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General Regulations for First Degrees

The following General Degree Regulations apply to all undergraduate degrees awarded by the University of Aberdeen except for those of the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, the Bachelor of Science in Medical Science and the Bachelor of Dental Surgery. Candidates for the award of a degree of the University must satisfy both the General Degree Regulations and the supplementary regulations thereto which govern the relevant degree. The degrees governed by these General Regulations and the supplementary regulations thereto are conferred in accordance with Resolution No. 140 of 1990, which was approved by the University Court on 19 June 1990, as modified by subsequent University Court Resolutions.

Candidates subject to UK immigration law may be subject to a regulatory framework implemented by the UK Borders Agency (UKBA). Where these regulations are more stringent than those stipulated within the University’s own regulations, those of the UKBA will take priority.

Definitions

1.1 For the purposes of the General Degree Regulations and the Supplementary Regulations thereto, the following definitions shall apply:

Half-session: a period, prescribed by the Senatus Academicus, which includes 11 weeks of teaching, followed by a period for revision and assessment.

Academic Year: the period which commences on the first day of a Winter Term and extends until the last day of the Summer Vacation in the succeeding calendar year.

Session: the aggregate of two half-sessions, whether or not these are immediately consecutive, plus, for purposes of the Regulations which govern students’ progress, the summer diet of prescribed degree assessments following those half-sessions.

Course: a defined programme of study, normally spanning a half-session or a half of a half-session, which is self-contained and leads to a specified amount of credit.

Degree Programme: the aggregation of all taught elements leading to a defined graduating curriculum, including an Honours programme where appropriate.

Programme Year: the stage of a degree programme, as defined in the Schedule of Courses annexed to Degree Regulations, on which a student is eligible to embark when registering at the start of any academic year or at the start of the second half-session as appropriate, subject to their having completed or been exempted from the progression requirements of General Regulation 16, together with any Supplementary Regulations regarding progression to which they may be subject.

Honours Programme: the aggregation of all Honours courses and assessment prescribed by the Senatus Academicus as qualifying for the award of a degree with Honours in a specified subject or group of subjects.

General Credit: credit previously obtained by a student which does not count towards the qualification for which that student is currently registered. (Note: The credit which does so count is termed ‘specific credit’).

Class Certificate: a certificate confirming that a candidate has attended and duly performed the work prescribed for a course.

Exemption: for the purposes of General Regulation 14, a concession made on the basis of successful completion of previous study which exempts candidates from attendance on and/or assessment in a specific course or courses, or from the requirement to obtain a specified number of credit points, but which of itself has no credit value.

Recognition: for the purposes of General Regulation 14, the acceptance of successful completion of previous study as equivalent to the award of credit for a named course or courses, or to the award of unnamed credit of a specified value.

Enhanced Study: any course drawn from those offered as:
(i) a course designated as ‘Sixth Century’
(ii) a course offered as part of a Sustained Study route
(iii) a Disciplinary Breadth course

Sustained Study: a defined group of four 15 credit courses which taken together lead to a specified endorsement on the transcript.

Disciplinary Breadth: any course taken by a student in a discipline outside their specified degree intention, where that course is not included in the specification of their degree programme in the University Calendar.

1.2 Notwithstanding the definition of ‘class certificate’ in 1.1 above, a student who has been validly registered for a course, and who has not withdrawn from the course before the last day of teaching (or deemed to have withdrawn, in accordance with Regulation 1.3 below or to have had their class certificate refused), is regarded as having obtained a Class Certificate for that course automatically.

1.3 Students absent from classes for a continuous period of six teaching days or more are required to lodge either a medical certificate or a self-certificate to cover such absence. Any student who is absent without good cause for a continuous period of time amounting to at least 25 per cent of the duration of a course and without the permission of the appropriate Head of School shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the course concerned. This will debar them from appearing for the initial or subsequent end-of-course assessments or receiving credit for the course. It shall be for the Senatus Academicus to determine what constitutes good cause for absence.

REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION

2.1 Every applicant for admission to a programme leading to a first degree is required to comply with the entrance requirements of the particular degree to which admission is being sought. Possession of these qualifications does not of itself guarantee admission.

2.2 As a condition of admission to a degree programme, the University may require applicants who do not possess the normal qualifications for entrance to attend the University’s Summer School for Access or to register for the University’s Access to Degree Studies Certificate. Such applicants who go on to achieve a total of 360 credit points, including 60 credit points at level 3, and who do not otherwise qualify for the award of a First Degree, shall be permitted to count within this total up to 60 credit points obtained from access courses towards the exit award of MA with Foundation Studies, or BSc with Foundation Studies, as appropriate. These courses are at SCQF level 7. With this exception, or unless the Senatus Academicus in exceptional circumstances determines otherwise, course taken within the Summer School for Access, or as part of a programme leading to award of the Access to Degrees Studies Certificate, shall lead to the award of general credit only. Credit points obtained from such courses will not count towards the requirements for award of any other first degree, nor towards the total of credit points required to satisfy Regulations 16 and 17.

REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

3. Every candidate for a degree must pay the required fees unless granted an exemption by the Senatus Academicus:

(a) attend and duly perform the work of each course required for a degree programme;
(b) complete the degree assessment prescribed for each such course;
(c) meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree as detailed in the relevant Supplementary Regulations;
(d) complete the Enhanced Study requirements.

FULL-TIME AND PART-TIME STUDY

4.1 All candidates from the outset of their degree programme shall be registered as undertaking either full-time or part-time study, and shall normally be permitted to complete their degree programme by that mode of study, unless the Senatus Academicus has agreed that a particular Honours programme may be undertaken by full-time study only.  In addition, specific provision may be made for part-time off-campus study for selected qualifications, as defined in the supplementary regulations. Any change in the terms of such registration may only be made with the permission of the Senatus Academicus. 

4.2 Candidates registered for part-time study may not register for more than 75 credit points in any academic year, nor more than 45 credit points in either half-session.  Candidates registered for more than 75 credit points in any academic year are deemed to be full-time.  In the case of an Honours programme any period of part-time study must normally be continuous and not exceed twice the period of study permitted for completion of that Honours programme (or that part of it being undertaken by part-time study). 

4.3 Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus, full-time candidates are normally expected to register for 120 Credit points in an academic year. Full-time candidates may not register for more than 90 Credit points in any half-session.  The requirements of this Regulation shall apply also to students registered for courses at undergraduate level who either are registered for an Undergraduate Certificate or Diploma, or who are not registered for an award of the University. 

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL EXAMINERS

5. The examiners for each degree shall be the Professors, Readers, and Lecturers in the University whose courses qualify for that degree and such external examiners as may be appointed by the University Court.

PRE-REQUISITES FOR ENTRY TO INDIVIDUAL COURSES

6. Except with the permission of the Head of the School concerned, candidates shall not be admitted to any course unless they have satisfied the pre-requisites for entry to that course as specified in the Catalogue of Courses. In the case of courses which specify as pre-requisite a course or courses taught at the same level, the pre-requisites shall be deemed to be satisfied in the case of candidates taking all courses concerned in the same academic year by the award of a class certificate and the completion of the prescribed assessment in the earlier course or courses. Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus, no candidate may be admitted to a course after one-sixth of the teaching for that course has been completed.

VALIDITY OF CLASS CERTIFICATES

7. Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus granted on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus, candidates shall not be permitted to present themselves for an end of course assessment in any course unless they have obtained a class certificate. Subject only to more restrictive conditions specifically mentioned in the relevant Supplementary Regulations, the validity of the class certificate as an entitlement to admission to an end of course assessment shall be limited to the academic year in respect of which it is awarded and to the academic year immediately following. Students holding a valid Class Certificate are permitted a total of three opportunities of assessment within this period. This provision applies equally to class certificates awarded automatically, under Regulation 1.2 above. It is open to the Senatus Academicus to determine whether, in exceptional circumstances, this rule may be waived in individual cases.

