SECTION 6: The Classification of Awards and Course Assessment Boards (CABs)

 

6.1 The classification of Bachelor’s Degrees awarded with honours

6.1.1. In a course leading to the award of a Bachelor’s Degree with honours, classification will be based on a weighted numerical average of marks awarded in graded I and H level credits undertaken in a student’s course of study, with the best marks totalling 100 credits at each level being included in the calculation. Students must have passed all modules leading to the award before being eligible for an honours degree.

6.1.2 In calculating the weighted numerical average for the Bachelor’s degree with honours, the calculation shall be conducted on a pro rata basis with H level credits counting to the calculation carrying a weighting of two, and graded I level credits counting to the calculation carrying a weighting of one, unless the course or a PSRB stipulates otherwise (this should be clearly documented in the programme specification document).

Bachelor’s Degree with Honours

Classification bands

Algorithm

1

69.5%

Calculated using a weighted average comprising of 1x the best 100 I level credits and 2x the best 100 H level credits.

2:1

59.5%

2:2

49.5%

3

40%

6.1.3 For students returning to complete an honours degree having previously accepted and rescinded an interim award, classification will include those intermediate and honours level module grades which formed part of the interim award.

6.1.4. In a course leading to the award of a Bachelor’s Degree with honours where the student has received accreditation for prior learning, the classification will be based on a numerical average of marks awarded in up to 100 graded I and 100 H level credits undertaken in the student’s course of study as a registered student of the University. Students must have achieved a pass mark in all modules.

6.1.5.In cases where APL is awarded, the student will receive the credit but no mark will be recorded. As no mark is recorded, the APL credit will not be used to calculate the final degree classification. Only credit awarded at the University of Huddersfield will be used for classification purposes. If a student is granted APL for part of an award contributing level, the total remaining graded credit at that level will be used to calculate the level average and therefore the final classification.

 

6.2 The classification of an Integrated Master’s Degree

6.2.1. A student on an Integrated Master’s degree will be awarded using the classification criteria below, unless the course specified differs from the principles outlined in this section. Any exceptions will be identified in the PSD.

Integrated Master’s Degree

Classification bands

Example Algorithm

1

69.5%

As each course may differ, your School will be able to inform you of the algorithm calculation associated with your degree.

 

Example algorithm: 100 I level credits weighted 25%; 100 H level credits weighted 25% and 100 M level credits weighted 50%.

2:1

59.5%

2:2

49.5%

3

40%

6.2.2. Students will normally be classified using an algorithm which combines all modules which contribute to the award (I, H and M level credits). The algorithm calculation may differ for each course and as such, students should contact their School for information on how their degree is classified.

6.2.3. Where a student fails to meet the requirements for an Integrated Master’s Degree, the student will be considered for the award of a bachelor’s degree with honours. This award will be subject to the student having achieved a pass mark in all modules leading to the honours level qualification and will exclude marks awarded in modules taken in the final year of the Integrated Master’s Degree course.

6.2.4. In cases where APL is awarded, the student will receive the credit but no mark will be recorded. As no mark is recorded, the APL credit will not be used to calculate the final degree classification. Only credit awarded at the University of Huddersfield will be used for classification purposes. If a student is granted APL for part of an award contributing level, the total remaining graded credit at that level will be used to calculate the level average and therefore the final classification.

 

6.3 The classification of a designated Sandwich degree

6.3.1. In the case of a designated sandwich course, weighted marks attached to S level credits may also play a part in determining the classification of a degree with honours. If this is the case, the calculation shall be conducted on a pro rata basis with H level credits counting to the calculation carrying a weighting of two and graded I and S level credits counting to the calculation carrying a weighting of one unless the course or a PSRB stipulates otherwise (this should be clearly documented in the programme specification document).

6.3.2. In cases where APL is awarded, the student will receive the credit but no mark will be recorded. As no mark is recorded, the APL credit will not be used to calculate the final degree classification. Only credit awarded at the University of Huddersfield will be used for classification purposes. If a student is granted APL for part of an award contributing level, the total remaining graded credit at that level will be used to calculate the level average and therefore the final classification.

Designated Sandwich degree

Classification bands

Algorithm

1

69.5%

Calculated using a weighted average comprising of 1x the best 100 I level, 1x best S level credits and 2x the best 100 H level credits.

