Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/5.2 QUT grading

Policy Owner

Director, Curriculum Quality and Standards and Director, Student Administration

Approval Date

12/09/2022

Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review

01/09/2025

5.2.1 Purpose
5.2.2 Application
5.2.3 Roles and responsibilities
5.2.4 Grading scales
5.2.5 Grading awards
5.2.6 Previous grading awards with honours
5.2.7 Grade point average
5.2.8 Approval and notification of grades
5.2.9 Alteration of grades after release
5.2.10 Definitions
5.2.11 Delegations
Related Documents
Modification History

This policy has been revised and approved, effective 1 January 2023.
Access the previous policy from the Digital Workplace (QUT staff access only).
For any questions relating to this policy, please contact the Director, Curriculum, Quality and Standards.

5.2.1 Purpose

This policy prescribes the grading scale and grading awards that report student achievement and record administrative processes.

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5.2.2 Application

This policy applies to award courses (C/3.1) and credit point based units, it does not apply to higher degree research (time-based study).

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5.2.3 Roles and responsibilities

Position
Responsibility

Director, Student Administration

  • approves procedures for the submission and notification of grades

Executive Dean of Faculty and Executive Director, QUT College

  • approves a student's final grade for a unit (may be delegated further by University Academic Board)
Faculty academic board
  • endorses grades for all units owned by the faculty
Head of school
  • authorises grades for units taught by their school for approval by the executive team
Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar
  • determines the manner in which students will be notified of grades
Unit coordinator
  • responsible for submitting recommended grades

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5.2.4 Grading scales

Grading at QUT includes academic grading and administrative grading.

Academic grading reports student academic achievement by:

  • numeric grades on a 7-point scale
  • ungraded “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory).

When determining the final grades in a unit may only one grading scale is applied and must apply to all students enrolled in the unit.

For multi-component units, the only grade which can be applied for earlier components is “S” or “U”.

Academic grading at QUT includes:
  • succinct qualitative descriptor
  • generic description of standard to inform grading
  • standard percentage ranges where numeric references are used, unless an exception has been approved (C/4.1Curriculum design, approval and accreditation).

Administrative grades are allocated automatically by QUT’s assessment and student management systems.

Academic numerical pass
Academic grades are allocated and determined by academic processes, including appropriate moderation.
7 - High Distinction
Percentage range: 85%-100%.

Work provides evidence of an exceptional level of achievement of unit learning outcomes, such as:

  • thorough and well-reasoned critical analysis and evaluation of concepts, theories and practice from the field of study
  • creative and insightful application of well-integrated theoretical and practical knowledge to professional contexts

6 - Distinction
Percentage range: 75%-84%.

Work provides evidence of a very high level of achievement of unit learning outcomes, such as:

  • thorough critical analysis and evaluation of concepts, theories and practice from the field of study
  • insightful application of integrated theoretical and practical knowledge to professional contexts

5 - Credit
Percentage range: 65%-74%.

Work provides evidence of a high level of achievement of unit learning outcomes, such as:

  • critical analysis and evaluation of key concepts, theories and practice from the field of study
  • effective application of theoretical and practical knowledge to professional contexts

4 - Pass
Percentage range: 50%-64%.

Work provides evidence of an acceptable level of achievement of unit learning outcomes, such as:

  • adequate analysis and evaluation of key concepts, theories and practice from the field of study
  • sound application of fundamental theoretical and practical knowledge to professional contexts
 

Academic numerical fail

3 - Marginal Fail
Percentage range: 40%-49%.

Work provides evidence of limited and/or disconnected learning which fails to demonstrate that unit learning outcomes have been achieved. Students who receive a grade of 3 in a unit may be eligible to apply for supplementary assessment (C/5.5 Student academic concessions)

2 - Fail
Percentage range: 25-39%.

Work provides evidence of minimal learning in relation to unit learning outcomes

1 - Low Fail
Percentage range: fewer than 25%.

