Grade Descriptors University of Edinburgh by MikeJenny

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									                                                        The University of Edinburgh
                                            College of Humanities and Social Science
                                                  Undergraduate Studies Committee
                                                                  19 November 2009
                                                               HSS UGSC 09/10 2E
                                                                      For discussion
                                                                          Disclosable


Grade Descriptors
The Committee is invited to discuss Schools‟ grade descriptors.

Background

In 2005-06, as part of the Curriculum Project the University introduced an Extended
Common Marking Scheme in conjunction with arrangements for degree classification
by mean mark. The University‟s Degree Classification Implementation Group decided
that, instead of creating University-wide grade descriptors for the ECMS, Schools and
Colleges should develop their own.

In 2005 the College Undergraduate Studies Committee agreed a set of general grade
descriptors (see Annex A). The majority of Schools subsequently decided to develop
their own descriptors.

The College recently asked Schools to provide examples of the grade descriptors that
they are currently using. Eightt out of eleven Schools responded. Their current grade
descriptors are attached as Annex B.

Trends and patterns in marking

Despite having operated for four years, it appears that the ECMS has as yet only had
limited effect on marking habits, with markers making very little use of the upper
reaches (A1 and A2). While the College has encouraged Schools to reflect on trends
and patterns of marking, and it is aware that in general Schools have encouraged their
markers to use the full range of the scale, this does not appear to be leading to general
changes in marker behaviour. During the period since the introduction of the ECMS
and classification by mean mark, there has been a slow but noticeable increase in the
proportion of first class degrees in the College, largely as a result of an increase
proportion of students being awarded A3 marks. However, it is also the case, that a
lower proportion of students in CHSS obtain first class degrees than in CSE and
CMVM (in 2007-08, 19.9% in CHSS, compared to 26.1% in CSE and 25.7% in
CMVM).

Archaeology TPR

The 2009 Archaeology Teaching Programme Review report commented that:




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       “The review team noted mixed views about the grade descriptors in place,
       with some opinions that they were helpful and sufficiently detailed, and others
       that they were difficult to use and needed to be replaced by subject-area-
       specific descriptors. This is a particular issue for Archaeology since their
       students engage in Subject Areas across the University and need consistency
       of approach. The review team recommends that the detail to be included in
       the grade descriptors be debated at the School and University level.”

Points for discussion

The College suggests that it would be helpful to review the descriptors that Schools
are using, now that they have been in place for four years. This will help Schools
ensure that their descriptors remain appropriate and to take account of good practices
in other areas. It may also help Schools to develop descriptors that would give their
markers the confidence to use the full range of the A grade to reward excellent work.

The Committee is invited to consider the following:

   Should CHSS grade descriptors also be revised?
   To what extent should differentiation be permitted:
           o Among subject areas within a School?
           o Between different types of assessment (eg coursework vs
              examinations)?
           o Between pre-Honours and Honours?
   How can consistency of approach best be achieved across diverse disciplines?


Dr Morag Donaldson / Tom Ward
November 2009




                                                                                         2
Annex A: CHSS Extended Common Marking Scheme General Descriptors
(introduced 2005-06)

A1    90-100      Brilliant standard of academic work
                            Perfect in every respect.
                            The work is beyond that expected of a competent student
                             at their level of study
                            Shows creativity and or originality
                            Demonstrates an excellent standard of synthesis and
                             evaluation and critical and insightful analysis of the
                             literature
                            Presents a very good, clear argument or debate,
                             supported with evidence
                            Demonstrates a wide breadth of knowledge and
                             understanding of the subject
                            Draws on a wide, relevant literature base
                            Logically structured
                            Written with flare
                            Grammar and spelling without flaws
                            Well focused, with concentration on the main issues to
                             be addressed
A2    80-89       Excellent standard of academic work
                            Demonstrates critical and insightful analysis of the
                             literature
                            Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the subject
                            Logically structured
                            Presents a clear argument or debate, supported with
                             evidence
                            Shows a good command of the English language in
                             academic writing
                            Draws on a wide, relevant literature base
                            Grammar and spelling are of a high standard
A3    70-79       Very good standard of academic work
                            Demonstrates critical analysis of the literature
                            Writes competently on the subject demonstrating a sound
                             understanding of the area in question
                            The topic under discussion is fully explored
                            Complexity and or sensitivity is reflected in the
                             argument
                            Logically structured



                                                                                    3
                      The argument or debate is clear and supported by
                       evidence
                      A wide source of literature is utilised well
                      Grammar and spelling are of a good standard
                      Writing is fluent.
B   60-69   Good standard of academic work
                      Demonstrates a good understanding of the area in
                       question
                      Demonstrates good synthesis, analysis, reflection and
                       evaluation of the literature
                      Presents a clear, logical argument supported with
                       evidence.
                      The presentation is well structured and clearly expressed
                      Adequate references are drawn on and referencing of
                       sources is correct.
C   50-59   Satisfactory standard of academic work
                      This work is of a standard that is clearly above that
                       required of a pass grade
                      The area in question is addressed clearly and coherently
                      There is evidence of sufficient           knowledge      and
                       understanding of the material
                      References are used appropriately to support the
                       argument but they may be limited in number or reflect
                       restricted reading.
                      Critical analysis and evaluation of sources of evidence is
                       limited.
                      The structure and presentation are satisfactory to show a
                       logical development
                      There may be minor flaws in referencing technique
D   40-49   Acceptable standard of academic work
                      This standard is acceptable as a pass.
                      Demonstrates sufficient level of          knowledge      and
                       understanding but at a basic level
                      Synthesis and analysis of the literature is limited
                      The presentation is highly descriptive with no real
                       critical analysis
                      Lacks detail, elaboration or explanation of concepts and
                       ideas.
                      The argument is weak            or   lacks     clarity   with
                       unsubstantiated statements




                                                                                  4
                                     The structure could be improved to show logical
                                      development of an argument.
                                     There may be flaws in referencing technique.
                                     There may be minor spelling or grammatical errors
E      30-39           Falls short of the standard required for a pass
                                     The standard of this work does not demonstrate a
                                      sufficient level of knowledge and understanding required
                                      for a pass
                                     The area in question may not be adequately addressed,
                                      such that the content is too limited or there are some
                                      inaccuracies
                                     There may be a lack of coherence or poor structure.
                                     Any argument is poorly developed.
                                     The writing style may be awkward or concepts and
                                      thoughts poorly expressed
                                     Analysis is poor and limited reference sources are
                                      utilised
                                     There may be structural problems and poor presentation
                                      of the material.
                                     There is a lack of attention to spelling and grammar.
F      20-29           A clear fail
                                     The standard of work here is weak or shows a decided
                                      lack of effort
                                     The area in question is not addressed.
                                     Irrelevant and erroneous content is included
                                     Knowledge and understanding is very poor or confused
                                     Academic writing style and presentation is unacceptable
G      10-19           A bad fail
                                     The standard of work in this band shows a serious lack of
                                      knowledge and understanding of the area in question
                                     The presented material is incomplete, muddled, and
                                      irrelevant
                                     There is no coherent discussion.
H       0-9            A very bad fail
                                     The presented work in this band is of very little
                                      consequence, if any, to the area in question.
                                     It is incomplete in every respect.
These criteria can be applied as a guide to marking of both course papers and examinations.
However, in a course paper it is expected that there will a greater emphasis on breadth of
material, more engagement with and critical appraisal of the literature and a more refined



                                                                                              5
presentation. In an examination a concise focused answer is required with less emphasis on
the breadth of literature incorporated and less sophistication on the expression and
presentation.




                                                                                        6
Annex B: Schools’ Grade Descriptors

School of Arts, Culture and Environment: Architecture

The Standard of work required to achieve these grades is as follows:

A1                            Range                  Comprehensive, fully assimilated and with
90-     KNOWLEDGE             [breadth/depth]        strong evidence of independent reading
100                           Command of             Imaginative, independent, with original
%                             material               insight, subtle and nuanced response
                                                     producing an „authentic‟ piece of work
                              Awareness of           Fully conversant with relevant literature
                              Scholarship            and major issues surrounding a topic.
                                                     Demonstrates strong awareness of related
                                                     material beyond the confines of the topic
                                                     itself and an ability to incorporate this
                                                     convincingly.
                              Focus on Question      Sharply focussed on clear line of argument
        ARGUMENT &                                   whilst showing awareness of the
        ANALYSIS                                     complexities and wider ramifications of
                                                     the issues raised.
                              Clarity of Structure   Fully coherent structure, fluently
                                                     developed.
                                                     Critically acute, perceptive and
                                                     sophisticated. Sustained throughout work
                              Analytical Skills      and contributing to an independent
                                                     conclusion. Will demonstrate an ability to
                                                     analyse convincingly things from a
                                                     number of points of view.
                              Evaluation of          Compelling use of evidence in support of
                              Evidence               argument, which is created with real flair
                                                     and/or originality.
                              Clarity & Accuracy     Lucid and precise
                              Grammar & Syntax       Sophisticated syntax and correct grammar
        LANGUAGE &
        EXPRESSION            Spelling               Accurate
                              Fluency of Writing     Fluent, sophisticated and mature
                              Accuracy &             Accurate, consistent, well judged and
        SCHOLARLY             consistency of         appropriate throughout.
        APPARATUS             referencing
                              Accuracy &             Complete, accurate, consistent and
                              consistency of         logically organised
                              bibliography
                              Appropriateness in     Appropriate, well-integrated with text and
                              use of                 accurately labelled and referenced
                              tables/illustrations




