Progress and Awards

Each year you’re required to achieve a certain number of credits in order to progress to the following year or to graduate. You may also be required to pass certain named classes. However, if you only achieve the minimum number of credits required to progress to the following year you won’t achieve enough credits to allow you to graduate at the end of your final year! In order to graduate you are normally required to have been awarded the credits for all of the classes you have taken (explained in detail below).

All of these regulations are covered in detail in the University Calendar but are summarised here for convenience. The University Calendar takes precedence over this page – this page simplifies our regulations for normal cases as a guide. For other cases or to check precise details of regulations see the University Calendar. All credits must normally be from the approved curriculum for your course – in particular, additional elective credits do not normally count towards the credit counts listed here.

This page contains the following sections:

Year-by-Year Progression

Each year is composed of 120 credits except for:

  • BEng and MEng Computer and Electronic Systems, which have 140 credits in first year and 130 credits in second year.
  • SE and MEngCS which have placements that are not included in the year’s loading – so you still have 120 credit curricula in each year of these degrees, with additional credits awarded upon successful completion of the placement.

Each year of your degree builds extensively on the previous year so you’re expected to pass ALL classes in each year. If you pass all classes at the end of a year you will progress cleanly to the following year. If you do not pass all classes you may still gain full credits through the University’s compensation scheme which may benefit students who do fairly well but do not pass all classes.

If you fail to meet the progress requirements listed in the table below, you will not be permitted to proceed to the following year – you may be required to withdraw from your studies, go into academic suspension until you have passed resit exams, or transfer to an alternative degree.

If you have the minimum credit requirements but do not progress cleanly (i.e. you have failed one or more classes), you will normally proceed to the next year but will have to retake the failing class(es) – in our experience this is very challenging and you should talk to your personal development adviser or year adviser of studies for advice.

The following table outlines the minimum requirements to progress from year to year – all credits mentioned in this table must be from the approved curriculum as described in the curriculum pages of the handbook/calendar. Except where stated otherwise, our curriculum classes are 20 credits, so 100 credits = 5 classes from a typical 6 20-credit class curriculum.

Progress stage Minimum Requirements
CS, SE, MEng CS
Minimum Requirements
CES, MEng CES
1st -> 2nd year 100 credits including a non-compensated pass for CS105 120 credits
2nd -> 3rd year 220 credits with 100 at level 2 including a non-compensated pass for CS207 250 credits
3rd -> 4th year 360 credits with 100 at level 3 and an average of 40% at first assessed attempts 390 credits and an average of 40% at first assessed attempts
MEng
4th -> 5th year
480 credits including
CS408 (project)
CS416 (placement)
510 credits including
EE475 (CES project)
MEng students normally require an average of 60% at first assessed attempts for progression to each year.

Graduating awards

We award Certificates, Diplomas, BSc Degrees, BSc Degrees with Honours and MEng degrees. These qualifications are named for the course of study you are registered for, e.g. Diploma of Higher Education in Computer Science. At the end of each successful year of your course, instead of progressing to the following year you may choose to leave university with a qualification. If you fail to progress to the next year you may still be eligible for some qualification.

The following table describes the requirements for each award (as with progress regulations, these must be from the approved curriculum for your course):

Qualification Minimum Requirements
CS, SE, MEng CS
Minimum Requirements
CES, MEng CES
Certificate of Higher Education 120 credits 120 credits
Diploma of Higher Education 240 credits 240 credits
BSc CS*,
BEng CES
360 credits
* with 100 at level 3
360 credits
BSc (Hons) CS,
BEng (Hons) CES
480 credits including
200 at levels 3 and 4
100 at level 4
CS408 (project)
510 credits including
EE475 (project)
BSc (Hons) SE 500 credits including
200 at levels 3 and 4
100 at level 4
CS408 (project)
CS415 (placement)
MEng CS, MEng CES 620 credits including
CS408 (project)
CS546 (group project)
CS416 (placement)
630 credits including
EE475 (project)
19520 (group project)

The Software Engineering course only awards BSc (Hons) degrees – other awards can, however, be awarded by first transferring to the Computer Science degree course. The MEng courses only award MEng but other awards are normally possible by transferring to a different degree course first. Only MEng students can be awarded an MEng degree, although students on other degree programmes who perform well may be invited to transfer to the appropriate MEng course. See below for information on transfers between degree courses.

