UCL reduces grade boundary for a first to 68.5 as part of no detriment policy

All boundary classification borderlines have been adjusted by one per cent accounting for “outlier modules”

The Student’s Union has announced adjusted grade boundaries will be a part of UCL’s no detriment package for 2021.

This means that all grades will be subject to a one per cent flexibility meaning those students who get 68.5 or above will be eligible for a first.

The union also confirmed that five lots of extenuating circumstances will be on offer for students to use for periods of up to 14 days.

The announcement was made by the Education Officer today in their Union Update. Alongside the boundary adjustments and the extenuating circumstances he also confirmed UCL’s acknowledgement of a flawed retroactive grading system.

The Education Officer highlighted that the reasons for the delay on the no detriment are as a result of new counter-proposals being reviewed by the UCL Exams and Assessments Contingency Panel (EACP).

Whilst the initial EACP policy was to use retroactive scaling methods to even out grades, they have since acknowledged the flaws of the system and agreed it was important for students to know the no detriment policy prior to their examinations.

The Education Officer did make it very clear however that the standpoint of UCL is that “academic standards trump student priorities”, and so will not allow module discounting this academic year. This is because there was “significant grade inflation last year”.

Instead, UCL will be adjusting the classification borderlines. So for example, the 70 per cent requirement for a 1st class will be reduced to 68.5 per cent. In addition, normally if a student attains 69.5 per cent they are still eligible for a 1st class; this year this percentage will be reduced to 67.5 per cent. This will be reflected in all classification requirements. Therefore, if you end up with a few “outlier modules” (i.e. module that you do not do so well in), this will not affect your final classification.

With regard to ECs undergraduate students will now be allowed to use five lots of 14-day-long self-certified extenuating circumstances, and postgraduate students will be allowed to have six lots of 14-day-long self-certified extenuating circumstances. This will be available to use as soon as possible, and will not be limited to term three.

Ayman, UCLSU Education Officer told the Tab:

“We were at Education Committee today where the final parts of the No Detriment package were decided on. We’ve worked hard to get it to this point and there have been some positive additional changes made to the original proposal.

“Disappointingly, UCL has made the decision not to go ahead with module discounting as we proposed. Unfortunately, concerns about grade inflation took precedent over student priorities.

“The final details will be shared as planned by UCL on Tuesday, and we continue to provide updates via our social media”

For more information, look out for the paper which will likely be published on the UCL Students’ Union website, and the official No Detriment policy announcement from UCL, which will be out by Tuesday on the UCL website.