Skills Hub

Assessment and grades at university

Assessment methods

When you start your course at the University of Sussex, you will come across a range of assessment methods that are designed for you to demonstrate your learning and knowledge as you progress through each module. You should consult Sussex Direct for the details of how your modules will be assessed. Some examples of assessment methods are:

  • Exams
  • Essays
  • Projects
  • Take-away papers (you are given a number of days to complete them)

It is important that you are aware of your responsibilities regarding assessment and progress. For further information please refer to the Student Handbook


When you get to university, your work will usually be graded using percentages. At Sussex the undergraduate pass mark is 40% and your grades will be calculated according to the grading scheme relevant to your level/year of study. Each percentage awarded corresponds to a class of degree (see table below) and your final overall percentage and credit total will determine your degree classification.

Class of degreeWeighted mean
First class
Second class, Division I
Second class, Division II
Third class 40-49%

*All the above subject to attainment of 120 credits in the final year

No work undertaken in the first year of your undergraduate degree course counts towards your final classification but you do need to pass the first year. The second and third years of a three-year degree are usually weighted in a proportion of 40:60. This may vary on four-year courses; please refer to the Examination and Assessment Handbook for specific information about classification rules. 


Second year maths

View Charlie's student perspective 


Math's in general is mainly exam based assessment. However, there is the odd project which we get which are a couple of word essays or a project, a computer programming project. Exams are 80% of each module.


Second year of the Foundation Year plus MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

View Aron's student perspective


Most subjects in the foundation year were both coursework and exam based usually courses are 70% exam 30% coursework. So we will be doing coursework throughout the year as well as homework every week will be set for each subject. The second year, which I have been doing (which is the first year of the engineering course), has been much the same although some subjects have been purely coursework and some 80/20% exam.

Assessment criteria

Assessments you complete will be marked against a set of assessment criteria, which will usually be published in module or course handbooks. The criteria have two purposes: first, they are intended to ensure learning outcomes are met; secondly, they help you to understand the basis on which your work is assessed.

Assessment criteria allow tutors to focus their feedback on any given piece of work. Ideally, they should note those areas in which you are doing well and areas that you could improve on, enabling you to develop knowledge and skills.

Before starting any piece of assessed work you should check any instruction you have been given about how your work will be graded and what will be expected of you. For example, if you are doing an assessment with multiple questions, make sure you know how many you need to answer.

Assessment deadlines

All deadlines for formally assessed work (any piece of coursework that counts towards the mark for a course or any formal submission) and examination times are shown on your student study timetable in Sussex Direct.

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