Common Grading Scale (CGS)

Common Grading Scale (CGS)

Common Grading Scale

The Common Grading Scale (CGS) replaced the Common Assessment Scale from September 2014. 

The 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.

Grade Band Descriptor Honour Class PGT Award   Grade Point
A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 Excellent First Distinction 22.00-18.00
B1, B2, B3 Very Good Upper Second Commendation 17.99-15.00
C1, C2, C3 Good Lower Second Pass 14.99-12.00
D1, D2, D3, RP+ Pass 
(pass grade = D3)
Third Pass 11.99-9.00
RF++, E1, E2, E3 Marginal Fail Below Third Class Honours Fail 8.99-6.00
F1, F2, F3 Fail Below Third Class Honours Fail 5.99-3.00
G1, G2, G3 Fail, Token, or No Submission Below Third Class Honours Fail 2.99-0.00
+RP is Resit Pass at Postgraduate Taught level
++RF is Resit Fail at Postgraduate Taught level

The Scale comprises 23 discrete Grades grouped into seven Bands with an associated Grade Point for each grade. These Grade Points are used for the purposes of aggregation to (i) determine the overall course mark from a number of components (eg end of course exam and essay mark) and (ii) determine overall honours degree classification.

Each band has associated Descriptors; in looking at the Grade received, you should refer to these descriptors to help you understand your Grade.

Assessments and Exams Explained


Ongoing assessment throughout your course to help you and your tutor monitor your progress. Formative assessments do not count towards your final mark. Most of our courses feature some element of formative assessment.


Assessments that take place at the end of units or at the end of your course to evaluate your understanding of the materials you’ve studied. Summative assessments contribute to the final mark you receive for your course.


Some courses may involve formal exams that you have to attend in person at the end of your studies.

Credits Explained

Credits are an indicative guide to the length of time it takes an average student to complete a course’s learning outcomes.

  • 1 credit = 10 hours

One SCQF credit represents an average of 10 hours of learning time, including teaching, private study and assessments.

You may take more or less than 10 hours to complete one SCQF credit, but this will not affect how many credits you receive for completing it. However long you take, you’ll still receive one SCQF credit.