University Calendar 2011/12
Section IV : General Regulations
Progression, Determination and Classification of Results : Standalone Masters Programmes

ARCHIVE 2004/5
ARCHIVE 2005/6
ARCHIVE 2006/7
ARCHIVE 2007/8
ARCHIVE 2008/9
ARCHIVE 2009/10
1. Introduction
  1.1 The following regulations apply to all Standalone Masters programmes at levels 6 and 7 (see Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) Regulations), except in so far as exemption for particular programmes has been allowed under 1.3 below.
  1.2 Where there are exceptional circumstances resulting in a student’s performance being worthy of special consideration, as defined in Section IV paragraph 3 of the Regulations and Definitions Applying to Progression for All Credit Bearing Programmes, a Board of Examiners has the authority to set aside aspects of these regulations and seek alternative evidence, or offer alternative methods or times for re-assessment, to show that required learning outcomes have been achieved. Detailed guidance is given in the Quality Handbook.

The following Faculties have been granted exemptions from parts of these regulations for one or more programmes of study:
Physical and Applied Science (programmes in Electronics and Computer Science)
Social and Human Sciences (programmes in Mathematics)

2. Programme Structure
  2.1 Standalone Masters programmes are constructed from modules (normally including a dissertation module) that are normally at level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. However, some study may be at other levels as permitted by the Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) Regulations. Credit for a module is awarded on successful completion of that module.
  2.2 The assessment will consist of assessments for a number of modules. The total credit rating for the modules will be as specified in the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme.
  2.3 If programme regulations allow a candidate to take assessments in more modules than the minimum required by the programme specification, classification decisions will be based on that combination of modules which gives the best mark profile and which is consistent with programme regulations (for example, in relation to core and compulsory modules).
  2.4 There is no specified order of study of modules except that a module may specify one or more modules as a pre-requisite or co-requisite. Programme regulations may require a student to pass one or more taught modules prior to proceeding to the dissertation module.
3. Progression
  3.1 In order to be awarded credit for a module, the module must be passed at the specified module pass mark except as allowed in paragraph 3.2 below.
  3.2 Compensation:A candidate passing all core modules but failing to achieve the pass mark in non-core modules totalling no more than 15 ECTS points for a Masters or Postgraduate Diploma, or no more than 10 ECTS points  for a Postgraduate Certificate, may be awarded credit provided the mark obtained is equal to or greater than the Qualifying Mark. Compensation can only be applied when a student has completed all required elements of assessment of the failed module.
  3.3 Referral:A candidate failing a module (which includes the dissertation) which is not eligible for compensation under paragraph 3.2 may, following academic counselling, take a Referral assessment in all failed modules at the next available opportunity. The marks achieved at Referral are inserted into the previous marks profile (where higher than the previous marks) and paragraph 3.1 is applied again to determine the award. However, the referral marks will be capped at the module pass mark to calculate the average mark carried forward to determine the award of merit or distinction.
  3.4 Repeat:A candidate unable to proceed to the dissertation or gain an award after Referral may Repeat the programme internally or externally as chosen by the candidate following academic counselling from the Faculty. The Repeat will normally include all modules and marks from any previous attempt will be set aside.
  3.5 The pass criteria for a Repeating candidate are the same as for the first attempt excluding the right of referral. A programme may be repeated only once. The programme of a candidate failing at Repeat shall be terminated.
4. Awards
  4.1 An award of a Standalone Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be made on accumulation of the required number of credits as defined in the Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CATS) Regulations.

Award Minimum number of ECTS credits Minimum number of credits at level 7 (Masters)
Standalone Masters (eg: MA, MSc, MRes) 90 ECTS 75 ECTS
Postgraduate Diploma 60 ECTS 45 ECTS
Postgraduate Certificate 30 ECTS 20 ECTS
5 Classified Awards
  5.1 Classification:
Degree classification for a Standalone Masters degree or Postgraduate Diploma shall be based on the 100 point mark scheme for the final degree average as follows:

70% and over Distinction
60% - 69% Merit

These boundaries refer to the final average mark rounded to the nearest integer (weighted by credits).
  5.2 Classification Algorithm:
The class awarded shall be that within which the unrounded average falls or the next higher class if the unrounded average is within 2 marks of the higher class and at least 50% of the credit points are derived from module marks in the higher class or above.
  5.3 Variations within Faculties:
With the approval of the Chair of University Programme Committee, Faculties may with good cause operate variations on the above classification scheme. Currently no faculties have been granted such approval.

Where Faculties operate approved variations on this scheme, students will be provided with specific information by the Faculty.

Submitted by Corporate Services
Last reviewed: 31-Jul-2011
© University of Southampton