Undergraduate regulations for programmes of study

Qualifications and programmes

The undergraduate qualifications offered by the University are included within Ordinance 58. Ordinance 17 prescribes the basis of admission to the University. Ordinance 18 prescribes the basis for matriculating and becoming a student of the University.

1. A student will have been registered on a programme of study as part of the admissions process. The programme of study may lead to a qualification, or may relate to study on a 'credit only' basis where no qualification will be awarded.

2. A student cannot register for a Certificate in Higher Education or a Diploma in Higher Education; these are exit awards only.

3. A student cannot normally commence a programme of study more than two weeks after its formal start date.

4. A student must matriculate (enrol) every academic year, unless on an approved leave of absence for the duration of that academic year. Matriculation confirms agreement to the regulations in force for that academic year, and the programme being studied.

5. With the exception of an unnamed ordinary degree and some credit-only programmes, each programme's curriculum is defined through its degree programme table.

Recognition of prior learning

6. As contribution to a University of Stirling award, credits achieved at other institutions may be acknowledged in recognition of prior learning (RPL), provided that the credit was achieved no more than five years previously.

7. RPL credit can also be given for recognised academic or vocational qualifications or experience considered to be of equivalent status.

8. RPL credit must be applied for as part of the admissions process.

9. Credit can either be:

  • General credit exemptions - allowing prospective students to omit a specified number of credits from their programme of study; or
  • Specific credit exemptions - allowing prospective students to omit one or more particular modules from their programme of study.

10. An award from the University of Stirling requires that a minimum of one-third of the total credits are acquired through study at or validated by the University of Stirling. For some specific qualifications, this level may be higher.

11. Study undertaken at another institution during a period of authorised leave of absence cannot contribute to an award of the University of Stirling.

12. Credit previously used as part of recognition of prior learning at another institution cannot contribute to an award of the University of Stirling.

Duration of study

13. The following maximum periods include any extensions and periods of leave of absence.

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 11 years from commencement. 

Integrated Masters Degree 
The maximum academic period for completion of a specific named Integrated Masters Degree programme is 13 years from commencement. 

Modes of attendance/Attendance and engagement

14. A student will be designated as full-time or part-time. Where part-time, a programme may be studied on a part-time structured basis or a part-time intermittent basis.

15. A student studying for an individual module will be designated as studying on a part-time intermittent basis.

16. A student can change mode of attendance, provided that the mode of attendance definition is satisfied, and there is sufficient capacity on the programme of study. There may be financial and, where relevant, visa implications of a change for the student.

17. A student must attend and participate as required in all aspects of their programme of study as prescribed under the University’s Attendance and Engagement requirements. This includes being available for and completing all forms of assessment.

18. A student must attend and engage with the required academic contact points and activities and actively participate in all of their modules including any dissertation/equivalent module.

19. A student who fails to attend a compulsory class will be deemed to have failed the module, due to failure to comply with published requirements.

20. A student who is absent for more than a third of prescribed classes will have their mark capped at a maximum of 40 for that module.

Temporary absence from studies 

21. A student who is prevented from engaging with their programme of study for up to five working days is required to self-certify absence for University approval.

22. A student who is prevented from engaging with their programme of study for longer than five working days must submit documentation related to the absence for University approval.

Leave of absence 

23. A student may be authorised to take a leave of absence from their programme of study.

24. A student may take leave of absence from their programme of study for a maximum of two years cumulatively.

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

26. A student who does not re-matriculate (enrol) on the agreed recommencement date, or who has not communicated intentions towards their studies by the end of their period of leave of absence, maywill be deemed to have withdrawn from the programme of study.

27. A student may undertake re-assessments (second attempt and 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.

28.  Any module for which the first attempt assessment has not been completed at the point of leave of absence may not be resumed following return to studies; the module must be repeated. There is a financial implication for repeating a module.  There may be exceptions made for dissertations (or equivalent), which will be considered on a case by case basis.

Studying away from the University 

29. A student requires authorisation to attend another academic institution on a recognised exchange scheme or other approved programme of study, to undertake an approved placement, or to undertake studies such as a fieldtrip.

Change in programme of study

30. A student can change programme of study, provided that (i) admissions criteria for entry to the new programme and year of study are met; (ii) the requirements of the degree programme table for the new programme are or can be met; and (iii) there is a space on that programme of study (and its compulsory modules). There may be financial and, where relevant, visa implications of a change for the student.

Termination of studies

31. The University has the right to terminate a student’s studies where regulations or policy requirements are not met; examples include: 

  • Failure to make adequate academic progress or complete within the prescribed maximum period of study
  • Failure to comply with the University's disciplinary code
  • Non-attendance, including persistent non engagement with the programme of study and its modules, or prolonged and unauthorised absences from the programme of study
  • Failure to matriculate (enrol), including failure to return from a leave of absence or failure to present satisfactory evidence of permission to study in the UK.
  • Failure to comply with the requirements and expectations of the Academic Integrity Policy. 

Readmission to a programme of study

32. Readmission of a student to a programme of study is at the discretion of the Head of Admissions in consultation with the academic faculty. A student’s previous academic history will stand, provided that credits were achieved within the past five years.

33. Where a student has previously failed to achieve an award due to academic failure, their case for re-admission will be considered by the Academic Panel (Taught).

34. If readmitted, the current regulations and degree programme table requirements will be applied.

35. If readmitted to a programme of study, the student will be required to surrender certification for any previous University of Stirling qualification awarded for previous study on the programme once a higher award is achieved.