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Reg. 37 Regulations Governing Taught Postgraduate Courses

Notes

1. Where the post of a University official is named in the Regulation, this refers to the member of staff concerned or his/her authorised nominee.

 

2. Text in italics is included to provide explanation. Sub-headings in italics are intended to help users of the regulations to find the relevant section.

 This Regulation applies to taught postgraduate courses at the University. These courses fall within level 7 of the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This Regulation sets out a list of qualifications awarded and general requirements and procedures. The Regulation should be read alongside the detailed information on individual courses, including course length and assessment methods, set out in the Course Regulations and departmental information.

37.1 Taught postgraduate qualifications covered by this Regulation

Masters degrees

Postgraduate Diploma

Postgraduate Certificate

Postgraduate Award

The Univesity defines a Master of Research (MRes) as a taught qualification, governed by this Regulation. Masters by Research ('MA/MSc/LLM by Research') degrees awarded on the basis of research are covered by Regulation 38: Governing Research Degrees. Integrated Masters degrees awarded following an integrated undergraduate course are covered by Regulation 8 for First Degrees.

 

37.2 Course and duration of study

1. Students may register for approved courses of study. In order to achieve a qualification a student must meet the requirements set out in the relevant Course Regulations.

 

2. The minimum and maximum periods of study for taught postgraduate courses as set out below is approved by the Senate. Information on the length of individual courses is set out in the Course Regulations.

Qualification

Full-time

Minimum

Part-time

Minimum

Part-time

Maximum

Minimum credit at level 7

Master’s

1 year

2 years

8 years

180

Postgraduate Diploma

3 terms

6 terms

5 years

120

Postgraduate Certificate

1 term

2 terms

3 years

60

Postgraduate Award

 

1 year

1 year

20

 

3. Students registered for some part-time courses may be permitted to suspend their studies, if this is set out under the relevant Course Regulations, in line with the Regulation on Student Registration, Attendance and Progress.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

4. An applicant may request the accreditation for prior learning in line with the policy approved by the University. If accreditation is granted, the period of study may be reduced to take account of this, subject to the approval of the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies.

Changing registration to another course or qualification

5. A student may upgrade to a higher qualification subject to satisfactory progress, as specified at the time of admission to the course.

 

6. A student may, with the agreement of his/her department, seek permission from the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies to change mode of attendance or to transfer to a different taught postgraduate course or a research degree.

 

37.3 Examination procedures

1. Examination conventions must be in place for each course of study and are subject to approval as part of procedures for course approval and amendment. Examination conventions must set out the constitution for the Board of Examiners and specify the decisions open to the Board for each course. If an interim Board of Examiners is to be used, the examination conventions must also set out the constitution and remit of an interim Board, including the decisions open to it.

 

2. The membership of Boards of Examiners is appointed by the Steering Committee on behalf of the Senate on the recommendation of the Head of the Department concerned. The process for seeking approval for the membership of Boards of Examiners is set out by the Academic Office.

 

3. The quorum of the Board of Examiners shall be two-thirds of the full membership.

 

4. An external examiner must be present at a meeting of a final Board of Examiners that meets to take the decisions set out in section 4.2 below, unless prior approval has been obtained from the Vice-Chancellor, acting on behalf of the Senate. The decision of a final Board of Examiners is not valid without the assent of an external examiner.

 

5. An external examiner does not need to be present at a meeting of an interim Board of Examiners as set out in 4.1 below. However, the decisions set out in 4.1 (b) and (c) may only be taken in consultation with an external examiner.

6. Boards of Examiners are expected to abide by the requirements of the Senate Examination and Degree Conventions published by the Academic Office and the Policy on Remedying Failure in Assessments on Taught Postgraduate Degrees.

 

37.4 Decisions open to a Board of Examiners

Interim Boards

1. If a meeting of a Board of Examiners is used to determine whether students can proceed to the next part of the course, the Board shall reach one of the following decisions for each student:

(a) To permit the student to proceed to the next part of the course.

(b) To require the student to resit an examination, resubmit specified work or repeat a professional placement within a stated period. The Board may require the student to complete this successfully before proceeding.

(c) To require the student to withdraw from the course because of a failure to meet the requirements for proceeding to the next part of the course. In this instance the Board may recommend the award of an alternative qualification, if the student has met the requirements set out in the Course Regulations, or require the student to transfer to an alternative course if this is permitted under the Course Regulations.

Final Boards

2. A final Board of Examiners shall reach one of the following decisions for each student:

(a) To recommend the award of the qualification for which the student is registered.

 

(b) In the case of the award of a Master’s degree, to recommend the award of a Master’s degree with Distinction or a Master's degree with Merit.

 

(c) To require the student to resit an examination, resubmit specified work or repeat a professional placement within a stated period, normally not exceeding six months.

 

(d) To recommend the award of a qualification other than that for which the student is registered, if the student has met the requirements for the award set out in the Course Regulations.

 

(e) To require the student to transfer to an alternative course if this is permitted under the Course Regulations.

(f) To make no award.

3. If a Board of Examiners requires a resit or the resubmission of assessed work, this shall normally be as a final attempt.

4. The examiners may require a student to attend an oral examination, which must be completed satisfactorily in order to meet the requirements for the award of the qualification.

