Grades Procedure

Procedure overview

1 Purpose

To set out the process of awarding Grades at the University.

To find the version of the Grades Schedule (and associated instruments) in force up to and including 13 February 2022, click here.

2 Scope

This Procedure applies to all Courses at the University.

3 Procedure Overview

This Procedure sets out the practices and processes for calculating and awarding Grades (both temporary and final) for Courses at the University.

4 Procedures

4.1 Final Grades

Final Grades appear on Student transcripts and are an official record of overall performance for a Course.

Final Grades are determined by adding the Marks for each Assessment Item as set out in the Course Specification and expressing them as a percentage of the total weighted Marks obtained in a Course.

Where a Course is based on professional competencies that require a minimum level of achievement, a Final Grade is determined by whether a Student has demonstrated proficiency relative to the Course Learning Outcomes and/or professional competencies. In this instance, the Final Grade of a Student will be either an ungraded pass (proficient) or an ungraded fail (not proficient).

4.2 Grading systems

When determining the Final Grade of a Student, a Course must use either a graded or pass/fail system, which will be used for all Students in the cohort.

4.2.1 Graded system

Final Grades at the University are determined by processes set out in the Assessment Procedure and are used to calculate the Grade Point Average. Standard percentage ranges are used for the awarding of Final Grades. The numeric Grades, standard percentage ranges, and descriptions are set out in Table 1.

Table 1: Final Grade descriptors

Final Grade

Code

GPA

Range

Description

High distinction

HD

7

Between 85% and 100%

A Final Grade of 'high distinction' will be awarded when a Student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Distinction

D

6

At least 75% but less than 85%

A Final Grade of 'distinction' will be awarded when a Student has demonstrated a very high level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Credit

C

5

At least 65% but less than 75%

A Final Grade of 'credit' will be awarded when a Student has demonstrated a high level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Pass

P

4

At least 50% but less than 65%

A Final Grade of 'pass' will be awarded when a Student has demonstrated an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Conceded pass

CP

3

At least 45% but less than 50%

A Final Grade of 'conceded pass' may be awarded in a single Course attempted in the final Teaching Period of a program. A Student may not apply for a conceded pass. See Section 4.2.2 for more details.

Fail

F

1.5

Less than 50%

A Final Grade of 'fail' will be awarded when a Student has not demonstrated an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Objectives.

Pass not contributing to GPA

PC

N/A

50%-100%

This Grade is made available at the discretion of the University in extraordinary circumstances and is applied during finalisation of Teaching Period results to mitigate adverse effects on the impacted cohort of Students.

A Final Grade of 'Pass not contributing to GPA' will be awarded if offered by the University and when a Student elects to exclude a Final passing Grade from contributing to their GPA.

Fail not contributing to GPA

FC

N/A

Less than50%

This Grade is made available at the discretion of the University in extraordinary circumstances and is applied during finalisation of Teaching Period results to mitigate adverse effects on the impacted cohort of Students.

A Final Grade of 'fail not contributing to GPA' will be awarded when a Student has failed to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Fail late withdrawal

FLW

1.5

Not Applicable

A Final Grade of 'Fail - Late Withdrawal' will be used when a Student withdraws from a Course after the last day of the Teaching Period.

Credit transfer

CT

N/A

Not Applicable

A Final Grade awarded based on either previous formal, informal, or non-formal learning. Credit reduces the number of Courses required to complete an Award Program.

Exemption

EX

N/A

Not Applicable

A Final Grade of Exemption is used to indicate that a Student has been released from the requirement to complete a specific required Course as a result of having previously demonstrated competence in the subject matter of that Course.

Ongoing Assessment

ONG

N/A

Not applicable

A Grade of 'ongoing Assessment' will be awarded when a Course or sequence of Courses are completed across multiple Teaching Periods.

