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Extended Classification Borderline 2020-21

As part of UCL’s ‘no detriment’ package for this academic year, the Classification Borderline is being widened by 1.00% for students enrolled as finalists in 2020-21. Find out how this works.

This page was last updated on 15 March 2021.


When you are awarded a degree you will also be awarded a classification. On undergraduate programmes this takes the form of the Honours Classification Scheme of First, Upper Second, Lower Second and Third, and for other programmes this takes the form of Distinction, Merit and Pass.

Your classification is calculated from your module marks. Each mark is weighted according to the credit-rating of the module and the year of study, and these are then averaged to create your ‘Final Weighted Mark’. UCL then applies certain criteria to determine what classification you are eligible for.

There are two routes to each classification: the standard rules and the ‘borderline’ rules.

Normally, UCL’s borderline is 1% below the classification boundary e.g. the boundary for a First is an average of 69.50%.

If you don’t meet this criterion but you are very close, you may still be eligible for a First. In order to qualify under the borderline rules you will need an average of 68.50% and at least 50% of your final year marks will need to be at 70.00% or above.

For students graduating in the 2020-21 academic session, the borderline has been widened by 1.00%, making it more likely that you will meet the borderline criteria. So using the same example, you will now be eligible for a First under the borderline rules if you have an average of 67.50% and at least 50% of your final year marks are at 70.00% or above.

This works slightly differently depending on your programme of study; read on for more information.

On this page you will find:


Which ‘no detriment’ classification applies when? 

As the 2019/20 assessment period was delayed as a result of Covid, with reassessments for finalists taking place in January 2021, there is an overlap between the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic sessions. The Which ‘no detriment’ classification applies when? page explains how to understand which no-detriment rules apply in different scenarios.


Honours Degree Borderline Criteria 2020-21

For: Bachelors with Honours, Integrated Masters with Honours (MSci/MEng/MPharm)

The following programmes are exempt from these rules. Bespoke packages have been developed in close consultation with departments and the Students’ Union. Details are available from your department:

  • 4 year LLB programmes
  • BA English
  • BA Fine Art
  • BFA Fine Art

The following programmes are unclassified and do not have borderline rules:

  • MBBS

For all other 2020-21 graduates, the following criteria apply*:

Qualifies for First Class Honours (1)

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 69.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 67.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 70.00% in at least 50% of the Final Year credits.

Qualifies for Second Class Honours Upper Division (2.1)

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 59.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 57.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 60.00% in at least 50% of the Final Year credits.

Qualifies for Second Class Honours Lower Division (2.2)

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 49.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 47.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 50.00% in at least 50% of the Final Year credits.

Qualifies for Third Class Honours (3)

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 40.00%.

* Students first enrolling at UCL in 2018-19 or later (i.e. most students graduating from 3-year Bachelors programmes in 2020-21) are subject to the new classification regulations. Students first enrolling at UCL in 2017-18 or earlier (i.e. most students graduating from 4- or 5-year programmes in 2020-21) are still subject to the former regulations in the Harmonised Scheme of Award.


Graduate Certificate and Diploma Borderline Criteria

For: Graduate Certificates and Graduate Diplomas

The following programmes are exempt from these rules. Bespoke packages have been developed in close consultation with departments and the Students’ Union. Details are available from your department:

  • Institute of Education Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma programmes

The following programmes are unclassified and do not have borderline rules:

  • Clinical pass/fail programmes

For all other 2020-21 graduates, the following criteria apply:

Qualifies for Distinction

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 69.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 67.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 70.00% in at least 50% of the credits.

Qualifies for Merit

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 59.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 57.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 60.00% in at least 50% of the credits.

Qualifies for Pass

  • Meets the Award Requirements.

The standard Graduate Classification Scheme is available from the UCL Academic Manual.


Taught Postgraduate Borderline Criteria

For: Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Taught Masters Degrees

The following programmes are exempt from these rules. Bespoke packages have been developed in close consultation with departments and the Students’ Union. Details are available from your department:

  • Institute of Education Taught Postgraduate programmes
  • Global MBA students
  • MA Fine Art
  • MFA Fine Art
  • LLM students first enrolling at UCL in 2017-18 or earlier

The following programmes are unclassified and do not have borderline rules:

  • Some programmes in Clinical Psychology
  • Initial Teacher Education
  • Clinical pass/fail programmes

For all other 2020-21 graduates, the following criteria apply:

Qualifies for Distinction

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 69.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 67.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 70.00% in at least 50% of all credits.

Qualifies for Merit

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 59.50%

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 57.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 60.00% in at least 50% of all credits.

Qualifies for Pass

  • Meets the Award Requirements

The standard Taught Postgraduate Classification Scheme is available from the UCL Academic Manual.


MRes Borderline Criteria

For: Masters by Research (MRes) degrees

The following programmes are exempt from these rules. Bespoke packages have been developed in close consultation with departments and the Students’ Union. Details are available from your department:

  • Institute of Education Taught Postgraduate programmes

Qualifies for Distinction

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 69.50%
    and
  • A mark greater than or equal to 70% in the Dissertation

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 67.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 70.00% in at least 50% of the taught credits
    and
  • A mark greater than or equal to 70.00% in the Dissertation.

Qualifies for Merit

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 59.50%
    and
  • A mark greater than or equal to 60% in the Dissertation.

or

  • A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 57.50%
    and
  • Module marks of at least 60.00% in at least 50% of the taught credits
    and
  • A mark greater than or equal to 60.00% in the Dissertation.

Qualifies for Pass

  • Meets the Award Requirements.

The standard Research Masters Classification Scheme is available from the UCL Academic Manual.