Procedures for the Award of Posthumous and Aegrotat Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Degrees
These procedures were approved in June 2020, for implementation from 2020/21.
1.1 The following procedures relate to the award of an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught degree in the event of (a) the death of a candidate prior to the completion of their degree (posthumous degrees) or (b) a candidate being prevented from completing their degree due to a diagnosis of terminal or debilitating illness (aegrotat degrees).
1.2 Arrangements for the award of posthumous and aegrotat degrees for Postgraduate Research (PGR) students can be found in the Posthumous and Aegrotat Award of Postgraduate Research Degrees Policy.
1.3 The information contained within these guidelines should be referred to alongside the relevant Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations and the Guidance for Staff Responding to a Student Death.
1.4 The Head of School in which the student was/is registered should formally make a request that the relevant Examination Board recommend the award of a posthumous/aegrotat degree to the student in question.
2. Procedure – Posthumous degrees
2.1 Examination Boards may recommend that a posthumous award should be made following the death of a student. Posthumous awards should have the support of the deceased student’s family prior to confirmation of the award.
2.2 Boards can issue a relevant award in cases where there is strong evidence that the deceased student would have successfully completed such an award; normally this would mean that a student had completed over half the credits required for the award. This is necessary to demonstrate that the student would have met the appropriate standards for the award.
2.3 Boards can agree to confer a posthumous award which is higher than the student’s entitlement, but does not exceed the programme level (FHEQ Levels 3,4,5,6,7) on which the student last studied. Such applications should be supported by evidence of academic achievement, at the level of the requested award.
2.4 Posthumous awards may be classified, subject to the approval of the Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students or their nominee.
3. Procedure – Aegrotat Degrees
3.1 Examination Boards may recommend the awards of an aegrotat degree if it is considered that a student’s diagnosis of a terminal/debilitating illness would prevent them from successful completion of their degree programme. The student should confirm that they will accept an aegrotat degree prior to confirmation of the award.
3.2 The aegrotat award will be considered as the conclusion of a student’s registration on a programme; the student must be offered the opportunity to accept the aegrotat award, or continue on the programme of study in order to achieve the intended programme outcome. If the student agrees to accept the aegrotat award, they will agree that they waive the right to any further assessment/reassessment.
3.3 Where the student is currently registered on a programme of study which includes a professional component, an alternative exit award will be offered; the aegrotat degree will not include the professional award.
3.4 Where a claim for Mitigating Circumstances has been upheld due to ill health, and students are prevented from completing their degree due to a diagnosis of terminal or debilitating illness, Exam Boards can agree to award an aegrotat degree.
3.5 The Exam Board can award the class of degree they judge to be suitable, as long as there is strong evidence that the student would have successfully completed such an award; normally this would mean that a student had completed over half the credits required for the award. This is necessary to demonstrate that the student would have met the appropriate standards for the award.
4.1 If a posthumous or an aegrotat degree is awarded, it is not required that the resulting certificate is marked as ‘posthumous’ or ‘aegrotat’.
4.2 In the case of a posthumous award, or where an aegrotat awardee is unable to attend graduation, a family member may be allowed to attend the ceremony to receive the award on their behalf. Alternatively, the degree certificate may be presented as part of a private meeting by the Head of School, or sent by post, if this is the wish of the next of kin.
For a full PDF version of these procedures, please see: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=51163