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    Failing a course, not a programme

    In which cases can a failed course be deliberated?

    Deliberations

    Depending on where you are in your study path some failed courses are accepted. We make destinction between:

    • the first year of the bachelor’s programme
    • the bachelor’s programme as a whole
    • the master's programme as a whole
    • a bridging and preparatory programme
    • the inter-university programmes

    According to article 141 of the Teaching and examination regulations 2016-2017 the Vrije Universiteit Brussel implements the following regulations.

    First year of the bachelor’s programme

    You have successfully passed the first year of the bachelor’s programme as a whole if all the examinations resulted in credits (= all your marks are at least 10/20).

    OR

    You have successfully passed the first year of the Bachelor’s programme as a whole despite of failed courses (= unsatisfactory marks under 10/20)* in case you meet the following four requirements:

    • You have an average of 55%

    • You have a maximum of 3 points under 10/20

    • You have maximum 2 courses with a mark under 10/20

    • You do not have a mark below 8/20

    Good to know: these rules will be applied automatically. You do not have to ‘use’ failed courses or request to have a deliberation. In case you do not meet the mentioned requirements, you will have to retake exams for all the unsatisfactory marks under 10/20.

    * Retaking an examination of a course with an allowed unsatisfactory mark?

    You may, during the course of the academic year, use a second examination opportunity to retake any examination with an unsatisfactory mark even though you are awarded to pass the first year. For this, you must submit a written request to the faculty secretariat within five calendar days of the day after the results are declared. If you register for the second examinations period, your original result becomes irrevocably void and the new result obtained will become final. The earlier result is adjusted (article 140 of the Teaching and examination regulations 2016-2017).

    Bachelor’s programme as a whole

    You have successfully passed the bachelor’s programme as a whole if all the examinations resulted in credits (= marks of at least 10/20) or to scores being awarded at examiners meetings, as set out in the provisions above. This means that for all your examinations outside the first year of the bachelor’s programme your marks should be at least 10/20.

    Master's programme as a whole

    You have successfully passed the master’s programme as a whole if all the examinations resulted in credits (= marks of at least 10/20). Unsatisfactory marks are not allowed.

    Bridging and preparatory programme

    You have successfully passed the programme as a whole if all the examinations resulted in credits (= marks of at least 10/20). Unsatisfactory marks are not allowed.

    Inter-university programmes

    The rules mentioned above might differ for inter-university programmes. The regulations applicable to your inter-university programme can be requested from the faculty secretariat.

    Sometimes it comes down to a decimal

    The rounding of exam results can make all the difference.

    All marks and averages will be rounded as follows:

    • rounded down if the decimal is < (less than) 0,5 (9,4/20 will be 9/20)
    • rounded up if the decimal is ≥ (more than or equal to) 0,5 (9,5/20 will be 10/20)

    The rounding will be applied to the exam result only. This will not be done for the possible separate parts that will lead to the final exam result.

    You can read about this regulation in article 137 and 139 of the Teaching and examination regulations.

    Ranging from merit to greatest distinction

    Calculate your average and see what distinction you have.

    Based on the average final result of a student who passed successfully, an academic level of distinction will be awarded.

    To calculate the average result you multiply the credits of a certain course unit with your score. Thereafter you divide this number by the total amount of credits you have finished in your programme.

    The following academic levels of distinction shall be awarded:

    • passed with merit: the average final result is less than 68%
    • passed with distinction: the average final result is 68% or higher
    • passed with great distinction: the average final result is 77% or higher
    • passed with the greatest distinction: the average final result is 85% or higher

    The academic level of distinction will be indicated on your diploma.

    Upon completion of a bridging or preparatory programme students receive a specific certificate, not a degree. These students therefore cannot obtain an academic level of distinction.