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Companion to Course Handbook

The University Regulations and Conventions provide a road map through your assessments. In order to ensure that you have the best opportunity to succeed, it is important that you are able to understand the key elements of the assessment process.

What to consider before you submit your coursework assessment, or sit an examination/ in class test.

The University’s Fit to Sit Policy

The University operates a Fit to Sit Policy which requires students who submit coursework assessments or sit an examination, to declare themselves well enough to do so. Any student submitting assessment may not claim retrospective mitigating circumstances in relation to such an assessment unless there is proof of exceptional circumstances. On Moodle, Turnitin carries a clear guidance note, as do class test or examination papers advising you about the fit to sit policy and its implications. You should also keep the following guidance in mind whatever the assessment format.

  • you have read and understand the Mitigating Circumstances Policy;
  • you were fit to study in the period prior to submitting the work;
  • you understand that, by submitting the assessment, you are declaring yourself fit to be assessed;
  • you understand that your work will be marked strictly on merit;
  • you understand that you will not subsequently be able to ask for the mark to be declared null and void on the basis of illness or other mitigating circumstances unless, exceptionally, you are able to provide medical evidence that you were unfit to make sound judgements at the time the work was submitted;
  • you understand the University’s rules about academic misconduct, and no part of the assessment has been produced as a result of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion or data fabrication.

Use of Turnitin as an academic writing tool

Remember, Turnitin is a formative tool which you are encouraged to access on a number of occasions prior to your submission. Do be sure that you read and digest your originality report, and that you use it to identify any issues with your academic writing.

Note: It is your responsibility as a student to upload the correct version of your work to the correct Turnitin.

Correction of incorrect uploads after the submission date is not possible except in exceptional circumstances. All students should be aware of the onus to upload the final versions of their original assignments; additionally, you should be confident that the Turnitin drop box you upload to is the correct one for your assignment. If you submit to the wrong Turnitin link, your work will normally be considered in the same way as a non-submission.

The University expects its students to adhere to the guidelines relating to academic misconduct; this includes not only plagiarism but many other forms of misconduct that are documented in our Academic Misconduct Policy. Please be sure that you have read the policy before you submit any work for assessment.

The subject has a consistent approach to naming Turnitin Drop Boxes:

  • First submission: Name of Assignment FIRST SUBMISSION
  • Resubmission: Name of Assignment RESUBMISSION
  • Late Work/ Extensions: Name of Assignment LATE/EXTENSION

Extensions for coursework or deferral of examinations

The University has a fit to sit policy. If you are not fit to submit a piece of coursework you should apply for an extension. If you are not fit to sit an examination you should use the Examination Deferral Request Form.

 

What you should expect after you submit your assessments/ sit your exams.

Return of feedback and entry of provisional outcomes into your SRM

The Student Record Management (SRM) facility allows you to keep a careful track of the provisional outcomes of your assessments. Remember, this outcome cannot be confirmed until the Examiners have considered your results at the end of year Examination Boards which take place in June. However, after submission of a coursework assessment piece you should expect to receive feedback and have your mark appear on your SRM within four working weeks of submitting your work. Please remember that the University has some closed days over the main holiday periods of Christmas and Easter which are excluded from the working week.

 

Feedback on Examinations

A bespoke examination feedback proforma is available to all students to guide and improve performance in examinations. Feedback using the proforma will be made available to you, this is particularly important for those who are required to take reassessment examinations in the August period. The proforma is included on your Moodle so that you can see what feedback will be available to you, it will also assist you with your preparations for examination.

Basic Guidance on Completing your Level of Study or Award

Progression and Completion

A student will not be able to progress or complete their current course even if their level or subject aggregate is 40% or more if their profile includes:

  • any mark of 0 associated with non-submission,
  • academic misconduct,
  • they have failed to reach a minimum of Grade E for any academic assessment that the University has defined as a “Qualifying Component”
  • they do not meet Professional or Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements. In such cases they will be required to undertake reassessment in these components.

Single Honours students
A student at Level C, I, or H of a Single Honours award completes their level of study (or award as appropriate) if a weighted Level aggregate of 40% is achieved across their year of study i.e. over the two 60 credit courses taken over both semesters.


Double Major students Level C
Students will complete Level C if a weighted aggregate of 40% is attained across 120 credits of study approved for their two academic Subjects.

