Independent Work in Undergraduate Degree Programmes - projects and dissertations

  • Confirmation of regulations enshrining the principle to provide all undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in independent work. Independent work can be a project or piece of research culminating in a written report or dissertation.
  • Regulations covering the requirement for all Honours and Integrated Masters degrees to complete at least 20 credits worth of independent study at a minimum standard of D3.

Policy and Guidelines

In 2005-06 Senate agreed to the principle of compulsory independent work in all Honours degree programmes, including Joint Honours and Principal-Subsidiary Honours, and in unclassified professional degrees (the BDS, MBChB and BVMS). The requirement for a piece of independent work had been common practice for Single Honours programmes but was extended to Joint Honours and Principal-Subsidiary Honours programmes, and unclassified professional degrees.

In 2008-09 it was confirmed that the Generic Undergraduate Regulations should specify the minimum requirement of grade D3 for the dissertation / piece of independent work (worth at least 20 credits) to qualify for an Honours degree (GR 16.1). This was in turn extended to the regulations for the award of the Integrated Masters degree (GR 17.1) which is also a classified award.


For the Attention of

Deans of Learning & Teaching, College Heads of Academic & Student Administration, Heads of School, Programme Co-ordinators and support staff.


Approval and Amendments

Approved by: EdPSC, 6 May 2009
Endorsed by Senate: 4 June 2009
URL: http://committees.gla.ac.uk/senate/SEN/Minutes/20090604.htm#7.7

Amendment (iii): Confirmation of timing: the policy applied to students entering Junior Honours in 2007-08 and no later than session 2008-09 for programmes with no Junior Honours.
Approved by: EdPSC, 13 December 2006
Noted by Senate: 25 January 2007.
URL: EdPSC report to Senate, 25 January 2007

Amendment (ii): Extension to Joint Honours and Principal-Subsidiary Honours programmes. EdPSC, 7 December 2005.
Noted by Senate: 19 January 2006
URL: The Inclusion of a Dissertation, Project or Other Piece of Extended Work within Undergraduate Degree Programmes: Responses from Faculties

Amendment (i): Extension of principle to unclassified professional degrees.
Approved by: EdPSC, 23 March 2005.
Noted by Senate: 5 May 2005
URL: Undergraduate Degree Programmes

First approved by: EdPSC, 2 February 2005
Noted by Senate: 24 February 2005
URL: The Inclusion of a Dissertation, Project or Other Piece of Extended Work within Undergraduate Degree Programmes: Responses from Faculties