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Results

Results

You will receive provisional results and feedback on your work throughout the academic year. All marks remain provisional until they have been confirmed by a Module Board. This means that there is a possibility that the mark you have been given for a piece of work may change if any issues with the marking for the assignment are raised during the moderation process.

You will receive official confirmation of your end of year result – which will include a transcript of your marks and credits achieved – after the relevant Assessment Board has met and reviewed your complete academic profile. This will include consideration of any mitigating circumstances and any capping penalties that you may have incurred.

End of year results will be made available to you either by post, online or on Blackboard. Your School Admin Office will be able to give you details of how you will be notified of your results. You must ensure that you act on any instructions included with your results - for example reassessment instructions and deadlines. Results will not be given over the telephone.

Please ensure that you inform the Student Centre of any changes to your contact details so communications from the University do not go missing. If you have not received your results by the end of the academic year you should contact the Academic Registry.

How your award is calculated

All awards at Bucks are conferred on the basis of the achievement of the required number of credits for that award through completion of individual credit-rated modules.

In addition to providing credit, the marks from some modules are also used to calculate your ‘overall weighted average’ which determines the classification (or class of award) that you will receive.

The precise number and level of modules that contribute to the overall weighted average vary between the type of award and, in some instances, your discipline area. Please check your Programme Handbook for specific details about how your award is calculated.

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As a general rule:
  • Master’s degrees of 180 Credits, Postgraduate Diplomas of 120 credits and Postgraduate Certificates of 60 Credits at Level 7 have the overall weighted average calculated from Level 7 modules only
  • Honours degrees – comprising 120 Credits at each of Levels 4, 5 and 6 – have the overall weighted average calculated from the Level 5 weighted average and double-weighted Level 6 weighted average (i.e. Level 5 – 33% / Level 6 – 67%)
  • Honours degree ‘top-ups’ – comprising 120 Credits at Level 6 only – have the overall weighted average calculated from Level 6 modules only
  • Foundation degrees and other Level 5 awards have the overall weighted average calculated from Level 5 modules only

Students within 2% of the breakpoint indicated will be considered as ‘borderline’ and the Board of Examiners will make a decision based on the balance of credits falling into the higher classification.

The overall weighted average is based on individual module marks calculated to two decimal places. When you receive your transcript your overall mark will be displayed to the nearest percentage.

What are the Master's degree classification grades?

 

Master’s degrees (MA, MSc etc.) are classified as follows:

  • Distinction – Overall weighted average of 70% and above
  • Merit – Overall weighted average of 60-69%
  • Pass – Overall weighted average of 40-59%

Overall weighted averages below 40% will result in an overall fail for the course or another, lower award being offered instead.

What are the Undergraduate Honours degree classification grades?

 

Undergraduate ‘Honours degrees’ (i.e. BA (Hons), BSc (Hons) etc.) are classified as follows:

First Class Honours

First-class honours, referred to as a ‘First’, is the highest honours classification and is awarded to students with an overall weighted average of 70% or higher.

To achieve a First your work will show:

  • A thorough engagement with the wider practice of your discipline beyond the University
  • A sophisticated understanding of your discipline area
  • Consistently excellent intellectual or creative abilities, or both
  • An extensive capacity for sustained, critical, independent thought
  • A sophisticated grasp of technical, research, analytical and other transferable skills
  • The set learning outcomes have been achieved to a very high standard.
Second Class Honours (Upper Division)

This is the first, or higher division of second-class degrees, which is commonly abbreviated to 2:1, and is awarded to students with an overall weighted average of 60-69%.

To achieve a 2:1 your work will show:

  • A significant engagement with the wider practice of your discipline beyond the University
  • A very good understanding of your discipline
  • Excellent intellectual or creative abilities, or both
  • A very good capacity for sustained, critical, independent thought
  • A very good grasp of technical, research, analytical and other transferable skills
  • The set learning outcomes have been achieved to a high standard.
Second Class Honours (Lower Division)

This is the second, or lower division of second-class degrees, which is commonly abbreviated to 2:2, and is awarded to students with an overall weighted average of 50-59%.

To achieve a 2:2 your work will show:

  • A satisfactory engagement with the wider practice of your discipline beyond the University
  • A good understanding of your discipline
  • Significant intellectual or creative abilities, or both
  • A good capacity for sustained, critical, independent thought
  • A sound grasp of technical, research, analytical and other transferable skills
  • The set learning outcomes have been competently achieved.
Third Class Honours

Third-class honours, often referred to as a ‘Third’, is the lowest honours classification and is awarded to students with an overall weighted average of 40-49%.

To achieve a Third your work will show:

  • A basic understanding of your discipline
  • A basic level of intellectual or creative abilities, or both
  • An good capacity for sustained, critical, independent thought
  • A basic grasp of technical, research, analytical and other transferable skills
  • The set learning outcomes have been achieved.

Overall weighted averages below 40% will result in an overall fail for the course or another, lower award being offered instead.

What is an Ordinary Degree?

 

An Ordinary Degree, or Pass Degree, is a degree conferred without honours and is not otherwise classified.

An 'ordinary degree' normally consists of 300 credits, rather than the 360 required for an honours degree. You would be able to use the letters BA or BSc after your name, but not BA (Hons) or BSc (Hons) which are restricted to honours degrees.

