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PGT Masters classification

The taught postgraduate classification algorithm uses the St Andrews GPA in order to determine a final degree classification.  The St Andrews GPA is the credit-weighted mean of all grades including both the taught component and the dissertation. 

Only one decimal point is used in all calculations. 

Note that links to past algorithms may be found at the bottom of the page.

Outcomes for PGT Masters classification

St Andrews GPAClassification outcome
16.5 or more Distinction
13.5 or more Merit
7.0 or more Pass
6.9 or less Fail

A St Andrews GPA of 16.5 or above constitutes the threshold for a recommendation of distinction.  A St Andrews GPA of 13.5 or above constitutes the threshold for a recommendation of merit.  If the classification policy for a collaborative programme differs from the above, the School must make this clear to students at the outset of their programme and in their programme handbooks. 

Calculation protocols

The Senate Regulations specify that at least 180 credits should be gained during an approved Masters programme.  For students who have taken extra modules, the calculation of St Andrews GPA must include all modules (allowing for the exceptions noted below).  Thus a student cannot take an extra module with a view to disposing of another with a poorer grade. 

The award of a taught postgraduate Masters degree requires 90 credits of the taught component to be at 5000-level.  Students are permitted to 'dip-down' for remaining credit.  The grades achieved for dip-down modules taken at 1000- or 2000-level as part of a taught postgraduate degree are incorporated into the degree only when the subject of the module is required language training.  In all other cases, only grades received for 3000- and 4000-level 'dip-down' modules are incorporated into the St Andrews GPA. 

In the case of a module failed with a grade of 3.9 or less, there is no right to reassessment and the original grade is reported and entered into the algorithmic calculation even though no credits are obtained for the module.

In the case of a taught module failed with a grade of 4.0-6.9, there is a right to reassessment.  For modules of 3000-level or above, if the reassessment is passed, the grade reported, recorded on the transcript and entered into the algorithmic calculation is a "capped" grade of "7.0" (not the original failed grade).  There is no right to reassessment for dissertation modules.

In the case of a failed module for which no credit is subsequently obtained at reassessment, the original (failed) grade is entered into the algorithmic calculation even though no credits are obtained for the module. 

In the case of receiving a 0X, a grade of "0" is entered into the algorithmic calculation (with the credit-weighting of the relevant module) even though no credits are obtained for the module with respect to meeting the requirements of the degree programme.  Any properly authorised withdrawal from a module, however, would be ignored by the algorithm. 

In the case of modules graded on a pass/fail basis, credits obtained are included in the overall credit requirements for the intended degree award. However, credits and grades are excluded from the calculation of the St Andrews GPA and the overall degree classification.

Grades that are achieved (after suitable translation) from modules taken outwith St Andrews (usually abroad) as part of a Masters programme are entered into the algorithmic calculation.  If ungraded credits are received from abroad or graded credits that are not formally approved as part of a Masters programme, then these will not influence the algorithmic calculation, although such credits will normally appear on transcripts. 

Consideration of special cases

Students who are S-coded do not need to be brought to the attention of the Dean, so long as the S-coding does not cover more than 50% of the total credits for the taught component of a postgraduate Masters degree.  Students with S-coded modules will have their results run through the algorithm twice: once with the S-coded modules included; once without the S-coded modules included.  Whichever result produces the higher classification of degree will automatically be awarded.  Further information on S coding is available in the Assessment Policies and Procedures (PDF, 566 KB).

Exceptional cases should be referred to the relevant Dean.  These exceptions include the following types of case:

  • Students who are marginally short of the required number of credits for a degree;
  • Students who have been S-coded for more than the maximum number of credits stated above;
  • Any other anomalies.

Where anomalies are referred to the Dean, the School must provide a minute of the discussion held at the School Examination Board, along with a recommendation from that Board. 

Past algorithms


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