Study Regulations for Undergraduate Programmes
Download a printable version of the Study Regulations - Undergraduate.
|1.1 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme||1.2 Modular Structure|
|1.3 Progress||1.4 Regulations for the Examination of Undergraduate Courses|
These Regulations apply to all primary degree courses offered by the University with the exception of professional degrees in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences and the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Regulations for these degrees appear in the relevant Programme Specifications.
Where individual programmes are required to have stricter regulations by validating/accrediting bodies, these will be stated in the programme regulations and will take precedence over the Study Regulations.
1.1 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme
1.1.1 The University operates a Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) under which each undergraduate module or other course unit is assigned a level (1 to 4) and a number of credit points reflecting the value of the module or unit.
1.1.2 The scale, which is based on 120 credit points for each academic year of full-time undergraduate study, is widely accepted in universities throughout the United Kingdom and is intended to facilitate transfer between institutions. It is also compatible with the European Credit Transfer Accumulation System (ECTS) which uses a scale of 60 credit points for each academic year of study. Queen’s University CATS points are converted to ECTS points by dividing the Queen’s points by two. ECTS points are converted to Queen’s points by multiplying the ECTS points by two.
1.1.3 Completion of a stage will involves a notional 1200 hours of student engagement. This includes timetabled sessions, independent study, directed learning and assessment. It also includes time allocated to personal, academic and career development. Students will not normally be permitted to register on modules totalling more than 120 credit points in one stage.
1.1.4 Credit is awarded on successful completion of a module. A module of value 1.0 (i.e. one sixth of a stage) is 20 points. Other module values or units are rated pro-rata, with a minimum credit of normally ten points (value 0.5). There is no gradation of credit points for different levels of performance. See Regulations for Students 1.9 and 1.10.
1.1.5 To qualify for the award of a primary degree, the credits gained must satisfy Regulations for Students 1.7 and the relevant Programme Specification. The degree classification shall be calculated as set out in 1.4.28 and 1.4.30.
1.1.6 To qualify for the award of a specific degree, the credits gained must satisfy the requirements of the programme for that degree as set out in the Programme Specification. Credit points which count towards a particular qualification are designated as specific credit.
1.1.7 Credits which a student has been awarded for higher education courses which do not contribute to a specific degree or other qualification will also form part of the student’s record and will be listed on the student’s transcript. Such credit points are designated as general credit.
1.1.8 For degrees which are longer than three full-time academic years (i.e. more than three stages), each additional stage will require an additional 120 credit points. If it is inappropriate to assign a numerical level to such points, e.g. for an industrial placement or for a year abroad, they will be designated as Level P.
1.1.9 Credit awarded for courses undertaken elsewhere will be so designated on transcripts issued by this University. The maximum credit which can be so transferred is 12 modules (240 credit points) (see 1.2.8). The minimum credit which can be transferred is 0.5 modules (10 credit) points. Specific credit will normally be granted only for courses which match the requirements of the degree programme for which the student proposes to enrol. The decision regarding the granting of credit will be taken by the relevant School.
1.1.10 Students who wish to take modules in other institutions as part of their degree programme may do so, subject to the consent of the relevant Head of School or nominee. Modules must be taken at an appropriate Level. Students may be granted credit for equivalent modules successfully completed at other degree awarding institutions. The maximum credit allowed will be 6 modules (120 credit points) (see 1.2.10).
1.1.11 Subject to programme regulations, credit may be awarded for experiential learning up to a maximum of 6 modules (120 credit points) on an undergraduate degree programme or up to one-third of the total credit required for an undergraduate certificate or diploma.
1.1.12 The general limit for the validity of credit is 10 years. Lower limits may be set for particular subjects and these will be found in the relevant Programme Specification.
1.2 Modular Structure
1.2.1 The minimum credit requirement for an Honours degree of the University is 16 modules (320 credit points), subject to the achievement of the relevant programme learning outcomes. Where stricter requirements apply, these will be stated in the relevant programme regulations. In all instances, an Honours degree of the University shall be awarded on the basis of results of 18 modules (360 credit points).
The minimum credit requirement for an integrated Master's degree is 22 modules (440 credit points) subject to the achievement of the relevant programme learning outcomes. Where stricter requirements apply, these will be stated in the relevant programme regulations. In all instances, an integrated Master’s degree shall be awarded on the basis of the results of 24 modules (480 credit points).
Where a programme includes Level P credit points, as defined in 1.1.8, the award of such credit is required for the award of the relevant degree, but these credit points will not have marks attached.
Please see the relevant Programme Specification for further information.
1.2.2 All students registering for a primary degree are registered for an Honours degree in the first instance.
For an Honours degree a minimum of six of the modules (120 credit points) taken must be at Level 3 (FHEQ Level 6) or higher. Not more than six Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4) modules (120 credit points) may be counted towards the total number of modules required for an Honours degree.
