1. To proceed to the next year of study, a candidate must pass ALL the courses taken during the academic year of study.
  2. The Board of Studies may permit a candidate who has failed in no more than one (1) course to proceed and repeat the failed course along with the full load for the subsequent year; except where the failed course is a pre-requisite to a higher course in which case the candidate shall not be allowed to take the higher course for that year
  3. To complete a course a candidate shall :
    1. attend at least 80{d109a564b5af1069e15ea8bc524cfa1dbeb8a016430020a6fc53ea8abd8ad77b} of such classes, tutorials, practical exercise or field work as may be prescribed by the Board of Studies in consultation with the Lecturer concerned.
    2. perform to the satisfaction of the Board of Studies such prescribed practicals, written and other course work as shall be required.
    3. obtain an overall Pass grade in the course.
Compensatory Pass

A student who fails in a course with a D+ shall be granted a pass, , in the failed course subject to the following conditions:

  1. A candidate should not have failed in more than two (2) courses in an academic year.
  2. A candidate should not have failed in more than one (1) course in an academic year of three courses.
  3. A candidate should be doing more than two (2) courses in an academic year.
  4. A candidate should have passed (S) in the Continuous Assessment component of the course being considered for a compensatory pass.
  5. If on full time study, the candidate must have obtained an average grade of C+ or better in (X – 2) number of courses passed, where X stands for the full load of courses in that particular year.
  6. If on part time study, the candidate must have obtained an average grade of C+ or better in the courses passed.
  7. Up to a maximum of two (2) compensatory passes may be given to a candidate in any particular year.

No student will be excluded from any programme under the Directorate of Distance Education and Open Learning.

Repeat Course

Subject to regulations governing progression, all courses failed with D+ and must be repeated.

Deferred Exams
  1. A candidate, who through illness or other reasonable cause is unable to present himself/herself for an examination, sessional or otherwise, may make an application to the Directorate for the consideration of his/her case. Such application shall be forwarded to the Director before commencement of sessional examinations. It should be noted that misreading the examination time-table and pressure of work shall not be considered reasonable cause. The said unwritten examination shall be written at the next set of sessional examinations.
  2. The Director after consideration of any application may permit the applicant to present himself/herself at a deferred examination. The results of a deferred examination shall be treated in a similar manner as those obtained at scheduled sessional examinations.
Minimum Duration for Programmes
Diploma : 3 years
Degree : 5 years

To graduate, a student must successfully complete ALL required courses in the programme or be exempted there from.

Classification of the Qualifications


The Bachelor’s degree shall be classified as Distinction Merit Credit or Pass .

Calculation of the Grade of Degree
  1. In calculating the grade of Bachelor’s degree the following shall be applied for the grades obtained in the fourth and fifth years   :
    Full Courses Half Courses
    A+ – 5 A+ – 2.5
    A – 4 A – 2.0
    B+ – 3 B+ – 1.5
    B – 2 B – 1.0
    C+ – 1 C+ – 0.5
    C – 0 C – 0
  2. The points classification of the bachelor’s degree shall be taken in the last two (2) years as follows:
    1. Business Administration/Marketing
      Where there are 12 courses
      Distinction 42.5 and above
      Merit 30.5 – 42
      Credit 18.5 – 30
      Pass 0 – 18
    2. Human Resource Management
      Where there are 9 courses
      Distinction 35.5 and above
      Merit 25.5 – 35
      Credit 15.5 – 25
      Pass 0 – 15
  1. No student shall register for courses for which he/she does not have the necessary pre-requisites.
  2. A student shall not change his/her course enrolment or programme without the written approval of the Director. A student wishing to change courses or programmes of study is required to apply to the Director within three weeks of the commencement of the academic session.
  3. A student who wishes to interrupt his/her course of study shall seek leave of absence by giving written notice addressed to the Director. The Board of Studies or the Director acting on its behalf shall grant permission of withdrawal in writing if upon investigation, there is good cause.
  4. Except with the express permission of Senate, a student who without permission withdraws from his course of study shall be barred from further studies at the Directorate.
  5. Appeals from the decisions of the Director or Board of Studies shall lie to the Senate.
  6. A copy of the current examination regulations is given to each candidate before the commencement of sessional examinations.

