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Rules för writing syllabi

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 5 Maj 2022
Editorial changes made on 10 November 2022
Case number HV 2022/57

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.3. This is part of the university’s process Creating Resources for Courses and Programmes, 3.1.11 Preparing the Syllabus.

1. Introduction

There should be a syllabus for every course. According to Chapter 6, Section 15 of the Higher Education Ordinance, a syllabus should contain information about the level of the course, the number of credits, the intended learning outcomes, any special entry requirements, forms of assessment, and any other necessary information.

The syllabus is a legally binding document.

2. Components of a syllabus

At University West, a syllabus must always include the following:

Course code

This identifies the course.

A new course code is required if a course is modified in a way that affects the student’s studies (for example, the transfer of credits, entry requirements, or similar). Exactly what sort of changes require a new course code must be determined from case to case. Entry requirements, grading scale, scope, level, main field of study, and changes to the name of the course are changes that can affect a student’s studies and in such cases these changes should lead to a new course code. See, however, the section Other Information below.

Minor changes and clarifications (of the name of the course, for example) do not require a new course code.

Course title

The title of the course is the name of the course in Swedish and English. Use the dictionary provided by the Swedish Council for Higher Education.


The number of higher education credits the course is worth.


The date when the course was established and approved. For freestanding courses, the syllabus including the reading list, must be approved before the course is offered, but the reading list for freestanding courses and courses in course package can be updated up to eight weeks before the course starts.

Syllabi, including reading lists, for programmes must be approved at least eight weeks before the course starts.

Approved by

The decision-making body that approves the syllabus.

Valid from

Here the date – term and year – show when the syllabus has gone into effect.


This is the educational level at which the course is offered (educational level for foundation year programme).

Progressive specialisation

Each 1st- and 2nd-cycle course is given a code for progressive specialization. The code is a prefix in the university syllabus system and is a classification indicating prerequisite studies, described in more detail under the heading ‘Entry Requirements’. There are different codes for 1st- and 2nd-cycle courses depending upon prerequisites, and whether a degree project is part of the course.

Main field of study/Field of research studies

The course may be included in a main field of study or a field of research studies. A course can belong to more than one main field.

Disciplinary domain

Every course the university offers must be classified under one or more disciplinary domains. Read more in rules för classification of courses into disciplinary domains at University West.

Intended learning outcomes

A clear description of the intended learning outcomes for the course, i.e., the results the student is to attain to receive a passing grade in the course.

Entry requirements

The prerequisite studies that the student needs to have credits in to be able to benefit from the course.  Possible exceptions to these basic requirements should be stated in the syllabus. If there are specific entry requirements, i.e., prior knowledge needed to be able to pass the course, it should be stated here.

Forms of assessment

This is where the various forms of assessment are stated and related to the intended learning outcomes, i.e., the type of exams that will be given. The syllabus is a legally binding document that should clearly state what sort of examination/re-take/demands for revision/supplementation, etc. the student can expect. Always check the Rules for Examination (Research and Education Board).

The format for revising/supplementing the original exam must be the same. The following text can be used, if it is adapted to the course in question:

"If a student has not demonstrated that they have attained the intended learning outcomes, but is close to doing so, the examiner can give them the opportunity to revise/supplement the first exam to meet the criteria for passing. Revising/supplementing an exam should be suited to the particular situation, based upon  the intended learning outcome(s) that the student did not attain and should be submitted within two weeks after the student has been informed of the result and before the next time the exam is offered".

If a segment of the course is compulsory, this should be indicated in the syllabus. Normally, it is only when class participation or a task is assessed that it can be compulsory. Other parts of the course can only be compulsory if there is a specific reason. It should also be stated in the syllabus if there is an opportunity to make up for having missed doing something that was compulsory.

Limiting the number of exams

It should be stated in the syllabus if students have a limited number of chances to pass an exam. See the university’s Rules for Examination regarding the possibility of limiting the number of times students can take an exam.

Course content

The main content and structure of the course should be described briefly, concisely and objectively in continuous text.

One purpose is to facilitate the decision on credit transfer, another to provide information about the content of a course that belongs to a certain field of study, if the course is classified on more than one. The content should be formulated in such a general way that the syllabus does not need to be revised before each course opportunity. Avoid involving the reader in the text through personal pronouns. If the course consists of modules, these can be specified with scope in higher education credits, goals and content.

Other information

Under this heading, all syllabi should have a reference to the university’s Rules for Examination.

Furthermore, the languages of instruction should be indicated under this heading. Normally, a course is taught in Swedish or English. If more than one possible language has been indicated in the syllabus, the precise language decided upon must be established by the time the course is offered. The possibility of specifying dual languages of instruction should be used very restrictively. It should also at this time be made clear whether the course will be offered on campus or online.

