‘Learning gain’ has become an increasingly prominent concept in debates about the effectiveness of higher education across OECD countries. In England, interest has been heightened by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)’s major research initiative on learning gain, launched in 2015, and by the new Teaching Excellence Framework which assesses learning and teaching and student outcomes. HEFCE’s novel research initiative has funded a set of experimental projects across the English higher education sector for the first time. This paper presents preliminary findings from one such project at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The project trials and evaluates three approaches to identifying and measuring learning gain using data from cohorts of students across different discipline areas during 2015–2016 and 2016–2017. It builds upon previous work carried out at UEA in developing self-efficacy assessments and applying concept inventories. Student marks provide a simple comparator as a third approach to measuring learning gain.