Double Major students Levels I and H
On a double major students must achieve a weighted aggregate of 40% of higher in both of their subjects. Where available, students will also be eligible to switch to a Major/ Minor route in the Subject of their choice.
If a student at Level I achieves a final overall aggregate of 40% or more in one in one Subject but in their second Subject they have achieved a weighted aggregate of 35%-39%, they will be subject to further scrutiny. If their overall weighted aggregate for Level I is 40%, taking into account both subjects, they may be allowed to pass the subject in which they achieved 35-39% with reservation. The student will then be offered the opportunity to move to Single Honours in the Subject they have passed, where available. If the Subject they have passed at Level I is not available at Level H, as a single honours, the student will be required to retake the subject they have failed and cannot progress to the next level of study.

Progression for students who undertake a Placement Year

Students who undertake a placement year must have satisfied the University requirements for progression from Level I to Level H. At the nearest Board of Examiners to the end of the placement the Board will confirm the outcome of the placement. If the placement is passed a student will progress to Level H of their course with placement year, if they do not pass they will progress to Level H of their course without placement year.

All students Resubmissions
A student who did not achieve a pass mark in one or more coursework assessments in Levels C, I or H will have the opportunity, before the Summer exam board meets, to re-submit assessment tasks that have been identified in the Course handbook as ‘available for resubmission’. These will ordinarily be the most heavily weighted assessment tasks. However, for final year student’s resubmission of dissertations and research projects will only be offered to students who have achieved grade F or F+ for their dissertation or research project.

For resubmissions there will be no extension beyond the date set before the Examination Board meets. Please remember that resubmissions are subject to capping at Grade E. Resubmission of coursework tasks will not normally be offered if the coursework assessment task was failed due to non-participation in practical work or in taught classes. Resubmission of coursework may also be denied in cases of Academic Misconduct as defined in the Academic Misconduct Policy.

Reassessment

Students who commenced their studies with the University in 2019/20 and are in either Levels C or F

Sometimes students forfeit their right to reassessment, for example if the fail is related to issues associated with professional practice or a failure to undertake practical work, or if this outcome is advised as the result of academic misconduct. Normally, a student who achieves a mark of 33-39 for their Subject or Level of Study is allowed to undertake a supplementary examination in the reassessment period. The Supplementary Examination will be made up of two Parts,  A and Part B. You must achieve a minimum aggregate of 40 for the Supplementary examination overall and you must also achieve a minimum of 40 for each Part of the examination. The outcome of the Supplementary Examination will be capped at a Grade E in your profile and your Level aggregate will be capped at 40.

Students whose weighted Level aggregate is between 0 and 32 will be required to retake the Level of study.

Students who are on professionally accredited courses may be offered alternative reassessment opportunities.

All other Undergraduate Students who began their studies with the University prior to 2019/20

Students who have failed to progress into the next level of study after first assessment and resubmission, will be offered reassessment as indicated below:

  • All Levels of Single Honours and Level C Double Major students who achieve a weighted Level aggregate of between 25-39%, will be offered the opportunity to be reassessed on all assessment components which did not reach pass standard. Students whose weighted Level aggregate is between 0 and 24 will be required to retake the Level of study.
  • Double Major Level I and H students who have achieved a Subject weighted aggregate between 25-39%, for one or both of their Subjects, will be offered the opportunity to be reassessed on all assessments relevant to that Subject which did not reach a pass standard. Students whose weighted Subject aggregate is between 0 and 24 will be required to retake the Subject(s).

All Students 2019/20

In some instances, students will be required to undertake reassessments despite their weighted aggregate for the subject or level being greater than 40%. This might be because they have not yet progressed or completed their award because their profile includes any mark of 0 associated with non-submission or academic misconduct OR they have failed to reach a minimum of Grade E for any academic assessment that the University has defined as a “Qualifying Component” OR they do not meet Professional or Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements. In such cases reassessment task(s) will be capped at Grade E, but the level or subject aggregate will be frozen at the original mark.

Students who are still unsuccessful after reassessment will normally be allowed to retake the subject or level of study as appropriate.

 

Calculating Degree Outcomes (for all Undergraduate Bachelors students)

The revised system is based on the ‘best of’ two overall aggregate marks, with profiling of students whose aggregate falls within the borderline of two degree classifications. 