The grading scale that will be applied for the course is also under this heading. The grading scales that can be used at University West are found in the university’s Rules for Examination.

The possibility of taking an adapted examination should also be indicated here for those students who have a documented disability as per the definition provided in the Anti-Discrimination Law. See the university’s Rules for Examination.


An overlap is when two courses correspond to each other in terms of learning outcomes and are therefore equivalent, which means that the courses cannot both be part of the same degree.

Interrupting placement

It should be stated in the syllabus that in certain circumstances the university can interrupt a student’s placement. It should also be stated what a student needs to do to arrange a new placement. See the university’s Rules for Examination.

Reading list

The reading list is part of the syllabus and should be attached in an appendix to the syllabus. 


Rules för programme syllabi

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 26 April 2022
Case number HV 2022/57

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), 3.1.7. Preparing a Programme Syllabus and a General Syllabus.

1. Introduction

A programme syllabus contains information about requirements, and it is legally binding for both the university and for the student. The purpose of the programme syllabus is to help the student understand what will be expected of them on the programme.

The Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 6, Section 17 states that a programme syllabus must contain information about the courses that make up the programme, specific entry requirements, and other necessary information.

If a programme is going to be taught in English, the entire programme syllabus must be translated into English. The terms used must be in accordance with the Swedish-English dictionary provided by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. Each department is responsible for seeing to it that the translation is correct.

The university has the right to make changes to courses on a programme without obtaining permission from the students on the programme, so long as the changes do not affect the intended learning outcomes for the programme and its degree, to which the student has been accepted.

2. Components of a programme syllabus

At University West, the following information should be found in a programme syllabus:

The name of the programme

The name of the programme in both Swedish and English


The number of HE credits received after completing the programme.

Programme code/Specialisation code

The code that identifies the programme


The degree(s), in both Swedish and English, earned upon completion of the programme 


The educational level of the programme

Decision taken

The date on which the programme was adopted by the Board

Decision-making body

The body that has taken the decision to adopt the programme syllabus

Valid from

The term and year when the programme begins

Entry requirements

Prerequisites for beginning studies, without which the student cannot benefit from the programme


Indicate the language of instruction  

Other information

The following permanent text has been added to the template for the programme syllabus:

"Students who have been admitted to the programme outlined in this programme syllabus, are guaranteed admission to courses according to the above list, provided that the student follows the established study route for the programme. Reservation is made, however, for changes that can occur, while remaining within the frame of the qualitative targets, when revising the programme syllabus and the courses included therein. Regarding possible choices made for a specialisation within the programme, there is guaranteed admission to courses chosen for that specialisation".

Qualitative targets

All programme syllabi must state the national qualitative targets that were in effect at the time of acceptance to the programme. These qualitative targets can be found in the System of Qualifications, an appendix to the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), which is updated when a decision about changes to these targets is taken. It is possible that local qualitative targets are added to the programme syllabus.

Programmes taught in English must have a translation of the national qualitative targets that follows the English translation of the System of Qualification provided by the Swedish Council for Higher Education. 

Compulsory courses on the programme

Here it is indicated which courses are compulsory for students on the programme. Furthermore, under a separate heading (see below), it should be made clear which courses are electives with guaranteed admission at University West and what opportunities there are to take optional courses. It should be clear how many credits are compulsory and how many credits are to be in electives or optional courses on the programme.

Elective courses on the programme

Under this heading there should be a list of electives that are offered with a guarantee of admission on the relevant programme at University West.

The following permanent text is in the template for programme syllabi:
"Among the programme’s compulsory courses, XX HE credits are electives and offered with a guarantee of admission for students on the programme. You can choose from the courses listed below".

Optional courses on the programme

This is included if there is a possibility to take optional courses, i.e., such courses that the students can choose themselves at University West or at another institution of higher learning in Sweden, or abroad. There should be clear information about a recommended study route, such as what is possible with regard to a chosen specialization on the programme.

The following text is included in the template for the programme syllabus:
"This programme includes XX HE credits of optional courses. You can choose among the courses below, but you can also take other courses, as long as the intended learning targets do not overlap with the degree courses. You can take these courses at University West or another institution of higher learning, either in Sweden or abroad".

Preliminary study route

The following text is in the template for the programme syllabus:
"A study route presents the order in which and when courses on a programme are offered. To see the programme’s preliminary study route, provide the name of the programme/programme code at".

Entry requirements for the programme

This is where prerequisite courses are listed. It may be the case that there are particular reasons for knowledge being accumulated by way of a certain progression so that students must have passed certain courses to be able to continue on the programme. In this case, entry requirements must be indicated in the programme syllabus. When entry requirements are set for a course on a programme, they should also be checked for corresponding freestanding courses.

