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Temporary regulations for Extraordinary Circumstances PGCE Primary and Early Years

Exceptional Mitigating Circumstances (EMC)

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 and you will be deferred to the next assessment round.

What happens if I do not pass a module?

No-detriment reassessment

If you do not pass an academic 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 a student not achieving the pass mark, because the failure is considered to be marginal.

Condonement is not normally applicable to your area since your area operates with grades (Pass, Merit, Distinction), not marks. In your area, you would receive a Pass grade instead of a mark.

In these circumstances however we have relaxed our normal approach. Academic departments may now recommend condonement for a Level 7 outcome where:

i. Student performance has not reached the standard of a Level 7 Pass but is within a ‘threshold range’ within the marking rubric; and
ii. Where there is strong academic rationale from the department that, based on performance prior to 16 March, the student was working towards a higher trajectory (including formative, summative and placement performance).

Up to 30 credits of condonement is permitted for academic modules in the PGCE.

If you are condoned in any module, you will not need to undertake reassessment for that module. The grades for condoned modules will be incorporated in the no- detriment arrangements explained in the section Award 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 award boards which will take place early in July.

Award classification

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 referred for reassessment and we will reconsider whether you are eligible for an award in September.

Classification calculation

Classifications will be awarded in accordance with the classification bands detailed below:

  • 70% and above: Distinction
  • 60 – 69%: Merit
  • 40 – 59%: Pass

Where at least half of your module grades are in a classification band, you will be awarded that classification.

Award of Qualified Teacher Status

The award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is separate to the academic qualification. In respect of the evidence base for the award of QTS, where placement experiences have been disrupted students will be required to undertake a viva based on an e-Portfolio that they produce. Successful completion of the academic qualification, e-portfolio and viva will lead to the award of PGCE with QTS. Students have been contacted directly with regards to the requirements for QTS.

Results notification

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.

Reassessment arrangements

If you do not meet the requirements for award at this stage, you will be reassessed in the next assessment period. Details will be included in your results notification pack.

The consideration for Level 6 awards under normal circumstances takes place for those students who have failed two previous attempts to achieve Level 7. In these circumstances, and in the interests of expediting the confirmation of student qualifications, a recommendation for a Level 6 award will be considered after one failed attempt to achieve Level 7. Any second attempt Level 6 pass may be eligible for condonement at the summer reassessment board.

Academic appeals

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.

Student choice

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 decide to reject the offer for any module to be condoned. You would then be able to sit the assessment again (at no detriment) in the next assessment period.
  • If you decide to apply for a repeat year. This must be done 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.