1 Available awards
1.1 The University, under powers conferred by the Privy Council, is empowered to confer awards, as specified in the University’s Statutory Instrument.
1.2 The periods of study, assessment and other conditions attached to the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates, awards and distinctions shall be prescribed by regulation and approved by Senate.
1.3 All University awards are designed to correspond with the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework characteristic learning outcomes at the corresponding level.
1.4 The awards of the University are as follows:
1.4.1 Postgraduate Research:
- Doctor of Philosophy – PhD
- Professional Doctorate - DProf
- Doctoral Certificate - DCert
- Master of Philosophy – MPhil
- Master of Research - MRes
1.4.2 Taught Postgraduate:
- Master of Arts - MA
- Master of Science - MSc
- Master of Fine Arts - MFA
- Master of Business Administration – MBA
- Master of Public Administration – MPA
- Executive Masters
- Integrated Masters
- Postgraduate Certificate – PgCert
- Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip
- Professional Postgraduate Diploma (PGDE)
1.4.3 Awards for taught postgraduate degrees and diplomas are classified:
- Bachelor of Arts - BA
- Bachelor of Science – BSc
- Bachelor of Business Administration - BBA
1.4.5 Undergraduate awards may be awarded:
- Honours Degree, first class
- Honours Degree, second class (upper division)
- Honours Degree, second class (lower division)
- Honours Degree, third class.
- Ordinary Degree with distinction
- Ordinary Degree - pass
1.4.6 Provision also exists for the award of a Pass degree on an Honours degree programme.
1.4.7 Other possible awards are:
- Diploma of Higher Education - Dip HE
- Certificate of Higher Education - Cert HE
- Graduate Diploma - GradDip
- Graduate Certificate - GradCert
Taught Graduate Diplomas may be awarded:
1.4.8 The University confers Honorary Degrees and other Honorary Awards in accordance with the procedure detailed in paragraph 14 below.
1.4.9 The following Honorary Degrees may be conferred:
- Doctor of University (Hon DUniv)
- Doctor of Business Administration (Hon DBA)
- Doctor of Letters (Hon DLitt)
- Doctor of Education (Hon DEd)
- Doctor of Science (Hon DSc)
- Master of Science (Hon MSc)
1.4.10 The award of Honorary Fellowship of the University may be made to persons who have made a major contribution to the work of the University.
2 Titles of awards and programmes
2.1 The title of the University award consists of two parts: the award itself [normally abbreviated - eg BA (Hons)], and the subject designation, thus:
Degree of Master of Science in Physiotherapy = MSc in Physiotherapy
Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy = PgDip in Occupational Therapy
Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Business Management = BA (Hons) in Business Management
Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management = BA in Tourism Management
2.2 Where a programme leads to nested awards (eg Dip HE, BA, BA (Hons)) in which attainment of the more advanced award implies satisfaction of the less advanced award, the programme title will refer only to the more advanced award.
2.3 Professional Doctorate award titles depend on the emphasis of their programme:
- Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)
- Doctor of Cultural Leadership (DCultural Leadership)
- Doctor of Cultural Practice (DCultural Practice)
- Doctor of Global Health and Development (DGlobalHealth)
- Doctor of Health Sciences (DHealthSci)
- Doctor of Health and Social Sciences (DHealthSocSci)
- Doctor of Person-centred Practice (DPcP)
- Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)
- Doctor of Rehabilitation Sciences (DRehabSci)
- Doctor of Speech, Language and Hearing (DSLH)
- Doctor of Social Sciences (DSocSci)
The award title is agreed at the point of the doctoral candidate submitting their research proposal.
3 The modular framework
3.1 The University's aims in operating a modular structure are:
- to facilitate the use of common modules across different programmes
- to allow greater student choice
- to allow greater flexibility in programme design
- to allow the prospect of student programmes chosen from across the range of the University's subject provision
- to allow a more rational use of resources
3.2 A module is defined as a self-contained part of a programme with separate aims, pre-requisites, syllabus and assessment. The University encourages the structuring of programmes on the basis of standard modules. Each module will be allocated to the appropriate level of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF).
