Improving Assessment & Feedback

The New University Marking Scheme

From September 2013 we are introducing a change from marking in grades to marking in percentages, this is based on your feedback and our detailed research.

These changes will affect all new, continuing and returning students on any undergraduate or taught-postgraduate programme.

The New System

When marking your work academic staff will first identify which one of the ten bands reflects the standard of your work, providing you with straight forward feedback.  They will then be able to identify the specific standard of your submitted work within that band and award a grade based on their expert, professional and academic judgment.

The NEW Marking Scheme - (Undergraduate programmes)


Passing Grade – equivalent to an A grade - Outstanding


Passing Grade – equivalent to an A grade - Excellent


Passing Grade – equivalent to an A grade - Very Good


Passing Grade – equivalent to a B grade -  Good


Passing Grade – equivalent to a C grade - Sound


Passing Grade – equivalent to a D grade


Compensatable fail (levels 3-6). See Academic Regulations.


Failing Grade


Failing Grade


Failing Grade

[Undergraduate scheme proposed – for illustration purposes only]

New Performance Descriptors

Percentage Grade (%)

Performance Descriptor Example

Exceptional level of analysis, showing deep critical engagement with a comprehensive range of contextual material. Demonstration of independent thought resulting in highly original or creative responses to the assignment.


Answers most if not all detailed aspects of the question. Content mainly relevant and accurate. Good knowledge and understanding of relevant theory and concepts and application of theoretical models. Evidence of a developing appreciation of contextual issues.


Identifies main issues and relevant theory. Coverage of most of assignment issues. Competent application of relevant theory and states obvious links to practice.

[Undergraduate scheme proposed – for illustration purposes only]

Why are we doing this…

Students have asked us to improve the clarity of assessment criteria.  

With new performance descriptors in place you can better understand what level of your own work makes the grade.

Students have asked us to improve feedback and refine marking procedures.

By using a percentage grading scheme your marker can provide you with a refined assessment of your performance within each band.

Students have asked us to make the transcript more meaningful.

Marking in percentages means that you and employers will be able to better understand your assessment performance.

Recognising Excellence.

We want to ensure every student receives a fair assessment of the quality of their assignments.

By using a percentage grading scheme we are not only able to refine assessment we can also better reflect and recognise excellent achievement across the full marking scale.

Students have asked us to make it simpler to understand the degree classification calculation.

Marking in percentages will make it easier for you to understand where you are and work out how to improve your classification performance.

What does this mean for me…

  • From September 2013 all marking will be conducted in percentages – aligned with the new performance descriptors…
  • Your existing (including this year) awarded grades are “in the bank” and are unaffected by these changes.
  • Your transcript will show the grades you were awarded – in the format they were awarded.
  • This year the algorithm for degree classification will remain the same; grades will be converted by rule to fairly establish the classification – as is the case now.
  • A detailed communication campaign will keep students and staff informed about the impact of the changes – starting now…
  • There will be a thorough evaluation of the impact of the changes.