Progression guidance

Information for Students and Personal Tutors about progression decisions and what they mean.

As of 2015-16, all progressions decisions are made by a Progressions Board which meets after the exam boards to consider students' progression status based on their course marks across all courses. This page provides information about how different decisions are arrived at, as well as some advice for students who are missing credits. This page is meant as general guidance only, and if you are concerned about your progression status you should discuss your concerns with your Personal Tutor.

Information for students in all years

Treatment of Special Circumstances

In considering Special Circumstances, the Progression Board follows recommendations of the Special Circumstance Committee.  If you believe that your performance has been affected by special circumstances, and these should be taken into account in deciding your progression, you MUST report the circumstances in time for the SCC meeting, which is held BEFORE the Progression Board meeting. 

Special circumstances which are only revealed after the Progression Board meeting (e.g., during interview with the Senior Tutor) CANNOT be taken into account.

However, if the circumstances are ongoing, the Senior Tutor may be able to give you advice about how to deal with them going forward.

How and when will I find out my progression status?

The UG3, UG4, and MSc Progression Boards meet in late May or early June each year.  The non-honours (UG1 and UG2) Board meets in late June and early September each year. University deadlines for release of progression decisions and degree results can be found on the Release of Results page. For MSc students, the meeting to decide progression to the project stage of the MSc is listed in the project's timetable of events.

After the relevant Board meeting, progression decisions for all students in the year are uploaded to EUCLID, and students are notified via an automated email sent to the student's University email account. This email will contain a link to the page where the progression decision and further information can be viewed.

Students who have exhausted all attempts at a required course

The University permits a maximum of four attempts at any pre-honours (Level 7 or 8) course, where null sits awarded due to special circumstances do not count as 'attempts'. Students on a Tier 4 visa are limited to three attempts by current UKVI regulations, including null sits. (Honours and MSc students are permitted only a single attempt at courses at level 9 and above.)

If you are missing a required pre-honours course and have exhausted all of your allowed attempts, it will not be possible for you to progress on your current degree. In some rare cases it may be possible for you to transfer onto another degree, and if so your progression decision will say "no progression: transfer to another degree".  You will still need to obtain permission from the receiving School/College before being allowed to transfer. However, most Schools will not accept students with missing credits, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences will not accept any student who has ever failed a course. Informatics-internal transfers are sometimes possible.  If no degree transfer is possible, you may have obtained enough credits to leave with an undergraduate diploma or certificate, and if so your progression decision will say so.  If you are unable to continue on your current degree, you must complete the procedures to transfer or withdraw from the University within 7 days of receiving this decision, otherwise we will begin exclusion procedures. Please contact your personal tutor if you have any questions about these procedures.

Progression from UG1 to UG2

The required minimum number of credits for unconditional progression to second year is 120.  You must also pass all required first-year courses on your degree.

If you are concerned about your performance or feel that you would prefer a different degree, please discuss this issue with your PT as soon as possible, and be aware that to change out of Informatics, you will still have to pass all your courses. Withdrawing before the exams may leave you with more options than waiting until you have failed.  Please see below: 'General guidance for students missing credits after the first year'.

UG1 progression after the April exam diet

Any student who is missing credits after the April diet will receive a "deferred" progression decision in June.  You must attend the August resit exam for any course you have failed (with one exception; see below). After the August diet your progression status will either be changed to "progress" (if you have passed all courses) or will be reconsidered by the progression board (if not).

An exception to the above guidance may occur if you failed the coursework component of a course with a required minimum coursework mark. (First year Informatics courses do not have minimum coursework marks, but some courses in other schools do.)  In this case, you may be able to resit the coursework over the summer, but more commonly you will need to resit the coursework during the following academic year. In any case, you will receive an updated progression status after the August exam diet.

Please see the Assessment page of the UG1 handbook for more details about resitting exams and coursework.