Withdrawn without academic and financial penalty

WWP

N/A

Not Applicable

A Final Grade of 'withdrawn without academic and financial penalty' is used to indicate withdrawal after the Census Date without academic and financial penalty.

Withdrawn without academic penalty only

WAP

N/A

Not Applicable

A Final Grade of 'withdrawn without academic penalty only' is used to indicate withdrawal after the Census Date, but on or before the last teaching day of the Teaching Period.

4.2.2 Conceded pass

Conceded passes are only available for Students in award undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate Coursework masters programs. Students in Non-Award Programs or Higher Degree by Research programs are not eligible to receive a Grade of conceded pass.

A Grade of conceded pass (CP Grade) may be awarded on approval by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs), based on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners and, if applicable, in consultation with the faculty offering the Student's program on the following conditions:

  1. Only one (1) CP Grade may be credited towards the completion of a program by a Student;
  2. Normally, the Student must have attempted all Summative Assessment for the Course and any Deferred Assessments assigned to the Student for the Course and normally failed to achieve a passing Grade by 5% or less of the aggregated Marks or equivalent in the grading scale; and
  3. Normally a CP Grade is only awarded in a final Course, i.e. the last Course that is required to complete a program, in the final Teaching Period of a Student's study in a program.

Normally, a CP Grade cannot be awarded where Supplementary Assessment is undertaken in a final Course.

Conceded passes will only be awarded for Courses in programs where this does not impact on professional registration or professional accreditation of the program.

Students cannot apply for a CP Grade. The University will decide if a CP Grade is to be awarded.

4.2.3 Pass/fail system

A pass/fail grading system does not use a Grade range to determine Final Grades and Students are awarded an ungraded pass or ungraded fail.

Where a Course is based on professional competencies that require a minimum level of achievement, a pass/fail grading system can be used to record if a Student has passed or failed in relation to the Course Learning Outcomes and/or professional competencies.

The pass/fail Grade descriptors are set out in Table 2. Pass/fail Grades do not contribute towards a Student's GPA.

Table 2: Pass/Fail Grade descriptors

Final Grade

Conditions

UP - Ungraded pass

A Final Grade of 'ungraded pass' will be awarded when a Student has demonstrated they are proficient relative to the Course Learning Outcomes and/or professional competencies.

UF - Ungraded fail

A Final Grade of 'ungraded fail' will be awarded when a Student has not demonstrated they are proficient relative to the Course Learning Outcomes and/or professional competencies.

4.2.4 Administrative Grades

Administrative Grades describe administrative information about a Grade and inform administrative processes. There are two types: temporary and final.

Temporary administrative Grades are published on the unofficial and official transcripts until they are resolved as final administrative Grades or Final Grades.

Table 3: Temporary administrative Grades

Temporary Administrative Grade

Conditions

Resolution Timeframe

Incomplete (I)

An 'incomplete' Grade will be awarded when there is outstanding Assessment for a Course completed in a previous Teaching Period.

No more than one year after results release date for the Teaching Period in which the Student was enrolled in the Course.

Deferred Assessment (DA)

A 'Deferred Assessment' Grade will be awarded when a Student has been granted a Deferred Assessment.

Normally no later than the Census Date of the subsequent Teaching Period.

Results not available (RN)

A 'results not available' Grade will be awarded when the Final Grade is not yet available. This may be due to delays in marking, processing of Grades, or other University Procedures such as Academic Misconduct.

As soon as possible after the results release date. Normally no later than the Census Date of the subsequent Teaching Period.

Result withheld (RW)

A 'result withheld' Grade will be awarded when the Student has an encumbrance to the University.

As soon as the University debt has been paid, but no more than one year after the results release date for the Teaching Period in which the Student was enrolled in the Course. The Student's enrolment in the program will be withdrawn if the debt has not been paid within one year of the results release date.

SA - Supplementary Assessment

A 'Supplementary Assessment' Grade will be awarded when a Supplementary Assessment has been granted.

