Academic Manual

15 Award of Degrees 2017-18


Section 15: Award of Degrees 2017-18

The following regulations apply to all UCL UG and PGT students in all years of study. There are no substantive changes for 2017-18.

15.1 Overarching Principles

Principle 41: 

Education Committee, on behalf of Academic Committee, is authorised to award UCL taught degrees.

15.2 Authority to Award a UCL Taught Degree

1. The Programme Board of Examiners is responsible for recommending a student for a taught degree to UCL Education Committee for formal approval.
2. UCL Student Records is responsible for the scrutiny and confirmation of qualifications under authority delegated from UCL Education Committee to make decisions on its behalf.

15.3 Date of a Degree Award

1. The date of the award will be the 15 July or the first day of the month after UCL Education Committee has confirmed the award.

15.4 Field of Study

1. The field of study on the degree certificate should match the title of the degree programme on which the student is registered. 
2. The Programme Board of Examiners may recommend a qualification with an alternate field of study under the regulations in Section 12.3.

15.5 Publication of Results

Formal Publication of Degree Outcomes
1. Students will be informed by email of the date when their formal results will be published on the student records database, Portico.
2. The proceedings of the Programme Board of Examiners, and the final degree outcomes, should not be communicated to students ahead of the formal publication of results by UCL Student Records.
3. Exceptionally, the Chair of the Programme Board of Examiners may permit the disclosure of results before the formal publication date if the results are needed for an application for, e.g., Research Council Funding.
Release of Unconfirmed Provisional Marks
4.  Programme Boards of Examiners are permitted to release unconfirmed provisional component and module marks to students, prior to the formal publication of degree outcomes by UCL.
5. In the case of coursework, markers are permitted to release unconfirmed provisional marks and feedback to students, prior to formal consideration by the Programme Board of Examiners.
6.  Any marks released before confirmation by the relevant Programme Board of Examiners are provisional and therefore subject to change.
7.  Under the Data Protection Act 1998 tutors should ensure that, when returning coursework, marks and comments remain private to the student concerned unless, in the case of tutorials etc., it is agreed by the students present that such data can be disclosed.
8.  For further guidance see Annex 4.3.6: Protocol for the Release of Unconfirmed Provisional Results.
Retention of Assessed Student Work
9.  UCL’s policy on the retention of records is laid out in its Records Retention Schedule. Section 1.2 of the schedule addresses assessed student work, which is kept for one year after the Programme Board of Examiners has met.
10.  More information and guidance on records management can be found on the Records Office web pages. The Records Office can be contacted by email:
Release of Examination Scripts
11.  Examination scripts will not routinely be returned to students.
12. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, comments on examination scripts must be disclosed in a legible form to the student concerned, should that student request it, although the original scripts themselves do not have to be made available. Any queries should be made to UCL’s Data Protection Officer.

15.6 Certificates and Transcripts

Contact Details
1. Students must ensure that their contact details are kept up to date, via Portico, as this contact address will be used for the dispatch of transcripts and degree certificates.
Degree Certificates
2.  A degree certificate will be sent to each successful student awarded a UCL degree.
3.  All graduating students will be sent an official transcript, detailing their marks and award.
4.  Students may request additional copies of their transcripts from UCL Student Records, for which a fee will be charged.
5.  Further information is available from UCL Student Transcripts.
Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR)
6.  Honours Degree students first enrolled from September 2011 onwards will receive a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).
Affiliate Student Transcripts and Certificates
7.  Affiliate students are entitled to receive a transcript of their achievement produced by UCL.
8.  Requests for any other certification, such as certification of UCL module credits/ ECTS for affiliate students, must be submitted to UCL Student Records

15.7 Academic Robes

1. All UCL graduands must wear academic robes, obtained from the appropriate UCL supplier, to the graduation ceremonies.

15.8 Students with an Outstanding Tuition Fee Debt to UCL

1. All students who will, if successful in their examinations, qualify for the award of a degree should note that UCL will withhold the award in the case of any student who is in debt to UCL in regards to tuition fees. 
  a) No report will be made on the student's results record until the tuition fee debt has been settled in full, and attendance at a Graduation Ceremony will not be permitted unless all tuition fees have been settled by the due date.
  b) All other students who hold a debt to UCL in relation to tuition fees will have their official results withheld and/or not be permitted to enrol at any future session until that tuition fee debt has been settled in full.
  c) For the avoidance of doubt, the term ‘tuition fees’ does not include, without limitation: accommodation charges, charges for childcare services, library charges, examination and submission fees, student loans and other fines and penalties.

15.9 Revocation of Degrees

1. UCL may revoke any degree if any of the following circumstances are discovered and proved to the satisfaction of UCL at any time:
  a) There was an administrative error in the award made under the procedures required by UCL, including an error in calculating results.
  b) Subsequent to award, a Programme Board of Examiners, having taken into account information which was unavailable at the time its decision was made, determines that a classification should be altered.
  c) The award has been cancelled owing to Examination Irregularities or Plagiarism.

15.10 Requesting a Review of a Board of Examiners’ Decision

1. Students cannot contest the decision of a Programme Board of Examiners on academic grounds; students can only contest the decision of a Programme Board of Examiners on the specific grounds set out in Chapter 1, Section 12: Student Complaints Procedure.

15.11 Material Irregularities

1. A Material Irregularity is an administrative or procedural error which has a significant, negative impact on a student’s performance at summative assessment. A Material Irregularity may affect one student or a group of students. It does not include disagreement with an academic judgement about the quality of student work submitted for assessment.
2. Where a student has a concern about a Material Irregularity, they must follow the procedure set out in Chapter 1, Section 12: Student Complaints Procedure
3. Where a UCL member of staff identifies a potential irregularity in the assessment process, it must be investigated to establish whether the circumstances are material, which students have been affected and how UCL will address the irregularity.
4. Where the investigation concludes that a material irregularity has occurred, the Faculty Board of Examiners is responsible for determining an appropriate course of action in consultation with UCL Academic Policy and Quality Assurance. This can be done by Chair’s Action if necessary.
5. The options open to the Faculty Board of Examiners include:
  a) Where possible, rectifying or mitigating the irregularity before the assessment takes place, or
  b) If the assessment has already taken place:
    i) Offering a coursework extension, OR
    ii) Condoning the late submission of coursework, OR
    iii) Offering an alternative method of assessment (approved by the External Examiner), OR
    iv) Offering the student another opportunity to take the assessment as if for the first time and without penalty (deferral), OR
    v) Exclusion of the affected component/ module from completion, progression, award or classification decisions, OR
    vi) A combination of the above mitigations.
  c) Making a recommendation to UCL Academic Policy and Quality Assurance on behalf of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) for a Suspension of Regulations.
  d) Where the Programme Board of Examiners has already made a decision on progression or award, recommending to UCL Academic Policy and Quality Assurance on behalf of the Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs) that the decision is overturned and a new decision is put in its place, in consultation with the relevant External Examiner.
6. In no circumstances should a student be awarded additional marks to compensate for the irregularity.
7. All cases must be clearly recorded in the Faculty Board of Examiners minutes and any changes to student results recorded on Portico.

15.12 Suspension of the Regulations

1. In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary to suspend the regulations temporarily for one or more students. Requests for suspensions must be made on a case-by-case basis to UCL Academic Policy and Quality Assurance and formally approved by the Vice Provost (Education & Student Affairs).
2. Suspensions of regulations are reported to the next meeting of the Education Committee, and an annual analysis conducted to identify common issues that should be incorporated into the main regulations.