UG1 progression after the August exam diet:

  • Students missing up to 20 credits of required courses, or up to 40 credits of outside courses: you will normally be allowed to progress to the second year with a "conditional progression". The progression is conditional on you taking additional courses to make up the missing credits, in addition to your normal second-year programme. In order to successfully complete the second year and progress to Honours, a student missing a required course must pass that course in second year, in addition to all other second-year requirements. A student missing outside courses must make up the missing credits by retaking the same or other outside courses, in addition to all other second-year requirements. You should discuss with your PT whether to register in full or exam-only to make up missing credits; see the Assessment page of the UG1 handbook for more information on resits and the 'General guidance for students missing credits after the first year' below.
  • Students missing 30 or 40 credits of required courses: Before making a decision, the progression board may ask for further information from the PT or may request that you meet with the Student Progression Officer to discuss the best action for you.  If you are allowed to progress in this situation, you must pass the missing courses from first year in addition to all second-year programme requirements. Because this is a significant burden, and because second-year courses may depend on first-year course material, it may not be in your best interest to continue to second year. You should consider other options in discussion with your PT: these include repeating the first year part time, or leaving and starting a degree at another University later.  If you decide to continue, you should discuss with your PT whether to register in full or exam-only to make up missing credits; see the Assessment page of the UG1 handbook for more information on resits and the 'General guidance for students missing credits after the first year' below.
  • Students missing more than 40 credits: you will not be allowed to progress to second year. If you choose to continue at the University, you must repeat the first year and make up the missing credits.  If no special circumstances have been reported, you will be invited to an interview with the Senior Tutor to discuss whether this programme is right for you, and if so which courses must be repeated.  You will need to ensure that your funding can cover a repeat year, and that a repeat year is allowed if you are on a Tier 4 visa (in some cases it may not be). You should be aware that very few students who repeat the first year of our programme (except due to special circumstances) ever progress to the Honours years. See the 'General guidance for students missing credits after the first year' below. If your missing credits are due to special circumstances, you should discuss with your PT whether you are ready to return to studies at this time, or if an interruption is advisable. 

General guidance for students missing credits after the first year

Depending on your situation, you may wish to consider whether continuing on the degree is the right choice for you.  Other options may include transferring to a different University whose degree emphasizes different aspects of computing. Our degrees are more mathematical and theoretical than those at some other universities, so if those aspects are giving you the most trouble, another University may offer you a more appropriate programme.  You may be able to transfer credits from your degree here.

Note that transferring degree to a school outside the College of Science and Engineering requires the student to withdraw and reapply to the University.  Unfortunately, students with missing credits (and often just failed courses, even if made up on resit) will not be accepted by other Colleges at this University. If you are concerned about your performance or feel that you would prefer a different degree, please discuss this issue with your PT as soon as possible. Withdrawing before the exams may leave you with more options than waiting until you have failed.

If your missing credits were partly due to Special Circumstances that may be ongoing, please discuss with your PT whether you are ready to return to studies, or whether an interruption of studies might be appropriate to allow you to recover.

Progression from UG2 to UG3

To unconditionally progress to third year Honours of a single Honours degree, you must meet the following three conditions:

  1. pass at least 40 credits of Inf2 courses at 50% or above at the first sitting (referred to below as "the Honours hurdle"),
  2. have a total of 240 credits, and
  3. pass all of the courses required for your degree programme.

The progression board (in either June or September), acting for head of School, has the discretion to permit students unconditional progression to Honours if they have met conditions (2) and (3), even if they have not met the Honours hurdle.  The usual reason is in cases of special circumstances.

The Honours hurdles for joint degrees are specified in their DPTs, and are usually 20 points of Inf2 at 50%, together with a similar "half-hurdle" in the other subject.

Failed coursework component:

If you failed the coursework component of a course with a required minimum coursework mark, it may still be to your advantage to resit the exam in August. Students who do exceptionally well at the August exam are sometimes awarded a "pass" despite the failed coursework. However a low pass on the exam will not excuse you from the failed coursework.  If allowed to progress, you will be required to resit and pass the coursework component of that course during the following year.  Note that the exam mark for a course is taken to be the most recent exam mark, so it is possible to lower your average by resitting an exam.

