Faculty of Law

Guidelines for awarding grades in the Master’s degree programme

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Adopted by the Board of the Faculty of Law on 5 December 2003.

1. When assessing performance, consideration will be given to students’ circumstances and their progress in relation to the normal length of study. The assessment will be based on the course content, learning objectives, type of exam and the level of the course.

The assessment will also be based on the following wording in the Supplementary guidelines for awarding grades in law subjects, issued by the National Faculty Meeting:

’The assessment of legal abilities and skills will be made following a comprehensive assessment of different aspects. The deciding factor in awarding grades will be the overall impression of the candidate’s performance seen in relation to the task set. Different answers to the same assignment can each have strengths and weaknesses and still be regarded as equal in merit in an overall assessment. For this reason, no subject-specific descriptions can be given in the form of fixed rules for what characterises the individual grades or which qualities count most.

When assessing which grade is to be awarded, based on the general descriptions above, the following skills will be emphasised in the overall assessment:

  • Knowledge about and an overview of the topic of the assignment and relevant background material;
  • The ability to identify and formulate legal problems, including the ability to differentiate between different problems, principal and subsidiary questions, and the ability to put questions in their correct context;
  • The ability to debate questions in an academically adequate and perceptive manner and to use the available law and facts in accordance with the discipline’s methodological principles. This includes the ability to distinguish between material and immaterial or irrelevant elements, to differentiate between what is certain and what is doubtful, as well as the ability to structure the subject matter in an appropriate and reasonable manner.
  • An eye for theoretical legal issues relating to the assignment’s topic, without, however, losing sight of the distinction between assessing the issues in relation to de lege lata and de lege ferenda.
  • Independence in the form of critical reasoning and independence in relation to available teaching materials and tuition;
  • Mastery of language, presentation skills, precision and systematic organisation in written and oral presentations of legal issues.  

These skills will to a varying extent form part of the overall academic assessment and are not exhaustively specified or prioritised.


2. Amendments to these guidelines must be adopted by the Faculty Board.