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Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations

The Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations provide an explanation of the principles underpinning the Degree Regulations and their implementation.

For a full PDF version of the Guide, please see below:

Updated in February 2020 to reflect some minor updates to the UG and PGT Degree Regulations.

For a 'tracked changes' version highlighting the updates from version 1.8 to 1.9, please see below.

Summary of latest changes to the Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations

Changes between versions 1.8 (February 2018) and 1.9 (February 2020):

Changes between version 1.6 and version 1.7, for implementation from September 2016):

  • Clarification of the versions of UG and PGT Degree Regulations relevant to students (page 3).
  • A new section on ‘Rescinding Awards’ (page 7-8), including clarification that students who have received an exit award, as a result of academic failure may not rescind and be readmitted as they have exhausted all assessment opportunities previously.
  • Clarification that, from September 2016, failed PGT dissertations can only be re-submitted if they achieve a mark of 30 or above (page 10).
  • Updating of the section on ‘Re-sitting a failed component to meet programme or Professional Body requirements’ (page 12), to confirm that where undergraduate students are required to re-sit a failed component of a unit in the final year (even though they may have achieved an average pass mark in the unit overall) in order to meet the requirements of a professional body, marks will now be capped at the pass mark, rather than the original marks being left unchanged (as confirmed in paragraph F29 of version 2.4 of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations from September 2016).
  • Confirmation that credit-rated experience away from the University, such as certain types of study abroad that constitute part of the credit of a UoM programme, may be compensated (under ‘Compensation’ section, page 8).
  • Clarification regarding reassessment not being able to be taken in the final year of an Undergraduate programme (under ‘Reassessment, page 10).
  • Clarification under the ‘Postgraduate Reassessment’ section (page 11) that a student will have to achieve a mark of 50 to pass, but this mark will be capped at the lowest compensatable mark (40%), unless the previous mark was within the compensation zone, in which case the original mark will stand.

Details of previous updates to the Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations can be found below:

Archived changes to the Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations

To see earlier details of amendments to the Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations, please see below:

Changes made in February 2016

 The following amendments have been made to the Guide in updated version 1.6:

1.   Page 3 - 'Context and versions of Degree Regulations'

Information has been added to clarify the different versions of the Degree Regulations, and which students they are applicable to.

2. All references to ‘mark review’ have been amended to ‘classification review’.

This is to reflect the same change in terminology found within the UG and PGT Degree Regulations.

3.    Page 11 – ‘Postgraduate reassessment’

The wording of the final paragraph has been amended from:

“So the basic rule is that if the student passes the resit, then the resit mark is capped at the compensation level. However, if the original first-sit mark was in the compensation range, then this original mark is retained. On the other hand, if a student fails, then the first-sit mark stands.”

To the following new wording:

“So the basic rule is that if the student passes the resit, then the resit mark is capped at the compensation level. However, if the original first-sit mark was in the compensation range, then this original mark is retained.
However, if a student fails, then the first-sit mark stands and would be recorded without a suffix of ‘R’.”

4.    Page 11 – ‘Carrying forward failed credit on Undergraduate Programmes’ and page 12 new section ‘Resit without attendance’

The original wording stated:

“Significant discussion has concerned whether a student can carry forward fails and to study and resit these without attendance. Resit without attendance has resulted in complaints about student support and can place students in an invidious position with regards their unemployment status. As a result resit without attendance is to be avoided unless exceptional e.g. mitigating circumstances apply. An alternative is to permit the student to repeat the year (see section H of the UG Degree Regulations).”

This wording has been removed from the section and put in a new section entitled ‘Resit without attendance’ as follows:

“Significant discussion took place in the development stages of the Taught Degree Regulations concerning carrying forward fails, studying and resitting these without attendance. ‘Resit without Attendance’ has the potential to be a poor experience for students as they can be unsupported and this status can place students in an invidious position with regards their unemployment and visa status. As a result resit without attendance is to be avoided unless exceptional e.g. mitigating circumstances apply. Staff members must seek advice from the Student Immigration Team (visa@manchester.ac.uk) with regards to students on a Tier 4 visa in respect of Resit without Attendance.”

