Undergraduate Programmes (pre-2009)
A note on the application of SR2 (PRE-2009)
The University is currently operating two sets of regulations for undergraduate programmes and awards. For guidance on which groups of students these regulations apply to, please see the section in the Foreword to the Senate Regulations headed ‘Changes to Senate Regulations relating to Taught Awards’.
Admission and Registration
2.1 The title and programme specification for each programme leading to an award of the University, the mode(s) of study, the titles of the award(s) to which it leads, and all awards to students shall be subject to the approval of Senate.
2.2 Senate may approve programmes which lead to the award of Ordinary or Honours degrees. Such programmes may provide for other approved awards for students who do not complete or satisfy the Examiners in the programme for a first degree but who otherwise satisfy the criteria for such an intermediate award.
2.3 The authorised member of staff shall prescribe the minimum qualifications normally required for entry to each programme. The University may admit to a programme those applicants who meet the prescribed entry requirements for the programme and who are recommended for admission by the authorised member of staff.
2.4 A formal offer of a place on a programme, with or without conditions, may only be made by the Head of Registry of the University to applicants who have satisfied the authorised member of staff, and the Head of Registry, that they should be permitted to register for an award. Such offers are not normally made after the second week of any academic year for admission in that year.
2.5 Students shall be admitted to follow a named programme by a specified mode of study. The duration of the programme, including any periods of work experience, practical or professional training shall be notified to the student at the time of initial registration. Students who seek to change either their programme or mode of study shall follow such procedures as may be specified by the authorised member(s) of staff.
2.6 Senate may recognise, as part of the period of study required for an award of the University, studies or experiential learning undertaken prior to registration for an award of the University, provided that such experiential learning or studies are appropriately documented and certified. Such admissions shall be designated as 'admission with Advanced Standing'.
2.7 The authorised member of staff shall be required, when recommending the admission of a student with Advanced Standing, to follow any guidelines issued by the Learning and Teaching Committee or other committee designated by Senate and to record formally the exemptions accorded to such students when they were admitted.
2.8 In order to be eligible for an award of the University a student admitted under paragraph 2.6 must normally undertake, whilst registered for an award of the University, modules to the value of at least 120 credits at the highest Level required for the award sought or, for an Ordinary degree, at least 100 credits at Level 2 plus a minimum of 20 credits at Level 3.
2.9 Students admitted under paragraph 2.6 may be permitted to count up to 40 credits, excluding any Level 3 project, taken whilst they were an Associate Student towards the 120 or 100 credits required in the final Level of an award.
2.10 The authorised member of staff may recommend the admission of an applicant who has already received a CertHE, DipHE or Ordinary degree award of the University, provided that at least one academic year has elapsed since the applicant completed that award. The programme for the student must be specified at the time of admission and shall normally require at least 120 credits at Level 3, including a new project, if the student is a candidate for an Honours degree. More detailed guidance on the resumption of study is published by the Learning and Teaching Committee.
2.11 Students shall be registered for one of the following awards or other awards approved by Senate:
Certificate of Higher Education
2.12 Students may contemporaneously be registered for a professional qualification if provided for in the programme specification, or for any such award as may be specified in the programme specification for the successful completion of periods of work experience or practical or professional training.
2.13 Each student registered for an award of the University shall be assigned a home School and a personal tutor.
2.14 Following initial registration, each student shall be required to enrol annually, normally at the start of the academic session, until such time as an award is made or until the maximum period of registration for the programme is reached. Unless taking approved leave of absence, students shall be required to register for modules to be taken during the session.
2.15 Students may be permitted by the authorised member of staff to extend the duration of their programme by not more than three academic years, excluding any approved periods of suspension of studies. This maximum will be reduced pro rata for students admitted with Advanced Standing or registered for an intermediate award.
2.16 Students may be permitted, at the discretion of the authorised member of staff, to suspend their studies for not more than a total of two academic years (full-time students) or three academic years (part-time students). The agreed duration of an individual period of abeyance shall be no longer than one year in the first instance.
Programmes of study
2.17 The authorised member of staff shall be accountable to Senate, through the appropriate School Board or comparable committee, for ensuring that each student registered for an award follows an approved programme, as set out in the programme specification. Senate may approve variations to a programme for individual students.
