Information on academic credits, academic levels and studying multiple short courses.
How to choose your modules
Guidance on when and how to choose your modules.
What is 'module credit'?
Credits are gained when modules are successfully completed, and modules are usually designed to be between 5 and 60 credits. The number of credits you work toward with each module is based on learning hours, ie the number of hours you are expected to study for, on average, to achieve the learning outcomes. 1 credit usually equals 10 hours of learning, through lectures and self-directed study.
Each module/short course is worth a specific amount of credit. The amount of credit is dependent on the amount of study/learning required to achieve the module outcomes.
When you achieve a certain number of credits then you are eligible for an award (eg an Honours degree or Master’s degree).
Here’s an example: Andrew is registered on the BSc (Hons) Psychology.
In one year, he studies modules worth 120 credits. To be eligible for the degree, he needs to pass 360 credits. After 3 years of studying 120 credits a year, he has achieved enough module credits to be eligible for his degree.
|Year||Level||Running total||Eligible for|
|Year 1||4||120 credits||Certificate in Higher Education|
|Year 2||5||240 credits||Diploma in Higher Education|
|Year 3||6||360 credits||Honours Degree|
The number of credits you pass at specific levels determines which award you are eligible for, but the marks you achieve determine the level of classification you are awarded e.g. a first class honours degree.
In order to gain a postgraduate level award you need:
- Postgraduate Certificate – 60 Level 7 credits
- Postgraduate Diploma – 120 Level 7 credits
- Master’s – 180 Level 7 Credits
What is the pass mark for a module?
Individual pieces of work or exams are also known as elements of assessment. You do not have to pass each element in its own right (unless there is a professional body requirement to do so), and the marks for elements are grouped together into components.
The overall mark for a component is calculated from the weighted average of all of the elements associated with it.
You are required to reach a particular standard in a component.
All modules have one or two components. If a module has two components its mark is calculated from the weighted average of both components. You can find what the component weightings are in the module specification.
Level 3, 4, 5 and 6 modules (undergraduate)
The pass mark for a module is 40%.
Modules with one component
In a module with one component the component pass mark is 40%. The mark for the component will also be the mark for the whole module. A mark of 35%–39% in the component, will not be enough to pass the module.
Modules with two components
In a module with two components the component pass mark is 35% but the aggregate mark for the module must be at least 40%. You have not passed the module if you get less than 35% in either component or if you get an aggregate of less than 40%.
If you achieve a mark of 35%–39% in each component it will not give you a high enough overall mark to pass the module. If you are eligible for a resit you will need to redo both components. If you are eligible for a retake you will need to redo both components.
Level 7 (postgraduate taught)
The pass mark for a module is 50%.
Modules with one component
In a module with one component the component pass mark is 50%. The mark for the component will also be the mark for the whole module.
A mark of 40 – 49% in the component will not be enough for you to pass the module.
Modules with two components
In a module with two components the component pass mark is 40% but the aggregate mark for the module must be at least 50%.
You have not passed the module if you get less than 40% in either component or if you get an aggregate of less than 50%.
If you achieve a mark of 40% - 49% in each component it will not give you a high enough overall mark to pass the module. If you are eligible for a resit you will need to resit both components. If you are eligible for a re-take you will need to re-take both components.
Student case study
I am resitting/retaking a module and I know that some or all of my marks are capped because my first attempt at the module commenced before 1st August 2019 (the mark you have achieved for the component or module has been limited to 40% (levels 3-6) or to 50% (level 7) for the purposes of working out your final classification). Is there any reason for me to still aim for good marks in my assessments?
You should still aim for good marks in your assessments because:
- You still need to pass the module which means you should aim to pass all assessments well.
- The full mark will appear on your notification of credit and assessment marks which you may wish to show to a prospective employer.
- If you have a resit, your module mark may only be partially capped.
For example, you may have passed Component A and failed Component B, in which case you would only have to resit Component B.
For example: The mark for this module is based on an equal weighting (50:50) for Components A (exam) and B (coursework).
Need to resit Component B.
Component A mark is carried forward and is not capped.
Resit of Component B
- Module mark is 65 + 40 = 105
- Divide 105 by two (as this module has a 50:50 weighting)
- Mark for the whole module = 52.5 = Pass
N.B. If Component B is not passed at the resit, you would need to retake the whole module (no marks can be carried forward).
How many attempts at a module do I get?
A student normally has the right to two attempts. Within each they have one sit and one resit, normally taken within the same academic session. There are some exceptions to this, for example those taking a professional practice module. You can find information about the amount of attempts you will be eligible for, when a re-sit will take place and what you have to do via Blackboard or by speaking to the Module Leader.
Who determines whether I am eligible for an award?
Your college exam board meets at specific points throughout the academic year to confirm assessment marks. This is a two-part process; firstly, the Field Board considers and approves the marks for all modules and awards the associated credit, and then the Award Board decides upon a student’s award classification based upon their results.
Find out more about the UWE Bristol assessment cycle.
What if I don't pass all of my credits?
If you attempt a module but fail at the re-sit, an Award Board can decide to apply compensation. This means that you will retain the mark and are awarded the credit for the module, and you will not need to do re-sit or a re-take.
An Award Board can apply compensation when:
- You have achieved the overall pass mark for the programme level (40% for levels 3-6 and 50% for level 7)
- You have already passed modules worth a minimum of 90 credits at the same programme level or above
- A professional body permits it (some do not)
- The learning outcomes for the module have been met
An Award Board can only apply compensation to a maximum of 30 credits at level 3 and 4 combined, and 45 credits and levels 5 and 6 combined. 30 credits can be compensated at level 7. Compensation is usually only applied at a re-sit (unless you are being considered for an award), and will be an offer to you (you can decide whether to accept or decline).
If you achieve 300 credits rather than 360 credits, you may be eligible for an interim award. You can find what interim awards are available within the programme specification.
Introduction of a threshold of credits for progression
If you are a new student registering on a programme for the first time from September 2022, you will need to pass a minimum of 90 credits to be able to progress to the next level of your study.
Will my academic achievements be recorded and where?
Your marks will be recorded in the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR), which is an electronic report that records your academic achievements.
You can find your personal HEAR through myUWE.
Final year students can view the HEAR guidelines.
The report will summarise your achievements and help you to:
- Provide employers with an official record of your accomplishments verified by the University.
- Plan and prepare for your future career.
- Prepare your CV and job applications.
If you have a general query about your HEAR, please email the Certificates team at email@example.com.
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