Wednesday 20 January 2021

UG and PGT email

Things to know about our support for your achievements - 20 January 2021

Dear student,

This is the third of our daily covid summaries this week, focusing on the assessment support package.

1. We’re supporting your achievements to ensure you meet your potential

We’ve changed how we do this to suit the current situation. Last year, we had enough information about students’ known and recent performance scores to develop an algorithm that gave our second, third and final year students a safety net score. This year that’s not been possible and so we have a new set of measures to support your assessments and results.

2. Your assessments are designed to reflect what you learned this year

Your department reviewed all programmes and modules over the summer to make changes to move teaching and learning online. Assessments have also been designed upfront to reflect the redesigned teaching and learning you’ve had. All assessment will take into account the fact you’ll be sitting these online and in different and often more challenging situations.

We can confirm that all exams and assessments for this academic year will take place online.

3. We’ve made it easier to apply for exceptional circumstances, even without written evidence

We appreciate the impact that the pandemic is having on our students and their ability to study. That’s why we’ve made it simpler and easier to apply for exceptional circumstances when you feel your performance has been affected by your situation. You no longer need to provide evidence for your claim, OR a reason why you don’t have any.

You’ll still need to tell us within seven days of the assessment and meet the criteria, but the process should be straightforward. Students with Student Support Plans can also apply for exceptional circumstances.

4. Undergraduate? Your best years count for more of your overall mark

We’re going to calculate your degree classification giving more weight to your most successful academic year. This means if you did better in your second year than your third (or final) year, then this will count for more in calculating your degree classification. And if you do better in your third, or final year, then this will weigh more instead.

So whichever is your best year - this will count the most.

Taught postgraduate? We’ve adjusted the requirements for a merit or distinction

Merits and distinctions will be calculated based on either your independent study module (for example: project, dissertation, performance etc) grade or the credit weighted average of your taught modules - whichever gives you the better mark. You will also be permitted more resits, and can be granted a distinction with a small amount of compensatable failed modules.

5. We’ll review performance of students this year against previous years

This means checking that this year’s results aren’t out of line with those from similar student cohorts in previous years. This will help to ensure that the pandemic hasn’t had a detrimental impact on your achievements. If results look very different to those from previous cohorts for the same, or similar modules, then we will adjust marks accordingly.

Watch a quick reminder of the key points on YouTube, and find more information about our assessment support package on our website.

Best wishes

Charlie

Vice-Chancellor