Progression and Award Information

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The progression point for a Masters degree is at the end of the second Semester of the programme in May/June.  At this point the ‘taught’ component of the programme is complete.  Once the course results from first and second Semester have been confirmed, the Board of Examiners will consider each student’s academic profile to decide if they have achieved the criteria to progress to dissertation. 

To progress to Masters dissertation a student must:

(a) pass at least 80 credits with a mark of at least 50% in each of the courses which make up these credits; and

(b) attain an average of at least 50% for the 120 credits of study examined at the point of decision for progression

Credit on aggregate can be awarded for failed courses when:

  • A student has achieved PASS marks in at least 80 credits
  • A student has achieved an overall average of 40% or more for the 120 credits of the taught component of their degree

Postgraduate degrees do not offer resit opportunities for failed taught courses. 

Borderline Criteria for Progression

Where a student is borderline for progression, the case will be considered by the Board of Examiners. The decision whether or not to allow progression in such cases is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the boundary for progression, up to the boundary itself, i.e. 48.00% to 49.99%.

Where applicable, factors taken into account in such cases will be:

  1. any special circumstances, such as illness or other adverse personal circumstances, which have been brought to the attention of the Board of Examiners;
  2. credit weighting of individual courses;
  3. the range of overall course marks;
  4. marks and letter grades awarded to learning outcomes.

Criteria for Award of Degree

In order to be awarded a Masters degree students must:

(a) have satisfied any requirements for progression, as set out above, and

(b) attain an additional 60 credits, by achieving a mark of at least 50% for the dissertation or final project component.

(c) satisfy any other specific requirements for the Masters degree programme, that are clearly stated in respective programme handbooks.

Students are entitled to one resubmission of the dissertation or research project for postgraduate Masters programmes where the student has achieved a mark of 45 to 49% at the first attempt.

Students may be permitted to resubmit the dissertation, research project or courses from the taught component of their degree in line with the provisions of the Special Circumstances Policy where a student’s performance in assessment has been affected by illness, accident or circumstances beyond their control.

Degree Award Calculation and Classification

The Board of Examiners has the responsibility to decide which students can be awarded a Masters degree.

Masters degrees can be awarded in the following categories; Pass, Merit, Distinction

Please see the table below to show the criteria for each category:

Credits Studied for award 80 credits or more at 50% or over in taught courses Overall average of taught courses Dissertation Mark Classification
180   50 – 59 50 – 59 PASS
180   60 – 69 60 – 69 MERIT
180   70 or above 70 or above DISTINCTION

Both the overall average of the taught courses and the dissertation mark must be in the category to qualify for the classification.  If either the overall average of the taught courses or the dissertation mark is in the category below (and borderline rules do not apply), the degree will be awarded in the lower category.

Borderline Criteria for Award – including Distinction and Merit

Where a student is borderline for award including award with Distinction and award with Merit, the case will be considered by the Board of Examiners. The decision regarding classification of degree in such cases is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the boundary for award, up to the boundary itself, i.e. 48.00% to 49.99% (Award), 58.00% to 59.99%

Where applicable, factors taken into account in such cases will be:

  • any special circumstances, such as illness or other adverse personal circumstances, which have been brought to the attention of the Board of Examiners;
  • performance in dissertation;
  • credit weighting of individual courses;
  • the range of overall course marks including dissertation;
  • marks and letter grades awarded to learning outcomes.

Borderlines for both the dissertation and course average element of the degree are considered by the Exam board.

Example calculation PASS:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 55

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 62

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 52

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 50

Credit weighted average of taught component = 54.33

Dissertation – 60 credits = 62

Degree award classification: Award Masters PASS

Example calculation MERIT:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 68

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 62

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 58

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 60

Credit weighted average of taught component = 62.33

Dissertation – 60 credits = 65

Degree award classification: Award Masters MERIT

Example calculation DISTINCTION:

Taught course 1, 40 credits = 72

Taught course 2, 20 credits = 68

Taught course 3, 40 credits = 78

Taught course 4, 20 credits = 82

Credit weighted average of taught component = 75

Dissertation – 60 credits = 76

Degree award classification: Award Masters DISTINCTION

Please note that optional courses chosen at SCQF level 9 or below will be disregarded when calculating averages for progression and award purposes.

Exit Awards

If you do not qualify for the Masters degree it is possible you could exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma.  The Board of Examiners has the responsibility to decide which students can be awarded the Certificate or the Diploma.

Regulations

The programme follows the University’s Taught Assessment Regulations. 

www.ed.ac.uk/academic-services/policies-regulations/regulations/assessment

You can access the full Taught Assessment Regulations here:

www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/2019-taught.pdf

Please refer to:

  • Regulation 44 Borderlines
  • Regulation 56 Postgraduate assessment progression
  • Regulation 57 Postgraduate degree, diploma and certificate award
  • Regulation 58 Resubmission of postgraduate dissertations or research projects

Regulation 59 Award of postgraduate merit

Regulation 60 Award of postgraduate distinction

You will be informed of your Progression decision and your award classification on EUCLID accessible via your Myed channel.  We are unable to provide results verbally, over the phone or by email.