Policies

Senate regulation 6: Regulations governing taught postgraduate programmes of study: Award

Criteria for and classification of awards

6.30

A Postgraduate Certificate, a Postgraduate Diploma and a Masters degree may be awarded with pass, merit, or distinction. In all cases classification is determined either on the basis of an overall credit weighted average or preponderance of credits, whichever leads to the better result for a student. The following descriptors apply:

Pass

To be awarded a pass a student will have demonstrated achievement of the specified learning outcomes of the programme to a satisfactory standard, demonstrating a critical and substantial understanding of the topic. They will have demonstrated the ability to develop an independent, systematic and logical or insightful argument or evaluation. They will also have demonstrated a significant degree of competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, methodologies, practices, and tools and shown evidence of clarity, focus and cogency in communication.

Merit

To be awarded a merit a student will have demonstrated achievement of the specified learning outcomes of the programme to a very good standard, demonstrating a well-developed, critical and comprehensive understanding of the topic. They will have demonstrated the ability to develop an independent, systematic and logical or insightful argument or evaluation. They will also have demonstrated a high degree of competence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, methodologies, practices, and tools, and shown a high level of clarity, focus and cogency in communication.

Distinction

To be awarded a distinction a student will have demonstrated achievement of the specified learning outcomes of the programme to an excellent standard, demonstrating a sophisticated, critical and thorough understanding of the topic. They will have demonstrated evidence of originality of thought and the ability to develop an independent, highly systematic and logical or insightful argument or evaluation. They will also have demonstrated excellence in the appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, methodologies, practices, and tools, and shown excellent clarity, focus and cogency in communication.

6.31

For a Postgraduate Certificate, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Postgraduate Certificate

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 50%, or at least 45 credits at 50%, grade ‘C’, or above.

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ , and no module mark < 40%, grade ‘F’.

Postgraduate Certificate with Merit

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 60%, or at least 45 credits at 60%, grade ‘B’ or above.

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’.

Postgraduate Certificate with Distinction

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 70%, or at least 45 credits at 70%, grade ‘A’ or above.

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’.

6.32

Where a Postgraduate Certificate is to be awarded as an intermediate award and a student has attempted taught modules to a value greater than 60 credits, the thresholds set out in 6.31 above shall be applied to the 60 credits identified to meet the criteria for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate.

6.33

For a Postgraduate Diploma, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the modules of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Postgraduate Diploma

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 50%, or at least 90 credits at 50%, grade ‘C’, or above.

Failed credit

No more than 30 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’, and no module mark < 40%, grade ‘F’.

Postgraduate Diploma with Merit

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 60%, or at least 90 credits at 60%, grade ‘B’ or above.

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ and no mark <40%, grade ‘F’.

Postgraduate Diploma with Distinction

Taught modules

A credit-weighted average mark of at least 70%, or at least 90 credits at 70%, grade ‘A’ or above.

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grades ‘D’ or ‘F’.

6.34

Where a Postgraduate Diploma is to be awarded as an intermediate award and a student has attempted taught modules to a value greater than 120 credits, the thresholds set out in 6.32 above shall be applied to the 120 credits identified to meet the criteria for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

6.35

For a Masters programme with a structure of 150 credits of taught modules and a dissertation/research project of 30 credits, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Masters degree

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 50% (grade C) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 50% or
  • b) at least 120 credits at 50% or above from the taught modules, (grade C)

Failed credit

No more than 30 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’, and no module mark < 40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters degree with Merit

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 60% (grade B) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 60% or
  • b) at least 75 credits at 60% or above from the taught modules, (grade B)

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ and no mark < 40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters degree with Distinction

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 70% (grade A) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 70% or
  • b) at least 75 credits at 70% or above from the taught modules, (grade A)

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grades ‘D’ or ‘F’.

6.36

For a Masters programme with a structure of 120 credits of taught modules and a dissertation/research project of 60 credits, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Masters degree

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 50% (grade C) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 50% or
  • b) at least 90 credits at 50% or above from the taught modules, (grade C)

Failed credit

No more than 30 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’, and no module mark < 40%, grade ‘F.

Masters degree with Merit

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 60% (grade B) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 60% or
  • b) at least 60 credits at 60% or above from the taught modules, (grade B)

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ and no mark <40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters Degree with Distinction

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 70% (grade A) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 70% or
  • b) at least 60 credits at 70% or above from the taught modules, (grade A)

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grades ‘D’ or ‘F’.

6.37

For a Masters programme with a structure of 90 credits of taught modules and a dissertation/research project of 90 credits, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Masters degree

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 50% (grade C) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 50% or
  • b) at least 60 credits at 50% or above from the taught modules, (grade C)

Failed credit

No more than 30 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’, and no module mark < 40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters degree with Merit

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 60% (grade B) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 60% or
  • b) at least 45 credits at 60% or above from the taught modules, (grade B)

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ and no mark <40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters degree with Distinction

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 70% (grade A) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 70% or
  • b) at least 45 credits at 70% or above from the taught modules, (grade A)

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grades ‘D’ or ‘F’.

6.38

For a Masters programme with a structure of 60 credits of taught modules and a dissertation/research project of 120 credits, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Masters degree

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 50% (grade C) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 50% or
  • b) at least 30 credits at 50% or above from the taught modules, (grade C)

Failed credit

No more than 30 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’, and no module mark <40%, grade ‘F’

Masters degree with Merit

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 60% (grade B) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 60% or
  • b) at least 30 credits at 60% or above from the taught modules, (grade B)

Failed credit

No more than 15 credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ and no mark <40%, grade ‘F’.

Masters degree with Distinction

Performance

A dissertation/project mark of at least 70% (grade A) and either:

  • a) an overall credit-weighted average mark of at least 70% or
  • b) at least 30 credits at 70% or above from the taught modules, (grade A)

Failed credit

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grades ‘D’ or ‘F’.

6.39

For an MRes programme, a student must have attempted every assessment component for each of the taught modules, unless mitigating circumstances have been accepted, and have achieved the following thresholds:

Master of Research degree

Taught modules

A mark of 50% or a grade of ‘C’ in all modules.

Dissertation/research project

A mark of 50% or a grade ‘C’ or above.

Failure

No credits with a mark of less than 50% grade ‘D’ or ‘F’.

Master of Research degree with merit

Taught modules

A mark of 50% or a gradeof ‘C’ in all modules.

Dissertation/research project

A mark of 60% or a grade of ‘B’ or above.

Failure

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ or ‘F’.

Master of Research degree with distinction

Taught modules

A mark of 50% or a grade of ‘C’ in all modules.

Dissertation/research project

A mark of 70% or a grade ‘A’ or above.

Failure

No credits with a mark of less than 50%, grade ‘D’ or ‘F’.

Aegrotat Awards

6.40

An aegrotat award may be considered in certain circumstances where a student is prevented through illness or other sufficient cause from completing the final assessment for the taught component of the award. Exemption may not be granted from completing the dissertation or research project.

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