3.3 An undergraduate standard module:
- normally consists of 20 SCQF credit points, thus six standard modules equate broadly to one full time academic year of study
- requires approximately 200 hours of notional student effort
3.4 A postgraduate standard module:
- normally consists of 20 SCQF credit points, thus nine standard modules equate to one full time calendar year of study
- requires approximately 200 hours of notional student effort
3.5 Assessed curriculum units can be offered as single, double, triple or quadruple standard modules and can be offered across one or two semesters.
3.6 The University has in place the following tariff. Subject specific requirements may also apply, as detailed in the relevant Definitive Programme Document.
Cert HE 120 credit points of which a minimum of 100 are at SCQF level 7 or higher
Dip HE 240 credit points of which a minimum of 100 are at SCQF level 8 or higher
Degree 360 credit points of which a minimum of 100 are at SCQF level 9 or higher
Honours Degree 480 credit points of which a minimum of 220 are at SCQF level 9 and 10, including at least 100 at level 10
Graduate Certificate 60 credit points, at minimum of SCQF level 9
Graduate Diploma 120 credit points, at minimum of SCQF level 9
Postgraduate Certificate 60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF level 11 and no credits below SCQF level 10
Postgraduate Diploma 120 credit points of which a minimum of 100 are at SCQF level 11 and no credits below SCQF level 10
Masters Degree 180 credit points of which a minimum of 160 are at SCQF level 11 and no credits below SCQF level 10
Integrated Masters 600 credit points of which a minimum of 120 are at SCQF level 11
Master of Fine Arts 360 credit points at SCQF level 11
Professional Doctorate 540 credit points at SCQF level 12 (of which 120 may be at SCQF level 11)
Doctoral Certificate 60 credit points at SCQF level 12
4 Undergraduate programmes
4.1 Bachelors degree programmes are designed to provide a general higher education as well as a grounding in a specific area or areas, and thus have both general and specific aims. Each particular programme has unique characteristics, the realisation of which should satisfy both the general and the specific aims. The general educational aims of a degree programme are described as follows:
- a primary aim must be the development of the student's intellectual and imaginative development, which should be promoted by the curriculum content and organisation, by the way in which it is taught, and by the programme regulations
- the direction of the student's studies must be towards greater understanding and competence. Thus, while it may be appropriate to include the acquisition of techniques or skills, or the learning of data, these must lead to a higher level of intellectual and creative performance than that intrinsic in the learning of the skills, techniques or facts themselves
- a programme must stimulate an enquiring, analytical and creative approach, it must encourage independent judgement and critical self-awareness. It must be planned and taught to provide balance in content and presentation allowing the student freedom to draw his or her own conclusions while encouraging a rigorous approach to data, demonstration and argument which will ensure that these conclusions are soundly based
- the programme must encourage the skills of clear communication and logical argument, and the full and effective use of language must be fostered, in both spoken and written forms
- the student must also be encouraged to develop the ability to see relationships within what he or she has learned, and to relate what he or she has learned to actual situations
- students should be encouraged to appreciate the nature of attitudes, modes of thought, practices and disciplines other than those of the main studies. They should learn to perceive the main studies in a broader perspective. As part of this process they should be enabled to develop an informed awareness of factors influencing the social and physical environment
- an undergraduate degree programme should encourage the student in the development of independence and self direction so that these characteristics can be exercised, albeit under guidance.
4.2 In addition, a degree programme must fulfil certain social aims. It must aim to fulfil the needs of the community for qualified individuals and it must also meet the aspirations of prospective students.
4.3 Awards at SCQF levels 9 and 10 must be designed in line with the University’s generic graduate attributes.
4.4 In terms of traditional Scottish qualifications and study patterns, the standard of the Unclassified Degree may be described as that expected of a student with prior knowledge and skills equivalent to five Scottish Certificates of Education passes, of which three are at Higher grade, who has successfully completed a programme of study suitable for the fulfilment of the general education aims; the normal length of the programme will be three full-time academic years or equivalent.
4.5 The standard of the Honours Degree in Scotland may be described as that expected of a student with prior knowledge and skills equivalent to an Unclassified Scottish Degree who has successfully completed an additional programme of study at Honours degree level, suitable for the fulfilment of the general educational aims; and who has demonstrated the capacity for sustained independent and high quality work; the normal length of the programme will be one further full-time academic year or equivalent.
