Exceptional Academic Regulations

To support students in completing their studies through the interruptions caused by Covid-19, we have changed how some of the usual Academic Regulations that are applied when calculating module and degree outcomes.

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These changes have been made in recognition of the impact of the current situation on student outcomes.

These adjustments will be vital in ensuring students continue to be treated fairly in light of the disruptions stemming from Covid-19. They will/aim to enable students to continue with their studies in a similar timescale to what had been expected when they enrolled to join us.

The full Exceptional Academic Regulations will be published in due course, however, the measures we have agreed are outlined below.

Who this affects

Some changes apply to all students, regardless of what programme you might be studying, other changes are specific to the level of study, or type of programme. These are all set out below.

Whilst the College has agreed these measures there are some programmes to which these exceptional regulations might not apply. This relates to programmes that are externally accredited, programmes that have a high practice element and programmes that include a placement.

Where the changes outlined below cannot be applied in full, we will be notifying students enrolled on those programmes with further information.

All students

Calculating a module mark

Summary

  • Use Extenuating Circumstances if your performance has been impaired
  • Resits marks will not be capped
  • You may not need to complete all module assessments

Detail

You will receive a final mark for each module you are taking which will be based on the assessments required for that module as set by your department.

If your performance has been impaired

The revised Extenuating Circumstances Policy will allow you to self-certify for any circumstance that is preventing you from completing an assessment on time and your department can then grant you an extension to the deadline.

If you are able to submit your assessment by the deadline but you feel that you have extenuating circumstances that have impaired your performance in that assessment you can use the extenuating circumstances process to ask that this be taken into account by the Board of Examiners when confirming the mark you receive for that assessment.

Unable to complete all module assessment elements

Many modules have more than one assessment element that determines your final module mark

The College has agreed that in cases where only some assessment elements have been completed but where the learning outcomes of the module have been met through that work, the module mark can be calculated on that basis.

This would apply where a later uncapped resit attempt might not be favourable or possible for a student.

Failed assessments and resits

If you fail an assessment and have the opportunity for a resit at a later date, the College’s Academic Regulations usually mean that this resit attempt would be capped (at the pass mark).

The College has agreed to lift this regulation meaning that all resit attempts will be uncapped for any assessment taken after 16 March.  Students usually have three attempts at assessments – the original and two resits attempts. This new rule will apply to both resit attempts.

Extenuating Circumstances

Summary

  • Students can self-certify
  • Additional categories have been added
  • Minimum extension introduced

Detail

The College has revised its policy for when students need to submit an extenuating circumstances (EC) request.

Self-certification

No application requires independent evidence to be provided, rather all students need to attach a self-certification statement and an explanation of the impact of their circumstances on the affected assessment(s).

Additional categories

The College has also extended the categories of extenuating circumstances to include:

  • Caring Responsibilities – additional caring responsibilities for children and/or other dependents
  • Key Workers – students who fall under the ‘key worker’ category outlined by the government and are required to work additional hours
  • IT Failure/Unreliability – as teaching and assessment has moved to online platforms, the reliability of IT has become critical. Students should ensure they contact their department if they have ongoing IT and accessibility issues so that these might be resolved in advance. Students who experience IT failure or unreliability that might impact their ability to submit assessments

Minimum extension period

A minimum extension of 15 working days has also been introduced as an outcome for any approved EC request.

Students would not be prevented from submitting an assessment earlier than that date if they are able and departments can consider extensions beyond 15 working days where that might be required.

More details and how to apply for extenuating circumstances

Foundation Year students

Progression and awards

Each Foundation Year programme has specific rules concerning award (of the Foundation Certificate) and progression (to year 1, the next level of study).

The College is currently working with departments that have Foundation Year programmes to relax these rules where possible to ensure that students can either complete the Foundation Year and be awarded the certificate or can progress to the next level of study.

Students enrolled on Foundation Year programmes will be notified of the changes that have been applied to their programme.

Undergraduate students

First year students

Summary

  • 60 credits are now required to progress, allowing assessments to be (re)taken at a later date
  • Option not to include first year results in final degree calculation

Detail

Progressing to the second year of study

The College’s current regulations require first year students to have successfully passed 90 out of 120 credits of their programme in order to progress to the second year of study.

The Exceptional Academic Regulations will allow students, wherever possible, to progress to the next level of study passing fewer credits – students will need to pass 60 credits to progress.

This would allow students to progress to the next year of study, and for assessments on failed/incomplete modules to be taken at a later date and for a student to receive a mark for all modules.