APPROVAL OF CURRICULA

8. Candidates shall not be allowed to register for any academic year unless their curriculum has been approved as conforming to the General Degree Regulations and to the relevant Supplementary Degree Regulations for the relevant degree.

PRESCRIBED DEGREE ASSESSMENTS

9.1 Unless Regulation 10 applies, the degree assessment for each course shall be completed by the end of the half-session in which teaching for that course concludes.

9.2* In each academic year candidates shall not be afforded in any course more than two opportunities of degree assessment, including continuous assessment and/or written examinations as appropriate. However, unless Regulation 21 Sub-Section (a) applies, only results obtained at the first available opportunity of assessment in any academic year shall contribute towards Honours degree assessment; and there shall normally be only one opportunity of degree assessment in each academic year for courses at level 4 or above.

9.3 Where a candidate successfully completes a course on more than one occasion, only the credit points obtained on the first occasion may be counted toward the credit requirements necessary for progression and graduation.

9.4 Candidates may count towards Honours degree assessment only the first result obtained by them in any element which contributes to such assessment. In addition, except where Regulation 21 Sub-Section (a) applies, candidates may not count towards Honours degree assessment any result unless it was obtained at the first occasion on which such assessment was available to Honours candidates, during or following completion of the course concerned.

10. The Senatus Academicus may require candidates in Honours programmes to undergo a final Honours assessment, including continuous assessment and/or written examinations as appropriate. For such candidates, the Committee may waive the requirements of Regulation 9.1.

11. The method of assessment for each course and Honours programme shall be determined by the Senatus Academicus. The conditions under which candidates may be exempted from any element of such assessment shall be determined similarly.

RESTRICTION ON COURSE ENTRY

12. The Senatus Academicus may approve a scheme for restricting entry to any course, supplementary to the pre-requisites as specified in the Catalogue of Courses. No such scheme shall be binding on candidates to whom it has not been communicated in writing at the time of their receiving an offer of admission or readmission to the degree.

AVAILABILITY OF COURSES

13. All courses are offered subject to availability and may be amended, withdrawn or replaced by the Senatus Academicus not later than the beginning of any academic year. Notice of such amendments, withdrawals and replacements shall be given to candidates at the commencement of each academic year. Save in exceptional circumstances, no course shall be amended, withdrawn or replaced during an academic year.

RECOGNITIONS AND EXEMPTIONS

14. The Senatus Academicus may recognise, as qualifying for a degree of the University of Aberdeen, or as exempting from the requirements of a degree, attendance on and/or examination passes in courses obtained through study for a previous degree or other qualification provided that candidates shall not be admitted to a degree of the University of Aberdeen unless they have attended qualifying courses therein during at least one session and obtained not less than 120 credit points whilst registered.

15. Candidates who have completed the minimum requirements for any other degree of the University of Aberdeen may in no case complete the courses for both degrees in less than five sessions of full-time study.

REQUIREMENTS FOR PROGRESSION

16.1 Studies for each degree are arranged to extend over a number of programme years, each of which for a full-time student normally occupies two half-sessions. Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus or where Regulation 17.1 applies candidates may not progress

