Change to the system of grade and grade-points
Dear Undergraduate Student,
This message is about a forthcoming change to the University’s system of grades and grade-points. It is being sent to all undergraduate students, but it is particularly relevant for students in Years 1 and 2 of the BA, BAcc, BD, BEd, BEng, BMus, BN, BSc, BTech, LLB, MA, MA(SocSci), MEng, and MSci programmes. Students on the BDS, BVMS, and MBChB programmes will not be affected at all.
Whenever you complete a course you are awarded a grade (A, B, C, ..., G or H) for your performance in the course. Throughout the University, grade A means excellent, grade B means very good, and so on. Each grade is converted to a number of grade-points, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: the 16-point scale
The grade-points are used to compute your grade-point average (GPA) over all your courses. In order to graduate with an ordinary or designated degree, you need to achieve a GPA of at least 10.0. Your Websurf record shows your grade-points and GPA to date.
A few years ago the University started to record your performance more precisely in terms of grades and bands. For example, grade B is divided into three bands: B1 means a high B, B2 means a medium B, and B3 means a low B.
If you are in Year 1 or 2, or in Year 3 of an ordinary or designated degree, the bands are there only to give you a better indication of your performance; they do not affect your GPA.
But if you are in Year 3 or 4 of an honours degree (or Year 5 of an integrated masters degree), the bands are much more significant: they will influence whether you are awarded a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd class degree. For example, band B1 is worth more points than B2, and B2 is worth more points than B3.
It is fairer and more sensible to have a single grade-points system rather than two. Consequently, in summer 2011 the University will abolish the 16-point scale shown in Table 1. Thereafter all students will be awarded grade-points on the same 22-point scale already used for honours students, as shown in Table 2.
Table 2: the 22-point scale
|Grade & band||A1||A2||A3||A4||A5||B1||B2||B3||C1||C2||C3||D1||D2||D3||E1||E2||E3||F1||F2||F3||G1||G2||H|
How will this forthcoming change affect you?
- If you are in the final year, and if you complete your degree by summer 2011, this change will not affect you at all.
- If you are in Year 3 of an honours degree, this change will affect you very little. However, as from 2011-12 your record will show that the grade-points for your Year 1 and Year 2 courses have been converted to the 22-point scale.
- If you are in Year 1 or 2, you need to be aware of the forthcoming change. During 2010-11 your Websurf record will continue to show your grade-points on the 16-point scale. However, as from 2011-12 your record will show that the grade-points for your Year 1 and Year 2 courses have been converted to the 22-point scale. Therefore it is in your interest to aim for the highest bands you can achieve. Do not simply aim for a B, for example; do your best to achieve a B1. The better the bands you achieve, the more grade-points you will accumulate, and the better chance you will have of achieving the degree award that you are aiming for.
Please note that all degree regulations will change in summer 2011 to ensure that there is no change in standards. For example, an ordinary or designated degree currently requires a GPA of at least 10.0 on the 16-point scale, which is equivalent to an average of D; as from 2011-12 an ordinary or designated degree will require a GPA of at least 9.0 on the 22-point scale, which is equivalent to an average of D3.
If you have any questions, contact your adviser of studies in the first place. We are also very happy to answer questions if required.
Very best wishes,
Professor Graham Caie
|Professor David Watt
Convener, Academic Standards Committee