Regulations governing grades and assessment of academic transcripts
(This translation into English is of an informative nature. The official version is originally in Catalan.)
In September 2003, Royal Decree 1125/2003, dated 5 September, was approved in order to begin implementing the creation of the European Higher Education Area. This decree establishes the European system of credits and the grading system for official university degrees, valid throughout Spain. Moreover, shortly afterwards, Royal Decree 1044/2003, dated 1 August, was approved, establishing the procedure for issuing the European Supplement to the Degree by Universities (Official State Gazette no. 218, dated 11 September). These two decrees have appreciably modified formal aspects relating to academic transcripts; whereas, progress in terms of material aspects has yet to materialise, though an outlook for initial implementation has been set for 2010, as per the Bologna declaration.
Pompeu Fabra University began to apply the new grading system for assessing students' results during the first term of the 2003-04 academic year. This measure resulted in the adoption of a numerical scale from 0 to 10, expressed in decimals. Nevertheless, the new regulations require specific patterns and criteria regarding other aspects of the grading system of our degrees to be adopted for both official and independent studies. Among other areas, particular attention must be lent to educational activities not encompassed by the syllabus, free choice credits undertaken in previous studies and validated and adapted subjects.
Furthermore, another aspect that has been uniquely affected by these new decrees is the way academic transcripts are assessed. Therefore, this regulation aims to address all doubts associated with obtaining the average mark for the academic transcript using the new system and, in particular, how to obtain said average when several grading systems are used.
Finally, consideration has been given to the manner in which all the information regarding grades set out in the academic transcript should be presented. As a result, regulating certification of grades set out in academic transcripts is an area that has especially been envisaged.
Article 1. Grading system for Pompeu Fabra University degrees
1.1. Grading for official study programmes
For official first, second and third cycle study programmes at Pompeu Fabra University, the marks obtained by students are stated as numerical grades according to the scales set out in Royal Decree 1125/2003, dated 5 September (Official State Gazette no. 224, dated 18 September), to which the equivalent qualitative grades established in the same Decree will be added.
1.2. Grading for specific university study programmes
a) For non-official studies leading to a specific Pompeu Fabra University degree qualification, the same grading system mentioned in the foregoing section will be adopted, unless the competent body specifically approves another one.
b) For specific UPF postgraduate study programmes and "other studies", if applicable, an overall assessment on follow-up for the programme can be conducted without the need to grade each of the subjects or their content.
Article 2. Consideration of educational activities not encompassed in the syllabus
2.1. Official first and second cycle studies
a) For the purposes of this regulation, the activities organised by university and non-university centres, study areas, departments or institutions that do not appear as subjects on study programmes are considered educational activities not encompassed in syllabuses, especially summer courses, languages, academic and social activities, university extension courses, series of conferences, cultural events, and so on.
b) The activities mentioned in the foregoing section will appear in the academic transcript with the expression 'accredited credits' when they are acknowledged as free choice credits under the terms and conditions established by the respective regulations. These credits will not be considered for assessment of the transcript.
c) This consideration does not include subjects passed within the framework of the Specific Freely Elective Programme, the Intercampus Interuniversity Programme, those undertaken in exchange programmes and those expressly approved by the university, which will be graded according to the stipulations of article 1 herein.
2.2. Official third cycle studies
In the case of doctoral programmes that allow for enrolment on courses or seminars not envisaged in the syllabus for up to five credits, as an 'out of programme credit' or 'supplementary credit', said credits will be graded in accordance with the provisions of article 1, unless they appear on the transcript as a result of an academic acknowledgement process. In this case, they will appear with the expression 'accredited credits' and will not be considered when assessing the transcript.
Article 3. Consideration of free choice credits undertaken during previous studies
3.1. Free choice credits undertaken in previous Pompeu Fabra University studies
a) Free choice credits undertaken in previous Pompeu Fabra University studies, for which accreditation as core, compulsory, optional and free choice credits is requested for the target studies, will figure on the academic transcript bearing the same grade as they do on the original transcript and they will be taken into account for the purposes of assessing the transcript.
b) Free choice credits followed during previous UPF study programmes, for which accreditation is requested as additional training credits for the target study programme, shall figure on the academic transcript with the phrase 'accredited credits'. These credits will not be considered when assessing the transcript.
3.2. Free choice credits followed during previous study programmes at other universities
Free choice credits followed during previous study programmes at other universities, for which accreditation as free choice credits is requested for the target studies, will figure on the academic transcript bearing the phrase 'accredited credits'. These credits will not be considered when assessing the transcript.
Article 4. Consideration of validated and adapted subjects
a) Validation for first and second cycle study programmes entails equivalence in terms of knowledge, content and study load between subjects from syllabuses leading to different degrees. Adaptation entails equivalence in terms of knowledge, content and study load between subjects from syllabuses leading to the same degree.
b) If students from other universities or from other UPF centres and study programmes obtain validation or adaptation for a specific subject, this circumstance shall be stated in the academic transcript as follows:
- Indication of the nature of the subject on the target transcript, depending on whether it has been validated or adapted. If adaptation on transcripts has been carried out owing to expiry of a syllabus, the phrase 'equated' shall be recorded.
