Assessment Policy 2015: Revisions & Implementation

A revised Assessment Policy was approved by the University’s Learning and Teaching Committee during 2015.  The revised Assessment Policy 2015  will be implemented as described in the agreed Implementation Plan.  The Implementation Plan shows areas for immediate implementation in green, areas for phased implementation in amber, and areas that will be applicable only to the new entrant student cohort from Sept 2015 onwards in red.  There are also notes in the right hand column to provided additional clarity.

The Assessment Policy (2015) will be applicable to all students and assessment practices—apart from the following areas which will only apply to new entrant student cohorts or will be applied in the phased way as indicated in the implementation plan:

  • classification of honours degrees using a stage-weighted grade average;
  • the method for dealing with borderline cases for honours classifications;
  • capping of resit grades for previously failed modules at D3 (this was already in place for resits in the third year of a four year honours programme);
  • where study abroad will not normally contribute to the stage weighting of honours degrees;
  • classification of honours degrees for year 4 entry students (e.g. BMSc) and the method for dealing with borderline cases for honours classification for year 4 entry students; and
  • the use of anonymised candidate information at exam boards.

Within the specific areas of honours classification and the capping of resit grades for previously failed modules outlined above, the relevant areas of the Assessment Policy 2012 will apply to continuing cohorts (see paragraphs 2.10, 3.11 (Table 1), 3.12 and Table 2, 3.13, 3.14, 3.17, 3.18, 3.19 and 3.20 of the 2012 Assessment Policy).

A copy of the 2012 Assessment Policy will be available on this website until the end of AY 2017-18 so that the specific areas that refer to honours classification and the capping of resit grades are available for continuing cohorts.

The major changes that have been introduced in the Assessment Policy (2015) that will apply to all students and assessment practices from September 2015 are summarised below:

  • extension of the marking scale to include additional grade points within the A and marginal fail ranges;*
  • statements about criteria for non-honours (ordinary) degree definitions of merit and distinction;
  • revised criteria for merit and distinction for taught postgraduate programmes;
  • statements about the approach to the application of penalties to ensure greater consistency across the University;
  • statements about the approach to dealing with mitigating circumstances to ensure greater consistency across the University;
  • a statement about the possibility to use the grades from credit overload modules as a substitute for lower grades obtained for optional modules;
  • the practice of using viva voce exams to facilitate the determination of honours degree classifications for borderline cases is no longer permitted;
  • clearer guidance on compensation and condonement;
  • statements on the approach to the internal moderation of assessment; and
  • clearer expectations about the membership and quoracy of exam boards.

No continuing student should experience any disadvantage through the implementation of the revised Assessment Policy, and Schools must ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to ensure that there is appropriate consideration of any unforeseen, adverse impact of the Policy on individual students so that they are not disadvantaged by the revised Policy.

Appendix 2 of the Assessment Policy (2015) will describe any exceptions to the Policy, including the stage weightings that will be used for integrated masters programmes.  Appendix 2 is currently under development.

*Note that (unless a pass/fail marking approach is being used) the extended marking scale will apply to all students who are starting on new modules from September 2015.  Students who are entering AY 2015-16 with incomplete modules will not have their assessments and modules marked within the revised, extended marking scale described in the Assessment Policy (2015).  Such students will be marked within the 15 point literal scale described in the 2012 Assessment Policy or through the pass/fail method described in the relevant degree regulations.

Assessment Policy 2012 

Assessment Policy 2015

Assessment Policy (2015) Implementation Plan