Common Grading Scale (CGS)

Common Grading Scale (CGS)

The University Common Grading Scale, CGS, provides a common marking scale which is used across the University. This enables candidates to compare their performance in different disciplines and courses and ensures consistency in assessment.

The Common Grading Scale comprises 23 alphanumeric grades grouped into seven bands with an associated grade point for each grade. These grade points are used to:

i.  determine the overall course mark from a number of components, and
ii. to determine overall Grade Point Average (GPA) for honours degree classification and for progression and award for PGT awards.

Each band has two associated Descriptors (one for essay-based courses and one for more numerical-based courses). There will be some forms of assessment (e.g. practical exams) where it may be necessary for these to be tailored to meet the specific learning outcomes of the assessment.

Band descriptors should be read in conjunction with the SCQF Level descriptors. The Band Descriptors should be used to inform the judgement as to which grade should be awarded for a piece of assessment. In doing so, it is important that this is done in the context that the top band represents the best that a candidate at that SCQF level could be expected to achieve. Candidates should be made aware of the band descriptors for each assessment. It should be noted that this means a grade obtained at one level is not equivalent to the same grade awarded at a different level. 


Determining Overall Course Grades
Most courses involve more than one component of assessment. In order to determine the overall Grade for a course, the individual component grades must be aggregated taking account of the relative weightings of each component. Candidates must be made aware of the relative weightings of each component at the outset of the course.

Each Grade on the University CGS is associated with a numerical Grade Point (0-22). These Grade Points are used for the purposes of aggregation. By aggregating the Grade Points the overall Grade for the course (to two decimal places) can be determined. An illustrative example is given below.

A course has two essays each weighted 20% and one exam weighted 60%, the Grades for which are B2, A3 and C1 respectively. The overall Grade for the course would be determined as follows:

Grade Grade Point Weighting Calculation
B2 16 20%

(20% x 16) + (20% x 20) + (60% x 14)

= 3.2 + 4 + 8.4

= 15.6

= B3

A3 20 20%
C1 14 60%