Assessment regulations for taught postgraduate degrees


For full information on assessment regulations, see the QMU website.

A summary of key regulations is set out below.

Requirements for passing

  • The pass mark for a module is 50%.
  • Where there is more than one component of assessment, students must achieve at least 40% in each component and an overall aggregate mark of 50%.
  • To be eligible for the award of the degree, students must pass all modules.
  • Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters degrees may be awarded with merit or with distinction. (Postgraduate Certificates are not.) To be eligible for the award of the degree with distinction, students must pass all modules with an overall average mark of 70% or better. To be eligible for the award of the degree with merit, students must pass all modules with an overall average mark of 60% or better.


  • The Board of Examiners may at its discretion allow a postgraduate student to be re-assessed in up to two-thirds of the taught modules. For example, if a Masters programme consists of 120 credits of taught modules and a 60 credit dissertation / project, a student may be reassessed in up to 80 credits of taught modules.
  • Should a student be unsuccessful at attempt two, they may be permitted a further reassessment attempt (ie attempt three) in a maximum of one third of the taught modules on a programme. Should a student breach these reassessment thresholds, they will be required to withdraw from the programme.
  • A maximum of two attempts will be permitted for the Masters dissertation / project.
  • All reassessment results shall be based only upon performance in re-assessments; no marks may be carried forward from a student’s first attempt at the assessments. This means that if a student is asked to resit one component only, they must achieve at least 50% to pass.
  • A student who has been absent from an assessment due extenuating circumstances, or who has performed badly because of those circumstances, may be allowed to retake the assessment as if it was a first attempt. (Extenuating circumstances means illness or other personal circumstances beyond the student’s control that could not have been planned for in advance and have an impact on performance.)
  • Where a student is reassessed in a module at a second or third attempt without extenuating circumstances, the maximum mark that can be achieved for the module is 50%.

Exceeding the word limit and late submission

  • A piece of written work which exceeds the specified word limit by 10% or more will receive a maximum mark of 50%.
  • Any student who submits work to be assessed after the assessment submission date, without the prior agreement of the Programme Leader and the Module Co-ordinator, or without good or agreed cause, will have marks deducted according to the following criteria:
    • if submitted, in a first diet, after the due date but within one calendar week (i.e. up to 6 days after submission date) a maximum mark of 50% can be achieved for undergraduate programmes
    • if submitted, in a first diet, after one calendar week (i.e. 7 days or more) a mark of 0% will be awarded
    • if coursework is submitted after the due date for a second or third attempt at assessment a mark of 0% will be awarded.

Appeals Procedure

You have the right to appeal against a decision of the Board of Examiners if you believe that either of the following circumstances apply:

  • Additional information is available that was not, and could not, reasonably have been made available to the Board at the time it made its original decision; and which had it been available could have led the Board to making a different decision. (An example of this would be medical evidence that was not available at the time of the Board because the student was too sick at that time to submit the evidence.)
  • There was a material irregularity in the procedures of the Board of Examiners or in the conduct of the assessment. (In other words, if University procedures were not followed properly or equitably.)

You may NOT appeal because you disagree with the mark you have received. All assessment at QMU goes through a rigorous moderation process to ensure that the marks awarded are in line with the marking criteria and the academic standards expected for the level of award.

To submit an appeal you must do so in writing to the University Secretary within 21 days of receiving the decision of the Board of Examiners. The Students’ Union can provide advice and support with the appeal process. See the Appeals Procedure for full details.