Recommendations will normally be based on the best of the following “degree marks”:

  • the Overall Aggregate, combining marks from Level C [weighted 10%], Level I [weighted 30%] & Level H [weighted 60%];
  • the Overall Aggregate, combining marks from Level I [weighted 25%] & Level H [weighted 75%];

The overall aggregate will be rounded to the nearest whole number and a student’s degree classified on an initial assessment of whether their rounded highest overall aggregate falls within the following categories:

  • First Class Honours 70%+
  • Upper Second Class Honours 60-69%
  • Lower Second Class Honours 50-59%
  • Third Class Honours 40-49%
  • Pass degrees are awarded in particular circumstances defined by the board of examiners

Where the overall aggregate falls within two rounded marks of the higher classification the students profile at Level H will be considered in more detail. Specifically, if the student is to be raised to the higher degree category they must have 50% of their Level H assessments in that higher category. These marks must have been achieved on first assessment, reassessment marks cannot be included in the 50%.

For example, a student has an overall aggregate calculated from the 25/75 method of 57.5. This rounds to 58 and places them in a borderline. The student has achieved a grade B or better for 50% of their assessments at Level H; the student is awarded a 2i.

Noted exception 1: the four-year BA Primary Teaching [with Specialist Subject] and its related BA Primary Education [with Specialist Subject] which remain unchanged in their final year of implementation.

Noted exception 2: Integrated Masters students 

Recommendations will be made on the basis of the following marks:

  • the Overall Aggregate, combining marks from Level C [weighted 5%], Level I [weighted 25%], Level H [weighted 30%] & Level M [weighted 40%];
  • the Overall Aggregate, combining marks from Level I [weighted 25%], Level H [weighted 25%] & Level M [weighted 50%]

Academic Misconduct

The University has an academic misconduct policy which is clearly guided by best practice guidelines. As an academic community we expect the highest level of academic honesty.

The University considers academic misconduct to be defined under the following headings, this list is not exhaustive:

Misconduct

Misconduct in an Examination or In-Class Test including taking unauthorised material into an exam. Additionally this includes writing notes or rough work anywhere other than in the answer books or on the question papers provided. Plagiarism: presenting another person’s work, without acknowledging the source, typically, this might involve features such as: including, without adequately identifying the source, an extensive amount of paraphrased or verbatim text [or equivalent]; including an extensive amount of verbatim or paraphrased text [or equivalent] without the use of quotation marks [or equivalent]; presenting another person’s designs, concepts or ideas as the students own. This includes unacknowledged use of computer programs, designs, algorithms, data bases, images, models etc. The University takes particularly seriously the issue of commissioning an assignment, whether involving money or not. For example, the use of material from essay mills which has been produced by a third party. This will be subject to a misconduct penalty and a student discipline case.

Collusion

The submission of work for assessment that has been produced as a result of cooperation with someone else, or another assessment task, where the intention is that this work is produced by an individual. Whilst the University encourages students to work collaboratively with their peers examples of unacceptable collusion include writing an essay plan for a colleague or asking a colleague to do this; editing another students work for them or asking a colleague to do this. Working together to such an extent that two students make the same points, in the same order, and using similar sources of evidence is considered collusion, as is willingly showing another student work before the assignment due date. 

Falsification

The inclusion of falsified or distorted data, evidence, experimental results, references or data obtained through unfair means, as part of an assessment task which is incorrectly purported to be based on the student’s own experimental work.

Self-Plagiarism/ Recycling

The inclusion of material for assessment which has, without declaration, either wholly, or in part, been submitted for summative assessment at this University or any other Institution. Students who are resubmitting or “re-presenting” failed work to reach a minimum threshold; students who are taking a block of study for a second time with attendance; students who include in examination answers material previously included in coursework answers, unless this is explicitly forbidden by the rubric are not considered to have committed self-plagiarism. 

Breaching Ethical Standards

Where a student was explicitly required to obtain ethical approval before collecting data, they must not collect data without such permission having been granted. Informed consent must be obtained freely and informed consent obtained from participants. Students must not violate any condition imposed in writing as part of granting ethical approval for the project nor should they amend the study design without obtaining relevant approval. 

Bribery

Obtaining material relating to assessment, with the intention of gaining unfair advantage, through the offering of inducements. 

Submitting Fraudulent Mitigating Circumstances

Presenting falsified evidence to support a claim for mitigation relating to a piece of summative assessment.

If you require support in avoidance of misconduct please speak to your academic or personal tutor who will direct you. 
Penalties for academic misconduct can be very serious, please ensure that you read the guide carefully: