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Supporting our students with their assessments

10 Nov 2022

What you need to know about the additional support measures we have in place for students during the assessment period

Student assessment

Over the past three years, we introduced several additional assessment support measures to recognise the impact of COVID-19 on our taught students. With assessments for this semester now set, we wanted to confirm that we are building some aspects of additional support into our standard procedures for all students.

This includes:

Broader range of evidence for mitigating circumstances requests

This academic year, we will no longer require a letter from a GP or healthcare provider if a student makes a mitigating circumstance request that relates to a health condition and we won’t require a death certificate in cases of bereavement. Instead, they can provide a variety of alternative evidence to support the request.

If the student has a long-term or recurring medical or health condition, they should strongly consider registering with our Disability Advisory and Support Services (DASS) to access support. If they are registered with DASS they will not normally have to provide medical evidence related to their condition when making a request for mitigating circumstances.

Even if the student is not registered with DASS, we will only ask for medical evidence once for mitigating circumstances relating to long-term or recurring medical or mental health conditions, unless there are accreditation of fitness to practice requirements on their degree programme.

We will continue to accept IT issues as grounds for mitigating.

Changes to degree classification for postgraduate taught students

From this academic year onwards, postgraduate taught students will be able to achieve a distinction, even if they require a re-sit or receive a compensated mark, unless their programme has specific accreditation requirements which do not allow this.

Re-sit fees abolished

Re-sit fees will no longer be charged for any taught students.

Continued moderation and scaling

Every year, our examination boards discuss and approve assessment outcomes. They review any circumstances that have affected either individuals or groups of students and take appropriate action to address these. Our regulations also allow us to hold extra examination boards at Faculty and University level. We will continue to hold these where any circumstances might have a general impact on student performance.

Additional support for cohorts affected by COVID-19

Students will benefit from a change to ‘boundary zones’ if they started their programme of study between the 2017-18 and 2021-22 academic years.

Every year, we carefully review cases where students are just below a degree classification boundary. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the ‘boundary zones’ where students are considered were extended by 1% – this will remain in place for cohorts affected by COVID-19. This isn’t a guarantee that they will receive the higher classification, but we’ll use the mechanisms in our regulations to individually assess every case within the boundary zone.

  • If a student is struggling with any aspect of their studies, or they just need some help or advice, please point them to our academic support website.