Grades - What does it all mean?


From September 2012 all work will be marked using a percentage mark scale. This was because students told us they would find a mark out of 100 more understandable, rather than the old alpha grading system. The full grading scale is shown in the 3Rs,Part F for undergraduates, and Part G for postgraduates. Please note, marks for modules studied prior to 2012 will continue to be shown with alpha grades, and final award classifications will be calculated using a conversion process.


Pass 40%-100%

If you achieve 40%-100% in an assignment, this is a pass mark. If your overall module mark is in this range, you have passed the module and will be awarded credit for it. 100% is the maximum grade indicating outstanding work, and 40% is the minimum pass grade indicating satisfactory work. If you've submitted a piece of referral work that passed, your grade will be restricted to 40%. In the previous alpha system, these were grades D- to A+.

Marginal Fail 35%-39%

35%-39% shows that your performance was marginally unsatisfactory. If this was your first attempt, you may be offered a referral assessment(s) or an examination resit to improve your grade and gain the credit for the module. The maximum mark you can achieve for a referral or resit is 40%. In the previous alpha system, this grade was an FM.

Fail 34% or less with referral opportunity

If you achieve 34% or less you have failed the module. You will be offered a referral on one or more assessments (there may be exception for professional programme requirements). Your module will have been capped at 34% if any of your elements was assessed below 35% (40% for some professional programmes).

A referral is an opportunity to make good an element of the module that you've failed. This may be a piece of coursework, exam or practical or all. It means you don't have to re-take a module, just repeat the element (coursework, exam, or practical or all) that you've failed.

You must register to accept a referral (see paragraph below). Only one referral opportunity is offered per element. If passed your grade for that element will be capped to 40%. Some professional qualifications and postgraduate programmes may not allow you to re-take a failed module.

How to accept a referral

Referrals are offered in a drop down box next to your individual coursework/exam marks in your online Student Centre where you can Accept or Reject. You may have been offered referrals in more than one element and if this is the case you will need to accept or reject both.

A referral will show on your Student Results pdf as one of the following codes:

RC1 - Referral in coursework 1

RC2 - Referral in coursework 2

RP1 - Referral in Practical 1

RE1 - Referral in examination

R stands for referral, the following letter will be either a C for coursework, P for practical or E for exam, the following number relates to the coursework/exam.

Pass Referrals

If passed your grade for that element will be capped to 40%. It will average with any other elements to give your overall module grade.

Failed Referrals

If you have failed the referral, you may be able to retake the module in the next session or next academic year and the overall module mark will be capped to 40%.


Your result for the module has not yet been confirmed, which can happen for a variety of reasons. Check your emails to see if the programme team need you to contact them, or ask your module leader for more information.


NS stands for Not Submitted (coursework) or Not Sat (Exam), you will be offered a referral on an NS grade. If you've submitted work and there is no mark, please provide your module leader with a copy of your assignment receipt.


This means your Exceptional Extenuating Circumstances have been approved and you are recorded as having an incomplete grade at this time awaiting your deferred submission. You need to submit your coursework to the extended deadline agreed or take your exam at the next sitting.

A deferral will show on your Student Results pdf as an I grade and one of the following codes:

DC1 - Deferral in coursework 1

DC2 - Deferral in coursework 2

DP1 - Deferral in Practical 1

DE1 - Deferral in examination

D stands for deferral, the following letter will be either a C for coursework, P for practical or E for exam, the following number relates to the coursework/exam.


Z grade indicates that an academic offence has been proven for this work. The next step will be decided through the academic offences procedures.

Compensation (standard undergraduate programmes only)

Up to 20 credits marked 35-39% overall may be compensated to allow progression or award at levels 4,5,6 only. You will need to have a minimum of 80 credits and a stage average 40% or more for a module in the 35-39% category to be compensated. If one of your modules has been compensated it will be indicated by a red star on your Student Results pdf.

Module Results Not Available

This means that the results for the module have not yet been released for viewing. This may be because they are awaiting moderation or for an Assessment Board to verify the grades.

Progression and Award Decisions

Progression and Award Decisions will be shown on the Module and Results screen in your online Student Centre. These can be interim awards, e.g. Certificate of Higher Education (if you have successfully gained 120 credits at level 4) but will also show your progression decision as eligible to continue study on the next stage. The interim award certificate will only be issued if you leave the institution before completing any higher award.

Final Awards with classifications will also show on this screen following ratification by the Assessment Board.

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