Answers to postgraduate taught students' frequently asked questions.

1. How will my work be marked?

Your grades will be decided in accordance with the Common Grading Scale.

2. How can I work out my overall grade for a course if there is more than 1 component of assessment?

The overall course grades are calculated as a weighted average of component assessments. Each assessment is awarded a grade on the CGS. Each CGS grade is associated with a numerical Grade Point (0-22). By aggregating the Grade Points the overall Grade for the course can be determined.  Note that the grade point is expressed to two decimal places.

For example, 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 Point



Essay B2 16 20%

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

= 3.2 + 4 + 8.4

= 15.6

= Overall Course Grade of B3.

Presentation A3 20 20%
Exam C1 14


 NB: It is the unrounded Grade Point (to 2 decimal places) that is used in Grade Point Average classification calculations.

3. If I fail a subject, what happens?

In the event that you fail, or fail to attend or complete a course and wish to be awarded credit for the relevant course, you will be required to resit.  For GPA calculation purposes, resit pass grades (RP) are capped at D3.

In order to be eligible to take a resit, you must hold a valid class certificate.  The validity of a class certificate is limited to the academic year in which it is awarded and to the academic year immediately following. Only in exceptional circumstances, in accordance with General Regulation 7 for First Degrees, may the Senate extend the validity of a class certificate.

  • PGT dissertation courses (or equivalents) are NOT eligible for resits.
  • Candidates holding a valid class certificate are permitted a total of two opportunities of assessment.  
  • If you fail a resit you will not normally be permitted to progress into the next stage of the programme. You can however attend the next stage pending your resit outcome.
  • For PGT resits, a pass will receive a grade of RP (resit pass); a failed paper will receive a grade of RF (resit fail).  
  • Resits will take place as soon as possible after the initial examination diet (which may be in the next examination diet) to enable students to receive their results early in the next stage of the programme. The timing of resit examinations is determined by individual Schools.
4. I have mitigating circumstances (eg. illness, family problems), what do I do?

If illness or other personal circumstances have caused you to miss classes, or may have affected your performance in all or part of an assessment, you must submit written details to the Head of the relevant School, to allow these circumstances to be taken into consideration.

Medical letters, certificates or other evidence of circumstances should be submitted via MyAberdeen.

These must be submitted no later than one week after you missed your class, or after the date on which you submitted or appeared for the assessment concerned.

Further information regarding policies and procedures for reporting absence are available. 

Where illness or other good cause has impaired your performance on an in-course assessment or an examination, it is not possible for the Examiners to make a judgement about the extent of the impact and thereby to determine the compensation which should be applied to the obtained grade.  Rather, where the Examiners agree that illness or other good cause has impacted your performance, the following will be followed:

  1. If the Examiners are confident that the assessments you have completed provide evidence that you have met the learning outcomes of the course then, subject to at least 75% weighting of the assessments for the course having been completed, an overall grade for the course may be returned;
  2. Where less than 75% weighting of the assessments for the course have been completed, the assessment will be set aside and you will be given a further opportunity of assessment with this being considered to be your first attempt.

Where the Examiners do not consider the grounds presented to be sufficient good cause, the assessment will be treated in the same way as it would have been had no mitigating evidence been submitted.  No partial compensation for good cause can be given.

5. How will my degree be classified?

You degree classification should be based on performance across the PGT programme as a whole.

  • PGT students who entered their programme before September 2014 were classified using the Grade Spectrum approach.
  • PGT students who entered their programme between September 2014-January 2018 were classified using the Grade Point Average approach and the Grade Spectrum approach.; students will receive the higher of the two classifications should a difference arise.
  • PGT students who entered their programme from or after September 2018 will be classified using the Grade Point Average approach only.

Please refer to the PGT Student Code of Practice on Assessment relevant to the time period you embarked upon your PGT programme for full details available from here

6. What will appear on my transcript?

Your transcript will reflect all the marks you have achieved while studying at the University of Aberdeen. CGS grades will reflect grades A-G only and not the more granular A1, A2, B1, B2 etc, so that transcripts are more recognisable and easily understood by employers and other third parties.

For PGT students who started their PGT programme before September 2014, transcripts will include both CAS marks and CGS grades. An explanation of the reason for differing marks/grades will be provided.

A Grade Point Average (GPA) will not appear on transcripts.

7. What happens if I want to challenge a grade of my degree result?

Should you wish to challenge the grade you have been awarded, you should use the University Appeals Procedure.

Academic appeals will only be considered on grounds where:

i) it is believed that the University’s procedures were not followed; or 
ii) it is believed that the person/body making the decision did not have the authority to do so; or
iii) it is believed that the person or body making the decision did not act impartially; and
iv) a student considers that they have suffered, or could suffer, material disadvantage  as a result.

Further details of the University’s Appeal Process are available here.

8. What happens if I submit an assignment late - can alpha-numeric grades be deducted from the CGS grade that I was awarded?
Schools operate their own local policy in this regard. The course coordinators for your courses will be able to tell you the sanctions they will enforce.
9. One of my courses is a zero credit-rated course that I must take. How is this accounted for when my degree is classified via the Grade Point Average system?

In the case of zero credit-rated courses the relative weighting of these towards the determination of overall awards must be identified by the School and clearly stated to students. In cases where the course has been given a credit weighting for the degree classification, the GPA will be calculated from greater than 180 credit points.

10. What implications are there for a student's GPA if s/he chooses to take extra credit courses at L2, 3, 4 or 5 (including PGT)?
If a PGT student takes extra credit, e.g. 10 credits, the GPA calculation would be out of 190 credit points and not 180cp.
11. Assuming a course comprises an exam element and a practical/lab element, and both must be passed in order to pass the overall course grade, what grade should be awarded if a student has failed one of the elements?

A fail grade of E1/grade point 8 should be awarded.

12. Where do students see their GPA?

The GPA is only available to students following the decision of the final exam board and submission of the award result to Registry. Students can then find out their GPA from their student records cards, which are available to download from their Student Hub, or by requesting a copy from the Infohub.