                                                                                    7
A2                 Range                  Comprehensive, very well assimilated and
80-                [breadth/depth]        with strong evidence of independent
89%   KNOWLEDGE                           reading
                   Command of             Imaginative, independent, with original
                   material               insight, sophisticated response producing
                                          an „authentic‟ piece of work.
                   Awareness of           Fully conversant with relevant literature
                   Scholarship            and major issues surrounding a topic.
                                          Demonstrates strong awareness of related
                                          material beyond the confines of the topic
                                          itself and an ability to incorporate this
                                          convincingly.
                   Focus on Question      Sharply focussed on clear line of argument
                                          whilst showing awareness of the
      ARGUMENT &                          complexities and wider ramifications of
      ANALYSIS                            the issues raised.
                   Clarity of Structure   Fully coherent structures, fluently
                                          developed
                                          Critically acute, perceptive and
                   Analytical Skills      sophisticated. Sustained throughout work
                                          and contributing to an independent
                                          conclusion. Will demonstrate an ability to
                                          analyse convincingly things from a
                                          number of points of view.
                   Evaluation of          Compelling use of evidence in support of
                   Evidence               argument.
                   Clarity & Accuracy     Lucid and precise
                   Grammar & Syntax       Sophisticated syntax and correct grammar
      LANGUAGE &   Spelling               Accurate
      EXPRESSION   Fluency of writing     Fluent, sophisticated and mature
                   Accuracy &             Accurate, consistent, well judged and
                   consistency of         appropriate throughout.
      SCHOLARLY    referencing
      APPARATUS    Accuracy &             Complete, accurate, consistent and
                   consistency of         logically organised
                   bibliography
                   Appropriateness in     Appropriate, well-integrated with text and
                   use of                 accurately labelled and referenced
                   tables/illustrations




                                                                         8
A3                  Range                  Very extensive, very well assimilated and
70-                 [breadth/depth]        with strong evidence of independent
79%                                        reading
      KNOWLEDGE     Command of             Independent, with some original insight,
                    material               sophisticated response producing an
                                           „authentic‟ piece of work
                    Awareness of           Fully conversant with relevant literature
                    Scholarship            and major issues surrounding a topic.
                                           Some awareness of related material
                                           beyond the confines of the topic and
                                           shows some ability to incorporate this
                                           successfully.
                    Focus on Question      Sharply focussed on clear line of argument
                    Clarity of Structure   Fully coherent structure, clearly developed
      ARGUMENT &                           Critically acute, perceptive and
      ANALYSIS      Analytical Skills      sophisticated. Sustained throughout work
                                           and contributing to an independent
                                           conclusion.
                    Evaluation of          Critically acute, perceptive and
                    Evidence               sophisticated. Sustained throughout work
                                           and contributing to an independent
                                           conclusion.
                    Clarity & Accuracy     Lucid and precise
                    Grammar & Syntax       Sophisticated syntax and correct grammar
      LANGUAGE &    Spelling               Accurate
      EXPRESSIONS   Fluency of Writing     Fluent, sophisticated and mature
                    Accuracy &             Accurate, consistent, well judged and
                    consistency of         appropriate throughout.
      SCHOLARLY     referencing
      APPARATUS     Accuracy &             Complete, accurate, consistent and
                    consistency of         logically organised
                    bibliography
                    Appropriateness in     Appropriate, well-integrated with text and
                    use of                 accurately labelled and referenced
                    tables/illustrations




                                                                           9
B 60-                Range                  Extensive and detailed but perhaps slightly
69%                  [breadth/depth]        uneven, well assimilated, clear evidence of
        KNOWLEDGE                           independent reading
                     Command of             Precise, some original insight and
                     material               evidence of independent thought
                     Awareness of           Conversant with relevant literature and
                     Scholarship            major issues surrounding topic
                     Focus on Question      Focus is relevant to question throughout
                     Clarity of Structure   Coherent and developed
        ARGUMENT &                          Critically sound, serious in attempt to
        ANALYSIS     Analytical Skills      engage with question in analytical rather
                                            than descriptive way, clear evidence of
                                            perceptive response to material
                     Evaluation of          Persuasive use of evidence in support of
                     Evidence               argument
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Clear and generally precise
                     Grammar & Syntax       Varied syntax and correct grammar
        LANGUAGE &   Spelling               Accurate
        EXPRESSION   Fluency of Writing     Fluent
                     Accuracy &             Accurate and consistent and mainly well
                     consistency of         judged and appropriate, but possibly with
        SCHOLARLY    referencing            some over-elaboration and some
        APPARATUS                           misjudgement in where a reference is used
                     Accuracy &             Complete, accurate, perhaps some
                     consistency of         weakness in consistency and organisation
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     Appropriate, reasonably well-integrated
                     use of                 with text, accurately labelled, possible
                     tables/illustrations   weakness in referencing




                                                                          10
C 50-                Range                  Sound, lacking important detail with some
59%                  [breadth/depth]        inaccuracies, adequately assimilated, some
        KNOWLEDGE                           evidence of independent reading
                     Command of             Accurate but predictable and lacking in
                     material               original insight and independent thought
                     Awareness of           Good awareness of relevant literature and
                     Scholarship            major issues surrounding topic
                     Focus on Question      Mainly relevant but with some unevenness
                     Clarity of Structure   Coherent and logically developed but with
        ARGUMENT &                          some areas of weakness in terms of
        ANALYSIS                            ambiguity and/or repetition
                     Analytical Skills      Attempt to engage critically with the
                                            evidence/question, not wholly successful;
                                            some analysis but tendency towards
                                            descriptive narrative.


                     Evaluation of          Satisfactory deployment of evidence in
                     Evidence               support of argument.
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Generally clear and fairly precise, but
                                            patchy
        LANGUAGE &
        EXPRESSION   Grammar & Syntax       Fairly varied syntax and grammar that
                                            may contain a few errors
                     Spelling               Mainly accurate
                     Fluency of Writing     Reasonably fluent but with some
                                            clumsiness
                     Accuracy &             Mainly accurate and consistent but with
                     consistency of         idiosyncrasies and misjudgements about
        SCHOLARLY    referencing            when a reference is appropriate
        APPARATUS
                     Accuracy &             Largely reliable, but with some
                     consistency of         weaknesses in some or all areas
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     Useful, but questionable judgement over
                     use of                 when to illustrate (too little or too much)
                     tables/illustrations   and not very well integrated with text.




                                                                            11
D 40-                Range                  Accurate but superficial but probably
49%                  [breadth/depth]        patchy and with omissions and
        KNOWLEDGE                           inaccuracies, little evidence of
                                            independent reading
                     Command of             Unspecific, very predictable use of
                     material               material, lacking in insight, very
                                            dependent on reading
                     Awareness of           Weak grasp of relevant literature and
                     Scholarship            major issues surrounding a topic
                     Focus on Question      Lacking focus but with some relevance
                     Clarity of Structure   Discernible but lacking coherence
        ARGUMENT &   Analytical Skills      Little evidence of critical awareness or
        ANALYSIS                            insight; descriptive rather than analytical.
                     Evaluation of          Poor deployment of evidence in support of
                     Evidence               argument
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Lacking clarity and precision in most of
                                            work
        LANGUAGE &   Grammar & Syntax       Simple syntax and some errors in grammar
        EXPRESSION   Spelling               Mainly accurate
                     Fluency of Writing     Lacking fluency and clumsy
                     Accuracy &             Inconsistent and idiosyncratic in
                     consistency of         formulation of references and in decisions
        SCHOLARLY    referencing            about when a reference is appropriate
        APPARATUS    Accuracy &             Clear weaknesses in some or all areas
                     consistency of
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     Poorly chosen, poorly integrated, used as
                     use of                 more or less useful backdrop to text.
                     tables/illustrations




                                                                           12
E 30-                Range                  Inadequate, with serious omissions and
39%                  [breadth/depth]        inaccuracies, no evidence of independent
        KNOWLEDGE                           reading
                     Command of             Vague, possibly with originality and
                     material               insight, which is accidental and irrelevant,
                                            otherwise, pedestrian response to
                                            inadequate reading
                     Awareness of           Very poor grasp of relevant literature and
                     Scholarship            major issues surrounding a topic
                     Focus on Question      Largely irrelevant
                     Clarity of Structure   Largely incoherent and/or lacking logical
                                            development
        ARGUMENT &   Analytical Skills      No evidence of critical awareness or
        ANALYSIS                            insight; tendency to descriptive narrative,
                                            some of dubious relevance, rather than
                                            analysis.
                     Evaluation of          Little evidence adduced and that poorly
                     Evidence               deployed and/or serious misinterpretation
                                            of evidence.
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Unclear and imprecise in most of work
                     Grammar & Syntax       Weak syntax and errors in grammar
        LANGUAGE &   Spelling               Mainly accurate
        EXPRESSION   Fluency of Writing     Poorly written and lacking coherence
                     Accuracy &             Very poorly referenced, with clear failing
                     consistency of         in accuracy, consistency and judgement
        SCHOLARLY    referencing
        APPARATUS    Accuracy &             Very weak in all areas
                     consistency of
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     Poorly chosen, lacking key material, little
                     use of                 relation to text
                     tables/illustrations




                                                                            13
F 20-                Range                  Seriously inadequate, with major
29%                  [breadth/depth]        omissions or even complete absence, as
        KNOWLEDGE                           well as serious inaccuracies in what is
                                            presented.
                     Command of             Serious inadequacies in knowledge base
                     material               will fatally compromise response to
                                            material
                     Awareness of           Little or no awareness of relevant
                     Scholarship            literature and major issues surrounding a
                                            topic
                     Focus on Question      Wholly irrelevant
                                            Wholly incoherent and/or lacking logical
        ARGUMENT &   Clarity of Structure   development
        ANALYSIS                            No evidence of critical awareness or
                     Analytical Skills      insight; tendency to descriptive narrative,
                                            much of dubious relevance, rather than
                                            analysis
                     Evaluation of          Marks at these levels will have major
                     Evidence               omissions in the evidence and/or
                                            misinterpretations of it.
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Unclear and imprecise throughout
                     Grammar & syntax       Serious weaknesses in syntax and
        LANGUAGE &                          grammar
        EXPRESSION   Spelling               Mainly accurate
                     Fluency of Writing     Incoherent and/or compromised by lack of
                                            content
                     Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                     consistency of         including near or complete absence
        SCHOLARLY    referencing
        APPARATUS    Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                     consistency of         including near or complete absence
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     As E, but with serious omissions,
                     use of                 misunderstanding or material or even
                     tables/illustrations   complete absence