  1. if they have been required to attend the Summer School for Access, from that to a subsequent programme year unless they have completed the Summer School at a standard deemed to be satisfactory by the Senatus Academicus; or
  2. from programme year 1 to programme year 2 unless they have accumulated, by award or recognition, at least 90 credit points at level 1 [including, by award, recognition or exemption, those required to enter programme year 2 for the degree programme for which they are currently registered]; or
  3. from programme year 2 to programme year 3 unless they have accumulated, by award or recognition, or been exempted from, at least 210 credit points at levels 1 and 2 [including those required to enter programme year 3 for the degree programme for which they are currently registered]; or
  4. from programme year 2 to programme year 3  of an honours degree unless they have accumulated, by award or recognition, or been exempted from, at least 240 credit points at levels 1 and 2 [including those required to enter programme year 3 for the degree programme for which they are currently registered];
  5. from programme year 3 of a non-honours degree programme to year 4 of an Honours degree programme unless they have achieved at least 360 credit points, including all courses required to graduate
  6. within an Honours programme unless they have accumulated, by award of recognition, or been exempt from, at least 330 credit points by the end of level 3 {including those required to enter programme year 4 of the degree programme for which they are currently registered}.
  7. in all cases, unless they have satisfied such further requirements governing progression between programme years as may be prescribed in the Supplementary Regulations governing award of the degree programme for which they are registered.

Exceptionally, the Senatus Academicus may allow candidates to progress with less than the number of credit points stated, if it is satisfied (a) that they would have obtained the necessary credit points to progress save for medical or other good cause; (b) that they are capable of satisfying the progression requirements of the next programme year within two further half-sessions of full-time study or the equivalent.

16.2 Candidates who do not satisfy the progression requirement in 16.1(a) may apply for readmission to the Summer School for Access in a subsequent academic year. Such readmission is not guaranteed, however.

16.3 Subject to Regulation 17.1 and the Supplementary Regulations governing award of the degree programme for which they are registered, candidates who do not satisfy the progression requirements in 16.1(b) or (c) may remain registered, on a full-time or a part-time basis, in programme year 1 or 2, as appropriate.

16.4 Notwithstanding 16.1(d) the Head of a School may refuse admission to the Honours programme of an Integrated Masters Degree to a candidate who has not achieved the required standard of admission specified and made publicly available to students at the commencement of Programme Year 2 in the policy of that School.

16.5Notwithstanding 16.1(f) the Head of a School may refuse progression within an Integrated Masters Degree  to a candidate who has not achieved the required standard of progression specified in the policy of that School.

16.6 The Head of a School may exclude from an Honours programme a full-time student who fails to achieve 120 credit points that count towards Honours classification in any Honours year, or a minimum of 60 credit points that count towards Honours classification in any Honours year if permitted to register part-time, or who otherwise fails to comply with School requirements.

TERMINATION OF STUDIES

17.1 The Senatus Academicus may require candidates to discontinue attendance on courses:

  1. if, being candidates required to attend the Summer School for Access, they have not completed the Summer School to a standard deemed to be satisfactory by the Senatus Academicus; or
  2. if, being candidates in programme year 1, they have not obtained 120 credit points within four half-sessions of full-time study or the equivalent from their entry to programme year 1 of the degree for which they are currently registered.
  3. if, being candidates in programme year 2, they have not obtained by award or recognition 240 credit points, including at least 120 credit points obtained by award during programme year 2, and including at least 60 credit points at level 2 or above, within four half sessions of full-time study or the equivalent from their first entry to programme year 2 of the degree for which they are currently registered.
  4. if, being candidates in programme year 3, they have not completed the requirements necessary for graduation with a non-Honours degree or admission to an Honours programme within four years of full-time study or the equivalent from their first entry to programme year 3 of the degree for which they are currently registered.

For the purpose of this Regulation two half-sessions of part-time study shall be counted as the equivalent of one half-session of full-time study.

17.2 For the purposes of this regulation, candidates who are awarded sufficient recognitions under the provisions of Regulation 14 to proceed directly into the second, third, or fourth programme year of a degree, shall be deemed to have been registered for the degree for the number of programme years for which recognition has been accorded. With this exception, no account shall be taken of any academic year in which a candidate is not registered for and in attendance on courses at the University.

17.3 Candidates who wish to establish that their academic performance has been adversely affected by their health are required to secure medical certificates relating to the relevant periods of ill health.

