UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Handbook and Resources for HPE (History, Politics & Economics) Students

Information for BA degree in History, Politics, and Economics (HPE)

Course Structure: BA degree in History, Politics, and Economics (HPE) 

Degree Structure

In this degree you will get a unique opportunity to develop expertise in the disciplines of economics, politics and history and to apply this expertise to understanding the social, cultural, economic and political world around us, developing skills essential for a whole range of future careers, with particular attention focused on the study of the areas with which the School of Slavonic and East

European Studies is primarily concerned: the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, including Russia and Germany. You will also have the opportunity to learn an East European language and to gain deeper insights into the major socio-economic and political issues such as the interaction between the economy, culture and political institutions and their joint impact on the lives of millions. The current structure of the degree requires you to take 12 course-units over 3 years, four in each year.  Each course-unit is equivalent to two terms worth of workload. 

You will also:

  • Learn the basics of a East European Language.
  • Achieve an understanding of the disciplines of History, Politics and Economcs.
  • Write a dissertation besed on yoru own research with reference to the region.  

IMPORTANT: students can only register 120 (course units) in total per year of study.



The basic principle of the BA HPE degree is progression from one year to the next along defined disciplinary pathways. Knowledge and skills learned in one year provide building blocks for more advanced study in each subsequent year.


Degree Modules


Year 1 - Compulsory Units and Course Options


Compulsory Units (75 course units) All Non-Condonable


Politics and Sociology, SSEES

NB. The politics and sociology courses are normally prerequisites for second-year courses in their respective fields.

Economics and Business, SSEES

Language and Culture, SSEES 

(15 credits or 0.5 cu Terms 1&2)

  • SEEB0014 Bulgarian A
  • SEEC0017 Czech A
  • SEEF0026 Finnish A
  • SEEH0003 Hungarian A
  • SEEP0003 Polish A
  • SEER0003 Romanian A
  • SERS0007 Russian A
  • SEEY0017 Serbian/Croatian A
  • SEEV0001 Slovene A
  • SEEU0019 Ukrainian A

(30 credits or 1 cu Terms 1&2)

Please note we cannot guarantee that all languages and levels will be available every year.

History, SSEES


Languages @ UCL

Language courses may be taken from the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE )

Please note: Only one full course unit language course may be studied each year. You cannot switch to a different language during your studies.


In order to progress from Year 1, students must have passed at least 90 course units. Students must also have satisfied UCL’s foreign language requirements in order to graduate.

To be awarded a degree with honours (classified) in the field of study (HPE) the student must have taken and passed all compulsory course units, with the overall module pass mark of 40 or above.

Students must also have satisfied UCL’s foreign language requirements in order to graduate.

Progression Rules

Students registered for the degree are required to undertake a programme of study comprising courses to the value of 120 course units in each year.


From 2018/19 any student fully enrolled will be subject to new Progression and Award Requirements including new condonement regulations.  This means it is possible for students to progress to the next academic year even if they are caring a small degree of failure as long as their overall performance is good.


Full time students must pass 120 credits to progress to each year, however up to 30 credits may be condoned per year under the above rule. This is capped at a maximum of 60 credits across the entire degree.

Condonement is not possible for compulsory modules including dissertations.



Condonement is granted by the Exam Board, and can only be approved if the student completed an attempt at the assessment. So was awarded a mark greater than 0, where 0 indicates no or minimal attempt. If condonement is granted reassessment will not be required in that module.


If a student fails more than the condonable number of modules in a given year, the students must be reassessed in all modules including those in the condonable range.

In order to proceed to the second year, all students must have passed or be condoned in 120 course units. In order to proceed to the third and final year of the programme, students must have passed or been condoned 240 course units. (Plus Progression in the third year, Year Abroad module where applicable)

Condonement does not apply to students repeating 2018/19 modules without tuition. 

Progression and Awards – Honours  



Consequences of Failure

From 2017/18 onwards, late summer resits will be available for eligible students who fail between 15 and 60 course units and are not eligible for condonement.  These students will resit the failed components of the module/s (exams and/or coursework) in late summer and their overall mark for the module/s will be capped at 40%.  If they then meet the requirements for progression, they will progress to the next year as usual.


Students are not eligible for a resit if they are eligible for the award of a degree despite the failed module/s, or if they have been excluded for academic insufficiency, academic misconduct or disciplinary issues.  Students cannot be reassessed in a module they have passed.