                                                                           14
G 10-                Range                  Seriously inadequate, with major
19 %                 [breadth/depth]        omissions or even complete absence, as
        KNOWLEDGE                           well as serious inaccuracies in what is
                                            presented.
                     Command of             Serious inadequacies in knowledge base
                     material               will fatally compromise response to
                                            material
                     Awareness of           Little or no awareness of relevant
                     Scholarship            literature and major issues surrounding a
                                            topic
                     Focus on Question      Wholly irrelevant
                     Clarity of Structure   Wholly incoherent and/or lacking logical
        ARGUMENT &                          development
        ANALYSIS     Analytical Skills      No evidence of critical awareness or
                                            insight; tendency to descriptive narrative,
                                            much of dubious relevance, rather than
                                            analysis
                     Evaluation of          Marks at these levels will have major
                     Evidence               omissions in the evidence and/or
                                            misinterpretations of it.
                     Clarity & Accuracy     Very unclear, even garbled
                     Grammar & Syntax       Very weak syntax and many errors in
        LANGUAGE &                          grammar
        EXPRESSION   Spelling               Errors in spelling
                     Fluency of Writing     Incoherent and/or compromised by lack of
                                            content
                     Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                     consistency of         including near or complete absence
        SCHOLARLY    referencing
        APPARATUS    Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                     consistency of         including near or complete absence
                     bibliography
                     Appropriateness in     As E, but with serious omissions,
                     use of                 misunderstanding of material or even
                     tables/illustrations   complete absence




                                                                           15
H 0-                Range                  Seriously inadequate, with major
9%                  [breadth/depth]        omissions or even complete absence, as
       KNOWLEDGE                           well as serous inaccuracies in what is
                                           presented.
                    Command of             Serous inadequacies in knowledge base
                    material               will fatally compromise response to
                                           material
                    Awareness of           Little or no awareness of relevant
                    Scholarship            literature and major issues surrounding a
                                           topic
                    Focus on Question      Wholly irrelevant
                    Clarity of Structure   Wholly incoherent and/or lacking logical
       ARGUMENT &                          development
       ANALYSIS     Analytical Skills      No evidence of critical awareness or
                                           insight; tendency to descriptive narrative,
                                           much of dubious relevance, rather than
                                           analysis
                    Evaluation of          Marks at these levels will have major
                    Evidence               omissions in the evidence and/or
                                           misinterpretations of it.
                    Clarity & Accuracy     Very unclear, even garbled
                    Grammar & Syntax       Very weak syntax and many errors in
       LANGUAGE &                          grammar
       EXPRESSION   Spelling               Errors in spelling
                    Fluency of Writing     Incoherent and/or compromised by lack of
                                           content
                    Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                    consistency of         including near or complete absence
       SCHOLARLY    referencing
       APPARATUS    Accuracy &             As E, but with even greater failings,
                    consistency of         including near or complete absence
                    bibliography
                    Appropriateness in     As E, but with serious omissions,
                    use of                 misunderstanding of material or even
                    tables/illustrations   complete absence




                                                                          16
School of Arts, Culture and Environment: Music

GENERAL GRADE DESCRIPTIONS FOR COMPOSITIONAL STUDIES


A1    90-100               Truly exceptional work which fulfils all the descriptions for A2 and goes
      Excellent            further in expressing a highly original compositional voice. In stylistic
                           work an exceptional level of creativity is shown in both reconstruction
                           and pastiche composition.

A2    80-89                Fine work which shows real originality and flair in solving compositional
      Excellent            problems. Compositional technique is completely confident and at the
                           service of a genuinely creative mind. In stylistic work the relevant
                           styles have been totally absorbed in a way which allows the student to
                           be really creative while keeping within their parameters. Presentation
                           is faultless.

A3    70-79                An excellent effort showing originality and flair.        Compositional
      Excellent            problems are solved with intelligence and musicality and relevant
                           technical questions are fully understood. In stylistic exercises there is
                           an idiomatic feeling for the derivation of invented material from the
                           given material, and for instrumental and vocal sonority; a convincing
                           tonal strategy with correct realisation of modulatory implications; a full
                           understanding of phrase structure, cadences and sequences, with their
                           implications being acted on. Presentation is generally excellent.

B     60-69                A commendable effort, demonstrating some creative flair and a
      Very Good            capacity to deal adequately and appropriately with the given material.
                           The relevant technical questions are understood. There is a good
                           feeling for instrumental or vocal sonority; a good tonal strategy with
                           correct realisation of modulatory implications; an understanding of
                           phrase structure including recognition of cadential points and
                           implications of sequence. Presentation is very good.

C     50-59                An acceptable effort with no major weaknesses. There may be
      Performance at a     insufficient attention to details and some inaccuracies.            The
      level showing the    presentation may fall short of what is desirable. There may be some
      potential       to   inadequacies in sonority, tonal strategy, phrase structure, cadences
      achieve at least a   etc. but there is an overall feeling of musicality about the handling of
      lower      second    the material.
      class     honours
      degree.

D     40-49                A satisfactory effort, but weak in the handling of material. There may
      Pass, may not be     be inaccuracies and presentation may be inadequate. Some feeling of
      sufficient    for    musicality or originality can compensate for technical inadequacy.
      progression    to
      an        honours
      programme.

E     30-39                A less than satisfactory effort with inaccuracies and weaknesses in
      Marginal Fail        presentation. Technical skills are inadequate and there is little
                           evidence of musicality or creative flair in the handling of the material.

F     20-29                A poor effort with widespread inadequacies in the handling of the
      Clear Fail           material and little grasp of technical skills

G     10-19                Little evidence of effort or understanding of the technical skills needed.
      Bad Fail             Very little musicality shown.




                                                                                           17
H    0-9                 No real evidence of effort or understanding of the technical skills
     Bad Fail.           needed. No musicality shown.




GENERAL GRADE DESCRIPTIONS FOR CULTURAL
STUDIES

A1   90-100              This work demonstrates exceptional insight and originality,
     Excellent           eloquently expressed with sophistication.  Presentation is
                         immaculate.

A2   80-89               In addition to satisfying the criteria for A3, this work clearly
     Excellent           demonstrates originality. It presents a sophisticated engagement
                         with conceptual issues, and makes creative and critical use of
                         research materials. Presentation is excellent, with near-perfect
                         grammar, punctuation, spelling and formatting of bibliographic
                         information.

A3   70-79               An excellent piece of work that demonstrates some originality and
     Excellent           shows clarity of thought and expression. The topic is well
                         understood and stated aims are achieved through the use of
                         appropriate examples and arguments. There is evidence of wide
                         reading and assimilation of that reading but the work moves
                         beyond the arguments of others to frame original insights and
                         argument. Demonstrates facility with a variety of sources, striking
                         an appropriate balance between theoretical work and factual
                         detail, and between primary and secondary sources (where
                         appropriate). The content is very well organised. Presentation is
                         very good, with appropriate grammar, punctuation and spelling.

B    60-69               A commendable effort, demonstrating understanding of the
     Very Good           subject and a capacity to deal adequately and appropriately with
                         relevant material. Overall, the arguments are sound and are
                         backed up by quotations from others and by examples. There is
                         some originality of insight.      Content is well-organised and
                         presentation is clear, with correct grammar and good punctuation
                         and spelling.

C    50-59               An acceptable effort with no major weaknesses. There may be
     Performance at      insufficient details to back up arguments, a lack of examples and
     a level showing     some inaccuracy. The presentation and/or content may fall short
     the potential to    of what is desirable.
     achieve at least
     a lower second
     class   honours
     degree.

D    40-49               A satisfactory effort, but weak in the handling of material and
     Pass, may not       arguments. Aims may not be sufficiently set out or insufficiently
     be sufficient for   fulfilled. Content and/or presentation can show limitations.
     progression to
     an      honours
     programme.




                                                                                        18
E    30-39                 A less than satisfactory effort with inaccuracies in content and
     Marginal Fail         weaknesses in presentation. It may rely wholly on the work of
                           others, poorly paraphrased.     Content and/or presentation are
                           unsatisfactory; grammar and spelling show weakness.

F    20-29                 A poor effort with widespread inadequacies in the handling of the
     Clear Fail            material and little grasp of the topic.

G    10-19                 Little evidence of effort or understanding of the topic.
     Bad Fail

H    0-9                   No real evidence of effort or understanding of the topic.
     Bad Fail.




GENERAL GRADE DESCRIPTIONS FOR
PERFORMANCE STUDIES

A1   90-100              A performance equivalent to the highest professional standards,
     Excellent           demonstrating        outstanding       musicianship,    consummate
                         communication and projection of the music, highly imaginative
                         flair and individuality, and perfect technical control.

A2   80-89               A performance equivalent to a high professional standard,
     Excellent           demonstrating fine musicianship, communication and projection.
                         Technical control is extremely assured, and the performance is
                         characterised by imaginative flair and individuality.

A3   70-79               A performance equivalent to a good professional standard,
     Excellent           demonstrating considerable musicianship, communication and
                         projection.    Technical control is very assured, and the
                         performance is characterised by considerable flair and
                         individuality.

B    60-69               A very musical and stylish performance, well-projected and
     Very Good           effectively communicated. An impressive security of technical
                         control allows for concentration on musical aspects.

C    50-59               Musically and stylistically competent; communication and
     Performance at      projection are satisfactory, and technical control is reasonably
     a level showing     secure. The performance reflects careful preparation rather than
     the potential to    creative musical personality.
     achieve at least
     a lower second
     class honours
     degree.

D    40-49               Musical and stylistic awareness is just adequate; communication,
     Pass, may not       projection and technical control are limited.
     be     sufficient
     for progression
     to an honours
     programme.




                                                                                         19
E   30-39           A less than satisfactory effort where musical and stylistic
    Marginal Fail   awareness is inadequate, where technical skills are in question,
                    and where there is little or no sense of communication.

F   20-29           A poor effort with no sense of musical or stylistic awareness and
    Clear Fail      little grasp of technical skills.

G   10-19           Little evidence of effort or understanding of the musical and
    Bad Fail        technical skills required.

H   0-9             No real evidence of effort and no understanding whatsoever of
    Bad Fail.       the musical and technical skills required.




