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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2020-2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are the most common queries we receive regarding modular degree programmes. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form at the foot of this webpage.

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

List of FAQs

+How does the Ordinary degree work?

This is exactly the same programme of study as the Honours degree. You register for the same number of modules per year and take exactly the same curriculum - you just need to pass fewer modules. The flow-chart sets out the main progression pattern but the following notes may also help:

  • at the end of Level 1 if you have only passed 100 credits you can transfer onto the Ordinary degree in parallel with the Honours degree you started on. You take 120 credits at Level 2, the same as students still on the Honours course, and if you pass them all at the end of the year you can move back into the Honours stream for Level 3. If you pass all your modules that year you will be awarded an Honours degree (despite having only 340 credits, not 360, because you failed a module at Level 1);
  • if you pass only 100 credits at the end of Level 2 you would go into (or stay on) the Ordinary stream for Level 3. Here you would take 120 credits, the same as the Honours degree students. If you achieve 300 credits or more in total with at least 60 credits at Level 3 (which means passing 80 or 100 credits at the end of Level 3, depending on how many modules you have failed previously) you will be awarded an Ordinary degree.  However, if you pass 100 or 120 credits at Level 3, your failed Level 2 module can be compensated (subject to the regulations for compensation described above) so that you can receive an Honours degree;
  • if you pass all your Level 1 and 2 modules and go into the Honours stream for Level 3 but then fail up to 60 credits you can be awarded an Ordinary degree;
  • some programmes specify pre-requisites for study in the Ordinary degree at the next level - so a Level 1 module may be a pre-requisite for study at Level 2 of the Ordinary degree. If you have failed that module you cannot go onto the Ordinary degree (even if you have 100 credits from Level 1) and would have to leave the University with the award of a Certificate. The same applies moving from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Ordinary degree.