Students who fail more than 60 course units will usually be required to repeat the failed modules in the following academic year, re-enrolling in all failed modules and paying tuition and fees, and must redo all components of all the modules they failed.  Their results in those modules will be capped at 40%.  Students will not be able to commence the next level of study until the repeat is successfully passed.


If a course unit is not passed after the second attempt, whether the second attempt is a resit or a repeat of the entire year, the student is deemed to have irretrievably failed the module and if this makes it impossible for them to obtain the degree, their registration on the programme will be terminated by the Examination Board.


Examination Procedures

The exam period is provisionally scheduled for Late April to June 19. Nevertheless, procedures leading up to examinations begin almost at the very start of the academic year.  Since the UCL Exams Office manage up to 16,000 candidates, it is not surprising that the procedure is tightly structured.  By the same token, it is very easy to ‘get lost in the system’, particularly if you miss deadlines or fail to complete the necessary forms in time.


The first deadline you have to meet will be, 12October 2018, which is the final date for the completion of student module selections on Portico. Subsequently, you will have an opportunity to complete a green Change of Course form if you decide to change a course.  The purpose of these forms is to inform the UCL Exams Office of the courses you are taking and hence, the exams for which you should be entered.  It should be obvious what could happen if you do not manage to complete these forms accurately or in time.


The SSEES Sub-Board of Examiners and the UCL Social & Historical Sciences Faculty Board decide on the class of degree you receive and, if you are a first or second-year student, whether you may progress to the next year.


Special Examination Arrangements

Special Examination Arrangements (SEAs) are adjustments to central or departmental written examinations which can be made as a Reasonable Adjustment for students with a disability or longer-term condition or as a form of mitigation for students with shorter-term medical Extenuating Circumstances. This may include, but is not limited to extra time, a separate room, rest breaks and specialist equipment. Students must make an application to use the special examination facilities.


Further information:

Special Examination Arrangements – guidance and forms

Special Examination Arrangements – regulations

Student Disability Services

Reasonable Adjustments regulations


Illness and other Extenuating Circumstances

UCL recognises that some students can experience serious difficulties and personal problems which affect their ability to complete an assessment such as a sudden, serious illness or the death of a close relative. Students need to make sure that they notify UCL of any circumstances which are unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond their control, and which might have a significant impact on their performance at assessment. UCL can then put in place alternative arrangements, such as an extension or a deferral of assessment to a later date.


Longer-term conditions

The Extenuating Circumstances regulations are designed to cover unexpected emergencies; they are not always the best way to help students who might have a longer-term medical or mental health condition or a disability. Although there may be times when it is necessary for such students to use the EC regulations, students should make sure they are aware of, and take advantage of, all the other support mechanisms provided by UCL such as:

Reasonable Adjustments Special Examination Arrangements Student Disability Services Student Psychological Services Student Support and Wellbeing



Students suffering from exam stress may, if their case is supported by a letter from their GP, be allowed to take exams in a special UCL facility.


It is your responsibility to ensure that all forms are completed in time, that you are correctly entered for the right exams, that your exam is timetabled (watch out – there are often changes between the provisional and final published timetables), that you have let all the relevant people know of any extenuating circumstances, and that you actually turn up to the exam at the right place at the right time.  If you fail to follow these guidelines, then your degree result and opportunity to progress to the next year may be jeopardised.

Support to Study Policy

UCL Student Mental Health Policy


Further information:

Extenuating Circumstances Regulations

Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances Form


If you wish to be considered for extenuating circumstances, then you should submit a completed extenuating circumstances form supported by medical certificate or other evidence to: ssees-extenuating-circumstances@ucl.ac.uk. This information will be treated in confidence and the results will be decided by the Extenuating Circumstance panel.

Calculation Of Degree Classification 


Degree Structure




Award of degree for Students who start their studies in 18/19


The new regulations include a standardised approach to formulae used to combine marks so that all students so that all students across UCL are treated equally.

Degree structure PEES HPE

All borderline marks of X9.5% will be rounded up automatically.

The pass mark for each course unit is 40%.

Please Note: for all students starting in 18/19 the listed compulsary modules are non-condonable. 


Example Classification.


For more details see the UCL Academic Manual.



Courses deemed compulsory for progression are: Year 1: Understanding Politics: The Big Questions / Understanding Politics: How Politics Works /Understanding Society: Introduction to Social Theory /Understanding Society: Introduction to Political Sociology;  

Year 2: Comparative Political Analysis and Research Politics and Society 

Year 3 - Freestanding Dissertation, 10,000 words. 


Award of degree for Students who start their studies in 17/18 and prior academic years.