UG2 progression after the April exam diet

  • Students who have met the Honours hurdle but are missing credits: you will receive a "deferred" progression decision.  In order to progress to Honours, you must pass all remaining credits/required courses at the August diet. After the August diet your progression status will either be changed to "progress" (if you have passed all courses) or will be reconsidered by the progression board (if not).
  • Students who have not met yet met the Honours hurdle, but are sitting some exams in August as a first attempt: this will only occur if you had special circumstances and received a null sit in April.  You will receive a "deferred" progression decision and your progression status will be reviewed after the August diet.
  • Students who have failed the Honours hurdle, but achieved all their credits: although you have passed the year, your performance is insufficient to progress to Honours. If you choose to continue at the University, you will be given a Conditional Progression only. If you satisfy the stated conditions in third year, you will be permitted onto fourth year Honours; otherwise at the end of third year you will either graduate with an Ordinary degree or must resit exams as necessary to achieve an Ordinary degree (see "Ordinary Degree" below).
  • Students who have failed the Honours hurdle, and are missing credits: you will receive a "deferred" progression decision.  Your performance is insufficient to progress to Honours, but if you pass all remaining credits/required courses at the August diet, you may be given a Conditional Progression decision as described above (and see "Ordinary Degree" below).  Your progression status will be reviewed after the August resit diet to determine whether this is possible.

For more information about resitting exams, see the Assessment page of the UG2 handbook

UG2 progression after the August exam diet

  • Students who have failed the Honours hurdle, but achieved all their credits: see information for this situation under April diet.
  • Students who have failed the Honours hurdle and are missing up to 20 credits: your performance is insufficient to progress to Honours. You will be given a Conditional Progression only. If you satisfy the stated conditions in third year, you will be permitted onto fourth year Honours; otherwise at the end of third year you will either graduate with an Ordinary degree or must resit exams as necessary to achieve an Ordinary degree (see "Ordinary Degree" below). 
  • Students who have passed the Honours hurdle, but are missing up to 20 credits: you will be given a Conditional Progression to third year. In order to progress from third year Honours to fourth year Honours, you must make up the missing credits and pass all required second year courses, in addition to the usual requirements for third year. It is not permitted to enter fourth year with missing credits.  You should discuss with your PT whether to register in full or exam-only to make up missing credits; see the Assessment page of the UG2 handbook for more information.
  • Students who are missing 30-40 credits: Before making a decision in these cases, the progression board is likely to request that you meet with the Student Progression Officer or Senior Tutor to discuss the best action for you. If you are allowed to progress, you must make up the missing credits and pass all required second year courses, in addition to the usual requirements for third year.  Because third year is already significantly more challenging that second year, it may not be in your best interest to continue to the third year of your degree. You should consider other options in discussion with your PT: these include repeating the second year part time, or transferring to a different degree (e.g., switching from joint to single, or Honours to Ordinary) or to a different University. If you decide to continue, you should discuss with your PT whether to register in full or exam-only to make up missing credits; see the Assessment page of the UG2 handbook for more information.
  • Students missing 50-80 credits: you will not be allowed to progress to third year. You will (subject to immigration approval for Tier 4 students) usually be allowed to repeat the year. If you choose to continue at the University, you must repeat the second year and make up the missing credits.  You will need to ensure that your funding can cover a repeat year, and that a repeat year is allowed if you are on a Tier 4 visa (in some cases it may not be). If no special circumstances have been reported, you will be invited to an interview with the Senior Tutor to discuss whether this programme is right for you, and if so which courses must be repeated.  If your missing credits are due to special circumstances, you should discuss with your PT whether you are ready to return to studies at this time, or if an interruption is advisable.
  • Students missing more than 80 credits: you will not be allowed to progress to third year. You will be invited to an interview with the Senior Tutor to discuss any relevant special circumstances, and whether this programme is right for you, and if so which courses must be repeated. In the absence of special circumstances the normal assumption is that your interests are best served by leaving and seeking admission to a more appropriate programme at another institution. The Progression Board has the authority (subject to immigration approval for Tier 4 students) to permit a repeat year, but will need a convincing argument as to why your performance will improve. The Board can decide that no adequate argument has been presented, in which case your case will be referred to College under the exclusion procedure. If you are allowed, and choose, to continue at the University, you must repeat the second year and make up the missing credits.  You will need to ensure that your funding can cover a repeat year, and that a repeat year is allowed if you are on a Tier 4 visa (in some cases it may not be). If your missing credits are due to special circumstances, you should discuss with your PT whether you are ready to return to studies at this time, or if an interruption is advisable.

