4.12 Progression Rules for Taught Postgraduate Schemes

Students who started a Taught Master’s BEFORE September 2013

1. To qualify for progression to the dissertation/project phase of a Taught Master’s scheme a student must obtain:

(i) an average of at least 50% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 80 credits of the modules taken in Part One of a Taught Postgraduate scheme, including any of the scheme’s core modules which have been specified by the Department as having to be passed with a minimum of 50%.

2.  To achieve Distinction level in Part One of a Taught Master’s scheme a student must obtain:

(i) an average of at least 70% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 80 credits of the modules taken in Part One of a Taught Postgraduate Scheme, including any core requirements as specified by Departments.

3.  In order to gain a Master’s degree a student must pass Part One and Part Two.

4.  In order to gain a Master’s Degree with Distinction, a student shall achieve an overall mark of not less than 70%, having achieved not less than 65% in Part One and not less than 70% in Part Two. [In calculating the overall mark, Part One and Part Two are equally weighted].

5. Students who do not meet the requirements for a Distinction but who achieve an overall mark of 60% or above shall gain a Master’s degree with Merit (starters from September 2009).

6. Students who have failed Part One or Part Two at the first attempt shall not be eligible for the award of Distinction or Merit.

7. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma a student must obtain:

(i) an average of at least 50% overall over 120 taught credits;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 80 credits’ worth of modules in Part One including any modules which have been specified as core for the Postgraduate Diploma.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60 – 69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit (starters from September 2009).

8. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate a student must obtain:

(i) an average of at least 50% overall over 60 taught credits;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 40 credits’ worth of modules in the 60 taught credits assessed for the Certificate, including any modules which have been specified as core for the Certificate.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.         

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60 – 69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit (starters from September 2009).

9. Students resitting failed modules shall be eligible for a maximum of 50% in each.

Students starting a Master’s Degree FROM September 2013

10. In order to pass a Taught Master’s Degree a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 50% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the total 180 taken in a Taught Master’s scheme.

11. In order to gain a Master’s Degree with Merit, a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 60% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the modules taken in a Taught Master’s scheme.

12. In order to gain a Master’s Degree with Distinction, a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 70% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the modules taken in a Taught Master’s scheme

13. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma a student who has not completed the dissertation or equivalent must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 50% overall over the 120 taught credits;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 100 credits’ worth of those modules

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60-69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit.

14. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate a student who is exiting after completing 60 credits must obtain:

 (i) a weighted average of at least 50% over the 60 credits;

 (ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 40 credits’ worth of those modules;

 (iii) successfully completed credit at CQFW Level 7 (former HE level M)

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60-69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit.

15. A student who has completed 180 credits but not met the requirements for the Master’s award shall qualify for a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate if:

(i) they have completed 100 credits with marks of 50% or above (Diploma);

(ii) they have completed 40 credits with marks of 50% or above and the credits they have successfully completed are CQFW Level 7 (former HE Level M (Certificate)).

Students who have completed the full 180 credits will not be eligible for Merit or Distinction if they do not qualify for the Master’s degree but qualify for the intermediate award of Certificate or Diploma.

Retrieval of Failure

16. Students resitting failed modules may do so on one occasion for a maximum mark of 50% (other than where special circumstances have been accepted).

Window of Opportunity

17. Where students have completed 180 credits, and have presented special circumstances, Examination Boards will have discretion to award a Pass, Merit or Distinction to those whose overall weighted average is up to 2% below the boundary, and where other requirements have been met, i.e.:

Average of 47.5 – 49.4% may be considered for a PASS

Average of 57.5 – 59.4% may be considered for a MERIT

Average of 67.5 – 69.4% may be considered for a DISTINCTION

18. The Examination Board must be satisfied when making such recommendations within the 2% window of opportunity that the student would have achieved the required standard had it not been for the adverse impact on their performance of the special circumstances.

Students starting a Master’s Degree or Postgraduate Award FROM September 2018

19. In order to pass a Taught Master’s Degree a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 50% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the total 180 taken in a Taught Master’s scheme.

20. In order to gain a Master’s Degree with Merit, a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 60% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the modules taken in a Taught Master’s scheme.

21. In order to gain a Master’s Degree with Distinction, a student must obtain:

(i) a weighted average of at least 70% overall;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 160 credits of the modules taken in a Taught Master’s scheme.

22. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma a student must have:

(i) completed a minimum of 120 credits;

(ii) marks of 50% or above in at least 100 credits’ worth of modules;

(iii) a weighted average of at least 50% overall over 120 credits.

Where more than 120 credits have been completed, the highest 120 credits of marks will be used to calculate the average both to determine whether the diploma has been passed and the class of award.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60-69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit.

23. To qualify for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate a student must have passed a minimum of 60 credits. Where a student has completed more than 60 credits, the highest 60 credits of marks will be used to calculate the average to determine the class of award.      

A student who has attained an overall mark of 70% or above shall be eligible for the mark of Distinction.

A student who has attained an overall mark of 60-69% shall be eligible for the mark of Merit.

Retrieval of Failure

24. Students resitting failed modules may do so on two occasions for a maximum mark of 50% (other than where special circumstances have been accepted). Non-submitted work, including the dissertation, will be deemed to have failed and may also be resat twice for the capped module mark of 50%. Students may not resit to try to improve the classification of the award, however, once they have qualified. 

25. Full-time Master’s students will register for a 12 month period. They will have a maximum time limit of 3 years from their start date to complete the degree. They may resit a maximum of 60 credits of failed taught modules in the summer resit period in their first year, but can decide to postpone resits of taught modules. These must, however, be taken the following year, either in the semester and/or summer resit period. This provides flexibility for students to manage their resits and dissertation during the first year.

26. Full-time Master’s students who have not passed, or not submitted, the dissertation within the 12 month registration period may submit or resubmit it at any point up to the end of the second year. They would then have a final resit opportunity in the third year.

27. Approved special circumstances will permit resits to be for the full marks, and students may take periods of temporary withdrawal, but are still expected to complete within a maximum of 3 years. In exceptional circumstances, a further 12 month period may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor.

28. Full-time Master’s students on a two year Master’s degree will have a maximum of 4 years to complete their degree. They may resit a maximum of 60 credits of failed taught modules in the summer resit period of their first year, but may postpone these resits. These must, however, be completed by the end of the third year. This provides flexibility to manage resits and recognises that students may be unable to take resits while on industrial placements or attending a partner university. In exceptional circumstances, a further 12 month period may be approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor.

29. Students on Diploma and Certificate courses will have an additional 12 months beyond their course length to complete any required resits.

30. Part-time and Distance Learning Master’s candidates have longer course lengths and flexibility to resit modules during those periods. They should have completed any resits of taught modules before entering the final year of their maximum time limit, i.e. five years for part-time and seven years for distance learning candidates.

Window of Opportunity

31. Where students have completed 180 credits, and have presented special circumstances, Examination Boards will have discretion to award a Pass, Merit or Distinction to those whose overall weighted average is up to 2% below the boundary, and where other requirements have been met, i.e.:

Average of 47.5 – 49.4% may be considered for a PASS

Average of 57.5 – 59.4% may be considered for a MERIT

Average of 67.5 – 69.4% may be considered for a DISTINCTION

32. The Examination Board must be satisfied when making such recommendations within the 2% window of opportunity that the student would have achieved the required standard had it not been for the adverse impact on their performance of the special circumstances.