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Section three: progression

3.1 Monitoring of Student Progress

The Student Programmes Office within Registry and Governance Services is responsible for the progress of all undergraduate and postgraduate students registered for programmes from initial matriculation to graduation. They confirm students’ status on degree programmes.

The Students Programmes Office works with the Academic Panel which reports to the Education and Student Experience Committee.

The remit of the panel is as follows:

  • To take decisions on undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research student cases relating to progress and awards.
  • To engage with and receive reports from school education and student experience committees and boards of examiners in relation to student academic progress and awards.
  • To refer issues of regulatory and procedural change in relation to progress requirements and awards criteria (with recommendations as appropriate) to the Education and Student Experience Committee for consideration.
  • To act as the first court in the student appeal process.
  • To report as business dictates to the Education and Student Experience Committee, including an annual review of its activities.

The current chair of the panel is Professor Leigh Sparks. The panel normally meets once a month and more frequently at key progression points within the academic year.

3.2 Minimum Progression Requirements

In order to progress to the next year of study, a full-time student undergraduate studying a diploma, degree or honours degree must have attained a minimum of:

  • 80 credits by the end of year 1
  • 200 credits by the end of year 2
  • 320 credits by the end of year 3

Before being permitted to register on some modules, a student may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules, defined as follows:

  • Compulsory pass prerequisites: In order to take module A, a student must pass module B.
  • Module content prerequisites: In order to take module A, a student must have taken and satisfied the published requirements for, although not necessarily passed, module B.
  • Recommended prerequisites: In order to take module A it is recommended that the student has taken and passed module B.

Students who fail 100% of their undergraduate modules in autumn will need to be identified as soon as possible after the marks upload, and will need to meet with an adviser of studies.

Where post compensation a full time student has achieved passes in at least 50% of modules, then the normal approach would be to offer a repeat year/semester. If less than 50% of modules are passed, then the normal approach would be to suggest ‘withdrawal’ unless extenuating circumstances can be demonstrated.

There are no progression hurdles within postgraduate taught programmes. However, students who fail 100% of their postgraduate modules from semester 1 will need to be identified as soon as possible after the marks upload, and will need to meet with an adviser of studies.

3.3 Attendance Requirements

Students should be able to ascertain which classes are defined as compulsory or prescribed by consulting the relevant module outline or programme handbook.

Where a Faculty has any concerns regarding student attendance or engagement this should be flagged to tier4visastudents@stir.ac.uk for Tier 4 students.

It is essential that Tier 4 students comply with the UK immigration regulations during their stay in the UK. Following their enrolment they are sent an email to their University email account which lists their immigration responsibilities. Students should familiarise themselves with these responsibilities (also available here) as failure to comply could result in their withdrawal from the University and their visa being curtailed.

3.4 Change of Degree Programme

It may be possible for students to change their intended degree early in their university career; the programme should be carefully worked out in advance in consultation with an adviser and with reference to the degree programme table before contacting Student Programmes Office. The Student Programmes Office should be asked to authorise the change to the central record. Sometimes a change of degree will require a variant programme, see paragraph 3.8, or some repeat study which may have financial implications. If a student wishes to switch to Education (teacher training programme) they should consult with the Faculty of Social Sciences in the first instance, please see the paragraph 3.9 entitled ‘Education Students’.

3.5 Change of Module

A student may not register for a module (including transfer from one module to another) later than two weeks after the start of teaching. Students who want to change a module should meet with an adviser and following this meeting the adviser should then email the Student Programmes Office (copying in the student) so the change can be completed manually. If the student has not met with an adviser then they should send an email to Student Programmes Office from their student email account (copying in the adviser) so the change can be authorised and their record updated.

3.6 Modules in the Same Subject Area

Please note that two level 8 modules in the same subject area can be taken concurrently from 2014/15.

3.7 Compulsory Module

This is a module that is named within the undergraduate degree programme table and cannot be compensated. It is a requirement of the undergraduate degree programme and clearly defined within the Degree Programme Table.

There are compulsory modules within postgraduate taught degree programmes and these are specified within the Degree Programme Table. However, a qualified pass can be awarded in a compulsory module in a postgraduate taught programme.