Subject to the approval by the relevant Head(s) of School or nominee(s), enrolled students may change their degree programme provided appropriate prerequisites are satisfied and subject to availability of places on the modules.
1.2.3 There is no direct entry to the Ordinary degree. Transfer to it will not be permitted before the student has attempted six modules (120 credit points) above Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).
Students may be permitted by the Head of School or required by the relevant Programme Board of Examiners to transfer to an Ordinary degree. For an Ordinary degree to be awarded 300 credit points, i.e. 15 modules passed, are required.
For students first enrolled on an Ordinary degree prior to 2009-10, a minimum of nine modules (180 credit points) must be above Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4).
For students first enrolled on an Ordinary degree from 2009-10 and thereafter, a minimum of nine modules (180 credit points) must be above Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4) including a minimum of three modules (60 credit points) at Level 3 (FHEQ Level 6).
Students enrolled on an Ordinary degree may not transfer back to an Honours programme. For the purpose of awarding an Ordinary degree only, a student who narrowly fails, 35% or above, a Level 3 (FHEQ Level 6) module may be awarded a pass at Level 2 (FHEQ Level 5) in that module, which would no longer contribute to the requirement for a minimum of three modules at Level 3.
An Ordinary degree is a non-subject-specific, unclassified award, recorded as a Pass degree with no mark attached to the parchment. An Ordinary degree will not be associated with any discipline in the University and will not be presented for accreditation by any professional body. The title of the degree will be, for example, BSc (Ordinary Degree) without reference to any subject.
Foundation Degree students who articulate onto a related Honours degree are not eligible for an Ordinary degree.
1.2.4 Full-time students are required to enrol at the beginning of each stage for all modules which they wish to study in that stage. This will normally be at the beginning of the academic year.
Part-time students should discuss their module choice for the whole stage with their Advisers of Studies at the beginning of each stage but may only enrol for the modules they are taking in each academic year.
1.2.5 Students must obtain the approval of their Adviser of Studies for their choice of modules and shall not normally be permitted to enrol for a module unless they have satisfied the prerequisites for that module. Students who do not meet the normal prerequisites for entering a module may be admitted to the module provided they satisfy other conditions which are regarded as satisfactory by the Head of School and their Adviser of Studies. Choice of modules is subject to the constraints of timetabling and module availability.
1.2.6 Students may not change the modules for which they are enrolled without the formal written approval of their Adviser of Studies. No such changes will be permitted after the second week of the relevant semester, except where there are exceptional circumstances. If the Adviser of Studies, with the approval of the Chair of the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee, agrees that there are exceptional circumstances students may be permitted to take a replacement module in a subsequent semester.
1.2.7 The number of students taking any particular module may be restricted by the University’s academic plan or the availability of teaching resources, space or equipment. Not every module listed in the online Qsis Course Catalogue may be available in any one year. All modules, programmes and subjects shall be subject to review in accordance with procedures laid down by the Academic Council.
1.2.8 Subject to the agreement of the Head of School concerned (or their nominee), students may count up to 12 modules (240 credit points), or their equivalent, passed at this or another university, provided they have not contributed to another degree or other qualification.
1.2.9 Subject to programme regulations, credit for up to six modules (120 credit points) may be awarded on the basis of prior experiential learning.
1.2.10 Subject to the agreement of the Head of School concerned (or their nominee), students who already have a primary degree, or equivalent qualification, of this or another university may be allowed some reduction in the 18 modules (360 credit points) normally required. The maximum reduction that will be allowed is six modules (120 credit points).
1.2.11 Students who are permitted to apply 1.2.9 and 1.2.10 must study at least six modules in the University at Level 2 (FHEQ Level 5) or above.
1.2.12 Students who wish to re-enrol under Regulations for Students 5.17 for a module not completed must retake the entire module.
1.3.1 The Head of School shall be responsible for putting in place the mechanisms for ensuring that all students are properly enrolled on the correct modules.
Heads of School are responsible for ensuring that students are informed of the requirements for passing a module not later than the first lecture of the module. No change may be made to either the contents or assessment after this without the written permission of the Director of Academic and Student Affairs and a revised statement must then be issued to students.
A Head of School is responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place to monitor the progress of students taking modules taught by the School whether or not they are registered for a programme in the School, for example, in the case of joint programmes. The Head of School within which students are registered for a programme is responsible for monitoring the progress of students on that programme.
A prime role of Advisers of Studies and Personal Tutors is to help students having difficulties with their courses to overcome these, if necessary by selecting different options or different programmes.
Students experiencing any academic difficulty should consult their Adviser of Studies or Personal Tutor at an early stage.
1.3.2 To be awarded a pass for a module, students must achieve a satisfactory performance in each of the module’s specified compulsory elements as well as achieving an overall pass mark for that module (see 1.4.24).
1.3.3 Where a student has attained an overall pass mark for a module but has not achieved a satisfactory performance in all the specified compulsory elements, the result will be recorded as incomplete. If the student completes the specified compulsory elements satisfactorily by the end of the next academic year, or at such earlier date as specified by the Board of Examiners, the result will then be recorded as a Pass without altering the original mark, otherwise the result will be recorded as Fail with a mark equal to pass mark less 1. This will be treated as a second attempt.
1.3.4 Where a student has not attained an overall pass mark for a module but has met the required standard in one or more of the compulsory elements, the student must repeat those elements which have not met the required standard in order to complete and pass the module. If successfully passed, the pass mark will be used for the purposes of degree classification. The actual mark obtained will be recorded in the transcript.
1.3.5 Students may be permitted to retake failed modules at all Levels, subject to programme regulations and 1.3.6 below. Students will not be permitted to re-sit, or take as a first sit, modules which they have passed. Students will not be permitted to take additional modules to substitute for modules already passed. When a module is retaken, the maximum module mark for the purposes of degree classification will be the pass mark. The actual mark obtained will be recorded on the transcript. If a module is no longer being offered, students will have to take a substitute module at the same level as the original module. For modules substituted in this way, or where a student is permitted to take another module in place of a failed module, the maximum module mark for the purposes of degree classification will be the pass mark. The actual mark obtained will be recorded on the transcript. The substituted module must be identified as such at enrolment.
1.3.6 Students who have failed a module twice (one first sit and one re-sit in one academic year) must meet with their Adviser of Studies or Personal Tutor to discuss options and may not be permitted to repeat that module again. Persistent failures will lead to a restriction of the choice of modules and may lead to the student being required to withdraw from the University.
Progress between stages
1.3.7 Students’ progress is considered at the end of each Stage. To progress from one Stage to the next, students must have passed a minimum of five modules (100 credit points) in the current stage of study.
1.3.8 Students will not be permitted to register for Stage 3 unless they have passed all their Level 1 (FHEQ Level 4) modules.
1.3.9 The relevant Programme Board of Examiners will be responsible for applying these regulations to determine which students are qualified to proceed to the next stage, a placement or an intercalated year. The names of those students who are not so qualified shall be forwarded to the relevant Personal Tutor or Adviser of Studies or nominee of the Head of School, for consideration under School procedures.
1.3.10 Where a student is directed to take a period of temporary withdrawal by the Chair of a Board of Examiners (see Regulations for Students 1.21) and the student disagrees with the decision, the student may request a review of the decision. The decision will be reviewed by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs in consultation with a Head of School from another Faculty.
Late submission of assessed work
1.3.11 Assessed work submitted after the deadline will be penalised at the rate of 5% of the total marks available for each working day late up to a maximum of five working days, after which a mark of zero shall be awarded, i.e., day one is 100% - 5%; day two is 100% -10%; day three is 100% - 15%, etc. Where the assessed work element accounts for a certain proportion of the module mark, the 5% penalty will apply to the assessed element mark only and not to the overall module mark. Exemptions shall be granted only if there are exceptional circumstances, and where the student has made a case in writing to the School Office within three working days of the deadline for submission or where a concession has been agreed on the grounds of a student’s disability. A list of guidelines on acceptable exceptional circumstances is contained in the Guidelines for Schools on Exceptional Circumstances. Extensions to deadlines shall be proportionate to the impact of the exceptional circumstances.
Request for concessions based on exceptional circumstances
1.3.12 Evidence of exceptional circumstances must be submitted to the relevant School Office on the appropriate form within three working days of returning to study or, in the case of emergencies which arose during examinations, by the published deadline. If a student knows they are going to miss an assignment deadline or an examination because of exceptional circumstances, they should inform the relevant School Office in advance by telephone or email/letter of their enforced absence, either personally or, if this is not possible, via someone on their behalf. School Exceptional Circumstances Committees are not obliged to consider any medical certificate or evidence of exceptional circumstances presented after the published deadline (see 1.4.43). The exception to this is where a concession has been agreed on the grounds of a student’s disability (see also 1.4.43).
1.3.13 Evidence of exceptional circumstances and, where required, their impact on academic performance presented during the Assessment period will be considered by the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee which meets prior to the Board of Examiners and makes recommendations to the Board regarding concessions on the basis of exceptional circumstances. Evidence of exceptional circumstances, and where required, their impact on academic performance presented during the Teaching period, in relation to continuous assessment, will be considered by the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee where such consideration will facilitate a timely decision. Where a decision is required before the next scheduled meeting of the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee, and to wait until the next meeting would mean a delay in the decision such that it would not be made in a timely manner, in such cases the evidence will be considered by the Chair of the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee plus one other appropriately qualified person within the School and reported to the next meeting of the Committee.
1.4 Regulations for the Examination and Assessment of Undergraduate Courses
1.4.1 Formal examinations shall be held during the designated assessment period and in August/September, except where professional bodies require formal examinations to be scheduled outside these periods. Other forms of assessment may take place at any point in the designated Student Contact and/or Assessment weeks. All formal written examinations administered by the Examinations Office will be conducted by means which ensure anonymity for the students.
Boards of Examiners
1.4.2 Subject to procedures and regulations laid down by the Academic Council and Senate, University examinations and assessments shall be conducted under the supervision and control of Boards of Examiners.
1.4.3 The Head of School shall normally be the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners, except where circumstances dictate that the Head of School delegates this authority to a senior member of academic staff within the School. The Head of School shall appoint a Secretary from the School.
1.4.4 Subject Boards: The Head of School shall be responsible for ensuring that a Subject Board of Examiners is established for each subject taught by the School or in conjunction with a collaborative partner. The members shall be drawn from the academic staff teaching the subject.
The Subject Board(s) shall agree marks for all modules in that subject. Subject Boards shall include within their membership the external examiner(s) appointed by the Education Committee on behalf of Academic Council for that subject (see 1.4.7).
1.4.5 Programme Boards: The Head of School shall be responsible for ensuring that a Programme Board of Examiners is established to deal with every programme offered by the School. If a programme involves more than one School, the Heads of School shall decide which one of them shall have overall responsibility for the Programme Board. The Programme Board shall consist of one or more representatives of each Subject Board contributing to the programme. For programmes involving more than one subject, the Chairperson and Secretary shall be agreed by the relevant Heads of School. The Programme Board shall include at least one external examiner from the relevant Subject Boards, appointed by the Education Committee on behalf of Academic Council for that programme. The Programme Board shall be responsible for dealing with student progress, transfer to the Ordinary degree, and Honours classifications.
1.4.6 Where appropriate the Subject and Programme Boards may be combined into one single Board.
Appointment of Examiners
1.4.7 Internal examiners are drawn from the academic staff teaching the subject. Internal examiners shall be appointed by the School on behalf of the Education Committee. External examiners shall be appointed by the Education Committee on behalf of Academic Council. The nominations must be submitted by the School on the External Examiner Nomination Form. The Head of School must sign the External Examiner nomination form before it will be accepted by the Education Committee. At the same time, a Chairperson and Secretary of each Board shall be appointed as provided for in 1.4.3.
1.4.8 External examiners shall normally be appointed for a term of four years. Except in cases where external examiners indicate that they cannot complete their terms of office, a Board may not propose the replacement of external examiners before their terms of office have expired without the permission of the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.
External examiners who retire from employment during their term of office can continue until the end of their period of appointment. Appointment will not normally extend beyond three years after retirement. A person who has completed service as an external examiner may not normally be re-appointed as an external examiner until five years have elapsed since the end of their period of service. Former members of staff may not be appointed as external examiners until five years have elapsed since the termination of their appointment at Queen’s.
1.4.9 Where internal examiners leave the University before the examinations for which they were appointed take place, they may be appointed as special internal examiners in addition to the normal internal and external examiners.
1.4.10 Where an examiner has a link with a student which might influence his or her judgement, the examiner shall inform the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners, who shall decide whether the examiner shall be involved in the assessment of that student. This should be reported to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.
Procedures of Boards of Examiners
1.4.11 The Chairperson of the Board of Examiners shall be responsible to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs for ensuring that the approved procedures and regulations are followed by the Board and that the correct marks are published by the School.
The Secretary of the Board shall be responsible for keeping a record of all decisions and the reasoning behind them. The minutes of all meetings of Boards of Examiners shall be retained by the relevant School, and provided to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs on request.
1.4.12 Programme external examiners must attend the Board of Examiners’ meeting at the end of the second semester. External examiners may attend at the end of the first semester in year one of their term of office, but shall not normally attend at the end of first semester in subsequent years.
In cases where external examiners are not present, they must be fully consulted by post, telephone or other means. It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners to ensure that the views of the other external examiners are presented to the Board. If the opinion of the Board of Examiners is equally divided, the Chairperson of the Board shall have the final casting vote (in addition to the Chairperson’s original vote as a member of the Board of Examiners). In all other cases it will be the majority decision of the members present of the Board of Examiners that will be upheld.
1.4.13 If the Board of Examiners wishes to depart in any way from the normal examination procedures the Chairperson shall seek permission from the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.
School Exceptional Circumstances Committee
1.4.14 Each School should convene at least one School Exceptional Circumstances Committee (SECC) to meet prior to the Board of Examiners to consider evidence of exceptional circumstances and make recommendations to the appropriate Board of Examiners regarding concessions (see Guidelines for Schools on Exceptional Circumstances).
1.4.15 Where, in exceptional cases, issues of timing of student matters affect the decision-making capacity of a Board of Examiners, the Chair will be granted the power to make any subsequent decision.
Conduct of students during examinations
1.4.16 Students shall be admitted to the examination hall not earlier than twenty minutes before the start of the examination and on the instructions of the senior invigilator.
1.4.17 Students shall not be permitted to enter the hall later than 30 minutes after the start of the examination. However, senior invigilators may dispense with this rule where they are satisfied with the explanation given for the late arrival and where they are satisfied that there has been no opportunity for communication with any students who have already left the hall.
1.4.18 All work must be written in the official script books provided. Students must not remove script books from the examination hall.
1.4.19 Students in an examination hall must not have in their possession any unauthorised means whereby they may improperly obtain assistance in their work; neither must they by any improper means, directly or indirectly, obtain or seek to obtain assistance in their work, or give or seek to give assistance to any other student.
1.4.20 The use of calculators or other materials must be specifically authorised on examination papers. Students are bound by Schools’ own regulations on the use of calculators in examinations and it is the responsibility of students to familiarise themselves with these regulations.
1.4.21 Any invigilator who has reason to suspect a student of dishonest behaviour such as described in 1.4.18-1.4.20 above shall follow the Procedures for Dealing with Academic Offences.
1.4.22 Students shall not be allowed to leave the examination hall before 45 minutes have elapsed from the start of the examination or within 15 minutes of its conclusion except in case of illness or other necessity. Senior invigilators may re-admit students who have left the examination hall if they are satisfied that there has been no communication with any unauthorised person (see also 1.4.17).
1.4.23 Senior invigilators may, in cases of illness and late arrival as described in 1.4.17 and 1.4.22, allow compensatory time not exceeding one hour. Senior invigilators shall report this immediately to the University Examinations Office so that invigilation arrangements may be appropriately amended. Immediately after the examination, the senior invigilator shall make a report in writing to the University Examinations Office giving the times of arrival of the students, the explanations given by the students and the amount of compensatory time allowed in each case. The University Examinations Office shall forward this report to the examiners.
Note: For the Conceptual Equivalents Scale see Appendix A.
1.4.24 The pass mark for undergraduate University examinations shall be 40%, except for professional examinations in Medicine and Dentistry, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Pharmacy. Further details are available from those Schools and in the relevant Programme Specification.
1.4.25 For unclassified results (e.g., a Foundation Degree), with the exception of the Ordinary Degree, there shall be a common mark scale as follows:
70+ Pass with high commendation
60+ Pass with commendation
Below 40 Fail
This regulation must be applied by all Boards of Examiners except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the School, granted exemption from its use.
1.4.26 For classified results there shall be a common mark scale as follows:
70+ First Class
60+ Second Class, First Division
50+ Second Class, Second Division
40+ Third Class
Below 40 Fail
This regulation must be applied by all Boards of Examiners except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the School, granted exemption from its use.
Honours classification and the Predominance Rule
1.4.27 These regulations must be applied by all Boards of Examiners except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the School, granted exemption from their use.
All Honours classifications shall be determined by the weighted marks for the individual modules which contribute to the classification using the scale in 1.4.26.
Boards of Examiners have the discretion to discount the lowest module mark for classification purposes. The decision will be based on evidence that the module mark does not reflect the student’s normal level of performance. The lowest module mark may be discounted only if it is a pass mark at first attempt. See the Code of Practice on Examinations and Assessment for more details on discounting.
Where the overall percentage mark, presented to one decimal place and before rounding to an integer, is within three percentage points of a higher classification and at least half the weighted module marks are in the higher classification, the higher classification shall be awarded using the Predominance Rule
The formula for the Predominance Rule is:
Let n1, n2, n3, n4 be the number of modules at Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively in which the mark is above the relevant borderline.
Let p1, p2, p3, p4 be the percentage weights at Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4 respectively (for example, if Stage 3 is weighted at 60%, then p3 = 60).
The higher classification is awarded if:
Bachelor’s degrees: n1 x p1 + n2 x p2 + n3 x p3 ≥ 300
Integrated Master’s degrees: n1 x p1 + n2 x p2 + n3 x p3 + n4 x p4 ≥ 300
This rule, and the associated formula, must be applied by all Boards except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the School, granted exemption from its use. Exemption will be granted only where it is required by validating/accrediting bodies.
1.4.28 When calculating the Honours classification for students first enrolled prior to 2009-10, one of the following module weightings should be used:
Stage 2 Stage 3
MEng and MSci Degrees
Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
12.5% 37.5% 50%
Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
10% 45% 45%
Weightings for extended undergraduate degrees must preserve the relative contributions of Level 2 and Level 3 for corresponding Honours degrees.
1.4.29 When calculating the Honours classification for students first enrolled in 2009-10 and thereafter, one of the following module weightings should be used, except where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has, following application from the School, granted exemption from their use. Where exemption has been granted, details of the module weightings used when calculating the Honours classification will be recorded in the relevant Programme Specification:
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
10% 30% 60%
MEng and MSci Degrees
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
5% 15% 30% 50%
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4
5% 5% 45% 45%
Weightings for integrated Master’s degrees must preserve the relative contributions of the Levels for corresponding Honours degrees.
1.4.30 Only marks from modules undertaken at Queen’s or as part of an approved Study Abroad arrangement or under 1.1.10 may be counted towards the classification and must preserve the relative contributions of the levels for corresponding Honours degrees, e.g. Stage 3 only – 100%, Stage 2 33 1/3 %, Stage 3 66 2/3 %.
Special examination arrangements
1.4.31 Special examinations are those for which any change from the normal procedures is proposed. These include cases where there is a change in the date, time or place of sitting an examination. Where special arrangements are made, the University reserves the right to make a charge to the student to cover any additional expenses that may be incurred.
1.4.32 If students require special arrangements to be made, e.g. on the grounds of disability or ill-health or under the Elite, Academy and Sports Bursary Athletes: Guidelines for Academic Flexibility, it is their responsibility to bring this to the attention of the University at as early a date as possible.
Students with disabilities should contact Disability Services. Students who are ill but do not have an underlying disability should make an appointment with the Occupational Health Service. Recommendations for special examination arrangements will be made to the Examinations Office who will implement the recommendations and communicate to students.
Special arrangements for non-graduating non-native speakers
Method of assessment
1.4.33 ERASMUS and Credit-Earning Non-Graduating (CENG) students are expected to undertake the same workload as home students and to undertake all module requirements including attendance at classes, submission of coursework, and assessment.
1.4.34 Credit is not awarded for modules where the student has attended classes but not undertaken the assessment.
1.4.35 Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to arrange an alternative to the normal method of assessment if, for example, a student is unable to be present for that assessment, e.g. if required to return to their home university to sit an examination or attend essential lectures. Students who will miss a Queen’s examination for such a reason must hand in work for assessment in lieu of the examination before departure. A letter of support detailing examinations to be taken and relevant dates must be obtained from the home university in advance of the request. After obtaining a letter of support from the home university, students wishing to change their method of assessment must obtain a Change of Assessment Method form from the Global Opportunities team in the Student Guidance Centre, which each module tutor should sign.
1.4.36 Students may request to be examined by the submission of written work for assessment rather than a formal examination, on the grounds of limited ability in written English under examination conditions. Assessment by the submission of written work is often available in subject areas within Humanities and Social Sciences, but not generally in the Sciences, Engineering or Management. Such a request must be made in writing to the module tutor. A Change of Assessment Method form is available for this purpose from the Global Opportunities team in the Student Guidance Centre.
1.4.37 The completed, signed Change of Assessment Method form must be returned to the relevant Office (as instructed on the Form) by the end of Week 5 of the semester. Other relevant Offices in the University will be informed automatically.
1.4.38 Written work handed in for assessment must replace the examination the student will miss and should be in addition to the normal coursework. Students who do not submit work for assessment or sit an examination will have a ‘fail’ recorded on their transcript.
1.4.39 Students should note that permission to undertake an alternative form of assessment does not constitute permission to leave University accommodation early. Students will be charged for the full period stated on their contracts.
Special arrangements for formal examinations
1.4.40 International students attending Queen’s for one year or less as ERASMUS or Credit-Earning Non-Graduating (CENG) students will be permitted to take unmarked language dictionaries into the examination halls.
1.4.41 Such students will be permitted an extra 10 minutes per hour of examination, e.g. an extra 20 minutes in a 2-hour examination. Students must produce a letter from the Global Opportunities team to the Senior Invigilator in order to be entitled to additional time.
1.4.42 These arrangements will not apply to non-native speaking students who are enrolled for degree programmes where the qualification is awarded by Queen’s University.
Cases of illness or emergency/exceptional circumstances
1.4.43 Exceptional circumstances for the purposes of assessment decisions are defined as unforeseen factors or factors outside the student’s control which may adversely affect performance, such as illness during an examination. (If a student has disclosed a fluctuating condition related to a disability and registered with Disability Services, they will have been given provision for flexible deadlines related to that condition and this should be dealt with under the Student Disability Policy and not under exceptional circumstances. If a student suffers from a disability or an ongoing medical condition, but has not registered with Disability Services, the University will not be aware of their condition, and a request for concession for exceptional circumstances will be required). If a student knows they are going to miss an assignment deadline or an examination because of exceptional circumstances, they should inform the relevant School Office in advance by telephone or email / letter of their enforced absence, either personally or, if this is not possible, via someone on their behalf. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that medical certificates, self-certification statements and other documentary evidence of exceptional circumstances are submitted to the School Office within three working days of returning to their studies, or, in the case of emergencies which arose during examinations, by the published deadline. School Exceptional Circumstances Committees are not obliged to consider any medical certificate or evidence of exceptional circumstances presented after these deadlines (see 1.3.12).