5.    Page 14 – new section: ‘Classification in cases of Direct Entry students’

A new section has been added with the following wording:

“When students have been accepted onto a year after the first year of study, the weighting across the remaining years of the programme should be calculated on the following basis.

From the implementation of the 2012 Degree Regulations onwards, Schools/Faculties have been asked to state the weighting for each year of a three or four year undergraduate degree, e.g. for a three year Bachelors programme, Y1 to Y3 (L4 to 6 FHEQ) using weights of 0.0 (L4), 0.33 (L5), and 0.67 (L6) or Y1 to Y3 (L4 to 6 FHEQ) using weights of 0.1 (L4), 0.3 (L5), and 0.6 (L6).

If a student bypasses year 1 by directly entering in year 2 of a Bachelors programme for which the School/Faculty has opted for the second choice of weighting (01./0.3/0.6), the weighting for the final two years of the programme should be 0.33/0.67 in order to retain the same ratios of weightings for the final two years.

When a student enters by direct entry purposes into year 3 of a four-year programme, the same principles would apply to weighting of the remaining years, in order to retain the same ratios.

In cases where a student is admitted with direct entry into the final year (year 3 of a three-year programme or year 4 of a four-year programme), all the weighting would be based on marks achieved in year 3.

6.    Page 15 – new section: ‘Distinguishing between the award of a Third and an Ordinary Degree’

A new section has been added with the following wording:

In boundary zone Other stipulations  Resulting award or classification  
37.0 to 39.9
  • Have a total of at least 300 credits with 60 credits at Level 6
  • Meet the criteria set at top of page 11 of UG Degree Regulations (i.e. 2/3 of the credits at Level 6 are equal to/higher than the classification threshold of a Third – 40.0)
Student is awarded a Third class degree   
37.0 to 39.9
  • Have a total of at least 300 credits with 60 credits at Level 6
  • Do not meet the criteria above
Student is awarded an Ordinary degree.
36.9 or less
  • Have a total of at least 300 credits with 60 credits at Level 6
Student is awarded an Ordinary degree.    

 
7.    Page 21 – new ‘Appendix C: Classification Review Guidance’

A new section on Classification Review has been added to provide more guidance on the process, as follows:
“Classification Review (formerly referred to as Mark Review) is very difficult to prescribe as its purpose is to allow some flexibility to apply academic judgement to borderline cases, when a mechanistic approach is inappropriate, in exceptional cases.

Classification Review applies to students in the boundary zone and after the mark distribution rule has been applied. It provides a final opportunity for an Examination Board to use its academic judgement on degree classification for those who remain in the boundary zone.

It is NOT the intention that every student who is in the boundary zone and does not meet the criteria for a higher classification is subject to Classification Review. It allows the Examination Board to consider those cases which it believes as a group, merits further consideration.  

It is difficult to be prescriptive on what circumstances might merit a subsequent review, as this falls within the realms of academic judgement. Therefore, the judgement of which cases should be subject to Classification Review is at the discretion of the Examination Board and must have the support of External Examiner(s).

To guide this judgement, Classification Review should be used in exceptional circumstances with the expectation that the majority of students in the boundary who do not satisfy the rule for mark distribution should not be raised to a higher degree classification.

It is not the case when a final year set of marks show a lack of progression which is disappointing but reflects the achievement of the student. In many programmes there will be no need for Classification Review to be applied.

