Academic policies and procedures
Regulations of the programme
In each of your courses you will be assessed at different moments and probably also in different ways. You’ll find the different assessments detailed in the Study Guide or the Course Guide (in Blackboard). You have to have undergone all the required assessments to complete your course and to receive a final mark.
To pass your course you must achieve a final mark of 6 or higher. You’ll fail the course with a mark of 5 or lower. Your final mark will be rounded off to one decimal point – e.g., a 7.44 becomes a 7.4 and a 7.45 becomes a 7.5. Marks of 5 or 6 are the exception: if your average mark is 4.95 to 5.49 (both inclusive) you’ll receive a 5; if your average mark is 5.50 to 6.04 (both inclusive), you’ll receive a 6.
If you receive a fail mark for a course, you will have the opportunity to take one supplementary test to give you a chance to pass. To be eligible for this supplementary test, you must have achieved a final mark of at least 4.00 (before rounding) and have, in the view of your lecturer, satisfied the course effort requirements. Your lecturer will determine the form, content, date and time of the supplementary test. If you pass the test, you will receive a final mark for the course of 6.00. If you fail, your original final course mark will appear in your study progress review.
Supplementary interim test
If at the end of a course you have a passing mark but you have not met the minimum mark requirement (5.50 before rounding) for one interim test, you may be eligible to take a supplementary interim test. To qualify for this you must have met all the course effort requirements. The lecturer will determine the date and time of the test. The content of the supplementary interim test is intended to replace the test component for which the minimum mark was not attained, and in the event of a satisfactory result will be marked with a 5.50. This 5.50 forms part of the calculation as described in the study guide for determining the final mark for the course. If the mark for the supplementary interim test is also unsatisfactory, then the note NVD (‘niet voldaan’ = unsatisfactory) will be entered as the final mark in your study progress review.
If you miss a test, or a part of it, owing to circumstances demonstrably beyond your control, you will be given one opportunity to take a replacement test. To be eligible for this replacement test, you must fulfil the conditions referred to in the “Reporting illness” rules. Your lecturer will also determine the form, content, date and time of the replacement test.
Please note! See the latest Education and Examination Regulations for the complete regulations concerning resit and replacement tests and interim tests.
The general rule applicable to all courses is: you must attend and participate in your classes. For specific detailed requirements for each course, check the Course Guide (in Blackboard). If circumstances beyond your control, for instance an illness, keep you from attending your classes, you will be granted an attendance exemption; see the conditions in “Reporting illness”. If, due to similar circumstances, you are unable to give a presentation or deliver a paper on time, the Course Coordinator will set a new date for you to meet these obligations.
If you are chronically ill, disabled or have a top-athlete status, you can apply for special arrangements to the Board of Examiners (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If, at a given point in time, your lecturer judges the effort you put into course participation as inadequate, the Course Coordinator may exclude you from the remainder of the course.
It can happen that you are unable to attend a lecture, tutorial or exam, due to illness or other circumstances beyond your control. Or that you cannot hand in a paper on time because of this. In that case, you have to report this IN ADVANCE to the secretariat of the programme that offers the particular course.
- Master’s programmes offered by Earth Sciences:
> Fill out this absence form
- Master’s programmes offered by Human Geography and Planning:
> Call +31 30 253 1399
- Master’s programmes offered by Innovation, Environmental and Energy Sciences: > Fill out this absence form
If you were unable to fulfil an exam requirement (e.g. exam, presentation, paper) on time, then report this to the course coordinator directly AFTERWARDS. You can then discuss the possibility of a resit or replacement test. Consult the Education and Examination Regulations (art. 4.4 and 5.5) for the exact regulations.
- The Education and Examination Regulations (EER) set out the degree programme-specific rights and obligations of students on the one hand and of Utrecht University on the other – e.g., regarding exams and testing.
- Here is the general EER for all the Master's degree programmes 2023-2024 (English/Dutch).
- Here is the general EER for all the Master's degree programmes 2022-2023 (English/Dutch).
- There are also programme specific parts of the EER, which can be found here: 2022-2023, 2023-2024.
- You can contact the studentsite email for the EER's from the previous year.
- The Regulations of the Board of Examiners set out the rules for the organisation and assessment of exams, tests, theses and research assignments.
- MSc research provides information about the procedures and contents of you research project.
- Regulations for Safety in Fieldwork (download) include the declaration regarding safety and behaviour during excursions and fieldwork. Additionally students have to sign the Declaration regarding safety and behaviour during excursions and fieldwork (download) before departure.
- The Financial Regulation for Fieldwork gives an overview of all financial matters concerning fieldwork and field trips.
The Study Guide Master’s Earth Sciences degree programme presents a complete overview of the contents and organisation of the programme, in greater detail and depth than you’ll find on this website.
Your primary exam programme refers to your first-year exam programme; it is detailed in the corresponding Study Guide, as follows:
Regulations of The University
Your UU-grades abroad
To help foreign universities to interpret the value of our grades, UU publishes Grading Tables:
- a table for Bachelor’s courses and
- a table for Master’s courses.
The Grading Tables provide statistical distributions of grades awarded at Utrecht University. They show which percentage of all passing grades that were awarded in the three most recent academic years were (rounded-off) a 6.0, a 6.5, a 7.5, etc. The tables will be published on the International Diploma Supplement of all students who graduate after September 1st 2017.
In addition to the Grading Tables, UU also publishes a weighted average grade on the ten point scale on your International Diploma Supplement.
What do Grading Tables not show?
Grading Tables do not show whether you belong to the 10% (or any other percentage) of your class. The tables do not contain information about the average either, nor are they just about your fellow students.
The most recent Grading Tables (September 2020 – August 2023)
Grade Point Average substituted by Grading Tables
Until 1 September 2017, Utrecht University published a Grade Point Average (GPA) to provide help institutions abroad to interpret UU-grades. Many Anglo-Saxon universities use this four point scale to express their weighted average grade. The GPA always needs clarification. The standards according to which the GPA is calculated differ between (international) universities.
Utrecht University considers any form of academic dishonesty to be a very serious offense. Utrecht University expects each student to be familiar with and to observe the norms and values that ensure academic integrity.The most serious forms of deception that can impair this integrity are fraud and plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of fraud and is defined as the wrongful appropriation of another author’s work without proper citation. See the further elaboration on what may be considered fraud or plagiarism.
If the university discovers a case of fraud or plagiarism, then the study programme’s Board of Examiners may implement sanctions on the offender. The most serious sanction that the Board of Examiners may implement is the submission of a request for expulsion to the Executive Board.
If you feel you have not been treated properly by someone employed by Utrecht University, or if you disagree with a decision that affects you personally, you can respond in a number of ways. You can submit a complaint, an objection or an appeal.
For the full details about the various procedures and which procedure is applicable for your situation, visit Complaints, objections and appeals.
Utrecht University processes a substantial volume of personal data. In accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the university is responsible for ensuring that personal data is processed properly. Also see the Privacy Statement on the Utrecht University website.