Grading System

In common with other colleges of the University of Divinity, results are published according to the following grading system:

  • HD = High Distinction = 85%+
  • D = Distinction = 75-84%
  • C = Credit = 65-74%
  • P = Pass = 50-64%
  • F = Fail = 0-49%
  • PP = Pass where marked on Pass/Fail basis only
  • WD = Withdrawn
  • E = Extension [only two ‘E’ results will normally be allowed for the duration of a 3 year course]

Fail (F): less than 50%

The essay does not meet the requirements for a PASS grade in several ways:

  • It does not answer the question.
  • Its content is insufficient, brief and superficial in treatment.
  • There are serious factual errors that undermine the argument.
  • There is a serious lack of understanding of the issues and concepts involved in the question.
  • There is a lack of clarity of expression in choice of words, sentence and paragraph structure, spelling or grammar to such a degree that the essay is incomprehensible.
  • It inadequately conforms to the requirements for essay style and form.
  • Referencing and bibliography are either insufficient or absent.

Pass (P): 50 – 64%

The essay covers a reasonable number of relevant points raised in the question:

  • It follows all instructions given with the essay question.
  • It makes intelligent use of basic scholarship to sustain an argued case.
  • It is clearly expressed in an organised form.
  • Spelling and punctuation are accurate.
  • It conforms to the style conventions prescribed, i.e., there is adequate footnoting/referencing and bibliography, and an acceptable layout.

Credit (C): 65 – 74%

  • The essay meets the criteria for a PASS grade:
  • It shows some originality and/or independence of organisation and judgement.
  • There is critical handling of scholarship, especially beyond the basic specified range.
  • There is use of evidence beyond the basic specified range.
  • The argument is well structured and clearly expressed, with some complexity of writing style.
  • Referencing/footnotes and bibliography conform to the correct style.

Distinction (D): 75 – 84%

The essay meets the criteria for a CREDIT grade.

  • It shows some originality or independence of thought.
  • There is a high degree of precision and rigour in the argument.
  • It demonstrates an ability to critique existing scholarship.
  • There is evidence of extensive reading and deployment of appropriate evidence.
  • It is very well written with clarity of style.

High Distinction (HD): 85%+

  • The essay meets the criteria for a DISTINCTION grade.
  • It shows a marked degree of both originality and independence of thought.
  • There is a thorough critique of existing scholarship.
  • There is evidence of exceptional breadth of reading and a sophisticated use of appropriate evidence.
  • There is a marked degree of methodological rigour and sophistication.
  • The essay is exceptionally well written.