Students who fall into the borderline boundary zone, who have credits awarded via Special Compensation should also be considered for Classification Review as follows:

  • An Undergraduate student who had failed 40 credits at Level 6 with an overall mark of less than 40 would not be eligible for a referral, but should be considered for Classification Review, with academic discretion being used to determine whether the student should receive, for example, a Third Class Honours Degree or an Ordinary Degree if their numerical classification merits that.
  • Undergraduate students who have more than 40 and up to 60 credits of Special Compensation should not be considered under Classification Review, as this would be counterintuitive to paragraph 48 of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations, which requires a penalty of a reduction of one classification to be applied due to failing more than 40 and up to 60 credits.

Below are a few principles to assist Schools in the operation of Classification Review:

1.    Classification Review does not remark or change marks.
2.    Classification Review can only result in an increase in class to those cases which are in the borderlines and/or do not meet the criteria for the higher class.
3.    Classification Review does not result in a lower classification.
4.    Not every student in the boundary zone is eligible to receive a Classification Review.
5.    The Examination Board can exercise its collective academic judgement in deciding which cases can be subject to Classification Review.
6.    Classification Review allows an Examination Board to reflect on the near misses, which do not meet the criteria for a higher class and confirm the decision was correct.
7.    During Classification Review, External Examiners approve the rationale to increase a class; they do not look at individual assessments or remark.
8.    Classification Review allows Boards scope for academic judgement in exceptional circumstances.

Applications for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account are subject to a different process and Examination Boards should ensure there is no duplication of consideration of mitigation during Classification Review.”


Tracked changes version of the Guide

In order to see a tracked changes version of Guide to highlight these changes between the June 2014 version 1.5 and the February 2016 version 1.6, please see below:

Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations – changes between versions 1.5 and 1.6 (between June 2014 and February 2016)

 

Changes made in June 2014

The following amendments have been made to the Guide in updated version 1.5:

1.    Page 6 – Duration of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Programmes

The word ‘Undergraduate’ has been added to the section title. The following words have been removed from the section:

“A part-time Degree of Master student will complete the programme over a more extended period of time which will be published in the programme handbook, but will not exceed five academic years.”

The following wording has been added:

“There is no set maximum Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught length of study specified in the Degree Regulations, although it is generally accepted that the period of time for part-time Degree of Masters students to complete their programmes would not exceed five academic years. The length of study for both UG and PGT students depends on whether a student has exhausted their resit opportunities, whether there are any mitigating circumstances or periods of interruption, or if there are any variances approved by the Faculty, as stated in programme handbooks. However, Schools will have to be mindful of visa requirements when taking action which may extend a student’s duration of study and should also consider whether the content of the programme is still current when looking at agreeing to extend a student's length of study.”

2.    Page 7 – Compensation

The word “normally” has been added to the following sentence:

“Unless the unit has been defined as non-compensatable, compensation is normally automatic; however, under Paragraphs E19 of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations and E15 of the Postgraduate Taught Regulations, the decision on how to apply compensation is at the discretion of the Examination Board.”

This is to clarify that, as per the stipulations in the Degree Regulations, Examination Boards have the authority to make decisions about compensating units.

3.    Page 11 – Postgraduate Reassessment

The original wording stated:

“Paragraph F25 of the PGT Regulations state that “Referrals are capped at the lowest compensatable fail mark and this is used in the weighted average mark for the final award. The capped mark is applied to the unit level mark, not just the failed element.”

The word “just” has now been removed and the following sentence added:

“It should be noted that it is the unit level mark which is capped, not the failed element”.

4.    Page 11 – new section: “Re-sitting a failed component to meet Programme or Professional Body requirements”

The following new section has been added:

“In cases where a student is required to re-sit a failed component of a unit (even though they may have achieved an average pass mark in the unit) in order to meet the requirements of the programme or of a professional body, for example, the original marks are left unchanged and there is no capping of marks in this case.

This means that the marks in Campus Solutions would be left as they originally were. However, the mark achieved at re-sit can be communicated to the professional body if that is required.

