Credit Entry Guide

  • Guidance for processing UMP credit entry applications and completing the M103 form.

    These notes are to guide staff responsible for the award of credit on the Undergraduate Modular Programme (UMP). They accompany the latest version of the M103 form which is available to download from the forms for staff webpage. After the introduction the instructions are arranged in numbered sections which follow the numbered sections on the M103 form.

    Staff who are new to the process of assessing and awarding credit are advised to contact Programme Support in Student Registry for advice (ext. 2878, email programmesupport@brookes.ac.uk).

    Useful documents

    The following documents may also be useful for reference:

    Guide to completing the M103 form

  • The M103 form is for staff use only and is used to award prior certificated credit for students registered on an Undergraduate Modular Programme (UMP) award.

    Information from the form is converted directly onto a student’s record so that the Student Records System (Banner) can read and include it in the process of checking the student’s programme and generating programme errors, the programme summary, etc. It is therefore essential that the credit awarded is based on the subject rules that will apply to the student at the point they enrol.

    • The rules under which a student is considered for Stage I credit are those in operation when the student entered Stage I.
    • The rules which should be applied for acceptable modules (ie Stage II) are those which were in operation when the student entered Stage II.

    For further information, please see Rules applicable to specific students.

    Please note, UMP Regulation B2.14 (Admission with Credit and Credit Transfer) below sets the minimum that a student must complete on the UMP for the various awards.

    B2.14.ii A student may transfer credits derived from either prior learning and/or concurrent study at another institution. In order to obtain an award from the University, the minimum credit earned on the UMP shall be as follows:

    Foundation Diploma

    Six acceptable module credits

    Certificate of HE

    Six level 4 module credits

    Certificate of Associate Study

    Six module credits; including at least two at level 5 or level 6 honours

    Therefore cannot apply for credit.

    Diploma in Advanced Study

    Six level 5 or level 6 module credits

    Graduate Diploma

    Six acceptable level 5 or level 6 module credits

    Diploma of HE

    Six acceptable module credits; including at least four at level 5 or above

    Degree without Honours

    Six level 5 or above acceptable module credits or four if prior credit was earned on a Brookes award. At least four of the acceptable module credits must be taken at level 6 honours (or two, if two acceptable level 6 honours module credits are awarded as prior credit)

    Honours degree

    Eight level 5 or above acceptable module credits including sixlevel 6 honours module credits (or four if two acceptable level 6 honours module credits awarded as prior credit)

    Integrated Master’s degree

    Eight Level 5 or above acceptable module credits including sixlevel 6 honours module credits (or four if two acceptable level 6 honours module credits awarded as prior credit), and six level 7 modules.

    Notwithstanding the above, at least two acceptable module credits must be passed at the University in each subject of study for combined named awards. Credit can only be awarded to UMP students registered for one of the awards listed above.

    In respect of regulation B2.14, it is a requirement that students take 8 acceptable module credits on their new UMP registration for the award of an Honours degree.

    The sole exception to this exists where a student is transferring in credit from a Modular Associate registration which means that they can achieve the minimum number of modules required for an UMP award by studying less than eight acceptable module credits on their new UMP registration. This exception does not mean that students can bring in any more than two thirds of the credit required for their award. 

    • Admissions send an electronic application form to the Subject Co-ordinator or nominated contact for the application to be considered. Applications for Combined Honours will generate two M103s and go to two separate subjects for consideration. Subject Co-ordinators must liaise with each other when assessing the credit and making an offer.
    • Subject Co-ordinators should check all applications for credit entry received from Admissions immediately. If you think the application is worth consideration but the application does not include a transcript and module descriptions, please contact the applicant for the details you require and set a date for their receipt. You cannot complete the assessment of credit and the M103 without this information as the module descriptions for the units/courses are essential to match the prior learning against the subject(s) they want to join. It is also essential to check the level and volume of the credit. If an applicant has completed a qualification that you are not familiar with, please do contact Admissions for further details.
    • We do not transfer marks unless a student is transferring credit from a previous registration on the UMP, however the marks achieved may indicate whether or not you wish to make an offer. If an applicant’s grades are too low for consideration please reject the application and inform your contact in Admissions. If the credit being considered for transfer has not yet been completed, you can make a conditional offer, you can also request that they pass specific credits with a required mark or grade. Insert the details of the offer to be made in section 6.
    • An M103 form must be completed and returned to Admissions who will record and communicate the final decision to the applicant. It is essential that all documents used to assess the credit (including a transcript) are returned to Admissions with the M103 in case of queries.
    • The M103 form is passed on to Programme Support by Admissions after the student has become unconditional so we can record the credit on the student’s programme. Programme Support may be processing the form several months after you have made the offer so it is essential that you keep a copy of the form and make notes about any decisions made. We aim to put the credit on to the student’s record before enrolment however if the form is received close to enrolment there may be a delay in the credit being added to the student’s programme. 
    • Please complete the applicant details using the information provided in the application form sent to you by Admissions.

    Points to note:

    • Only qualifications certificated at level 4, 5 and 6 should be considered for transfer to an undergraduate award. Credit at level 7 cannot be transferred to an undergraduate award. If the learning outcomes of a module have been met by previous study at level 7 an exemption may be appropriate (see Section 4). The exceptions to this are the Oxford Brookes MSc Healthcare courses (Adult Nursing and Midwifery) where an exceptional agreement is in place for students to transfer from the MSc to the BSc by prior agreement. Please seek advice from Programme Support before making an offer.
    • Credit at level 4, 5 and 6 should be transferred into the same level at which it was awarded however, Subject Co-ordinators when completing an M103 may use their academic judgement to credit modules at a lower level than that at which they were attained. This discretion may only be applied where the award of credit in this manner would not unfairly advantage a student, eg where marks and credit were being transferred together and the dropping of a level would remove the mark from a student’s degree classification calculation.
    • Credit more than 10 years old needs exceptional consideration particularly where it relates to Stage II (see UMP Regulation B2.14.vi).
    • If a credit entry student is applying to study part-time or has accumulated credit over an extensive period, their application needs careful consideration in view of the 8 year time limit on most Brookes awards. Please check they have enough time to complete their course. Please be aware that periods of temporary withdrawal and semesters disregarded due to exceptional circumstances count towards the maximum time allowed. Please seek advice from Programme Support if you are unsure.
    • You cannot round up points to accommodate differences between institutions’ module sizes (See Section 4 - Exemptions).
    • Usually applicants will apply for entry to a particular year based on the amount of credit they have achieved under their previous registration. It is not uncommon for students to ‘forfeit’ credit when they transfer because some of the credit is not relevant or acceptable to their new course.
    • Do not award ‘un-usable’ credit that will not contribute to the requirements of the award at Brookes, as this can mislead students about what they need to complete to meet the requirements of their award. For example, surplus level 4 credit particularly if there are outstanding level 4 credits to be completed or advanced credit that is not acceptable or surplus acceptable credit is for all practical purposes ‘un-usable’.
    • A maximum of two honours module credits can be credited.
    • Students being admitted to Stage II having already studied on a similar course at Brookes should have ‘acceptable’ fails as well as ‘acceptable’ passes transferred as “The 22 Rule” will apply, see Regulation B2.7vi.
    • Student’s re-starting a course at year 1 after failure are normally not awarded any credit but should be awarded Exemptions (see Section 4 - Exemptions).
    • Students who are transferring credit from a completed Honours Degree into a second degree, can only transfer level 4 credit from their first year and should NOT be awarded credit that will count towards Stage II of the second award (See section 4 - Exemptions).
    • Students being re-admitted onto a Foundation Diploma should have both failed and passed credit transferred from their previous registration. Foundation Diploma students have a maximum time limit of two years to complete their course, time spent on a previous Foundation registration should be deducted from the two year time limit. It is therefore important to ensure that the student can complete the minimum requirement of 6 acceptable module credits on their new registration within the time remaining.
    • Read the application and course information about study completed and/or expected to be completed and assess its match with your compulsories.
    • If the match is negligible, then no credit can be awarded and the credit entry application should be rejected.
    • If you think the course studied covers the learning outcomes and content of your course please proceed to a detailed assessment and an award of credit.
    • Where the credit passed matches the learning outcomes of a specific module within your subject the credit can be deemed transferable.
    • Assess the total amount of transferable credit and the compulsory modules the credit covers. This will help you to determine what year of entry the student can be offered.
    • If a student has passed at least 90 CATS points of level 4 credit and has met the subject/s progression rules the student can be offered year 2 entry.
    • Do not award surplus level 4 credit particularly if there are outstanding level 4 credits to be completed.
    • Credit is normally ungraded. Marks can only be transferred where a student has previously studied on the UMP and is being re-admitted.
    • UMP Brookes credit with marks will be recorded with an XC grade (passed credit) or an XF grade (failed credit). This can be recorded in Section 2c of the M103 form
    • For Joint Honours, Subject Coordinators should liaise with each other when assessing and awarding credit.

