In a recent email to students, LSE announced key changes to how undergraduate degrees will be assessed. The new changes will enable students to reach higher grades more easily.
The biggest change is that undergraduate degrees will not be split into 9 sections as previously, involving 1 in first year, 4 in second and 4 in third. This meant ‘pairing’ seemingly unrelated half modules together in order to obtain an average for a full unit module.
The recent changes have split the degree into 18 half modules. The practice of ‘pairing’ half unit course marks to obtain a full unit mark for the purposes of classification has been discontinued. According to LSE this “allows for greater consistency across programmes”. An aggregate for each student will be calculated across the 18 modules. What this also means is that you will be able to pair modules from different years to get the best possible grade.
“To determine your classification, instead of pairing half units together, the number of marks achieved within class boundaries will be counted and totalled.”
On top of this, the changes aim to avoid disadvantaging students. LSE writes: “If we find that your classification would have been higher with pairing in place, we will award you the higher classification.” Essentially, the changes will gear students towards higher grades.
So what do I have to do in order to obtain a first or a 2:1?
For First Class Honours: 10 first class marks and pass the rest; or 9 or 8 first class marks and an aggregate of at least 1180.
For Upper Second Class Honours: 10 upper second class marks (or above); or 9 or 8 upper second class marks (or above) and an aggregate of at least 1030.
What is the aggregate?
The aggregate for each student is the sum of the 18 classification marks.
What about full unit modules?
Full unit modules will be counted twice, so if you got a 65 in a full unit modules, two of your 18 marks would be 65.
How does first year fit in?
It is counted the same as one full unit module. First year will be the the 17th and 18th classification marks. As your average for first year counts as a full module, it will be counted twice. If you got a 65 for example, you would get two 65 marks out of the 18.
How will first year be counted?
The first year mark will be calculated using the average of the best 6 out of 8 marks in first year papers. All first year full unit marks will be counted twice and any half unit marks counted once to make a total of eight first year marks.
The mark for LSE100 is not a classification mark and is not used to calculate the award.
The mark and classification boundaries that define the award of First Class, Upper and Lower Second Class, Third Class and Fail marks have not been changed.
The classification scheme for all undergraduate programmes provides further information on this.