Exceptional mitigating circumstances
In ordinary circumstances, if you are unable to complete an assessment in time or to the best of your ability, even with an extension, you would apply through the exceptional mitigating circumstances process (EMC). This allows you to defer to the next assessment period. All EMC applications normally require independent supporting evidence.
In the current circumstances, it is not reasonable for us to expect you to provide such evidence. Therefore, any EMC applications made in relation to the impact of coronavirus will not require independent supporting evidence.
If you are unable to engage with your University programme during this period, whether due to personal circumstances or illness, you can apply for an EMC. All EMC applications relating to coronavirus will be approved. The EMC application form and deadlines to submit an application for each Faculty can be accessed here.
What happens if I do not pass a module?
If you do not pass a module that was due to be assessed for the first time in 2020/21, you can attempt the assessment for that module again, with no penalty applied. This is called a deferral.
If this was not your first attempt, the normal reassessment regulations apply.
Condonement describes the process where a module may be considered as a Pass, despite you not achieving the pass mark, because the failure is considered to be marginal.
In the current circumstances, the amount of credit the University can condone has been increased and we may now condone up to 40 credits at Level 5. Condonement can be applied for Level 5 modules down to a mark down of 30%.
This means that if you have a mark of 30% or more in up to 40 credits, the University may be able to award these modules a condoned pass.
If you are condoned in any module, you will not need to undertake reassessment for that module. The marks for condoned modules will be incorporated in your degree classification.
Unless professional, statutory or regulatory bodies state otherwise, condonement may be applied to all modules, including those defined as ‘core’. Decisions on whether students qualify for condonement will be made by the end of programme award board.
Qualifying for an award
All students must pass or be condoned in all modules registered against their programme in order to be recommended for an award. This fundamental principle underpins the conferral of all Edge Hill Awards and continues to apply in these extraordinary circumstances. If we do not maintain this principle, we risk devaluing the qualification which you have worked so hard to earn.
However, in the current circumstances, we have relaxed our normal requirements around condonement, where evidence supports this. This means that if you have not successfully completed all your planned assessments, the University will actively consider whether it can award credit or deem modules to have been completed. Full details are given in ‘What happens if I do not pass a module’.
If you have exhausted the potential for condonement and do not meet the threshold for an award to be made, you will be given the opportunity to complete referred or deferred assessment and we will reconsider whether you are eligible for an award after the reassessment period.
Classification Calculation (Safety Net Explained)
Classifications will be awarded in accordance with the classification bands detailed below:
70% and above: Distinction
60 – 69%: Merit
40 – 59%: Pass
The University’s standard way for determining classifications for Foundation Degree and Diploma of Higher Education programmes is through a straight average of all module marks achieved at level 5.
This approach will continue to apply in 2020/21. However, in acknowledgement of the extraordinary circumstances – and because it is recognised that circumstances beyond the University’s control may have impacted on your performance in the final year, we have developed a safety net calculation. In this calculation, the APM would be calculated from your marks across Level 5 as follows:
- your best 60 credits will count as 60% of the final mark
- the remaining 60 credits will count as 40% of the final mark.
The award board will take both calculations into account and award a classification based on the higher of the two average marks.
In line with our normal approach, if either the standard algorithm APM or the safety net algorithm is within 2% of a higher classification band, we will consider whether your profile of marks would warrant the higher classification being awarded. In these cases, if you have at least half of your module marks achieved across the whole of Level 5 in a classification band and an overall APM which is no more than 2% away from that band, you will be awarded that classification.
Your online transcript will provide details of each confirmed mark for all your modules. Each mark will be accompanied by an explanation of whether the module has been passed, condoned or requires reassessment.
If you do not meet the requirements for award at this stage, information on your opportunity to complete referred or deferred assessment will be included with your online academic transcript.
Your online academic transcript will include details of the appeals process and the deadline for submitting an appeal. The grounds for appeal have not changed. You can submit an appeal only if you believe your grade has been impacted by one of the following grounds:
- Procedural irregularity in the assessment process
- Bias or perceptions of bias
- Exceptional mitigating circumstances, details which were, for good reason, not previously available to the appropriate assessment boards
For the avoidance of any doubt, if you pass an assessment but believe your module results have been impacted by the specific circumstances, you may use the appeals process to request a further assessment. You must, however, provide good reason for not declaring this information prior to the appropriate assessment boards.
Any academic appeal applications submitted on the ground of exceptional mitigating circumstances will not require independent supporting evidence if the circumstances relate to the coronavirus.
If you do submit an academic appeal, you will be given clear information about your right to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator if you are not satisfied with the University’s response.
We are aware that the current circumstances are extremely challenging for students. That is why we are ensuring students have opportunities to choose when they complete assessment if they have been impacted by the coronavirus. Specifically:
- If you have been unable to complete assessment to the best of your ability, or at all, you can submit a claim for exceptional mitigating circumstances. This can be done either via the EMC scheme at the time of assessment or via the academic appeals process after your online academic transcript has been published. In both processes, we will not expect the normal supporting evidence, if your circumstances relate to the coronavirus.
- If the assessment board has given you a condoned pass in a module, you can decide to reject the offer and would then be able to sit the assessment again (at no detriment) in the next assessment period.
- If you are a full time student, and decide to apply for a repeat year, your application will be accepted if you feel that you have generally been affected this year (subject to any other conditions that may apply). Information on how to do this can be found here.