Students are encouraged to timely communicate to the Directorate issues of withdrawal, incapacitation and other situations with a bearing on the studies. This is important as no authorization will be granted in retrospect in regard to any request.

Bachelors Degree through Distance Learning

This handbook has been written to provide practical information about degree programmes as well as an introduction to study skill.

The Distance Learning materials cover a range of topics and provide sufficient information to enable a student pass his or her courses, though resource persons at the Copperbelt University do encourage students to do further background research and reading and to draw on their own professional experience when working through the course.

Studying for a degree by Distance Learning is a managerial experience in itself. It is not intended to be a puzzle, but require a student to develop certain skills such as time management, collecting and organizing your own notes, producing a regular output of written work and assimilating your lecturer’s feedback on your assignments in a positive and productive manner.

The advantages of Distance Learning include the fact that you work at your own pace, the course is flexible, it breaks down the traditional barriers of location, inflexible schedules and impractical deadlines. Distance Learning gives you access to learning materials in your home or place of work.

We hope that you will find this guide useful, and welcome any suggestions you have about improving the content to better suit your needs. We wish you well as you proceed through the course.

The way Programmes work


There are specialist resource persons at CBU who are responsible for overseeing each course on the programme. The specialists are engaged in the preparation of learning materials as well as marking assignments.


Students are requested to address all their correspondence to the address below:

Submission of Assignments

Assignments must be typed in double spacing and a 40mm margin on the left-hand side of the page for marker’s comments.

In addition, we ask you to keep a copy of your assignment and proof of posting – as a safeguard against it getting lost in the post.

Your assignments are always returned to you by express mail, ensuring a prompt return. We work on the principle that your work should be returned to you within 21 days of us receiving it. A copy of the feedback form is retained in your personal file and the mark awarded is recorded.

At the beginning of each study pack, you will be issued with a number of Assignment Forms. We require you to complete one form for each assignment and attach it to the front of your work before submitting it for marking.

Assignments are your responsibility. If an assignment is not received by the due date, it will be considered to be late or a non-submission and a lecturer may not mark it. Plagiarism and cheating – Representation of another’s work or ideas as one’s own without appropriate acknowledgement or referencing, where the owner of the work knows of the situation and both work towards the deceit of a third party, will lead to disqualification in the course

Marking System

While it is impossible to ensure complete uniformity of marking because it is a somewhat subjective process, all resource persons at CBU are aware that reasonable consistency is important to the students.

The marking system is standardized as far as possible and linked to the examination marking system, helping you to evaluate your progress and your readiness for an examination.

Below are some of the considerations which Lecturers will take into account when marking your assignments:

  1. Your interpretation of and critical use of course material and examples based on your own experience are more important than the straight recapitulation of notes. Length of an assignment is less important than evidence of clear understanding and a relevant and focused response.
  2. The fact that students come from different backgrounds means that standards of literacy will vary. Surely a poor standard of literacy will hinder the intelligibility of the paper, thus affecting the grade. However, the lecturers are concerned with the structure of the submission and due allowance is made for literacy problems when marking.
  3. Originality of thought and analysis are more important than a catalogue of facts. Where an assignment sufficiently demonstrates original thought and analysis, the capacity for critical judgment and the ability to use ideas to illuminate the student’s own experience, it is deserving of an A grade.
  4. Where the application of analytical techniques forms part of assignment (for example, in accounting and quantitative subjects), appropriate weight is given to competence in this area.
  5. Examiners may require a student to submit her/himself for oral examination on any course.
Residential School

A seven-week residential school is designed to avail ‘Distance Learning’ students the opportunity to meet their Lecturers and discuss the courses, as well as to meet other students and share experiences. A typical day of the residential school would consist of short lectures, question and answer sessions, and case study exercises in teams and group presentations.

In the main, the residential school assists the students to revise and prepare for sessional examinations.

Tentatively the residential school will run as outlined on the Distance Learning Calendar.