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Appendix 7. Examples of departmental assessment criteria

The example below is the Sociology Department's SO100 mark frame.

Undergraduate Mark Frame

First Class Honours (70-100%) This class of pass is awarded when the essay demonstratesclarity of analysis, engages directly with the question, and shows an independent and critical interpretation of the issues raised by it. The essay shows exemplary skill in presenting a logical and coherent argument and an outstanding breadth and depth of reading. The essay is presented in a polished manner, and all citations, footnotes and bibliography are rendered in the proper academic form.

(>80%) Answers in the upper range will be outstanding in terms of originality, sophistication and breadth of understanding of relevant themes and material.

Upper Second Class Honours (60-69%) This class of pass is awarded when the essay attempts a systematic analysis of the issues raised by the question and demonstrates independent thought. The essay shows appropriate skill in presenting a clearly reasoned argument, and draws on a good range of relevant literature. The essay is well-presented and citations, footnotes and bibliography are rendered in the proper academic form.

Lower Second Class Honours (50-59%) This class of pass is awarded when the essays shows an understanding of the issues raised by the question, and demonstrates some engagement with relevant literature. The discussion may rely more heavily on description than on independent analysis. There may be some inconsistencies, irrelevant points and unsubstantiated claims in the argument. Presentation and referencing is adequate but may contain inaccuracies.

Third Class Honours (40-49%) This class of pass is awarded when the essay shows a limited understanding of the question and demonstrates a partial familiarity with the issues raised by it. The essays contains a minimal attempt at analysis and argumentation and demonstrates limited knowledge of the relevant literature. Presentation may be poor and referencing incomplete.

Fail (20-39%) The essay shows little understanding of the subject and does not adequately address the question. It may be based entirely on lecture material, poorly structured and contain significant errors of fact. The essay may be poorly presented with inadequate referencing, and fail to demonstrate knowledge of the relevant literature.

Bad Fail (0-19%) A bad fail is awarded to essays that demonstrate no understanding of the question nor of the relevant literature. The essay may be incomplete, and is likely to be poorly presented with little or no referencing.

 

The example below shows the Economics Department's guidelines for marking problem sets

 

Answers

Quality of argument

A

Good First

>80

Perfect

Extremely clear and logical, demonstrating perfect understanding

A-

First

70-80

Near perfect; very few minor errors

Very clear and logical; very good understanding

B+

2.1

63-69

Largely correct; some minor and 1-2 major errors

Clear; good understanding

B

2.1/2.2

58-62

Mostly correct; many minor or some major errors

Largely clear; student probably understands most things but sometimes fails to convey this

B-

2.2

50-57

Correct in many places but with several gaps and errors

Sometimes unclear; gaps in understanding

C

Third

40-49

Some correct answers or parts of answers; large number of gaps and errors

Some correct arguments, but major gaps in understanding

D

<40

Little that is correct; many gaps and errors

Shows very little understanding

 

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