Criteria For Marking Dissertations

Upper First Class (80%+)

This grade indicates work of very high quality which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:
Independent thought of very high quality, deep understanding of the implications of the question, an individual and particularly effective treatment of the material or topic, understanding of and substantial engagement with scholarly debates, sophisticated treatment of primary material, excellent control of a complex argument, and a scholarly standard of presentation (footnotes, citations, bibliography etc.).

First Class (70%+)

This grade indicates work of very high quality which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:
Coverage of all (or the most significant) areas and issues appropriate to the topic, control of an argument sustained across the whole piece of work, construction of coherent argument in individual chapters, a well argued viewpoint supported by evidence, an original viewpoint convincingly presented, the capacity to evaluate evidence, the capacity to adduce evidence from other fields, within or outside the ancient world, independent thought of high quality, and excellent organization, presentation and style (including footnotes and spelling), using appropriate and grammatical English.

Upper Second Class (60%-69%)

This grade indicates a very competent piece of work, which will demonstrate some, though not necessarily all, of the following:
Coverage of most of the areas and issues appropriate to the topic, a coherent and well-organized argument across the whole piece of work identifying most of the issues relevantto the topic, coherent and well-organized arguments in individual chapters, and a capacity to evaluate evidence, good presentation, showing sound command of English; The better dissertation will show evidence of wide reading and independent thought.

Lower Second Class (50%-59%)

This grade indicates work of acceptable competence. The work will demonstrate the following:
A general coverage of the issues and arguments appropriate to the topic, an attempt to construct an argument across the whole piece of writing, an attempt to construct an argument in individual chapters, the clear setting-out of relevant material, the discussion of some issues raised by the topic, adequate presentation and English expression and usage, and the omission of some relevant material of the inclusion of some irrelevant material.

Third Class (40%-49%)

The work demonstrates some knowledge and understanding, but contains at least one of the following weaknesses:
Failure to cover most of the areas and issues relevant to the topic, failure to construct a sustained argument across the whole piece of writing, failure to construct a coherent argument in individual chapters, absence of key points of information, the inclusion of inaccurate material relevant to important points, assertions made without supporting evidence, arguments which are too simplistic or brief, based on too limited a fund of knowledge, lacking coherence across the whole piece of writing, inclusion of material irrelevant to the topic, and poor English expression.

Fail (30%-)

The grade indicates insufficient evidence of serious academic study. The work fails for one or more of the following reasons:
Failure to demonstrate an understanding of the whole topic, failure to identify the principal issues involved, failure to demonstrate a fund of knowledge, incoherence, and inclusion of material which is irrelevant to the question.