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Marking

All honours level summative work (essays, dissertations and examinations) is marked by at least two examiners within CAS and/or the Department of History. The work is monitored by external examiners who review particular modules and borderline cases.

Classification is a complex matter, requiring skill and judgement on the part of markers, and no brief list can hope to capture all the considerations that may come into play. There is no requirement that a piece of work would have to meet every one of the specified criteria in order to obtain a mark in the relevant class. Equally, when work displays characteristics from more than one class, a judgement must be made of the overall quality. In some respects expectations differ between essays and exam answers. The latter will, for example, normally contain less detailed evidence than the former.

Presentation, style, grammar and spelling are important aspects of the ability to communicate ideas with clarity. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the Undergraduate Style Guide and get into the habit of following its recommendations on presentation, footnoting, bibliography, etc. Poorly written essays are less likely to meet the criteria laid down for a particular class then well-written ones.

Penalties may be imposed due to poor attendance, over-length work, work that is submitted late, and any form of plagiarism/cheating. Students should ensure that they are fully aware of the Department and University's regulations in respect of these issues, as detailed on the Penalties webpage.

The University introduced the '17 Point Marking Scale' in 2009, which directly maps to the different degree classification, and it is now used to mark all undergraduate work. Some work may receive an overall mark that is a composite of several marks from the 17 Point Marking Scale. For instance, an exam with four questions might receive marks of 65, 68, 62, and 74 for the individual questions and therefore an overall mark of 67.25 for the whole exam.

Listed below are the descriptors for each of the 17 points.

Class Scale Point University Descriptor Numerical Equivalent
First (1st) Excellent 1st Exceptional work of the highest quality, demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. At final-year level: work may achieve or be close to publishable standard. 96
High 1st Very high quality work demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. Work which may extend existing debates or interpretations. 89
Mid 1st 81
Low 1st 74
Upper Second (2.1) High 2.1 High quality work demonstrating good knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. 68
Mid 2.1 65
Low 2.1 62
Lower Second (2.2) High 2.2 Competent work, demonstrating reasonable knowledge and understanding, some analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. 58
Mid 2.2 55
Low 2.2 52
Third (3rd) High 3rd Work of limited quality, demonstrating some relevant knowledge and understanding. 48
Mid 3rd 45
Low 3rd 42
Fail High Fail (sub-honours) Work does not meet standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. There may be evidence of some basic understanding of relevant concepts and techniques. 38
Fail Poor quality work well below the standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. 25
Low Fail 12
Zero Zero Work of no merit OR Absent, work not submitted, penalty in some misconduct cases. 0

 

More details of the marking scale are available from the Teaching Quality website.