Carrying credit is a regulation that was introduced in 2017-2018. Carrying credit isn’t available to some Health and Social Science courses, such as Nursing and Midwifery due to the professional body requirements.


What does ‘carrying credit’ mean?

Each unit is worth a certain number of credits. If you fail a unit you fail to obtain these credits. Carrying credit, or a unit, is an option provided to some students who have failed a unit after reassessment (two failed attempts). Instead of repeating a unit on its own, students get the option to repeat the unit alongside those of the next academic year. It is available for students who have failed 20 credits, and exceptionally 40 credits. 20 credits is usually one unit, with final projects or dissertations usually having more credits attached.


The difference between carrying credit and repeating is shown in the table below:





Students who have exceeded the reassessment limit (60 credits at level 4, 40 credits or more at levels 5 and 6).


Students who have failed more than 20 credits following reassessment

These students are allowed to 'repeat' during the next academic year and cannot proceed onto the next level of study or to the placement year

  • Students are required to attend all lectures and seminars.
  • Students must submit all coursework and sit all exams again (including elements that have previously been passed)
  • Academic support is available from the programme teams
  • Students are charged pro rata per unit repeated

'Carrying credit'

Students who have failed 20 credits.


Exceptionally students who have failed exceptional circumstances (formally mitigating circumstances) who have failed no more than 40 credits.

These students are allowed to 'carry credit' during the next academic level. This includes the placement year.

  • Student have the option to attend lectures or seminars, if timetabling allows.
  • Students must submit all coursework and sit all exams again (including elements that have previously been passed).
  • Academic support is available from the programme teams
  • Students will not be charged for the units repeated through carrying credit.

Students must be advised of the options available to them and the consequences of failing the carried unit (6L - Assessment Board Decision-Making: Procedure, pg 11 section 6.9.16).


Is carrying credit the right option for me?

How much support do I need to pass?

When deciding if you want to carry credit or repeat you should seek advice and consider if you would need to attend lectures and seminars in order to pass the failed unit/s. Although you will stay with the rest of your cohort and are permitted to attend lectures, the lectures will not be added to your timetable and may clash with your other lectures or seminars. It may also not be possible for you to access any kit or labs as frequently as you may need to. You will have access to the VLE (Brightspace/MyBU).

If you wish to carry credit and would like to know the timetable of the lectures, you will need to contact your Faculty Student Support Team who will be able to advise you. You should therefore consider if you think you will pass the unit with no lectures, seminars and limited input from lecturers. You should also consider if you other units will suffer as you have an increased workload.

If you would prefer to repeat a unit you simply need to inform your Programme Support Officer. There is no need to appeal.



Your Student Finance will remain unchanged and you should note you are progressing on to the next academic year. All students are given funding to cover the length of their course, plus one year (gift year). So if you have to repeat a year you can still get full funding, even if you are only in attendance for one semester.

By carrying credit you may ‘save’ your gift year. However, if you fail the carried credit you will be withdrawn and cannot progress on your course. See section below for more information.

If you have applied to Student Finance stating you intend to repeat a year you will need to update them to ensure they are aware you are progressing in to the next level of study.


What happens if I fail the carried credit unit/s?

If you fail the unit/s again you will not be able to progress on your course and may receive an exit award depending on the number of units you have passed from the next level of study. E.g. If you pass everything in level 5 but fail the level 4 unit you will usually be withdrawn but will receive an exit award of Cert HE, plus any level 5 credits for units you have passed. If you were to repeat the unit and fail, you will usually be withdrawn and leave BU with any credits achieved from the previous years of study.


Why wasn’t I given this option when I got my results before being reassessed?

Some students may be informed in their results that they have to resubmit and/or resit elements from a unit and repeat another unit as a standalone unit. Once you have pass the resubmission/resit in August the option to carry credit becomes available as the total number of failed credits doesn’t exceed 20, or exceptionally 40. Therefore the decision to allow carrying credit can only be made at the resit assessment board.



If you have planned to return to Bournemouth in semester two as this is when the repeat unit is being delivered, but can now carry credit and progress with your cohort, you may not have accommodation in place or may have secured work for semester one. Carrying credit is an option and if your situation doesn’t suit this you can repeat the unit as previously informed.

If you would help to find accommodation then you can check out the BU Find a Housemate page on Facebook, contact BU Accommodation Service, get in touch with local letting agents and speak to SUBU Advice.


Why can’t I carry credit?

The assessment board who confirm your final marks after your resit/resubmission will decide if you can have the option to carry credit or whether repeating the unit is more appropriate. For example the failed unit provides foundation knowledge required to complete units in the next academic year or consideration of a student’s ability, based upon their academic profile, to complete the unit alongside those of the next academic year. This decision is academic judgement and cannot be appealed.

You also may not be able to carry credit as the professional body that accredits your programme does not allow credit to be carried.


Placement students and carrying credit

Students on a sandwich year/placement year can only carry 20 credits as a repeat in that year.


International Students

If you are on a Tier 4 (General) student visa, BU must monitor your progress on your course and any changes to your studies must be reported to the Home Office, which could affect your visa. If you are able to carry credits, this may not have an immediate effect on your visa but you should seek advice from the Immigration Compliance and Advice Team at AskBU to see if it does, or if it will before you can complete your course.


Will my exams or deadlines clash with those of other units?

It is possible that a submission date could be the same as another unit form the higher level of study. It is unlikely that exams will clash, however they could be fairly close together.


Third party enquiries

SUBU Advice and BU can only speak to a third party (parent/friend) about your issue with your written consent. Issue can be resolved quickly if we can speak directly with a student as they know their situation better than anyone else. We can provide generic information about the policy and procedures though.