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Is anyone on MN a university lecturer?

(5 Posts)
atswimtwolengths Mon 14-Feb-11 19:02:09

I could do with some advice, if you can help.

How are final degree grades given? I believe first year marks aren't taken into account - is that right?

What happens if someone has, for example, some 2:2 marks and some 2:1 marks, or 2:1 and 1st? How is it decided which grade to give? Is it purely averaged or is there some discussion?

atswimtwolengths Mon 14-Feb-11 19:21:14

I'll re-post this in Chat, in case the lecturers are fed up of education!

LondonMother Mon 14-Feb-11 19:41:39

I'm not a lecturer but I do work in a university. It differs from course to course and to get a definitive answer you would need to see the programme specification, which is the document that sets out what you have to do get the degree in question. Nowadays that's usually freely available to all students, possibly on the university website. There should be information in the programme handbook, anyway.

It's quite common for first year marks not to count at all, or not to count for very much. You usually have to pass some key modules to progress to year 2, though.

For the modules that do count, it's also quite common for the final year modules to have a heavier weighting, so they count for more than the second year modules and a lot more than first year modules (if they count for anything at all). I've been told that most undergraduates do best of all in their final year.

If undergraduate exam boards function anything like our postgraduate exam board, then there won't be any discussion on clear-cut cases, but there might be some discussion on borderline cases if the university regulations allow the exam board to put marks up in specified cases. In our case (and I stress I don't know if undergraduate programmes have any equivalent to this) you need to get a Distinction (70% +) in your dissertation as well as in your overall mark to get a Distinction for the degree. If one is 1 or 2% below Distinction level and the other one is 70% or above, the Exam Board has the discretion to agree that the degree awarded should be Pass with Distinction. We would also consider mitigating circumstances in certain defined situations.

Hope this helps!

UnseenAcademicalMum Tue 15-Feb-11 16:46:43

I am a university lecturer. As LondonMother has already said though, the answers to your questions will vary from one degree to another. Often the first year is simply a "qualifying year" i.e. you need to pass it to continue the rest of the degree, but it does not account for the final grade. In many cases the level is little above A'level standard as this is required in order to ensure that despite differences in A'levels taken, all students will have covered the same basic material before continuing onto the more difficult stuff. Beyond that, how the final grade is calculated depends on the course. Even different courses within the same department may have different rules in this respect due to differences in assessment focus etc.

ImperialBlether Wed 29-Jun-11 00:08:46

It's ages since I posted this (under the name 'atswimtwolengths') - I needed to know about the way the degrees were graded.

My daughter (for it was she I was talking about, though I said it was a friend's daughter in case I was blasted off the site!) has got her First today, despite the odd 2:1 mark.

Thanks everyone for your advice!

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