Key Education Policies for Students

Key Education Policies for Students

Whether you are a new or current student of the University, you are asked to make yourself familiar with the following information on key University-wide policies.

These policies are relevant to all students and will be useful to you throughout your studies.  They contain important information and address issues such as what to do if you are absent, how to raise an appeal or a complaint and how the University will calculate your degree outcome. The information listed here is updated at least annually.

These policies should be read in conjunction with programme and/or course handbooks, in which School-specific policies are detailed.


Common Grading Scale

The Common Grading Scale (CGS) provides a common, alpha-numeric marking scale which is used across the University. This enables you to compare your performance in different disciplines and courses and ensures consistency in assessment.

Degree Outcome and Classification

All students who entered Honours in 2021/22 and beyond will have their degree classified solely on the basis of the Grade Point Average (GPA) system. You can find out more about this in the Code of Practice on Assessment for your year group, as detailed below.

If you are an undergraduate student who entered Honours in or after September 2021, your degree classification will be determined in accordance with the Code of Practice on Assessment for Undergraduate Students (who entered Honours in or after September 2021)  In summary, however:

Degree outcomes will be calculated on the basis of the Grade Point Average system;

Degree outcomes will be calculated using the standard borderline zone.

If you are a postgraduate taught student who started your studies in or after September 2021, your degree outcome will be  determined in accordance with the Code of Practice on Assessment for Postgraduate Taught Students 2022 . In summary, however:

Degree outcomes will be calculated on the basis of the Grade Point Average system;

Degree outcomes will be calculated using the standard borderline zone.

Further information can be found in the Undergraduate Degree Classification web page, including worked examples and FAQs.

Further information about Postgraduate Taught Degree Award, including worked examples and FAQs, is available here.


The University believes that students need feedback that it is timely, rewards effort, is understandable, relevant, constructive, and supportive. Students are advised to familiarise themselves with the institutional Framework for the Provision of Feedback. Points of note are:

 - Students have the right to receive feedback on all their work, including coursework and (on request) exam answers, so that they understand clearly how well they have done and how to enhance their future achievement

- Feedback on all assessment should be timely and normally provided within a maximum of three working weeks (excluding vacation periods) following the deadline for submission of the assessment

- Students should be encouraged to act on feedback from staff and peers by applying feedback both within and across courses.

External Examiner Reports

Reports from the External Examiners for your programmes are now available on MyAberdeen. You will be able to find these from your School or Course Organisation pages. Each programme has an External Examiner associated with it, who is responsible for assuring the academic standards on the programme and ensuring the standards are consistent with other institutions in the sector. Each External Examiner is required to submit a report to the University which outlines their views on whether the programme for which they have examined has maintained appropriate academic standards. Your School and the Quality Assurance Committee provide a response to the report, which provides any actions that will be taken following the External Examiner feedback. This is an effective way of closing the feedback loop and always helping enhance the student experience.

Academic Integrity

The University expects that all students (undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research postgraduate students) will undertake their studies with integrity and will submit assessments that have been prepared by themselves. To do otherwise, to act dishonestly and cheat in an assessment, is classed as academic misconduct and will incur penalties under the Code of Practice on Student Discipline (see previous tab).

The Academic Integrity web page and the associated resource, Academic Integrity: A Guide for Students, have been developed to explain the meaning of academic misconduct, how you can avoid it and what the penalties are should you act dishonestly.


Plagiarism means using someone else’s work or ideas (whether that is a written source, image, table or graph) and giving the impression that they are your own. Plagiarism also includes the use of generative artificial intelligence tools to generate content without appropriate acknowledgment of the source.   Plagiarism also covers ‘self-plagiarism’. This occurs when you submit an assignment containing materials identical or very similar to work that you have previously submitted for another assessment, whether at this university or another. 

Collusion is another form of academic misconduct and it is treated in the same way as plagiarism. It is defined as unauthorised collaboration between students in an assignment. However, this does not refer to authorised group work (as approved by your tutor) that is assessed by a single group report, or group presentation.

Contract cheating is when you submit work that is not your own with the intention of deceiving the marker. For example, this could be an assignment written by a friend, family member, third party or by a commercial service, such as an online essay writing website. It does not matter whether this has been paid for or not.

Data falsification involves intentionally altering or fabricating data to support desired outcomes or conclusions. The consequences of data falsification are severe: academic penalties, damaged credibility, and the loss of trust.

Originality Checking

The are two originality checking (text matching) applications that are used at the University: Turnitin and SafeAssign, with Turnitin being the most common. These applications are integrated within assessment workflows in MyAberdeen course areas and compare student assignment submissions with online sources including web pages, databases of reference material, and content previously submitted by other users.  Turnitin and SafeAssign alert academic staff to potential instances of plagiarism or collusion but make no judgement on whether you have plagiarised or colluded.  The latter is an academic judgement.  Each School has its own, defined procedures for investigating cases which have caused staff concern that a submitted assignment might not be wholly the work of the student who submitted it.  

If you are struggling with academic assessments or your studies, remember to ask for help.

• Speak to the Course Co-ordinator or Tutor for advice if you are unsure of the assessment criteria.