    Acceptable module credit (Stage II)

    • Assess the credit transferable at level 5 or above, against the Subject rules applicable to the student’s point of entry.
    • A maximum of two honours module credits can be credited.
    • Failed Brookes credit deemed acceptable should be included in the credit transfer (Section 2c) for the purposes of calculating and applying the “The 22 Rule”. Enter an XF grade (which indicates failed credit) in the ‘mark/grade’ column (Section 2c).
    • The UMP Regulations require students to complete a minimum of 8 module credits on the UMP (see table in the Introduction section for the limits for specific awards) therefore you must not award more than 120 passed acceptable credits to an applicant aiming to complete an Honours degree. You may be able to award exemptions to cover any small amounts of excess credit. In the rare cases when an applicant presents with acceptable credit greatly in excess of 120 CATS you should apply the “The 22 Rule” and consider very carefully if it is appropriate to admit them for an Honours award.
    • If a student has completed a first degree with Honours only the first year level 4 modules may be credited and exemptions given for modules that have been substantially covered by the previous qualification. Students are expected to complete the equivalent of two years in Stage II to complete a second degree.
    • List separate qualifications on separate lines, giving details of the year each was started and finished, a short title and which institution awarded it.
    • Under ‘Total credit earned from previous qualifications’: State the total credit value of each qualification listed at each level.
    • Under ‘Credit transferred to Brookes registration’: State the total value of the credit being transferred to the Brookes registration. Please note that the transferred credit value must never exceed the amount of credit earned from previous qualifications.
    • A maximum of two honours module credits can be credited.
    • List all Brookes modules and marks that are to be transferred to the student’s new registration. Please indicate an XC grade for passed credit (eg 58 XC) and an XF grade for failed credit (eg 24 XF). 
    • Please use this section to record any credit you wish to award which has been gained by (APEL) prior experiential learning, eg Un-certificated learning through work. Formal assessment must be undertaken to award APEL, the form of this assessment is at the discretion of the SEC. Please indicate in the tick boxes what evidence has been provided to show this assessment has been carried out.

    Students may be granted an exemption from a module when learning equivalent to that shown by passing the module has been achieved. If a formal exemption grade is awarded such a module does not count towards any award requirements, the student still has to take the full amount of modules required for their award i.e. an exemption is not a credit.

    • Exemptions may be appropriate in the following circumstances:
    • A student re-starting year 1 after being excluded for failure should have exemptions but no credit awarded.

    Where an applicant has some relevant professional qualification or credit at Master’s level.

    On section 4 of the M103 form, you need to:

    • Enter the modules you wish the student to be exempt from.
    • Each credit entry student will have an annotation on their programme which states the date by which they must complete their degree.
    • Most students studying an Honours degree course are allowed a maximum of eight years to complete their degree. There are exceptions to this including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, International Hospitality Management, French Studies and Japanese Studies. Students aiming for a lower award also have less time. Please check the relevant award aim section for specific time limits in the UMP regulations.
    • To prevent a credit entry student gaining an advantage over Oxford Brookes students, we deduct time from the maximum time allowed for students entering with credit. We then annotate their programme so that the student and staff advising the student are aware of the time they have remaining.

