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Degree Classification Adjustments

​Last Updated: 18/05/2020​ at 11:00 am – All information is accurate at time of writing.

The University has considered adjustments for how we calculate your degree classifications given the potential impact that Covid-19 has had on your studies.  The adjustments have been made on the following principles:

Emergency Student and Academic Regulations – Degree Classifications

These adjustments to Degree Classifications supplement Section 2.4 of the University’s Student and Academic Regulations.

These adjustments to Degree Classifications must be considered in the context of the following points:

  1. Students are still required to achieve the full volume of credits required for the award to be made (i.e. 360 credits for Bachelors; 180 credits for Masters etc).
  2. The Emergency Classification algorithms will be run in addition to the standard algorithms, with the student given the best outcome from all algorithms run.
  3. For some awards no adjustments are possible due to the volume of University of Northampton credits contained in that award (e.g. some top-up awards).
  4. These algorithms will be used for 2019/20 graduates only.  Any adjustments required to the degree classification algorithms for students graduating in future years will be considered in due course.

Those of you who have looked at the current regulations will know that the calculation is complex and works out mean and median averages using your overall module grades; this is slightly different for type of award. The University is concerned that students may have been impacted by Covid-19 in a number of ways and that, despite the measures the University has introduced to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your remaining assessments, this may have had a detrimental impact on your studies.  To remedy this the University has introduced a set of secondary classification algorithms which will run alongside the usual calculations:

  • Masters (MA, MBA, MSc, LLM, MRes, MClinRes)

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 160 credits, but must include your principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition).

    You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This calculation will be made in the same way but will require fewer credits to be included.  Your principal module must still be included but only 140 credits in total will be included in the calculation of mean and median.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This will mean that your lowest grades amounting to 40 credits may be dropped from the adjusted calculation.  However, where it is more beneficial to the student, the standard algorithm will be applied.

    If you enrolled on your course with advanced standing (were granted APL credit for one or more modules), the algorithm will use a minimum of 80 credits (including the principal module):

    • If you are only studying 80 credits, all your credits will be used in the calculation.
    • If you are studying more than 80 credits, a maximum of 40 of your lowest credits may be excluded from the calculation.

    * must include or including your principal module means that this module must be used as part of the classification whether it is your lowest grade or not.

  • Masters Top-Up

    Current Algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, the algorithm uses a minimum of 80 credits, including the principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition) to calculate your classification:

    • If your course is made up of 80 credits or fewer, all of your grades are included in the calculation.
    • If you are studying more than 80 credits, a maximum of 20 of your lowest credits may be excluded from the calculation.

    You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    Due to the low number of credits involved, no adjustment is possible.

  • Postgraduate Diploma

    Current Algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 100 credits.

    You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This calculation will be made in the same way but will require fewer credits to be included.  Only 80 credits in total will be included in the calculation of mean and median.

    N.B. where the award of Postgraduate Diploma is being made as an exit award from a Masters programme, because you are taking a PG Dip instead of completing all the Masters modules, no adjustment will be made.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.

  • Postgraduate Certificate

    This award does not carry a classification, so no adjustment is required.

  • Postgraduate/Professional Certificate in Education (EarlyYears/Primary/Secondary) (PGCE with QTS)

    This award does not carry a classification; no adjustment is required.

  • Graduate Diploma

    **Awaiting confirmation**

  • Graduate Certificate

    This award does not carry a classification; no adjustment is required.

  • Bachelors degree (BA/BSc/Joint Honours/LLB/BEng)

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated on your best 100 grades at Level 6, but must include your principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition), and best 100 grades at Level 5. The level 6 grades are then doubled, meaning that your final year counts for two thirds of the grades used to calculate your classification.  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see e.g. 1st, 2i, 2ii etc.