• Seek support if you have extenuating circumstances and you feel you need more time to complete the assessment.

• Contact the Student Learning Service if you require support with academic writing, or consult the skills development sites Achieve (undergraduate), or Achieve+ (taught postgraduate) in MyAberdeen (see the tabs below for more information).


The University places a high value on the health and wellbeing of all its students and is keen to ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place to maximise the welfare of students.

You are strongly advised to make yourself fully aware of your responsibilities if absent due to illness or other good cause by reading the University’s Policy and Procedures on Student Absence . In particular, you are asked to note the situations where self-certification of absence is permitted (usually for absences up to seven days in length) or if you are required to submit appropriate evidence of your absence, such as a detailed explanation of your absence and the impact the absence has had on your studies, a letter from a support service, or confirmation of a medical appointment, for example.

In case of illness, students should refer to the Know Who To Turn To guidance for advice on which service they should use. 

All absence (medical or otherwise) should be reported through Student Hub, where you can also upload any required supporting documentation. Please note that absence should be reported when missing an assessment deadline or if you are unable to engage with your studies, as well as for purposes of attendance.


Student visa holders should be aware that periods of extended absence may have an impact on the University’s ability to continue sponsoring their student visa. The University is only permitted to continue sponsoring a student’s visa during a period of absence if the student is still able to achieve their overall degree intention upon their return to study. Students should refer to the Immigration and Student Visas webpage, or contact the Student Immigration Compliance Team for advice.

Student Monitoring/Class Certificates

If you attend and complete the work required for a course, you will be considered to have been awarded a ‘Class Certificate’. Being in possession of a valid Class Certificate for a course entitles you to undertake all assessment for that course and to receive an overall course grade.

Through non-engagement or a failure to submit coursework, it is possible to lose your class certificate and therefore, your right to undertake assessment. Losing your class certificate is referred to as a ‘C7’. Prior to this, you may receive an ‘at risk’ warning, which is referred to as a ‘C6’.

Your programme/course handbook(s) will provide further information on the attendance requirements for your programme/course. You should also familiarise yourself with the Student Monitoring Process

Late Submission of Work

The University operates a policy of standard penalties for late submission of coursework or parts of coursework. Late submission refers to submission of work after the published deadline without an agreed extension, and in the absence of exceptional circumstances.

Any assessed coursework that is submitted beyond the deadline, without an agreed extension, will be recorded as late and a penalty will be applied as follows:

  • Up to 24 hours late, the grade will be deducted by 2 Common Grading Scale (CGS) points;
  • For each subsequent day, up to a maximum of seven days total, the grade will be deducted by a further CGS point for each day, or part of a day, up to a maximum of seven days late;
  • Over seven days late, a grade of G3 will be awarded.

Further detail can be found through the Policy on Late Submission of Work

Student Discipline

The University operates two Codes of Practice on Student Discipline – an Academic Code and a Non-Academic Code  – which set out the procedures to be followed in the case of disciplinary offences by students.

The University’s Code of Practice on Student Discipline (Academic) covers all aspects of academic misconduct including plagiarism (which includes self-plagiarism and the use of artificial intelligence tools), collusion, contract cheating, other forms of cheating and research misconduct and the associated processes for handling instances of misconduct.

Offences covered by the University’s Code of Practice on Student Discipline (Non-Academic) include damaging University property; bullying and harassment; or behaviour that could reflect negatively on the University. This behaviour could take place on or off campus and includes behaviour on online and social media accounts you may use.

The co-curriculum

The co-curriculum provides opportunities for students to enhance their employability and develop and achieve Aberdeen Graduate Attributes alongside their academic studies.

The university offers a range of co-curricular activities, many of which are recognised on the Enhanced Degree Transcripts, which students receive on graduation. The University is also trialling MySkills, a system to record, reflect upon and develop your skills from any activities you are involved during your time as a student. Co-curricular recognition through MySkills and the transcript is intended to help students articulate their wider University learning and achievements to employers and postgraduate recruiters.

Work placements and internships provide an excellent opportunity to develop your skills. These are usually completed alongside your studies (during holiday periods) or form an integral part of a degree programme, attracting academic credit. Opportunities to gain experience are available locally, nationally and internationally, lasting from a few weeks to a full year. Visit the Careers Service website for further information on finding work placements and internships.

Student Learning Service (SLS)

.The Student Learning Service offers free virtual and in-person workshops and confidential one-to-one Study Advice Sessions on academic writing, general study advice, academic skills guidance for online and on-campus learning, science-related skills, and maths skills. There is specialist advice available for students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Workshops and descriptions will be listed on the online booking system early in each semester. 

The confidential, one-to-one Study Advice Sessions offer UG and PGT students the opportunity to meet with an Academic Skills Adviser. Advisers offer guidance on study strategies, academic writing issues, science-related assignments, and maths support. The specialist advisers meet with students with dyslexia and other specific learning differences. 

Please note that Advisors can only discuss assignments or essays that have been marked and are accompanied by feedback. 