Normally no later than the Census Date of the subsequent Teaching Period.

Final administrative Grades provide administrative detail describing fail and credit Grades and are used by the University for reporting purposes.

Final administrative Grades are not published on an official Academic Transcript.

Table 4: Final Administrative Grades

Final Administrative Grade

Final Grade

Code

GPA

Range

Description

Fail-did not participate

Fail

FNP

1.5

0

A final administrative Grade of 'fail-did not participate' will be awarded when a Student has not undertaken any of the Assessment Items in a Course.

Fail-did not complete

Fail

FNC

1.5

Less than 50

A final administrative Grade of 'fail - did not complete' will be awarded when a Student completes some but not all of the mandatory Assessment Items.

Fail-did not sit

Fail

FNS

1.5

Less than 50

A final administrative Grade of 'fail-did not sit' will be awarded when a Student does not sit the Formal Examination in a Course (FNS will take precedence over FNC).

Block credit

Credit

K

N/A

N/A

A final administrative Grade of 'block credit' is used to indicate that a Student has had previous formal, informal, or non-formal learning recognised, as part of a block of prior learning.

Specified credit

Credit

L

N/A

N/A

A final administrative Grade of 'specified credit' is used to indicate that a Student has had previous formal, informal, or non-formal learning recognised for a specified core or specified elective Course.

Unspecified credit

Credit

J

N/A

N/A

A final administrative Grade of 'unspecified credit' is used to indicate that a Student has had previous formal, informal, or non-formal learning recognised for an elective or other optional Course.

4.3 Managing Grades

Details of the roles and responsibilities of managing Grades is documented in the Assessment and Grades - Roles and Responsibilities Schedule.

4.3.1 Release of Grades

Students will be notified of their Final Grades through 'Uconnect' on the Final Grades results release date.

4.3.2 Altering Grades after release

The University recognises that in exceptional circumstances a Final Grade may require alteration after release. Alteration of a Final Grade after release may be approved to correct an error in the original released Final Grade, or to reflect the outcome of a Student Grievance resolution process.

4.3.3 Grievances associated with Final Grades

Students with concerns regarding their Final Grade may submit a Review of Final Grade request as a Stage 2 Review, in accordance with the Student Grievance Resolution Procedure. The request must be made within 10 University Business Days of notification of the publication of results, unless Special Circumstances apply (refer to the Assessment of Special Circumstances Procedure for guidance).

Students must demonstrate one or more of the following reasons for their request for a review:

  1. An administrative error has occurred in the computation of the Final Grade
  2. The Marking or Assessment is inconsistent with the Assessment requirements or with the Assessment criteria, as stated in the Course Specification
  3. A breakdown in relevant University activities, systems or processes that directly impacted on the Student's performance in one or more Assessment Items.

In exceptional circumstances, other grounds (except those in the list of not valid grounds) will be considered if the Associate Head of School or Associate Dean (Learning, Teaching and Student Success) accepts these as reasonable.

Students should note that a review of Final Grade may result in no change to the original Grade, or a higher or lower Grade than was originally awarded.

The following are not valid grounds for a review:

  1. Challenges to:
    1. the specified Learning Outcomes of the Course
    2. the Assessment types approved for the Course
    3. the standard required to receive particular Grades in the Course
  2. a study overload
  3. personal and medical problems other than those permitted on the basis of Special Circumstances
  4. financial implications of not passing the Course
  5. Marks or Grades received by other Students in the Course
  6. Marks or Grades received by the Student in other Courses
  7. lack of language proficiency
  8. the amount of work the Student has done
  9. a penalty imposed on a Student for Academic Misconduct or Plagiarism in accordance with University policies and procedures
  10. the need for additional Marks to achieve a higher Grade.

4.4 Grade Point Average

The Grade Point Average (GPA) is a summary statistic that represents the average performance of a Student throughout an Academic Program.

The University may use the GPA to inform decisions relating to Student academic performance, such as:

  1. academic standing;
  2. admission to higher studies (e.g. honours); or
  3. eligibility for academic awards (e.g. Awards with distinction).

4.4.1 Calculation

The GPA is a weighted average for all Grades awarded from Courses attempted throughout an Academic Program, including fail Grades and Grades from repeated Courses. The weighted average reflects the relative contribution made by all Courses attempted in an Academic Program based on Unit value.

Courses using pass/fail Grades, which award on an ungraded pass (P) and ungraded fail (F) basis are not included in the GPA calculation.

4.4.2 Formula

The GPA is expressed mathematically as follows:

GPA Formula

Where '∑' is 'summed over the relevant Courses'.

4.4.3 Rounding

When reporting the GPA in official University documents, such as the Academic Transcript, the final weighted average will be rounded to one decimal. For example, where a cumulative GPA is 5.75, it would be rounded up to 5.8, and where a cumulative GPA is 4.84, it would be rounded down to 4.8.

5 References

Nil.

6 Schedules

This procedure must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Procedure Information

Accountable Officer

Provost

Responsible Officer

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs)

Policy Type

University Procedure

Policy Suite

Assessment Policy

Subordinate Schedules

Approved Date

24/5/2022

Effective Date

24/5/2022

Review Date

14/2/2025

Relevant Legislation

Related Policies

Related Procedures

Student Grievance Resolution Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Assignment Extension Request Form

Applying for a Deferred Examination Website

Recheck of Assignment Marks Request Form

Review of Final Grade Application Form

Special Consideration Application Form

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Academic Misconduct

Academic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintenti...moreAcademic Misconduct encompasses all behaviours, including doing as well as attempting to do, any of the acts, omissions or activities that constitute Academic Misconduct: involving the misrepresentation of academic achievement; or undermining the core values (honesty, trust, fairness and respect) of Academic Integrity; or breaching Academic Integrity; whether intentional or unintentional. Academic Misconduct includes, but is not limited to the following: Plagiarism; submitting (for Assessment or review) work prepared by another person; Collusion, such as any unauthorised collaboration in preparation or presentation of work, including knowingly allowing personal work to be copied by others; all forms of Cheating in examinations and other Assessment tasks; Contract Cheating and Solicitation; offering or accepting bribes (money or sexual or other favours), e.g. for Admission or for Marks/Grades; and fabrication or falsification of information or Student identity (TEQSA Guidance Note: Academic Integrity, Version 1.2, 28 March 2019).

Assessment

The process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course....moreThe process of evaluating the extent to which Students have achieved the objectives of a Course.

Assessment Item

An individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature....moreAn individual Assessment task as outlined in the Assessment schedule for a Course. Assessment Items may consist of Assignments or Formal Examinations and may be Formal, Informal, Formative or Summative in nature.

Award Program

A sequence of study which leads to an academic qualification granted by the University and conferred by Council....moreA sequence of study which leads to an academic qualification granted by the University and conferred by Council.

Census Date

The date on which the Student's enrolment related requirements must be finalised in line with the University's important dates. A Higher Education Provider must, for each unit of study it provides or proposes to provide during a year, determine for that year, a particular date to be the Census Date for the unit. Students are responsible for meeting the University's Census Date deadline...moreThe date on which the Student's enrolment related requirements must be finalised in line with the University's important dates. A Higher Education Provider must, for each unit of study it provides or proposes to provide during a year, determine for that year, a particular date to be the Census Date for the unit. Students are responsible for meeting the University's Census Date deadline and must check that all enrolment and payment details are correct on or before the Census Date.

Course

A discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade....moreA discrete element of a program, normally undertaken over a single Teaching Period, in which the Student enrols, and on completion of which the Student is awarded a grade.

Course Specification

A written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course....moreA written specification of the objectives, content, assessment methods, and other relevant details of a Course.