2:1

59.5%

2:2

49.5%

3

40%

6.4 The classification of Foundation Degrees

6.4.1. In a course leading to the award of Foundation Degree, classification will be based on a numerical average of the overall marks awarded at intermediate level, with the best marks totalling 100 credits at intermediate level being included in the calculation. Students must have achieved a pass mark in all modules.

6.4.2. In cases where APL is awarded, the student will receive the credit but no mark will be recorded. As no mark is recorded, the APL credit will not be used to calculate the final degree classification. Only credit awarded at the University of Huddersfield will be used for classification purposes. If a student is granted APL for part of an award contributing level, the total remaining graded credit at that level will be used to calculate the level average and therefore the final classification.

Foundation Degrees

Classification bands

Algorithm

Distinction

69.5%

Calculated using a weighted average comprising the best 100 I level credits.

Merit

59.5%

Pass*

40%

*Students who pass their award but do not achieve a merit or distinction will not have a classification printed on their certificate.

6.5 The classification of Postgraduate awards and other non-honours qualifications

6.5.1. In a course leading to an award other than an honours qualification or a foundation degree, classification will be based on a numerical average of the overall marks awarded unless the course or a PSRB stipulates otherwise (this should be clearly documented in the programme specification document). For any postgraduate qualification, the pass mark is 50% and for any undergraduate or foundation degree qualification, the pass mark is 40%.

Postgraduate awards

Classification bands

Algorithm

Distinction

69.5%

Calculated using a numerical average of all M level credits.

Merit

59.5%

Pass*

50%

 Undergraduate non-honours qualifications

Classification bands

Algorithm

Distinction

69.5%

Calculated using a weighted average of the overall marks awarded.

Merit

59.5%

Pass*

40%

*Students who pass their award but do not achieve a merit or distinction will not have a classification printed on their certificate.

6.5.2. When calculating the classification average for merit or distinction for an interim award, the average to be used must be drawn from the marks achieved for the required modules at the level of study of the award.

6.5.3. In cases where APL is awarded, the student will receive the credit but no mark will be recorded. As no mark is recorded, the APL credit will not be used to calculate the final degree classification. Only credit awarded at the University of Huddersfield will be used for classification purposes.

 

6.6 The classification of Apprenticeship Awards

6.6.1. Apprenticeship courses finish with an End Point Assessment (EPA), the format of which will depend on the apprenticeship standard and will be outlined in the EPA plan on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) website and the programme specification document for the course.

6.6.2. For integrated apprenticeship courses, the University is responsible for the teaching of the award and the EPA module is included within the award (for example a 20-credit final year module). The CAB would confirm all modules and completion of the EPA (and notify this to the Education and Skills Funding Agency). Where the EPA module is ungraded, as specified in the EPA plan, this will be excluded from the calculation of the award classification.

6.6.3. For non-integrated apprenticeship courses, the employer will select a suitable independent assessor on the Register of End Point Assessor Organisations (RoEPAO) to conduct the EPA. An initial CAB should confirm the learner has received the required credits to progress to Gateway, in line with the apprenticeship standard, and only once notification is received to confirm the learner has passed the EPA can the student be referred to a further CAB to be recommended for the conferment of the award.

6.6.4. For some regulated professions, the apprenticeship standard follows a fully integrated mode and the University must be on the EPAO for the apprenticeship standard. Students will be informed by their School if this is the case. In this instance, the learner is not required to carry out additional assessments but can only progress to the CAB once the Gateway requirements, in line with the apprenticeship standard, have been met. The CAB should then confirm the credit, EPA and make a recommendation for the conferment of the award.

 

6.7 Use of the classification uplift criteria

6.7.1. CABs must be guided by the relevant classification bands in assigning classifications. There is a 0.5% uplift margin below a higher classification banding. Subject to the published criteria, a CAB should exercise academic judgement (including that relating to poor performance due to recognised extenuating circumstances) by using 6.7.3 and 6.7.4, if the student meets the relevant criteria.

6.7.2. In cases where a student profile includes a module with an unretrieved approved extenuating circumstance, a 1.5% uplift margin will apply provided that at least one other criterion is satisfied. Students must have achieved a pass mark in all modules and meet the criteria specified in 6.7.3 or 6.7.4.