    Adjustment:

    The adjustment will run the same rules but without double weighting your Level 6 modules.  This means that your Level 5 and Level 6 modules will be equally weighted in the calculation of the mean and median.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This will mean that students who performed well this year, perhaps better than in their second year, will still get the benefit of Level 6 being double weighted. Whereas, students who have not been able to complete their studies in the way that they would hope will benefit from their Level 6 modules not being so heavily weighted.

    * must include or including your principal module means that this module must be used as part of the classification whether it is your lowest grade or not.

  • Bachelors degree (BA/BSc/Joint Honours/LLB/BEng) – Advanced standing

    Current algorithm:

    If you enrolled on your course with advanced standing (were granted APL credit for one or more modules), your classification will be calculated from a minimum of 100 credits at Level 6, double weighted, including the principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition). Then your highest grades from the remaining Level 6 and any level 5 modules, excluding up to 40 credits of the lowest graded modules.

    Adjustment:

    The adjusted algorithm will use the grades for your best 100 credits from Level 5 and 6 modules, but must include the principal module, excluding up to 40 credits of the lowest graded modules.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This will mean that students who performed well this year, perhaps better than in their second year, will still get the benefit of Level 6 being double weighted. Whereas, students who have not been able to complete their studies in the way that they would hope will benefit from their Level 6 modules not being so heavily weighted.

    * must include or including your principal module means that this module must be used as part of the classification whether it is your lowest grade or not.

  • Bachelors degree (BA/BSc) Top-Up

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated on your best 100 grades at Level 6, but must include your principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition).  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see e.g. 1st, 2i, 2ii etc.

    Adjustment:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification will be calculated on your best 80 grades at Level 6, but must include your principal module* (usually a dissertation or main project/exhibition).  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see e.g. 1st, 2i, 2ii etc.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This will mean that students who did not perform as well as they hoped this year will have the benefit of up to 40 credits of their lowest grades being excluded from the calculation.

    * must include or including your principal module means that this module must be used as part of the classification whether it is your lowest grade or not.

  • Ordinary degree

    This award does not carry a classification; no adjustment is required.

  • Foundation Degree (FdA/FdSc)

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 100 credits at Level 5.  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This calculation will be made in the same way but will require fewer credits to be included from Level 5.  The algorithm will use your 100 credits but only 60 credits must be from Level 5. The remaining 40 credits will be taken from the best credits across Levels 4 and 5.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This means that if you have not been as successful as you hope in the current academic year, you will be able to use some credit from the previous level of study if these grades are better.

    If you enrolled on your course with advanced standing (were granted APL credit for one or more modules), and you are studying fewer than 100 credits the algorithm will use all of your grades.

  • Higher National Diploma (HND)

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 100 credits at Level 5.  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This calculation will be made in the same way but will require fewer credits to be included from Level 5.  The algorithm will use your 100 credits but only 60 credits must be from Level 5. The remaining 40 credits will be taken from the best credits across Levels 4 and 5.

    Output:

    The algorithm will then award you the best outcome from the four calculations made.  This means that if you have not been as successful as you hope in the current academic year, you will be able to use some credit from the previous level of study if these grades are better.

    If you enrolled on your course with advanced standing (were granted APL credit for one or more modules), and you are studying fewer than 100 credits the algorithm will use all of your grades.

  • Diploma of Higher Education

    Current algorithm:

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 100 credits at Level 5.  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This is only awarded as an exit award, i.e. because you are taking a DipHE instead of completing the Bachelors degree; no adjustment will be made.

  • Higher National Certificate (HNC)

    This award does not carry a classification; no adjustment is required.

  • Certificate of Higher Education

    Once you have passed all your modules, your classification is calculated from your best 100 credits.  You are awarded the best outcome of the mean and median calculation, which converts to a standard classification you would expect to see – Distinction/Merit/Pass.

    Adjustment:

    This is only awarded as an exit award, i.e. because you are taking a Cert HE instead of completing a Bachelors degree/HND etc.; no adjustment will be made.

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