To arrange a Study Advice Session, please either submit a Study Advice Session Request Form or email detailing the topic (e.g. academic writing, time management, or maths skills) you wish to discuss and the times/days during which you are able to attend an appointment. 

Appointments for Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences can be requested by filling in the Specialist Request Form.

Study Advice Sessions with PhD students are only undertaken with the approval of their supervisor/s.  Please email to request an appointment.

Professional and Academic Development

Achieve for Undergraduates/ Achieve+ for Taught Postgraduates

The Student Learning Service offers Achieve for UG students and Achieve+  for PGT students in the Organisations area of MyAberdeen. These resources enable you to self-assess, reflect and improve your academic and professional skills, and also link to the Toolkit provided by IT Services and additional resources and guides provided by the Library. 

Online Courses

PD1002: Getting started at the University of Aberdeen: This course covers an orientation overview, academic integrity and referencing, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability. This course is mandatory for all level 1 students (and articulating students who are in their first year at the University), and will be listed in students’ current courses in MyAberdeen.

PD2002: Building skills and experience for career success (or PD2502 in second half-session) This course covers career planning, finding work experience and articulating your skills and experiences in applications and interviews.

This course is optional for level 2 and above, sign up for it via MyCurriculum in the ‘Other’ tab under ‘Professional Development’. Please contact if you have any problems signing up.

Successful completion of both these courses will be included in your Enhanced Transcript.

Orientation and Professional Development for PGTs

PD5006: Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (2022-2023) (for students starting in the first half-session)

PD5506: Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (2022-2023) (for students starting in the second half-session)

The core materials of these courses aim to give students an overview of the University’s Orientation as well as introducing the concepts and importance of academic integrity and referencing, health, safety & cyber security and equality & diversity awareness. They will also offer students the opportunity to plan their development of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes alongside their studies through engaging in co-curricular and extra-curricular opportunities. Students will be able to access a range of additional mini career courses, developed by the University Careers and Employability Service. Although the courses do not carry any credits, successful completion of the core materials will be recognised with a certificate showing prospective employers your commitment to personal and career development.

All PGT students are automatically enrolled in these courses: look for the course relevant to you in your MyAberdeen course list.

Resilience Course

PS1515: ‘Student Resilience: Moving from Surviving to Thriving’ is a resilience course that has been developed as part of the Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme, which is available to students to undertake alongside their studies in the second half-session. The course explores the important role that resilience plays in enabling students to manage periods of adversity, to grow, learn and further develop skills into the future.

Graduate Attributes

The University has selected a wide-ranging set of nineteen attributes, which you will have opportunities to develop and enhance during your time studying here.

The Graduate Attributes can be developed through your academic studies and participation in co-curricular activities such as work placements, study abroad and volunteering. The Graduate Attributes are grouped in four broad areas: 

- Academic excellence

- Critical thinking and effective communication

- Learning and personal development

- Active citizenship

You can find out more about the Graduate Attributes here.


For academic year 2023-24, the University is trialling MySkills, a system to record, reflect upon and develop your skills from curricula, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities you may be involved with as a student.

The combination of the Graduate Attributes and MySkills will allow you to record and reflect upon your learning and achievements with a view to being prepared for further study, future employment, and citizenship.

Email use

You will receive a University e-mail account when you register with the University. The University will use e-mail to communicate with you during term-time, and similarly you should use your University email address to communicate with the University.

It is your responsibility to check your email on a regular basis - at least every two days - and to keep your inbox tidy.

You should note that failure to check your e-mail or failure to receive an email due to being over quota or due to non-delivery of an email forwarded to a non-University email account will not be accepted as grounds for appeal.


MyAberdeen is the University of Aberdeen’s Online Learning Environment. This is where you will find learning materials, resources and activities (including assessments) associated with the courses you are studying. You can log in to MyAberdeen using the ‘Quick Links’ on the ‘For Students’ section of the University’s web site or by going directly to

To login, enter your University username and password which you use to access the University network. Video Tutorials, Quick Guides and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found on Toolkit MyAberdeen: students or by looking in the “Key Resources” section of the navigation menu once you log on to MyAberdeen.

When submitting assignments to MyAberdeen, ensure you submit to the correct submission area within your course. Upload files in the requested format, ensuring it is your own work or your group’s work and adhering to the guidelines provided.  On submitting your assignment, you will see a digital receipt, which you can download to confirm your successful submission.

Grades in MyAberdeen Course Gradebooks

Please note that all grades displayed in MyAberdeen are provisional until all results are ratified at Examiners’ Meetings. Your final overall course grade is what is shown on your Student Record, which you access through the Student Hub.

Appeals and Complaints

The University recognises that things may not always go to plan and there may be times that you wish to raise an issue for further discussion or investigation. As such, the operates Policy and Procedures on Student Appeals and a Complaints Handling Procedure, providing frameworks through which you can formalise any concerns you may have about aspects of your academic or non-academic experience.

You are encouraged to raise and discuss any concerns at the earliest possible stage with the relevant individuals in an academic school or administrative service.

Further information on both processes and the steps to take should you wish to pursue an academic appeal, or a complaint, can be found on the Appeals and Complaints web page.