5 Taught postgraduate programmes
The Masters degree is available through several different routes; as a programme for graduates or equivalent, through at least one year of full-time postgraduate study or an equivalent period of part-time study.
The Masters degree reflects a specialised knowledge and understanding of particular areas, applications or levels of expertise in particular subject or professional areas. The characteristic outcomes of Masters degrees are described in the Taught Postgraduate Framework.
6 Research awards
The criteria for the award of PhD and MPhil are set out in the PhD regulations. The PhD and MPhil shall be awarded to a student who undertakes a research programme leading to the submission and successful oral defence of a thesis which shows evidence that the student meets the criteria. The PhD by Published Work shall be awarded to a student who submits a portfolio of published outputs leading to a successful oral defence which shows evidence that the student meets the criteria.
The criteria for the award of Professional Doctorate are set out in the Professional Doctorate Framework. Successful candidates must complete all assessed work plus a major project, which will normally require an oral defence. The Professional Doctorate is equivalent in level to the PhD but is focused on development of the profession rather than research.
The criteria for the award of Doctoral Certificate are set out in the Doctoral Certificate Handbook. Successful candidates must complete all three modules. The Doctoral Certificate is equivalent in level to PhD and awarded in recognition of the wider work that candidates undertake alongside their Doctorate.
7 Relationship to other institutions
7.1 The University may offer programmes in conjunction with other institutions. Such programmes will be required to meet the general regulations of the University for taught programmes.
7.2 Prior to the approval of such programmes, a Memorandum of Agreement must be signed by the Principals, or nominated representatives, of the institutions concerned.
7.3 The University may offer awards jointly with other institutions. In such cases, the regulations governing assessment and award must be agreed between the institutions involved.
7.4 For full guidelines and regulations regarding academic collaboration leading to an award of the University, please see section of the Governance and Regulations dealing with Academic Collaboration.
8 Programmes not leading to University awards
8.1 The University offers a number of programmes that do not lead to University awards but rather to registration with, or membership of, external professional bodies or to external awards. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the external bodies, such programmes must also comply with the University’s general regulations for taught programmes.
8.2 It also offers programmes which are not University awards and for which the subject area concerned issues a certificate of attendance or study. These certificates must:
- contain the name of the subject area preferably in larger print than the name of the University if the latter is included
- give clear indication that it is a certificate of attendance or a certificate of study and no more
- be in a form approved by the University Secretary.
8.3 Students successfully completing a programme leading to a University award or modules that are credit rated are eligible for a student transcript.
9 Conditions of award
9.1 An award will be conferred when the following conditions are satisfied:
- the candidate was a registered student at the time of his or her assessment for an award
- the candidate has completed a programme approved by the University as leading to the award being recommended
- the award has been recommended by a Board of Examiners convened, constituted and acting under regulations approved by the Senate; or, in the case of a research degree, has been recommended by the Research Strategy Committee.
10 Conferment of awards
10.1 Conferment is the formal ratification by the Senate of the decisions made by the approved Board of Examiners.
10.2 Lists of candidates on whom awards are to be conferred will be signed by the Convener and Secretary of the Board of Examiners on behalf of the Senate and will be published subject to the Senate’s ratification.
11 The award document
11.1 The award document shall record:
- the name of the University
- the student's name as given on the list of recommendations submitted by the approved Board of Examiners
- the award, with or without classification
- the title of the programme as approved for the purpose of the award
- an approved endorsement, where appropriate
- an indication that this document should be viewed in association with the student transcript (for awards delivered in collaboration with partner institutions)
- the award document shall bear the signature of the Vice-Chancellor and the Secretary of the Senate.
- The term ‘distance learning’ is not used on certificates.
11.2 The student’s academic transcript shall specify for each module taken:
- the title
- the credit points and the level (if defined)
- the year in which most recently taken
- the grade and mark most recently obtained
- the name of the University together with, if appropriate, the name of any other institution sharing responsibility for the student’s programme of study or research
- the location of study.