A compulsory module cannot be waived by an adviser of studies. The new degree regulations specify that any variations to degree programmes will require the approval of the Education and Student Experience Academic Panel.

3.8 Withdrawal from Modules

A student is permitted to withdraw from a module no later than two weeks from the commencement of teaching. Thereafter, fees are due for the module, and the module will remain on the student’s record with a result of failure to comply with published regulations (Fail) recorded. Please emphasise to students that they should avoid getting fail grades on their record.

3.9 Variant Programme

Students sometimes have to take modules in an order which differs from the norm as a result, for example, of failing a module, or of a change of degree programme. Any programme which varies from the programme published in the University Calendar requires the approval of the Academic Panel and the Student Programmes Office, which should be contacted in the first instance. Refer to Fees section at tuitionfees@stir.ac.uk or the Student Services Hub for funding implications. Faculties do not have the authority to waive compulsory modules within undergraduate degree programme tables. The concession not to take a compulsory module must be approved by Academic Panel.

3.10 Education Students

3.10.1 Initial Teacher Education Honours Degrees

Most ITE students follow four-year Honours degrees which appear in the Undergraduate Calendar. These degrees have “Professional Education” in the title. Students normally enrol for the modules that are specified in the relevant calendar entry for the degree in question.

3.10.2 Initial Teacher Education Ordinary degrees

Students follow the modules laid out in the Degree Programme Table for the first seven semesters of the corresponding honours programme.

3.10.3 Students wishing to transfer to an ITE degree

Presently it is not always possible for students engaged in other degrees to transfer onto the ITE programme depending on the teaching subject they are interested in. The Faculty of Social Sciences has to keep to agreed quotas in respect of the number of primary and secondary teachers they can produce and the subjects they will teach. Please refer any student enquiries to Lisa Murray or Laura Adam on (01786) 467606 in the first instance

3.11 Summer Academic Programme

Summer Academic Programme modules are listed here. Because of the intensive nature of the programme, students may not take modules worth more than 30 SCQF credits during the summer.

Please bear in mind that a maximum of 40 credits in Professional Development modules (module codes beginning with PDM, CST or SAP) can count towards a degree programme.

Module choice in the summer programme is usually limited and there is a charge for the summer programme. Students are required to enrol for the Summer Academic Programme. Students who could benefit from taking modules will be contacted via their University email address with information on the SAP.

3.12 Half-Modules

Students can take a maximum of 40 credits from Personal Development Modules in their degree programme.

A programme of Other Academic Modules is offered in a variety of topics related to University study and are worth 10 credits.

Undergraduates may include in their degree programme any combination of up to four half-modules, representing two full modules, choosing from those provided by the Other Academic Modules programme and Personal Development Modules. A maximum of 20 credits can be studied from Personal Development modules in any one semester. These half-modules can count as credit in a degree programme, but only where the degree programme permits non-prescribed modules. One other Academic Module may be taken in addition to the full semester load of three modules. Advisers should note that any half modules taken in 2015/16 in addition to the normal 60 credit load will incur an additional fee.

3.12.1 A range of Personal Development Modules coded PDMU9** are offered. Most are worth 10 credits, but some are worth 20. The Computing Science and Mathematics division (ext 7421) offers modules in Data Skills and IT Skills. Student Learning Services (ext 7950/7945 sls@stir.ac.uk) offer a module in study skills. The Career Development Centre (ext 7070) offers career preparation and community service modules. The Career Development Centre (ext. 7070) offers a range of face to face and online modules in career management skills that help students to make and implement realistic, well-informed decisions about their career plans. They also offer a 20 credit work experience module based around a 30 hour project-orientated placement with a local organisation. Find out more here.

3.13 Honours Degrees

Honours degrees are categorised as Single Honours, Integrated or Combined Honours programmes. Combined Honours programmes are those where two separate subject components are brought together. Integrated programmes contain professional subjects (Accountancy, Education or Psychology) and the professional requirements mean that there will be an unequal balance of subjects.

Each subject participating in Combined Honours programmes has a core set of requirements, which is used consistently in all of its programmes, except in cases where the demands of external professional accreditation may require its modification. Students must ensure an equal balance of subjects in year 3.

