School of Social and Political Science

PG Marking Scheme


University Postgraduate Common Marking Scheme

The marking scheme below is used for postgraduate degree assessment.

Assessment of the taught component

Mark (%) Grade Description
90 - 100 A1 An excellent performance, satisfactory for a distinction
80 - 89 A2  
70 - 79 A3  
60 - 69 B A very good performance
50 - 59 C A good performance, satisfactory for a masters degree
40 - 49 D A satisfactory performance for the diploma, but inadequate for a masters degree
30 - 39 E Marginal fail
20 - 29 F Clear fail
10 - 19 G Bad fail
0 - 9 H  

Graduate School of Social and Political Science

Mark Description
90 - 100% Fulfils all criteria for A2. In addition is a work of exceptional insight and independent thought, deemed to be of publishable quality, producing an analysis of such originality as potentially to change conventional understanding of the subject.
80 - 89% Outstanding work providing insight and depth of analysis beyond the usual parameters of the topic. The work is illuminating and challenging for the markers. Comprises a sustained, fluent, authoritative argument, which demonstrates comprehensive knowledge, and convincing command, of the topic. Accurate and concise use of sources informs the work, but does not dominate it.
70 - 79% A sharply-focused, consistently clear, well-structured paper, demonstrating a high degree of insight. Effectively and convincingly argued, and showing a critical understanding of conflicting theories and evidence. Excellent scholarly standard in use of sources, and in presentation and referencing.
60 - 69% Good to very good work, displaying substantial knowledge and understanding of concepts, theories and evidence relating to the topic. Answers the question fully, drawing effectively on a wide range of relevant sources. No significant errors of fact or interpretation. Writing, referencing and presentation of a high standard.
50 - 59% Work which is satisfactory for the MSc degree, showing some accurate knowledge of topic, and understanding, interpretation and use of sources and evidence. There may be gaps in knowledge, or limited use of evidence, or over-reliance on a restricted range of sources. Content may be mainly descriptive. The argument may be confused or unclear in parts, possibly with a few factual errors or misunderstandings of concepts. Writing, referencing and presentation satisfactory.
40 - 49% Work which is satisfactory for Diploma. Shows some knowledge of the topic, is intelligible, and refers to relevant sources, but likely to have significant deficiencies in argument, evidence or use of literature. May contain factual mistakes and inaccuracies. Not adequate to the topic, perhaps very short, or weak in conception or execution, or fails to answer the question. Writing, referencing and presentation may be weak.
30 - 39% Flawed understanding of topic, showing poor awareness of theory. Unconvincing in its approach and grasp of the issues. Perhaps too short to give an adequate answer to the question. Writing, referencing and presentation likely to be very weak. A mark of 38/39 may indicate that the work could have achieved a pass if a more substanbtial answer had been produced.
20 - 29% An answer showing seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject, with little awareness of the relevant issues or theory, major omissions or inaccuracies, and pedestrian use of inadequate sources.
10 - 19% An answer that falls far short of a passable level by some combination of short length, irrelevance, lack of intelligibility, factual inaccuracy and lack of acquaintance with reading or academic concepts.
0 - 9% An answer without academic merit; conveys little sense that the course has been followed; lacks basic skills of presentation and writing.
Student category
MSc by Research