Changes to General Regulations for all students from 2012-13
New/revised regulations are given in bold italics.
Senate Ordinance VIII
Aston Credit and Qualifications Frameworks
General Regulations for Undergraduate Taught Programmes
General Regulations for Postgraduate Taught Programmes
General Regulations for Research Degrees for Staff and Graduates of Aston University
General Regulations for Degrees by Research and Thesis
General Regulations on Student Discipline
General Regulations on Conduct of Boards of Examiners
Examination Regulations for Candidates
SENATE ORDINANCE VIII
The following new awards will be included:
(c) Integrated Masters Degrees:
Master of Biology (MBiol)
(d) Higher Degrees:
The following will be added:
Doctor of Ophthalmic Science (DOphSc)
Doctor of Optometry (DOptom)
Replacing the current Ophthalmic Doctorate (OD) which will be DELETED.
To ADD the following new Regulations:
MA/MSc/MBA dissertations should not normally be larger than 80 credits or smaller than 60 credits. If a dissertation is larger than 60 credits in size adequate provision must be made for students to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma.
Master’s (Level 7) modules should have a 50% pass mark when part of an integrated Master’s programme or when available as an option on an undergraduate programme.
1 Trailed modules
R1.12 Progression: Credit requirements
To progress from one Stage to the next of an Honours Degree programme, students are expected to achieve 120 credits for the appropriate Stage and to have satisfied all module prerequisites for the new Stage specified in the programme specification.The Board of Examiners may, at its discretion, recommend progression with a minimum of 100 credits at that Stage.
R1.19 Trailed Modules. A trailed module is a module which forms part of a preceding Stage of study and has not yet been passed. At the discretion of the Board of Examiners the credits associated with the module are added to the progression or award requirements of the subsequent Stage.
2 Condonement threshold (added to R6.4 and R1.8)
…..The threshold for condonement of modules at Levels 4, 5 and 6 shall be 30%. For Level 7 modules the threshold shall be 40%. Marks below the threshold may not normally be condoned.….
1 Trailing of credit to the dissertation (new Regulation 8.14)
8.1.4 The Board of Examiners may allow a student to begin the dissertation module trailing a maximum of 30 taught credits.
2 Proposed revision to normal duration of programmes (Regulation 4.3)
Postgraduate Diploma 12 - 24 months
Master’s 24 – 36 months
A new set of General Regulations comprising an up-date of the previous regulations for academic staff candidates for PhDs, the Doctor of Science (DSc), the PhD by Previously Published Work.
1 Addition to R1.2 a
Master’s degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated (Level 8, QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications):
• a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice
• a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship
• originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
• conceptual understanding that enables the student:
- to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline
- to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.’
2 Addition to R1.2b
‘Doctoral degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated (Level 8, QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications):
1 the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication
2 a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge
which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice
3 the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the
generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems
4 a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced
3 Addition to R1.2c
The expectations of doctoral candidates are stated in R1.2b above.
4 Addition to R2a
MPhil or PhD applicants should normally have been awarded either a first or upper second class Honours degree in a relevant subject or should have an award and/or experience deemed by the Associate Dean Research and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research or nomineeto provide similar evidence of research potential.
5 Addition to R3.1
Any subsequent amendments to the conditions, for example a change in the supervisory arrangements, should be approved by the Associate Dean Research and reported to School Research Committee.
6 Addition to R8.3a
a Before the end of the first year of research, in the case of full-time students, or before the end of the second year in the case of part-time students, each research student must write a report on the research work. The report should be a minimum of 6,000 words or as specified by the School Research Committee. The student must then be examined on the content of the report at a viva voce examination conducted by the Supervisor, the Advisor (if appointed) and at least one other member of the Academic Staff who will normally have previous experience of successful PhD supervision or PhD examination.
ii either the Supervisor, or an Associate Supervisor nominated by the Supervisor to attend in their place, may be involved in the viva voce;
7 New R8.5
Progression at end of Second Full-Time/Fourth Part-Time year
Before the end of the second year of research, in the case of full-time students, or before the end of the fourth year in the case of part-time students, each research student must complete a minimum of:
either an oral presentation of all or part of their research
or write up all or part of their research as a paper (without the requirement to submit for publication).
The choice of task to be undertaken will be made by the Supervisor in consultation with the student. The format of the oral presentation will be specified by the School and will be a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 60 minutes. Structured feedback shall be provided to the student after the task, normally by the Supervisor and the assessor of the Qualifying Report, and a copy of the feedback shall be submitted with the annual report.
8 Addition to R11c
Where the unsatisfactory progress has arisen from an extended period of lack of communication over a period of at least three months and where reasonable efforts have been made to contact the student, the Supervisor may recommend to the School Research Committee that the student should be deemed to have voluntarily withdrawn from the research programme. If the School Research Committee accepts the Supervisor’s recommendation, the Associate Dean Research will formally notify the student of the Committee’s decision and allow the student a reasonable period of time in which to appeal, normally fourteen days.
9 Addition to 15.2a
Access to theses/portfolio may be restricted for up to two years from the date of the award of the degree at the request of the Supervisor and student via the School Research Committee to the Graduate School Management Committee. The request must state clearly the reasons for requiring restricted access to the thesis/portfolio.
10 Addition to R16.1b
Upon submission of the thesis/portfolio the Examiners should be nominated by the Supervisor and approved by the Associate Dean Research and reported to the School Research Committee in accordance with the following requirements:
b the Internal Examiner must be a member of the Academic Staff or Emeritus Professor of the University;
11 New R19.2
Satisfactory subject to Minor Revisions
If the Examiners are satisfied with the thesis/portfolio and with the student’s performance at the viva voce examination but require minor revisions to be made to the thesis before it is bound, they must make one of the following joint recommendations and inform the student accordingly:
a. PhD/DProf Submission
i That the degree of PhD/DProf be awarded on completion of minor revisions within three months (see Regulation 20b);
ii That the degree of PhD/DProf be awarded on completion of minor revisions within six months (see Regulation 20b);
b MPhil Submission
i That the degree of MPhil be awarded on completion of minor revisions within three months (see Regulation 20b);
ii That the degree of MPhil be awarded on completion of minor revisions within six months (see Regulation 20b),
c. MSc/MA (by Research) Submission
i That the degree of MSc/MA (by Research) be awarded on completion of minor revisions, with ‘distinction’;
ii That the degree of MSc/MA (by Research) be awarded on completion of minor revisions, without ‘distinction’;
12 Minor changes and corrections to R4.2, R7, R8.4d, R9.3, R12.2, R12.3, R14.2, R15.1.2, R16.4. R18a, R19.3 a, b & c, R19.4, R20, R21, R23.2, R23.3 R23.4, R23.5, R25.1, R27
1 NEW A1.20 University precincts: any location used for University activities. It includes the premises of collaborative/partner colleges and of private venues while hosting Aston events.
2 NEW A1.11 bullet 3 Reprimand is a penalty which is notified in writing to the student and School concerned. A reprimand will be recorded and may be mentioned in references (see A1.15).
3 BR2.4b DELETED The student may also nominate a friend to accompany the representative.
4 NEW A1.11 Mitigation: evidence offered by a student to explain circumstances related to a disciplinary case which may if relevant lessen the severity of the penalty. (Mitigation replaces exceptional circumstances in B1.4i, B2.4e, B5.4, C3.4 and D1.6)
5 D1.4g Exclusion from all or part of the University for a specified period.
In considering the length of periods of exclusion, the Board will bear in mind the personal circumstances of the student, and the fact that any period of exclusion from academic activities will not count towards the period of attendance required for the award of a degree…..
6 D2.3 A student who wishes to appeal against the decision of the Authorised Discipline Officer, or the Academic Offences Officer must give notice in writing of the grounds for appeal including a summary of their case, to the University Discipline Officer within 10 days of the decision being notified. The University Discipline Officer will determine whether there are grounds for appeal. Appeals will be heard by the Disciplinary Board.
7 Minor clarifications or corrections to A1.10, A1.12, C3.8, D1.4, D1.4g, D2.1a, D3.3.
1 Includes a revised jeopardy letter as an appendix.
2 R5.2aDELETE A Approve Leave of Absence (from [date] to [date])
B Reject Leave of Absence (from [date] to [date])
3 NEW R5.2b Leave of Absence (LOA), other than absence from assessment due to exceptional circumstances, are approved by the School. ECAP Panels receive a list of approved LOA and may make recommendations to the Programme Board of Examiners about the general pattern of approved absences.
1 Minor change to indicate that ‘Chief Operating Officer, or their nominee’ will be responsible for examination malpractice.
2 Changes related to the presence of electronic devices in the examination room
8 Outdoor clothing, briefcases and bags may be brought into the examination room, providing they are deposited well away from the candidates, usually at the front or rear of the examination room. Electronic devices, such as mobile phones and personal calculators, are not permitted in the examination room unless deposited well away from the candidates, normally in candidates’ own bags. Aston University does not accept responsibility for personal possessions in examination rooms.
24 Electronic devices, such as mobile phones and personal calculators, are not permitted in the examination room unless deposited well away from the candidate (See R8 above). Candidates may not keep electronic devices on their desk or their person e.g. in a pocket.
Changes reflecting closure of Combined Honours, replacement of School Boards and other up-dating (all Regulations)
References to Combined Honours have been removed as they do not apply to new students. A supplement on relevant Regulations will be made available for continuing Combined Honours Students. The functions previously undertaken by School Boards have been taken over by other Committees/bodies. General Regulations have been up-dated where appropriate. All Regulations have undergone minor clarifications, formatting and up-dating e.g. to reflect changes in academic titles or department names.