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The following information concerns assessment, marking, grades and classification.  Please refer to the University information on Grade and Mark Definitions (PDF, 420 KB) for these terms.

The University uses a 20-point Common Reporting Scale for grades (i.e. a 20-point basic scale reported to one decimal point for final module grades). Details of the Common Reporting Scale may be found in the corresponding University Policy

Marking and grading

For all subhonours modules, the final mark is the amalgamation of a number of components. There is typically a final examination, some project work and some class tests that comprise the total assessment. The Course Catalogue specifies the proportions in which these are combined to yield the final mark.

The majority of the Honours modules are assessed by a single final examination.  (The Course Catalogue specifies which of the Honours modules have some continuous assessment and the proportions in which these are combined.)

The final mark for a module is either on a percentage scale (at subhonours) or a similar numeric scale.  Such a raw mark cannot be compared to another module (either in the School or elsewhere in the University) until it has been converted to a grade on the University's 20-point Common Reporting Scale.  The mark achieved for an individual piece of work needs to be passed through the appropriate weighting for the module and the School's conversion system to the Common Reporting Scale before it can be compared to other modules.  As a consequence, pieces of work that comprise a very small proportion of a module are unreliable for performing such a comparison.

(See also the information on Academic Alerts for the minimum proportion of assessment required to gain credit in a module and the processes that will occur if you miss a piece of assessment.)

Mark-to-grade conversion scales

The School uses mark-to-grade conversion scales that are piecewise linear and (obviously) monotonic increasing.  The tables below indicate key points on each scale.

Note, however, that the precise conversion of marks to grades is only finally approved by the Module Board in consultation with the External Examiner.  At subhonours, the conversion may be adjusted if it is decided that a paper was particularly difficult (or easy) compared to normal.  At Honours level, a statistical analysis is used to determine which modules have been found more or less challenging than the others.

1000-Level scale
Mark (%)Grade
0 1
30 4
50 7
60 11
70 15


2000-Level scale
Mark (%)Grade
0 1
22 4
45 7
55 11
65 15


 Honours scale
Mark (out of 50) Grade
0 1.0
9 4.0
17 7.3
24 10.8
30 13.7
38 16.6


Statistical analysis of marks at Honours level

Since students can choose from a wide range of modules at Honours, we perform a statistical analysis to ensure that students are treated as fairly as possible irrespective of which modules they have taken.

When the marking of all Honours modules for a particular exam diet has been completed, all raw marks are fed into the analysis.  By comparing students' performances across the various papers they have taken, the analysis indicates which Honours modules have been found more difficult and which more easy.  (Note that we do not simply scale so that the mean for each module is the same nor, for example, so that the distribution of grades is the same.  For a small class it can be appropriate to have a high percentage of very good grades if the students have consistently shown on other papers that they are capable of performing well.)

The output data is not used in a mindless algorithmic way.  Instead, each module coordinator, together with another member of academic staff acting as moderator for the module, takes the statistical information into account when reviewing the students' exam scripts and makes academic judgement whether to leave the marks unchanged or to apply a scaling (usually relatively small) before the marks are converted to grades.

The decision whether to scale or not has to be approved by the module board, at which the External Examiner's opinion is taken into account.


If you receive a Grade between 4.0 and 6.9 (inclusive) on a module, then you have failed but are eligible for reassessment.  Reassessment takes place during the August resit examination diet.  For subhonours modules, you will need to register with the University to take the resit paper.  For Honours modules, you should contact our Examinations Officer (Professor Thomas Neukirch).

Honours classification

The University applies a common formula for the calculation of the award of Honours classifications.  Degrees are classified using a credit-weighted calculation of grades achieved for Honours level modules (3000-level and above) taken during an approved Honours programme.  This ensures consistency, particularly if you are taking a joint degree.

Full details of the University's algorithm can be found on the University website.

Degree Regulations

A regulatory structure determined by Senate and Court governs the award of all degrees. Undergraduate and Postgraduate Resolutions and Regulations are available at the following links: