Assessment Scheme (Postgraduate)

The following marking scheme and criteria are adopted as a framework:

RangeAwardMarking Criteria
70% - 100% Distinction Work of exceptional standard reflecting outstanding competence / knowledge of material and critical ability.
60 - 69% Merit Work with a well-defined focus, reflecting a good working competence / knowledge of material and good level of competence in its critical assessment.
50 - 59% Pass Work demonstrating adequate competence / working knowledge of material and evidence of some analysis.
40 - 49% Condonable fail imited competence / knowledge of core material and limited critical ability.
0 - 39% Fail Lacking in basic competence / knowledge and critical ability.

 
To ensure consistency in the University, including in the preparation of transcripts, marking is numerical.  Marks returned by the Board for both assessment components and the overall module mark should be integers.

The marking criteria used to assess Masters level academic work is detailed overleaf. This should be used to give programme members some indication as to the grading criteria used when essay the academic components of the programme. 

Generic Criteria for Assessment for Masters Programmes

Marks0-39
(Fail)
40-49
(Condonable Fail)
50-59
(Pass)
60-69
(Merit)
70-85
(Distinction)
86-100
(Distinction)
Assessment categories
  Knowledge & understanding of subject ~ demonstrates little knowledge or understanding of the field
~ demonstrates significant weaknesses in the knowledge base, and/or simply reproduces knowledge without evidence of understanding
~ demonstrates knowledge of the field and awareness of current evidence and issues, but with some notable weaknesses
~ lacks knowledge and understanding of some key areas
~ demonstrates a sound knowledge and understanding of material within a specialised field of study
~ demonstrates an understanding of current theoretical and methodological approaches and how these affect the way the knowledge base is interpreted
~ produces work with a well-defined focus
~ demonstrates a systematic knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice
~produces  work of exceptional standard, reflecting outstanding knowledge and understanding of material
~ displays exceptional mastery of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, with an exceptional critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the field
~ This work meets and often exceeds the standard for distinction, as described in the 70-85 band, across all sub-categories of criteria: knowledge and understanding of subject; cognitive skills; research skills; use of research-informed literature; and skills for life and professional employment. ~ This work is of publishable quality, with only very minor amendments, and would be likely to receive that judgement if submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. ~ Work is of such a quality that the student is clearly highly capable of doctoral research in the discipline and, in principle, should be prioritised for a postgraduate research grant. ~ This work meets and often exceeds the standard for distinction, as described in the 70-85 band, across all sub-categories of criteria: knowledge and understanding of subject; cognitive skills; research skills; use of research-informed literature; and skills for life and professional employment. ~ This work is of publishable quality, with only very minor amendments, and would be likely to receive that judgement if submitted to a peer-reviewed journal. ~ Work is of such a quality that the student is clearly highly capable of doctoral research in the discipline and, in principle, should be prioritised for a postgraduate research grant.
  Cognitive/
intellectual
skills  
~ very little or no critical ability
~ poor, inconsistent analysis
~ some appropriate analysis, but some significant inconsistencies which affect the soundness of argument and/or conclusions
~ demonstrates very limited critical ability
~ provides evidence of relevant and sound analysis within the specialised area, with some ability to evaluate critically
~ is able to analyse complex issues and make appropriate judgements
~ is able to evaluate methodologies critically and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
~ is able to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data
~ shows outstanding ability to evaluate methodologies critically and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses
~ is able to deal  with a range of complex issues both systematically and creatively, making excellent judgements in the absence of complete data
  Research skills Use of research-informed literature   ~ demonstrates little or no skill in selected techniques  applicable to own research or advanced scholarship
~ lacks any  understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge
~ failure to evidence or discuss/apply appropriate examples of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the field
~ references to literature/  evidence and use of academic conventions are flawed, and/or inconsistent
~ argument absent, or lacking any clarity and/or logic
~ demonstrates some skill in selected techniques  applicable to own research or advanced scholarship, but with significant areas of weakness
~ lacks sufficient  understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge
~ can evidence and discuss/apply examples of literature relating to current research but lacks critical engagement
~ references to appropriate literature/ evidence and use of academic conventions are insufficient and/or inconsistent
~ argument is attempted, but lacks in clarity and/or logic
~ demonstrates understanding of and skills in selected techniques  applicable to own research or advanced scholarship
~ shows some originality in the application of knowledge, and some understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
~ can evaluate critically examples of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the field
~ makes consistently sound use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty
~ able to communicate argument, evidence and conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences
~ displays a comprehensive understanding of and skills in  techniques applicable to own research or advanced scholarship
~ shows originality in the application of knowledge, together with a good understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
~ is able to evaluate critically a range of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
~ makes consistently good use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty
~ able to communicate very effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
~ employs advanced skills to conduct research and, where appropriate, advanced technical or professional activity, accepting accountability for related decision making
~ displays an exceptional grasp of techniques applicable to own research or advanced scholarship
~ shows originality in application of knowledge, and excellent understanding of how established techniques of enquiry create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
~ is able to evaluate critically, with exceptional insight, a range of literature relating to current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
~ makes consistently excellent use of appropriate academic conventions and academic honesty
~ able to communicate at a very high level arguments, evidence and conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences
Skills
for life and professional employment  
~ significant weaknesses evident in key areas such as communication , problem-solving and project management
~ inability to adapt
~inability to work flexibly, independently and/or as part of a team
~ demonstrates generally effective employability skills, including communication and problem-solving, but with some problematic areas of weakness
~ limited ability to adapt
~ ability to work flexibly, independently and/or as part of a team, but with areas of weakness
~ shows a consistently good level of employability skills, including team working, project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility
~ demonstrates capabilities to support effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts
~ shows consistent ability in tackling and solving demanding problems
~ can plan and direct own learning
~ demonstrates ability to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills
~ demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
~ shows a high level of employability skills, including team working, project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility
~ demonstrates very effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts
~ demonstrates self-direction and some originality in tackling and solving demanding problems
~ can act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
~ demonstrates the skills and attitudes needed to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills
~ demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
~ shows a very high level of employability skills, including team working/leadership, project management, IT/computer literacy, creativity and flexibility
~ demonstrates very high level communication skills in a range of complex contexts, and ability to write at publishable standard
~ demonstrates autonomy and notable originality in tackling and solving demanding problems
~ shows a high level of consistency and autonomy in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
~ demonstrates the skills and attitudes needed to advance own knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level
~ demonstrates the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
Marks for M level0-39
(Fail)
40-49
(Condonable fail)
50-59
 (Pass)
60-69
 (Merit)
70-85
 (Distinction)
86-100
(Distinction)