not answer the visa sponsorship question, we show the error message:

Select if your organisation can sponsor Skilled Worker visas for this course

Skilled Worker visa error message
Skilled Worker visa error message

Applications open date

If the user does not select an applications open date, we show an error message:

Select an applications open date

Applications open date error message
Applications open date error message

Another date

If the user selects ‘Another date’ but does not enter a date, we show an error message:

Enter a date when applications will open

Other applications open date error message
Other applications open date error message

If the user enters a date that is in the past, we show an error message:

Applications open date must be in the future

If the user enters an invalid date, we show an error message:

Applications open date must be a real date

If the user enters a partially correct date, we follow GOV.UK design system guidance on error messages in date inputs

Course start date

If the user does not select a course start date, we show an error message:

Select a course start date

Course start date error message
Course start date error message

Further considerations

Subject level and special educational needs and disabilities

The subject level and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) questions are currently on the same page when creating a new course but not when editing a course.

We’re considering splitting the pages in the add course flow to be consistent with the edit flows and simplify the content and error messaging.

Full time or part time

The ‘Full time or part time’ page currently has radio buttons.
It is not clear if the ‘Full time or part time’ option means:

  • both full time and part time
  • either full time or part time

We will consider changing this to checkboxes and removing the ‘Both’ option.