Repeating a year of study

Some questions you might have about resit examinations…

How many attempts can my son or daughter have at a module/unit?

A student who has passed modules at level 2, 3, or 4 cannot retake that module again; however it may be possible for a student on level 1 of their programme to retake modules they have passed.

Students who began their course prior to 2012: If your son or daughter is at Level 1, 2, or Level 3 on a 4 year course, and hasn’t been able to progress to the next year after two years, the Student Administration Service (SAS) will start a process after the results are published aimed at getting more information as to why the student is having difficulty in passing modules, because at this stage it is possible that they could run out of the time allowed to complete their degree if they keep trying without succeeding.

This process is called the Faculty Progress Procedures. If they are in this position, your son or daughter should act on the instructions they get when they receive their results and any emails or letters they receive afterwards, and attend any progress meetings they are invited to attend. They may be required to attend a Faculty Student Review Committee hearing and might benefit from seeking advice from the Student Advice Centre who has experience in supporting students through this process.

Students who began from 2012 onwards: see 'How many times can my son or daughter try to pass a “Level”?' under the 'Moving onto the next year' section.

I think my son or daughter needs to repeat a year in order to retake some exams…what should they do?

Results boardIf your son or daughter needs to repeat a year in order to retake modules again they should first of all speak to their academic department to ensure this is the appropriate course of action for them.

There are 3 ways of repeating a year:

Repeating externally, i.e. without attendance where a student will only pay to retake the assessment for the module they failed previously without attending lectures or any other classes.
Repeating as an internal student, i.e. repeating by attending classes but gets support gained by attending lectures, tutorials and other services offered by the department. If your son or daughter is funded by the Student Finance England (SFE) (sometimes known as the Student Loans Company) SAS will inform the SFE of their intention to repeat the year.
• Repeating the whole year – Some first year students may be able to repeat the whole year again as if they were a new student - referred to as ‘wiping the slate clean’.

TIP: Your son or daughter should contact the Student Finance England (sometimes known as the Student Loans Company) before deciding on how they are going to repeat the year to check how this may affect their funding.

My son or daughter is resitting level 2 or level 3 modules. How do capped results affect them?

All resit results are capped, which means the maximum grade a student can achieve when retaking a module is 40, known as a “bare pass”. If your son or daughter is on level two (2nd year of their degree programme) or above, even if they achieve a grade of 80 in their resit, the grade reflected on their university record for that module would be 40 - which will contribute to the overall classification of their degree.

Similarly, if your son or daughter obtained a "conceded pass" at level 2 (a year end result given at the discretion of the department which means they can go onto the next year even though they have not passed everything) it is still worth considering retaking modules they haven’t passed, as their final degree classification will be based on their performance across Level 2 and 3 (and level 4 in certain cases). Low grades from failed modules could bring down the average grade and therefore, potentially, the degree classification; whereas a pass at 40 might raise the average up.

My son or daughter is resitting level 3 or 4 (their final year) … is this different to level 1 or 2?

On 3 and 4 year courses:
Your son or daughter will need 240 credits at level 2 & 3 (120 per level); or if they are a 4 year course, 360 credits at level 2, 3 & 4 (120 per level) to automatically receive an honours degree. The classification of a degree is based on the grades achieved in each module on years 2 and 3 (or 2, 3 and 4 on a 4 year course).

If a student hasn’t been awarded a degree, for example if their final year end result is Fail due to failing too many Level 2 or 3 (or 4) modules, they can retake failed modules on one further occasion, either in the following year or in August (if offered by their department) - but they will only be eligible for a Pass degree.

Further information