To declare that a student does not possess the necessary prerequisites to continue on the programme, a document stating this decision must be produced. This sort of decision can be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board.

Programmes that include placement must explain how a student discontinues their studies as well as how the student in this case can return to their studies. This should be stated in both the programme syllabus and the syllabus for the placement course.

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) (main heading)

A permanent text that cannot be changed is included in the template for the programme syllabus.  

WIL-certification (sub-heading)

A text that cannot be changed is included in the template for the programme syllabus.
There is also space in the document for free text related to this heading. Here you can indicate any specific information about the programme that is connected to WIL.

Programmes that are not certified can choose to delete the text mentioned above. This way the heading is not included in the programme syllabus.

Other information (main heading)

Place any other specific information about the programme here.


Rules for writing course guidelines

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 15 February 2022
Cace number HV 2022/ 57

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.3.

1. Introduction

The purpose of course guidelines is to provide such information that students need to be able to plan their studies. The information in the syllabus takes precedence over that found in the course guidelines. In contrast to what is written in the syllabus, course guidelines are not legally binding.

Information in the course guidelines may not contradict that which is stated in the syllabus.

The department is responsible for establishing course guidelines for each course when it is offered, and that students can access these guidelines no later than two weeks before the course starts. As a rule, the course guidelines are published digitally in the university’s virtual learning environment. Students are responsible for knowing what is stated in the course guidelines.

2. Components of a course guidelines

Course guidelines must always contain contact information as well as information about examination and compulsory segments of the course. Information on misleading of examination must be given in all course guidelines and in the form specified below. The lay-out and design for course guidelines should be consistent for all courses on a programme.

Contact information

Information about the examiner, the course coordinator, and the instructors that will be teaching on the course as well as how the student can get in touch with them.


Information about when examinations will take place and what will be expected of the student. Forms of assessment should be consistent with what is stated in the syllabus but be described in more detail. It should  be clear what is meant when an examination task is to be done individually or in a group.

It is particularly important that the course guidelines for degree project courses clarify the information provided in the syllabus regarding examination format and clearly state the way they are related to one another in terms of scheduling.

If there are several aspects of the course that will be assessed, it is important to indicate to what degree each aspect is important in terms of the course as a whole.

Information should also be provided as to when opportunities for a second chance to be examined will occur and what will be expected of the student.

The course guidelines should contain clearly stated information about plagiarism and attempting to deceive the examiner. It should also be clear that documents are run through anti-plagiarism software and that if plagiarism or an attempt to deceive the examiner is suspected, the incident will be reported to the university’s disciplinary board. Information regarding relevant rules can be found in Advice and Information for Handling Disciplinary Cases at University West (HV 2015/418).

Compulsory segments

If there are segments of the course that are compulsory, this must be stated in the syllabus. It must also be stated in the syllabus if the student can make up for some compulsory segment they have missed doing. The course guidelines should state when the compulsory segments or make-up work should be done.

Information on misleading of examination (cheating)

The following text must be included in all course guidelines at University West, to ensure that all students have been given the same information:

“Misleading of examination, so called cheating, can, with the support of the Higher Education Ordinance (1993: 100), lead to a written warning or suspension from studies. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of what is not allowed.

Cheating is about trying to make an examination performance appear bigger, better or in some other way of higher quality than would otherwise have been the case. This can, for example, be about plagiarism, the use of unauthorized aids, illicit cooperation, etc. See more information at

If you use text that someone else has written (from literature, other student work, internet, etc.), you must clearly state the source. The same goes for direct translations. Quotes must be marked with quotation marks. The examiner must be able to clearly see what is your own text and what is written by others. If a source reference or quotation mark is missing, it may be counted as plagiarism, which may lead to you being suspended from your studies.

If you reuse a text that you have previously been examined for, it may be considered self-plagiarism. Therefore, be sure to clearly state whether your text has already been used by you in another examination.

To detect plagiarism, Högskolan Väst uses "Ouriginal", a software for plagiarism control. Ouriginal’s source material is extensive and consists of both published and unpublished texts, such as previous student's work.

Teachers who suspect misleading of examination are required to report this to the Vice-Chancellor, who decides if it should be referred to the Disciplinary Board at University West.”.

Other information

Examples of other information that can be placed in the course guidelines:

  • Learning and teaching design
  • Course content
  • The reading list
  • Reading schedule/instructions
  • Course design
  • Reference documentation style
  • Course evaluation and the results of previous course evaluations
  • When results will be made available
  • What technological tools are needed
  • The sharing of responsibilities between the instructors teaching on the course
  • Information about placement
  • Clarification of WIL segments
  • Related research

Rules för degree projects

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 4 Mars 2021
Case number HV 2020/625

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.3. This is part of the university’s process Course Implementation.

