Grade Point Average: FAQs

What is a Grade Point Average (GPA)?

A Grade Point Average is a way of showing your level of achievement on your degree course. It’s an average of your marks across all of the modules you take.

 

How is GPA calculated?

The average is calculated by attaching a number to the grade you achieve for each module, and using that number to work out a mean average.

Your average will be calculated to 2 decimal places, with a range of 0.0 – 4.25 at Birmingham.

The following scale has been used in the UK previously, so gives you an idea of how your Birmingham GPA might be calculated:

 

Percentage

Grade

Grade points

75–100

A+

4.25

71–74

A

4.00

67–70

A-

3.75

64–66

B+

3.50

61–63

B

3.25

57–60

B-

3.00

54–56

C+

2.75

50–53

C

2.50

48–49

C-

2.25

43–47

D+

2.00

40–42

D

1.50

38–39

D-

1.00

35–37

F+

0.75

30–34

F

0.50

0–29

F-

0.00

 

Where else is GPA used?

The GPA is used internationally, particularly in the U.S. Oxford Brookes is currently the only UK university to offer GPA.

Birmingham’s GPA scale will be 0.0 -4.25. The most common international scales are capped at 4.0. This means the Birmingham GPA will not be comparable.

 

What are the benefits of GPA?

The University believe that GPA will help students get work overseas as it is recognised internationally. However, Birmingham’s GPA scale will be 0.0 -4.25. The most common international scales are capped at 4.0. This means the Birmingham GPA will not be comparable.

GPA offers a more precise scale that the current classification system, giving a more detailed sign of overall attainment. The University is also looking into rewarding the highest achievers in each discipline, so the top percentage (to be decided) will receive a “cum laude” on their GPA certificate. They believe this will help top performers stand out.

 

Is GPA popular in the UK?

Not currently.  Oxford Brookes is the only University to offer GPA.

A recent consultation by the government found that there was little interest across Universities for the introduction of GPA and that, on the whole, it was not the best approach for improving assessment. (See page 34 here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/1043/ofs2018_10.pdf)

 

What’s happening at Birmingham?

The University has agreed to adopt a trial of GPA this year, just for undergraduate students.

This will be on an opt in basis. This means you’ll get your normal degree (1st, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd etc.) but will be able to request a GPA certificate in addition.

If you are graduating this year and do not want a GPA certificate, you can simply just not ask for one.

 

I’m a postgraduate – will GPA affect me?

Not this year. The trial will currently affect undergraduate students only.

 

I’m an undergraduate – will GPA affect me?

If you’re an undergraduate due to graduate this year (2018), you will be able to opt in by requesting a GPA certificate. You’ll also receive your degree certificate and classification  (1st, 2:1, 2:2, 3rd etc.) as normal.

If you’re in the top 10% of your year, you may also be recognised with a “cum laude” honour on your GPA certificate. This translates to “with distinction” or “with honour”.

 

Will GPA be compulsory?

The Guild believes that GPA should not be compulsory at this stage. We will continue to lobby the University on this issue.

 

How do I request a GPA certificate?

If you are graduating this year, you will receive more information about requesting your certificate from the University in your graduation pack.

 

What does the Guild think about GPA?

Adam, your Education Officer, has written a blog about his thoughts on GPA here.

 

Comments

No comments have been made. Please log in to comment.
 

Back to News