Changes to University Regulations

The Senate has agreed that, from the 2014/15 academic session, there will be a change to the  University Regulations relating to Ordinary Degrees.  From this date, all students currently registered on an Honours Degree programme will be required to have undertaken all permitted attempts at assessment for Honours before being transferred onto an Ordinary Degree programme.  This will also apply to the award of an Ordinary Degree as a ‘fall-back’ award made to students who fail to achieve the requirements for the Honours Degree.

This means that, whereas before, if you had failed to pass and proceed to the next stage of the Honours programme, you might have been transferred to the Ordinary degree programme, which requires less credit to be studied.  Under the new regulation you will have to take all the attempts at supplementary assessment which are allowed before being able to transfer to the Ordinary degree programme, if eligible and if one is offered by your School.  It may mean that you have to take an additional year to re-take failed credit for the Honours programme instead of transferring to the Ordinary programme and proceeding on that.  Since students will only transfer to an Ordinary degree programme once all attempts for Honours had been undertaken, there will no longer be any need for the current provision of ‘topping-up’ for Honours after an Ordinary degree has been gained.  This will therefore be removed from the Regulations from 2014/15.

Likewise, at the final stage, an Ordinary Degree will only be awarded as a ‘fall-back’ award when a student has undertaken all permitted attempts at supplementary assessment to gain an Honours degree.

These changes aim to simplify progression regulations and make clearer the expectations of students studying for an Honours Degree.  In future, you will always automatically be required to complete all supplementary assessment attempts for the Honours degree rather than transfer to an Ordinary degree before this has been done.

If you are currently studying on an Ordinary Degree programme, you will not be affected by this change but will continue on the programme and be able to ‘top-up’ to Honours, if appropriate, once you have gained the Ordinary Degree.

Further details are available on the Academic Quality and Partnership Office website at:

under ‘M’ for Memo.

This may seem complicated so if you have any queries, please contact your Personal Academic Tutor or Programme Tutor and they will be able to advise you.  You may also contact me, Professor Shirley Congdon, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at or Alison Carass, Assistant Registrar, Academic Quality and Partnerships Office at