Exceptional mitigating circumstances
In ordinary circumstances, if you are unable to complete an assessment in time, even with an extension, you would apply through 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 and you will be deferred to the next assessment round.
For all modules completed before 16 March 2020, the module mark will be calculated in the normal way.
Where a module was completed after 16 March, the University will apply ‘no detriment’ arrangements where it is possible to do so. We will do this as follows:
- If a module was studied across the whole year, and 50% of assessment was completed by 16 March, we will compare your performance in each component of the module. If your marks after 16 March show a decrease in performance, the highest mark you achieved before 16 March will be applied to the whole module.
- If you were due to sit an examination that was cancelled, we will ensure that the examination mark is no less than your best performance in the module. If for any reason you have failed to achieve the pass mark in other elements of a module where an exam was cancelled, you will be awarded a pass mark of 40% for the examination component.
If an entire module has been impacted – for example modules where all the assessment was due after 16 March – we will not have enough reliable information to change your assessment mark. However, these marks will not be counted in your final degree classification. Please be assured that, while we cannot change your mark, you will not suffer detriment because of poorer performance during this period.
Please see below ‘what happens if I do not pass a module’ and ‘progression’ for more information.
What happens if I do not pass a module?
No detriment reassessment
If you do not pass a module that was due to be assessed on or after 16 March 2020 we will ensure that, as a minimum, you can sit the module again, with no penalty applied.
For a first attempt, this means we will automatically award you a deferral so that you can sit the module at a later date. You will receive the full mark for the module following your reassessment.
If this was not your first attempt, we will give you another opportunity. However, this will be capped at the pass mark, in line with the usual arrangements in ordinary circumstances.
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. Condonement can be applied for module marks down to 25%.
In the current circumstances, the amount of credit the University can condone has been increased and the University may condone up to 60 credits at Level 4.
If you are condoned in any module, you will not need to undertake reassessment for that module.
Decisions on whether students qualify for condonement will be made by Progression Boards which will take place early in July.
Progression to Level 5 (Year 2)
As outlined in the Academic Regulations, Level 4 is formative in nature and marks achieved at this level do not count towards your final degree classification. This level is, normally, at least one calendar year away from your qualification award. This gives you and the University time to ensure you meet all the essential learning outcomes required for your final qualification to be awarded.
In the current circumstances, we will therefore exercise significant flexibility in our condonement arrangements and the requirements for progression from this level.
Progression from Level 4 to Level 5 will therefore normally be permitted at the first sitting where at least 60 credits at Level 4 have been successfully completed. This includes condonement, which is construed as a Pass.
The exceptions to this are:
- where your course is overseen by a professional, statutory or regulatory body – their requirements will take precedence
- where pre-requisite study requirements have not been met and the relevant academic department believes this would fatally undermine your ability to successfully complete Level 5
Once your profile has been considered by an end of year assessment board, you can download your results pack from the student homepage. The pack comprises a personalised results notification letter and full academic transcript.
Your results pack 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 progression at this stage, or if you wish to make-up outstanding credits, you will be reassessed in the summer 2020 assessment period.
If you progress to Level 5 carrying outstanding modules, a personalised learning support and assessment schedule will be developed for you so that assessment is adequately spaced during the next academic year. Where appropriate, assessment may be scheduled in the summer assessment period of 2021 in order to extend the time available for you to retrieve modules.
Your results pack 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.
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.
You may defer in advance if you are not able to undertake an assessment in the first instance. We sent an email about this to your University email account on 3 April.
Once the assessment period is complete, you can use the academic appeals process to challenge a decision of an assessment board. The exceptions to this rule are:
- If you have been progressed to the next level or year of study but are concerned about your ability to cope. In such cases, please discuss your options with your personal tutor. You will not be forced to progress to the next level of study if you do not feel able to do so. Where appropriate, you can retrieve any outstanding credit while studying as a part-time student, and progress to the next level in September 2021
- You may apply for a repeat year in the normal way. Please note that since the majority of this academic year was not affected by the circumstances, you would need to make a full case for a repeat year to be accepted. Normal tuition fees will apply.