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Unit assessment information

How information about unit assessments is displayed in the catalogue and what it shows you.


Assessment Information available in the unit catalogue

The unit catalogue on the web provides a summary of how the unit is assessed. For example, if a unit was assessed entirely by coursework it would show as CW100 (Coursework 100%). This information is taken from SAMIS and is correct at the time of publication. Changes to the assessment of a unit are approved by the relevant Faculty/ School committee.

What is an Assessment Summary?

The detail about how a unit is assessed is summarised by type of assessment and weighting. For example, if a unit is assessed by 4 pieces of coursework each weighted at 25% then this will be shown as CW100 (Coursework 100%). The summary weightings will always add up to 100%.

What does the Assessment Detail tell me?

The Assessment detail section of the unit catalogue displays each individual assessment item: its type, description, weighting and any other relevant information such as whether different assessment items are taken by different groups of students; or whether the assessment item is subject to a qualifying mark. The assessment detail will be taken directly from the assessments area of SAMIS.

Assessment type

A code to describe the type of assessment (see table below)


Description of assessment item


How much the assessment item mark will contribute to the overall mark from 0% to 100%. Items weighted at 0% are normally those without a mark and assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Assessment group

This will only be shown if the unit is taken by two different groups of students who are subject to slightly different assessment rules. For example, a unit might be taken by two different groups of students on different programmes. If one group of students is required to pass each item of assessment because of external accreditation requirements and students on a different programme are not; then the assessment items will be duplicated and assigned to different groups.

Qualifying mark

If students are required to reach a threshold (or qualifying) mark on an assessment item the qualifying mark will be displayed. As long as the student achieves the qualifying mark on each and every item it is applicable to then there is no impact. If however the student fails to reach the qualifying mark in one or more assessment items but overall the unit mark achieved was >=40% then the outcome of this is that, for undergraduate students, the unit mark will be capped at 39% and students may be required to undertake re-assessment. Postgraduate students have their marked capped to the relevant pass mark and re-assessment will be required.

Students will see a grade of QR (qualified reassessment) as their unit grade (see 'Answers to Frequently Asked Questions' below). If the unit is a designated essential unit (DEU) then re-assessment will be required in order to pass the unit. If the unit is not a DEU then the student might get the marked condoned depending on their overall performance for the year.

Set (of items to which a qualifying mark applies)

If a student has to reach a qualifying mark overall on a group of assessment items - for example, 3 pieces of coursework and the student must achieve 40% as the average for the three pieces of work, then this will be shown.

Assessment type codes and what they mean

Assessment Type Description
AO Attendance Only
CW Coursework
DS Dissertation
ES Essay
EX Examination
MC Multiple choice
OR Oral
OT Other
PF Portfolio
PL Placement
PR Practical
RS Residential
SM Seminar

Assessment weightings and what they mean

Each item of assessment will be assigned a weighting from 0% to 100%. The weighting indicates the how each mark for each piece of assessment will contribute to the overall unit mark. The total of the individual assessment items will add up to 100%. Items of weighted as 0% are those that are assessed as pass or fail. Some units are entirely assessed as pass/fail (for example, a placement unit). Credit will be gained, but no mark will be achieved and thus doesn’t contribute to the overall stage/course average.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Does the way a unit is assessed change from year to year?

It can do. Departments create a new version of the record which contains the details of how a unit is assessed if the way a unit is assessed changes from year to year. This means the University can keep track of the changes to assessment over the years and enables transcripts to be generated for graduated students even though the assessment for a unit has changed.

What does a qualifying mark on an assessment item mean in practice?

If a qualifying mark exists the student must achieve that mark in each assessment item, or higher, in order to pass the unit. For undergraduate students, if the student doesn’t achieve the qualifying mark when it’s required, but overall achieves a unit mark (based on the assessment weightings) of >=40% then the unit mark will be reduced to 39% and the student will see a grade of QR (qualified reassessment). Once the student successfully passes re-assessment the 39% mark is retained. If a student is not required to take re-assessment (the unit may not be a DEU) then the mark may be condoned depending on the student’s overall performance and the student will then see a grade of PC following the Board of Studies.

Why does my unit have qualifying marks?

Some programmes are governed by external accreditation organisations which require students to achieve a certain standard in their assessments in order to be recognised in a profession: pharmacists; social workers; engineers for example. There is a requirement that you achieve a good standard in all items of assessment. In some departments a qualifying mark of 35% is employed to encourage students to achieve at least the condonable mark in an item of work. Where qualifying marks are not required students may compensate for a poor performance in one item by doing really well in another that means overall the unit is passed.

How is the unit mark calculated?

Each assessment item has a weighting e.g. 50% or 25%. The weightings for each assessment item for a unit add up to 100%. The mark achieved for each item of work is then calculated together based on the weightings to give the final unit mark. The only time this would be different would be if qualifying marks were involved (see above).

What’s the difference between a "unit" and a "module"?

There is no difference. The University of Bath refers to units: a programme is made up of a number of units. The software that runs SAMIS uses the term "Module" - they can be used inter-changeably - there is no difference.

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