1. General

All degrees, except those in vocational studies, require a passing grade on a degree project. The number of HE credits the project is worth depends upon the programme. Entry requirements for degree project courses are stated in each syllabus.

A degree project involves planning, carrying out, and reporting back on a study (authoring a thesis), defending it in a seminar, as well as reviewing and discussing the content of another student’s project paper that is at the same level (acting as discussant).

A degree project is written alone or with at the most one other student.

Before the final review, the paper undergoes a check for plagiarism.

2. Supervision

Supervision is provided within the framework of the course when it is offered, unless otherwise agreed. A student who does not finish their paper before the course ends, will normally not have the right to further supervision. Exceptions can be made if the examiner and the student have come to an agreement.

Decisions regarding possible resources for continued supervision are made by the department head. If a degree project receives a failing grade, the student no longer has any right to supervision.

Supervision is provided by someone who has in-depth qualifications in the subject area, methodology, and analysis. When necessary, someone without scholarly competence may work with the supervisor by supplying guidance in the use of equipment, tools, or the handling of data.

3. Examination

The examiner and the supervisor must be two different individuals.

Part of the examination of a degree project is a seminar at which the student defends the paper they have written and one at which they discuss another student’s paper.

If a degree project has been written by two students, each individual student’s contribution is assessed separately when a final draft is submitted after the seminar. In the paper itself or in an appendix, each student must account for their individual contribution to and participation in the project.

The supervisor determines when the paper is ready for assessment. The examiner who assesses the paper and the student’s defence thereof, awards a grade. The degree project course must have clearly defined criteria as to what is required for a passing grade on the paper and its defence at the seminar. The supervisor and the examiner must have agreed upon the criteria.

Students do not have the right to appeal an examiner’s assessment or the grade they received, but they do have the right to request a re-evaluation of the decision.

The discussion at the seminar should clearly address what about the project needs to be revised and a timeframe for doing this.

The examiner reports the grade in LADOK as soon as possible after examination. This also applies to a failing grade. If the degree project is never submitted, no grade is reported.

If revisions are needed after the final review seminar, it is the date that the examiner passes the revised paper that becomes the date of examination.

As with other courses, the student has the right to a re-take, in accordance with what is stated in the Guidelines for Examination. One examination and one opportunity to re-take the examination must be offered each time the course runs.

It is usually recommended that a student who has twice received a failing grade on the same paper write an entirely new paper.

4. The title of the degree project

The title of the degree project will be stated on the diploma. Special guidelines for how the title is to be written can be found on the library’s webpage.

5. Archiving and publication

All electronic archiving is carried out by university administration after the examiner has sent in the project in electronic format, as well as documentation that shows a passing grade.

The university encourages students to publish degree projects that have received a passing grade. This is done by the library after the student has authorised them to do so. If a student does not authorise the publication of their project in its entirety, only the bibliographical data and abstract will be made available.


Rules för examination

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 22 June 2023
Case number HV 2023/302

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.3. This is part of the university’s process Course Implementation.

1. General

Provisions regarding examination can be found in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) and in the Higher Education Authority’s Guidelines for Legally Certain Examination, 4th ed. Provisions relating to examination and grading cases can also be found in other laws and ordinances, such as the Administrative Procedure Act (2017:900), the Freedom of the Press Act (1949:105) or Official Authority Ordinance (2007:515).

The following local regulations should be seen as a supplement to and clarification of the provisions mentioned above. All syllabi at University West must make reference to these local regulations.

2. Examiners

An examiner is appointed through a decision made by the department head. A list of examiners is entered into the day-book and archived. Only an instructor who is employed by University West may be appointed as an examiner.

Examiners must have relevant competence in relation to the subject and level of the course that is to be examined. With regard to degree projects at the 1st-cycle level and courses at the 2nd-cycle level, examiners are required to have a licentiate or doctoral degree. Examiners must also have sound knowledge of the regulations that apply to examination at the university. 

Examiners have the ultimate responsibility for examination of a course. Examiners set the final grades for a course, even if other instructors have assessed parts of it. Examiners are also responsible for any reassessment of a grade if requested by a student, and they are the ones to sign off on the grades in the administrative system.

Student who has failed a course twice has the right to request that the department head appoints a new examiner. This request can be denied if, for example, there is no other qualified examiner at the university. If the request for a new examiner is denied, this cannot be appealed.

3. Types of examination

Examinations test knowledge, skills, and abilities in relation to the intended learning outcomes of a course, content, and grading. Several parts of the course can be the basis for examination: written, invigilated exams, take-home exams, laboratory work, etc.

