(a) The University has a single set of rules for the award of taught postgraduate qualifications which are not otherwise constrained by accreditation requirements.
(b) The classification system for the award of merit and distinction is based on averaging.
(c) These arrangements are consistent with the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and take account of module and course learning outcomes.
(d) The system is designed to be transparent, clear and comprehensible for students and staff.
(e) In arriving at decisions for an award, a fail mark for a module may not be condoned and a module may not be passed by compensation.
(f) The award of Master will normally be made on successful completion of 150 credits at level 7, providing that a mark of at least 40 is obtained in the failed module(s). Where departments require students to attain 180 credits at level 7 for the award of Master this must be clearly specified in information supplied to students.
(g) The award of Postgraduate Diploma will normally be made on successful completion of 90 credits at level 7, providing that a mark of at least 40 is obtained in the failed module(s). Where departments require students to attain 120 credits at level 7 for the award of Postgraduate Diploma this must be clearly specified in information supplied to students.
(h) It is the responsibility of examination boards to act in accordance with these rules. Where professional, statutory or regulatory bodies specify requirements for accreditation which are inconsistent with these rules, departments must propose alternative arrangements which must be approved by Academic Quality and Standards Committee. No additional conventions may be specified by departments.
(a) All marks should be given on a 0-100 scale.
(b) The minimum pass mark for all postgraduate modules is 50.
(c) Departments must specify in module proposals and in information supplied to students whether students must pass all elements of the assessment on a module in order to be awarded a pass mark. In the event that departments do not do so, students will be awarded a pass in the module if they attain an average mark, weighted according to the percentage of the individual elements of the assessment, which is not lower than 50.
3. Re- examination
(a) Students on taught postgraduate degrees should normally be allowed one opportunity to remedy failure in initial assessment in modules that equate with no more than one half of the total credits awarded in the taught element of the course. Only one re-examination will be permitted for each module except as set out in (g) below.
(b) Students should normally be allowed one opportunity to remedy failure in their dissertation/project module. Students obtaining a mark of 30 or less in the dissertation/project carrying a credit weighting of more than 60 credits will only be permitted to submit a re-worked submission for examination against different learning outcomes, the achievement of which would enable them to be considered for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma, except as set out in (g) below.
(c) Where the failure on an initial assessment in a taught module, dissertation or similar piece of independent project work is the result of penalties for late submission, the student should normally not be allowed to revise or resubmit the same assessment in order to remedy that failure, but should be required to undertake a new assessment, dissertation or project. Where it is impracticable for the department to allow the student to undertake a new assessment, dissertation or project that has failed due to penalties for late submission, the initial failure should be allowed to stand (and the matter referred to the Board of Examiners for their consideration of all the circumstances relevant to the case).
(d) Where a failure results from a finding of cheating under University regulations, it should be for the Head of the department (or his or her authorised deputy), the University Investigating Committee or the Board of Examiners to determine whether the student should be allowed to remedy that failure.
(e) Where a student has failed to reach the minimum pass mark for a module which contains more than one element of assessment, the student shall normally be required to be re-examined only in the element(s) of the assessment which has(have) not met the minimum pass mark, noting that the appropriate method of reassessment should be determined by the Board of Examiners.
(f) The maximum pass mark which may be awarded for a module on re-examination is 50, irrespective of the mark(s) which have been given for other elements of the assessment for that module, except as set out in (g) below. Departments are however required to keep a record of the uncapped mark, although it would not appear on the student’s transcript.
(g) Where there is evidence of serious medical or personal problems disclosed to, and discussed by, the relevant departmental Special Cases Committee, that committee may make recommendations to the relevant Examination Board as to the extent to which these special circumstances should be taken into account in offering to the student an opportunity to be examined as a first attempt or offered a further opportunity for re-examination. Any discretionary consideration should be clearly minuted by Examination Boards. The Examination Board should not amend a module mark or the mark for any element of assessment as a result of special circumstances being taken into account except that where there are a number of elements to the assessment the Examination Board may recalculate a module mark based on the elements of the assessment which have attained a pass mark and which were not affected by the special circumstances.
(a) Where students are not initially enrolled for a full Master’s award, they may normally only progress to the next stage of a course when they have acquired the required minimum number of credits specified in the tabulated summary at appendix A, including passing all modules designated as core to ensure that the stated course learning outcomes have been met. If a department requires that students must also obtain a specified average mark across some or all modules before progressing from a postgraduate certificate to a postgraduate diploma, or from a postgraduate diploma to the Master’s, this must be clearly specified in information provided to students.
(b) Course proposals and documentation provided to students must, therefore, explicitly identify the core modules on any course for which credit must be achieved in order to progress.
(c) Where any additional modules are required to be passed (in addition to the total minimum credit volume to be passed as specified in appendix A) to meet the learning outcomes for an award or for progression to the next stage of a course, this must be indicated clearly in the course approval and specification and be made clear in documentation supplied to students.
5. Awards and classification
(a) Students are eligible for the awards shown in appendix A if they obtain the minimum number of credits at the appropriate level(s). Where departments require students to attain 180 credits at level 7 for the award of Master this must be clearly specified in information supplied to students.
(b) Where departments require students to attain 120 credits at level 7 for the award of Postgraduate Diploma this must be clearly specified in information supplied to students.
(c) Subject to the provisions of (d) below the award of Master, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Award should be with merit if a student attains an Award Average (weighted according to the credit rating of the modules comprised within the award) of between 60.0 and 69.9 inclusive and with distinction if a student attains an Award Average of 70.0 or above. Where departments specify that a student must attain a mark on a particular module or modules of 60.0 or above for an award with merit or 70.0 or above for an award with distinction this must be specified in information provided to students.
(d) Irrespective of the award average attained by a student and subject to the provisions of (e) below no student may receive an award with merit or distinction if the student has not received the minimum pass mark for any module.
(e) Where there is evidence of serious medical or personal problems disclosed to and discussed by the relevant departmental Special Cases Committee that committee may make recommendations to the relevant Examination Board as to the extent to which these special circumstances should be taken into account. Any discretionary consideration should be clearly minuted by Examination Boards.
Appendix A: Tabulated Summary of Credit Requirements for Awards
* The award of Master may be made where a student has obtained 150 credits providing the student has obtained a mark of at least 40 in the failed module(s).
** The award of Postgraduate Diploma may be made where a student has obtained 90 credits providing the student has obtained a mark of at least 40 in the failed module(s).