Marking and Assessment

This section tells you what the marks your work receives mean, how they contribute to the overall mark for each module you take and how we go about awarding you a degree.‌

Mark Scheme

All the work that you submit for assessment and any examinations that you take, are marked to the same numerical scale. All work is marked internally (e.g. double marked or marked and moderated) and also made available to an external examiner, before a final mark is given to each piece of work, examination paper etc.

University Assessment Criteria. Please see the University Assessment Criteria for Taught Programmes located in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for more information on this.

Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees and Awards

Each module that you take, including the dissertation, is given a final overall mark (the overall assessment) that is derived from the different types of assessed work that you have done for that module (coursework, dissertation, examination, presentation etc). Once the work has been marked, internally moderated, and seen by an external examiner, a final mark is given to each module. The module descriptor for each module tells you in what proportion these contribute to the final mark - so for example a dissertation is 100% of the mark for a dissertation module; while in a taught module, an essay might count for 50% of the overall mark, a presentation 20% and a Portfolio 30%.

Degrees are awarded by an Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee that meets in the Autumn each year. The Committee is composed of members of the academic staff of the College and external examiners. Each Master’s programme has its own external examiner whose job is to ensure that we are consistent in our marking, that our standards are equivalent to other institutions, that we follow our procedures properly and, above all, that we act fairly. Difficult cases, including where penalties for late submission have been applied, or where a student has suffered difficulties due to ill-health or other problems are often specifically referred to the External Examiners for their view. The rules governing the conduct of Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees can be found in the University’s Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding.

Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committees look at the performance of each student and take into account any factors that have affected their progress. If students have been unable to complete modules due to outside factors, such as serious illness, they can be given the chance to retake modules: a process known as deferral. In cases where students have failed modules they can be given the chance to resubmit any failed coursework or resit an exam: this is known as referral. Students can only be referred once and the overall mark for any work or exam, and for the module as a whole, cannot be higher than a pass (50%).

In order to award you a Masters degree we look at the marks that you have been awarded for each module and the number of credits that each module is worth. So a 15-credit module contributes less to the overall result of your degree than a 30-credit module. An overall mark for your Programme is then calculated. This determines the overall result of your degree. For students who successfully complete the whole programme (which is the overwhelming majority) the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee can award three levels of Masters degree: with Distinction (70% plus), with Merit (60% plus) and at Pass level (50% plus). Committees can also award lower qualifications for students who do no complete the whole programme: a Postgraduate Diploma and a Postgraduate Certificate. The University rules for awarding degrees can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding. 

Disclosure of Marks and Results

To give you an indication of how you are doing, and to provide feedback on your work, you are given marks and comments for all coursework. However, you need to bear in mind that these marks are only an indication of the final mark that this work may receive, after it has been internally moderated and seen by the external examiner.

All final/agreed marks that count towards assessment (including examinations) are confidential until the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee meets in the Autumn. Only the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee can confirm the final marks for each of your modules. You will get your results online after the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee has met.

The University Exams Office will make a complete transcript, including marks for all the modules you have taken, available to you once you have been awarded a degree.

External Examiners

External Examiners are appointed for all taught programmes delivered by the University. External Examiners are formally responsible to the Senate of the University. The responsibilities of External Examiners and Boards of Examiners are set out in the Ordinances of the University. The Ordinances are made by Council to amplify the meaning of the Statutes which sit above them. Details of External Examiners currently appointed by the University can be found by visiting the following link.

Please note that the contacting of external examiners by students regarding any aspect of their programmes of study is prohibited and will be treated as an offence under the University's Disciplinary Procedures.  Externals are requested to inform the University's Examinations Office should such an occurrence take place.