Degree Outcomes

In May 2019, the UK Standing Committee for Quality Assessment (UKSCQA) proposed that Higher Education providers should publish a Degree Outcomes Statement analysing their institutional undergraduate degree classification profile and articulating the results of an internal institutional review.

This review should help assure providers that they meet the Expectations of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education that relate to protecting the value of qualifications, and, for providers in England, the Office for Students’ ongoing Conditions of Registration on academic standards (B4 and B5).

Degree Outcomes Statements are not a regulatory requirement, however, UKSCQA, with the backing of Universities UK (UUK) and Guild HE have been actively encouraging Higher Education providers in England and Wales to progress plans to prepare statements, and where possible, publish them by the end of the 2020 calendar year.

The University already reviews data on its degree classifications annually, both at the University Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC) and at Senate, the senior forum for academic staff to shape academic strategy, as well as scrutinise plans and raise issues of major strategic importance to the University. Representatives of the Students' Guild and Falmouth and Exeter Students' Union are members of both bodies.

In accordance with the UKSCQA expectation, the University has, however, now published its first public Degree Outcomes Statement, which may be viewed here:

The statement will be updated on an annual basis at the end of each academic year.

Prior to publication, the statement and the data on which it is based was scrutinised by the following internal bodies, as the University seeks to adopt a whole-provider approach to the assurance of the academic standards of its undergraduate awards:

  • Degree Outcomes Steering Group;
  • University APAC;
  • Board of the Faculty of Taught Programmes;
  • Vice-Chancellor’s Executive Group;
  • Senate; and
  • Council.

In reviewing degree classifications and outcomes for all students, the University also regularly engages with representatives from the University of Exeter Students’ Guild (Exeter Campuses), the Exeter and Falmouth Students’ Union (Penryn Campus), the University’s Centre for Social Mobility and the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team.

In addition, the University responded to the UKSCQA expectation that governing bodies or academic senates should incorporate external assurance of their Degree Outcomes Statements, by appointing an External Academic Advisor for the Degree Outcomes Statement 2020. The purpose of this role was to provide external scrutiny, quality assurance and advice in relation to both the content and presentation of the statement and to provide recommendations to be considered in the preparation of future statements.

Further information on the University of Exeter’s approach to undergraduate degree classifications may be found in its Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook.

For background information on degree classifications and Degree Outcomes Statements, please see the UKSCQA’s publication Degree Classification Transparency, Reliability and Fairness - A Statement of Intent.

As the sector regulator, the OfS also publishes data on degree classification trends over time, for the sector as a whole and for individual Higher Education providers, the latest report on which is Analysis of Degree Classifications over Time: Changes in graduate attainment from 2010-11 to 2017-18.