In this sort of situation, you may be concerned that the transcript will still show the failed component mark. However, official University transcripts do not include component marks, so the original fail mark for the component will not appear there. If you locally produce a transcript that does include component marks, you can add a note against the failed component mark to say ‘Passed after resit’.”

5.    Page 13 – removal of section entitled “Undergraduate Degree Classification Scheme”

It had been stated that the boundary zone weighted average given for Third Class Bachelors degrees (37.0 to 39.9) was incorrect in Appendix A of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations, and that this would be amended in future versions of the Regulations. However, this section of the Guide has now been removed as it has been determined that this was not, in fact, an error. The boundary zone weighted average for Third Class Bachelors degrees therefore remains as being 37.0 to 39.9.

Changes made in February 2014

The Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations was updated with minor changes in February 2014. Details of the changes can be seen in the marked versions of the document, found in the links below. The main changes made in February 2014 were:

i.    On page 9 under 'Reassessment', a new paragraph has been added stating:

"For all referred assessment, the original pass mark will stay the same; therefore for Undergraduate referred assessment, a student will have to achieve a mark of 40 to pass, but this mark will be capped at the lowest compensatable mark (30%). This includes dissertations."

ii.    On page 10 under 'Postgraduate Reassessment', a similar paragraph has been added:

"For all referred assessment, the original pass mark will stay the same; therefore for Postgraduate Taught referred assessment, a student will have to achieve a mark of 50 to pass, but this mark will be capped at the lowest compensatable mark (40%). This includes dissertations."

iii.   On page 11 under 'Carrying forward failed credit on Undergraduate Programmes', a new paragraph has been added regarding fee payments/costs:

"Undergraduate students permitted to carry 20 credits into a subsequent year will not be charged any additional tuition fee but will be required to cover any additional costs associated with the course unit(s) concerned, e.g. mandatory field trips."
The statement has been removed relating to: "Consideration of fees payable will be subject to PRC consideration."

iv.   On page 12 under 'Final year of an Undergraduate (including Integrated Masters) programme' text relating to future changes to paragraph 47 of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations have been removed, as these amendments have now been made to the Regulations.

v.    On page 18 under 'Table B Postgraduate (masters) course unit marking scheme', the figure for non-compensatable fail has been amended from 'Less than 39' to '39 or less'. Similarly, under 'Table C Postgraduate (Dip, Cert.) course unit marking scheme, the figure has been changed from 'Less than 29' to '29 or less'.

vi.  Throughout the Guide, a few minor grammatical changes have been made to put capital letters on Degree Regulations.
Changes made in November 2013

The Guide to the Taught Degree Regulations was updated in November 2013. Details of the changes can be seen in the marked versions of the document, found in the links below. The main changes made in November 2013 were:

i.    An additional line has been added to the section on Compensation on page 7:

“Unless the unit has been defined as non-compensatable, compensation is automatic; however, under Paragraphs E19 of the Undergraduate Degree Regulations and E15 of the Postgraduate Taught Regulations, the decision on how to apply compensation is at the discretion of the Examination Board.”

ii.    An additional paragraph has been added to the section on Repeating the Level/Year on page 11:

“If a student fails and is allowed to repeat, fees are payable for the repeated period of study:
Undergraduate students permitted to repeat a year of study are charged full tuition fees at the rate applicable for the academic year concerned. Undergraduate students permitted to carry 20 credits into a subsequent year will not be charged any additional tuition fee but will be required to cover any additional costs associated with the course unit(s) concerned, e.g. mandatory field trips”.

iii.    References to 'compensatable pass' on pages 8 and 9 have been altered to read 'compensatable fail'.

iv.    The following paragraph has been added to the Compensation and Reassessment sections for clarification:

"In the event of a student failing a course unit with a mark less than 30, and then obtaining a compensatable fail in the resit where there is compensation available, the student would receive the credit and pass the year overall. The student's mark would be capped at 30R."

In order to see the highlighted changes which have been made to the Guide between June 2012 and June 2014 versions, please see below: