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Assessment Methods

Assessment comprises written, oral and practical tests/examinations, papers,  theses, projects, reports, and portfolios. All these modes of assessment may take place during and/or at the end of each semester. More detailed information about assessment methods can be found in the content description of different course units of the study programmes.

1. The final assessment of a course unit is expressed in a numerical grading from 0 to 20, with 10 as the minimum passing grade, as well as in its equivalent ECTS grading scale (from A to E).

2. The final classification of a degree programme is expressed in a numerical grading from 10 to 20 within the whole numerical scale from 0 to 20, as well as in its equivalent ECTS grading scale (from A to E). The final classification is calculated using the weighted average number of ECTS credits earned in each approved coursed unit, which is eligible for the completion of the degree programme.

3. The final numerical classification of the degree programme can be accompanied by a qualitative classification, expressed by the following terms: Sufficient (10-13), Good (14-15), Very Good (16-17), and Excellent (18-20).

4. The ECTS grading scale is based on a percentile statistical distribution, which splits into five percentage segments also called A, B, C, D, E according to the following table:

ECTS Grades % of successful students normally achieving the pass grade
A 10
B 25
C 30
D 25
E 10

The classification obtained in the ECTS grading scale at the University of Coimbra is based on the distribution of the grades in the range of 10 to 20 obtained by all students in a course unit or in a degree’s final classification corresponding to the three academic years prior to those grades taking into account a minimum cohort of 30 approved or graduated students. 

Whenever the minimum number of elements in the distribution cannot be found, the previous four or five academic years can be considered until the required cohort of 30 elements can be found. Only the grades obtained through regular assessment in approved course units are taken in to account in the grade distribution.

Exceptionally, in case it is at all impossible to find the required cohort of 30 elements or the awarded grade is the result of a credit assignment procedure, the following table (provided by the Portuguese Directorate-General for Higher Education, Order 11196) can be applied. In this case, the characters (**) are included next to the grade.

ECTS Grades E D C B A
Qualitative definition Sufficient Satisfactory Good Very Good Excellent
Portuguese numerical scale (10-20) 10-11 12-13 14-15 16-17 18-20

According to the Portuguese legislation (DL 42/2005 of 22 February), the grades below 10, in the 0-20 numerical scale, are failing grades and do not have a corresponding ECTS grade.