Revealed: Durham modules ranked by student attainment

By and Emily Doughty

Using data gained from a Freedom of Information Request (FOI) published by the website whatdotheyknow.com, Palatinate can reveal the undergraduate modules with the highest attainment across the University for the last academic year.

The data looked at the average mark across all modules, along with the percentage of students who received a 1st, 2:1, 2:2 or 3rd class mark in the module. Factors such as the number of students taking the module and the type of exams they sat may have had an influence on the results. 

The department with the highest attainment across their modules was physics, with an average mark of 68 and 55% of students gaining a 1st across all their modules. The second highest ranked subject was English, with 41% of students gaining a 1st across their modules last year, and also have an average mark of 68. 

At the bottom of the table, foundation year modules had the lowest attainment, with an average mark of 50 and only 16% of students gaining a 1st in those modules. This was followed by Japanese, where the average module mark was 60, with only 32% of students gaining a 1st on average. 

Top and bottom five subjects, ranked by average module mark

For first year students the module which saw the lowest number of 1st grades awarded was Gallery 101: Designing An Art Exhibition, where zero 1st grades were awarded, with an average mark of 62. The average mark was only 10 points higher for the most successful first year module, Business Analytics and Technology, which saw 87% of students receive a 1st. 

Top and bottom five 1st year modules, ranked by percentage of 1st grades awarded

The least successful module for second year students, Russian Language 2a, saw no 1st grades being awarded, with the average mark being only 59. The module with the highest mark was a Classics module, Beginners’ Latin 2, which saw 80% of students receive a 1st. 

Top and bottom five 2nd year modules, ranked by percentage of 1st grades awarded

For third years, the Philosophy module Formal and Philosophical Logic saw 95% of those who took the module receiving a 1st, with the average mark being 75. This was 13 marks higher than the module with the lowest average mark – Medieval Theology and Spirituality. 

Top and bottom five 3rd year modules, ranked by percentage of 1st grades awarded
Top and bottom five 4th year modules, ranked by percentage of 1st grades awarded

The FOI also revealed that Modern Foreign Languages and Computer Science students received the highest percentage of 1st grades for their final-year dissertations or projects, with 67% of students gaining the grade. This was nearly three times as many as students who did their dissertation in Sports Science, with only 26% of students achieving a 1st.

Top and bottom five subjects, ranked by average module mark for their respective dissertation modules

To find out the average mark of all your modules last year, and the percentage of 1st/2:1 grades awarded in each module, click here.

Image Credit – Thomas Tomlinson

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