                                                                                   20
School of Divinity

Marks          Descriptors
Range
A1             Outstanding work indicating advanced knowledge of the subject,
90-100         showing rigorous critical handling of ideas and texts, imaginative depth,
Excellent      and strong evidence of independent study. Work at this level will be
               clearly focused on the question, and will also be exceptionally well
               written and follow all scholarly conventions.

A2             Exceptional work showing considerable critical skill, an imaginative
80-89          approach to the subject, a thorough knowledge of relevant texts, and
Excellent      some independence in the deployment of further resources and reading.
               Work at this level will be clearly focused on the question throughout
               with a strong and coherent argument citing evidence for claims made in
               proper scholarly conventions.

A3             Excellent work clearly exceeding module learning outcomes, well
70-79          focused on the question, and manifesting some imaginative insights.
Excellent      Work at this level will have a clear argument and structure, demonstrate
               critical ability in handling of relevant texts and ideas, provide evidence
               of good further reading, and cite sources effectively.

B              Very good work which is clearly structured, closely relates to the
65-69          question, exceeds module learning outcomes, and shows a thorough
Very Good      knowledge of relevant texts and ideas and evidence of further reading.
               Work at this level will be well argued, show critical acumen, and will
               mostly be well evidenced with a suitable range of scholarly citations.

B              Work at this level will reveal solid knowledge of the subject and
60-64          achievement of module learning outcomes. It will show a very good
Very Good      grasp of knowledge and required reading relevant to the question,
               evidence of some further study, and critical ability. It may show minor
               deficits in presentation and/or in the level of knowledge.

C              Work at this level will demonstrate reasonably good grasp of subject
55-59          and learning outcomes and some ability to provide cogent analysis and
Good           to construct a coherent argument. There will be some evidence of
               irrelevant material, a certain lack of focus in the discussion, or
               deficiencies in the evidence used to support the argument. The level of
               preparation and range of sources consulted should be adequate.

C              Fully adequate grasp of subject and demonstration of learning outcomes
50-54          somewhat above requisite levels for course. Work at this level will be
Good           less closely focused on the question. It will still manifest some ability to
               argue logically and organise discussion material, but may have a few
               significant deficits in presentation and/or content.

D              Work at this level indicates a satisfactory but minimal level of


                                                                                      21
40-49          achievement of module learning outcomes. Significant parts of the essay
Satisfactory   will be under-developed, the work may be poorly structured and\or the
               argument unclear; there may also be considerable irrelevance in the
               discussion. There will be limited awareness of important points and a
               restricted use of evidence and learning outcomes for the module will not
               have been properly achieved.

E              Work of this standard will be poorly structured and of distinctly limited
30-39          relevance to the question. Lack of supporting evidence, substantial
Marginal       generalisation and unsubstantiated opinion typically characterize work
Fail           in this category. Nevertheless, some potential is likely to be evident and
               some of the module learning outcomes minimally achieved.

F              Towards the top end of this band some assimilation and understanding
20-29          ofrelevant material and ideas will be apparent, though this is likely to be
Clear Fail     accompanied by limited background material, poor structure, and an
               inadequate level of comprehension of the main themes. Work at the
               bottom level of this category will demonstrate very little understanding
               and an unsatisfactory level of preparation.

G              In examinations, this band will encompass answers which have
0-19           misunderstood or substantially failed to address the question. The same
Bad Fail       trait in essays, while more unusual, will result in a mark within this
               band. Also, plagiarism to a significant level must receive a mark within
               this category.




                                                                                     22
School of Economics

Grade Marks      Description
A1    90-100     Outstanding:
                 Outstanding work, which demonstrates an exceptional
                 understanding and insight. Marks in this range are rarely
                 awarded for ‘judgemental’ assessment (e.g. an essay or
                 essay-style exam answer). They are
                 more likely to be awarded for ‘non-judgemental’
                 assessment, e.g. (a maths problem), but still rare.

A2      80-89    Highly Excellent:
                 Excellent: Work which demonstrates authoritative
                 understanding. It may be exceptionally rich in independent
                 insight, sophistication, relevant information, or
                 understanding of the issues involved.
A3      70-79    Excellent:
                 Work which demonstrates excellent understanding by
                 showing evidence of independent insight, sophistication,
                 relevant information, or understanding of the issues
                 involved.
B       60-69    Very Good:
                 Work showing evidence of good and broad-based
                 engagement with and understanding of the relevant
                 material, organised in a clear and logical form.
C       50-59    Good:
                 Work which, though competent, is lacking in focus,
                 organisation or breadth of understanding. Such work may
                 appear ‘routine’ – merely restating lecture material or limited
                 reading, with little evidence of independent thought.
D       40-49    Satisfactory:
                 Work which shows some evidence of learning, but with
                 some serious misunderstanding and/or limited ability to
                 select material. It may be too short, or make omissions
                 and/or include irrelevant material.
E       30-39    Falls short of the standard expected for a pass:
                 Work which shows some limited awareness of the problem
                 at hand, but is deficient in knowledge of relevant material,
                 understanding of the question set, or the presentation of
                 clear and rational arguments.
F       20-29    Clear Fail:
                 Work showing little or no evidence of learning or
                 understanding of the question and an inability to formulate
                 and communicate ideas. Answers characterised by
                 irrelevance, brevity and/or superficiality.
G       10-19    Bad Fail: Almost no material of value to the question asked.
                 Answers almost completely irrelevant and virtually no
                 evidence that any course material has been properly
                 understood.
H       0-9      Very Bad Fail


                                                                             23
Marks in this range are generally given for an exam where
the candidate did not attempt an answer to a question or
the attempt had negligible content.




                                                        24
School of History, Classics and Archaeology

A1 Excellent (90-100%) An answer that fulfils all of the criteria for A2 and in
addition shows an exceptional degree of insight and independent thought, together
with flair in tackling issues. Work displaying the highest level of scholarship and
originality attainable within any given course/year of study. In courses involving
classical languages the work shows, where appropriate, an exceptionally high level of
linguistic competence.

A2 Excellent (80-89%) An authoritative answer that provides a fully effective
response to the question. It should show a command of the literature and an ability to
integrate that literature and go beyond it. The analysis should achieve a high level of
quality early on and sustain it through to the conclusion. Sources should be used
accurately and concisely to inform the answer but not dominate it. There should be a
sense of a critical and committed argument, mindful of other interpretations but not
afraid to question them. Presentation and the use of English should be commensurate
with the quality of the content. In courses involving classical languages the work
shows, where appropriate, a very high level of linguistic competence.

A3 Excellent (70-79%) A sharply-focused answer of high intellectual quality, which
adopts a comprehensive approach to the question and maintains a sophisticated level
of analysis throughout. It should show a willingness to engage critically with the
literature and move beyond it, using sources creatively to arrive at its own
independent conclusions. In courses involving classical languages the work shows,
where appropriate, a high level of linguistic competence.

B Very Good (60-69%) Clearly structured work displaying an ability to deal with the
concepts, sources and arguments relevant to the topic under discussion and critical
judgement in selecting, evaluating and organising material. In the 65-69 range the
work will display some of the qualities of excellence outlined above, although some
aspects will be less fully realised. The 60-64 range represents above-average
achievement in all or most respects. In courses involving classical languages the work
shows, where appropriate, a sound grasp of the linguistic aspects of the subject.

C Good (50-59%) Sound and competent work which covers the basic subject matter
and is appropriately organised and presented. May tend to narrative and description
rather than analysis but does attempt to answer the question. There will be some
evidence of the inclusion of irrelevant material, a certain lack of focus in the
discussion or deficiencies in the evidence used to support the argument. Work in the
50-54 band is likely to be factually sound but to show only a general grasp of the
issues which the question is raising, and to be weak in critical awareness and
analytical qualities. In courses involving classical languages the work shows, where
appropriate, a fair understanding of the central linguistic aspects of the subject.

D Pass (40-49%) Work which is adequate but limited. It may include irrelevant
material and be too descriptive and narrative. Some aspects of the question may be
answered competently, but others will be ignored because of omissions in the reading,
factual inaccuracy, difficulty in identifying the key issues and arguments, or poor
style, structure and presentation. In exams, an answer left unfinished may earn a mark
in this range if it gives evidence of the potential to perform better. In courses


                                                                                     25
involving classical languages the work shows, where appropriate, a basic
understanding of the principal linguistic features of the subject.

E Marginal Fail (30-39%) Work which is poorly structured and of very limited
relevance to the question. It may be distinguished by a lack of supporting evidence,
misunderstandings, a failure to address the question asked, substantial generalisation
and the lack of any real argument. In courses involving classical languages the work
approaches closely a basic understanding of the linguistic aspects of the subject but is
deficient in important respects.

F Clear Fail (20-29%) Work which shows little or no real understanding of the
question and which displays little or no evidence of learning.

G Bad Fail (10-19%) Work which fails on all criteria. It could also be the mark for a
very short answer with little relevant material.

H Bad Fail (0-9%) Incomplete work, or work with absolutely no relevance to the
question.




                                                                                      26
School of Law

Dissertation Marking Criteria


First Class

For a first class mark a candidate should show substantial knowledge and critical
understanding of the primary sources (where relevant) and a thorough and critical
understanding of the secondary sources. The dissertation as a whole should be concise
and have a structure that facilitates a proper development of the argument. There
should be evidence of imagination, creativity, critical insight and analytical rigour.
The methodology should be appropriate and properly defended (where relevant). The
dissertation should be written clearly, concisely and intelligently and be well
referenced.

Second Class (Division One)

Second Class Division One marks are awarded to dissertations that show substantial
knowledge and understanding of the primary sources (where relevant) and an
understanding of the secondary sources. The dissertation as a whole should be
reasonably concise and have a structure that is clear and coherent. It should show
critical insight into the topic and good analytical skills. The methodology should be
properly defended (where relevant). The dissertation should be written in a way that is
reasonably clear and concise and be referenced reasonably well.

Second Class (Division Two)

Second Class Division Two marks are awarded to dissertations that show adequate
knowledge of primary sources (where relevant) and some knowledge of secondary
sources. The dissertation should be structured but may be deficient in logical
organisation. The work should show an understanding of the topic. The methodology
should be properly defended (where relevant). The dissertation should be reasonably
well written and adequately referenced.