2.18 Each programme for a first degree shall require each student to complete a project in the penultimate and/or final term(s) of the programme.
2.19 The appropriate programme specification must be issued to each student at initial registration and students must be given due notice if it is changed during the period of registration. Major changes to the programme specification are subject to the approval of Senate. Minor changes are subject to School approval. Detailed guidance on the procedures for the approval and modification of programmes is published by the Learning and Teaching Committee.
2.20 Students may, subject to the approval of the authorised member(s) of staff, seek to change the programme for which they are registered, or their mode of attendance, normally not later than the end of the second week of any academic year. Students may seek to change the modules for which they are registered, subject to any requirements of the programme specification, normally not later than the end of the second week of any year.
2.21 Programmes shall normally comprise the following minimum number of credits at the Level(s) shown or at a higher level:
120 credits at Level 1;
120 credits at Level 1 and
120 credits at Level 2;
100 credits at Level 1 and
100 credits at Level 1 and
See paragraph 2.65;
Degree with Honours
120 credits at Level 1 and
100 credits at Level 3
2.22 The programme for an Ordinary degree shall differ from that for an Honours degree in the same or a related subject through clear differences in some or all of the following: aims and objectives, number, credit value and Level(s) of modules to be taken, and shall be set out in the programme specification.
2.23 Each programme shall comprise modules. Each module shall be defined in a syllabus approved by the School Board or other committee designated by Senate and shall normally attract not more than 30 credits, except for the Level 3 project which shall attract a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 40 credits.
2.24 A programme may include modules designated as Level 3 at Level 2, but such modules shall be counted as Level 2 for the purposes of degree classification.
2.25 Modules must normally span two terms, but may in exceptional circumstances be one term long.
2.26 The Level and credit value of a module are set when the module is first approved. The number of credits assigned to a module may not vary from programme to programme. Subject to the overriding approval of Senate for any particular programme, a module designated at one Level may be incorporated in a programme at the next Level up or down. Exceptionally, a Level 1 module to the value of not more than 10 credits may be included in a programme at Level 3.
First Degrees with Required Work Experience
2.27 One or more periods of work experience or practical or professional training may form an integral part of a programme and shall be in addition to the required period of academic study as measured in academic years. Such periods may attract up to a maximum of 120 credits which shall be in addition to the requirements specified in paragraph 2.21 and may lead to a separate award.
2.28 The requirements for assessed work experience may be specified in a separate programme specification or may be an integral part of the requirements for the award of a first degree. The programme specification shall specify the nature, frequency and duration of the required period(s) of work experience, any alternative arrangements that may be made in satisfaction of the requirements, the criteria for assessment and reassessment, if necessary, and the award to which they contribute or to which they entitle a successful student.
2.29 Students who are registered on a programme which includes a requirement for work experience but who are not successful in obtaining the work experience or an approved alternative or who fail to achieve a satisfactory standard may:
- be permitted or required to transfer to an alternative programme which may or may not include a requirement for work experience;
- be permitted to seek appropriate work experience or an approved alternative at a date to be determined by the Examiners normally within a period of 12 months from the date of the meeting of the Board of Examiners;
- be failed and required to withdraw from the programme.
2.30 Where work experience is required within a programme, it shall be the responsibility of the student to secure placement(s) of the required nature and duration and to seek the approval of the authorised member of staff prior to accepting the placement. The authorised member of staff shall be responsible for determining the nature and extent of assistance provided to students seeking placements for periods of required work experience, subject to any general requirements laid down by Senate from time to time. Assistance may be withheld where the student's conduct in relation to a placement has, in the opinion of the authorised member of staff, been unacceptable.
2.31 Students who remain without a placement by the date published by the University (normally the start of the student's next period of academic study less 22 weeks) shall normally be transferred to another mode of study, save that, where a student subsequently finds an appropriate placement by the end of the first week of the semester, s/he shall be permitted to resume his/her original mode of study. The student shall be expected subsequently to complete the total number of weeks of placement specified in the programme specification.
2.32 Each student undertaking a placement as a requirement of his or her programme shall be bound by the contract of employment with the employer.
