How your Degree is Calculated
The principles contained within this section apply to all Lancaster degree schemes which contain eight units, and apply to students who entered Part II in October 2004 or later. What follows is a summary of the central part of the University Regulations that are followed by exam boards. For full details and exceptions, you need to read the University Examination Regulations on the Student Registry Website.
Important Note: The classification and determination of results for undergraduate degrees is subject always to confirmation by the Committee of Senate. Where there is a significant departure from the guidelines set out in this section, a result is not included in the published list of provisional degree results, but becomes the subject of a specific recommendation to the Committee of Senate.
At the English and Creative Writing Examination Board, convening in Week 10 of the Summer Term, the examiners have before them an array of sixteen marks for each student. These are the marks derived from your full unit courses (the final unit mark, made up of coursework/dissertation/exam, recorded twice) and any half unit courses that you have taken (each final unit mark recorded once). Eight of these marks were achieved in Year 2, and eight in Year 3. There is also an average mark calculated from all sixteen marks. The Board of Examiners may condone one mark (one half unit) at their discretion, and may recommend the condonation of up to a further three marks in exceptional circumstances.
A given class is normally awarded as follows:
Please note: This is a simplified version of the Regulations, outlining only what will apply to the majority of students in English and Creative Writing. If at any point in Years 2 and 3 you wish to know more about how it applies to your case, see the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Courses).
Experience suggests that the vast majority of students improve their performance in Year 3, so your Year 2 results are not always a good indicator of your final degree result. Students on the II (i)/II (ii) borderline stand a better chance of pulling off that sought-after Upper Second than they might think, and students with at least one First class unit mark in Year 2 and an overall average mark of at least 65% have, we think, a fifty/fifty chance of achieving that golden First. So: set your sights high, talk to tutors about the skills you need to reach your goal, and talk to the Director of Undergraduate Studies about the mathematics of the degree calculation.
Moreover, even when the run of marks across your Part Two work as a whole indicates a particular class of degree, the final year Board of Examiners has the discretion to award a higher class of degree if there is evidence of significant improvement between the second year and third year work. Such improvement is known as ‘exit velocity’ and this is how the University has described the conditions under which it may be taken into account by the Board of Examiners: ‘In measuring the improvement, where the 3rd year average is a class above the degree class derived from the strict application of the rules of classification across the profile AND at least 75% of the marks from the third/ final year array are also in that higher class AND the difference appears to be due to the student maturing academically (and there are no other circumstances that explain the difference) THEN a higher class of degree should normally be awarded’.
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