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Framework for Undergraduate Degree Programmes (Effective from AY2223)

1. Introduction

The Framework for undergraduate degree programmes offered at XJTLU is established to ensure consistency in programme structure across all undergraduate programmes and equivalence to undergraduate non-clinical programmes offered at the University of Liverpool. The Framework also sets out clear criteria for how an individual student’s progress is determined as they study and are assessed on their programme.



2.1 Programme Structure

a) An undergraduate degree programme at XJTLU normally consists of four stages of study involving a minimum of four years study (full-time) and requires the study of modules totaling 180 credits. Stages 1 and 2 each require the study of modules totaling 50 credits, and Stages 3 and 4 totaling 40 credits respectively.

b) The 180 credits comprise subject modules, language modules and modules required by relevant educational authorities.

c) Credit load as defined in the modular structure of each programme specification should normally be divided equally between the two semesters in each stage of study. However, programmes may be designed with imbalances of up to 5 credits between semesters. Any proposal for a programme to be designed with a greater imbalance of credit load (up to 10 credits difference between the two semesters) will require specific approval by University Learning and Teaching Committee (hereinafter, ULTC). This permission may only be given in exceptional circumstances, on submission and acceptance of a satisfactory rationale.

d) Up to 10 credits of learning undertaken in the first semester may form part of modules taught over two semesters and therefore be assessed throughout an academic year till the end of semester two. The delivery and assessment of modules with a credit value of 2.5 credits over two semesters should normally be avoided.

e) All modules should normally be offered at the corresponding stage of study (ref. 2.2 (j) below). Level 0 modules must be offered at Stage 1, whereas Levels 1, 2 or 3 modules may be offered at higher or lower stages of study within Stages 2, 3 and 4, in which case, specific approval must be sought from ULTC and the modules in question should be no more than 10 credits in total. Module(s) of no more than 10 credits at Master’s level may be offered at Stage 4 on an optional basis upon ULTC approval.

f) In addition to the 180 credits of module learning in an undergraduate programme, students are also required to complete:

  1. an approved work placement and non-credit-bearing modules in alignment with the requirements of Chinese Ministry of Education;
  2. non-credit-bearing modules on Self-management and Literature and Media Culture to comply with the XJTLU educational model.

g) Any proposal for and approval of changes to programmes must be undertaken in accordance with ‘Policy for Modifications to Existing Programmes and modules and Procedures’ and must ensure that the programme structure complies with this Framework.


2.2 Module Definitions and Rules

h) Modules must normally be assigned a credit value of 2.5, 5, 7.5 or 10. Permission to offer modules which exceed 10 credits must be sought from ULTC via the University Curriculum Review Panel.

i) One XJTLU credit represents 30 hours of student learning and assessment. This includes lectures, tutorials, practical work, private study, revision and assessments/examinations. University examinations fall outside the total study hours delivered in a module.

j) Modules must be assigned a credit level. For undergraduate programmes, those assigned at the XJTLU credit level of 0, 1, 2 and 3 are equivalent to FHEQ level of 3, 4, 5 and 6 respectively. Typically, the credit level in:

  1. Stage 1 is level 0 (FHEQ 3)
  2. Stage 2 is level 1 (FHEQ 4)
  3. Stage 3 is level 2 (FHEQ 5)
  4. Stage 4 is level 3 (FHEQ 6)

For the purposes of this Framework, the level of credit is expressed in terms of the XJTLU credit level.

k) The level assigned to a module is an indicator of relative intellectual demand, complexity and depth of learning required of a learner.

l) Two modules of the same level may be linked, where they represent a clear continuum of study and learning.

m) Modules may be designated as ‘compulsory’, ‘optional’, ‘pre-requisite’, ‘degree required’ or ‘mandatory’.

Compulsory module: a module which must be taken to meet the learning outcomes of the degree programme.

Optional module: a module chosen by students from specific and limited collections of modules within their programme structure which is required for degree completion.

Pre-requisite module: a specified preparatory module which must be taken to enroll in a subsequent module.  

Degree required module: a module which must be passed in order to be eligible for the award of Chinese degree of XJTLU or the University of Liverpool degree.

Mandatory module: a degree required module to which the Compensatory Pass (CP) rule (ref. 4.1 (e) below) does not apply.

n) All modules at Levels 0, 1, 2, and 3 must be taught and assessed in English. Exemptions may be permitted for Level 0 modules upon ULTC approval. Language modules may be taught and assessed in relevant languages.

o) Each module must have a unique syllabus and assessment regime. Modules which are shared between programmes should be allocated with the same module code.


