Skip to main content

Mark Scale for Undergraduate Modules (from autumn 2017/18)

This page applies to undergraduate modules from autumn 2017 or later.

All undergraduate modules are marked using one overall system, which runs from 0-100. Marks fall into different classes of performance:

70-100 First Class

60-69 Second Class, Upper Division (also referred to as "Upper Second" or "2.1")

50-59 Second Class, Lower Division (also referred to as "Lower Second" or "2.2")

40-49 Third Class

0-39 Fail

Within this overall system, your assessed work and exams will be marked on one of two scales, depending on certain characteristics of the assessment or exam. The department or lecturer running any particular module will be able to tell you which scale applies to the module.

Numerically based work, work with smaller questions (all points on 0-100 scale)

Where an assessment or exam is based on numerical work, or where there are a large number of questions in an exam with small numbers of marks for each question, we can use all of the points from 0 to 100. This is typical of many assessments and exams in Science, some language work, some exams in Economics and the Business School and so on.

Other work (20 point marking scale)

Where an assessment or exam is a single piece of work, or a small number of long exam answers, work is marked using the scale above. This is typical for essay-based subjects, dissertations and many pieces of work where there is no right answer and the quality of your analysis and argument is particularly important.

The descriptors in the table below are interpreted as appropriate to the subject and the year/level of study, and implicitly cover good academic practice and the avoidance of plagiarism. Departments publish more detailed marking criteria.

Class

Scale Mark Descriptor
First Excellent 1st 100 Work of original and exceptional quality which in the examiners’ judgement merits special recognition by the award of the highest possible mark.
94 Exceptional work of the highest quality, demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. At final-year level: work may achieve or be close to publishable standard.
High 1st 88 Very high quality work demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. Work which may extend existing debates or interpretations.
Upper Mid 1st 82
Lower Mid 1st 78
Low 1st 74
Upper Second (2.1) High 2.1 68 High quality work demonstrating good knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.
Mid 2.1 65
Low 2.1 62
Lower Second High 2.2 58 Competent work, demonstrating reasonable knowledge and understanding, some analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.
Mid 2.2 55
Low 2.2 52
Third High 3rd 48 Work of limited quality, demonstrating some relevant knowledge and understanding.
Mid 3rd 45
Low 3rd 42
Fail High Fail (sub Honours) 38 Work does not meet standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Evidence of study and demonstrates some knowledge and some basic understanding of relevant concepts and techniques, but subject to significant omissions and errors.
Fail 32 Work is significantly below the standard required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Some evidence of study and some knowledge and evidence of understanding but subject to very serious omissions and errors.
25 Poor quality work well below the standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree.
Low Fail 12
Zero Zero 0 Work of no merit OR Absent, work not submitted, penalty in some misconduct cases



Some descriptors cover a range of marks, with the location within each group dependent on the extent to which the elements in the descriptor and departmental/faculty marking criteria are met.