Information on examination & progression to dissertation.
Assesment and progression to dissertation
The MSc programme structure comprises a taught component during semesters 1 and 2 with dedicated time for a research dissertation over the summer of the 12 month programme.
You will be assessed on the taught component of the programme by a combination of coursework and exams. The exact weighting between coursework and exam is listed on the course DRPS entry.
The University of Edinburgh uses a Common Marking Scheme (CMS) for taught student assessment. Students are marked against this marking scale. You are not ranked against your peers. The Common Marking Scheme link below describes in more detail the level of performance corresponding to the different numeric marks and alphabetic grades in an Informatics context.
The correspondence between numerical marks, grades and their interpretation in terms of the MSc is given below.
|> = 70||A||Excellent, Distinction level|
|60-69||B||Very Good, Merit level|
|50-59||C||Good, Pass level|
|40-49||D||Pass, satisfactory for Diploma but inadequate for MSc|
In order to pass at MSc level, and continue on to the MSc dissertation in the summer you must meet both of the following criteria:
- Achieve an average mark of at least 50% over the taught component of the programme, excluding Pass/Fail courses.
- Pass at least 80 out of your 120 credit points with a mark of at least 50%. All courses (including Pass/Fail courses) count towards this credit total.
If you do not meet these requirements you will not be permitted to progress to complete your dissertation and you may be eligible for a PG Diploma or PG Certificate award.
Full details of assessment applicable to all Informatics students is available in the following section of the student handbook:
All progression decisions are made by the Boards of Examiners once all of your course marks for the taught component are available. The Board of Examiners considers students' marks and credits achieved across all courses, in the context of any relevant valid Special Circumstances. All marks are provisional until they are ratified by the Board of Examiners.
Attendance in Edinburgh
Students are expected to stay in Edinburgh for the duration of their degree programme, including examination diets. It's important to confirm your examination dates before arranging any absences from Edinburgh. You are also expected to stay in Edinburgh during the writing of the MSc dissertation until the submission deadline. If you are on a Student/Tier 4 visa and leave the country for an extended period of time, the School is obligated to contact the Student Immigration Service who will notify UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI). The School also reserves the right to require you to return to Edinburgh to complete your studies, and to withhold dissertation supervision if you refuse to do so.
Your dissertation mark and final award will be considered by the Board of Examiners held in October.
Your final award will be classified based on the following criteria:
- Award of MSc with Distinction: To achieve a distinction, you must be awarded at least 70% on the University’s Postgraduate Common Marking Scheme for the dissertation and must achieve an average of at least 70% in the taught component.
- Award of MSc with Merit: To achieve a merit, you must be awarded at least 60% on the University’s Postgraduate Common Marking Scheme for the dissertation and must achieve an average of at least 60% in the taught component.
- Award of MSc: To achieve a pass you must be awarded at least 50% on the University’s Postgraduate Common Marking Scheme for the dissertation and must achieve an average of at least 50% in the taught component.
- Award of PG Diploma: To achieve a PG diploma pass you must pass at least 80 credits with a mark of at least 40% and attain an average of at least 40% for the taught component.
- Award of PG Certificate: To achieve a PG certificate pass you must pass at least 40 credits with a mark of at least 40% and attain an average of at least 40% for 60 credits of study with the highest marks.
The Board of Examiners considers borderline cases as described in the Taught Assessment Regulations. Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the class or grade boundary up to the boundary itself, e.g. 58.00% to 59.99% for a merit classification.
Borderline decisions may take into account the following factors:
- cases in which a student has performed better in courses at a higher level
- cases where the amount of credited assessed work to be used for classification or award decisions is less than the norm (e.g., where credits have been awarded for progression purposes only in recognition of special circumstances)
- individual student profiles of performance.