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Policy on Marking

This Policy was revised and approved by the Teaching and Learning Group (TLG) and by Senate in November 2015, and the revised version was implemented from December 2015.

For a full PDF version of the Policy, please see below:

  • Policy on Marking (PDF) Version 1.1, November 2015 (website links updated November 2017)


1.    Introduction and Scope
2.    Purpose
3.    Definitions
4.    The Policy
5.    Giving Feedback on Assessment
6.    Internal Examining
7.    Internal Moderation
8.    Marking Online Assessment
9.    External Moderation

1.    Introduction and Scope

This document sets out the University’s Policy on Marking.  It applies to the marking of all work (including dissertations) of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students that is assessed summatively.

2.    Purpose

The purpose of the Policy is to ensure equality and fairness in the treatment of students and consistency of practice in relation to marking procedures across the University.

3.    Definitions

3.1    The Academic Unit Lead is appointed by the School to oversee the assessment for a unit and ensure that model/expected answers are produced where appropriate.

3.2    The Internal Examiner is the first marker and is appointed by the Academic Lead or nominee. Their role is to mark in accordance with the model/expected answers, the marking scheme and expected School outcomes.

3.3    The Internal Moderator is appointed by the School to moderate the marking in accordance with the model answers and the marking scheme.  The Internal Moderator is overseen by the Academic Lead.

3.4    The External Examiner moderates a sample of assessed work in accordance with University regulations, model/expected answers and the marking scheme (see the University’s Guidance on External Examiner Procedures).

Note: 3.1 (Academic Unit Lead) and 3.2 (Internal Examiner) can be the same person.

4.    The Policy

4.1    Schools must have a clear and transparent marking scheme, and this must be published in programme/student handbooks.

4.2    All assessment, including presentations, must be marked by an Internal Examiner and an agreed sample reviewed by an Internal Moderator and an External Examiner.

4.3    Marks awarded for summative assessment must be overseen by the Academic Unit Lead.

4.4    All assessment tasks should be designed relative to the Intended Learning Outcomes, and examinations should be accompanied by guidance for the purposes of internal examining and review by an Internal and/or External Examiner.

4.5    All formal written assessments must be marked anonymously. However, it is recognised that this may not be possible for all assessments, particularly assessed performances, presentations or Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).

4.6    Schools should adopt procedures to check that all sections of each piece of assessed work have been marked, that partial marks have been totalled correctly, and that total marks have been transferred correctly to Examination Board reports.

4.7    Where applicable, Schools should have procedures in place to apply a penalty if the word count exceeds the limit by more than 10%. Penalties should be articulated clearly to students in assessment briefs and programme/student handbooks.

5.    Giving Feedback on Assessment

5.1    Schools must have procedures for providing clear and useful feedback to indicate how marks have been assigned, in accordance with the Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students.

5.2    Markers should be aware that comments on exam scripts are personal data that students have a legal right to see.

6.    Internal Examining

6.1    Each unit will have an Academic Unit Lead who is appointed by the School to oversee its assessment.

7.    Internal Moderation

7.1    Once internal examining/first marking has taken place, internal moderation will normally take the form of moderation of a sample of 20% of the work, through the full range of marks awarded. In the case of very small/large numbers, a minimum of 10 scripts and a maximum of 50 scripts are suggested for internal moderation.

7.2    On units with a large number of students where the marking is undertaken by multiple markers, the Academic Unit Lead for that unit should compare the mark distribution of all the Internal Examiners to reveal significant inconsistencies in marking or issues with question setting.

7.3    Marking disputes should be referred to the Chair of the Examination Board, who has the authority to recommend further interventions or a resolution.

7.4    The proposed model of internal moderation is the minimum standard expected. However, Schools or programmes may employ additional marking standards over and above the minimum where they consider this to be appropriate.

8.    Marking Online Assessment

8.1    In the case of online assessment, the Policy on Marking and the Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students apply in full.

8.2    Procedures must also be adopted to ensure that work is marked in accordance with a marking scheme and moderated as stated in this Policy.

9.    External Moderation

9.1    The External Examiner will moderate a sample of work in accordance with the University’s Guidance on External Examiner Procedures.