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Academic Transcript Information

Purpose of this webpage

This page is intended to help external organisations to understand the information contained on transcripts issued by the University of St Andrews. It contains information on credit loads, current and historic grading scales used by the University, and how degree classifications have been calculated.

Credits and grades

A student's studies towards a taught degree are structured in terms of modules, each of which is assigned a credit value reflecting the proportion of a student's time devoted to that module.  A full-time student normally takes 60 credits in a semester.  Thus, for example, a module worth 20 credits would represent one-third of a normal semester's workload.  Each module is a self-contained unit of teaching, learning and assessment.  For the majority of modules the teaching takes place over a single semester in one 11- or 12-week teaching block, followed in most cases by an examination.  Others are concentrated into a shorter period, and some are taught over the whole year.  A student's performance in the examination, together with grades for pieces of coursework submitted during the module, determine whether he or she passes the assessment for the module and, therefore, whether he or she is awarded the credits attached to it.  Thus a student who passes the module will have gained both credits, reflecting the workload of the module, and a grade, reflecting the quality of their work. 

Common Reporting Scale

Grades are reported using the common reporting scale, which runs from 0 to 20 

Whilst the grading sheets below give a classification equivalent for grades on the 20-point common reporting scale, it should be noted that classification itself is dependent on an algorithm taking account of all eligible grades.  Further information on degree classification may be found at: Honours classification and PGT Masters classification.

European Credit Transfer System

ECTS is a credit system designed to make it easier for students to move between different countries, see: https://ec.europa.eu/education/resources-and-tools/european-credit-transfer-and-accumulation-system-ects_en.  ECTS credits represent the workload and defined learning outcomes of a given course or programme whereby 60 ECTS credits are the equivalent of a full year of study or work (i.e. equivalent to 120 St Andrews credits).  All modules in the Course Catalogue show the number of St Andrews credits associated with the module, and also the ECTS conversion, which is exactly half of the St Andrews credits.

Undergraduate credit, grading and classification information

Undergraduate Credit load

Normally a full-time undergraduate student takes modules worth 120 credits during the course of each year, i.e. 60 credits in each semester.  Circumstances may require a student to exceed this load, but the total credits for the year can never exceed 160. 

Undergraduate grading and classification

The University has adopted a modularised scheme for all its degrees since 1994.

Current and historic Undergraduate module grading information documents are available by clicking on the links below:

Whilst the grading sheets above give a classification equivalent for grades on the 20-point common reporting scale, it should be noted that classification itself is dependent on an algorithm taking account of all eligible grades. Further information on degree classification may be found below:

Prior to the 1994/5 academic year, the University operated under a class and ranking system.

Taught Postgraduate credit, grading and classification information

Taught Postgraduate Credit Load

While some degree programmes require more credits, most full-time one-year taught Masters students (eg MSc, MLitt, MRes) take modules worth 180 St Andrews credits (90 ECTS) during the course of the year, i.e. 60 credits in each semester and 60 credits for the summer dissertation.  

Individual modules taken as part of an approved taught Masters programme are assessed using the common reporting scale. 

Taught Postgraduate grading and classification

Current and historic Postgraduate module grading information documents are available by clicking on the links below:

Whilst the grading sheets above give a classification equivalent for grades on the 20-point common reporting scale, it should be noted that classification itself is dependent on an algorithm taking account of all eligible grades. Further information on postgraduate degree classification may be found below:

Grade conversion to percentage

The University of St Andrews does not provide conversion of grades attained into percentages. Since the academic year 1994/95 the University of St Andrews has used a 20-point common reporting scale, not a percentage scale, to report both module grades and overall degree results. It is important to note that any conversion of grades from the 20-point common reporting scale to a percentage scale would not be linear: for this reason, one cannot simply multiply by five a grade on the 20-point scale to achieve an equivalent grade expressed as a percentage. Hence, there is no validity in converting grades into percentages once they have been reported and the University of St Andrews does not condone any process that attempts to do so.

If employers ask for grades in percentages, students should explain that the University does not report results in this manner, and our grades out of 20 cannot be simply or fairly converted into grades out of 100. Students receive a very thorough transcript with an explanation of the degree classification boundaries that should enable any employer to understand the quality of a degree.

Ordering copies of academic transcripts

Alumni (graduates and non-graduating former students) can request printed or pdf copies of their Academic Transcript from Registry. Please visit our transcript odering page for further information on this service and to place an order

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