General rules and progression


Changes to progression due to coronavirus

Some of the rules regarding examinations, progression and condonement have been modified. For further information, please see the Department's Exam Information webpage.


General rules - Credits and levels


All full-time undergraduate students take 120 credits of modules each year (you cannot take more or less than this). Most modules are 15 credits, so most students take 8 modules each year, although some modules are 30 credits. [15 credits was previously called 0.5 units.]


All modules have a level, which is 4, 5, 6 or 7. Roughly speaking, these correspond to first, second, third and fourth year level [and were previously called First, Intermediate, Advanced and M level], although the modules you take in a given year may not be all at that level. 

For the (3-year) BSc degree, you must take at least 90 credits at level 6 or above.

For the (4-year) MSci you must also take at least 120 credits at level 7. 

Note: (i) It does not matter from this point of view if modules are mathematics or from other departments.

(ii) For both degrees, you also must not take more than 150 credits at level 4.

All standard third year mathematics modules are at level 6: so are some of the standard second year options. You may need to check the level of modules from other departments. Most students will automatically take at least 90 credits at advanced level, but if you are doing a combined degree and/or taking outside options you may need to be careful about this. Some of the level 7 modules are available in Year 3 as well as in Year 4 (see Specific degree structures). It is recommended that MSci students take at least one level 7 module in year 3 to give them more flexibility in choices in Year 4. All modules taken in Year 4 must be at level 7 or 6.


Choice of options

More specific rules on choice of options are given in the Specific degree structures. However, all choices must also follow the rules above. 


In order to progress to the next year of the degree/graduate you need to pass all modules. Thus you need to pass 120 credits in year 1 to progress to year 2, etc, and you need 360 credits to graduate with the BSc and 480 credits to graduate with the MSci. This applies to both new and continuing students. Please also see the information on condement below. 


However, some fails can be condoned, i.e. counted as passes. Up to 30 credits can be condoned each year, with a maximum for the whole degree of 60 credits. Some modules are non-condonable and these include the compulsory first year mathematics modules and the fourth year project. If a module is not condoned (e.g. it is non-condonable, or you have too many fails), it may be re-sat, normally in the Late Summer Assessment period (if more than 60 credits are failed, a student will need to re-sit in the following year).

You also need to have an overall mean mark of at least 40% for the year to progress/graduate.

[NB Students who started before 2018: past fail marks on any module will be condonable.]

This means that for current first years if you fail any mathematics exam twice (e.g. in May and in the late summer assessment period) then you will not be able to continue your degree. For other years, if you fail one or two exams in May then these will be condoned and you will not have the chance to re-sit them. 

Please note that all first year Mathematics modules are non-condonable for students in the first year of a Mathematics degree. For these modules, it is also necessary to obtain at least 40% on the examination component (as well as overall) in order to pass the module. If a mark of less than 40% is obtained on the exam with an overall mark of 40% or greater, an FQ may be returned, which indicates that the module has been failed.

Passing a module

To pass a module, you need to obtain an overall mark of at least 40% (levels 4, 5 or 6) or 50% (level 7). Marks are calculated to 2 decimal places e.g. a mark of 39.98% is a fail. In the non-condonable first year mathematics modules, as well as having an overall mark of at least 40%, you need a mark of at least 40% in the exam only in order to pass the module. 

An overall mark of between 1 and 39.99% is condonable (on condonable modules): this means that to be condoned for an exam you must turn up and make an attempt that gets more than 0. 


Most modules are assessed mainly via examination. Many have a 10% coursework component. The main exam period is late April/May. There is a second resit period in August/September (late summer assessment or LSA period). LSAs in all normal circumstances have to be taken at UCL and cannot be taken abroad.

More information can be found on the Examinations webpage.


If after the results of the May exams, you meet the conditions to progress/graduate, including any allowed condonements, then you do not re-sit any fails and you progress/graduate. Any fail marks remain on your record as a fail. 

If after the results of the May exams, you do not meet the conditions to progress/graduate, then there are two possible outcomes:

Case (i) If you have failed 60 credits or less, you re-sit the fails in the LSA. (This may be examinations or other components of assessment, such as coursework. In general you can re-sit any component you have failed.)

Case (ii) If you have failed more than 60 credits, then you re-sit the failed modules with attendance in the following year. 

(Please also see the paragraph on extenuating circumstances below.)

If after the re-sits you have met the conditions to progress/graduate, including any allowed condonements, then you do not re-sit any fails and you progress/graduate. Any fail marks remain on your record as a fail.

If after the re-sits you do not meet the conditions to progress/graduate, then you have to abandon the degree (and may be given an interim award, i.e. lower than degree level). 

You get a maximum of two attempts at any assessment, and if you pass an assessment on the first attempt you cannot re-sit it. The overall mark of any re-sit is capped at 40% (or 50% in the case of level 7 modules), i.e. this is the highest mark you can achieve on a re-sit.

If you have failed to progress after the May exams, you should discuss your situation with the Departmental Tutor. 

More detailed information can be found on the Examinations webpage.

Additional progression requirement for MSci

At the end of year 3 of the MSci degree (assuming you have met the normal conditions to be awarded a BSc degree), you are awarded a nominal BSc degree. If you continue to year 4 and you graduate with the MSci, this is never activated, but you can choose to leave and graduate at this point with the BSc.

In order to progress to year 4 of the MSci, you must meet the following conditions:

(i) the nominal BSc must be first or upper second class;

(ii) your year 3 weighted mean must be at least 60%. 

If you do not meet both of these conditions, then, assuming you meet the conditions to be awarded a BSc, you will awarded that BSc and will graduate. 

Transfers between BSc and MSci - Information for 3rd years

Transferring between related BSc and MSci degree programmes is permitted subject to approval, providing the relevant criteria are met. For more information, please see the document below, and consider speaking with your personal tutor or the Departmental Tutor.