- Equivalence in points, according to the sole additional provision of Royal Decree 1044/2003, dated 1 August (Official State Gazette no. 218, dated 11 September). If there is more than one original subject or course, the average will be obtained according to the weight mechanism and the numerical scale for the equivalence in points which corresponds to the 'overall grade for the degree' as set out in point 4.5 of appendices I and II of the same Decree. For the purposes of assessing the transcript and in order to consider the qualitative grade, the results obtained will be brought in line with the respective full figure without taking into consideration any decimals, if applicable.
In addition, the title and grade obtained for the original subject or subjects undergoing validation and adaptation may be recorded with the same characteristics as those shown on the original transcript. Any original grades not relating to a numerical or qualitative grade as established in article 5.4 of Royal Decree 1125/2003, shall be recorded along with the grade determined by the competent validating body and, failing that or if such a grade cannot be established, with the phrase 'apt'. In this latter case, the respective credits will not be counted for the purposes of assessing the transcript.
Article 5. Assessment of academic transcripts Vegeu la Instrucció del vicerector de Docència i Ordenació Acadèmica per al tractament de la menció de matrícula d'honor en els estudis de grau o equivalents
5.1. Obtaining the average mark for the academic transcript
The average mark for each student's academic transcript is obtained according to the manner set out in Royal Decree 1125/2003, dated 5 September, notwithstanding the provisions of the following section.
5.2. Obtaining the average mark for the academic transcript when several grading systems apply
If the use of several grading systems (quantitative and qualitative) are shown on an academic transcript or in processes where places are assigned on a competitive basis in which students' academic transcripts do not carry the same grading systems, in order to assess such academic transcripts in a uniform manner, the following numerical scale shall be employed:
To obtain the average mark for the academic transcript, the numerical scale corresponding to the 'overall graduate grade' will be used, as laid down in section 4.5 of appendices I and II to Royal Decree 1044/2003 and the formula set out therein in order to weight the value of each subject or course in relation to all subjects forming part of the academic transcript. This will be done in line with the following criteria:
- Numerical marks for subjects or courses are obtained according to the following table of equivalences:
Grade Equivalence in points
5.0-6.9 - Pass 1
7.0-8.9 - Good 2
9.0-10 - Excellent 3
9.0-10 - Excellent with honours 4
- Validated and adapted subjects or courses will carry the equivalence in points that relates to the grade obtained at the original centre or area of study, according to the provisions of article 4 of this regulation.
- Acknowledged credits not bearing a grade will not be calculated, nor will those qualified as 'apt' or all those carrying any other phrase, including validated and adapted subjects for which no information is provided on the original transcript.
- The grade for each separate subject or course will be weighed according to the number of credits it entails, in accordance with the following formula:
W = M x NCs / NCc, where W = weighed value of the subject or course, M = mark for each subject or course according to the table of equivalences, NCs = number of credits for the subject or course, and NCc = total number of credits completed.
- The average grade for the transcript shall be obtained by adding the weighed value of all subjects or courses completed.
Article 6. Certification of grades on the academic transcript
6.1. Information subject to certification
a) Certification of the academic transcript shall include information regarding grades as set out in the specifications of the foregoing sections hereof. The phrases 'accredited credits', 'apt' and 'equated' shall be incorporated into the same field as the grades.
b) On academic certificates, the average grade for the academic transcript, obtained as per article 5 hereof, shall be allocated when the student has completed his or her studies and paid the fees for issuance of the degree qualification.
6.2. Certifications for doctoral studies
Certifications for official doctoral studies will include those academic assessments which are qualitative, as envisaged in specific regulations for these areas of study, such as assessment of proven research experience or successful completion of teaching and research periods.
1. Language courses undertaken as part of the Pompeu Fabra University Language Training Programme for which accreditation has been applied as free choice credits during the 2003-04 academic year shall carry the same respective qualitative grade. As of the following academic year, as these are educational activities not forming part of a syllabus, they will be subject to the provisions of article 2 hereof.
2. Pompeu Fabra University summer courses for which accreditation has been applied as free choice credits shall maintain their respective qualitative grade provided the application was submitted prior to the entry into force of this regulation. Following the entry into force hereof, as these are educational activities not forming part of a syllabus, they will be subject to the provisions of article 2 hereof.
3. Free choice credits undertaken during previous Pompeu Fabra University studies for which accreditation has been applied as additional training courses prior to the entry into force hereof shall maintain their respective qualitative grade. Following the entry into force hereof, training courses that must be stated on the transcript as of the 2004-05 academic year shall be subject to the provisions of article 3 hereof.
4. Free choice credits undertaken during previous studies from other universities for which accreditation has been applied as free choice credits in the target study programme prior to the entry into force hereof shall maintain their respective qualitative grade. Following the entry into force hereof, they shall be subject to the provisions of article 3 hereof.
PhD dissertation grades will be as established in Royal Decree 778/1998, dated 30 April (Official State Gazette no. 104 dated 1 May).
The regulations for assessing students' academic transcripts, which were approved by resolution of the Board of Governors on 11 June 1997, are hereby repealed.
Entry into force
This regulation will come into force on the day after its approval.