6.7.3. Undergraduate honours award uplift criteria

  • If a student is in the 0.5% margin they must demonstrate one of criteria 1-4;
  • If a student is in the 1.5% margin they must demonstrate one of criteria 1-3 plus unretrieved ECs at I or H level (criteria 4).
  1. 50% or more of the total credits at H level are in the higher band;
  2. The H level average (based on the full 120 H level credits) is in the higher classification category;
  3. The mark for the major piece of final year work (as defined by the Course Leader in advance of the CAB) is in the higher classification category;
  4. There is an unretrieved EC in at least one module at either I or H level.

6.7.4. Postgraduate award and other non-honours award uplift criteria

  • If a student is in the 0.5% margin they must demonstrate one of criteria 1-3;
  • If a student is in the 1.5% margin they must demonstrate one of criteria 1-2 plus unretrieved ECs at I or H level (criteria 3).
  1. 50% or more of the total credits at the level of award are in the higher classification category;
  2. The mark for the major piece of work (as defined by the Course Leader in advance of the CAB) is in the higher classification category;
  3. There is an unretrieved EC in at least one module included in the classification calculation.

 

6.8 The purpose and role of a Course Assessment Board (CAB)

6.8.1. The CAB will not change moderated marks brought for ratification but is responsible for:

  1. Reaching decisions about the performance of students in modules; (passed, referred, deferred, condoned or failed), based on the moderated marks brought forward to the CAB;
  2. Considering results in accordance with the approved assessment criteria;
  3. Reaching decisions about student progression between stages of the course;
  4. Reaching decisions on degree classifications and to make recommendations for the conferment of awards;
  5. Evaluating outcomes and any discernible trends based on agreed criteria;
  6. Confirming that the School has properly carried out its assessment responsibilities, including appropriate input from the External Examiner(s);
  7. Recording proceedings and recommendations through formal minutes;
  8. Exercising various discretionary powers as set out in the uplift criteria in section 6.5 of the Regulations for Awards (Taught).

6.8.2. No other body has authority to recommend conferment of an award, nor to amend the decision of an approved and properly constituted CAB acting within its terms of reference and in accordance with the regulations for the courses of study. A CAB may, however, be required to review a decision or may have that decision annulled where a student submits a successful Results Appeal.

6.8.3. The Chair has the authority to act on behalf of the CAB except in the cases of the conferment of an award. The action must be recorded and reported to the next meeting of the CAB.


6.8.4. CABs may be responsible for either a single course or for two or more closely related courses which may have a similar structure and a high proportion of common modules.

6.8.5. The CABs are appointed in accordance with procedures determined by the Senate and are accountable to that body for the fulfilment of their terms of reference (see appendix three).


6.8.6. When considering an approved claim for extenuating circumstances, the CAB will not attempt to judge how a student might have performed in different circumstances with a view to awarding extra marks.

6.8.7 Where a breach of the University’s academic misconduct regulations is suspected, the assessment board will not reach a decision on the student's performance until the investigation has been closed and the facts have been established to report at the next available CAB.

 

6.9 The membership of a CAB and quoracy

6.9.1. The membership of each CAB will normally comprise;

  • The Chair nominated by the Dean of School (academic staff member), who will be independent of the course being considered;
  • The course Leader(s);
  • The course External Examiner(s) for the course(s)
  • The Module Leader(s) may also attend as necessary.

The following staff members may be in attendance;

  • A member of the School professional services team will take minutes to record the CAB’s decisions;
  • The course administrator may also attend in an advisory capacity, if not taking minutes;
  • The Director of Registry (or nominee) may attend to provide guidance on the regulations.

6.9.2. The Chair, Course Leader and External Examiner should be in attendance for the CAB to be quorate. If in extraordinary circumstances, the External Examiner is unable to attend the meeting (including by virtual means), the CAB may still proceed, however no recommendation for progression or the conferment of an award may be made without their written consent. This must be issued as soon as possible following the meeting of the CAB, before results are released and conferment lists can be produced.

6.9.3. In all other cases, the CAB may not proceed in cases where it is not quorate.

6.9.4. Arrangements must be made to appoint a secretary to each CAB and shall require the secretary to maintain detailed and accurate records of proceedings

6.9.5. Any members who have a private relationship with any student to be considered must declare their interest at the start of the CAB and may be required to leave the meeting at the point of consideration of that student or that student’s cohort.