2.33 Each student shall be assigned a tutor or supervisor for the placement(s) who shall advise the student about the requirements for the work experience and who shall maintain regular contact with the student during the placement(s). The tutor shall normally be required to visit the student at or near the place of work at least once in any term. Where such a visit is not possible, the tutor shall report this to the Head of School and take such steps as are necessary to monitor the student's progress.
2.34 Programmes including work experience may provide for the granting of exemption, subject to the approval of the relevant School Board, for not more than 50% of the number of weeks of work experience required for students who have certificated prior experience of an appropriate nature. The Board of Examiners may:
- where an award of the University is specified for work experience in the programme specification, recommend to Senate its conferral upon eligible students;
- determine whether a student is eligible for the appropriate credits for the work experience within the programme specification for a first degree;
- not recommend a student for an award nor assign credits to the work experience undertaken. A student who has completed only 22 weeks of placement satisfactorily and whose failure to complete a further 22 week placement or equivalent is not condoned shall not normally be eligible for the award of a degree, until the placement requirement is met. Exceptionally, such a student may be permitted to transfer registration to a separate award available for students who have completed a similar programme that did not require work experience.
2.35 Where a programme provides for the credit rating of work experience within a first degree programme, a separate University award for the work experience may not normally be specified. The programme specification shall specify how the credits for the work experience are to be achieved and how they contribute to the determination of the degree to be awarded.
2.36 Students who successfully complete a programme which contains a period of work placement not recognised by other means will be awarded their degree 'with professional development'. The Brunel Diploma in Professional Development (BDPD)
2.37 Senate may approve programme specifications for degrees which include the award of the Brunel Diploma in Professional Development.
2.38 Such programmes shall include
- normally a minimum of 44 weeks' placement(s);
- prior submission by the student of a curriculum vitae;
- identification by the student of a learning plan or objectives for each placement;
- maintenance by the student of a portfolio of work in relation to the placement(s);
- formal assessment by appropriate means, which shall include an analysis of the student's success in meeting the learning plan, and a formal report on the placement(s);
- specification of clear criteria for a pass (and distinction, if offered);
- a requirement for a University Tutor's report certifying that each placement has been completed satisfactory.
2.39 Schools shall provide the following for students registered for the BDPD:
- appropriate advice on preparing their curriculum vitae and learning plan;
- at least one visit by the University Tutor within a 22-week period of placement (or regular contact by phone, e-mail, or in writing for those abroad), supported by a written report;
- debriefing session for the student;
- involvement of an appropriate External Examiner. Where the subject specialist External Examiner is unwilling or unsuited to the task, a separate External Examiner for the BDPD, shall be appointed.
2.40 Programme specifications for the award of the BDPD may also provide for
- evaluation by the employer contributing to the assessment;
- a requirement for an oral presentation by the student either at the placement or on return to the University;
- the award of the Diploma with distinction.
2.41 Recommendations for the award of the BDPD shall be made to Senate by the Board of Examiners for the programme for which the student is registered.
2.42 Senate may approve a programme with more rigorous requirements for satisfying the Examiners than are prescribed in this Regulation, but shall not normally approve regulations which set lower requirements. Where the Regulation allows for flexibility in the drawing up of the assessment requirements for a programme or allows the Board of Examiners to exercise discretion, national custom and practice within the relevant discipline(s) as well as the views of External Examiners and the requirements of professional accrediting bodies shall be taken into account.
2.43 Each module in a programme shall be assessed for the award of credits. A module may be assessed by means of coursework, test, assignment, report, portfolio, practical or written or viva voce examination, or a combination of these methods, as specified in the syllabus approved by School Board, or comparable committee. The method and schedule of assessment shall be notified to the student at the start of the academic year by the School providing the module.
2.44 Each assessment for a module shall be marked and/or graded as follows:
Grade Mark Range
A 70% to 100%
B 60% to 69%
C 50% to 59%
D 40% to 49%
2.45 The pass mark for a module shall be 40%.
2.46 Marks below 40% may be graded as follows by the Board of Examiners:
where credit is awarded, although the student's
where no credit is awarded;
credit awarded, mitigating circumstances applied.