The examiner decides which types of examination will be used on a course. Each of these must be stated in the syllabus and are legally binding.

The same legal requirements apply for digital examinations as for all other examinations.

4. Time and place for examination

At the beginning of a course, or at least five weeks before any examination takes place, examiners are responsible for seeing to it that students receive an examination schedule that lists each course component  for which they will be examined. This information is normally provided in the course guidelines.

Examination of online courses is carried out at a location that is indicated in information to the students.

In extenuating circumstances, such as disability or illness, the examiner may allow the student  to take an exam at a venue other than the location at which they have been studying. This applies to both campus and online courses. In this case, examination must take place at the same time as it is carried out at University West. Students who wish to be examined elsewhere are responsible for booking a place for their examination at that location, and to do so in good time. This venue must be appropriate. There must be an invigilator and there must be a seat available in the room. The person who provides the venue is responsible for practical issues relating to the examination.

Students from other institutions of higher learning may not be offered the opportunity to take on-campus examination at University West except for exchange students who risk not completing and/or starting their studies on time.

5. Adapted examination

An examiner can take the decision to allow an examination to be adapted for a student who has a documented need for special educational support due to their disability. Taking an examination that has been adapted does not mean that the student no longer needs to fulfil the requirements established for intended learning outcomes that the examination is testing; rather, it only means that the student can demonstrate having fulfilled the requirements in another way. The syllabus should indicate if there is a possibility to have an examination adapted to special needs.

It is permitted to schedule exams on Saturdays and Sundays, but it should be taken into consideration that there may be students espousing faiths that prevent them from taking an exam on religious holidays. 

6. Re-sits

As a rule, the number of times a student can take an exam is not limited. Within the framework of a course that is offered, the student has a right to take a regularly scheduled exam and to do a re-sit.  Thereafter, the student is given the opportunity to take the exam the next time the same course (course code) is offered at University West. Examinations are always scheduled in accordance with a valid syllabus for the course being offered. It is the student’s responsibility to stay informed of any changes to the syllabus.

The date for a re-sit is announced no later than at the time of the ordinarily scheduled exam. No fewer than ten working days or two weeks may pass between posting the results of an exam and the date for the re-sit, on condition that the normal time allotted for grading (fifteen working days) has not been increased.

If it is clearly stated in the syllabus, the number of opportunities to take an exam can be limited. In total, the number of opportunities to take an exam may not be fewer than five. There can only be limitations if it is determined that an unlimited number of opportunities would lead to an unreasonable waste of resources in the case of a particular course. [1] If a course is discontinued, the student has the right to attempt the exam three times over a period of at least one year after the last opportunity to take the regularly scheduled exam when that course was offered.

An examiner giving a re-sit may test that the student has attained all the same intended learning outcomes for the course or module of the course. The types of examination should be the same as those used for the regularly scheduled examination, unless otherwise stated in the syllabus. What applies to the compensatory assignment in the form of compulsory elements describes under the heading Compulsory course components.

Any student who has missed an opportunity to take an exam due to a mistake made by the university shall be offered a new opportunity to take the exam within two weeks from the originally scheduled examination date.

7. Supplementary qualification

A student who has not achieved the intended learning outcomes and has thus failed a course, should normally be tested against the same intended learning outcomes again by means of a re-sit. The examiner can decide that the student should submit supplementary assignments to qualify as having passed, on condition that this possibility is clearly stated in the syllabus. It should be indicated in the syllabus what the supplementary work to be done involves and how much time will be allowed. The type of supplementary qualification must correspond to the original type of examination.

Supplementary qualification may only be offered if the exam’s shortcomings are minimal and easy to remedy in a short amount of time, soon after the exam was taken. Supplementary qualification is not permitted after failing an invigilated exam.

8. Compulsory course components

If there are compulsory components of a course, on which the student’s grade will be based,  this must be indicated in the syllabus. Compulsory components on which grades are not based may only make up a small portion of the course. Only examinable components of a programme, or those that have the purpose of enhancing the student’s ability to learn, can be compulsory.

Students who for some reason have failed a compulsory component of a course will be offered another opportunity during or soon after the course has ended.

Examiners may allow a student to make a compensatory assignment as a compensation for attendance at a compulsory seminar. In that case, the possibility of such compensatory assignment must be clearly stated in the syllabus. In cases where it is not possible to provide compensatory assignment, a re-sit is required (see rules for re-sit).

9. Examination of degree projects and placements

In general, the same rules apply to degree projects and placements (such as student teaching or internships) as do for other courses.

Supervisors and examiners must be different people.

It should be stated in the syllabus if there is a limitation to the number of occasions for placement or similar components of a programme that are spent off campus. If a student needs to have a passing grade in a placement or similar component to pass the course or a module of the course, there must be at least two opportunities to do such a placement or similar component of a programme.