There are some programmes where this is not possible (for example, those with external accreditation or those with a high practice element) and students on those programmes will be informed where this is the case for them.

Final degree calculation

Although graduating from your programme as a first year student will not happen for another two years, the College has already agreed that the current circumstances should be taken into account when your final degree outcome is calculated.

The College calculates final undergraduate degrees taking all years of study into account but with each year of study has a different weighting. The first year is weighted as 1.

When you graduate (likely to be in 2021/22) the College will use two calculations for your final degree – one that includes your first year performance (weighted as 1) and one that excludes your first year performance. Whichever calculation is the most favourable will determine your final degree classification.

See how your degree result would normally be calculated.

Second year students

Summary

  • 60 credits are now required to progress, allowing assessments to be (re)taken at a later date
  • Board of Examiners can take into account if assessments taken after 16 March show your performance has been adversely affected

Detail

Progressing to the third year of study

The College’s current regulations require second year students to have successfully passed 90 out of 120 credits of their programme in order to progress to the second year of study.

The Exceptional Academic Regulations will allow students, wherever possible, to progress to the next level of study passing fewer credits – students will need to pass 60 credits to progress.

This would allow students to progress to the next year of study, and for assessments on failed/incomplete modules to be taken at a later date and for a student to receive a mark for all modules.

There are some programmes where this is not possible (for example, those with external accreditation or those with a high practice element) and students on those programmes will be informed where this is the case.

Final degree calculation

Although graduating from your programme as a second year student will not happen for another year, the College has already agreed that the current circumstances should be taken into account when your final degree outcome is calculated.

The College calculates final undergraduate degrees taking all years of study into account but with each year of study having a different weighting. The second year is weighted as 3.

When you graduate (likely to be in 2020/21) the College will consider your second year performance to identify whether the current situation has adversely affected it.

This means that a Board of Examiners can look at your overall grade profile in assessments taken before and after 16 March 2020. Where assessment marks after 16 March show your performance was adversely affected compared to those taken before 16 March and this has affected your overall degree outcome, the Board of Examiners can recommend a higher classification on this basis.

This is similar to the ‘no detriment’ or ‘safety net’ clauses you may have heard other universities have agreed where they operate a grade average system. The College does not have a grade average system so we have introduced this additional measure when calculating your final degree outcome.

See how your degree result would normally be calculated.

Third/final year students

Summary

  • Board of Examiners can take into account if assessments taken after 16 March show your performance has been adversely affected

Detail

The College calculates final undergraduate degrees taking all years of study into account but with each year of study having a different weighting. The third year is weighted as 5.

To ensure final degree outcomes are a fair reflection of achievement across the year, a Board of Examiners will look at your overall grade profile in assessments taken before and after 16 March 2020.

Where assessment marks after 16 March show your performance was adversely affected compared to those taken before 16 March and this has affected your overall degree outcome, the Board of Examiners can recommend a higher classification on this basis.

This is similar to the ‘no detriment’ or ‘safety net’ clauses you may have heard other universities have agreed where they operate a grade average system. The College does not have a grade average system so we have introduced this additional measure when calculating your final degree outcome.

See how your degree result would normally be calculated.

Part-time students

Summary

  • The number of credits required to progress has been reduced
  • Board of Examiners can take into account if assessments taken after 16 March show your performance has been adversely affected

Detail

Progression to the next year of study

The College’s Academic Regulations usually require part-time undergraduate students to pass modules to a minimum value of 45 credits to progress into next year of study (this is different from the requirements applied when progressing to the next level of study).

To take account of the current situation, wherever possible, the Board of Examiners will allow part-time students to progress to the next year even when they have passed fewer than 45 credits.

Progression to the next level of study

If you are due to progress to the next level of study i.e. into the equivalent of the second or third year of an undergraduate degree programme, the Exceptional Academic Regulations outlined above will also apply to part-time students.

Calculating your final degree outcome

When you are due to graduate, the College will take into account whether or not your performance has been impaired as a result of the current situation and will apply the Exceptional Academic Regulations outlined above to ensure that your final degree outcome is a fair representation of your achievements.

Postgraduate/Masters students

Part-time students

Some taught Masters’ programmes have specific requirements for progression if you are studying part-time.

The College also has some specific requirements relating to taught Masters’ programmes that are more than 12 months’ long.

The College is currently working with those departments that have these programmes to identify additional measures to support students studying on these programmes.

Any changes to the requirements will be confirmed with students studying on these programmes.

Last updated 17 April