Frequently asked questions about undergraduate results

If you have a questions regarding your results you are not alone. In order to help you get the answers you need when you need them we've compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions and answered them below. 

If you have valid extenuating circumstances, further regulations apply. These are not covered below.  Further information on the academic regulations, including those in respect of extenuating circumstances, can be found in the student handbook.

If you can't find the answers you need or you are still unsure in anyway please do contact your faculty office / partner institution.

What is the pass mark for an undergraduate module?

The pass mark for a module is normally 40%. Where a module involves more than one element, a student is also normally required to achieve a minimum of 30% in each element.

For non-standard pass marks refer to your Student Programme Handbook, published on your programme DLE site.

I have passed but I think I could do much better. Can I have an opportunity to improve the mark?

No, modules that have been achieved cannot be retaken.

What is a compensated pass?

In certain circumstances we allow your overall performance to compensate (CP) for failure in a maximum of 20 credits per stage. To be eligible for compensation the following criteria must be met:

  • that you have failed no more than 20 credits
  • that the failed credits are not designated non-compensable modules
  • that your stage aggregate mark is above 40%
  • that the aggregate mark for the failed module is 30% or above
  • if the original module mark was below 40, it will stand; if above 40, eg where failure is due to failing to meet minimum required standards in one element, the mark will be reduced to 40
  • part time students must have completed the stage
NB pass/fail only modules cannot be compensated. Some professionally accredited programmes may not allow compensation.

I have a compensated pass in a module but think I can do much better. Can I have an opportunity to improve the mark?

Final year students who have been awarded a compensated pass will be offered a referral as a next attempt in the failed elements (subject to the maximum number of attempts at a module). The element mark will be capped at the pass mark so there is limited opportunity to improve the mark but students on a classification border may wish to consider this option. You should take into consideration that marks can go down as well as up and it is the referred mark that will be used. Students eligible for a referral in a compensated module will be notified individually.

Pre-final year students who have been awarded a compensated pass will not be allowed to undertake reassessment.

I have failed some modules but have not been allowed to undertake reassessment and have been advised that I must withdraw from the programme. Why can’t I have another attempt?

There are a number of reasons why an Award Assessment Board may take the decision not to allow any further attempts at a module. For example you may have reached the maximum period of registration or had the maximum number of attempts at a module.

In some cases where students have been warned about poor engagement with the programme and there is a record of a lack of attendance, the Award Assessment Board may decide that it is not in your best interests to continue with your studies.

My transcript indicates I have been referred in one or more modules and I don’t understand what the module decision code means?

A three-letter code beginning with R next to one or more elements is a referral code which means you must complete further assessment in that element for the corresponding module. An element is coursework, examination, practice, in-class test or pass/fail assessment. 

The other two letters indicate whether the referral is as a same S or next N attempt, and how the element will be reassessed (A: specified assessment, C: coursework, E: examination, P: practice, T: in-class test).

For example:

RNC against coursework means: 

  • R - you have been referred in that coursework
  • N - this will be regarded as your next attempt 
  • C - you must complete reassessment by coursework 

RNC against examination means:

  • R - you have been referred in the examination
  • N - this will be regarded as your next attempt
  • C - you must complete reassessment by coursework (even though the original element was an examination)

I have a lot of referred coursework to do over the summer as well as referred exams. Do I have to complete all the referred work during the Summer?

If you fail up to 60 credits you will have been offered the opportunity to redeem these failures normally over the summer. If you do not feel academically able to complete the referred work during the summer referral period you can request a repeat of your failed modules during the next academic year.

This would involve you returning to the same Stage in September and taking only the failed modules next year in their entirety (not just the failed elements). You should take into consideration the financial implications of this decision as you will be charged a tuition fee for each module you repeat. If you would like to repeat all your failed modules instead of taking them during the summer referred period, please contact your faculty by the deadline given with your transcript of results.

Please be aware that you will not be allowed to take a combination of referral and repeat.

What happens if I fail any of the modules I have been referred in?

Any modules not passed during the referred period will normally be required to be taken as repeat modules during the next academic year.

Please remember you are normally allowed a maximum of three attempts at a module (some foundation level modules may only allow two attempts). If you fail a module at the final attempt, you will not be able to continue on your current programme of study.

What mark will I receive for the referred assessment I am taking?

The maximum mark for an element taken for a second or third time is capped at the pass mark which is normally 40%. Reassessed elements with higher pass marks will be capped accordingly.

Please be aware that marks for referred assessments may be lower than previous attempts. In all circumstances the new marks must stand.

I have valid extenuating circumstances for missing an assessment, but have not been asked to undertake reassessment.

If you have passed (or have a compensated pass), we do not require you to undertake reassessment.

If you have valid extenuating circumstances and would like to be reassessed, please contact your Faculty by the appeal deadline.

I have been told I may not proceed to the next Stage and must repeat the failed modules next year. Why can’t I retake these during the Summer?

The maximum number of credits a student can be referred in during the summer is 60 credits. If you fail more than 60 credits you are required to repeat the failed modules the following academic year.

My transcript indicates I have failed one or more modules and will have to repeat them next academic year. I don’t understand what the module decision code means?

A three-letter code beginning with F next to one or more modules indicates that you must repeat the module. The other two letters indicate whether the attempt is as a same S or next N attempt, and what needs to be repeated (O: all elements S: specified elements).

In most cases you will be required to repeat all elements even if previously passed.

For example:

FNO means:

  • F - you must repeat with attendance over another academic year
  • N - this will be regarded as your next attempt
  • O - you must repeat all elements of the module

FNS means:

  • F - you must repeat with attendance over another academic year
  • N - this will be regarded as your next attempt
  • S - you must repeat the specified elements

I am a final year Honours degree student and would like to know how my classification was arrived at.

To be awarded an Honours degree you should have passed 360 credits of which at least 120 are at level 5 and a further 120 at level 6 or above.

The Honours classification is initially based on your aggregate percentage mark. The regulations changed in 2014/2015 to include level 4, 5 and 6 marks in the aggregate percentage calculation. Please consult the Academic Regulations for details of precisely how the aggregate percentage mark is calculated.

If your aggregate percentage mark falls within the boundaries below, you will be entitled to that award:          

First class Honours 70% or above
Second class Honours, Upper Division 60% - 69%
Second class Honours, Lower Division 50% - 59%
Third class Honours 40% - 49%

If your aggregate percentage mark is not more than 3.0 percentage points below a classification band then the following alternative classification methods are used:

  • you will be awarded the higher classification if your level 6 aggregate mark is in the higher classification band
  • you will be awarded the higher classification if more than half of your level 5 and 6 credits are in the higher classification band. Each level 6 credit is double weighted (compared with a level 5 credit) for this purpose.

NB  Students on a non-standard degree such as an  MUndergraduate degree should consult with their Programme Manager for details of the classification formula.

I have been awarded an Ordinary Degree, however there is no indication of the classification.

To be awarded an Ordinary degree you should have passed 320 credits of which at least 80 are at level 6 and a further 120 at level 5 or above.

The degree is not classified but a Degree with Commendation will be awarded to a student who achieves an aggregate percentage mark of 60% or above and a Degree with Distinction will be awarded to a student who achieves an aggregate percentage mark of 70% or above.