Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Essay Marking Scale

The Department of History uses the University's 20 Point Marking Scale. History specific marking descriptors are as follows:

First Class (70+)

  • Persuasive and direct answer to the question, establishing the wider significance of the issues concerned.
  • Comprehensive coverage of the relevant material; accuracy in the details.
  • A direct and coherent argument, well supported by relevant evidence.
  • Critical analysis of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Fluent and engaging writing style; persuasive presentation and structuring of arguments.
  • Work which, in addition, displays evidence of creativity, originality, sophistication and freshness of arguments will be awarded marks of 75+.

Upper Second (60-69)

  • Direct answer to the question, establishing the wider significance of the issues concerned.
  • Adequate coverage of the relevant material, accuracy in the details.
  • Skilful mobilisation of evidence in relation to the argument being presented.
  • Narrative and description taking second place to analysis.
  • Competent manipulation of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Fluent writing style; effective presentation and structuring of arguments.

Lower Second (50-59)

  • Basically satisfactory answer to the question.
  • Limited coverage of relevant material; some inaccuracy in the detail.
  • Some attempt to mobilise evidence in relation to the argument being presented.
  • Analysis taking second place to narrative and description.
  • Limited understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Adequate writing style, presentation and structuring of arguments.

Third (40–49)

  • Barely satisfactory answer to the question.
  • Inadequate coverage of relevant material; major inaccuracies in the detail.
  • No understanding of relevant concepts, theoretical or historiographical perspectives or methodological issues.
  • Poor presentation and structuring of arguments.

Fail (less than 40)
One or more of the following:

  • Serious misunderstanding of the question.
  • Failure to provide any answer to the question.
  • Failure to show knowledge of relevant material.
  • Seriously muddled presentation and structuring of arguments.