Third Class

Third Class marks are awarded to dissertations that show some knowledge of primary
sources (where relevant) and of secondary sources with some supporting argument
and engagement with those sources. The organisation may be poorly suited to
facilitate the argument. They will tend to lack imagination and display little insight
into the topic. The methodology may be imperfect and lack a proper defence (where
relevant). The writing may be clumsy and references inadequate.

Fail

Fails will display inadequate knowledge of the sources. They will be badly structured
or unstructured and weakly argued. The methodology will be unsound or there will be
no clear methodology. The writing and referencing will be poor.



                                                                                    27
Honours marking criteria

The Extended Common Marking Scheme came into operation in 2005/06

Grade Mark %          Description                    Honours Class

A1     (90-100)       Outstanding                    1st Class
A2     (80-89)        Fine Work                      1st Class
A3     (70-79)        Excellent                      1st Class
B      (60-69)        Very Good                      2:1
C      (50-59)        Good                           2:2
D      (40-49)        Satisfactory                   3rd Class
E      (30-39)        Falls short of the standard    Fail
                      expected for a pass
F      (20-29)        Clear Fail                     Fail
G      (10-19)        Bad Fail                       Fail
H      (0-9)          Very Bad Fail                  Fail

The following School of Law descriptors for divisions within the 1st Class range were
approved at the School meeting of 9/11/05, for communication to all internal and
external examiners:

A1

Work in this category will be outstanding. This will be reflected in the depth of
knowledge and understanding of the primary (where relevant) and secondary sources
and by the high degree of creativity, critical insight and analytical rigour. It must be
remembered that whilst the work should be exemplary one is dealing with a piece of
undergraduate work and, for instance, it would not be reasonable to judge it by
whether it was publishable.

A2

A candidate should show a robust knowledge and critical understanding of the
primary sources (where relevant) and a thorough and critical understanding of the
secondary sources. There should be considerable evidence of imagination, creativity,
critical insight and analytical rigour.

A3

A candidate should show substantial knowledge and critical understanding of the
primary sources (where relevant) and a thorough and critical understanding of the
secondary sources. There should be some evidence of imagination, creativity, critical
insight and analytical rigour.

B

A candidate should show knowledge and understanding of the subject in general, but
not enough to warrant a mark in one of the A grades. Work falling in this band will
often exhibit a greater reliance on secondary literature rather than primary sources


                                                                                     28
(where relevant). There should be evidence of imagination, creativity, critical insight
and analytical rigour.

C

A candidate should show some knowledge and understanding of the subject in
general, but not enough to warrant a mark in the B grade. Work falling in this band
will often exhibit a heavy reliance on secondary literature rather than primary sources
(where relevant). There should be limited evidence of imagination, creativity, critical
insight and analytical rigour.

D

A candidate should show limited knowledge and understanding of the subject in
general, but not enough to warrant a mark in the C grade. Work falling in this band
will often exhibit a heavy reliance on secondary literature rather than primary sources
(where relevant) and it will be marred by deficiencies and inaccuracies. Inaccurate
reproductions and mistaken understandings of materials, doctrines etc. are hallmarks
of work in this category. Evidence of imagination, creativity, critical insight and
analytical rigour is not to be expected in this grade.

E–H

Work in this band will exhibit inadequate knowledge and understanding of the subject
in general. Numerical marks are awarded within the range 39 – 0 at the discretion of
the examiner.

Ordinary Marking Criteria

90 – 100% (A1)
This mark will be awarded to exemplary work showing very full knowledge and
understanding, demonstrating a sophisticated grasp of principle. It will be without
errors. It will be very well structured and written, with clear conclusions supported by
relevant arguments and/or authority.

80 – 89% (A2)
Work in this band will be excellent and, will be likely to exhibit most of the
characteristics of work in the A1 band. The distinction between a mark at A1 and A2
lies in the level of detail and sophistication of knowledge, argument and application.

70 – 79% (A3)
The A3 band is applicable to work which is also excellent, demonstrating full
knowledge and understanding. It will contain at most only one or two very minor
errors. It will show a clear grasp of the relevant principles and an ability to apply
them. It will follow a clear structure and be well written. The distinction between a
grade at this level and those above is largely one of clarity of thought and expression
and detail.

60 – 69% (B)



                                                                                     29
Marks in the B band are awarded for highly competent work showing ample
knowledge and understanding, with the ability to apply that knowledge in a reasoned
manner. The work will be reasonably well written and presented clearly. Any errors
will be minor.

50 – 59% (C)
A mark in this band will be awarded to candidates who exhibit reasonable knowledge
of the material appropriate to the area and an understanding of the relevant legal or
philosophical principles. It will not contain significant errors. Where appropriate,
authority will be appropriately cited. The work will be reasonably clearly structured
and conclusions largely supported by argument. There may be some deficiencies in
expression.

40 – 49% (D)
A mark in this band will be awarded to candidates who have demonstrated sufficient
understanding and knowledge to suggest minimal attainment of the learning outcomes
of the course but whose work is marred by some deficiencies or inaccuracies. There
will be some understanding of the relevant legal or philosophical principles and
authorities but this is likely to be incomplete. There may be some lack of organization
and structure.

30 - 39% (E)
A mark in the E band will generally indicate that the candidate had some idea of what
the examiner required, but shows limited understanding and knowledge in the
answering of it. There will be fairly serious deficiencies and inaccuracies. Typically
this answer will fail to identify the centrally relevant case law or legislation at several
points, or fail to identify the relevant legal or philosophical principles.

20 – 29% (F)
Answers at this level show very little knowledge of the relevant material and what is
known may be seriously misunderstood or misapplied. The student may be unable to
select or apply the relevant principles. There is likely to be a lack of citation of
relevant authority.

10 – 19% (G)
Here there may be an attempt to address the correct question, but the answer
demonstrates very serious misunderstandings or errors. There will be large gaps in
knowledge and an almost complete absence of appreciation of the relevant principles.

0 – 9 % (H)
In this band there will be no, or virtually no, evidence of knowledge or understanding.
Typical of a mark in this band are answers which have entirely misunderstood the
question, or which are incomplete.




                                                                                        30
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures: Division of European Languages
and Cultures

A1 (90-100) Outstanding Outstanding work which demonstrates an exceptional
understanding of conceptual ideas and literary texts, showing an unusual degree of
original insight and breadth of independent research. It will have an authoritative
ability to synthesise material and to conceptualise and sustain a sophisticated
argument. It will show excellence in its detailed readings and an ability to both
engage with critical debate and intervene independently in it. In language work, the
mark reflects an exceptionally high level of linguistic competence. (Marks above 90%
are considered outstanding and are only rarely awarded.)

A2 (80-89) Fine Work Excellent work which demonstrates comprehensive
understanding of conceptual ideas and literary texts, showing clear evidence of
independent insight and breadth of research. It will have an impressive ability to
synthesise a range of material effectively, to think analytically and to sustain a
complex argument. Its detailed readings will be sensitive and nuanced and it will
show an ability to evaluate alternative critical perspectives. Its style will be articulate,
convincing and engaging. In language work, the mark reflects a very high level of
linguistic competence.

A3 (70-79) Excellent Work which demonstrates excellent understanding of
conceptual ideas and literary texts, showing evidence of independent insight and
reading. It will have an ability to synthesise material effectively, to think analytically
and to sustain an independent argument. It will show excellence in its detailed
readings and an awareness of alternative critical positions. Its style will be clear,
convincing and engaging. In language work, the mark reflects a high level of
linguistic competence.

B (60-69) Very Good Work which demonstrates an ability to understand the issues
raised by the course and posed by the specific question, engaging in effective
discussion. The work will show a facility in handling concepts, a very good
knowledge of primary and some secondary texts, and a clear, fluent and accurate
writing style, at ease with the conventions of presentation. It will show critical
judgement in selecting, ordering and analysing material and an ability to use detailed
analyses of texts to further its arguments. The work will demonstrate a good
understanding of the way reading is affected by different critical perspectives. The
work will show a thoughtful response to the texts concerned and elements of
independent thinking. In language work, the mark reflects a sound level of linguistic
competence.

C (50-59) Good Work which covers the subject matter of the course and is
appropriately organised and presented. It will demonstrate good knowledge and
understanding of relevant conceptual material and literary texts, derived from a solid
basis of reading. It will be accurate and clearly written, grammatically correct, use
quotation appropriately and show adequate familiarity with conventions of
presentation in terms of reference and bibliography. It should be able to draw on
information and ideas from lectures and secondary reading, but may not engage
effectively in critical discussion. In language work, the mark reflects a fair level of
linguistic competence.


                                                                                          31
D (40-49) Satisfactory Work which shows an adequate but limited knowledge of the
subject matter of the course. The work shows satisfactory knowledge of the content
and some response to the course texts, a basic grasp of critical vocabulary, and some
ability to frame an appropriate response to the question. There are likely to be
weaknesses in particular areas, such as:
         ability to maintain relevance to the question posed
         appropriate illustration to substantiate argument
         grasp of critical material encountered in lectures or secondary reading
         breadth of reading in the set works on the course
         use of effective style, good punctuation and spelling
         use of the conventions specified for the presentation of essays.
In language work, the mark reflects a basic level of linguistic competence.

E (30-39) Falls short of the standard expected for a pass Work may show some
awareness of the issues raised by the course but deals with them inadequately. It may
show some knowledge, but clear weakness in the ability to understand and respond to
individual texts. It may have stylistic problems of expression, spelling and
punctuation. In examinations this mark may indicate short measure, incomplete
answers or rubric violation. In language work, the mark reflects some level of
linguistic competence but shows deficiencies in important respects.

F (20-29) Clear Fail & G (10-19) Bad Fail Work which shows a lack of understanding
of the ideas of the course, a substantially inadequate knowledge of the set texts, and
an inability to formulate and communicate a response to the question. In examinations
it will often involve seriously short measure or incomplete answers. In language work,
the mark reflects major linguistic deficiencies and a failure to grasp basic structures.