Students must take particular care when choosing modules for semesters 5 and 6, as this may influence choices available to them in semesters 7 and 8.

Admission to Honours

There is no longer any formal “Admission to Honours” process. Students are admitted to the university with the intention of completing an honours degree, and the student will progress from year to year as long as they meet the minimum criteria:

 

Expected

Minimum

Entry to year 2

120 credits

80 credits

Entry to year 3

240 credits

200 credits

Entry to year 4

360 credits

320 credits

*NB: A student with a fail in a module which is a prerequisite to a core module in the next year of study will be required to take leave of absence and pass the failed module before progressing to the next year of study.

If there are serious progression problems, a student may be recommended to complete an ordinary degree and it should be noted that a student who chooses to proceed to the next year with only the minimum credit requirement, will have a significant workload ahead if they are to catch up.

3.14 Named Ordinary Degree

To complete the requirements for the award of a degree in a named subject, e.g. “Bachelor of Arts in English and History”, students must complete the first 3 years, as specified in the degree programme table of the equivalent honours programme.

3.15 Unnamed Ordinary Degree

A minimum of 360 credits with a minimum of 60 credits at SCQF level 9 or above and, in addition, a minimum of 90 credits at SCQF level 8 or above. The award will simply be “Bachelor of Arts” or “Bachelor of Science”

3.16 Certificate

For the award of Certificate, a minimum of 120 credits must be achieved. Where the student is not registered on a Certificate with named subject(s), the award designation will be ‘in Higher Education’.

Details on the criteria for the award of distinction and merit can be obtained here.

3.17 Diploma

For the award of a Diploma, a minimum of 240 credits must be achieved. Where a student is not registered on a Diploma with named subjects(s), the award designation will be ‘in Higher Education’. Details on the criteria for the award of distinction and merit can be obtained here.

3.18 Leave of Absence

A student may be authorised to take a leave of absence from their programme of study and should discuss this first with an adviser and then write to the Student Programmes Office. Students will remain matriculated students of the University and may not qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance. If the leave of absence is for health reasons or other extenuating circumstances, you should refer students to the Student Money Advice team for benefits information.

An undergraduate student may take a leave of absence from their programme of studies for a maximum of two years cumulatively (eg. 4 semesters).

A full-time postgraduate student may take a leave of absence from their programme of study for a maximum of 12 months cumulatively and a part-time postgraduate student may take a leave of absence from their programme of study for a maximum of 24 months cumulatively.

Where a programme is to be discontinued or significantly amended, it may not be possible to authorise a leave of absence from the programme of study.

A student may undertake a module by (assessment only) during a period of leave of absence, but may not repeat a module in its entirety nor attempt a module for the first time.

Any module for which the first attempt assessment has not been completed at the point of leave of absence, may not be resumed following their return to studies; the module must be repeated. There will be a financial implication for the student.

Beyond mid semester, all requests for leave of absence require approval from the Academic Panel.

3.19 Maximum Period of Study

The following maximum periods include any extensions and leave of absence from studies, and apply regardless of the student’s mode of study.

Undergraduate

Graduate Certificate

The maximum academic period of study for completion of a specific named Graduate Certificate programme is three years from commencement.

Graduate Diploma

The maximum period of study for completion of a specific named Graduate Diploma programme is six years from commencement.

Ordinary Degree

The maximum academic period for completion of a specific named Ordinary degree programme is nine years from commencement.

Honours Degree

The maximum academic period for completion of a specific named Honours degree programme is eleven years from commencement.

Advisors should ensure that part-time student progress is on track to meet the maximum period of study.

Postgraduate

Postgraduate Certificate

The maximum academic period of study for completion of a specific named Postgraduate Certificate programme is three years from commencement.

Postgraduate Diploma

The maximum period of study for completion of a specific named Postgraduate Diploma programme is six years from commencement.

Master’s Degree

The maximum academic period for completion of a specific named Master’s degree programme is nine years from commencement.