Ordinary degree

Students who do not pass the Honours hurdles in second year will be given a Conditional Progression to third year. You will still officially be registered on the Honours degree but will only be permitted to progress from third to fourth year if you meet the stated conditions, i.e:  you must achieve a third year average of 55% or better at the first attempt, with passes in at least 80 credits of level 9/10 courses. In addition, you must not be missing any credits from pre-honours.  If you pass at least 80 credits at level 9/10, you will receive "credits on aggregate" for the remaining level 9/10 courses. You will therefore have a total of 360 credits. Note that third year is considerably more challenging than second year, so it is likely you will not meet these conditions and will not end up with an Honours degree.

If you fulfill all of the conditions above except that your overall average in third year is between 40% and 55%, you will receive credits on aggregage but will not be permitted to progress into fourth year Honours. Instead you will exit with an Ordinary degree.

If you do not pass at least 80 credits of level 9/10 courses at the first attempt, or your average is below 40%, or you are missing credits, you will not receive credits on aggregate. You may be permitted to resit failed exams but will need to eventually pass all 120 credits of level 9/10 courses, and 360 credits in total, to achieve the Ordinary degree. If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, your ability to resit exams will depend on UKVI regulations, which can change at any time. As of June 2016, UKVI regulations do not permit us to switch you to the Ordinary degree on your original visa. You will need to return to your home country to re-apply for a new visa to return and resit for Ordinary. You cannot transfer back onto an Honours degree if you have taken resits to pass your courses.

Most students who do not pass the Honours hurdle do not end up with an Honours degree. Before choosing to continue into third year with a Conditional Progression decision, you should discuss your options with your Personal Tutor.  If you choose to withdraw, you may still be able to transfer into an Honours degree at another University.

Progression from UG3 to UG4

To progress from the third to fourth year of the Bachelor's Honours degrees, you must achieve an overall mark in third year of 40 or more at the first attempt, *and* pass at least 80 credits of courses at level 9 or 10, also at the first attempt. In combined degrees, the Board of Examiners may consider that a clear fail in one half of the degree will debar the candidate from progressing to fourth year.

If you meet these criteria, but fail some courses, you will receive the credits for the failed courses (called "credits on aggregate").

If you fail these criteria, and do not have special circumstances, you will be allowed to take re-sit exams to try to achieve an Ordinary degree by meeting the criteria at the second (or later, up to fourth) attempt.

Certain professional accreditations require passes in specific courses, such as a large practical and Professional Issues. If you progress to fourth year, but have failed these courses, your degree will not be accredited by the relevant organization (typically the British Computer Society).

To progress from the third to fourth year of the MInf degree, you must in addition achieve an overall mark of 55 or more on third year. If you do not, and there are no special circumstances, you will be required to switch to a suitable Bachelor's degree before progressing to fourth year.

Completing a four-year degree

To graduate with a Bachelor's Honours degree, you must achieve an overall mark in fourth year of 40 or more at the first attempt, *and* pass at least 80 credits of courses at level 10 or 11, also at the first attempt.

If you meet these criteria, but fail some courses, you will receive the credits for the failed courses (called "credits on aggregate").

If you fail to complete, you will receive an Ordinary degree.

For information on how your degree classification is calculated, please see the UG4 handbook.

Progression from UG4 to UG5

To progress from the fourth to fifth year of the MInf degree, you must achieve an overall mark in fourth year of 40 or more at the first attempt, *and* pass at least 80 credits of courses at level 10 or 11, also at the first attempt.

If you meet these criteria, but fail some courses, you will receive the credits for the failed courses (called "credits on aggregate").

If you fail to meet these criteria, and there are no special circumstances, you will receive an Ordinary degree.

Completing a five-year degree

To graduate with an MInf degree, you must achieve an overall mark in fifth year of 40 or more at the first attempt, *and* pass at least 80 credits of courses at level 11, also at the first attempt.

If you meet these criteria, but fail some courses, you will receive the credits for the failed courses (called "credits on aggregate").

If you fail to meet these criteria, and there are no special circumstances, you will receive an appropriate Bachelor's Honours degree, with an Honours classification assessed as usual for that degree, i.e. on the basis of UG3 and UG4 marks.

For information on how your degree classification is calculated, please see the UG5 handbook.

MSc students

The meeting to decide progression to the project stage of the MSc is listed in the project's timetable of events.

Progression decisions are made according to the assessment regulations described in the Assessment section of the taught MSc handbook; follow the links from here.