2.47 A Panel may use Grade E for interim feedback to students where their marks are in the range of 35%-39%.
Reassessment and Substitution
- Students registered at Level 1 or Level 2 who, at the first attempt, have gained the pass mark or above in 50% or more of the credit value of the modules taken, shall have the right to seek to retrieve failure(s) not condoned by the Board on one occasion only;
- where a student, but for the failure in a Level 3 or Master's Level project, would be eligible for the award of an honours bachelors degree or the degree of Master of Engineering the student will be entitled to reassessment in the project on one occasion only. Failure in an undergraduate project may not be condoned (see Senate Regulation 2.65 below).
2.49 In addition to the right to retrieve failures set out in paragraph 2.48, a Board of Examiners may exercise its discretion and allow a student at any Level one opportunity to redeem a failure in a particular module. Where a Board concludes that mitigating circumstances have contributed to the failure, it may allow a student to take the module again as if for the first time.
2.50 The nature of the assessment for a resit or reassessment shall normally be comparable with the original assessment. Rewrites are not permitted as a method of reassessment for credit at Level 2 or above. Special arrangements may be made for the reassessment of laboratory or practical work.
2.51 A student who passes a module on reassessment shall be eligible for a maximum mark of 40% for that module. Subject to the approval of the authorised member of staff, a student may substitute for failed module(s), module(s) of the same level and credit value to a maximum of 20 credits. Where the student satisfies the Examiners in a substitute module the actual mark achieved shall be recorded.
2.52 Where a student has the right to seek to retrieve failure(s) under paragraph 2.48, the Board of Examiners shall determine the date(s) for reassessment. The dates set may be any or all of the following:
- the September next following;
- the next normal occurrence of the module;
- the next normal date for that assessment.
2.53 Where a student does not have the right to seek to retrieve failure(s) under 2.48, the Board of Examiners shall determine whether s/he should
- remain registered.
2.54 For a student permitted to remain registered the Board may:
- require him or her to be reassessed in some or all of the failed module(s) at a date to be determined by the Board;
- permit him or her to substitute another module for the failed module(s), up to a maximum of 20 credits of substitution at any Level. Failed substitute modules may not subsequently be substituted;
- require him or her, if registered for an Honours programme, to transfer to an Ordinary degree. A student registered for an Ordinary degree may not take more than 140 credits at Level 2;
- require or permit him or her to transfer registration to part-time study in order to attempt to satisfy the Examiners at the required Level;
- exceptionally, on the grounds of mitigating circumstances, allow him or her to commence a Level again, as for the first time.
2.55 A student who fails to complete any assessment by the due date, or fails to be present at any test or examination, without reasons acceptable to the Board shall be deemed to have failed that assessment(s).
2.56 The Board of Examiners may condone a student's failure(s), up to a maximum of 40 credits at any Level, provided that the student has obtained an overall average mark of 40% or more at that Level or has achieved a mark of 30% or more in each of the module(s) to be condoned. In determining whether to exercise its discretion to condone, the Board shall take into account:
- the student's overall performance at that Level; and
- the recommendation of the subject Panel(s) for the module(s).
2.57 Students at Level 1 or Level 2 may be permitted to proceed to the next Level when they have achieved marks of at least 40% in each module to the value of at least 80 credits, if registered for Honours, or in each module to the value of at least 60 credits, if registered for an Ordinary degree.
2.58 Students registered for an Ordinary degree may be permitted to re-register for Honours at the commencement of Level 3, if they have sufficient credits to do so.
2.59 Part-time students shall be required to have passed at least 60 credits at Level 1 before entering Level 2 and must normally have passed 100 credits at Level 2 for Honours or 80 credits at Level 2 for an Ordinary degree before commencing Level 3 work.
2.60 For the purposes of paragraphs 2.57-2.59 credits assigned through recognition on admission of previous learning (entry with Advanced Standing) shall be included.
2.61 Shortly following the completion of the programme for which the student is registered, the Board of Examiners shall consider his/her performance and make an appropriate recommendation to Senate.
2.62 The Board of Examiners shall recommend the award of a Certificate or Diploma where the student is eligible for such an award and a the student has written to the Board stating that he or she wishes to terminate his or her studies before completing the requirements for a first degree; b the student is, by virtue of poor performance, deemed ineligible to follow the remainder of the programme for a first degree.
