Programme Progression and Award

About this section

Definitions

Progression refers to a structured process undertaken by the School that determines whether you have met the requirements to continue to the next stage of your programme. This is usually only relevant for undergraduate students and takes place at the end of each year of study.

Classification refers to identifying the type of qualification and classification of award that you will receive on completion of the programme.

University Progression and Award Regulations

The criteria for progression/award are determined by the University’s regulations set out in the Rules for Award, as well as by individual programme rules set out in the programme specification. The programme specification identifies the modules within any given programme of study which must be passed in order to allow progression/award. The Progression and Awards Board is required to implement decisions in accordance with the Rules for Award and the programme specification. The School does not have discretion to vary the rules for individual students at the Progression and Awards Board.

1.1c            Ad Hoc and Ad Personam Programmes

If there are exceptional circumstances, the School may consider varying the programme rules for a cohort of students (an ad hoc programme) or for an individual student (an ad personam programme). For example, the required combination of modules could be amended, or particular programme rules waived. This decision is taken in advance and is based on the circumstances affecting the group or individual. The decision is not taken by the Progression and Awards Board.

Any ad hoc or ad personam programme must be approved in advance by the Faculty Taught Student Education Committee or by the Pro Dean for Student Education acting on the Committee’s behalf. Once the ad hoc or ad personam programme is approved, this new programme is the one which will be applied by the Progression and Awards Board in considering your results. The School will provide you with a copy of the approved programme which supplements the published programme specification.

Progression and Awards Boards and Related Committees

School Special Circumstances Committee

The School Special Circumstances Committee is responsible for assessing all applications for mitigating circumstances and making recommendations to the Progression and Awards Board on any adjustment that the Board should make to accommodate those circumstances. Minutes of the School Special Circumstances Committee are taken, along with a summary of the recommendations made, to the Progression and Awards Board.

This Committee comprises of a Director of Student Education (Chair); one academic representative from each division and Student Support Officers.

The Committee meets regularly throughout the academic year, including after examination periods and prior to Assessment and Progression and Awards Boards.

Progression and Awards Board

The Progression and Awards Board has responsibility for making decisions about progression, and for deciding the award you will receive and, where relevant, its classification. The School adopts the standard Terms of Reference and Membership for Progression and Awards Boards.

Consideration of Progression and Awards

In the majority of cases, the Progression and Awards Board makes straightforward decisions based on credit requirements and the classification average. However, in borderline cases, and approved cases of mitigating circumstances, the Board will make a judgement using the agreed criteria.

In cases of mitigating circumstances, the Board receives recommendations from the School Special Circumstances Committee.

The Progression and Awards Boards meet in June and September for Undergraduate programmes, and in November for Taught Postgraduate programmes.

Referral to the University Special Cases Committee

The Progression and Awards Board can only exercise its powers within the context of the University’s rules and regulations, and in particular, the Rules for Award and the programme specification. However, if following these procedures would lead to a perverse or unfair judgement, the School may make an application to the University Special Cases Committee to make exceptions to the rules. If the School does this, you will be informed, giving the reason. The School must present a case to the Committee, you cannot apply yourself.

Undergraduate Progression

To progress to the next year of an undergraduate programme, you must obtain 100 credits or more in the current programme year, pass all of those modules listed as ‘pass for progression’ in the programme specification and meet any other criteria listed in the programme specification.

Furthermore, students must obtain an average grade of 40 or better (averaged over at least 120 credits in the programme).

Students on four year programmes (Industrial or International variants) must pass their industrial or international placement as specified in the relevant module handbook. If a student were to fail their industrial or placement year they would be transferred back to the three year variant of the relevant programme.

Classification Procedures

This section describes the main classification rules for the principle types of qualifications. This is a summary only and the full details of the procedure for all types of qualification are published in full in the Rules for Award.

Classification System

The University operates a unified institutional degree, diploma and certificate awarding/classification system for all undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes. The classification system is based on averaging and is designed to be consistent with the national Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications.

Classification Average

Modules are marked against a 0-100 marking scale. For the purposes of classification module marks are converted to a 0.00 to 10.00 Classification Average scale expressed to two decimal places and rounded accordingly.

For more information, see Annex 1 in the Rules for Award. A Classification Calculator is also available which will allow you to estimate your final degree classification.

Bachelor’s Degrees with Classified Honours

Details about degree classification for Bachelor’s degree with classified honours is available on the Classification website page.

Integrated Degrees of Masters and Bachelor

Details about degree classification for Integrated Masters and Bachelor’s degree with classified honours is available on the Classification website page.

Undergraduate Classification Thresholds

The classification thresholds for Bachelor’s degrees with classified honours are:

Classification Threshold Award Outcome
6.85 or over First Class Honours
5.90 – 6.84 Upper Second Class Honours
4.95 – 5.89 Lower Second Class Honours
4.00 – 4.94 Third Class Honours
3.99 or below Fail

Taught Postgraduate Awards

Taught postgraduate awards are classified by credit-weighted average grades across all modules studied as part of the programme.

Taught Postgraduate Classification Thresholds

The classification thresholds for taught postgraduate degrees are:

Classification Threshold Award Outcome
7.00 or over Master with Distinction
6.00 – 6.99 Master with Merit
5.00 – 5.99 Masters Pass
4.99 or lower Fail

Treatment of Supernumerary Modules (Prescribed)

If a programme prescribes that students must study more than 120 credits (undergraduate) or 180 credits (taught postgraduate) in any one programme year, the credit-weighted average over the full number of credits will be used for progression and classification purposes.