Chapter 4, section 15: Classification for UG Students First Enrolling in 17/18 or earlier.


To be awarded an honours degree, a student must have completed courses to the value of 360 course units by either passing by fulfilling all attendance and coursework requirements, submitting all written work prescribed for assessment purposes and taking all parts of any examination in those courses or by an assessment attempt in a non-compulsory module being condoned. (Up to 30 cu per academic year with a maximum of 60 cu for the entire degree).


To be awarded a degree with honours in the field of study for which the student is registered, the student must have taken and passed any course units deemed compulsory for such an award according to local rules. Where students have failed to pass the specified Course Unit but have passed the required number of units for the award of an honours degree, students will still be eligible for the award of an honours degree, but one with a different field of study, to be determined by the Board of Examiners.



The class of honours degree shall be determined by the relevant Board of Examiners on the basis of the results obtained in 270 course units, to be selected as follows:


EITHER the result from the best 30 course unit from Year 1, subject to local rules OR the result from a 30 course nominated in advance (or alternatively the two best 15 course units or two 15 course units nominated in advance); The 120 course units taken in Year 2, subject to local rules; The 120 course units taken in Year 3.



Where a student has validated Extenuating Circumstances, and the student’s weighted average mark falls within the 1% borderline zone, the Faculty/Departmental Extenuating Circumstances Panel may recommend that the student be exempted from some or all of the borderline criteria.


Full details of UG Borderline Criteria are available in chapter 4 of the UCL Academic Manual.


Application of classification scheme

In exceptional cases, the Board of Examiners may exercise discretion in the application of this Faculty Scheme.  The general Regulations of the College and of the University are assumed to apply in conjunction with the above Scheme, as are the local rules and guidelines produced by the relevant Department(s).


Consideration of borderlines

Candidates falling within 1% of a class boundary may be considered for raising to the higher class.  Such consideration will be at the discretion of the Board of Examiners. Candidates within the 1% borderline zone are subject to the following factors:


an analysis of the mark distributions for candidates and consideration given to a preponderance of marks of a class, such as half of the marks or the majority of marks, where appropriate; a consideration as to whether there is “exit velocity” in the candidates’ performance; particular emphasis placed on course units of higher value or those with a significant research element; attention to those marks which have a particular significance for the overall classification.


Further Information:

Interim Qualifications



Marks for retaken or substitute course units will be included in the calculation for the mark of the year in which that course unit was first attempted, rather than in the year it was actually taken, if that is different.


Further Information:



Interim Qualifications


A student may be awarded an interim qualification if they meet or surpass defined learning outcomes and credit requirements.


The Board of Examiners will assess the student’s eligibility for the interim qualification against the appropriate qualification learning outcomes and credit requirements. The standard UCL Interim Qualification Learning Outcomes described in the UCL Academic Manual outline the threshold academic standards required to pass each of UCL’s main interim qualifications, in line with the UCL Qualifications and Credit Framework and the UK Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Interim qualifications are not eligible for a classification.


Available interim qualifications:


Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE) Ordinary Degree (Bachelors without Honours) Bachelors with Honours Honours Degree without a Study Abroad or Placement Year Graduate Certificate (Grad Cert) Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) Aegrotat Degree Special and Aegrotat Provisions


Classification will be based in the first instance on a consideration of the median of the marks from the 270 units of assessment. The units are to be weighted 1: 3: 5, as follows:


Year 1: 1 Year 2: 3 Year 3: 5


SECTION 2 - For all students starting before 2016/17


Degree classification will be calculated on the basis of the median of results in modules to the value of 300 course units, to be selected and weighted as follows:


First year:  the best 30 credits  (or two 15 units) with a weighting of 1.

Second year: all 120 cu, with a weighting of 3

Year abroad: the year abroad project, 120cu with a weighting of 5.

Final year: all 120  cu, with a weighting of 5


Marks for retaken or substitute modules will be included in the calculation for the year of study in which the module was first attempted. The marks for retaken or substituted modules will be capped at the pass mark (40%).



Consideration of borderlines

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:


·    Whether the majority of credits (at least 50%) fall in the higher classification.

·    Whether there is evidence of “exit velocity” in the candidate’s performance.

·    Whether high value modules, or those with a significant research element such as the dissertation, fall in the higher class.

·    Attention to those marks which have a particular significance for the overall classification.


Full details of UG Borderline Criteria are available in chapter 4 of the UCL Academic Manual (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/overview) .


Consequences of Failure

The Pass mark for each unit is 40%.  From 2017/18 late Summer resits will be avilable

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