Academic Services

Section D: operation of Boards of Examiners

Regulations 38 - 49: Operation, quorum, special circumstances, progression and borderlines.

Regulation 38 Board of Examiners meetings

Meetings of Boards of Examiners are held to reach assessment, progression and award decisions.

Application of the regulation

38.1 See taught assessment regulation 8.1 for additional information on responsibilities of the Convener of the Board of Examiners. Further information can also be found in the Handbook for Boards of Examiners for Taught Courses and Programmes

38.2 The minutes of the Board of Examiners meeting needs to be an accurate record of the meeting and the approved results and decisions. Guidance on minuting Board of Examiners meetings is available:

38.3 Students are informed in advance about progression and award criteria.

Regulation 39 Board of Examiners: quorum

A Board of Examiners meeting is quorate if at least half the internal examiners participate and at least one External Examiner participates in and approves the decisions of the Board. No Board may have fewer than two internal examiners participating. See taught assessment regulation 2.4 for the definition of an internal examiner.

Application of the regulation

39.1 Meetings of Boards of Examiners may be held in-person or virtually, at the discretion of the relevant Convener. Where meetings are held virtually, these should operate synchronously wherever possible, with all present members participating in real-time. However, virtual meetings may operate asynchronously where necessary, provided that a quorum of members take part. Any External Examiner must have sufficient information and access to the Board’s deliberations to allow them to approve the decisions taken by the Board. The minute needs to reflect the nature of their participation.

39.2 In exceptional circumstances and by prior written agreement with the Head of the College and the Convener of the Board, representatives nominated and authorised by them may substitute for internal examiners.

39.3 Each subject discipline must be represented and, whenever practicable, an External Examiner from each subject should participate. Where more than one School is involved, the composition of the Board reflects the contribution of the Schools to the assessment of the courses or programmes.

39.4 The University’s External Examiners for Taught Programmes Policy outlines External Examiners’ participation in Boards of Examiners meetings.

39.5 It is not necessary for the same members of a Board of Examiners to attend all meetings of the Board in an academic year, provided each Board is quorate.

Regulation 40 Undergraduate Progression Board meetings

Meetings of Undergraduate Progression Boards are held to reach progression decisions. Each undergraduate student’s progression status needs to be decided and recorded at least once each year by a Progression Board which is the responsibility of the School that has responsibility for the student’s degree programme.

Application of the regulation

40.1 The status, governance, and decision making and reporting responsibilities, of Undergraduate Progression Boards are provided in the Policy on Undergraduate Progression Boards.

40.2 The Policy on Undergraduate Progression Boards sets out the role of the External Examiner; the quorum; the role of the Special Circumstances Committee; student anonymity in discussions and the role of the Convener of the Board, for example for ensuring the accurate recording, minuting and reporting of decisions of the Board.

40.3 College Progression Boards make decisions on the credit obtained by students who have optional periods of study abroad.

Regulation 41 Attendance by non-members at a Board of Examiners meeting

The Convener of the Board may invite any person who is not an internal or external examiner but has been involved in the teaching or assessment of the work under consideration by the Board to be present “in attendance”. People “in attendance” at the meeting of the Board are not involved in the decision making process.

Regulation 42 Board of Examiners: anonymity

Anonymity should be retained until, in the opinion of the Convener of the Board of Examiners, the best interests of the students are no longer being served. 

Application of the regulation

42.1 When students’ marks and grades are presented, considered and agreed by the Board, the Board should not be informed of the identity of the students.

42.2 Where students have to attend oral examinations, perform or otherwise present some of their work, or are on courses or programmes taken by small numbers of students, anonymity may be unachievable during the assessment process.  Anonymity should be breached only for those examiners directly involved in the relevant assessment, and students’ identities should be concealed when marks are presented at the Board of Examiners’ meeting.

42.3 Once decisions have been agreed by the Board of Examiners there should be a final check of the marks and decisions by the Convener of the Board, based on the knowledge of the students’ identities.

42.4 The nature of some assessment means that the Board of Examiners establishes that the interests of the students are served best by ceasing anonymity at the start of the assessment process.  This requires the prior approval of the Academic Policy and Regulations Committee (APRC) on the basis of a case presented by College.

Regulation 43 Special circumstances

Where a student’s performance in assessment has been affected by illness, accident or circumstances beyond their control, it is the student’s responsibility to submit an application containing an account of these special circumstances, along with supporting evidence, for consideration by the Extensions and Special Circumstances (ESC) service. Where the ESC service accepts an application, it is referred to the relevant Board of Examiners, who decide what action to take.

Application of the regulation

43.1 The Special Circumstances Policy sets out the arrangements for students to request consideration of special circumstances, types of circumstances which are and are not likely to be accepted by ESC, requirements for evidence to support special circumstances, the composition and operation of Special Circumstances Committees, and the actions available to Boards of Examiners (including Progression Boards) in relation to an accepted Special Circumstances application. The policy is available at:

Regulation 44 Borderlines

Boards of Examiners must consider students whose marks are borderline for progression, award or classification purposes.  Boards of Examiners can also consider students whose marks are borderline for passing a course, where special circumstances apply. Borderline marks are defined as marks from two percentage points below the class or grade boundary up to the boundary itself, e.g. 58.00% to 59.99% for an undergraduate 2.1 classification or 38% to 39% for a pass in a course. Boards of Examiners and Progression Boards must use the University borderline definition and must not set and use a different definition.

Application of the regulation

44.1 Boards of Examiners must publish in advance the factors that will be taken into account for borderline progression, award, or classification decisions, which can include:

(a) cases in which a student has performed better in courses at a higher level;

(b) cases where the amount of credited assessed work to be used for classification or award decisions is less than the norm (e.g., where credits have been awarded for progression purposes only in recognition of special circumstances); and

(c) individual student profiles of performance.

44.2 Boards of Examiners cannot selectively use any additional assessment to reach  assessment decisions for specific students.  See taught assessment regulation 19.

44.3 Examples of borderlines for progression decisions include:

(a) where a student has a final mark of 38% or 39% for a course in first year that they need to pass to progress to second year;

(b) where a student is within two percentage points of a requirement for progression into honours or postgraduate dissertation, for example where the Degree Programme Table specifies the attainment of 50% as an average across a number of courses, the progression borderline is 48.00% to 49.99%;

(c) where a student being considered for progression on a postgraduate taught programme has achieved an average of 50% or more across 120 credits of taught courses, and a mark of 50% or more in 60 or 70 credits, with a further course or courses carrying a mark of 48 or 49%; and

(d) for the award of credit on aggregate, where a student has an average of 38.00% to 39.99% over their 120 credits.

44.4 Boards of Examiners may award a pass for a course where a student has a borderline fail mark (i.e.38% to 39%) and has had a request for consideration of special circumstances approved (see the Special Circumstances Policy:

Regulation 45 Confidentiality

All discussion at a Board of Examiners’ meeting is confidential.

Application of the regulation

45.1 Boards of Examiners reach a collective decision.  The decision does not need to be unanimous. 

45.2 No comments or remarks should be reported to any students, whether or not they are unattributed.

45.3 The views of a particular examiner should not be made known to a student.  If a student makes a request to see the minutes of a Board of Examiners meeting, the information recorded in the minutes on that particular student will need to be disclosed.  In doing so examiners’ comments should be anonymised, e.g. assigned to “Examiner1, Examiner2”.  Further information is available at:

45.4 Students have a right to see information about themselves recorded in minutes of Board of Examiner meetings.

45.5 Other than with the written permission of the student concerned, members of staff should not make available information about marks to persons or bodies outside the University except when necessary in the context of a reference.

45.6 Guidance on disclosing information on students can be found at:

Sharing personal data

Regulation 46 Release of marks

Students are informed of marks or grades for each discretely identified unit of assessment used by the Board in reaching its final mark for the course or its progression or award decision.

Application of the regulation

46.1 Marks and grades are made available to the student, together with guidance on their meaning.

46.2 Boards of Examiners are not obliged to provide this information if the request is made more than one year after the date of the assessment.

46.3 Assessed coursework marks which contribute to the overall result for a course are provided to students at the time that the assessment is marked, as a guide to each student's performance, together with guidance on the meaning of the marks.

46.4 Throughout the year, before consideration by a Board of Examiners, marks for examinations and assessed coursework are provisional and have no status until they are approved or modified by the Board.  If such marks are released before confirmation by the Board of Examiners, students must be advised that the marks are provisional and may be modified when considered at the Board of Examiners meeting.

46.5 Undergraduate non‑honours degree examination marks; and professional degree examination marks or grades in Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (other than final professional degree examination marks):  Overall marks

The final overall mark agreed by Boards of Examiners for diets of examinations for graduating courses of study will be made available to the student via EUCLID Student View.

46.6 Undergraduate Honours degree examination marks; and final professional degree examination marks in Medicine and Veterinary Medicine:  Overall classification:  The final overall classification of honours degrees will be communicated to students via EUCLID Student View. The professional degrees may be awarded with honours in Medicine, or with distinction in Veterinary Medicine, for students who matriculated in or prior to the 2022/23 academic year, but are not otherwise classified.

Regulation 47 Publication of results

Students will be notified of their assessment results and their progression status. Students have the right to exclude their name and/or final award results from being publicly announced.

 Application of the regulation

47.1 Concessions from the following application of the regulation on Publication of results require the approval of the Academic Policy and Regulations Committee (APRC) based on a case presented by the relevant College.

47.2 Students are officially notified of their results (including course marks, progression and programme outcomes or awards) via EUCLID Student View. This may be supplemented by the communication of assessment component results via virtual learning environments. Results are entered on to students’ records by the relevant School.

47.3 The host School of the degree programme is responsible for overseeing the communication of all undergraduate award and final programme results and all taught progression decisions. The host School of the course is responsible for overseeing the communication of all final course results to the students on the course. Students will be notified in advance of the date on which they can expect to hear their results.

47.4 Notification of final postgraduate results and the award of qualification to students, following the final meeting of the Board, is the responsibility of the College Postgraduate Office, except where this has been devolved to the School.

47.5 Students’ results (including assessment component and course marks, programme and progression outcomes) may not be released over the telephone or informally via email.  Students only receive their results via formal communication channels.

47.6 There should be no public display in any media of any formative or summative assessment results from any course or programme.

47.7 The host School will communicate a clear plan of action to each student when the student has failed an assessment that is required. This applies to final course results and some “in course” assessments where a pass is required. The communication is to take account of the student’s progression and/or award status. 

47.8 Each School will provide a general statement on their website describing their local process, indicating to their students how they should proceed in the event of failure.

47.9 Where a student has failed a summative assessment (either “in course” or “final”) and a resubmission or retake is required and permitted, the host School ensures that the student is provided with timely academic feedback, guidance and support prior to their re-assessment.

47.10  The Head of the host School, or their designated representative, has responsibility for ensuring that, where a student has failed their programme of study at the final stage, the student is supported in a timely and personal manner. If appropriate, an offer of a private consultation may be made. 

47.11 Once a final award, final degree programme or final course result and progression decision has been agreed by the Board of Examiners and other relevant bodies, then Schools may contact students who have failed before the decision is published in EUCLID Student View. Schools should not give informal indications about the final award, final degree programme or final course result or progression decision in advance of the decision of the Board of Examiners and/or other relevant bodies.  See regulation 46.4 for the release of provisional marks.

47.12 Where there is a requirement to confirm pass lists to a Professional, Statutory and/or Regulatory Body (PSRB), the assessment results should not be collated and sent until the results of individual assessments have been made available to the student.

47.13 If students attend the graduation ceremony their names and degrees are included in the graduation programme. The Student Administration team is responsible for the final award listing in the graduation ceremony programme (if the student registers their intention to graduate in person) and the listing in the press (students may opt out of this listing).

Regulation 48 Degree examination scripts

Degree examination scripts are received by the University in confidence.  Physical degree examination scripts, or copies of such scripts, may be returned to students on SCQF Level 7 and 8 (usually Year 1 and 2 pre-honours) courses after the Board of Examiners has published ratified course results. Physical scripts will not be returned to students on courses at SCQF levels 9-12 (usually Honours and postgraduate taught level). However, students may be provided with copies of examination scripts for examinations completed electronically at all levels.  

Application of the regulation

48.1 Students are entitled to see their examination scripts to assist with the provision of feedback and their self-reflective learning.

48.2 Course organisers, or their delegates, may show and discuss students’ examination scripts with them for feedback purposes.  Local arrangements are made for ways to implement the opportunity for students to see their exam scripts.

48.3 Other forms of assessed summative work may be returned to students after the Board of Examiners has published ratified course results.

48.4 The potential return of scripts to students on Year 1 and 2 pre-Honours courses does not apply to multiple choice questions which are not defined as degree examination scripts.

48.5 Schools will need to make arrangements to make exam scripts available to students taking Year 1 and 2 pre-Honours courses to take away (on individual request) after the retention period is over. Schools may wish to decide to keep the scripts for longer than the minimum required retention period, for example in order to make them available for release to the relevant students returning in the following semester (this is at the discretion of individual Schools).

Regulation 49 Retention and destruction of material

Assessed material must be retained and destroyed in accordance with the University’s student records retention guidance.

Application of the regulation

49.1 Information about the student records retention schedule is online:

Student records retention

49.2 Schools need to maintain an adequate documentary record of assessed work, which is necessary to inform decisions of original, resit and reconvened Boards of Examiners.

49.3 Material which contributes to the assessment of the degree, including any written examinations, dissertations, essays, laboratory or studio work and projects, should be retained in the School for a suitable period after the Board of Examiners meeting which decides the overall classification or award of the degree, diploma or certificate.  This enables the Board to respond to any student appeal.

49.4 Assessment material should be destroyed at the end of the retention period, or at the end of the period in which the School has agreed it will retain the information for (see regulation 48.5).  For students who submit appeals, the retention period will need to be extended until the end of the appeal process.  Other material which contributes to the final assessment of the degree or overall assessment of the course may be returned to the student after the expiry of the retention period. The Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 requires the University to make available to any enquirer any information held by the University, including copies of assessments, unless one of the legislation’s narrowly defined exemptions applies. While there is an exemption for personal data, it must be considered on a case-by-case basis. Assessment samples may be retained for specified periods as supporting documentation for accreditation and quality assurance purposes, e.g. Internal Periodic Reviews.

49.5 Where students have consented, assessment material can be retained for longer and be used as exemplars for future students. The material can be kept for as long as the course exists or until the student withdraws consent, whichever happens earlier. All student names must be removed before use.