Coursework

A method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component....moreA method of teaching and learning that leads to the acquisition of skills and knowledge and does not include a major research component.

Deferred Assessment

An Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Special Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades for the Course an exten...moreAn Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) offered by the Examiner of a Course to Students on the basis that they could not attend a scheduled Formal Examination or submit a scheduled Assignment due to Special Circumstances. In the situation where the Examiner requires students to submit an Assignment prior to the last date for submitting Final Grades for the Course an extension should be granted rather than a deferral.

Examiner

A University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification....moreA University staff member, normally an academic staff member, continuing or fixed term, appointed to be responsible for the conduct and Assessment of a Course in accordance with the prescribed Course Specification.

Final Grade

A Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process....moreA Final Grade is a code that normally represents the outcome of the Assessment of a Student's performance against the learning objectives of a Course but may reflect the outcome of an applicable administrative process.

Grade (noun)

A Grade is a code that indicates the status of the Assessment of Student performance against the learning objectives of a Course....moreA Grade is a code that indicates the status of the Assessment of Student performance against the learning objectives of a Course.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A GPA is the sum, for all relevant Courses, of the Unit value for each Course, multiplied by the numerical value of the Grades achieved in those Courses, divided by the sum of the Unit values for all the relevant Courses....moreA GPA is the sum, for all relevant Courses, of the Unit value for each Course, multiplied by the numerical value of the Grades achieved in those Courses, divided by the sum of the Unit values for all the relevant Courses.

Higher Degree by Research (HDR)

A Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work....moreA Research Doctorate or Research Masters program for which at least two-thirds of the Student load for the program is required as research work.

Mark

An indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value....moreAn indication of mastery or non-mastery of an assessment task that takes the form of a numerical value.

Non-Award Program

A sequence of study which does not lead to an Award....moreA sequence of study which does not lead to an Award.

Policy

A high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy....moreA high level strategic directive that establishes a principle based approach on a subject. Policy is operationalised through Procedures that give instructions and set out processes to implement a Policy.

Procedure

An operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy....moreAn operational instruction that sets out the process to operationalise a Policy.

Semester

The period of time during which instruction is provided, learning is undertaken and Assessment is carried out. There are three periods during an Academic Year known consecutively as Semester 1, Semester 2 and Semester 3....moreThe period of time during which instruction is provided, learning is undertaken and Assessment is carried out. There are three periods during an Academic Year known consecutively as Semester 1, Semester 2 and Semester 3.

Student

A person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled....moreA person who is admitted to an Award Program or Non-Award Program offered by the University and is: currently enrolled in one or more Courses or study units; or not currently enrolled but is on an approved Leave of Absence or whose admission has not been cancelled.

Summative Assessment Item

Any Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) used in the determination of a Student's final Grade and should provide for feedback except when it is the final Assessment Item for a Course. Where a Summative Assessment Item is used only to determine whether or not a Student is eligible to be given a passing Grade, the weighting allocated to the item may be zero....moreAny Assessment Item (Assignment or Formal Examination) used in the determination of a Student's final Grade and should provide for feedback except when it is the final Assessment Item for a Course. Where a Summative Assessment Item is used only to determine whether or not a Student is eligible to be given a passing Grade, the weighting allocated to the item may be zero.

Supplementary Assessment

A Supplementary Assessment is an exceptional, additional Assessment Item that assesses any area the Student is yet to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes....moreA Supplementary Assessment is an exceptional, additional Assessment Item that assesses any area the Student is yet to demonstrate an acceptable level of achievement relative to the Course Learning Outcomes.

Teaching Period

The period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions....moreThe period during which a Course or study unit is offered. Examples of teaching periods include, but are not limited to, semesters, trimesters, blocks, intensives and sessions.

University

The term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland....moreThe term 'University' or 'USQ' means the University of Southern Queensland.

Definitions that relate to this procedure only

Keywords

Record No

20/592PL

Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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