Assessment and award of credit for postgraduate


Assessment attempts

45. A student is permitted a maximum of four assessment attempts per module.

46. Failure to comply with published requirements counts as an assessment attempt.

Components of assessment

47. Each module descriptor specifies the components of assessment for that module, the assessment criteria, and the weight of each component to the module as a whole. Each module handbook is required to specify components of assessment contributing to the module mark.

Common Marking Scheme

48. A student's level of achievement is denoted by the mark (a whole number in the range 0 – 100) achieved under the University's Common Marking Scheme:


Equivalent   grade

Descriptor of attainment of learning outcomes



Meets all the requirements to attain 80 – 89 but in addition demonstrates an exceptional degree of originality and exceptional analytical, problem-solving and/or creative skills.

80 -89

Meets all the requirements to attain 70 – 79 but in addition demonstrates outstanding quality evidenced by an ability to engage critically and analytically with source material, exhibits independent lines of argument, is highly original and uses an extremely wide range of relevant sources where appropriate.

70 - 79

Excellent range and depth of attainment of intended learning outcomes, secured by discriminating command of a comprehensive range of relevant materials and analyses, and by deployment of considered judgement relating to key issues, concepts or procedures.

60 - 69


Attainment of virtually all intended learning outcomes, clearly grounded on close familiarity with a wide range of supporting evidence, constructively utilised to reveal appreciable depth of understanding.

50 – 59


Attainment of most of the intended learning outcomes, some more securely grasped than others, resting on a circumscribed range of evidence and displaying a variable depth of understanding.

40 – 49

Fail -Marginal

Appreciable deficiencies in the attainment of intended learning outcomes, perhaps lacking a secure basis in relevant factual or analytical dimensions.

0 - 39

Fail -Clear

No convincing evidence of attainment of intended learning outcomes, such treatment of the subject as is in evidence being directionless and fragmentary.



Failure to comply with published module requirements

49. A student registered on a module will be given a mark for each component listed in the module descriptor.

50. The overall mark for the module is calculated from the sum of weighted component marks, rounded to the nearest whole number; a pass may not be required in each component. This module mark represents a summary of performance on that module.

Exceptions to Common Marking Scheme

51. Some modules are assessed on a pass or fail basis only, due to the nature of content and the learning outcomes and competencies to be assessed.

Award of credits

52. A student who has passed a module (i.e. has achieved a module mark of at least 50) or has been awarded a Pass) will be awarded the credits for that module.

Submission of work

53. Students are responsible for ascertaining and meeting submission deadlines.

54. If a student fails to submit a piece of coursework on time, work will be accepted up to seven calendar days after the submission date (or expiry of any agreed extension) but the mark will be lowered by three marks per day or part thereof.

55. After seven calendar days, the piece of work will be deemed a non-submission and will be given a mark of 0 (zero).

Attendance for examination

56. Students are responsible for ascertaining final examination dates, times and locations, and for attending at the appropriate point.

57. Deferred examinations can only be authorised for students whose absence is on acceptable grounds.

58. Deferred examinations can only be authorised if all required prior components of assessment have been submitted (where the deadline is in the past), and any class attendance requirements have been met.

59. If a student fails to attend a compulsory examination without formal approval for deferral, the student will be deemed to have failed the module, due to failure to comply with published requirements.

Extenuating circumstances

60. If a student's academic performance has been affected by personal circumstances, a case for extenuation may be submitted for consideration by the appropriate Board of Examiners.

61. Extenuating circumstances for each module must be submitted at least 14 days before the meeting of the Boards of Examiners.

Academic conduct

62. By submitting a piece of work for assessment, a student is stating that it is their own effort without falsification of any kind.

63. A student must not make use of unfair means in any assessment, or do anything prejudicial to the good conduct of the assessment. The Code of Practice on Academic Misconduct refers.



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

65. 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.

66. A student who has passed a module i.e. achieved a module mark of 50 or higher will not be allowed to repeat that module or be re-examined in that module.

Second assessment attempt (resit)

67. Where a module is failed, the student has the option to be re-assessed through a further attempt. This includes a dissertation (or equivalent).

68. The dissertation (or equivalent) second attempt will be unsupervised and must be resubmitted within three months from confirmation of failure. The minimum level of support students should be given is feedback and one meeting with their supervisor (or an appropriate alternative member of staff if the supervisor is not available).

69. The second attempt of a module must be taken at the next scheduled offering.

70. The maximum mark for the module that can be awarded for a second attempt is the pass mark i.e. 50.

Repeating the module

71. Having failed the module following two attempts, a student has the option to repeat the module in its entirety. This has financial and visa implications.

Teaching and assessment option

72. A student must repeat the module at the next scheduled assessment period. Not every module is delivered each academic year.

73. A student repeating the module in its entirety (i.e. both teaching and assessment) is subject to the same attendance and participation requirements as a student taking the module for the first time.

74. A module can be repeated on a teaching and assessment basis on one occasion only; both first and second attempts at the assessment can be undertaken.

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

Compensation by Level 10 Qualified Pass


76. A marginal fail is one where a mark for the module is in the range 40 to 49%.  

77. A maximum of 30 credits (20 credits for PG Cert) of marginally failed modules will be eligible for compensation by qualified pass (appears as PQ on a transcript) and the award of credits for those modules at SCQF level 10.

78. Where up to 30 credits is marginally failed then compensation will be applied automatically.

79. Where more than one module or more than 30 credits is eligible for compensation by qualified pass, then the student must indicate which module/s will be compensated.

80. The student will be permitted to choose to undertake reassessment as outlined in paragraphs 67-79, rather than accept compensation.

81. The decision regarding compensation and reassessment choice must be taken and Academic Registry notified within the published deadline.

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

83. The result of a pass by compensation will appear on a transcript without a mark and denoted at SCQF level 10 as PQ.