2.3 Assessment and Re-assessment Regime of Modules

p) The pass mark for all undergraduate modules at Levels 0, 1, 2, and 3 is 40%.

q) Where modules from the Master’s Level are offered at Stage 4 ( 2.1 (e) above), the pass mark for such modules is 50%.

r) The assessment methods used should provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the achievement of the learning outcomes being assessed at both module and programme levels.

s) The initial assessment of a module including the coursework/practical assessment which is timed individually by schools/academies must be completed by the end of the semester in which the teaching of it is completed.

t) The re-sit opportunity of a module at Levels 0, 1 or 2 should always be provided where it is practical to do so. Exemptions from this requirement must be sought from and approved by ULTC and will only be given in relation to assessments which it would be impractical to repeat, for example, laboratory practical assessments.

u) The learning outcomes assessed and the criteria used to assess students’ achievement must be the same in any re-assessment examination/assessment as in the first examination/assessment. The mode/type of assessment for re-assessment should normally be the same as that used in the original assessment. A different type of assessment may, however, be used, provided that the alternative mode of assessment can test the same learning outcomes adequately.

v) Where two modules are linked, good performance in the second module can compensate for the failure in the first module. Normally, the individual marks for the linked modules will be returned and recorded. However, if the first module has been failed and the second module has been passed, the marks for the two modules will be averaged and, if this average represents a pass, this average mark will be returned for both modules. In all other circumstances, the normal failure and re-sit rules apply.

w) Assessment strategies for a programme of study should be clearly indicated in the programme specification and in each module specification. The components of the assessment for a module must be defined in the module specification.



3. Student Registration

a) Students will be enrolled onto a programme through the admission process or as a result of programme choice at their first stage of study. Normally the full length of all undergraduate programmes is four years. Students may be required/allowed to extend their period of registration especially where their academic progress is inhibited by failing to meet progression criteria or suspension of studies. However, the maximum period of registration for undergraduate students is 8 years which includes periods of re-registration at the same stage of study and suspension of studies, imposed or requested.

b) Every student should be registered at a certain stage of study for each academic year and will normally take modules for a credit load of up to 50 credits at Stages 1 and 2 and 40 credits each at Stages 3 and 4 from the enrolled stage of study.

c) Normally, where there’s an approved programme transfer application, programme registration should be completed before the start of the academic year. And module registration should be completed within the first two teaching weeks. Where late registration needs to be considered under some reasonable circumstances which are supported by documented evidence, the decision to accept a student’s late registration must be based on the academic judgement of the Programme Director, in consultation with the relevant Module Leaders, to ensure that the student registering late on the programme or module(s) will not be disadvantaged in respect of the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes, meeting coursework deadlines and engaging in the learning context, such as group work.


4. Student Progression and Failure

4.1 Progression Criteria

d) The rules for progression apply to students enrolled at Stages 1, 2 and 3 only.

e) Before progression rules apply, a compensatory pass will be considered and awarded for modules that are not labeled as ‘Mandatory’ when a student has met the following criteria:

  1. Has taken all the required credits of the same stage of study
  2. Has achieved at least 40% averaged across all modules of the same stage of study and a minimum mark of 35% in all these modules; and
  3. Has passed (i.e. achieve 40%) in at least three quarters of modules of the enrolled stage (37.5 credits of Stages 1 and 2 modules respectively, 30 credits of Stage 3 modules).

f) Where a student meets the above criteria for compensation, the module marks in the compensatory range (35%-39%), except mandatory modules, will be recorded on a student’s transcript as 40%. This module mark of 40% will be used to calculate the year average mark and for degree classification.

g) The criteria for completing each stage of study, other than the final stage, and for progression to the next stage of study (Full Progression - FP), require a student to pass all modules from the current and previous stages;

h) If, after re-assessment during the re-sit period, a student enrolled at Stages 1, 2 or 3 has not met the above progression criteria, the Board of Examiners may consider allowing the student to progress to the next stage of study but with only up to 10 credits of failure of the current and previous stages. (Progression with Trailed Credits - PT).

i) Where a student fails more than 10 credits of the current and/or previous stages after re-assessments during the re-sits, the student will be required to retake their failed credits before they are considered for progression to the next stage of study (Progression Pending - PP).

4.2 Student Failure in Assessment

j) Re-assessment can be undertaken in one of the ways of re-sit, re-take with attendance and re-take without attendance. For definitions of these terms, please refer to the ‘Glossary of Terms’ as set out in the Code of Practice on Assessment.

k) For students who are registered at Stages 1, 2 and 3, when they fail modules of Levels 0, 1 or 2 at the first attempt and fail to meet the Full Progression criteria, they must re-sit all failed modules including those which fall in the compensatory range, but to which Compensatory Pass (CP) rules cannot apply because of them having not taken all the required credits of the same stage, in the next available re-sit period which is normally in August in each academic year.

i) As some modules do not provide re-sit opportunities, and the summer re-sit is not available for Level 3 modules or Stage 4 students, the next available re-assessment opportunities will be offered during the normal assessment periods in the following academic year through the retaking of failed modules, normally with attendance.