3.20 Maximum Credit Load per Semester

Full-time undergraduate students will normally take 60 credits, per semester, but can also take a further 10 credits of PDM modules (70 credits). However, students who meet the minimum progress requirements and any necessary prerequisites will be permitted to take up to 80 credits, at their own risk. If they choose to take this option then any credit taken over and above 60 credits/10 credits of PDM (70 credits) will be charged in 2014/15. From 2015/16 any credit taken above 60 credits will be charged.

No student may undertake an assessment only module and an additional module concurrently. 20 credits is the maximum additional credit permitted.

Although there is no minimum credit load for part-time students, they are not permitted to take modules worth more than 50 SCQF credits (or 2.5 modules) in any one semester. For students undertaking the Summer Academic Programme, approval is required from the Student Programmes Office if they wish to take more than 30 credits (1.5 modules).

Prior to module registration each semester, all part-time students are encouraged to discuss their study plans with an adviser of studies. Students should access advice from School advisory teams.

All students can view their own academic records from on or off campus via the Student Portal. (They will need their user name and password which they can obtain from the Information Centre in the Library or by phoning (01786) 467250.

3.21 Repeat of First Year

Any student who wishes to repeat the first year of an undergraduate programme should contact the Student Programmes Office in the first instance.

3.22 Withdrawal from University

Students should put this in writing to the Student Programmes Office. It may be that they are qualified for the award of the Certificate or Diploma, and the Student Programmes Office will automatically check for this.

3.23 Failure of a Module in the Final Semester

Examination Boards should return a fail recommendation for any undergraduate student who has a fail in the final semester. The Student Programmes Office will offer an extension semester as appropriate. Students may not extend the period of study without approval from the Education and Student Experience Committee Academic Panel.

If an undergraduate student fails the dissertation or equivalent in the final semester then their graduation date will change to November.

If a postgraduate student fails the dissertation or equivalent then their graduation date may change.

3.24 Dissertation

The maximum period for an extension of a dissertation or equivalent is one month (where extenuating circumstances are provided). If the dissertation cannot be considered at the examination board then the extension will require approval from the Academic Panel.

Where the dissertation or equivalent is failed and a resubmission is required, this must be submitted within three months. No fee is payable.

When resubmitting, there is no formal supervision. However, students must be provided with one feedback session (normally with the Principal Supervisor) and written feedback sufficient to know what needs to be improved.

If a student takes a leave of absence from their studies whilst undertaking the dissertation or equivalent, when they return to their studies, they must start again on a new topic, and there may be financial implications.

A marginal fail in a dissertation or equivalent is not eligible for compensation.

3.25 Assessment

A student is permitted a maximum of five assessment attempts (3 module registrations) per module. i.e.

First registration

main diet, resit diet

*Second Registration

main diet, resit diet

*Third Registration

assessment only

*These attempts may be taken in either order, and the student will be offered the choice.

3.26 Re-assessment

If a student has achieved a pass in a module (ie achieved a module mark of at least 40 for undergraduate programmes and 50 for postgraduate taught programmes), it cannot be retaken/assessed.

Re-assessment must be taken at the next available sitting.

The full range of marks is available for the first attempt of a module repeated on a teaching and assessment basis (i.e. there is no restriction to the mark awarded).

A student who fails a module upon re-assessment will not be awarded a lower mark than that awarded at the first attempt.

The Faculty will determine the nature of the re-assessment required. It will be equivalent to the original in terms of both difficulty and educational benefit.

Advisers are advised to read the regulations on re-assessment here.

Where a student has chosen to repeat the module in full, they will be registered on the Z occurrence.

3.27 Assessment Only

Students studying on an ‘assessment only’ basis will be registered on the R occurrence of the module and as a result should not sign up for seminars through Canvas. The divisional office will need to check that students on the ‘assessment only’ are not attending seminars. There is only one sit available for an assessment only module (ie no further resit). Where the student decides to repeat the module in full, a re-assessment opportunity will be offered.

Schools must offer an ‘assessment only’ opportunity to a student including where, for example, the module is not offered (eg bi-annual options) the following year or the module has gone through a substantial revision.

The maximum mark that can be awarded for a module repeated on an ‘assessment only’ basis is restricted to 40 for undergraduate programmes and 50 for postgraduate taught programmes.