1.4.44 The Chairperson of the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee shall be responsible for ensuring that medical evidence or evidence of other exceptional circumstances submitted to the School Office is brought to the attention of the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee.
1.4.45 Exceptional circumstances will normally only influence the consequences of assessment decisions, for example, whether a student is permitted to retake a failed module.
1.4.46 Extra marks shall not be awarded to compensate for exceptional circumstances. However, the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee may make recommendations to the Board of Examiners to take exceptional circumstances into account in a number of ways (see Guidelines for Schools on Exceptional Circumstances).
1.4.47 When a student has cause to believe, in advance of an examination or deadline for submitting a piece of work to be assessed, that their academic performance will be adversely affected by exceptional circumstances, they should, as far as reasonably possible, seek medical advice from their doctor or the University Occupational Health Service. If a student is suffering from a short-term illness and is unable to obtain contemporaneous medical advice or it would not be appropriate to obtain such advice, a self-certification statement can be provided under the request for concessions for exceptional circumstances. Students should also seek advice regarding the options open to them from their Adviser of Studies, Personal Tutor or the relevant Students’ Union officer(s). These options might include withdrawal, deferral of the examination, applying for an extension to the deadline for submitting coursework or applying for a waiver to any penalty imposed for late submission. However, the decision on whether to attempt the examination or submit the assessed work, and the consequences of that decision, shall remain the sole responsibility of the student in question.
1.4.48 Where a student is prevented by illness or other sufficient cause from taking or completing any assessed component of a module including any practical, written or oral examination, the School Exceptional Circumstances Committee may recommend that the Board of Examiners should either:
In cases where the student has attempted the assessed components but failed the module:
(i) Require the student to resubmit failed coursework within a set time limit as a first attempt.
(ii) Permit the student to repeat a failed examination as a first attempt.
(iii) Permit the student to retake the failed module as a first attempt.
In cases where a student is prevented by illness or other sufficient cause from taking or completing any assessed component of a module:
(iv) Require the student to take the assessment at the next available opportunity or to take a special assessment (see 1.4.50) for full marks
(v) Recommend that the Board of Examiners reviews the student’s overall academic profile and considers awarding a pass for the module, or, if the Board of Examiners so decides, require the student to undertake a further special assessment (see 1.4.50) for Honours classification purposes.
In addition to any of the above recommendations, the SECC may request that the Board of Examiners refer the student for consideration under the Guidelines on Fitness to Continue in Study on the Grounds of Health and/or Safety.
1.4.49 Where a pass is awarded, under 1.4.48 v above for a module which contributes to the award of an honours classification, the Board of Examiners may either:
- Calculate the Honours classification on the basis of the remaining modules; or
- Calculate a mark for that module based on the average of the remaining modules.
The number of modules awarded a pass under 1.4.48 v above shall be at the discretion of the Board of Examiners, but in any event shall not be more than one sixth of the marks contributing to the Honours classification.
1.4.50 If a Board of Examiners wishes to propose a special assessment, as in 1.4.48 iv, the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners shall make this decision. A student may request a special assessment by applying to the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners. If the assessment is to take the form of a formal examination, the Chairperson of the Board of Examiners shall arrange with the University Examinations Office the date, time and venue of the examination (see 1.4.31).
1.4.51 The powers of Boards of Examiners to apply these procedures shall cease when the degree results have been confirmed, except:
- Where a student’s disability or illness has prevented them being subjected to a further written or practical test by the time the pass list is confirmed, the examiners may append to the record list a statement, ‘The result in the case of … will be determined after further examination’. The student may thereafter be examined and a result confirmed up to and including 30 September following; or
- Where the Director of Academic and Student Affairs has recalled the Board of Examiners; or
- Where a student has appealed the decision of the Board of Examiners under the Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes).
1.4.52 Where a student due to take a final examination is compelled to defer taking the examination for a year or more, the Board of Examiners may (without prejudice to any of their other powers) obtain the written consent of the student and award as appropriate one of the following:
- An aegrotat (unclassified) honours degree; or
- An aegrotat ordinary degree or diploma; or
- An aegrotat pass in a subject or subjects for an ordinary degree or diploma.
In such a case, the Board of Examiners shall take into account the student’s previous work and such further written or oral examinations as they may prescribe. The parchment will record a Pass. If the student does not consent to this award the Board of Examiners will reconsider the case using the procedures in 1.4.48 and 1.4.49.
