COVID-19 assessment support measures for students

Exam arrangements for the remainder of the 2020-21 session

For the academic year 2020-21 any online exams that are time limited will have double time, that is 100% extra time over the normal exam duration (ie. for a two hour exam students will have a four hour window in which to complete and submit the exam).

This approach offers continuing support to students in the context of the pandemic where many students face significant challenges, for example:

  • in relation to poor connectivity
  • access to quiet study space
  • additional caring responsibilities

This arrangement also accommodates students with disabilities who would normally receive extra time during exams. In addition, for the April/May 2021, June 2021, and August 2021 diets, such students will be provided with one additional hour in which to submit their timed exam papers.

This applies to all timed exams except for on a small number of programmes where professional/accreditation requirements mean that different arrangements will be in place. You will be advised if any such different arrangements apply to your exams.

There are various different categories of online exam but these are all arranged in such a way that students should have plenty of time to complete them:

Good Cause

Good Cause which is the process you should use to advise the University if your ability to complete an exam or any other assessment has been disrupted by ill health or other adverse personal circumstances, whether these are linked to the pandemic or not:

Honours and integrated masters students – request to defer spring exam diet

Students in junior honours, senior honours, and years 3, 4 or 5 of an integrated masters degree whose learning has been severely disrupted may request the deferral of their full spring 2021 exam diet to the August 2021 diet. In that case, the exams taken at the August 2021 diet will be treated as a first diet.

In the vast majority of cases it is likely to be in your best interests to go ahead with the exams scheduled for the spring diet. Teaching will be ‘fresh’ in your minds and you will generally have been consolidating your learning by completion of recent coursework. Despite the disruption associated with the pandemic, there should be enough time available for most of you to prepare for the spring exams. There is time to recuperate over the spring vacation and then there is a revision period before the exam diet begins. For graduating students, completion of the spring diet will enable you to receive your degree in the summer, whereas if you take the exams in August this will be delayed until the autumn.

For continuing students, taking your exams as scheduled in the spring diet will allow you to have a well earned break over the summer.

We recognise, however, that some students have experienced very challenging circumstances over recent months (e.g. supporting school-aged children at home) and that, for you, electing to defer the full exam diet until August will allow invaluable additional time to consolidate your learning.

If you are considering requesting deferral of the exam diet, we strongly suggest discussing this with your Adviser of Studies in the first instance. Please note that it may not be possible to defer exams until the August diet in some professional subjects.

To request a deferral, you should submit a Good Cause claim through MyCampus explaining how your learning has been disrupted. (Please indicate ‘missed exams’ and select all exams that you are scheduled to take.) You must submit any such claim at least five working days before your first scheduled exam.

You may wish to alert a member of staff such as your Adviser of Studies/Advising Team or Assessment Officer to your request in order that it may be considered promptly. Staff have been asked to respond to the request as quickly as possible.

Please note that if you defer the spring diet and then are unable to take the August 2021 diet of exams (e.g. through illness) the next opportunity to take the exams will be in spring 2022. This would mean that completion of your degree is delayed by a year. This may also have financial consequences that you should discuss with your funding body.

Completing honours and integrated masters students: How your degree is calculated

This video shows how your degree outcome will be calculated this year, and explains the way in which your results from the No Detriment period in 2019-20 will be combined with your other results.

No Detriment Policy & Additional Support Measures - Honours Students 2020-21

Waiver of requirement for D3 in the dissertation for honours degree – a clarification

As previously advised, a grade D3 in the dissertation is not a requirement for the award of an honours degree for students completing in 2020-21. However, it is still a requirement that a dissertation should be submitted.

Where a dissertation is found to contain plagiarised material, it should be noted that a penalty imposed under the Code of Student Conduct (e.g. award of ‘Credit Refused’) may result in the honours degree not being awarded.

PGT students commencing November 2020 and January 2021

In the previous set of Assessment Support Measures it was noted that amended requirements for the award of the degree with Merit and Distinction would apply to PGT students on a one-year programme commencing in September 2020. These amended requirements will also apply to students who commenced in November 2020 or January 2021 and who complete within one year.:

Progress decisions including entry to honours

Schools have some flexibility available to them in the way that they apply progress decisions, including for entry to Honours programmes.  Given that many of the assessments from spring 2020 were cancelled, some of the standard requirements for entry to honours require adjustment. You will be advised of revised requirements.

First published: 30 March 2021