As a rule, grades are set only after a student has finished a course. An examiner can, however, fail a student before a course has ended  if there is a particular reason for doing so. One such reason could be that the university discontinues the placement because the student has made serious mistakes and risks causing injury or damage during placement. The conditions for pre-emptively failing a student and for the student’s possibility of starting over must be stated in the syllabus.

10. Invigilated exams

During invigilated exams the examiner for a course should be available, either by telephone or digitally. The instructor should let the students know what resource materials are permitted before the exam. This should also be indicated on the cover sheet of the exam.

If an invigilated exam has to be discontinued due to an evacuation, the examiner determines whether the exam can continue after the interruption, giving the students a time extension equivalent to the interruption, or if the students’ exam will have to be re-scheduled.

It should be stated in the syllabus whether a take-home exam is to be done individually or can be done in a group. If the exam can be done in a group, the students must be able to receive individual grades. If an examiner is in doubt concerning an individual student’s performance, they can request that the student do an oral exam within ten days of the date of submission.

The student is responsible for seeing to it that their take-home exam has reached the instructor who is to assess it. If a late submission can affect the student’s grade, this must be stated in the syllabus.

When exams are submitted anonymously (so-called coded exams) anonymity is broken as late as possible. The examiner must, however, be able to see the names of the students before setting their grades.

Original exam papers are saved for two years from the date the grade was reported, and thereafter they are culled in accordance with National Archives regulations.

11. Setting grades

Grades are set once a course has been concluded. If the instructor assessing the student finds that due to a student’s absence from compulsory components of the course, they do not have sufficient records on which to base a grade, no grade can be set.

Any student who has begun an examination must receive a grade. The term ‘begun’ can be understood differently depending upon the type of examination. The examiner determines when a student is deemed to have begun an exam. In the case of invigilated exams, any student who enters the examination hall but submits a blank paper or nothing at all will receive a failing grade.

Grading criteria are stated on the exam paper or in the course guidelines, but they are not legally binding. [2]

When a group is to be examined together, their presentation should be carried out in such a way as to make it clear what each individual student has contributed. To receive a passing grade in a course, the student must have been tested against all of the intended learning outcomes stated in the syllabus and have received a passing grade on each of them.

12. Deciding on a grade

At University West, a grade has been decided upon when it is entered into the administrative system and signed by the examiner. At this time, it is ensured that the grade is in Swedish and that the name of the person setting the final grade (the examiner) as well as, when applicable, the names of any other instructors who have participated in the assessment/marking, are stated. In the university’s rules of procedure, it is stated that grades can be decided upon without any presentation.

As a rule, students receive their result on each examined component of the course within 15 working days of the date for examination. If the class is large, the instructor has 20 days to report results to the students. In that case, students should be informed no later than on the day of the examination that there will be an extension made to the time allowed for grading. See also the section about re-sits for the shortest time between reporting examination results to students and the date of the re-sit.

An examiners’ decision on a grade cannot be appealed. However, a student does have the right to request that the decision be reconsidered. This request must be in writing and submitted to the examiner together with the reason for the request. If the examiner finds that the decision was obviously incorrect, it will be changed, but only if the change can occur quickly and easily, without lowering the grade. It is prohibited to set time limits on when a student can request that a grade be re-considered.

A passing grade may not be changed to a failing grade at the student’s request. Marking that disadvantages the student can occur if the decision was purely an oversight error. [3] Practice supports lowering a student’s grade if it has been shown that the student cheated on the exam. 

A student may not participate in a re-sit for the purpose of raising a passing grade. In Swedish this is called ‘plussning’.

When a grade has been decided, the student’s exam paper, or written documentation that serves as the basis for their grade, as well as the grade itself, become public records. Once an exam has been given, the exam form itself is archived and is available to the public.

13. The grading system and grading scales

The Swedish grading system is criterion referenced. At University West one of the following grading scales is used on programmes at the 1st- and 2nd-cycle levels:

  • Pass/Fail
  • Pass with distinction/Pass/Fail
  • 5/4/3/Fail
  • A/B/C/D/E/Fx/F

On the A-F scale, F and Fx are failing results. Fx represents a failing grade and indicates that more work is required. The grade Fx cannot be set as the final grade in a course.

It should be stated in the syllabus which grading scale applies for each course.

In third-cycle programmes the only grading scale used is Pass/Fail.

The Pass/Fail grading scale may not be used for teacher education courses that have a placement component that is worth more than three HE credits.

