Bangor University Grading System

bangor university

Bangor University Grading System


  • Not new
  • Representation of the standard achieved by a student during and at the end of their degree programme

– Associate a summative number to each module

– Calculate an average of these as a final summative grade

– Cumulative GPA can be calculated

  • Common globally but much variation in detail of models

– Including how module grades from the different years of a degree are credit weighted to calculate a final GPA

– reflecting student performance in the latter stages of their degree, or performance throughout their degree

Honours Degree Classification – issues

  • The ‘cliff edge’
  • Lack of granularity
  • Discretion and boundary treatments
  • Different algorithms

–  Exit velocity weightings

–  Dropping credit

–  Use of profiling (e.g. median)

–  Use of year 1 modules

  • Different marking practices across disciplines and institutions
  • May not motivate students
  • Lack of international understanding/comparability

Note: use of GPA would only address some of these

HDC/GPA – current history

  • Reservations of ‘fitness for purpose’ of Honours Degree Classification expressed in national reports e.g.

–  Dearing Report into higher education (1997)

–  Burgess Reports (2004, 2007, 2012)

  • Group of interested universities (GIU) meet 2011-12

–  Leading to a proposed GPA model (2012)

  • Oxford Brookes white paper introduces GPA in tandem with HDC (2012)
  • December 2012 meeting of DBIS, HEA, UUK plus others to consider GPA model to replace/add to HDC
  • HEA undertakes scoping work and plans a GPA programme of work (2013-14)

– To facilitate national debate about the potential use of GPA in UK higher education; GPA Advisory Group set up (September 2013)

GPA – benefits, issues

  • Perceived benefits

– Greater granularity and transparency

–  Avoidance of cliff edge

–  Greater student commitment

–  Reduction of appeals

–  Globally understood and international comparability

–  Compatible with HE marking culture

  • Possible issues

–  Continuous pressure on students

–  Possible grade pressure and inflation (mitigating factors in UK)

–  Not yet understood in UK

–  Doesn’t solve all problems of HDC – new cliff edge?

Note: summative GPA complements ‘rich picture’ HEAR

GIU proposed model

Grade Standard Grade point UK current descriptor  
A+ Excellent 4.25 Top 1st  
A Excellent 4.00 Good 1st  
A- Excellent 3.75 Low 1st  
B+ Good 3.50 High 2.i  
B Good 3.25 Mid 2.i  
B- Good/Satisfactory 3.00 Low 2.i
C+ Satisfactory 2.75 High 2.ii  
C Satisfactory 2.50 Mid 2.ii  
C- Satisfactory 2.25 Low 2.ii  
D+ Adequate 2.00 3rd  
D Pass 1.00 Low 3rd or pass  
D- Marginal Fail 0.50 Marginal Fail  
F Fail 0.00 Fail 7