Academic Manual

10 Classification 2017-18

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Section 10: Classification 2017-18

The 2017-18 regulations apply to all new and continuing UCL UG and PGT students enrolling on the 2017-18 academic session, except where approved Derogations and Variations supersede.

The following substantive changes have been made for 2017-18:

  • Taught Postgraduate students are now eligible for a Merit or Distinction Classification is they have a reassessment or condoned mark in their profile.

The following substantive change was made for students first enrolling on their programme from September 2016 onwards:

10.1 Overarching Principles

Principle 33: 

Classification schemes must be transparent, clearly defined and fair to all students. 

10.2 General Classification Principles

10.2.1

Calculation of Classification

1. Averages should be calculated from a mean of all counting marks, weighted according to the year of study and the credit-rating of each module.
2. Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee, or its nominee, a Department/Division may use an alternative averaging method, such as the Median. Alternate averaging schemes must be clearly explained in the Student Handbook or equivalent.

10.2.2

Rounding

1. Rounding must be applied to the final weighted average mark (e.g. a mark of 59.4 must be rounded to 59%, and a mark of 59.5 must be rounded to 60%).

10.2.3

Borderline Marks

1. Where a student’s weighted average mark falls within 1% of the next classification they are in the Borderline Zone. The criteria for raising a student to the next class are defined under each classification scheme.

10.2.4

Weighting of Reassessment and Deferral Marks

1. Marks achieved for reassessed modules should be weighted according to the year in which the module was first attempted.
2. Marks achieved for substitute modules should be weighted according to the year in which the substituted module was first attempted.
3. Marks achieved for modules deferred due to Extenuating Circumstances should be weighted according to the year in which the student was first registered on the module.

10.2.5

Credit Awarded via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

1. Credits awarded via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) from any institution other than UCL should be counted as part of the qualification requirements but should be excluded from the calculation of the classification.
2. Credits accrued at UCL and awarded via the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) should be counted as part of the qualification requirements and included in the calculation of the classification.
3. At the time of admission with RPL, the student should be advised of the number of credits which they are required to pass in order to be eligible for an award, and the algorithm which will be used to calculate their classification.
4. The application procedures for the Recognition of Prior Learning are defined in Chapter 1, Section 1.6: Recognition of Prior Learning for Entry to UCL.

10.2.6

Pass/ Fail Degrees

1. Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee, or its nominee, a qualification may be awarded on a pass/fail basis i.e. without a classification. This must be clearly explained in the Student Handbook or equivalent.

10.3 Honours Degree Classification Scheme

10.3.1

Honours Classifications

1. Students who have completed the requirements for an Honours Degree will, on the recommendation of the relevant Programme Board of Examiners, be awarded either:
  a) First Class Honours, OR 
  b)  Second Class Honours (Upper Division), OR
  c)  Second Class Honours (Lower Division), OR
  d)  Third Class Honours.

10.3.2

Non-Standard Honours Classification Schemes

1.
The following approved variations and derogations from the standard UCL Honours Degree classification scheme are located in Chapter 8: Derogations and Variations:
  a)
Faculty of the Built Environment h) Bachelor of Arts (BA) at the Institute of Education
  b) 
Faculty of Engineering Sciences i)  Bachelor of Education (BEd)
  c) 
Faculty of Mathematical & Physical Sciences j)  Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  d)  Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences k)  Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
  e)  Bachelor of Sciences (BSc) in Speech Sciences l)  Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
  f) Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English m)  Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)
  g)  Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Fine Art    
2.
All students should refer to their Student Handbook or equivalent for full details of the arrangements in place on their programme.

10.3.3

Standard Classification Schemes

 
Three-year Bachelors Degrees
1.  12.0 course unit programmes are weighted as follows: 1: 3: 5 (first; second; third year).
2.  Year averages are based on the best course unit marks in each year of study as follows: 3: 3.5: 4 (first; second; third year).
 
Four-Year Bachelors Degrees with an Extra-Mural Study Abroad or Placement Year[1]
3. 16.0 course unit programmes with an Extra-Mural Study Abroad or Placement Year (i.e. where the study abroad or placement is in addition to the minimum Honours Degree requirements) are weighted as follows: 1: 3: 0: 5 (first; second; third; fourth year).
4.  Year averages are based on the best course unit marks in each year of study as follows: 3: 3.5: 0: 4 (first; second; third; fourth year).
5.  If the Study Abroad or Placement Year is spent in the fourth year, the weighting is as follows: 1: 3: 5: 0 (first; second; third; fourth year).
6.  Year averages are based on the best course unit marks in each year of study as follows: 3: 3.5: 4: 0 (first; second; third; fourth year).
 
Four-Year Integrated Masters Degrees
7.  16.0 course unit Integrated Masters programmes without a mandatory Study Abroad or Placement Year are weighted as follows: 1: 3: 5: 5 (first; second; third; fourth year).
8.  Year averages are based on the best course unit marks in each year of study as follows: 3: 3.5: 3.5: 4 (first; second; third; fourth year).
   
[1] The exclusion of the Study Abroad or Placement Year from the classification applies to students first enrolling on their programme from September 2016 onwards. Students who first enrolled before this date should refer to the classification regulations for their year of entry in the UCL Academic Manual Archive.

10.3.4

Honours Degree Borderline Criteria

1.
Honours Degree candidates whose weighted average mark falls within 1% of the next classification boundary (after rounding to the nearest integer) may be considered for the higher classification. The Programme Board of Examiners should take the following criteria into account:
  a)
Whether the majority of credits (at least 50%) fall in the higher classification.
  b) 
Whether there is evidence of “exit velocity” in the candidate’s performance.
  c)  Whether high value modules, or those with a significant research element such as the dissertation, fall in the higher class.
  d)  Attention to those marks which have a particular significance for the overall classification.
2. 
Where possible, External Examiners should be asked to consider the performance of candidates who fall in the borderline zone, reviewing the work prior to the meeting of the Programme Board of Examiners, with a view to determining whether the candidate is worthy of the higher classification.

