Worked examples of removing 30 credits from a CWA calculation

If there is evidence that overall student outcomes have been affected this year, the University Senate has approved two mechanisms for Boards of Examiners to use in order to protect students.  One of these is for a finalist student’s lowest 30 credits to be excluded from their credit weighted average for the year (please see section 4 above). A guide to this process and some worked examples are provided below.

Your final degree classification is calculated on the basis of the marks that you achieve in your second and third year for a 3-year Bachelors degree, or your second, third and fourth years for an integrated Masters degree or degree with an integrated year abroad (such as in Modern Languages or American Studies).

A credit weighted average for each year is calculated by weighting the marks achieved by the credit value for each module.  For example, a 30 credit module would be weighted twice as heavily as a 15 credit module.

The weighted marks are combined to create the CWA for the year, in the case of the example module marks below the CWA for the year would be 62.5%.

Module Credit weighting Mark
JR3001 30 63
JR3002 30 68
JR3003 30 59
JR3004 15 58
JR3005 15 62

The averages for the contributing years are then combined together as follows:

  • 3 year degree     
    • Year 2: 33
    • Year 3: 67
  • 4-year degree
    • Year 2: 20
    • Year 3: 30
    • Year 4: 50

As an example, if a three year student achieved an CWA of 61% in year 2 and 65% in year 3, the final credit weighted average for the student’s degree as a whole would be:

  • 61 x 0.33 = 20.13
  • 65 x 0.67 = 43.55

With the final credit weighted average degree mark being, 20.12 + 43.55 = 63.68%

In the event that the University applies the credit discount set out above, this would operate as follows:

Student A, on a standard three-year Bachelors programme

Student A is in their final year studying four modules, each weighted 30 credits.  In their second year the student achieved a credit weighted average of 55% and felt that they had done better in their final year, but was worried that they have slipped up in one module.

In the 2020/21 academic year they achieved the following outcomes, with the lowest module marked with an (S).

Module Credit weighting Mark
Module A 30 56%
Module B 30 (dissertation) 58%
Module C 30 62%
Module D 30 54% (S)

Student A’s average for the year without the application of the Safeguard would be 57.5%, but with the Safeguard this would increase to 58.67%.

This would then be combined with the second year average. Before the application of the Safeguard Student A would receive an average for the whole degree of 56.86%, but with the application of the Safeguard this would increase to 57.46%.

This represents an overall increase of 0.78%.

Student B, also on a standard three-year Bachelors programme

Student B is in their final year studying six modules, weighted between 15 and 30 credits.  In their second year they achieved a credit weighted average of 58%. 

Student B had attempted all of their assessments, but had caring commitments and in one module they had not been able to arrange cover. They were concerned that they had not been able to perform to their best in that module.   They had not submitted mitigating circumstances as they had hoped that they had done enough to pass.

In the 2020/21 academic year they achieved the following outcomes, with the lowest module marked with an (S).

Module Credit weighting Mark
Module A 30 (dissertation) 56%
Module B 30 58%
Module C 15 62%
Module D 15 54% (S)
Module E 15 58%
Module F 15 58%

Student B’s average for the year without the Safeguard would be 60.05%, but with the Safeguard this would increase to 64.33%.

This would then be combined with the second year average. Before the application of the Safeguard Student B would receive an average for the whole degree of 59.37%, but with the application of the Safeguard this would increase to 62.24%.

This represents an overall increase of 2.87%.

Student C: in the fourth and final year of an integrated Masters degree programme

Student C is a final year student on an integrated Masters programme.  Their year 2 average was 66% and their year 3 average was 68%.

In their final year they had a split profile with some high scoring modules and two modules with lower scores.  The three lowest modules totaled 45 credits.

Student C’s final year profile in 2021 was:

Module Credit weighting Mark
Module A 30 74%
Module B 15 63%
Module C 30 (dissertation) 72%
Module D 15 63% (S)
Module E 15 63% (S)
Module F 15 72%

Student C’s average for the year without the Safeguard would be 69.13%, but with the 30 credit Safeguard this would increase to 71.16%.

This would then be combined with the second and third year averages. Before the application of the Safeguard Student C would receive an average for the whole degree of 68.17%, but with the application of the Safeguard this would increase to 69.18%.

This represents an overall increase of 1.01%.