Other awards

 

Classifications for Foundation Degrees and Diplomas of Higher Education (DHEs) are as follows:

  • Distinction – Overall weighted average of 70% and above
  • Merit – Overall weighted average of 60-69%
  • Pass – Overall weighted average of 40-59%

Note that where a DHE is made as an exit award it will be classified as a Pass only.

Classifications for Higher National Certificates (HNCs) are as follows:

  • Distinction – Overall weighted average of 65% and above
  • Merit – Overall weighted average of 55-64%
  • Pass – Overall weighted average of 40-54%

All other qualifications are awarded on a Pass / Fail basis only.

Boards of examiners

There are two types of Boards of Examiners:

  • The role of the Module Board is to confirm results for individual modules, agree any scaling of marks required, review module feedback and consider brief summary reports from External Examiners. Membership of a Module Board includes the relevant teaching staff and any external examiners responsible for the modules being presented.
  • The role of the Assessment Board is to consider individual student profiles and to make decisions regarding progression to the next level or stage of a course or regarding achievement of the award for which the student is registered. Assessment Boards will also confirm decisions regarding reassessment of modules that have not been achieved. Membership of an Assessment Board includes the relevant Programme Leader, academics drawn from the teaching team, external examiners for the courses being presented, and Academic Registry representation to provide advice on interpretation of the relevant regulations.

Boards of Examiners will be presented with appropriate paperwork to consider and make relevant decisions in accordance with the University’s Academic Assessment Regulations or other relevant regulatory document.

Each Board will be Chaired by a senior member of the University and supported by a member of the Academic Registry as Secretary.

Appealing your result

If you think that your result is incorrect and / or you believe that a mistake has been made in relation to the decision made regarding your assessment, progression or final award, you can appeal your result by following the Academic Appeals Process.

Grounds for an appeal

 

You can only appeal against a decision of a Board of Examiners on the grounds of ‘procedural irregularity’.

Procedural irregularity is a failure of the Board to follow the process or rules that have been put in place, or when a decision has been made on an error of fact. This will only be considered where the failure has had a material or significant effect on the decision.

Examples of procedural irregularity could include:

  • Work not being assessed in accordance with University regulations
  • Mathematical error or an error in recording marks
  • Work not assessed by an approved assessor or examiner
  • Board of Examiners not properly constituted
  • Board of Examiners not acting in accordance with regulations or procedures
  • Prejudice or bias by one or more examiners, assessors or panel members

Dissatisfaction or disappointment with the result of an assessment is not sufficient grounds for an academic appeal.

Similarly, no appeal is allowed on matters relating to academic or - in the case of practice-based assessments – professional judgement.

Appeals may not be back dated to a previously held event. An appeal may only be raised against the most recent decision.

Evidence

 

All appeals must be accompanied by evidence supporting the claim. Evidence must be factual and specific and might include original versions of the following:

  • medical certificates
  • assignment feedback forms
  • correspondence (hard copy or email)
  • witness statements (must be dated and signed)
  • tutorial record forms

Unsupported claims or allegations against any individual or group of staff will not be considered.

Evidence of mitigating circumstances will not be accepted directly as grounds for an appeal. Any student wishing to submit a mitigating circumstances claim must follow the mitigating circumstances process.

Submitting an appeal

 

The appeals process has three stages:

  1. Early Resolution
  2. Formal academic appeal
  3. Review of appeal

You have 10 working days from the date of notification of your result to start the appeals process by making your concerns known informally to those staff who may be able provide a resolution, e.g. your Personal Tutor, Course or Module Leader or your School Registry Officer contact. Research students should instead contact the RED Unit. This approach is generally considered to be the most effective as it offers a quick solution and avoids the inevitable delays incurred in submitting and processing a formal appeal. Most queries are resolved at this stage.

If you are dissatisfied with the response you can raise a formal appeal by completing the Notice of formal academic appeal and sending this to the email address indicated on the form within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of the earlier stage. If your grounds are admissible a Case Officer will be assigned to to prepare a report on your case for an Appeal Manager. Depending on its complexity your case may be resolved at that stage (upheld or rejected) or it may be referred to a formally scheduled meeting of the Academic Appeals Panel.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the formal appeal, you can request a review of your appeal by completing the request for a Review of Appeal form and sending this to the email address indicated on the form within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of your formal appeal - although the grounds for a review are limited. Following this stage you have the right to take further action through the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).

For further information on each stage of the process please refer to the Academic Appeals Process.

What if my appeal is upheld?

 

If your appeal is upheld, it will result in a recommendation to the Board of Examiners to reconsider your case in the light of the appeal finding. The recommendation may:

  • include guidance to the decision-making body in terms of correct procedure or the interpretation of procedure for the case in hand and/or in general
  • highlight an error or errors which have been made, or information which has not been taken into consideration
  • suggest a change in practice or procedure
  • suggest a potential remedy or course of action.

You should be aware that even if your appeal is upheld, it may not make a difference, significant or otherwise, to your overall position or final award.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA)

 

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) is an independent body set up to review student complaints (including appeals). Free to students, the OIA deals with individual complaints against Higher Education Providers in England and Wales.

You can only take a complaint to the OIA once the University’s internal procedures have been completed and you have been issued with a "Completion of Procedures" letter.

Please see the OIA website for more information.

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