10.4 Graduate Certificate & Graduate Diploma Classification Scheme

10.4.1

Classification Criteria

1.
The classification for a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma is calculated from an average of all module marks.
2.  A Distinction must be given to students whose overall weighted average mark is 70% or higher.
3.  A Merit must be given to students whose overall weighted average mark is between 60% and 69%.
4.  A Pass must be given to students whose overall weighted average mark is between 40% and 59%.

9.4.2

Borderline Criteria

1.
If the overall weighted average mark is 69% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of a Distinction must be made if at least half of the credits are at 70% or above.
2.
If the overall weighted average mark is 59% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of a Merit must be made if at least half of the credits are at 60% or above.

10.5 Taught Postgraduate Classification Scheme 2017-18

The following regulations apply to all new and continuing PGT students enrolling on the 2017-18 academic session (one-year Masters students will continue on the 2016-17 regulations until they graduate; two-year Masters students will continue on the 2016-17 regulations until they re-enrol onto the 2017-18 academic session/ year 2).

10.5.1

Non-Standard Taught Postgraduate Classification 2017-18

1. The following approved variations and derogations from the standard UCL taught postgraduate classification regulations are located in Chapter 8: Derogations and Variations:
  a) Institute of Education Postgraduate programmes c) Master of Laws (LLM)
  b) Master of Fine Art (MFA) and Master of Arts in Fine Art d)  Masters by Research (MRes)

10.5.2

Standard PG Cert Classification Criteria 2017-18

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if the overall weighted average mark over 60 credits is 60% or higher, but the student does not meet the criteria for the award of Distinction.
2.  The award of Distinction must be given to students if the overall weighted average mark over 60 credits is 70% or higher.

10.5.3

Standard PG Dip Classification Criteria 2017-18

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if the overall weighted average mark over 120 credits is 60% or higher, but the student does not meet the criteria for the award of Distinction.
2.  The award of Distinction must be given to students if the overall weighted average mark over 120 credits is 70% or higher.

10.5.4

Standard PG Cert and PG Dip Borderline Criteria 2017-18

1. If the overall weighted average mark is 69% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Distinction must only be made where at least half of the taught credits are at or above 70%.
2. If the overall weighted average mark is 59% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Merit must only be made where at least half of the taught credits are at or above 60%.

10.5.5

Standard Masters Classification Criteria 2017-18

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if they have satisfied all of the following criteria, but do not meet the criteria for the award of Distinction:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 180 credits is 60% or higher; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is 60% or higher.
2. The award of Distinction must be given to students if they have satisfied all of the following criteria:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 180 credits is 70% or higher; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is 70% or higher.

10.5.6

Standard Masters Borderline Criteria 2017-18

1. If the overall weighted average mark is 69% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Distinction must only be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 70%, AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is at or above 70%.
2. If the overall weighted average mark is 59% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Merit must only be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 60%, AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is at or above 60%.

10.5a Taught Postgraduate Classification Scheme 2016-17

The following regulations apply to to PGT students enrolled on the 2016-17 academic session (one-year Masters students will continue on the 2016-17 regulations until they graduate; two-year Masters students will continue on the 2016-17 regulations until they re-enrol onto the 2017-18 academic session/ year 2).

10.5a.1

Non-Standard Taught Postgraduate Classification 2016-17

1. The following approved variations and derogations from the standard UCL taught postgraduate classification regulations are located in the archive of Chapter 8: Derogations and Variations:
  a) Institute of Education Postgraduate programmes c) Master of Laws (LLM)
  b) Master of Fine Art (MFA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Fine Art d)  Masters by Research (MRes)

10.5a.2

Standard PG Cert Classification Criteria 2016-17

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if they have satisfied both of the following criteria, but do not meet the criteria for the award of Distinction:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 60 credits is 60% or higher; AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.
2. The award of Distinction must be given to students if they have satisfied both of the following criteria:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 60 credits is 70% or higher; AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.

10.5a.3

Standard PG Dip Classification Criteria 2016-17

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if they have satisfied both of the following criteria, but do not meet the criteria for the award of Distinction:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 120 credits is 60% or higher; AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.
2. The award of Distinction must be given to students if they have satisfied both of the following criteria:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 120 credits is 70% or higher; AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.

10.5a.4

Standard PG Cert and PG Dip Borderline Criteria 2016-17

1. If the overall weighted average mark is 69% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Distinction must be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 70%, AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.
2. If the overall weighted average mark is 59% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Merit must be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 60%, AND
  b) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.

10.5a.5

Standard Masters Classification Criteria 2016-17

1. The award of Merit must be given to students if they have satisfied all of the following criteria, but do not meet the criteria for the award of distinction:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 180 credits is 60% or higher; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is 60% or higher; AND
  c)  There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks, and all marks are first attempts.
2. The award of Distinction must be given to students if they have satisfied all of the following criteria:
  a) The overall weighted average mark over 180 credits is 70% or higher; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is 70% or higher; AND
  c) There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks, and all marks are first attempts.

10.5a.6

Standard Masters Borderline Criteria 2016-17

1. If the overall weighted average mark is 69% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Distinction must be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 70%; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is at or above 70%; AND
  c)  There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.
2. If the overall weighted average mark is 59% after rounding to the nearest integer, the candidate is in the borderline zone. An award of Merit must be made where:
  a) At least half of the taught credits are at or above 60%; AND
  b) The mark for the dissertation is at or above 60%; AND
  c)  There are no marks below 50%, no condoned marks, no re-sit marks and all marks are first attempts.