11.3 Award transcripts will record the language of instruction, if not English. If the language of assessment was not the same as that used for instruction, this will be clearly recorded on the certificate and transcripts. Normally the language of instruction will be English. If an alternative language of instruction is agreed this will be set out formally in the programme document and Memorandum of Agreement (if the programme is offered by a collaborative partner).
12 Posthumous awards
Any award listed may be conferred posthumously and accepted on the student's behalf by an appropriate individual. The normal conditions of award must be satisfied, or if varied the variation must be approved by Senate.
13.1 Graduation ceremonies will be held once per academic year in summer. All students whose awards have been conferred by Senate are eligible to attend a graduation ceremony subject to conditions of award as outlined above (see Conditions of Awards), and confirmation that the student has fulfilled their financial obligations to the University.
13.2 Academic Dress
13.2.1 Academic Dress for graduates
Academic dress for men consists of dark coloured clothes with a white collar and a tie; or alternatively, either normal or full evening Highland dress. For women; sleeved black or white dresses, or white blouses and dark skirts/trousers, or appropriate equivalent garments of regional, national or religious derivation. All graduates must appear in the gown and hood appropriate to the award and, for higher doctorates, the relevant hat.
13.2.2 Higher Doctorate (Science) including Honorary Awards
- gown - green panama in traditional Doctor style with white facing and sleeve linings
- hood - green panama, simple shape lined white, and trimmed green
- hat - dark green velvet bonnet with white tassel
13.2.3 Higher Doctorate (Arts & Business) including Honorary Awards
- gown - blue panama in traditional Doctor style with white facing and sleeve linings
- hood - blue panama, simple shape lined white, and trimmed green
- hat - dark blue velvet bonnet with white tassel
13.2.2 Doctor of Philosophy and Professional Doctorate
- gown – dark blue traditional style with long hanging sleeves. Facings have 1" silver ribbon on the outer edge
- hood - Edinburgh Simple Shape. Green outer, lined white, cowl edge faced inside 3 ½" dark blue with 1" Silver Ribbon on the edge
13.2.3 Masters degree
- gown - black traditional Masters style
- hood - simple shape green outer, lined white, and trimmed dark blue
13.2.4 Postgraduate (including Doctoral) Diplomas and Certificates
- gown - black traditional Bachelor style
- hood - simple shape green outer, lined dark blue and trimmed white
13.2.4 Bachelors degree
- gown - black traditional Bachelor style
- hood - simple shape dark blue outer, lined green, and trimmed white
13.2.5 Diploma of Higher Education
- gown - black traditional Bachelor shape
- hood - simple shape green outer, lined dark blue
13.2.6 Certificate of Higher Education
- gown - black traditional Bachelor shape
- hood - none
13.2.7 Academic Dress for Officials of the University
- Patron - Dark blue damask robe in traditional style with facings and cape collar of dark green silk and trimmed with broad silver lace on the outer edge. The sleeves are trimmed round the opening with two strips of silver lace, the lower strip is of broad lace and the upper strip of medium width lace. A dark blue Tudor bonnet is worn.
- Principal and Vice-Chancellor - Dark blue damask robe in traditional style with facings and a cape collar of dark green silk and trimmed with medium width silver lace on the outer edge. The sleeves are trimmed round the opening with two strips of medium width silver lace. A dark blue Tudor bonnet is worn.
- Chair - Dark blue damask robe in traditional style with facings and a cape collar of dark green silk and trimmed with narrow silver lace on the outer edge. The sleeves are trimmed round the opening with two strips of narrow silver lace. A dark blue Tudor bonnet is worn.
14 Honorary degrees
The University shall confer Honorary awards on persons of distinction, who either have made major contributions to the work of the University, or who have earned distinction for activities associated more widely with education, industry, business, culture, creative work or public service.
14.1 Procedure for Considering Nominations
14.1.1 Any member of staff or student may submit in confidence to the Secretary of the Honorary Degrees Committee the names of persons for consideration for an Honorary award. The Committee shall not consider applications believed to have been initiated by persons desirous of receiving Honorary awards.
14.1.2 The names of persons who are to receive Honorary awards shall be formally notified to the Senate and to the University Court only after the proposed recipients have confirmed their intention to accept.
14.2 Conferment of Honorary Awards
Honorary awards shall be conferred at Awards Ceremonies of the University.