Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned and you may find yourself struggling. This can apply to your life at university as well and can have particularly negative effects on your university studies. This may come in the form of not doing so well on assignments or modules, which could eventually lead to you not doing so well in that university year as a whole. For a degree that only lasts 3 years, this occurring in your 3rd year may even put you in a difficult situation.
How retaking works in the 3rd year of your studies can be a lot more difficult and complicated compared to years prior. Due to this, it’s important to get a clearer understanding of how the process all works to give you a better idea of what your options are.
In short, yes, students are able to retake their 3rd year at university. They may either do this in “attending” by repeating the whole year including all of the modules and the teaching. Otherwise, it can be done in “not attending” where students only have to retake certain modules. Whether a student is retaking in “attending” or “not attending” can have a large effect on the costs involved and the funding they can get. However, for both forms of retaking, students’ grades are capped at 40%.
Continue reading this article to gain a better understanding of the process of retaking your 3rd year at university. This article will explain the retaking process, give you more information about the costs involved as well as information of how it may impact your student finance funding.
Table of Contents
Can you retake your 3rd year at uni?
Yes, students can retake their 3rd year at university. In fact, if you’ve not met the requirements to pass a module or an entire year, you will likely be given the opportunity to retake the year. This can come in different forms, and you may be “attending” or “not attending”.
If your repeat of your 3rd year at university is with “attending” this will mean that you need to redo the entire year, including all of the modules and be re-taught. This also means that you will need to attend all of the lectures, seminars and other elements of that year of your course all over again.
If your repeat of your 3rd year is “not attending” then you will only have to retake the modules that you failed in your 3rd year. This will be done externally, meaning that you won’t need to be re-taught that year of the course.
To learn more about this, check out this guide by the University of Southampton.
Are your grades capped when retaking your 3rd year at university?
When you retake a year or module, your grades will generally be capped. This will be at the pass mark, which for an undergraduate degree is 40%.
At 40%, you will be achieving a third-class honours degree (3rd) in the degree classification system of undergraduate degrees. To learn more about undergraduate degree classifications, check out this Think Student article.
Can you retake if you got a 2:1 and want a first?
As mentioned above, when retaking a year at university, your grade is capped at the pass mark of 40%. This means that students won’t be able to gain a better mark if they’ve already passed and so won’t be able to get a 1st rather than a 2:1.
The capping of grades is likely there to try and prevent students from doing this. This is because if too many students try to get the top grades, such as a 1st or 2:1, from resitting exams or retaking an entire year it can make the entire grading system more meaningless as the proportion of students gaining these grades would be too high. To learn more about this, check out this article by the Independent.
Can you retake your 3rd year at university more than once?
The exact number of times that you’re able to retake a year or a module at university will generally vary based on where you go. However, particularly for the 3rd year, students are often only able to retake the year or a specific module once.
Despite this, students may be given more than one opportunity to pass the year or a specific module. This is because depending on the university and maybe even the course itself, students could have the chance to retake the entire module and then to do a resit of the exam after already taking, giving them 2 extra opportunities. To learn more about this, check out this page by Oxford Brookes University.
What happens if you fail your retake of your 3rd year at university?
What happens after you fail your 3rd year retake will depend on the university itself. However, as many will only let you retake the year once, this may mean that you’ve failed your 3rd year at university. Failing your 3rd year at university means that you’re unable to graduate as you won’t have received enough credits to be able to pass the year.
While you won’t be able to graduate with the degree that you initially planned to get, it’s possible that you can still leave university with an interim qualification or exit award. This is where a student achieves a lower qualification to the one that they’d originally signed up for. Instead of an undergraduate degree, students may receive a certificate or diploma of higher education (CertHE/DipHE) for example.
Also, depending on the university, you may be able to meet their criteria, which would allow you to still get enough credits to complete your degree. This would allow you to graduate, despite failing your retake. This is known as Condonement Criteria at UCL but may have an alternative name at other universities.
Once again, students may still be able to graduate even after failing their retakes. This is in the case of extenuating circumstances, such as illness, which may have prevented the student from doing the resit or being able to pass it. Due to this, the student may be given another opportunity to retake or resit the year or modules.
How much does it cost to retake your 3rd year at university?
The exact amount you will need to pay in order to retake your 3rd year at university will depend on your situation and how long it takes you to do this retake.
As mentioned above, students may be “attending” or “not attending” for their repeat of the year. If the student is “attending” then they will have to pay tuition fees, however if they’re “not attending” they won’t have to. To learn more about this, check out this guide by the University of Southampton.
For “attending” students, how much of the tuition fees they will have to pay depends on how much of the academic year they are retaking. For both the first and second trimesters, students would have to pay 25% of the tuition fees and for the last trimester, students would have to pay 50%.
This means that if a student repeated the entire year, they would have to pay an entire year’s worth of their tuition fees. Whereas, if they only repeated the first 2 trimesters, they would only have to pay 25% and if they repeated the last 2 trimesters, they would have to pay 75% of the tuition fees for the year.
To learn more about this, check out this page by the University of Bath. Please note that this was for the 2021/22 academic year for the University of Bath and may vary slightly in following years as well as at different universities.
For “not attending” students, retaking modules won’t particularly come without a cost as students will normally need to pay to retake these modules. The exact amount these students will need to pay will depend on the university as they will set the price of resitting the exams. To learn more about this, it’s best to consult your university.
How does student finance work for the year you retake at university?
How student finance works for when you retake your 3rd year will depend once again on if you’re “attending” or “not attending”.
If you’re “attending”, you will be able to get a student loan for your 3rd year that you’re retaking. This is because as standard, Student Finance awards funding for the entirety of your course as well as an additional year.
However, if you have already used this additional year of funding, such as if you’ve previously repeated a year, you may be able to appeal to Student Finance to get additional funding due to compelling personal reasons. This means that if you had a specific reason for needing to repeat a year at university, such as illness, pregnancy or bereavement, then you may be able to get a student loan to cover you for that year.
To do this, you will need to send a cover letter alongside the normal parts of a student finance application. To learn more about this and how to write one, check out this Think Student article.
If you’re “not attending” for the whole academic year, you won’t be able to get a student loan for the year that you’re repeating. This is because you won’t have to pay tuition fees, although you may still have a fee for resitting the exams, as mentioned above. To learn more about this, check out this guide by the University of Nottingham.
How do you know if you need to retake your 3rd year at university?
At the end of your time at university, and even at the end of every semester in an academic year each student will receive their Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). The HEAR details all your modules, their percentage weighting, the number of credits each module is worth and your grade.
Generally, 120 credits are required to pass each academic year, so failure to achieve a total of 120 credits by the end of your 3rd year means you will not pass the year. If you would like further information on university credits or you’re not entirely sure on what they are and how they work, please read this Think Student article. When you receive your HEAR this is when you would be able to see what modules you failed and what specific assessments you may need to do again.