14. Attempting to deceive the examiner

Provisions concerning attempts to deceive the examiner, what is commonly known as ‘cheating’, are laid out in Chapter 10 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

Cheating or attempting to deceive the examiner refers to a student purposely trying to deceive the examiner when their performance on a course is to be assessed. Examples of this sort of behaviour are plagiarism, using ‘crib sheets’ or disallowed notes in books that may be taken into the examination hall, or collaborating on an exam on which the individual student is to be graded.  

At the beginning of each course, students must be given unambiguous information regarding the definition of plagiarism and the correct method of referencing sources. Well-founded suspicion of an attempt to deceive the examiner will be reported to the Vice Chancellor as soon as possible. At the Vice Chancellor’s request, the case is thereafter investigated by administrative personnel. At some point during the investigation, the student will be given the opportunity to explain their behaviour orally or in writing, thus providing their version of what has happened.

After the investigation, the Vice Chancellor hands down a decision as to whether the case will be dropped without taking any action, leading to a so-called ‘V.C.’s warning’ or be sent on to the Disciplinary Board for a hearing. The Disciplinary Board can decide to drop the case without taking any action, issue a warning, or hand down a decision to suspend the student. Suspension means that for a certain period of time (at the most, six months), the student may not take exams, go to classes, or take part in any other activity within the framework of their studies.

An examination that is reported for suspicion of attempting to deceive the examiner is not graded until the Vice Chancellor/Disciplinary Board has come to a decision. If the case is sent on to the Disciplinary Board, the Vice Chancellor can decide that the student will be intermittently suspended. Otherwise, the student is not stopped from participating in other classes or examinations during the period of investigation. After a decision to suspend the student has been taken, the affected services are informed by the administration and the  student’s IT account is blocked. If any components of the course are examined during the period of suspension, the student must wait until a re-sit opportunity or the next time the course is offered and the examination is given.


Rules for course evaluations

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 9 September 2021
Case number HV 2020/625

In accordance with Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.3. This is part of the university’s process called Education, 3.3.6. Evaluating Programmes.

The university is responsible for giving students on a course the opportunity to air their views in an evaluation provided by the university. It is also the university’s responsibility to compile the results of the evaluations and make the results available to the students, as well as to take any measures necessary in response to the evaluations. [4]

Course evaluations are an important opportunity for students to contribute to the university’s efforts to improve programmes and courses. Through them the student has the opportunity constructively to think about their education and to actively exercise their legal right to have an influence on the programme they are taking.

The document ‘Rules for Course Evaluations’ provides guidance in our work with course evaluations and applies to courses at all levels, i.e., programmes at the 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-cycle levels.

A course evaluation consists of students’ views and suggestions when they evaluate how a course has functioned in relation to the syllabus.

  • A course evaluation report is a compilation of results obtained from submitted course evaluations.
  • A course evaluation response is a compilation of the students’ views and suggestions as well as the instructor’s comments about them. The course evaluation response is made available to the students within five weeks after the course has ended.

A course evaluation is always generated digitally in conjunction with or near the end of the course. Course evaluations are conducted for all courses, even those in which students write an essay or do a degree project. The course coordinator and/or the instructor can carry out additional course evaluations during the course. The automatically generated course evaluation is conducted each time the course is offered and not for course modules or an entire package of courses. The questionnaire is carried out in the language of instruction.

It is very important that students contribute to the development of courses by answering the questions on course evaluations, but this is voluntary. Instructors and students have a shared responsibility for developing and improving courses, and therefore various types of evaluations and dialogues can be carried out during the course. These are conducted to increase students’ involvement and the response rate.

Written evaluations must be anonymous. Anonymity means that any name or other way of identifying the respondent is not to be found on the course evaluation, nor can this be sought after. Personal integrity must be taken into consideration in all work with course evaluations.

Results from course evaluations must be kept accessible on the website for students and other interested parties. Responsibility for different parts of the evaluation process is indicated by the Quality Assurance System.



Rules för programme boards

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 16 Maj 2023
Case number HV 2023/302

Corresponds to Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), section 1.2. This is part of the university’s process called Management and Leadership, 1.2.6. Establishing Responsibilities and Empowering Work Units.

1. General

To prepare certain decisions regarding programmes at the 1st- and 2nd-cycle levels, there should be a Programme Board at the departmental level. The purpose is to facilitate interaction within the department and between departmental management and the Departmental Board, thus improving the quality of the programmes.

These rules describe the demands made upon all programme boards.

All programmes must have members on the Programme Board or similar. There must be a programme board for programmes and other main areas of study that lead to a degree from University West. The department head is also responsible for ensuring that freestanding courses and any contract education awarding credits and associated with a main area of study are included in the work done by the programme board. Courses in supporting subjects without a natural connection to the main area of study will be handled by a programme board or similar.

