2020-21

Generic Regulations for Postgraduate Certificates and Diplomas

A student admitted onto a programme leading to an award must follow the instructions issued on behalf of the relevant School and be aware of the content of the Programme Specification and the Programme Document (often referred to as the Programme or ‘Course' Handbook) which will contain further details on the Programme including, in some cases, further requirements associated with the award.

1.   Application of Regulations

1.1   These regulations apply without modification to the awards listed in §9.

1.2   These regulations apply also to the awards listed in §10 subject to alternative requirements described in the relevant Programme Document. The requirements for these awards may vary only in respect of duration of study (§3), requirements for the award (§7) to reflect the requirements of professional or statutory bodies, or progress to a Masters degree (§8).

2.   Admission

Before being considered for admission to study for an award to which these Regulations apply, a candidate must normally have obtained a degree or equivalent.

3.   Duration of Study

The minimum period of study for the award of a Certificate or Diploma is one semester and one academic session respectively. The maximum period for full-time study is 12 calendar months of registered study. The maximum period within which all candidates must complete the programme is four years from the date of initial registration.

4.   Programme Components

4.1   In order to qualify for an award in respect of the programmes specified in §9 - §10, a candidate must complete minimum credits[1] as follows:

a)   For the award of a Postgraduate Diploma: 120 credits of taught courses.

b)   For the award of a Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits of taught courses.

4.2   The taught courses will normally be undertaken during the academic session (September - June) and are specified in the relevant Programme Document.

5.   Minimum Requirement for the Award of Credits

Credits for courses contributing to a candidate's curriculum shall be awarded subject to the fulfilment of required conditions. The minimum requirements for the award of credits are set out in the Code of Assessment at §16.40 - §16.44 of the ‘University Fees and General Information for Students’ section in the University Regulations.

6.   Assessment

6.1   For each academic session, assessment and reassessment are, insofar as not modified by these regulations, governed by the Code of Assessment which is contained in the ‘University Fees and General Information for Students’ section of the University Regulations published for that session.

6.2   Courses for which the candidate has registered must be counted towards the calculation of the candidate’s grade point average for the purposes of §7[2] and §8 unless other provision is justified by good cause circumstances affecting the candidate. 

This regulation applies where course registration continues:

a)   on the date on which the first summative assessment for that course is to be submitted; or

b)   on such other date as may be specified in the course document for that course.

7.   Requirements for the Award of a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate and Rules for Award of Distinction and Merit

7.1   The requirement for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma is a grade point average[3] of 9.0 or above in 120 credits, with not less than 80 of these credits at grade D3 or above.

7.2   The requirement for the award of a Postgraduate Certificate is a grade point average of 9.0 or above in 60 credits, with not less than 40 of these credits at grade D3 or above.

7.3   A candidate who has achieved a grade point average of 15.0 at the first sitting will be eligible for the award with Merit. Where the grade point average falls within the range 14.1 to 14.9 the Board of Examiners shall have discretion to make the award with Merit.

7.4   A candidate who has achieved a grade point average of 18.0 at the first sitting will be eligible for the award with Distinction. Where the grade point average falls within the range 17.1 to 17.9 the Board of Examiners shall have the discretion to make the award with Distinction.

8.   Progress to a Masters Degree

A candidate may be permitted to progress to study for a Masters degree if a Masters programme in the same subject is available and only if the candidate has obtained a grade point average[3] of 12.0 in the taught courses described in §4 with at least 75% of these credits at grade D3 or above and all credits at grade F3 or above. The Programme Document may specify a course or courses in respect of which a specific grade is a minimum requirement of progression.

9.   Awards to which these Regulations Apply

The following awards are governed by the above regulations:

10.   Awards which Include Variations to Clauses 3, 7 and 8


[1] In compliance with the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework a minimum component of the total credit must be gained from Masters level courses (level M/SCQF level 11) as follows: 90 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma, 40 credits for a Postgraduate Certificate.

[2] Except for §7.2, §7.3 and §7.4 where only 60 credits will be counted in the calculation of the grade point average for a Postgraduate Certificate, and any excess credit will be discarded in such a way as to maximise the grade point average while meeting all other requirements of the regulations.

[3] The grade point average is determined with reference to the schedule of grades and grade points contained in Schedule A and Schedule B of the University’s Code of Assessment. The grade point average is calculated by taking the product of each course’s weight and the candidate’s grade points and dividing the sum of these products by the sum of the courses’ weights. The weights shall correspond to the courses’ credit ratings unless specified otherwise in the relevant programme documentation. The grade point average is expressed to one decimal place (§16.34(a) of the Code of Assessment). In determining whether a candidate has satisfied requirements in relation to award and progress, no further rounding is permitted. For example, a grade point average of 8.9 would not satisfy a requirement for a grade point average of 9.0.