5. The recommendations of Boards of Examiners are subject to approval by the Senate.

 

37.5 Appeals against the decision of a Board of Examiners

1. If a Board of Examiners reaches one of the decisions set out below, a student has the right of appeal within 42 days of notification.

(a) If no qualification is awarded and the student is required to withdraw.

(b) If a qualification other than that for which the student is registered is awarded.

(c) If the student is required to transfer to an alternative course.

 

Grounds for appeal

2. Appeals may be made on one or more of the following grounds:

(a) There is evidence of exceptional circumstances that affected the student’s performance which the student was unable to present in time for the meeting of the Board of Examiners. In this instance, the student is required to provide an explanation why the evidence was not available at the meeting of the Board of Examiners.

 

(b) There is evidence of procedural irregularity or unfair discrimination in the examination process.

(c) There is evidence of inadequacy of supervisory or other arrangements during the student’s enrolment at the University. In this instance, the student is required to explain why a complaint was not made at an earlier stage.

Appeals made on grounds covered by (a) or (c) will be rejected if the student does not provide an explanation for the lack of availability of the evidence when the Board of Examiners reached its original decision.

 

Appeals process

3. All appeals will first be considered by a Preliminary Review Panel which decides whether the evidence presented constitutes grounds for an appeal.

4. All written evidence should be made available to the student and the department.

5. At any point during the appeals process, the student and department are permitted to agree a resolution that meets the student’s concerns, provided the terms of any agreement are acceptable under the University’s regulations.

 

Constitution of the Preliminary Review Panel and Graduate Appeals Committee

6. The constitution of a Preliminary Review Panel and Graduate Appeals Committee are set out below. Neither the Preliminary Review Panel nor the Appeals Committee shall include any member of staff from the student’s department, or any member of staff who has taught on modules taken by the student or is involved in the appeal in another capacity.

 

Preliminary Review Panel

(a) the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Graduate Studies Committee of the student’s Faculty and;

(b) the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Board of a Faculty other than that in which the student is based, the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Graduate Appeals Committee

The Graduate Appeals Committee shall be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor with the following membership:

(a) Chair: the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Board of a Faculty other than that in which the student is based, the Chair or Deputy Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies or a Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

(b) No fewer than two members drawn from a panel of up to 20 members appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Boards of the Faculties.

The membership of the Appeals Committee will include at least one person from the Preliminary Review Panel.

The dates of the meetings of the Graduate Appeals Committee shall be published by the University.

Preliminary Review Panel stage

7. The Preliminary Review Panel must decide whether the evidence presented is constitutes grounds for an appeal as set out in 5.2 above. The Preliminary Review Panel may also consider the substance and merits of the case and whether the factors advanced by the appellant would have had relevance at the time of the examinations, in arriving at their determinations.

 

8. The Preliminary Review Panel must reject an appeal if it decides that:

 

(a) The student has not put forward any grounds for appeal, as allowed in Section 5.2.

(b) For appeals on the basis of exceptional circumstances affecting the student’s performance or a complaint about the course, the student has not put forward an explanation for the failure to make the evidence available before the meeting of the Board of Examiners.

 

9. Where the Preliminary Review Panel considers that the evidence provided constitutes grounds for an appeal, it must make one of the following decisions:

 

(a) to refer the appeal to a Graduate Appeals Committee appointed in line with the constitution set out above.

(b) to recommend to the Board of Examiners that the Board reconsider its decision. This decision will only be made if the Head of Department has acknowledged that the student has established a satisfactory case for appeal and s/he is willing to ask the Board to reconsider its decision.

 

10. The student and department will be notified of the reasons for the Preliminary Review Panel’s decision.

 

Graduate Appeals Committee stage

11. The student will be given at least 10 working days notice of the date of the Appeals Committee.

 

12. The Graduate Appeals Committee may take evidence from the Chair of the Board of Examiners, departmental representatives and others, as it deems appropriate. The Head of Department, or his/her authorised deputy, must be available when the appeal is being considered to advise the Committee on departmental procedures

 

13. The Graduate Appeals Committee may make one of the following decisions:

 

(a) to reject the appeal

(b) to recommend to the Board of Examiners that, for the reasons stated, the Board should reconsider its decision. The Graduate Appeals Committee may advise the Board of Examiners as follows:

 

(i) to permit the student to proceed to the next part of the course;

(ii) to permit the student to be re-examined, to resubmit specified assessed work or to repeat a professional placement within a reasonable period;

(iii) to take into account any advice relevant to the student’s circumstances.

 

14. The student will be notified of the reasons for the Graduate Appeals Committee’s decision.

 

15. If the Graduate Appeals Committee recommends that the Board of Examiners reconsider its decision, the Board of Examiners should do so within three months of the meeting of the Graduate Appeals Committee.

 

16. After considering the decision of the Graduate Appeals Committee, the decision of the Board of Examiners shall be final.

 

Regulations applying to collaborative taught postgraduate courses

 

Jointly with Hong Kong Polytechnic University (37.6)

MSc and Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering Business Management

MSc and Postgraduate Diploma in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

 

Jointly with the University of Birmingham (37.7)

MA and Postgraduate Diploma in Italian Studies: Culture and Communication