Work provides little or no evidence of learning in relation to unit learning outcomes

 

Academic ungraded

S - Satisfactory
(where approved for use)

Work provides evidence of an acceptable level of achievement of unit learning outcomes and professional competencies (where applicable)

U - Unsatisfactory
(where approved for use)

Work fails to provide evidence of the achievement of unit learning outcomes and/or professional competencies (where applicable) at an acceptable level

 

Academic unfinalised

A - Grade unfinalised

The grade will be issued when available

 

Administrative grades
Administrative grades are allocated automatically by QUT’s assessment and student management systems

 

Administrative finalised

E - Exempt

Specified advanced standing is granted (E/4.2)

K -Withdrawn Fail

Student cancels their enrolment in the unit after the published withdrawal date for the relevant teaching period (E/4.3)

 

Administrative unfinalised

SA - Supplementary Assessment Supplementary assessment granted
DA - Deferred Assessment Deferred assessment granted

T - Assessment Continues

Studies extend over more than one teaching period

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5.2.5 Grading awards

To recognise meritorious achievement, awards are granted as follows:

Awards with distinction

In recognition of meritorious achievement, awards with distinction may be conferred in undergraduate courses (Associate or Bachelor degrees excluding those awarded with honours) or postgraduate courses (Graduate Diplomas or Masters) as designated in the accredited curriculum.

The following minimum grade point average (GPA) thresholds are used in determining eligibility for awards with distinction:

  • GPA of 5.5 for undergraduate courses, and
  • GPA of 6.0 for postgraduate courses.

In exceptional cases, faculty academic boards may recommend to University Academic Board a relaxation of the GPA requirement for a particular graduand. Such a recommendation must be accompanied by an appropriate rationale.

To be eligible for an award with distinction a graduand must have completed at least 50% of the total credit points required for the course at QUT. Eligibility for awards with distinction for double degrees is based on consideration of the separate component degree. For either degree, only the units associated specifically with that component are taken into account in the GPA calculations used to determine eligibility.

Bachelor honours degrees

The class of honours awarded is determined by the honours GPA:

  • For a stand-alone (one year) bachelor honours degree, the honours GPA is calculated across the entire course.
  • For a four year bachelor honours cluster qualification (embedded honours), the honours GPA is calculated on the 96 credit points specified as the honours component consistent with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification type descriptor approved as part of the curriculum development and approval process or by a delegated authority (C/4.1). Faculty academic boards may seek University Academic Board approval for an alternative calculation method supported by an appropriate rationale and evidence of professional expectations or discipline norms.  

For all bachelor honours degrees, the following levels of honours are awarded:

  • Honours I (First Class Honours): Honours GPA of 6.20 to 7.00
  • Honours IIA (Second Class Honours, Division A): Honours GPA of 5.65 to 6.199
  • Honours IIB (Second Class Honours, Division B): Honours GPA of 5.00 to 5.649
  • Honours III (Third Class Honours): Honours GPA of less than 5.00

Honours and double degrees

Eligibility for awards with honours for double degrees is based on consideration of the separate component degree. The level of the award with honours is the GPA as calculated on the 96 credit points specified as the honours component or the alternative calculation method as approved by University Academic Board.

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5.2.6 Previous grading awards with honours

Students completing bachelor honours degrees after 1 January 2023 will be awarded honours as specified in C/5.2.5. However, if the class of honours to be awarded under C/5.2.5 is lower than the class the student would have received under the previous version of this policy, the higher class of honours will be awarded. The previous levels of honours were:

  • Honours I (First Class Honours): Honours GPA of 6.50-7.00
  • Honours IIA (Second Class Honours, Division A): Honours GPA of 5.50 to 6.49
  • Honours IIB (Second Class Honours, Division B): Honours GPA of 4.50 to 5.49
  • Honours III (Third Class Honours): Honours GPA of less than 4.50

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5.2.7 Grade point average

QUT provides a grade point average (GPA) to:

  • provide students with an indicator of their academic progress
  • is a simple numerical index summarising a student's academic performance in a course (C/5.2.10).

GPAs are reported by course and include:

  • the grades of all QUT units completed as part of the course
  • all attempts at units which are awarded a numeric grade
  • all units with the grade 'K' (withdrawn - Fail) which is calculated as '1'.