Honours degrees are classified according to the following scheme:

  • First class – overall mark of at least 70%
  • Upper 2nd class – overall mark of at least 60%
  • Lower 2nd class – overall mark of at least 50%
  • Third class – overall mark of at least 40%

For the CS and SE degrees the overall mark is calculated from the marks awarded for your first attempt at third and fourth year classes using the Faculty of Science Composite Mark Algorithm. Third year marks count 25% and fourth year marks count  75%. Marks are credit-weighted, so a 20-credit class counts twice as much as a 10-credit class. The Honours project, being 40 credits, contributes 25% to the overall mark.

For the BEng (Hons) CES degree the overall mark is calculated from the marks awarded for your first attempt at third and fourth year classes with a contribution of 15% from your third year classes, 25% from the Honours project and 60% from your other fourth year classes.

MEng degrees are classified as MEng, MEng with Merit or MEng with Distinction – this is determined by your first assessed attempt at your fourth and fifth year classes.

For MEng CS, the overall mark is calculated from the marks awarded for your fourth and fifth year classes using the Faculty of Science Composite Mark Algorithm (the placement mark is not included in this calculation). Fourth year marks count 25% and fifth year marks count the other 75%. Marks are credit-weighted, so a 20-credit class counts twice as much as a 10-credit class. The MEng project, being 40 credits, contributes 25% to the overall mark.

For MEng CES, the overall mark is based on the credit-weighted average of all classes taken in years 4 and 5.

To pass MEng you need an average of at least 50%. A mark of at least 60% gains an award of Merit, and at least 70% a Distinction.

If you are in fourth year of the CS, SE and MEng CS degrees, you will be awarded the credits for all of your fourth year taught optional classes (this does not include the credits for the class CS408 (project)) provided your credit-weighted average mark for these classes is over 40%.

If you are in fifth year of the MEng CS degree, you will be awarded the credits for all of your fifth year taught optional classes (this does not include the credits for the class CS546 (group project)) provided your credit-weighted average mark for these classes is over 50%.

Graduation

All students hoping to graduate or be presented with their award MUST enrol to graduate by completing a form. Details of the ceremonies and enrolment forms are usually available from the Graduations and Transcripts Team in March each year. Students who wish to graduate in July must register by the first Friday in May – you cannot wait until your results and award have been confirmed. Information about how to graduate and graduation dates are available via the Graduation page.

Prizes and Dean’s Certificates

If you perform exceptionally well in your exam results you may be eligible for a prize or for a Dean’s certificate.

Students in years 1-3 who obtain an average mark for all classes at first sitting of 80% or higher will be awarded a Dean’s certificate.

A prize sponsored by Morgan Stanley will be awarded for the best second year programming project (taken in the class CS 207 Advanced Programming).

A prize sponsored by Kana is usually awarded for the best third year group project (taken in the class CS308 Building Software Systems).

Students in fourth or fifth year of their degree may be awarded one of the following prizes.

  • The Charles Babbage Prize for the best individual project.
  • The Andrew McGettrick Prize for best overall performance for a final year MEng Computer Science student.
  • The Andrew McGettrick Prize for best overall performance for a final year BSc Honours student.
  • A prize for best overall performance for a fourth year MEng Computer Science student.
  • A prize for the best project presentation.

Transfers

It is often possible to transfer between degree courses between years, e.g. do BSc SE in first year and transfer into 2nd year of BSc CS. To enter a new degree course, you are normally required to have satisfied the progress conditions for that degree – this is typically easier earlier in the degree, but is sometimes impossible as you may not have taken the required classes. You should talk to your personal development adviser or year adviser of studies if you would like to transfer degrees.