3.28 Compensation

Undergraduate Programmes

A student who has marginally failed a module may be eligible for compensation and the award of credits for that module. A marginal fail is one where a mark for the module is between 30 and 39 for undergraduate programmes. Compensation will be applied systematically based on the student’s overall profile.

It will be possible to compensate one marginal fail in first year (20 credits), one in second year (20 credits) provided that at least 80 of the 120 credits, have been passed each year and one over years 3 and 4 (20 credits) provided that the remaining 220 credits have been passed. Maximum of three compensated passes.

Where more than one module is eligible for compensation, the module with the higher/highest mark will be compensated. This will appear on their record as PC, pass by compensation.

A module is not eligible for compensation if it is compulsory, is a pre-requisite to a module to be taken later within the degree programme or must be passed for professional or accreditation purposes.

Modules taken on a study abroad basis can be compensated in exactly the same way as those taken on campus, after they have been translated to University of Stirling marking scheme.

Postgraduate Programmes

A student who has marginally failed modules, up to 30 credits, will be eligible for compensation by qualified pass (QP) and the award of credits for those modules at SCQF level 10. A marginal fail is one where a mark for the module is in the range 40 to 49

Compensation by QP will be applied systematically based on a student's overall profile.

A maximum of 30 credits (20 credits for PG Cert) will be awarded as a qualified pass at SCQF level 10.

Where more than one module is eligible for compensation by qualified pass, the module with the higher/highest mark will be compensated.

Where the maximum ‘qualified pass’ credit has been applied, and a student has failed to achieve the necessary learning outcomes for outstanding module credit, students will be permitted to undertake reassessment;

  • A marginal fail in a dissertation (or equivalent) is not eligible for compensation.
  • The result of a pass by compensation will appear on a transcript without a mark.

3.29 Re-admission

Where a student is readmitted to the University, they will be subject to the new requirements as laid out in the Degree Programme Table in full.

3.30 Mode of Study

There are no conditions on transfer from part-time to full-time and vice versa other than capacity and the requirement to meet the remainder of academic regulations. There may be financial and, where relevant, visa implications of a change for the student.

3.31 Study Abroad

Students in good academic standing are eligible to apply for study abroad.

3.32 Tuition Fees and Financial Support

Part-time students are liable for their own fees and it is possible for their fees to be paid by instalments. A part-time fee grant may be available from SAAS please refer here for more details. Part-time students are also eligible to apply to Discretionary and Hardship Funds.

Queries concerning the fee waiver scheme should be directed to Student Administration (01786) 467054, those concerning payment of tuition fees to the Cash Office (01786) 467123, and those relating to Discretionary and Hardship Funds to Student Money Advice (part of Student Development and Support Services) (01786) 467080 or studentmoney@stir.ac.uk). Any queries regarding part-time student loan payments should be directed to Records Office (01786) 466654.

3.33 Student Learning Services

All students are encouraged to take advantage of the accredited study skills module (Skills for Learning at University) provided by Student Learning Services, details of which are available in the student prospectus or on the SLS website. In addition to the accredited half-modules, timetabled workshops and individual tutorials are available on request. SLS can be contacted here.

3.34 STEER (Student Peer Mentoring)

All undergraduate students are eligible, and encouraged, to apply for support from a student peer mentor during their first year at Stirling. Mentors are trained, disclosure-checked volunteers, who can provide personal, social, cultural and basic study skills support (particularly answering questions that students may consider too trivial to take elsewhere). Online applications can be made here. STEER can also be contacted on steer@stir.ac.uk.

3.35 Auditing of Modules (currently under review)

A student wishing to audit a module may register to do so within two weeks of the start of teaching. No audit registration will be permitted subsequent to this.

The change of registration process to permit auditing of a module will be the same as for any other change of registration, ie by email request to the Student Programmes Office.

Auditing means that a student is permitted to attend lectures and may be permitted to attend seminars, and practical sessions at the discretion of the co-ordinator of the module. If the division or module co-ordinator so desires, a student auditing a module may be debarred from undertaking assessed work.

Students who register to audit a module will not receive a written confirmation of attendance or evaluation of performance on completion of the course, other than with a note of the audit registration being placed on official transcript.

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