m) Following the re-assessment, the mark recorded for a module will be the weighted average of the final marks achieved for each assessment component of the module. The marks of any assessment component(s) of the module which have not been replaced by the re-sit opportunity will be carried forward and used with the actual marks gained in the re-sits of the failed components. The actual average mark will be used in the calculation for progression to the next stage of study and it will also be recorded on the student’s transcript, and will be flagged as having been achieved at a second or subsequent attempt. The mark will be capped at 40% for the purpose of degree classification unless a student has had an application accepted that their performance in the first-attempt assessment was affected by mitigating circumstances.

n) If a student fails to satisfy the requirements of Full Progression after re-assessments, the following decisions may be taken by the Board of Examiners:

  1. In accordance with Clause 1 (h), permit the student to progress to the next stage of study, carrying failed credits, and to re-take the module(s) during the next academic year, normally without attendance.
  2. Permit the student to re-take failed modules in the next academic year, normally with attendance, before the student may progress to the next stage of study (ref. 4.1 (i)). In the meantime, students are also allowed to take no more than 10 credits from the next stage, timetables permitting. Modules across different levels shall be taken sequentially, i.e. modules of the current enrolled stage shall be prioritised over those of the higher stage.
  3. Require the student to terminate studies on their current programme on the grounds of unsatisfactory progress. This decision can only be made where a student has failed to engage with any opportunities provided for re-assessment in failed modules, or where the student has exhausted all attempts at re-assessment or the maximum registration period as afforded to them under this Framework.
  4. Permit the student to continue their studies, where evidence has been submitted and accepted by the Board of Examiners, that the student’s study in the relevant academic year has been affected by ill health or other similar unforeseen circumstances. The Board of Examiners, on advice from the Mitigating Circumstances Committee, will determine which modules must be re-taken with two further attempts, or re-sat, with one further attempt.

o) Student eligibility for taking a module of the next stage of study may be restricted by their failure in a pre-requisite module, regardless of their progression outcomes. Such restrictions must have received specific ULTC approval via the University Curriculum Review Panel, which shall be based on strong academic grounds.

p) Where the decision of the Board of Examiners is to require a student to terminate their studies on the grounds of unsatisfactory progress, this decision may only be overturned if an appeal against such a decision is upheld, in accordance with relevant appeal procedures.

q) In exceptional circumstances, where a student is experiencing difficulties in satisfying the requirements of the programme by, for example, failing to progress to the next stage, they may request a transfer to another programme of study. Under such circumstances, approval of the transfer must be given by the receiving programme and School/Academies concerned and the stage of study for the transfer and all details required for the transfer process such as credits to be transferred and replacement modules and so on must be determined. Serious consideration of any such request must be made to evaluate whether or not the student, in the light of their previous failure, is suitable for pursuing another programme of study. 

r) Where a student is recorded as not having made satisfactory progress in his/her studies during an academic year, for lack of engagement, especially where the student’s Progression Pending status lasts for more than once, the relevant Board of Examiners may require the student to terminate his/her studies before the end of the Schools/Academies must ensure that, under these circumstances, students are warned of the consequences of failing to engage appropriately with their studies.

s) In the circumstances when modules are discontinued in the following academic year, where a student is required to attend for the purpose of re-taking a failed module, the student may be allowed to replace the discontinued module by a new module to substitute a module not previously attempted. In this case, the mark achieved for the new module will be recorded as the first-attempt.

5. Completion of a Degree Programme

5.1 Programme Completion Qualification

An undergraduate who has completed all four stages of study of their enrolled programme of study is eligible to receive a Chinese Certificate of Successful Completion of Studies, provided that they achieve a minimum of 160 XJTLU credits within their XJTLU programmes which include credits transferred to XJTLU through admission or equivalent credits obtained from study abroad programmes.

Stipulations on the award of University of Liverpool degrees and the Chinese degrees of XJTLU are detailed respectively in the System for the Classification of Four-Stage UoL Undergraduate Degrees Undertaken at XJTLU and the Code of Practice for the Award of Undergraduate Degrees.

5.2 Programme Exit Qualifications

a) An undergraduate programme of study must include the following two exit points, whereby a student may be awarded:

  1. A University of Liverpool Certificate in Higher Education if they have satisfied the academic requirements to progress to Stage 3 but either leave the programme before completing Stage 3, or have their studies terminated as a result of failure at Stage 3; or
  2. A University of Liverpool Diploma in Higher Education, if they have satisfied the academic requirements to progress to Stage 4 but either leave the programme before completing Stage 4, or have their studies terminated as a result of failure at Stage 4.

b) The University of Liverpool Certificate of HE or Diploma of HE will be issued automatically to students who leave the programme before they qualify for the undergraduate degree, but who, nevertheless, have satisfied the Board of Examiners at Stage 2 or at Stages 2 and 3.

c) In accordance with Chinese Ministry of Education requirement, students will also be issued a Chinese Certificate of Studies if they have completed more than one but less than four stages of study or a Chinese Certificate of Completion of Studies if they have completed all four stages but failed to meet the criteria for graduation.

(Last review: 18 Aug 2023)

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