Treatment of Supernumerary Modules (Optional)

If students choose to take more than 120 credits (undergraduate) or 180 credits (taught postgraduate) in any one programme year, neither the credits nor the grades for the additional modules will be taken into account in determining progression or classification. You must decide at the point of enrolment which modules will count towards progression and classification; you cannot ask later for only a selection of the best results to be considered.

Advanced Standing

Credit imported as part of accreditation of prior learning contributes towards the credit requirements for the award but does not contribute to the classification average.

Treatment of International Programme Year

For students undertaking a four-year undergraduate degree programme which includes an international year, successful completion is determined on a distinction/merit/pass/fail basis, and marks do not contribute to classification. The form of assessment is described in the programme catalogue.

The University study abroad handbook and other important documentation can be found on the following websites: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/info/128001/enrichment_opportunities/4/study_abroad and http://students.leeds.ac.uk/#Study-abroad

The module handbook for the year abroad can be found on the LUBS Study Abroad website: https://business.leeds.ac.uk/undergraduate/study-year-abroad/

Treatment of Industrial Programme Year

For students undertaking a four-year undergraduate degree programme which includes a year in industry, successful completion is determined on a pass/fail or distinction/merit/pass/fail basis, and marks do not contribute to the classification of your degree. The form of assessment is described in the programme catalogue.

Further information on the Industrial Year can be found here: http://business.leeds.ac.uk/undergraduate/year-in-industry/

Academic Discretion

The degree classifications of most candidates will be clear-cut. However, the Progression and Awards Board will identify students whose classifications are borderline for further consideration. This is known as “academic discretion”. For undergraduate honours degree students, academic discretion applies if you have a classification average falling within a band of 0.05 below a classification threshold on the 0.00 – 10.00 classification scale (e.g. between 6.80 and 6.85) For taught postgraduate students, academic discretion applies if you have a classification average falling within a band of 0.10 below a classification threshold on the 0.00 – 10.00 classification scale.

Satisfying these numerical criteria does not guarantee promotion to the higher degree classification. Progression and Awards Boards apply the established criteria, explained below, in making a decision. Module grades will not be adjusted, regardless of the outcome. The basis and process for the decision will be recorded in the minutes.

School Criteria for Academic Discretion (Undergraduate)

The Progression and Awards Board can use its powers of discretion to award a higher class only if it is persuaded that it has sufficient evidence against established criteria to merit the higher award.

The criteria used by the School for this purpose at undergraduate level are based on the profile of marks for all credits taken across the penultimate year and the final year (excluding any international, industrial or placement year assessed on a pass/fail or distinction/merit/pass/fail basis) for any candidate who meets the criteria for automatic consideration or academic discretion. Specifically the higher class will be awarded if any of the following conditions hold for any candidate who is within a 0.05 discretionary band:

  • At least 60 credits of final year marks are in the higher class; or
  • At least 120 credits of marks across the penultimate year and the final year are in the higher class; or
  • At least 100 credits of marks for compulsory and optional modules across the penultimate year and the final year are in the higher class.

In making the judgement, any one result of 49, 59 or 69 may be interpreted as if it belonged to the higher class.

In exercising discretion where no mitigating evidence is presented, the Progression and Awards Board cannot make an award that is more than one class higher than the presumed class based on the Classification Grade Average.

Module marks will not be changed as a consequence of any consideration of discretion at classification boundaries, and whilst a student may satisfy the numerical criteria for academic discretion this does not guarantee promotion to the higher degree classification. The basis and process for any discretionary consideration will be recorded in the Progression and Awards Board Minutes.

School Criteria for Academic Discretion (Taught Postgraduate)

The degree classifications of most postgraduate students will be clear-cut. However, the Progression and Awards Board will identify those students whose classifications are borderline for further consideration. The Progression and Awards Board must consider raising the degree classification for all students to whom the following applies:

  • Candidates who fall within a 0.10 discretionary band:
  • at least 90 credits from the students profile are in the higher class;
  • In making the judgement, any one result of 49, 59 or 69 may be interpreted as if it belonged to the higher class.

In exercising discretion where no mitigating evidence is presented, the Progression and Awards Board cannot make an award that is more than one class higher than the presumed class based on the classification grade average. Module marks will not be changed as a consequence of any consideration of discretion at classification boundaries, and whilst a student may satisfy the numerical criteria for academic discretion this does not guarantee promotion to the higher degree classification. The basis and process for any discretionary consideration will be recorded in the Progression and Awards Board Minutes.

Viva Voce Examinations

The University does not permit interviews/viva voce examinations for the purpose of making a decision on borderline cases.

Special Cases Discretion

The Progression and Awards Board will consider applications for mitigating circumstances and decide what action to take. This is not confined to borderline cases. The Board will usually accept the recommendations of the School Special Circumstances Committee. The basis and process for decisions will be recorded in the minutes. Module marks will not be changed, regardless of the outcome, with the exception that where penalties for late submission have been applied, the School may choose to waive those penalties and restore the original mark.

Publication of Degree Classifications

The dates on which degree classifications are published apply across the University. These dates are published each year by the Programmes and Assessment Team. The School will not publish your classification, provide written confirmation of it nor discuss it with you prior to the official publication.

Leeds for Life Higher Education Achievement Record

The Leeds for Life Higher Education Achievement Record (LfL HEAR) provides you with a formal description of the nature, level, context and status of studies undertaken for a particular qualification. It may also include any official university prizes, and eligible co-curricular activities which have contributed to your personal development. The University issues this in addition to your degree certificate. Further details on LfL HEAR are available on the HEAR website page.

Graduation

The University will arrange graduation ceremonies in line with the government guidance on social distancing. Alternatively, students will graduate ‘in absentia’ meaning that degrees will be awarded without a graduation ceremony with degree certificates posted to students. Further details are available on the Graduation website page.