Postgraduate Taught Degree Classification Scheme

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1 Postgraduate Taught Degree Classification Scheme These regulations must be read in conjunction with the General Regulations for Students, the Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations and the Postgraduate Taught Degree Dissertation Guidelines. Published by SOAS October

2 CONTENTS Section Page 1. Enrolment 3 2. Attendance 3 3. Structure of programmes of study 3 4. Assessment 4 5. Dissertations 4 6. Academic misconduct and plagiarism 5 7. Progression 5 8. Determining results and awards 5 9. Marking scheme Classification schemes Award and classification scheme (LLM, MA, MMus, MRes and MSc) Discretion of Sub-Boards of Examiners 7 2

3 1. ENROLMENT Students must normally be enrolled continuously on their programme of study. Students who wish to interrupt their period of study must apply in accordance with the School procedure. Students who interrupt their programme of study without permission may be deemed to have withdrawn from their studies. Failure to complete course sign-up procedures by the deadline could result in a student being deemed to have withdrawn from their programme of study. 2. ATTENDANCE Students must attend all taught sessions regularly and punctually, including any prescribed English language classes. Failure to do so could result a student being deemed to have withdrawn from their programme of study or in the student being refused admission to end-of-session examinations. 3. STRUCTURE OF PROGRAMMES OF STUDY There are four structures for postgraduate taught degrees at SOAS. Further information can be found in the Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations section 3. Four Component Degrees (180 credits): three taught courses of 45 credits (or equivalent half courses of 22.5 credits) and a dissertation of 45 credits. Six Component Degrees (180 credits): four taught courses of 30 credits (or equivalent half courses of 15 credits) and a dissertation of 60 credits (counting as two courses). Ten Component Degrees (180 credits): eight taught courses of 18 credits and a dissertation of 36 credits (counting as two courses). There are no half courses. Two-year Master s Degrees (360 credits): These degrees are twice the length of a one-year master s degree and students normally take 180 credits in year 1 and 180 credits in year 2. Students cannot exit the award with 180 credits and be awarded a master s degree. The award of master s is only made after the successful completion of the full programme of study over two years (360 credits). Minimum and maximum periods of registration: Degree Minimum Maximum Full time (1 year) 1 year 3 years Full time (2 year master s) 2 years 4 years Part-time (over 2 years) 2 years 4 years Part-time (over 3 years) 3 years 5 years Part-time (over 4 years - LLM only) 4 years 6 years 3

4 4. ASSESSMENT Dates for assessment Coursework must be submitted by the deadline in the year in which the relevant course has been attended. Unseen written examinations must be taken in the academic year in which the relevant course has been followed. The dissertation must be submitted in the year of study in which the student has been enrolled for the dissertation. Maximum period for assessment To be eligible for the award of a degree a candidate must satisfy the examiners in the assessment prescribed for the programme within a period of two years from the satisfactory completion of the prescribed period of study. Re-assessment Students are permitted one re-assessment in a failed course or half course. Release of marks Following the meeting of the Board of Examiners for Postgraduate Taught Degrees in November, marks will be released. Students will be notified individually of the marks they obtained. Transcripts Transcripts are issued to students and show the mark per course together with the classification equivalent. 5. DISSERTATIONS Dissertation topics should be chosen which students can complete within the normal time frame and submit by the Friday of Week 51 in the September of the appropriate year. Complex topics which need extra time for completion should not be allowed. Two year part-time students will normally submit the dissertation at the end of the second year of study. Three year part-time students will normally submit the dissertation at the end of the second or third year of study. LLM students are required to submit the dissertation in the final year of study whether studying full-time or part-time. Over-length dissertations will be subject to the penalties in regulation 20 of the General Regulations for Students. All dissertations must include a word count. Four Component Degrees (10,000 words) Four Component Degrees LLM (15,000 words) Six Component Degrees (13,000 words) Ten Component Degrees (8,000 words) 2-year degrees where the dissertation is 45 credits (10,000 words) 4

5 2-year MRes degree where the dissertation is 90 credits (25,000 words) 2-year MA in Advanced Chinese Studies and MA Intensive South Asian Studies where the dissertation is 90 credits (20,000 words) 6. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT AND PLAGIARISM Students must abide by regulation 22 in the General Regulations for Students. Plagiarism is an assessment offence and will be dealt with under the Regulations and Procedures for Assessment Offences. 7. PROGRESSION Full-time students are eligible to progress to the dissertation whatever results they have achieved in their taught courses. Part-time students are eligible to proceed to the next year of their programmes (subject to completion of enrolment) whatever results they have achieved in the current year. 8. DETERMINING RESULTS AND AWARDS Sub-Boards of Examiners have the discretion to take into account accepted mitigating circumstances which may have affected a candidate s performance. After results have been published, Chairs of Sub-Boards of Examiners may, at their discretion, permit informal feedback to be given to a candidate on their dissertation performance. Any feedback given must not quote directly from the examiners written comments on the dissertation. 9. MARKING SCHEME The marking scheme for postgraduate taught courses is: 0 to 49 Fail 50 to 59 Pass 60 to 69 Merit 70 to 100 Distinction 5

6 10. CLASSIFICATION SCHEMES (LLM, MA, MMus, MRes and MSc) 10.1 Award and classification scheme Candidates must meet the following criteria for the award of a master s degree. Award with a Pass (all programmes) A mark of 50 or more in each course or half course. Marks for half courses may not be added together and averaged Award with Merit (all programmes) A mark of 50 or more in each course or half course (without averaging) An average mark of 60 across courses, half courses and the dissertation A mark of 60 or more in the dissertation Award with Distinction (for four component programmes) A mark of 70 or more in the dissertation and one other course (or two half courses) For the purpose of Distinction calculations marks for half courses may be added together and averaged, provided that each half course has a mark of 50 or more Award with Distinction (for six component programmes) A mark of 70 or more in the dissertation and one other course (or two half courses) For the purpose of Distinction calculations marks for half courses may be added together and averaged, provided that each half course has a mark of 50 or more Award with Distinction (for ten component programmes) A mark of 70 or more in four courses including the dissertation Award with Distinction (for two-year programmes) A mark of 70 or more in 180 credits of the degree, including the dissertation For the purpose of Distinction calculations marks for half courses may be added together and averaged, provided that each half course has a mark of 50 or more 6

7 10.2 Discretion of Sub-Boards of Examiners If a candidate does not meet the above criteria for the award of Merit or Distinction classification, the relevant Sub-Board of Examiners may at its discretion recommend the award a classification of Merit or Distinction on one or both of the following grounds: Consideration of the overall profile of the candidate; and/or Consideration of accepted mitigating circumstances relating to the candidate (but normally not if these circumstances have already been taken into account in determining the marks for the constituent courses, as this could result in double compensation). When a classification of Merit or Distinction is recommended in these circumstances, the reasons for the award shall be fully recorded in the minutes of the Sub-Board of Examiners. Such recommendations will be considered for approval by the School Board of Examiners for Postgraduate Taught Degrees. Sub-Boards do not have the discretion to recommend the award of a Pass classification to a student who has failed to obtain at least 50 in each course (without averaging) including the dissertation. Sub-Boards of Examiners wishing for guidance on the appropriate exercise of discretion should consult the Examinations and Assessments Manager, who can supply past examples of its use. (Note: There was a different classification scheme for students admitted to the School between September 2000 and September Details are available from the Examinations and Assessments Manager in the Registry.) 7

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