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Guidance for the Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards

Note: The Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards apply to all students first registered on postgraduate taught courses at the University on or after 1 August 2013 and replace individual departmental assessment conventions for postgraduate taught courses. For requirements relating to students first registered before 1 August 2013 please contact relevant academic departments directly.

1. Scope

From the academic year 2013/14, all postgraduate taught courses at the University of Warwick are governed by a single set of examination conventions, replacing all individual course/departmental examination conventions for postgraduate taught courses for 2013/14 entrants onwards.

2. Additional course/departmental examination conventions

Where there is an external requirement, departments are permitted to request approval of additional course/departmental examination conventions. Any such proposals will need to be considered by the Academic Quality and Standards Committee.

All additional course/departmental examination conventions will need to be communicated to students at the start of their course, normally via course/departmental handbooks. Departments should also make sure that prospective students and applicants have this information available to them.

3. Communication

The University Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards, as well as any approved additional course/departmental examination conventions, will be published centrally on the Teaching Quality website. Departments should include full text of the University Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards in their course/departmental handbooks.

Any additional course/departmental examinations conventions must be communicated to students via handbooks at the start of their course and should be made available to prospective students and applicants to inform their decision making.

4. Conflicting conventions

Where a conflict arises between additional course/departmental examination conventions and the University Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards, the latter shall prevail, unless an exemption has been approved by the Academic Quality and Standards Committee as set out in paragraph 2 above.

5. Condonation and/or compensation

Boards of Examiners are not permitted to condone and/or compensate failure in a module.

6. Credit load

Master’s students are normally required to attempt 180 credits in total. The University Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards allow a Master’s award to be made on successful completion of 150 credits at level 7, where the student achieves at least 40 in the failed module(s). Departments are permitted to require students to successfully complete up to 180 credits to be eligible for their Master’s award, provided that this requirement is made clear in information supplied to prospective students and applicants, as well as students at the start of their degree.

7. Pass mark

Pass mark on all postgraduate courses (including Postgraduate Awards, Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Master’s) is 50.

8. Remedying failure

The maximum pass mark on re-examination/reassessment is 50. Boards of Examiners, following a procedure detailed in paragraph 3(f) of the Requirements, have the discretion to grant a resit/reassessment as first attempt in situations where there are extenuating medical or personal circumstances.

Students on taught postgraduate courses are normally allowed to remedy failure in up to (and including) 1/2 of the total credits awarded in the taught element of the course.

Students failing their dissertation/project with a mark of >30 will be permitted to remedy failure. Students obtaining a mark of 30 or less in the dissertation/project carrying a credit weighting of more than 60 credits will only be permitted to submit a re-worked dissertation/project for examination against different learning outcomes, the achievement of which would enable them to be considered for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma.

Where a student fails an assessment as a result of penalties for late submission, the student should normally be required to undertake a new assessment, dissertation or project (i.e. not revise/resubmit the same assessment). Where reassessment of work failed because of penalties for late submission is not practicable, the fail mark should stand and the matter considered by the relevant Board of Examiners.

The right to remedy failure resulting from a finding of cheating under University regulations shall be determined by the Head of Department, the Investigating Committee of the Senate or the Board of Examiners as appropriate.

9. Degree classification

The award of Master should normally be with Merit if a student attains an award average of between 65.0 and 69.9 inclusive. The award of Master should normally be with Distinction if a student attains an award average of 70.0 or above.

Departments may specify that a student must attain a mark on a particular module or modules (e.g. a dissertation/project) of between 65.0-69.9 for an award of Merit or 70.0 or above for an award with Distinction. These requirements must be specified in information provided to students.


Last updated: 18 June 2013