Quality Manual

Application of regulations for students who fail to meet Honours requirements: before September 2015

1. Introduction

It may be possible for students who fail to meet requirements for an Honours degree to be awarded either an Ordinary degree (see paragraphs 2 to 6 below) or Pass degree (paragraph 7) if they meet the requirements for these qualifications.

2. Structure of Ordinary Degree Programmes

The required structure of Ordinary degree programmes is set out in the University's Qualifications Framework  (UNQF). There is no Qualifying Stage to these programmes, as entry is only possible via transfer from an Honours degree programme at the end of the Qualifying Stage or Part I. In summary, the structure of Ordinary degree programmes is 100 credits at both Parts I and II (with at least 60 credits at level 3).

3. Programme Specifications for Ordinary Degrees

A separate programme specification is required for each Ordinary degree programme which a School chooses to deliver. Material may be copied from a cognate Honours degree programme specification, but a separate document needs to exist for the Ordinary degree programme.  Where a programme specification does not exist for an Ordinary degree currently being delivered, this should be rectified as soon as possible and certainly no later than the date of the School's next periodic School Review.

Schools are asked to note the following when drawing up programme specifications for Ordinary degrees:

  • There is no requirement or encouragement for Schools to offer Ordinary degree programmes


  • Where there is a pattern of students failing non-compensatable components of Honours degree programmes, but performing generally at Honours level, it is more appropriate to establish an alternative (perhaps non-accredited) Honours programme to which these students can transfer than to create an Ordinary degree (see Regulation 28 of the Undergraduate regulations)
  • It may be more efficient to create a single Ordinary degree programme for an entire subject or School to which students from a variety of Honours programmes can be transferred, but the student must be able to meet all the learning outcomes of any Ordinary degree programme to which they are transferred and the degree title should be a reasonable reflection of the subject.

4. Transfers from Honours to Ordinary

The circumstances in which students unable to progress at Honours can transfer to an Ordinary degree programme (where a suitable one exists) are set out in Regulation 10 of the University's Undergraduate Regulations. In summary, students must have:

• Passed modules worth 60 credits and have an average of 40% across 100 credits and no marks below 30% in those credits, or

• Passed modules worth 80 credits and have an average of 50% across 100 credits, or

• Passed modules worth 70 credits, have no marks below 30% in 90 credits, and have an average of 45% across 100 credits.

5. Progression on Ordinary degree programmes

In order to progress from Part I to Part II of an Ordinary degree programme, students must satisfy Regulation 10 of the Undergraduate Regulations as summarised above.

6. Students Failing at the end of Part II on an Ordinary Degree

Where a student is unable to receive an Ordinary degree at the end of the final stage, the student has a right to one reassessment opportunity in each failed module from the final Stage.  If, after reassessment, the student meets the criteria for the award on an Ordinary degree, as specified by the relevant degree classification model and the relevant Supplementary Regulations, they should be awarded that degree.

A student failing to satisfy the requirements of an Ordinary degree after one reassessment opportunity, should be considered for a lower award as outlined in the UNQF.

7. Honours Students Failing at the end of Part II

Students who successfully complete an Honours degree after reassessment may receive a Pass degree without an Honours classification.  For a Pass degree to be awarded a candidate must have a weighted final average of at least 40%, which can include reassessment marks from Parts I/II/III.

Where a student is unable to receive a classified Honours degree at the end of Part II, that student should be considered for a Pass in that degree (which will be awarded without Honours) either before or after reassessment (see Regulation 22 of the Undergraduate Regulations).

A student who is unable to qualify for a Pass may be transferred to an Ordinary degree programme (where a suitable one exists) and awarded an Ordinary degree if that student satisfies the requirement for an award as set out in the programme specification for that Ordinary degree.

Students whose programmes began before September 2004 will be dealt with under the former First Degree Regulations and may receive an Ordinary degree under the provisions of those Regulations.





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