Provision for an aegrotat degree shall not apply to those students studying for the MB, BDS and courses in the School of Nursing and Midwifery.
1.4.53 In cases where a student dies before the degree for which they are studying has been conferred, the following will apply:
- Where the student has fulfilled all the course requirements, has completed all the formal examinations and has qualified for the award of the degree, the University shall confer the degree subject to the consent of the next-of-kin;
- Where the student has fulfilled all the course requirements except for all or part of the final formal examinations, the Board of Examiners may recommend the award of the aegrotat degree. Subject to confirmation by the Courses and Regulations Group and to the agreement of the next-of-kin, the University shall confer the aegrotat degree;
- Where the student dies at an earlier stage in the course than defined in ii. the Board of Examiners shall not recommend the award of a degree, but shall confirm the results of any module or part of the course which the student has completed.
Publication of examination results
1.4.54 The appropriate forms shall be signed by the Chairperson and the Secretary and, where applicable, by the external examiner(s) and retained by the School or academic unit in question. Individual result sheets shall be signed by the Chairperson or Secretary.
1.4.55 The results of the degree examinations shall be confirmed by the Boards of Examiners and published by Schools.
1.4.56 Any changes to published marks must be approved by the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.
Decisions on student progress
1.4.57 Decisions regarding student progress shall be made by the relevant Programme Board of Examiners.
Release of module marks to students
1.4.58 The only module marks to be released to a student are those which have been agreed by the appropriate Subject Board of Examiners and signed by the Chairperson and Secretary and where applicable the external examiner(s).
1.4.59 The formal mechanism for providing marks to individual students shall be through the Queen’s Student Information System (Qsis). Marks will be released to third parties only with the permission of the student.
Student Support Meetings
1.4.60 Where a student has not met the requirements to progress, or is required to withdraw, the School is required to call the student to a Student Support Meeting within 10 working days of the deadline for the publication of results. The School may also call students about whom they have a general concern following the publication of results.
The purpose of the meeting is to explain the academic progress decision to the student and ensure that appropriate support is in place.
Schools are required to have processes in place to ensure that the Student Support Meetings include at least two members of senior School staff who are appropriately qualified to advise students on their progress. Where possible, Schools should ensure a gender balance in the membership of the meeting. School Student Support Meetings have no decision-making authority regarding a student’s progress and cannot consider evidence of exceptional circumstances which students present at the meeting. Students presenting evidence of exceptional circumstances at this point should only be advised by the Support Meeting to appeal to the Faculty Student Appeals Committee if the evidence is new and could not have been presented to the Board of Examiners through the SECC.
All advice given to the student at the meeting should be recorded in the minutes by the meeting secretary.
Resit Examinations or Assessment
Note: A resit is a supplementary examination/assessment to be taken by students who have not been successful in a previous attempt (see Regulations for Students 1.15).
1.4.61 Where a student has failed to pass a module at any level, all Schools should provide an opportunity for students at all levels to resit, or exceptionally take as a first sitting, an assessment which contributes to the requirements for passing the module, at or before the designated resit period before the end of the academic year.* It is accepted that it may not be possible to arrange this where a student is required to retake elements of assessment for which achievement of the learning outcomes cannot be satisfactorily assessed by a resit opportunity within the same academic year (for example, placements, major projects, some forms of group workand compulsory practical elements).In such instances, the reassessment will take place at the earliest possible opportunity, under the appropriate conditions. Where there is more than one element of assessment for a module, 1.3.3-1.3.5 provide the framework for identifying which assessments students should be permitted and required to undertake.
1.4.62 Where a specific failed element of assessment is to be retaken, students may be permitted to undertake an alternative form of assessment in lieu of the failed element, but only if the alternative form of assessment examines the specific learning outcomes associated with the failed component.
1.4.63 Students who have registered for a resit examination will be required to sit the examination at the designated resit period before the end of the academic year, including registering and making payment for the resit examination, or provide good cause for non-attendance.
*Professional, statutory or regulatory bodies may have requirements which do not permit 1.4.61 or 1.4.62. In such cases the School must apply to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs for an exemption from these regulations.
1.4.64 Students seeking a clerical check of their marks should submit a written request to the Head of School of the relevant School (i.e. the School delivering the module in question), c/o the School Office, within ten working days of publication of the assessment outcome. A charge of £10 will be levied for this service, but should an error be uncovered, this fee will be returned. The fee for the clerical check must accompany the request for the check.
Appeal against a Decision of a Board of Examiners
1.4.65 For appeal against a decision of a Board of Examiners see Academic Appeal Regulations (Taught Programmes).
Revocation of Awards
1.4.66 In accordance with the Charter and Statutes, the authority to revoke a degree or other award of the University rests with the Vice-Chancellor and President, following a recommendation by the Education Committee.