Programme Regulations and Requirements

Degree Regulations

The regulations outline the requirements of your degree programme, and the structure of your course. You can find your degree regulations by using the Programme Regulations Finder.

Workload and expectations

Taught postgraduate study is challenging. Expectations and standards are higher than at undergraduate level and – with a short programme – you need to make a good start and maintain progress.

The University expects that you will work at least a forty-hour week throughout each fifteen-week semester (in practice this will mean longer hours at some points to compensate for slack time after examinations), and you will need to use that time efficiently, which may mean anything from finding ways of filling an hour between lectures or developing your literature search skills to make best use of the Library.

The credit rating of modules offers an indication of the time that we expect you to spend working on a topic, so you should spend as long overall working on a 15-credit language module with six contact hours a week as you would on a 15-credit politics module with two contact hours a week.

The Modular System

All postgraduate taught courses at SEAS are modularised. The University’s General Regulations for Higher Degrees are available here. The pass mark for postgraduate taught modules is 50%. For each module that you pass, you will be awarded credits toward your degree. No credits are awarded for failed modules, even if the fail is very marginal.

Degree Classification

Your degree classification will be awarded anonymously to avoid any possible bias. It is important therefore that if you have any special circumstances such as serious illness which has affected your performance you report these to your department in good time so that they can be considered before the final anonymous degree classification board meeting. The extenuating circumstances form can be found at http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/forms/circs

Your degree class will be determined by the outcome of two calculations:

  1. your weighted average grade and
  2. the distribution of your weighted grades

Degree classifications in SEAS
MA/MSc degrees and PG Diplomas are classified as Pass/Merit /Distinction/Fail; PG Certificates are classified as Pass/Fail.

  • To obtain the Postgraduate Certificate in any degree programme, students need to pass 60 credits of taught units. To pass the Diploma in any degree programme, students normally need to pass 120 credits during semesters one and two. To be awarded an MA or MSc in any degree programme, students normally need to pass 180 credits over the full year of the course.
  • To be awarded the degree with Merit, students must achieve a module mark of over 60 in at least 90 credits’ worth of modules and an overall average of 59.5 (see clause 21 of the General Regulations)
  • To be awarded the degree with Distinction, students must achieve a module mark of over 70 in at least 90 credits’ worth of modules and an overall average of 69.5 (see clause 21 of the General Regulations).