18. The Senatus Academicus may terminate, at any time, the studies of candidates who persistently fail to attend, or perform the required work of, the courses for which they are registered.

19. (a) Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus, candidates who have had their studies terminated on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus under General Regulation 18 may not be readmitted to study within the same academic year of their termination.

(b) Save in exceptional circumstances, no application for readmission to study shall be considered from candidates whose studies have been terminated on two occasions.

HONOURS CLASSIFICATION

20. In each degree with Honours there shall be three grades of Honours denominated respectively the First, Second, and Third Class. The names of the candidates in the Second Class shall be arranged in two divisions. The names of the candidates in the First and Third Classes and in each division of the Second Class shall be arranged in alphabetical order. If the Honours programme contains one or more modern languages other than English the examiners may indicate that a candidate has attained distinction in the spoken language or languages.

20.1 In order to qualify with the award of a Degree with Honours, candidates must achieve by award, recognition or exemption, not fewer than 90 credit points at Level 4.

20.2 Notwithstanding the provisions of General Regulation 21a, in order to qualify with the award of a Degree with Honours, candidates may not normally repeat a period of study within any year contributing to the Honours classification.  Candidates who have experienced significant medical or personal difficulties during a period of the Honours programme must seek approval from the Senatus Academicus to discount the affected period of study from their record prior to a repeat attempt. Where approval is given to discount a period of study, any marks or credits achieved during this period can no longer count towards a graduating curriculum.

20.3Candidates seeking to progress from programme 3 of a non-honours degree programme to programme year 4 of a 2 year honours programme, who have had 2 attempts at programme year 3, must seek the approval of the Senatus Academicus and Head of the appropriate School. Candidates must seek approval from the Senatus Academicus to discount a period of study from their record prior to being permitted to enter an Honours programme. Periods of study are normally only discounted where a candidate has experienced significant medical or personal difficulties.

FAILURE TO COMPLETE HONOURS ASSESSMENT

21 In the case of a candidate who has failed to complete satisfactorily an element of Honours degree assessment at the time prescribed by Regulation 9.4 and who still wishes to obtain a degree with Honours, then the appropriate procedure from (a) to (e) below shall apply:

  1. If the candidate has achieved 90 Credit points at level 4 and has completed the assessment but been awarded a mark on the Common Grading Scale of E1, E2 or E3, they shall be awarded the same amount of unnamed specific credit, not exceeding 30 credit points in total, at level 1. Candidates may not receive compensatory credit for courses defined as compulsory for their degree programme. Candidates who have failed to achieve 90 Credit points at Level 4 or who have failed to achieve a pass in a compulsory course must refer to sub-sections (b), (c) or (d) below,
  2. If, but only if, the failure is on account of illness or other good cause, the candidate shall be required to submit themselves for assessment at the next available opportunity, and shall be permitted to count the result of that assessment towards Honours classification;
    If the failure is the result of absence or non-submission for any other cause, the candidate shall be awarded zero for the assessment concerned and shall be required to submit themselves for assessment at the next available opportunity, but shall not be permitted to count the result of that assessment towards Honours classification:
  3. If the candidate has completed the assessment, but the course is at level 3, or the course is at level 4 or above and the mark awarded on the Common Assessment Scale is less than 6, the candidate shall be required to submit themselves for assessment at the next available opportunity, but shall not be permitted to count the result of that assessment towards Honours classification. Alternatively, for courses at level 4 and above only, such candidates may elect to attend and submit themselves for assessment in another course or courses of equivalent credit value, which may be at any level;
  4. If any of options (a), (b) or (c) above would normally apply, but medical advice indicates that it would be unreasonable to require a candidate to appear for assessment on a subsequent occasion, and if the candidate’s past record provides sufficient evidence that they would have obtained Honours, the examiners may recommend the award of an Aegrotat degree, but only after obtaining the consent of the candidate. The award of an Aegrotat degree will debar candidates from counting towards Honours degree assessment any result achieved thereafter.