H (0-9) Very Bad Fail These marks reflect a complete lack of understanding of the
ideas of the course, virtually no knowledge of the texts, and an inability to respond to
the question. In language work, the mark reflects linguistic deficiencies such that the
writing or speech is virtually incomprehensible.




                                                                                     32
Literatures, Languages and Cultures: English Literature

Markband: A1 90-100 Description: Outstanding

Outstanding work which demonstrates an exceptional understanding of conceptual
ideas and literary texts, showing an unusual degree of original insight and breadth of
independent research. It will have an authoritative ability to synthesise material and to
conceptualise and sustain a sophisticated argument. It will show excellence in its
detailed readings and an ability to both engage with critical debate and intervene
independently in it.
(Marks above 90% are considered outstanding and are only rarely awarded.)

Markband: A2 80-89 Description: Highly Excellent

Excellent work which demonstrates comprehensive understanding of conceptual ideas
and literary texts, showing clear evidence of independent insight and breadth of
research. It will have an impressive ability to synthesise a range of material
effectively, to think analytically and to sustain a complex argument. Its detailed
readings will be sensitive and nuanced and it will show an ability to evaluate
alternative critical perspectives. Its style will be articulate, convincing and engaging.

Markband: A3 70-79 Description: Excellent

Work which demonstrates excellent understanding of conceptual ideas and literary
texts, showing evidence of independent insight and reading. It will have an ability to
synthesise material effectively, to think analytically and to sustain an independent
argument. It will show excellence in its detailed readings and an awareness of
alternative critical positions. Its style will be clear, convincing and engaging.

Markband: B 60-69 Description: Very good

Work which demonstrates an ability to understand the issues raised by the course and
posed by the specific question, engaging in effective discussion. The work will show
a facility in handling concepts, a very good knowledge of primary and some
secondary texts, and a clear, fluent and accurate writing style, at ease with the
conventions of presentation. It will show critical judgement in selecting, ordering and
analysing material and an ability to use detailed analyses of texts to further its
arguments. The work will demonstrate a good understanding of the way reading is
affected by different critical perspectives. The work will show a thoughtful response
to the texts concerned and elements of independent thinking.

Markband: C 50 -59 Description: Good

Work which covers the subject matter of the course and is appropriately organised
and presented. It will demonstrate good knowledge and understanding of relevant
conceptual material and literary texts, derived from a solid basis of reading. It will be
accurate and clearly written, grammatically correct, use quotation appropriately and
show adequate familiarity with conventions of presentation in terms of reference and
bibliography. It should be able to draw on information and ideas from lectures and
secondary reading, but may not engage effectively in critical discussion.


                                                                                       33
Markband: D 40-49 Description: Satisfactory

Work which shows an adequate but limited knowledge of the subject matter of the
course. The work shows satisfactory knowledge of the content and some response to
the course texts, a basic grasp of critical vocabulary, and some ability to frame an
appropriate response to the question. There are likely to be weaknesses in particular
areas, such as:
• ability to maintain relevance to the question posed
• appropriate illustration to substantiate argument
• grasp of critical material encountered in lectures or secondary reading
• breadth of reading in the set works on the course
• use of effective style, good punctuation and spelling
• use of the conventions specified for the presentation of essays.

Markband: E 30-39 Description: Falls short of the standard expected for a pass

Work may show some awareness of the issues raised by the course but deals with
them inadequately. It may show some knowledge, but clear weakness in the ability to
understand and respond to individual texts. It may have stylistic problems of
expression, spelling and punctuation. In examinations this mark may indicate short
measure, incomplete answers or rubric violation.

Markband: F 20-29 Description: Clear Fail
Markband: G 10-19 Description: Bad Fail

Work which shows a lack of understanding of the ideas of the course, a substantially
inadequate knowledge of the set texts, and an inability to formulate and communicate
a response to the question. In examinations it will often involve seriously short
measure or incomplete answers.

Markband: H 0-9 Description: Very Bad Fail
These marks are generally given only in examination situations, indicating an
unattempted paper or profoundly short measure.




                                                                                    34
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

A1 90-100 Excellent
Outstanding in every respect, the work is well beyond the level expected of a
competent student at their level of study. It
Shows creative, subtle, and/or original independent thinking
Demonstrates breadth of knowledge and deep understanding of the subject matter
Draws on a wide, relevant literature base
Demonstrates an excellent standard of synthesis and evaluation and a critical and
insightful analysis of the literature
 well focused, with concentration on the main issues to be addressed
  Is
Presents a compelling case by means of clear logically structured argument or
debate, well supported with evidence
 written with flair
  Is
Has, where appropriate, complete and correct referencing
 flawless in grammar and spelling
  Is
A2 80-89 Excellent
Outstanding in some respects, the work is often beyond what is expected of a
competent student at their level of study. It
Shows original, sophisticated independent thinking
Demonstrates a thorough understanding of the subject matter
Draws on a wide, relevant literature base
Demonstrates critical and insightful analysis of the literature
 well focused, with concentration on the main issues to be addressed
  Is
Presents a strong case by means of clear, logically structured argument or debate,
supported with evidence
Shows a good standard of academic writing
Has, where appropriate, complete and correct referencing
Shows a high standard of grammar and spelling
A3 70-79 Excellent
Very good or excellent in most respects, the work is what might be expected of a
very competent student. It
Explores the topic under discussion fully
Shows some complex and/or sensitive independent thinking
Complexity and or sensitivity is reflected in the argument
Demonstrates a sound understanding of the subject matter
Draws in a wide relevant literature base
Demonstrates critical analysis of the literature
 well focused, with concentration on the main issues to be addressed
  Is
Presents a good case by means of clear logically structured argument or debate,
supported by evidence
Shows a competent standard of fluent academic writing
Has, where appropriate, complete and correct referencing
Shows a good standard of grammar and spelling
B 60-69 Very Good
Good or very good in most respects, the work displays thorough mastery of the
relevant learning outcomes. It
Demonstrates a good understanding of the area in question
Draws on adequate references
Demonstrates good synthesis, analysis, reflection and evaluation of the literature
Concentrates on the main issues to be addressed




                                                                                  35
 Presents an adequate case by means of clear, well structured, logical argument
supported with evidence.
 Has, where appropriate, complete and correct referencing of sources
 Shows a good standard of grammar and spelling
C 50-59 Good
The work clearly meets requirements for demonstrating the relevant learning
outcomes. It
 Shows evidence of sufficient knowledge and understanding of the material
 Uses references appropriately to support the argument, though they may be limited
in number or reflect restricted reading.
 Demonstrates limited critical analysis and evaluation of sources of evidence.
Page 4 of 5
 Addresses the area in question clearly and coherently
 Has satisfactory structure, presentation, and expression
 Has, where appropriate, complete referencing of sources, though there may be
minor flaws in referencing technique
D 40-49 Pass
The work meets minimum requirements for demonstrating the relevant learning
outcomes. It
 Demonstrates a sufficient level of knowledge and understanding but at a basic
level, and there may be minor inaccuracies
 Lacks detail, elaboration or explanation of concepts and ideas
 Displays limited synthesis and analysis of the literature
 Presents a highly descriptive account of the topic with no real critical analysis
 Presents a weak argument which is not logically structured or which lacks clarity or
is based on unsubstantiated statements
 Has, where appropriate, complete referencing of sources, though there may be
flaws in referencing technique
 Has largely satisfactory expression, though there may be minor spelling or
grammatical errors
E 30-39 Marginal fail
The work fails to meet minimum requirements for demonstrating the relevant learning
outcomes. It
 Does not demonstrate a sufficient level of knowledge and understanding
 Utilises only limited reference sources and offers poor analysis of them
 May not adequately address the area in question, because its content is too limited
or because there are some inaccuracies
 Presents a poorly structured, poorly developed, or incoherent argument, or no
argument at all
 Has an awkward writing style or poor expression of concepts
 Has incomplete or inadequately presented references
 Shows a lack of attention to spelling and grammar.
F 20-29 Clear fail
The work is very weak or shows a decided lack of effort. It
 Displays very poor or confused knowledge and understanding
 Does not address the area in question
 Presents no argument or one based on irrelevant and erroneous content
 Displays an unacceptable academic writing style and /or presentation
 Has incomplete or inadequately presented references, if any
Page 5 of 5
G 10-19 Bad fail
The work is extremely weak. It
 Displays no knowledge or understanding of the area in question


                                                                                    36

 Presents incomplete, muddled, and/or irrelevant material

 Provides no coherent discussion of the area in question

 Has incomplete or inadequately presented references, if any
H 0-9 Bad fail
The work is of very little consequence, if any, to the area in question. It
 incomplete in every respect
 Is

Adapted from Lowrey, McQueen and Robertson (2005) by Ellen Gurman Bard, Peter
Milne, Martha Whiteman




                                                                              37
School of Social and Political Science


Marking Descriptors (Years one and two)

The following marking criteria for coursework, exams and dissertations, have been
established as guides to both staff and students about what is normally expected of
work receiving a particular grade.

Criteria for Grading Coursework

A1 (90-100%) An answer that fulfils all of the criteria for „A2‟ (see below) and in
addition shows an exceptional degree of insight and independent thought, together
with flair in tackling issues, yielding a product that is deemed to be of potentially
publishable quality, in terms of scholarship and originality.

A2 (80-89%) An authoritative answer that provides a fully effective response to the
question. It should show a command of the literature and an ability to integrate that
literature and go beyond it. The analysis should achieve a high level of quality early
on and sustain it through to the conclusion. Sources should be used accurately and
concisely to inform the answer but not dominate it. There should be a sense of a
critical and committed argument, mindful of other interpretations but not afraid to
question them. Presentation and the use of English should be commensurate with the
quality of the content.

A3 (70-79%) A sharply-focused answer of high intellectual quality, which adopts a
comprehensive approach to the question and maintains a sophisticated level of
analysis throughout. It should show a willingness to engage critically with the
literature and move beyond it, using the sources creatively to arrive at its own
independent conclusions.

