All modules are assigned what are called CATS credits (often referred to as CATS). CATS stands for Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme which is a scheme used widely in the UK higher education system. Each "CAT" is deemed to require roughly 10 hours of student work, which includes attendance at lectures, time spent in laboratories, work out of lectures, revision and other activities. The normal load for one year of full time study in higher education is 120 CATS. In the first year a 15 lecture module is worth 6 CATS, whilst a 30 lecture one is worth 12 CATS. In the second year most modules consist of about 18 lectures and are worth 7.5 CATS. In subsequent years 15 lecture modules are worth 7.5 CATS (30 lecture ones are worth 15 CATS) reflecting the expectation that in later years you are learning more outside of lectures.
Our courses operate on a credit accumulation system with your performance in each year counting towards your final degree classification. Your marks in the later years contribute more to your final mark than those obtained earlier. The actual weighting varies with the degree programme you are following. For the BSc degree programmes in physics, and mathematics and physics, the three years' marks are weighted in the ratio 10:30:60. For the MPhys and MMathPhys degree programmes in physics, and mathematics and physics respectively the four years' marks are weighted in the ratio 10:20:30:40. For the BSc degree in Physics with Business Studies the ratio is 10:40:50.
For students who were due to take the cancelled summer examinations in 2020, the weightings have been amended to:
Physics, Mathematics and Physics
3-year BSc: First Year 0%, Second Year 33.3%, Third Year 66.7%
4-year MPhys/MMathPhys: First Year 0%, Second Year 22.22%, Third Year 33.33%, Fourth Year 44.45%
Physics with Business Studies
3-year BSc: First Year 0%, Second Year 50%, Third Year 50%
When marking any assessed and examined work we use the following guidelines when classifying your performance:
- 70% and over
- A 1st class performance
- 60.0% - 69.9%
- A 2(i) performance
- 50.0% - 59.9%
- A 2(ii) performance
- 40.0% - 49.9%
- A 3rd class performance
- Less than 40%
- A failure at the honours level
Masters Level Modules
For students matriculating in 2020 or later, the pass mark for all masters level modules will be 50%. This refers to modules with a "4-code" e.g. PX440 or MA4A7. While any mark below 50% on such modules will count to the overall credit for the year, the module will appear as a fail on your transcript (even if the mark is in the 40's).