2.63 The Board of Examiners shall consider the performance of a candidate for the award of a degree when he or she has completed the minimum number of modules at the requisite levels specified in the programme specification, whether or not the candidate has been assigned the credits for all modules.
2.64 Final Boards shall review a candidate's work at all Levels. Students who have followed an Honours programme and who have achieved an overall weighted average of less than 40% (see 'classification' below) may not be recommended for a classified Honours degree. If a Board is satisfied that the candidate is worthy of a degree it may set aside the requirement for credit where modules have been graded 'F', but the determination of any classification shall be in accordance with the programme specification.
2.65 The Level 3 project must be passed for the award of a classified Honours degree, but need not be passed for the award of a Pass or Ordinary degree. Other modules may not be substituted for the Level 3 project.
2.66 A student registered for an Honours degree and who, in the opinion of the Board of Examiners has narrowly failed to achieve the required standard for an Honours degree, but who nevertheless merits the award of a degree, may be recommended for the award of a Pass degree, provided that they have achieved an overall weighted average of 35% or more.
2.67 The Final Board of Examiners may:
- for a student registered for an Honours degree, recommend the award of a classified Honours degree or the award of a Pass degree;
- for a student registered for an Ordinary degree, recommend the award of an Ordinary degree;
- defer the recommendation for an award, and, subject to the maximum period of registration, require the student to be reassessed in specified module(s) and/or assessed in additional modules, at a time or times specified by the Board (see Reassessment and Substitution, above);
- if the candidate has met the requirements for the award of a Diploma or Certificate and is otherwise eligible, recommend the award of a DipHE or a CertHE, as appropriate;
- require the student to withdraw.
2.68 Honours degrees shall be classified on the basis of performance at Levels 2 and 3. The classification shall be calculated from the marks associated with the best 100 out of 120 Level 2 credits and the best 100 out of 120 Level 3 credits. The best 100 credits at Level 3 shall include the project. Level 3 credit shall carry twice the weighting of Level 2 credit.
2.69 When a student has been found guilty of plagiarism or another academic offence, but has been awarded a mark for the assessment, the mark must be included in the marks used for the calculation of honours.
2.70 Where a Board of Examiners wishes to recommend a classified degree for a student whose profile includes P grades (see paragraph 2.74 below) at Level 2 and/or Level 3, or for a student who has been awarded credit on the basis of accreditation of prior learning, the average of all the marks obtained at each Level shall be calculated and, for the purposes of calculating the class of honours, that figure shall be substituted into the student's profile in place of the 'missing' mark(s). The classification shall then be calculated according to paragraph 2.68 above.
2.71 Honours classification shall normally be assigned as follows:
70% to 100% First class
60% to 69% Second class (upper division)
50% to 59% Second class (lower division)
40% to 49% Third class
2.72 Boards of Examiners shall not normally exercise their discretion by elevating a student across classification boundaries if the mark profile contains condoned failures or credit that has been set aside at either Level 2 or Level 3.
2.73 Senate publishes Regulations to govern the submission and consideration of mitigating circumstances.
2.74 If the Examiners decide on the basis of the evidence presented that the student failed assessment(s) for good reason or that his or her performance in assessment(s) was adversely affected, the Board shall take into account any previous occasions when the student has been granted an aegrotat pass and may:
- allow the mark to stand, noting mitigating circumstances;
- defer consideration of the student's performance and require him or her to be assessed in an appropriate manner, at a date to be determined by the Board; or
- grant an aegrotat pass in the assessment(s) and, where appropriate, permit the student to proceed. The student will be awarded credit for these modules, but shall not normally be awarded marks, unless the Board feels competent so to do on the basis of information available to it. A grade P shall be recorded for the module; or
- if appropriate, recommend to Senate an aegrotat award, provided that there is sufficient evidence to satisfy the Board that the student would otherwise have obtained the award, and provided that the student has been assigned at least half the credits at the final Level; or
- as an alternative to the award of an aegrotat degree the student has the right to be assessed on one further occasion for an Honours or Ordinary degree in such a manner as the Board may determine, normally in the next following academic session. The right to such assessment is not affected by the maximum period of registration.