4.8 Foundation Degrees: Rules for Progression

 

Year One – Requirements to enter the Final Year

1. Students will pass Year One if they satisfy the following conditions in their Year One module assessments:

(i) passes at 40% or more in 100 credits’ worth of modules

and

(ii) an overall weighted average of at least 40%

2. Year One students are normally allowed up to three resit opportunities.  Resit marks will be capped at 40%. However, students must have passed at least 60 credits to be allowed to take assessments in August. If they have fewer than 60 passed credits they will be required to repeat their first year.

Year One – Requirements to undertake Work Experience (FDSc only)

3. Two Year Degrees: Students will be allowed to proceed onto the 6 week work experience but they will not be allowed to enter Year Two until they have satisfied all the above conditions (i.e. they will only be allowed to retake a maximum of 20 credits of failed Year One modules while studying in the Final Year, subject to the limit on resit opportunities).

4. Three Year Degrees: Students will be allowed to proceed to the Sandwich year provided they have passed a minimum of 60 credits in the first year, but will not be allowed to proceed to the Final Year until they have satisfied all the above conditions (i.e. they will only be allowed to retake a maximum of 20 credits of failed Year One modules while studying in the Final Year, subject to the limit on resit opportunities).

To Qualify for a Foundation Degree – Students who entered the Final Year BEFORE September 2017

5. Gain an overall weighted average of 40% with passes in 200 credits out of 240 credits over Year One and the Final Year, excluding credits obtained during a sandwich placement.

6. Fail no more than 20 credits in their Final Year.

7. Pass the Sandwich year in the three year Foundation Degree scheme.

8. Students are normally allowed only one opportunity to resit failed modules for the bare pass mark of 40%.

9. Resit opportunities for the bare pass mark must be taken during the Summer resit assessment period in August or in the semester the module is being or had previously been taught. Students are normally allowed only ONE opportunity to resit modules for a full mark at the next available opportunity, where special circumstances MUST have been considered and approved by the University, (i.e. during the Summer resit assessment period in August or in the semester the module is being or had previously been taught). This paragraph has been added to the 2017/18 version of the AQH to provide clarification of the way in which this regulation operates for all students.

10. Students who have qualified for their degree will not be able to take any remaining F resit opportunities. Students who have not yet qualified may take any remaining resit opportunities to enable them to achieve the required standard.

11. It is not permitted to resit the Final Year with a clean slate but there will be no restriction on the number of credits that a student may resit in August.

To Qualify for a Foundation Degree – Students who entered the Final Year FROM September 2017

12. Gain an overall weighted average of 40% with passes in 200 credits out of 240 credits over Year One and the Final Year, excluding credits obtained during a sandwich placement.

13. Fail no more than 20 credits in their Final Year.

14. Pass the Sandwich year in the three year Foundation Degree scheme.

15. Students are normally allowed only TWO opportunities to resit failed modules (with an F indicator) for the bare pass mark of 40% at the next available opportunity (i.e. during the Summer assessment resit period in August or in the semester the module is being or had previously been taught).

16. Students are normally allowed only ONE opportunity to resit modules for a full mark (with an H indicator), where special circumstances MUST have been considered and approved by the University, at the next available opportunity (i.e. during the Summer assessment resit period in August or in the semester the module is being or had previously been taught).

17. Students who have qualified for their degree will not be able to take any remaining F resit opportunities.  Students who have not yet qualified may take any remaining resit opportunities to enable them to achieve the required standard.

18. It is not permitted to resit the Final Year with a clean slate but there will be no restriction on the number of credits that a student may resit in August.

Classification of Award: Students who started the Foundation Degree BEFORE September 2014

19. The Foundation Degree is not graded, but individual modules are (as Pass 40- 54%, Merit 55-69%, or Distinction 70% and above).

Classification of Award: Students who started the Foundation Degree FROM September 2014

20. The Foundation Degree as a whole will be awarded based on a weighted average of all module marks as a Pass (40-54%), with Merit (55-69%) or with Distinction (70% and above).                        

21. In calculating the weighted average mark the following rules will apply.

22. Marks will be weighted according to the credit value of each module (i.e. 20 credit modules having twice the weighting of 10 credit modules, etc).

23. Marks will be arranged in a ‘cascade’ according to the following rules.

Two Year Foundation Degree

24.  Band 3: Best 80 Level Two credits, given a weighting of 3.

Band 2: Remainder of Level Two credits, and best 40 Level One credits, with a weighting of 2.
Band 1: Remainder of Level One credits, with a weighting of 1.

Three Year Foundation Degree

25. Band 3: Best 80 Level Two credits, given a weighting of 3.

Band 2: Remainder of Level Two credits, and best 40 Level One credits, with a weighting of 2.
Band 1: Remainder of Level One credits, with a weighting of 1.
Band S: (120 credits) with weighting of 0.5 or as determined by the Department

26. In allocating marks to Bands, no Level One mark may appear in a Band higher than that in which a Level Two mark appears.

The Window of Opportunity (Foundation Degree Conventions)

27. The following rules apply to the operation of the Window of Opportunity:

Preponderance

28. Students whose cascade average falls within 1%* of any borderline SHALL be raised to the higher class provided they meet one of the following criteria:

EITHER at least 50% of credits over the degree as a whole, excluding Sandwich Year, in the upper class or above.

OR at least 80 credits out of the final 120 credits in the upper class or above.

Special Circumstances

29. Students whose cascade average falls within 2% of any borderline MAY be raised, on the recommendation of the Examining Board, to the higher class if their performance has been affected by illness or other compassionate grounds (for example, personal or family circumstances) which have not already been taken into account when individual module marks were confirmed.

30. For the purposes of this rule, cascade averages shown to one decimal point for the information of examination boards will be rounded up (0.5 and above) or down (<0.5) to the nearest whole number.

31. The Window of Opportunity should be used only if special or academic circumstances come to light which have not already been taken into account when individual module marks are confirmed.

32. A note should be made of every decision, both in favour of and against each borderline student so that it can be defended in future, if necessary.

33. Where departmental boards are aware of special circumstances but do not take them into account in setting marks and allowing resits, the individual cases concerned should be discussed and minuted in the Senate Examination Board in the semester in which the problem arises. Students within 2% of the higher category should not be raised to the higher category on the basis of special circumstances unless the problem was discussed and minuted at the time it arose OR was not known to previous exam boards.

Progression to BSc schemes

34. On completion of the FDSc all students have the opportunity to progress to the second year of an appropriate Honours degree scheme. Additionally, students may be offered progression directly into the final year of an appropriate Honours degree scheme as follows:

35. Students who qualify for a classified FDSc must have gained at least a Merit in the overall class, and received a supportive reference from their Scheme Committee. 

36. Students who qualify for an unclassified FDSc must have either gained Merit grades or above in at least 180 credits (excluding Work Experience Programme), or gained Merit grades or above in at least 90 credits of the final year modules, and received a supportive reference from their Scheme Committee.