6.9.6. No student may be a member of a CAB or attend an examiners’ meeting.

 

6.10 Module Leaders responsibilities for the CABs

6.10.1. The responsibility for managing the completed assessment of modules shall lie with the designated Module Leader. The Module Leader will be responsible for:

  1. The collation of marks;
  2. Oversight of any second marking and other moderation procedures required to ensure the full and proper assessment of student performance;
  3. Authorisation and arrangements for tutor reassessments in appropriate units of reassessment;
  4. Ensuring that the External Examiner has access to all necessary; information and scripts to enable him or her to carry out full and proper moderation of students’ work on the module;
  5. Ensuring that the External Examiner has detailed knowledge of the moderation processes undertaken by the module teaching team;
  6. Confirming a final and complete set of marks with the agreement of the external examiner.

 

6.11 External Examiners responsibilities for the CABs

6.11.1. External Examiners must attend the CABs ascribed as their responsibility where awards are to be conferred.

6.11.2. If the External Examiner cannot attend a CAB, the Module Leader or an alternative suitable internal member of academic staff must attend in place of the External Examiner. However, where a University award is to be conferred an External Examiner must be in attendance. Where for very good reason this is not possible the External Examiner must confirm any awards to be made in writing prior to their release, this includes any awards which are ratified via Chair’s Action.

6.11.3. No recommendation for the conferment of an award may be made without the attendance of an External Examiner at the CAB or their written consent which must be issued following the meeting of the CAB.

6.11.4. On any matter which the External Examiner(s) have declared a matter of principle, the decision of those examiner(s) shall either be accepted as final by the CAB or shall be referred to the Chair of University Teaching and Learning Committee. Any unresolved disagreement between External Examiners shall be referred to the Senate.

6.11.5. External Examiners may be assigned to one or more CABs. As members of CABs, External Examiners will exercise both an oversight of students’ overall performance and carry out a responsibility for monitoring the comparability and fairness of the assessment processes for all the modules which comprise the Course.

6.11.6. The External Examiner will not comment on the marks awarded to individual students when seen as part of a sample selection but will:

  • Undertake moderation of student performance within modules;
  • Assure and comment on the comparability of marks between the modules ascribed to them;
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the processes used to moderate scripts, and, where necessary, make recommendations to improve or develop these processes.

6.11.7. External Examiners need not be associated with the assessment of performance at foundation level or pre-foundation level with the following exceptions:

  • Where foundation level or pre-foundation level modules lead to a University award – an External Examiner must be appointed to the course;
  • In the case of foundation level modules, when examining modules on foundation degrees.

 

6.12 Appeal against a decision of a CAB

6.12.1. The Director of Registry (or nominee), under delegated authority of Senate, may in the following circumstances require a CAB to reconsider its decision:

  1. If a student requests such a reconsideration and establishes to the satisfaction of the Senate or appropriate nominee that their performance in the assessment was adversely affected by illness or other factors which the student was unable, or for valid reasons unwilling, to divulge before the CAB reached its decision. The student’s request must be supported by medical certificates or other documentary evidence deemed acceptable as referenced in section 9 of the Regulations for Taught Students
  2. If the Senate or appropriate nominee is satisfied on evidence produced by a student or any other person that there has been a material administrative error, or that the assessments were not conducted in accordance with the current regulations for the course, or that some other material irregularity relevant to the assessments has occurred.

6.12.2. Disagreement with the academic judgement of a CAB in assessing the merits of an individual piece of work or in reaching any assessment decision based on the marks, grades and other information relating to a student’s performance cannot in itself constitute grounds for a request for reconsideration by a student.

6.12.3. If after reconsideration due to a successful Results Appeal, the CAB does not modify its decision, the Senate may annul that decision, if in its opinion, due and proper account has not been taken of those circumstances.

6.12.4. In cases of procedural or other irregularity, or where it is not possible to reconvene a CAB, the Senate shall have power to annul a decision of the CAB without making a prior request for reconsideration. If an error or irregularity is found to have affected more than one student, the Senate may annul the whole assessment or any part of it.

6.12.5. When a decision has been annulled it is the responsibility of the Senate to take action, including if necessary the appointment of new External Examiners, to ensure that recommendations are made to it in respect of the student(s) concerned by an approved CAB.