5.3.1 DEGREE AND ASSESSMENT CLASSIFICATIONS

Like other universities, we classify our degrees, ranging from a First to a Pass. All your essays, exams and other assignments will be marked according to the scheme set out below, which is derived from the University’s generic mark scheme. See Generic Mark Scheme and University assessment conventions.Seminar participation will be marked according to a separate scheme (see below).

First Class: 70–100
90-100 Unique, outstanding and insightful work, of publishable quality without revision; difficult to see how it could be improved in any way.

80–89 Striking insight, originality, analytical and / or creative skills; quality of work overall far outweighs any shortcomings or possibility of improvement.

70–79 Excellence in understanding and presentation of appropriate material; some originality of thought in the context of the task; excellent quality of argument and / or creative technique; performance overall considered to overcome minor shortcomings or potential for improvement.

Upper Second Class: 60–69
• Sound and intelligent approach to the subject / creative task demonstrating an individual response.
• Secure knowledge of subject or techniques taught on the module.
• Knowledge of the critical debate and a high level of competence in deploying appropriate critical and technical methodology.
• Organised argument, clearly expressed, supported by relevant quotation or illustrative material.
• Sound knowledge and use of appropriate critical reference, competently documented in footnotes/end notes and bibliography.
• Sound command of grammar, syntax and spelling.
• Interesting to read.

Lower Second Class: 50–59
• Adequate but often mechanical approach to the subject, suggesting a routine and received understanding and response.
• Acceptable knowledge of key texts or techniques taught but limited understanding of contextuality and the wider issues raised by the subject.
• Knowledge of the critical debate limited to a few, often the most obvious, sources and some imprecision in deploying critical methodology.
• Simply organised structure of argument, sometimes repetitious and falling into catalogue form, supported by standard quotation and illustrative material.
• In Creative Writing modules, a simplistic poetic or narrative structure.
• Adequate knowledge and use of a restricted range of critical reference, not always appropriate, but adequately documented in notes and bibliography.
• Acceptable command of grammar, syntax and spelling although there may be deficiencies in proof reading, etc.
• Sometimes a laborious read.

Third Class: 40–49
• A tendency to bend the question (if an examination or essay question) to the candidate’s limited resources; if a dissertation, to present material which is unfocused, repetitious and confused, although some evidence of engagement with the module and an attempt to address the subject.
• In Creative Writing modules, an unfocused, repetitious and confused structure, although some evidence of engagement with the techniques and contextual materials of the module.
• Patchy and sometimes erroneous knowledge of texts and very limited acquaintance with issues beyond the immediate textual focus.
• Some knowledge of the critical debate or contextual materials but likely to be highly selective; inadequate deployment of critical method and vocabulary.
• Poorly organised argument; simple statements and sentences; sometimes irrelevant quotation and supporting illustration; simplistic or inadequate control of language.
• Very restricted range of critical reference inadequately documented.
• Some deficiencies in grammar, syntax and spelling.
• Difficult to read.

Fail: 39 and below
26–39 Little or no evidence of the module’s learning outcomes having been achieved; there may be some evidence of knowledge or skills relevant to the module, but these are misapplied or misunderstood.

0–25 An incompetent answer which fails to show any of the module’s learning outcomes having been achieved, and demonstrates little or no engagement with any aspect of the module.

 

5.3.2 Seminar participation

Seminar Participation, where applicable, will be marked following a step-marking schedule. Markers will decide a classification band and automatically award a mark in the middle of that band (i.e. 85, 75, 65, 55, 45, 30, 10). Marks will be awarded according to the scheme set out below.

 

First Class: 70–100

80–100  No unexcused absences; is an outstandingly involved member of the class; communicates with an exceptionally high level of skill; interacts extremely helpfully with others; takes responsibility for class discussion; can offer extremely stimulating questions and comments; produces prepared work of outstanding quality.

 

70–79    No unexcused absences; is a highly involved member of the class; communicates clearly and skillfully; interacts helpfully with others; takes responsibility for class discussion; can offer valuable and highly relevant questions and comments; produces prepared work of excellent quality.

 

Upper Second Class: 60–69

No unexcused absences; is fully involved in class; communicates confidently and consistently well; interacts positively with others; is willing to volunteer comments; can ask appropriate questions; produces sound and intelligent prepared work.

 

Lower Second Class: 50–59

No more than one unexcused absence; is adequately involved in class; there may be some weakness in communication; interacts effectively with others; can volunteer comments and is willing to ask questions; produces adequate prepared work often limited to a few, obvious sources.

 

Third Class: 40–49

No more than one unexcused absence; is intermittently involved in class; has weaknesses in communication; works with others at a relatively low level; does not generally volunteer comments or appropriate questions; produces unfocused prepared work that shows limited engagement with the module.

 

Fail: 0–39

20–39    No more than two unexcused absences; very limited involvement in class and may be a disruptive presence; communicates poorly; demonstrates a very limited ability to work with others; does not generally volunteer comments or appropriate questions; produces inadequate prepared work.

 

0–19      More than two unexcused absences; shows little will or ability to engage with the module and may be a disruptive presence; serious weaknesses in communication; fails to work with others or volunteer comments or appropriate questions; fails to produce prepared work.