In some circumstances you may be required to transfer to another degree course because you haven’t satisfied the progress or award criteria for your current degree, but have satisfied the requirements for the other degree (e.g. transferring from MEng to BSc, from honours to pass, or from a specialised degree to standard Computer Science).

Transferring from one CIS Honours degree (CS or SE) to another

To transfer to another degree course, you will need to have satisfied the progress conditions for that degree.

  • CS students may transfer to the SE degree at any point during years 1-3. During year 3 you will need to find a 12-month industrial placement in order to be allowed to transfer to SE.
  • SE students may transfer to the CS degree at any point during years 1-5.

Transferring between Honours degrees (CS or SE) and the MEng Computer Science degree

If you are currently on the CS or SE degrees then providing you perform well in the first attempts at your exams, you will be given the opportunity to transfer to the MEng CS degree.

  1. CS and SE students may transfer to MEng CS at the end of 1st year if all of the following criteria apply.
    1. You obtain a credit-weighted average (CWA) mark (at first sitting of your 1st year exams) of 69.5 % or higher (i.e. your exam board decision is Pass with Distinction).
    2. You obtain a mark of 70% or higher for your first sitting of the class CS105 Programming Foundations.
  2. CS and SE students may transfer to MEng CS at the end of 2nd or 3rd year if all of the following criteria apply.
    1. You obtain a CWA of 69.5% or higher (at first sitting) at the end of your current year (i.e. your exam board decision is Pass with Distinction).
    2. You have obtained a CWA of 59.5% or higher (at first sitting) at the end of all of your previous year(s) of study (i.e. in all previous years, your exam board decision is Pass with Merit).

Below are the rules for MEng CS students who wish to transfer to CS or SE.

  1. MEng CS students may transfer to the CS degree at any point during years 1-4.
  2. MEng CS students may transfer to the SE degree at any point during years 1-3. During year 3 you will need to find a 12-month industrial placement in order to be allowed to transfer to SE.

University Compensation Scheme

Students in first, second and third year who do not pass all classes may be eligible for compensation. The compensation scheme is very restricted however, and basically only compensates 20 credits worth of classes. Full details of the scheme are described in a document entitled Compensation Scheme and Progress – essentially if you have a credit-weighted average mark of 45% or higher in the year at first sitting (note that resit marks do not count in this calculation), then you can have one 20-credit class mark, or up to two 10-credit class marks in the range 30% to 39% compensated. Your transcript will still show your failing mark(s) but you will be awarded the credits for the class(es). If the compensated class(es) is(are) your only failing class(es) then you can progress to the next year without needing to resit any classes. For first year CS, SE and MEngCS students, in order to be allowed to progress to second year, CS105 Programming Foundations cannot be compensated and must be passed in its own right. For second year CS, SE and MEng students, in order to be allowed to progress to third year, CS207 Advanced Programming cannot be compensated and must be passed in its own right.

For CES degrees, the Engineering Faculty run a compensation scheme similar to the University Compensation Scheme for students in fourth and fifth year.

Professional Qualifications

Undergraduates are encouraged to become student members of the British Computer Society and to proceed subsequently to full professional membership status. CES students can also gain professional membership of The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

To gain professional membership of the BCS or IET and to gain professional qualifications of Chartered Information Technology Professional (CITP), Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Scientist (CSci), the society will assess your academic and professional work experience. Graduates from most of our degrees are considered to have satisfied in part or in full the academic qualifications for these professional qualifications. The table below gives a guide to how our degrees are classified. Once you gain these professional qualifications you can add MBCS, CITP, CEng, CSci to your degree in your professional name!

BSc Hons
CS or SE
BSc Hons
CES
MEng
CS
MEng
CES
Professional Membership of the BCS Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies
Professional Membership of the IET Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies
Course satisfies academic requirements for CITP Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies
Course satisfies academic requirements for CEng  Partially Satisfies  Partially Satisfies Fully Satisfies Fully Satisfies

For courses that fully satisfy (Fully Satisfies) the academic requirements your application for these professional qualifications will be based only on your professional work experience; for courses that partially satisfy the academic requirements ( Partially Satisfies) your application will be based on your professional work experience and a reduced academic assessment.