32.   Awards and Classification - in Modular Programmes

32.1      Classification is permitted on honours degree programmes; however, unless provision is made within this Code, non-degree undergraduate modular awards are not classified. These awards are made where a student achieves the credit points for them with an overall mark of 40 out of 100 or more.

32.2      Guidance for faculties on students who do not complete all the required assessment for honours classification in relation to Ordinance 18 is provided at annex 9.

32.3      No further regulations or rules will apply for the calculation of the degree classification following application of the common algorithm (i.e. the primary and secondary rule).

32.4      Rules which are inherent to the design of the programme, such as a requirement for the student to pass a project in order to graduate, must be approved and be described in the relevant programme specification, and be implemented before the algorithm is applied.

32.5      Bands of marks for use in final degree classification in undergraduate modular programmes are as follows:

            All Faculties

            First Class Honours                                                 70 and above

            Second Class Honours, First Division                        60-69

            Second Class Honours, Second Division                    50-59

            Third Class Honours                                                40-49

            Fail                                                                        39 and below

An Ordinary degree can be awarded if a student has successfully completed at least 300 credits with a minimum of 60 credits at level 6.

Primary Rule for calculating the final programme mark and degree classification

32.6         First year (undergraduate) marks will not contribute to the calculation of the final programme mark and/or degree classification. Additionally, units in any year of study that are pass/fail only will be disregarded in this calculation.

32.7         All units taken in the years of study that contribute to the final programme mark and/or degree classification will count towards the weighted average final mark. Where students are given exemption from units, due to prior learning, see annex 13.

32.8         The weightings apply to years of study, not to the level of the units taken by a student within the year.

32.9         The default position is that within each faculty a single weighting rule for the years of study will apply, unless a faculty is able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the University Education Committee, that more than one weighting rule is required because of the major differences between subjects within the faculty and/or professional body accreditation requirements. The agreed weightings for the programmes within each of the faculties are provided in annex 12.

32.10      Within each year of study the weighting given to the unit mark, in relation to the mean ‘year mark’, will correspond to the credit point value of the unit, e.g. the mark for a 20 credit point unit would be 1/6 of the whole year mark, if the student has to achieve 120 credit points during the year.

32.11      For the purposes of applying the primary and secondary rules, the final programme mark is calculated by averaging the weighted individual unit marks. The result of the calculation should then be rounded to the nearest integer. This must be done PRIOR to determining whether the final programme mark is within the classification boundary range, as defined in 32.12.

32.12      The honours programme classification boundary ranges are based on marks out of 100 and are:

  • First / 2.1        equal to or more than 68 but less than 70
  • 2.1 / 2.2          equal to or more than 58 but less than 60
  • 2.2 / Third       equal to or more than 48 but less than 50
  • Third / Fail       equal to or more than 38 but less than 40

If the final summative programme mark falls within the range of one of these classification boundaries, the secondary rule will apply.

Secondary Rule

32.13      If the final summative programme mark falls within the range of one of the classification boundaries, as set out in 32.12, the higher degree classification will only be awarded if 50% or more of the rounded individual unit marks, weighted by credit point value and year of study,which contribute to the degree classification are achieved at the higher class or classes, otherwise the lower class will be awarded.

32.14      It is the responsibility of the School Board of Examiners to consider and determine between classifications on the basis of the secondary rule.