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Department of Physics

Assessment and feedback

Regulations for B.Sc. and M.Phys.

The General Regulations for the B.Sc. and M.Phys. degrees and the programme regulations for the physics degree programmes are printed in the current version of the Durham University Calendar (Volume II).

University assessment process

Full details of the University procedures for Examinations and Assessment may be found in Section 6 of the Learning and Teaching Handbook. The University's regulations for academic progression (from one year of study to the next) form part of the Core Regulations for First Degrees and flowcharts which aim to illustrate these regulations are available in the Student Welcome Guide.

The Physics Department's assessment policy is available here and detailed assessment criteria are available below. Details of the elements of assessment for all Physics modules are given in the Faculty Handbook.

Information such as the University Examinations Timetable, Key Dates and Locations of Examinations is made available from https://www.dur.ac.uk/student.registry/student/assessment/. A facility for checking examination results is available from https://www.dur.ac.uk/student.registry/ between the May/June examinations and the August/September examinations.

Marking scales

The Department of Physics follows the marking guidelines set out by the University Senate:

Degree Class Mark Range (%)
I First Class Honours 70-100
II(i) Second Class Honours (First Division) At least 60 but less than 70
II(ii) Second Class Honours (Second Division) At least 50 but less than 60
III Third Class Honours At least 40 but less than 50

The University's Marking and Classification Conventions contain a more finely-graded version of the above scale and also set out generic assessment criteria for each mark range. These are available under ‘Undergraduate Programmes' at http://www.dur.ac.uk/university.calendar/volumeii.

For Bachelor's degrees, only modules taken during Levels 2 and 3 are included in the mean calculation. When the mean average is calculated, modules studied in the second and third years are differentially weighted 2:3. For Integrated Master's degrees, only modules taken during Levels 2, 3 and 4 are included in the mean calculation. When the mean average is calculated, modules studied in the second, third and fourth years are differentially weighted 2:3:4.

Assessment components

Details of assessment components for each module can be viewed using the Faculty Handbook Online. Click on your degree programme to view the appropriate framework (pdf file), then click on a blue module code to see the Handbook entry for that module.

Assessment proformas

One of the principal assessment methods employed in the Department is the use of a mark proforma. This method is used for the assessment of most coursework assignments and of the Level 4 Project. The submitted work will be expected to meet certain content and quality criteria, as detailed on the proforma. All proformas in current use are made available here in pdf format at the start of the academic year.  (Note that in general each pdf file contains several proformas - one per page - for the different items of assessment in the module.)

pdf downloads

Assessment criteria

Assessment criteria matrices are designed to assist markers in the completion of the pro formas. They complement the University’s generic assessment criteria, published in Volume II of the Durham University Calendar. The criteria in current use in the Department are made available here in pdf format at the start of the academic year.  (Note that in general each pdf file contains several criteria grids - one per page - for the different items of assessment in the module.)

pdf downloads