B B- (60-63%) B (64-66%)              B+ (67-69%)
A very good answer that shows qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable. The
question and the sources should be addressed directly and fully. The work of other
authors should be presented critically. Effective use should be made of the whole
range of the literature. There should be no significant errors of fact or interpretation.
The answer should proceed coherently to a convincing conclusion. The quality of the
writing and presentation (especially referencing) should be without major blemish.
Within this range a particularly strong answer will be graded B+; a more limited
answer will be graded B-.

C C- (50-53%) C (54-56%)              C+ (57-59%)
A satisfactory answer with elements of the routine and predictable. It should be
generally accurate and firmly based in the reading. It may draw upon a restricted
range of sources but should not just re-state one particular source. Other authors
should be presented accurately, if rather descriptively. The materials included should
be relevant, and there should be evidence of basic understanding of the topic in
question. Factual errors and misunderstandings of concepts and authors may
occasionally be present but should not be a dominant impression. The quality of
writing, referencing and presentation should be acceptable. Within this range a


                                                                                        38
stronger answer will be graded C+; a weaker answer will be graded C-.

D     D- (40-43%) D (44-46%)            D+ (47-49%)
   A passable answer which understands the question, displays some academic
learning and refers to relevant literature. The answer should be intelligible and in
general factually accurate, but may well have deficiencies such as restricted use of
sources or academic argument, over-reliance on lecture notes, poor expression, and
irrelevancies to the question asked. The general impression may be of a rather poor
effort, with weaknesses in conception or execution. It might also be the right mark for
a short answer that at least referred to the main points of the issue. Within this range
a stronger answer will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) An answer with evident weaknesses of understanding but conveying
the sense that with a fuller argument or factual basis it might have achieved a pass. It
might also be a short and fragmentary answer with merit in what is presented but
containing serious gaps.

F (20-29%) An answer showing seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject, with
little awareness of the relevant issues or literature, major omissions or inaccuracies,
and pedestrian use of inadequate sources.

G (10-19%) An answer that falls far short of a passable level by some combination
of short length, irrelevance, lack of intelligibility, factual inaccuracy and lack of
acquaintance with reading or academic concepts.

H (0-9%) An answer without any academic merit which usually conveys little sense
that the course has been followed or of the basic skills of essay-writing.


Criteria for Grading Exam Answers

In assessing coursework there will be greater emphasis on the breadth of material,
more engagement with the literature and a more refined presentation. Exams require
more concise and focused answers, with less emphasis on the literature incorporated,
or on sophisticated expression and presentation.

A1 (90-100%) An answer that fulfils all of the criteria for „A2‟ (see below) and in
addition shows originality and independent thought, together with flair and an ability
to present and analyse things from different perspectives.

A2 (80-89%) A comprehensive answer that remains focused on the topic and
provides an authoritative response to the question. It should be fully conversant with
the main issues and literature and able to incorporate these into the analysis while
showing awareness of their complexities and wider ramifications. It should display
strong critical and analytical skills, mindful of other interpretations but not afraid to
challenge them. A high level of quality should be sustained throughout.

A3 (70-79%) A sharply-focused answer of high intellectual quality, which adopts a
comprehensive approach to the question and maintains a sophisticated level of
analysis throughout. It should show a willingness to engage critically with the course


                                                                                        39
material and move beyond it, using the sources creatively to arrive at its own
independent conclusions.

B B- (60-63%)         B (64-66%)       B+ (67-69%)
A very good answer, showing qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable. The
question should be addressed fully and directly within a coherent and well-structured
discussion that demonstrates awareness of the main issues and reading. The answer
should have a clear focus and engage with the topic in an analytical rather than
descriptive way. There should be no significant errors of fact or interpretation of
concepts or data. Within this range a particularly strong answer will be graded B+, a
more limited one B-.

C C- (50-53%)         C (54-56%)        C+ (57-59%)
A satisfactory answer with elements of the routine and predictable. It should be
generally accurate and show awareness of the main issues and/or evidence of
independent reading, which will be presented accurately, if rather descriptively. There
may be some errors of fact or interpretation, but the materials included should be
relevant, and there should be evidence of basic understanding of the topic in question.
It should attempt to engage critically with the question, though with some possible
unevenness. Within this range a stronger answer will be graded C+; a weaker answer
will be graded C-.

D D- (40-43%)          D (44-46%)         D+ (47-49%)
A passable but superficial answer which understands the question and displays some
learning, though with omissions and inaccuracies and scant evidence of reading.
There should be a discernible structure, although the answer may lack focus or
coherence. There will be few signs of insight or critical awareness and the approach
will be overwhelmingly descriptive rather than analytical. This could also be the mark
for a short answer that at least referred to the main points of the topic. Within this
range a stronger answer will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) An answer that attempts to address the question, but contains serious
inaccuracies, omissions and/or misunderstandings. The structure will be weak, and the
focus vague. There will be no or very little evidence of reading or critical awareness
and a tendency to descriptive narrative, some of dubious relevance, rather than
analysis. It might also be a short and fragmentary answer with merit in what is
presented but containing serious gaps. Within this band, an answer conveying the
sense that with fuller analysis it might have achieved a pass should be marked
between 37% and 39%. More substantial fails should receive a mark of 30-36%.

F (20-29%) An answer showing no awareness of the relevant issues or reading and
seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject. The structure will be incoherent and
lacking in logical development, with no evidence of critical awareness or insight and
major omissions and/or inaccuracies in the material presented.

G (10-19%) An answer that falls far short of a passable level by some combination
of short length, irrelevance, lack of intelligibility, factual inaccuracy and lack of
acquaintance with fundamental concepts or issues.




                                                                                    40
H (0-9%) An answer with no academic merit, conveying little sense that the course
has been followed or of the ability to develop a coherent argument.

Criteria for Grading Dissertations

A1 (90-100%) A dissertation that fulfils all of the criteria for an „A2‟ (see below)
and in addition shows an exceptional degree of insight and independent thought,
together with flair and originality in tackling both methodological and substantive
issues. These should be seen as yielding a product that is of potentially publishable
quality in terms of scholarship, originality and contribution to the field.


A2 (80-89%) An authoritative dissertation that displays a sophisticated grasp of
issues raised in the literature and develops an appropriate design and methodology to
address a clearly-articulated set of questions stemming from that literature. The
analysis should achieve a high level of quality early on and sustain it through to its
own independent conclusions. It should also show an ability to be reflexive, pointing
to lessons learned from the research and making suggestions where appropriate as to
how future studies in the area might benefit from experience gained in the course of
the investigation. Referencing, presentation and use of English should be of
commensurately high quality.

A3 (70-79%) A dissertation of high intellectual quality, which has clearly-stated
aims, displays a good grasp of methodological issues and maintains a sophisticated
level of analysis throughout. While presenting the data obtained from the research
accurately, the discussion should move beyond a mainly descriptive account of the
results, to develop its own comments, points and interpretations.

B   B- (60-63%)        B (64-66%)       B+ (67-69%)

A very good dissertation that shows qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable.
The research question should be clearly stated and an appropriate methodology used
to test or answer it, with effective use made of the literature. There should be no
significant errors of either fact or interpretation. The presentation and use of the
research data should be accurate and the discussion should show a willingness to
speculate on their implications for theoretical, empirical or practical developments in
the area. Referencing and the quality of the writing should be without major blemish.
The answer should cover the question fully and present only relevant material. Within
this range a particularly strong dissertation will be graded B+; a more limited one will
be graded B-.

C   C- (50-53%)        C (54-56%)       C+ (57-59%)

A satisfactory dissertation, though showing elements of the routine and predictable.
While generally accurate and firmly based in the reading, it will tend to draw on a
more restricted set of sources. It will probably also be based on less clearly-stated
aims and/or a less coherent methodology. Indeed, it is the grasp and handling of
methodological issues that will most likely differentiate between the B and C grades.
The data will be presented accurately, if rather descriptively, although there should be
no serious weaknesses in their portrayal or interpretation. Factual errors and


                                                                                        41
misunderstandings of concepts and authors may occasionally be present but should
not be a dominant impression. The quality of writing, referencing and presentation
should be acceptable. Within this range a stronger dissertation will be graded C+; a
weaker one C-.

D    D- (40-43%)       D (44-46%)        D+ (47-49%)

A passable dissertation, which displays some familiarity with relevant literature and
the issues under investigation. The aims may be poorly articulated and this
incoherence will undermine the quality of the research. The work should be
intelligible and factually accurate, but will contain deficiencies such as restricted use
of sources, poor expression and failure to analyse or discuss the implications of the
data in anything more than a thin and descriptive way. The general impression will
probably be of a rather poor effort with weaknesses in conception or execution. It
might also be the right mark for an obviously hastily-executed piece of research
which attempted to address a relevant set of questions. Within this range a stronger
piece of work will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) A dissertation showing clear lack of understanding of the nature of
research, but conveying the sense that with clearer aims and better developed
instruments it might have achieved a pass. It might also clearly have been written in a
hurry, with some merit, but serious gaps, in what is presented.

F (20-29%) Work showing seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject, with
little awareness of the relevant issues or literature, major omissions or inaccuracies,
and limited use of inadequate sources. It could also be the mark for a very short
answer with some relevant material.

G (10-19%) Work falling short of a passable level by some combination of poor
methodology, unclear aims, incoherence, factual inaccuracy and lack of familiarity
with basic concepts or literature.

H (0-9%) A dissertation containing no academic merit or evidence that the author
understands the nature of the research enterprise, or made a serious effort to address
the topic.


School of Social and Political Science

Marking Descriptors (Years three and four)

The following marking criteria for coursework, exams and dissertations, have been
established as guides to both staff and students about what is normally expected of
work receiving a particular grade.

Criteria for Grading Coursework

A1 (90-100%) An answer that fulfils all of the criteria for „A2‟ (see below) and in
addition shows an exceptional degree of insight and independent thought, together
with flair in tackling issues, yielding a product that is deemed to be of potentially


                                                                                          42
publishable quality, in terms of scholarship and originality.

A2 (80-89%) An authoritative answer that provides a fully effective response to the
question. It should show a command of the literature and an ability to integrate that
literature and go beyond it. The analysis should achieve a high level of quality early
on and sustain it through to the conclusion. Sources should be used accurately and
concisely to inform the answer but not dominate it. There should be a sense of a
critical and committed argument, mindful of other interpretations but not afraid to
question them. Presentation and the use of English should be commensurate with the
quality of the content.

