Aegrotat and Posthumous Awards

All taught degree schemes contain interim awards of certificate and diploma which may be made to students unable to complete their studies. Degree regulations also allow for awards to be made without all credits being completed. Aegrotat and posthumous awards will normally be considered only when no interim award is available, no degree award may be made within the regulations, and the student is/was close to completion of the award.

Aegrotat Awards 

The Senate Examining Board may make an Aegrotat award where a candidate is prevented by illness or other special circumstances from completing the final examined/assessed elements of a taught scheme of study. The Board must have appropriate supporting evidence.

In doing so, the Senate Examining Board should be satisfied that:

  • the candidate's prior performance shows beyond reasonable doubt that he/she would have passed but for the illness/event which occurred.
  • The candidate is unlikely to be able to return to complete his/her studies at a later date.

The candidate must confirm in writing that he/she is willing to accept an Aegrotat award; if not, normal conventions on resit opportunities and extensions to award time limits shall apply. An Aegrotat degree, diploma or certificate shall be unclassified and, in all other respects, un-graded. An Aegrotat award does not necessarily entitle the holder to registration with a professional body, or exemption from the requirements of any professional qualification which might otherwise be associated with the scheme of study concerned.

No candidate shall be exempted from submitting and defending a research thesis or from presenting a Master's dissertation (or equivalent) where such is required. It follows, therefore, that Examining Boards may not recommend the award of Aegrotat research degrees, and that Aegrotat taught Master's degrees may be awarded only where the work done for the dissertation can be examined.

Posthumous Awards

Senate Examining Boards (or the Chair of the Board, acting executively) may confirm the award of a posthumous degree on the recommendation of the Departmental/Institute Examination Board where sufficient credits have been passed at the level of the award for it to be clear, beyond reasonable doubt, that the candidate would have qualified for the award. A posthumous award shall be unclassified. For example, a candidate for a three year initial degree should have progressed to the final year and completed the first semester successfully.  

In the case of a Master’s award, where a candidate has died before the submission of a dissertation or equivalent, a posthumous degree may be recommended provided that the Board is able to consider available evidence of the work completed by the candidate. Normally, such evidence shall be supplied by the candidate's supervisor/advisor, who shall also submit a report for consideration by the examiners including an argued recommendation regarding the award of the degree based on the following criteria:

  • enough of the research project must have been completed to allow a proper assessment to be made of its scope.
  • the standard of the research work completed must be of that normally required for the award of the degree in question, and must demonstrate the candidate's grasp of the subject.
  • the written material available (draft chapters, published work, work prepared for publication, presentations to conferences/ seminars, progress reports by the candidate for his/her department/institution/ sponsor) must demonstrate the candidate's ability to write a dissertation or equivalent of the required standard.

A posthumous degree, diploma or certificate shall be unclassified.

Postgraduate Research Degrees

A Postgraduate Research Degree Examining Board may recommend to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) that the award of a posthumous degree be made where a candidate has died

  • after the thesis has been examined, or submitted for examination, but before the oral examination (where required) can be held.

In such a case, the Board shall consider the work presented and, provided that it is satisfied that the work is the candidate's own (by means of the receipt of reports from the Head of Department and the supervisor), may decide to recommend that an award be made.

  • before submitting the thesis.

In such a case, the Board shall consider available evidence of the research work completed by the candidate. Normally, such evidence shall be supplied by the candidate's supervisor, who shall also submit a report for consideration by the examiners. The Head of the Department concerned shall also submit an argued recommendation regarding the award of the degree. The following criteria must also be satisfied:

  • enough of the research project must have been completed to allow a proper assessment to be made of the scope of the thesis;
  • the standard of the research work completed must be of that normally required for the award of the degree in question, and must demonstrate the candidate's grasp of the subject;

the written material available (draft chapters, published work, work prepared for publication, presentations to conferences/seminars, progress reports by the candidate for his/her department/institution/ sponsor) must demonstrate the candidate's ability to write a thesis of the required standard.