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Reassessment and Progression Rules


If you fail the assessment for a module, then you may be permitted reassessment. This usually means retaking the final exam or (if you failed the project or essay component of a module) submitting a new project report. The decision whether to offer a reassessment is taken by the Assessment Sub-Board.

If you are reassessed the mark will be capped at the pass mark for that exam (40 for levels 4, 5 and 6 and 50 for level 7).


If you fail the assessment but are close enough to passing then the failure may be “condoned”. This means you are granted credit for the module even though it is not passed. The decision of whether to condone a failed module is taken by the Assessment Sub-Board.

All marks from condoned credit will count towards any award calculation.

Note that core modules cannot be condoned, and condoned credit does not count towards your credit total required for progression.

Substitute modules

MSc students who started in 2012 or later and who fail a module which is neither compulsory nor core, and where the mark obtained is uncondonable, may be offered the chance to take a “substitute module” in place of a failed module. A substitute module is treated in many respects as a second attempt at the original failed module, taken in College. This means the mark is capped at the pass mark and tuition fees are payable. Moreover, the modules will count against the number of allowed condoned fail credits as if it were a condoned failure. Furthermore, once a substitue module has been granted, the mark obtained on the original module is not taken into any further account, so it is possible to obtain a lower mark on a substitue module than on the original module. The decision of whether to offer a substitute module is taken by the Assessment Sub-Board.

Reassessment and condonement for postgraduate students starting in 2013 or later

If you fail a module, you may be offered reassessment. This is decided by the relevant Postgraduate Assessment Sub-Board.

  • For level 6 and 7 modules - one reassessment opportunity

These are in addition to the first time the assessment is taken. You would therefore have up to two opportunities to sit a module at levels 6 and 7.

Reassessment of modules failed in the January examination period may be offered in May.  Reassessment of modules failed in the May examination period may be offered in August or in the following academic year.  Students with at most three failed modules in total (from both semester 1 and semester 2) will be given resits in August.  Normally if you have more than three exams to resit you will be asked to resit your exams in the next academic year (when you took the exam for the first time at the January or May exam session).

Reassessment is offered when the student's overall mark for a module is below the pass mark (rather than the individual assessment being below the pass mark).

When students are taking reassessment in the next academic year it is assumed that students will complete reassessments "Out of College" - i.e. without retaking the teaching - for which there is no charge.  If students would like to complete reassessments "In College" - i.e. returning for teaching - there will be a pro-rata fee charged.

Condoned Fails

The Assessment Sub-Board can decide to condone (grant credit for award, with a mark below the pass mark) a failed module, from the departments of Physics, Mathematics or Informatics at King's, if it has marks in the range 33-39 for level 4, 1-39 for levels 5 and 6 and 1-49 for level 7.

For modules from other department or Colleges, the Assessment Sub-Board can decide to condone a failed module if it has marks in the range 33-39 for level 4, 5 and 6, and 40-49 for level 7.

Up to 30 credits of condoned fails are permitted on MSc programmes.

On MSc programmes students need to gain at least 180 credits, or which at least 150 credits must be passed at level 7.

Students can also gain credit from level 6 modules they have passed and from condoned fails, but together these can contribute to no more that 30 credits.

For full details of credit required for all awards please see the A3 regulations from the year you started the programme.

Modules with a mark that could be condoneable can be offered as an August resit, because there may be a chance that students can improve their degree classification (the weighted average of all your marks).  If you do not take the resit for the module your original mark will stand, and the assessment board will decide whether to condone this at its October meeting.  This happens in October because modules can only be condoned when you have exhausted all your attempts, or in order for you to graduate (i.e. you wouldn’t be forced to wait and take a second attempt at a module if you could be awarded your degree straight away with a condoned fail).

Progression and Completion

Progression to the Project 

Students will automatically progress to the research methods modules in the second semester. However, the Board of Examiners may at its discretion terminate a research project already commenced in the event of failure in one or more examinations in the programme. To be awarded the MSc Non-Equilibrium Systems, students need to have taken 180 credits (or more, up to 210) and have passed all credits except for up to 30 credits in non-core module that may be failed in the condonable range. All research methods modules are core modules and must be taken and passed.

Exit Awards

Where a student has failed to satisfy the examiners in all elements of a programme and:

a) has exhausted any available reassessment opportunities or has terminated their studies early; and

b)  has met the criteria for a lower level or lower volume exit award (as detailed in the programme specification for the award on which they are registered)

the Assessment Sub-Board may, in accordance with College criteria, recommend the award of the relevant exit qualification. The availability of nested or exit awards will be detailed in the relevant programme specification. Once an award has been conferred there will be no further assessment opportunities for any element of the programme leading to that award.

These awards are granted at the discretion of the Assessment Sub-Board.

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