2. The composition of the programme board

A programme board consists of representatives from the teaching staff who have been appointed by the head of department in consultation with the department board as well as student representatives, who are appointed by the University West Student Union, in accordance with the Student Union Ordinance and the contract concluded by the Student Union and University West. The head of department, in consultation with the department board, appoints a chairperson for each programme board. This person convenes and chairs the meetings. It is also beneficial to co-opt external representatives from relevant fields to sit on the programme board, as this strengthens the social relevance of the programme.

3. Areas of responsibility for programme boards

The programme board should:

  • make every effort to ensure that students are provided with all that they need to achieve the nationally and locally established intended learning outcomes
  • work with quality assurance within the framework of the university’s and the department’s systems for quality assurance in programmes
  • prepare syllabi, programme syllabi, and programme reports
  • collect viewpoints from students, instructors, and external stakeholders, thus taking responsibility for them being provided with opportunities to participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the programme. 

Otherwise, the programme board works along the lines of the specific departmental work that the head of department is tasked with.


Rules for the classification of courses in disciplinary domains

Adopted by the Research and Education Board on 9 September 2021
Case number HV 2020/625

In accordance with Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG), Section 1.2 and 1.6. This is part of the university’s process called Management and Leadership, 3.1.12. Establishing a Disciplinary Domain.

Every course the university offers must be classified under one or more disciplinary domains. The university’s public service agreements determine the disciplinary domains that can be chosen. Classification is what determines the scope of government funding received by the university as a whole for a full-time equivalent and annual performance equivalent. The way the funding is distributed within the university is decided by the Vice Chancellor.

The following disciplinary domains can be found at University West:

  • DE Design
  • HU Humanities
  • ID Physical Education
  • JU Law
  • LU Education
  • ME Medicine
  • MM Media
  • NA Natural Sciences
  • SA Social Sciences
  • TE Engineering and Technology
  • VU Placement
  • VÅ Health
  • ÖV Other 

The government or Swedish Higher Education Authority has not provided any further instructions regarding the way courses should be classified. In the preparatory work, however, it is made clear that the subject area to which the course belongs should be decisive, not the degree to which students taking the course aspire.[5]

In our public service agreement, the following areas are named: Teaching, Placement, and Other:

  • The disciplinary domain Teaching refers to programmes within the core education subjects.
  • The discipline domain Placement refers to placement in schools and preschools.
  • The discipline domain Other refers to programmes in journalism and library science as well as practical-aesthetics courses that are part of the teacher education programmes in Early Childhood Education and Primary Education.

For University West the public service agreement also indicates:

  • The disciplinary domain Physical Education: referring to certain courses within the framework of the Teacher Education Programme. 

In addition to that which is listed above, at University West the following applies.

Usually only one disciplinary domain is assigned to a course. It is the main subject content of the course that determines its classification, i.e., whatever is actually taught on the course. Classification should therefore not take teaching methods, requirements for equipment, forms of examination, or similar into consideration.[6]  Classification should take subject groups as guidance.

A course can be offered two (in exceptional cases, more) disciplinary domains if the course contains elements with clearly identifiable subject content that belongs to different subject areas.[7] The percentual division between disciplinary domains should then be in accordance with the percentual division within the course content.

A course can also have two (or in exceptional cases, more) disciplinary domains in the case that the course is clearly multi- or inter-disciplinary with segments belonging to two or more subject areas with an overlap between / contributions from various disciplinary domains.[8]

[1] The Higher Education Authority, Legally certain examination, 4th edition, p. 35.
[2] The Higher Education Authority, Legally certain examination, 4th edition p. 33.
[3] For the definition of ‘oversight error’, see the Higher Education Authority, Legally certain examination, 4th ed. pp. 87-88.
[4] The Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 1, Section 14 gives students who participate in or have finished a course the opportunity to account for their experience of and views about the course through a course evaluation that is provided by the university. The university must compile course evaluations and publish results as well as any decisions to take measures in response to the course evaluations. Results must remain accessible to the students. Ordinance (2000:651).
[5] Proposition 1992/93:169 Higher Education for Increased Competence.
[6] The same course can be part of several different main fields, that are traditionally associated with different disciplinary domains and even counted as part of the progression in such a main field, on the condition that the course has a clear connection to the intended learning outcomes for the programme.
[7]  If a course contains modules that clearly belong to a different subject area and in principle would function as a freestanding (smaller scale) course at the university level, that module should be classified in accordance with that module’s disciplinary domain. For example: a module that includes mathematical statistics as part of a social science methodology course, in which the first part is classified as Natural Sciences and the rest Social Sciences.
[8] Courses in, for example, sustainability environmental science, or practical degree projects can, depending on the layout and the orientation of subject content, constitute examples of courses that span several disciplinary domains.