If you decide to withdraw from your studies before the end of your degree (and anytime after your first year of study) you may be entitled to a lower award.  

A lower award is a degree different to your own that is categorised as being a ‘lower’ qualification.  

NOTE: This is not always a lower academic level qualification: for those students on accredited degrees, the non-accredited version may be referred to as a lower award when in fact it is the same level qualification (the only difference being that the degree awarded is not accredited). 

Example scenario:

Stephen started University on a 3 year BA degree at the university;           
In his first and second years, Stephen passed each year, but part way through his 3rd Year something happened that meant he was not able to continue on his degree. Stephen consequently withdrew from his course. 
As he had passed his first two years of study, Stephen’s marks were calculated and he was able to graduate from the university with a Lower Award of an Undergraduate Diploma. 

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