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What you need to know about assessment

What is assessment and what is it for?

Assessment measures your learning and allows you and your tutors to monitor your progress. We design assessments so you can demonstrate what you have learned in terms of skills, knowledge and understanding. As well as receiving marks, feedback from tutors recognises your achievements and gives guidance on how to develop and improve your learning in the future.

How will you be supported?

Tutors will explain how each assessment works. You can also find this information in the Programme Handbook, which includes details of the following:

  • Learning outcomes – what you are expected to learn
  • Assessment criteria – the standards your work will be marked against
  • The schedule and instructions for submitting work
  • The schedule for receiving feedback for each piece of work.

Your tutors will discuss assessment with you during teaching sessions. They will give you guidance and help you prepare for assessment. This process is known as ‘formative assessment’. Your Personal Tutor is also a source of guidance.

Feedback on each assessment will explain how your grade was awarded and how well you met the learning outcomes against the assessment criteria. It will also provide advice on how to develop and improve your learning for the future. We provide feedback in a timely way, within four working weeks of work being submitted.

What do you need to do with Feedback?

You are expected to read and consider any feedback carefully. You may also want to discuss it with your tutor/s. We give you feedback so that you can develop and improve your learning for the future and produce your best work possible. If you do not understand your feedback or why you have been given the mark you have, arrange to speak to your tutor who will explain it to you.

How do you know assessment is fair?

When we create a programme, learning outcomes and assessment criteria are carefully designed to match the level of your study. These are checked by external experts from another university.

Assessment tasks (coursework, exams, presentations etc.) are also checked and approved by an external examiner from another university before they can be used.

Marks are based on how well you perform against the learning outcomes and assessment criteria. They are focused solely on the quality of your work and are not a comparison or competition with other students work.

A process called assessment moderation makes sure marking/grading is fair and consistent. This involves tutors having their marking/grading checked for fairness and consistency by other tutors, followed by further scrutiny by external examiners. This helps us ensure our standards are appropriate and our feedback is of high quality.