Notes:

  1. For courses at level 4 and above, the timing and format of the assessment required under any of sub-sections (b), (c) or (d) above shall be determined by the Senatus Academicus on the recommendation of the Head of the relevant School.

APPLICATION TO RECEIVE AN AWARD

22.1 Any candidate who has complied with the provisions of the General Degree Regulations, and of the Supplementary Regulations specific to a degree of the University, may apply to graduate with that degree.

22.2 Any candidate who while registered at the University has obtained not less than 120 credit points from courses which can be counted towards graduation with a first degree, and who is not qualified for the award of any other degree, diploma or certificate of the University, shall be awarded an Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education (UgCertHE).

22.3 Any candidate enrolled at the University prior to 2003/04 who while registered at the University has obtained not less than 240 credit points, including not less than 80 credit points at Level 2, from courses which can be counted towards graduation with a first degree, and who is not qualified for the award of any other degree, diploma or certificate of the University, other than the Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education, shall be awarded an Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education (UgDipHE). Candidates first enrolled during or after 2003/04 are required to achieve 240 credit points, including not less than 90 credit points at Level 2 for the award of the Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education.

22.4 Neither the award of the Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education nor the Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education may be counted with any other qualification at undergraduate level awarded by the University. The award to a candidate of the Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education shall supersede the award to that candidate of the Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education. The award to a candidate of any first degree or diploma shall supersede the award to that candidate of the Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education.

22.5 Neither Exemptions, Recognitions nor General Credit, as these terms are defined in Regulation 1, may be counted towards the total of credit points required for award of the Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education or for the award of the Undergraduate Diploma in Higher Education, no more than 120 credit points of Exemption, Recognition or General Credit may be counted towards the required total.

23 Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus, or where other exemption has been granted as specified in the relevant Supplementary Regulations, all candidates admitted in, or after, Academic Year 2010/11 must, as part of a graduating curriculum, satisfy the Enhanced Study requirements:

  1. 60 credit points achieved in programme years 1 and 2 combined
  2. 30 credit points achieved in programme years 3 and above. Except with the permission of the Senatus Academicus, where these courses form part of an Honours Programme, they should normally be drawn from courses offered at level 3 and above
  3. normally include at least one course designated as ‘Sixth Century’

General Regulations for Awards Conferred Jointly with other Degree Awarding Institutions

The following General Regulations for Awards Conferred Jointly with other Degree Awarding Institutions apply to all degrees awarded jointly by the University of Aberdeen and other degree awarding institutions. The degrees governed by these General Regulations are conferred in accordance with Resolution No 256 of 2008, which was approved by the University Court on 20 May 2008, as modified by subsequent University Court Resolutions.

  1. The Senatus Academicus may designate as Joint Degrees, programmes responsibility for the delivery and/or quality assurance of which is shared between the University and other institutions having degree-awarding powers. A list of the programmes currently so designated is contained in Schedule A to these Regulations, and may be amended from time to time.
  2. In respect of each joint programme, the University Court on the recommendation of the Senatus Academicus, shall enter into a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU]. This memorandum shall for each programme designate an institution of primary registration, which shall be responsible for the processing of applications for admission, termination of study and conferral of awards. The memorandum shall also specify arrangements for collection of fees and distribution of resource and for quality assurance matters.
  3. Where the University of Aberdeen is not the Institution of Primary Registration, the students on Joint programmes shall nevertheless be registered as Individual Subject Study or Registered Postgraduate Students, as appropriate.
  4. The provisions of the Code of Practice on Student Discipline shall apply to all breaches committed within the campuses of the University of Aberdeen, or in respect of courses for which the University of Aberdeen provides the Course Co-ordinator.
  5. The external examiners at programme level for Joint Degrees shall be appointed and remunerated by the Institution of Primary Registration, following consultation with the other institutions involved.