The following are not included in the GPA calculation:

  • unfinalised results
  • final grades of 'S' (Satisfactory) or 'U' (Unsatisfactory)
  • units undertaken at another institution
  • units where the status recorded is ‘E’ (Exempt).

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5.2.8 Approval and notification of grades

A final grade is awarded for each unit attempted. Students are advised of final grades at the end of each teaching period.

Executive Deans review and approve final grades recommended for each student in accordance with course rules.

The Executive Dean may approve a final grade for a student that is different to the grade recommended. This change should only occur after consultation with either the examiner of the unit and/or the relevant Head of School.

Following approval the Director, Student Administration notifies grades to the student.

Grades that are unfinalised at the time of notification will be resolved by QUT promptly.

Where a student fails to meet a debt or obligation to the University, the Vice-President (Administration) and University Registrar may approve the withholding of the student's grades.

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5.2.9 Alteration of grades after release

An Executive Dean may, with the concurrence of the relevant Unit Coordinator or the Head of the School offering the unit, alter their decisions on grades to:

  • correct a patent error, or
  • accord with a decision that the Executive Dean, Head of School and Unit Coordinator are satisfied would have been made if relevant circumstances which were not considered by the Executive Dean had been taken into account, or
  • accord with the outcome of a faculty level Review of Grade.

A Head of School responsible for a unit may change a grade to accord with a school level Review of Grade outcome.

The Executive Dean may delegate to another person the authority to approve a change of grade.

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5.2.10 Definitions

Bachelor honours degree is a qualification located at level 8 of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).

Cluster qualification is two AQF courses clustered together with the qualifications for each being met. A bachelor honours is a cluster qualification comprising a bachelor degree and a bachelor honours degree.

Embedded honours is a cluster qualification, embedding AQF level 8 components into a four year bachelor degree to create a bachelor honours.

Grade point average (GPA) is calculated as follows:


sum of (unit credit points x numeric grade awarded for the unit)

= GPA

sum of credit points of completed units

For example, for a semester of completed study comprising four x 12 credit point units with grades of ‘7’, ‘4’, ‘6’, ‘3’: 


(12 x 7) + (12 x 4) + (12 x 6) +(12 x 3)        

= 5

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Stand-alone honours is a separate honours year with AQF level 8 learning outcomes following a three year AQF level 7 Bachelor degree in the same discipline.

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5.2.11 Delegations

Refer to Register of Authorities and Delegations (C121) (QUT staff access only).

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Related Documents

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP C/5.5 Student academic concessions

MOPP E/4.2 Advanced standing

MOPP E/4.3 Enrolment programs

MOPP E/9.1 Review of grades and academic rulings

MOPP E/10.1 Conferral, graduation and academic dress

Final grade approval and release procedures (QUT staff access only)

Final grade information (QUT staff and student access only)

Australian Qualifications Framework

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Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
12.09.22 All University Academic Board Periodic review - revised policy
17.11.17 All University Academic Board Policy retitled and revised to include former policy E/6.5
07.11.14 C/5.2.4 University Academic Board Policy revised to clarify awards with distinction - effective 01.01.15
20.09.13 All University Academic Board Revised policy to include changes to honours grading - effective 01.01.14

23.03.12

C/5.2.4, C/5.2.5, C/5.2.6

University Academic Board

Policy revised to reflect revised Australian Qualifications Framework

19.02.11 All Vice-Chancellor Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit
13.11.09 All University Academic Board Revised policy effective from Semester 1, 2010; includes grading systems for awards with distinction and awards with honours (formerly C/3.2.12).
14.11.08 All University Academic Board Revised and renumbered policy to C/5.2, effective from 01.01.09 (formerly C/9.2, E/6.5.8, E/6.5.9 and E/6.5.10) (endorsed by University Teaching and Learning Committee 21.10.08)
04.04.08 All University Academic Board Revised policy – effective from 01.01.09 (endorsed by Academic Policy and Procedures Committee 10.03.08)
25.06.04 All University Academic Board Revised policy relating to grades of 3 (effective 25.06.2004)
26.09.03 All University Academic Board

Revised policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 09.09.03)- effective 01.01.2004

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