    On Section 5 of the M103 form, you need to:

    • Check and enter the normal maximum time allowed to complete the course (see UMP regulations).
    • Calculate and enter how long the applicant took to complete the modules or course you are awarding as credit. Include time taken as temporary withdrawal but not any time when an applicant had permanently withdrawn from a course or time between completed qualifications.
    • Deduct the time taken to achieve the credit from the maximum time and enter the maximum amount of time remaining (in years).
    • From the year of entry and the maximum time remaining calculate and enter the date by which the student must complete their course. For September entrants (with time remaining in full years, not half years) this will be August 20___ and for January entrants this will be December 20___ . If in doubt please contact Programme Support. This will be used to annotate the student’s record. It is important to check this when advising a student about their programme, time out and changes to their mode of study.

    Please see an example of a completed Section 5 below:

    Maximum time (in years) allowed to complete course Minus Amount of time (in years) taken to gain credit Equals Maximum amount of time (in years) remaining
    8 - 2 = 6

    Student must complete by (if year of entry Sept 2015)

    August 2021 

    • Do not make an unconditional offer unless a transcript of final results covering all of the credit awarded has been received. If a transcript has not been received, please make the offer conditional on receiving the transcript.
    • If a student was awarded credit to enter their previous course and is transferring for a second time, a transcript/s covering all of the credit being awarded must be requested.
    • If a student is international or their first language is not English, please check with Admissions whether their English language qualification meets the UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) minimum English language requirements. If an appropriate qualification has not been passed, you will need to make this part of their conditional offer.
    • Students admitted into Stage II must have completed at least 90 CATS points and met the progression rules of the subject.
    • If you admit a student into year 2 that has not passed 120 CATS points or has level 4 compulsory modules to trail you must inform them of the excess module fee (which applies for students taking more than 8 module credits in an academic year) or the financial implications of extending their course in the additional information box.
    • If you admit a student with more than 8 module credits to complete (to a maximum of 10) into year 3 you must inform them of the excess module fee or the financial implication of extending their course in the additional information box.
    • If you offer a different year of entry to the application or need to indicate any additional information that needs to be sent to the applicant regarding the offer please make clear notes of this in the additional information box in case of an enquiry from the applicant about the reason for the change.
    • Similarly, if the applicant is going to be restricted to a Non-Honours degree because of previous failure on a Brookes award, this should be reflected in the credit awarded and the applicant clearly informed of this fact in the additional information box.
    • The offer will be communicated to the applicant via UCAS and any additional information will be passed to the student by Admissions (and also via UCAS).
    • Please note that due to Tier 4 regulations no part time offers can be made to students who will be studying on a Tier 4 visa.

    On Section 6 of the M103 form, you need to:

    • Indicate if a transcript is attached. If a confirmed transcript is not available at the time the M103 is completed please make the offer conditional on provision of the transcript.
    • Indicate if the offer is unconditional, conditional or a rejection.
    • Enter the award aim i.e. Honours or Ordinary degree etc.
    • Enter the details of any conditions.
    • Enter the start date and expected date of completion (eg Sept 2015).
    • Enter the year of entry requested on the application form (eg Year 2).
    • Enter the agreed year of entry (if different please explain why in the additional information box.
    • Enter any additional information to be sent to the applicant regarding their offer.
    • Please indicate in this section any modules you wish to be registered on the student’s programme. 
    • The M103 form cannot be processed unless it is signed by a Programme Lead or Subject Coordinator (both electronic and hand written signatures are acceptable). Please also indicate where applicable a contact person for follow up queries.
    • As all student’s programmes should be subject to the same internal and external quality assurance procedures it is essential that all awards of credit are reported at an SEC and considered by an External Examiner. It is the Programme Lead’s responsibility to ensure that this takes place and that it is recorded/minuted appropriately. Each faculty should have a process in place to ensure that credit entry students are identified and reported at the first available SEC after the point of entry.
    • Keep copies of all M103s you submit and notes on your assessment as Admissions staff or Programme Support may contact you with any queries regarding your assessment. As Programme Support process the credit after a student has been made unconditional this could be several months after you have completed the form. It is also helpful to build a resource for your subject/SEC so that credit is assessed and awarded consistently.
    • Once a student has enrolled you should check their programme for any error messages.