A3 (70-79%) A sharply-focused answer of high intellectual quality, which adopts a
comprehensive approach to the question and maintains a sophisticated level of
analysis throughout. It should show a willingness to engage critically with the
literature and move beyond it, using the sources creatively to arrive at its own
independent conclusions.

B B- (60-63%) B (64-66%)              B+ (67-69%)
A very good answer that shows qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable. The
question and the sources should be addressed directly and fully. The work of other
authors should be presented critically. Effective use should be made of the whole
range of the literature. There should be no significant errors of fact or interpretation.
The answer should proceed coherently to a convincing conclusion. The quality of the
writing and presentation (especially referencing) should be without major blemish.
Within this range a particularly strong answer will be graded B+; a more limited
answer will be graded B-.

C C- (50-53%) C (54-56%)              C+ (57-59%)
A satisfactory answer with elements of the routine and predictable. It should be
generally accurate and firmly based in the reading. It may draw upon a restricted
range of sources but should not just re-state one particular source. Other authors
should be presented accurately, if rather descriptively. The materials included should
be relevant, and there should be evidence of basic understanding of the topic in
question. Factual errors and misunderstandings of concepts and authors may
occasionally be present but should not be a dominant impression. The quality of
writing, referencing and presentation should be acceptable. Within this range a
stronger answer will be graded C+; a weaker answer will be graded C-.

D     D- (40-43%) D (44-46%)            D+ (47-49%)
   A passable answer which understands the question, displays some academic
learning and refers to relevant literature. The answer should be intelligible and in
general factually accurate, but may well have deficiencies such as restricted use of
sources or academic argument, over-reliance on lecture notes, poor expression, and
irrelevancies to the question asked. The general impression may be of a rather poor
effort, with weaknesses in conception or execution. It might also be the right mark for
a short answer that at least referred to the main points of the issue. Within this range
a stronger answer will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) An answer with evident weaknesses of understanding but conveying
the sense that with a fuller argument or factual basis it might have achieved a pass. It


                                                                                       43
might also be a short and fragmentary answer with merit in what is presented but
containing serious gaps.

F (20-29%) An answer showing seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject, with
little awareness of the relevant issues or literature, major omissions or inaccuracies,
and pedestrian use of inadequate sources.

G (10-19%) An answer that falls far short of a passable level by some combination
of short length, irrelevance, lack of intelligibility, factual inaccuracy and lack of
acquaintance with reading or academic concepts.

H (0-9%) An answer without any academic merit which usually conveys little sense
that the course has been followed or of the basic skills of essay-writing.


Criteria for Grading Exam Answers

In assessing coursework there will be greater emphasis on the breadth of material,
more engagement with the literature and a more refined presentation. Exams require
more concise and focused answers, with less emphasis on the literature incorporated,
or on sophisticated expression and presentation.

A1 (90-100%) An answer that fulfils all of the criteria for „A2‟ (see below) and in
addition shows originality and independent thought, together with flair and an ability
to present and analyse things from different perspectives.

A2 (80-89%) A comprehensive answer that remains focused on the topic and
provides an authoritative response to the question. It should be fully conversant with
the main issues and literature and able to incorporate these into the analysis while
showing awareness of their complexities and wider ramifications. It should display
strong critical and analytical skills, mindful of other interpretations but not afraid to
challenge them. A high level of quality should be sustained throughout.

A3 (70-79%) A sharply-focused answer of high intellectual quality, which adopts a
comprehensive approach to the question and maintains a sophisticated level of
analysis throughout. It should show a willingness to engage critically with the course
material and move beyond it, using the sources creatively to arrive at its own
independent conclusions.

B B- (60-63%)         B (64-66%)       B+ (67-69%)
A very good answer, showing qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable. The
question should be addressed fully and directly within a coherent and well-structured
discussion that demonstrates awareness of the main issues and reading. The answer
should have a clear focus and engage with the topic in an analytical rather than
descriptive way. There should be no significant errors of fact or interpretation of
concepts or data. Within this range a particularly strong answer will be graded B+, a
more limited one B-.

C C- (50-53%)        C (54-56%)       C+ (57-59%)
A satisfactory answer with elements of the routine and predictable. It should be


                                                                                        44
generally accurate and show awareness of the main issues and/or evidence of
independent reading, which will be presented accurately, if rather descriptively. There
may be some errors of fact or interpretation, but the materials included should be
relevant, and there should be evidence of basic understanding of the topic in question.
It should attempt to engage critically with the question, though with some possible
unevenness. Within this range a stronger answer will be graded C+; a weaker answer
will be graded C-.

D D- (40-43%)          D (44-46%)         D+ (47-49%)
A passable but superficial answer which understands the question and displays some
learning, though with omissions and inaccuracies and scant evidence of reading.
There should be a discernible structure, although the answer may lack focus or
coherence. There will be few signs of insight or critical awareness and the approach
will be overwhelmingly descriptive rather than analytical. This could also be the mark
for a short answer that at least referred to the main points of the topic. Within this
range a stronger answer will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) An answer that attempts to address the question, but contains serious
inaccuracies, omissions and/or misunderstandings. The structure will be weak, and the
focus vague. There will be no or very little evidence of reading or critical awareness
and a tendency to descriptive narrative, some of dubious relevance, rather than
analysis. It might also be a short and fragmentary answer with merit in what is
presented but containing serious gaps. Within this band, an answer conveying the
sense that with fuller analysis it might have achieved a pass should be marked
between 37% and 39%. More substantial fails should receive a mark of 30-36%.

F (20-29%) An answer showing no awareness of the relevant issues or reading and
seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject. The structure will be incoherent and
lacking in logical development, with no evidence of critical awareness or insight and
major omissions and/or inaccuracies in the material presented.

G (10-19%) An answer that falls far short of a passable level by some combination
of short length, irrelevance, lack of intelligibility, factual inaccuracy and lack of
acquaintance with fundamental concepts or issues.

H (0-9%) An answer with no academic merit, conveying little sense that the course
has been followed or of the ability to develop a coherent argument.

Criteria for Grading Dissertations

A1 (90-100%) A dissertation that fulfils all of the criteria for an „A2‟ (see below)
and in addition shows an exceptional degree of insight and independent thought,
together with flair and originality in tackling both methodological and substantive
issues. These should be seen as yielding a product that is of potentially publishable
quality in terms of scholarship, originality and contribution to the field.


A2 (80-89%) An authoritative dissertation that displays a sophisticated grasp of
issues raised in the literature and develops an appropriate design and methodology to
address a clearly-articulated set of questions stemming from that literature. The


                                                                                        45
analysis should achieve a high level of quality early on and sustain it through to its
own independent conclusions. It should also show an ability to be reflexive, pointing
to lessons learned from the research and making suggestions where appropriate as to
how future studies in the area might benefit from experience gained in the course of
the investigation. Referencing, presentation and use of English should be of
commensurately high quality.

A3 (70-79%) A dissertation of high intellectual quality, which has clearly-stated
aims, displays a good grasp of methodological issues and maintains a sophisticated
level of analysis throughout. While presenting the data obtained from the research
accurately, the discussion should move beyond a mainly descriptive account of the
results, to develop its own comments, points and interpretations.

B    B- (60-63%)       B (64-66%)        B+ (67-69%)

A very good dissertation that shows qualities beyond the merely routine or acceptable.
The research question should be clearly stated and an appropriate methodology used
to test or answer it, with effective use made of the literature. There should be no
significant errors of either fact or interpretation. The presentation and use of the
research data should be accurate and the discussion should show a willingness to
speculate on their implications for theoretical, empirical or practical developments in
the area. Referencing and the quality of the writing should be without major blemish.
The answer should cover the question fully and present only relevant material. Within
this range a particularly strong dissertation will be graded B+; a more limited one will
be graded B-.

C    C- (50-53%)       C (54-56%)        C+ (57-59%)

A satisfactory dissertation, though showing elements of the routine and predictable.
While generally accurate and firmly based in the reading, it will tend to draw on a
more restricted set of sources. It will probably also be based on less clearly-stated
aims and/or a less coherent methodology. Indeed, it is the grasp and handling of
methodological issues that will most likely differentiate between the B and C grades.
The data will be presented accurately, if rather descriptively, although there should be
no serious weaknesses in their portrayal or interpretation. Factual errors and
misunderstandings of concepts and authors may occasionally be present but should
not be a dominant impression. The quality of writing, referencing and presentation
should be acceptable. Within this range a stronger dissertation will be graded C+; a
weaker one C-.

D    D- (40-43%)       D (44-46%)        D+ (47-49%)

A passable dissertation, which displays some familiarity with relevant literature and
the issues under investigation. The aims may be poorly articulated and this
incoherence will undermine the quality of the research. The work should be
intelligible and factually accurate, but will contain deficiencies such as restricted use
of sources, poor expression and failure to analyse or discuss the implications of the
data in anything more than a thin and descriptive way. The general impression will
probably be of a rather poor effort with weaknesses in conception or execution. It
might also be the right mark for an obviously hastily-executed piece of research


                                                                                        46
which attempted to address a relevant set of questions. Within this range a stronger
piece of work will be graded D+; a bare pass will be graded D-.

E (30-39%) A dissertation showing clear lack of understanding of the nature of
research, but conveying the sense that with clearer aims and better developed
instruments it might have achieved a pass. It might also clearly have been written in a
hurry, with some merit, but serious gaps, in what is presented.

F (20-29%) Work showing seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject, with
little awareness of the relevant issues or literature, major omissions or inaccuracies,
and limited use of inadequate sources. It could also be the mark for a very short
answer with some relevant material.

G (10-19%) Work falling short of a passable level by some combination of poor
methodology, unclear aims, incoherence, factual inaccuracy and lack of familiarity
with basic concepts or literature.

H (0-9%) A dissertation containing no academic merit or evidence that the author
understands the nature of the research enterprise, or made a serious effort to address
the topic.




                                                                                          47

								
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