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(updated 30/4) FAQs on Examinations and Assessments

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This page provides answers to questions you may have on our update on Examinations and Assessments.

If you have further questions about the Examinations and Assessments update or the university's 'No Detriment' approach, please contact your Programme Leader or Personal Tutor.

Faculty Exam Timetables

You can find the documents for faculty exam timetables on the My learning page on the portal, the links are also included below:

Why am I being asked to engage with all my assessments? (Added 22/4)

The university's regulator requires us to continue to ensure that you are able to progress and complete your studies and to ensure that you have the required minimum number of credits to progress to the next year or to complete your degree. In addition, we want the best possible outcome for all our students, and we believe that by completing your assessments:

  1. Your average grade may go up. Completing your assessments gives you the opportunity to increase your overall grade, but without the risk of it going down. The 'No Detriment' approach  acts as a safety net, ensuring that grades awarded for assessments with submission deadlines on or after the 16 March 2020 can only improve your overall grade.
  2. Your subject learning may improve. All assessments are very carefully designed to ensure that students achieve the learning outcomes described in the module description. By completing the assessment, you are giving yourself the best chance to complete the intended learning for each module.
  3. Your employability may improve. Placement employers, graduate employers, or universities to which you apply for further study are much more likely to offer a place to someone with a complete transcript as it gives them a much better overview of the student.

What are the three exceptions to the university's 'No Detriment' approach? (Added 22/4)

The three exceptions where the university's 'No Detriment' approach will not be applied are:

  • Where some professional bodies do not allow us to do this. You can see the list of professional bodies and the programmes affected. 
  • Where a programme started after 29 December 2019. For these programmes we will apply the university 'technical extenuation' to all assessments submitted after 16 March 2020 and then calculate your normal average grade for the year. 
  • For University of Greenwich International College (UGIC) students. The UGIC College Director will be in touch to provide further information.

We understand that some students might be unable to engage with assessments due to illness, caring responsibilities or other reasons. If this applies to you, we strongly encourage you to apply for Extenuating Circumstances, please refer to the Extenuating Circumstances guidance. You may also want to get in touch with your Programme Leader and/or Personal Tutor to discuss this.

 When will my grades and/or final classification be available? (Added 22/4)

Grades and/or your final overall degree classification will be available after the Progression and Awards Boards in June, as usual. These are the formal meetings that confirm your grades before being uploaded for you to see.

 What would I normally need to do to progress to the next year or to graduate? (Added 22/4)

The University Regulations can be found here. It is important to note that Foundation year and the first year of an undergraduate programme (Level 3 and 4)  grades do not count towards your final overall degree classification. However, you do still need to gain an overall pass mark to complete those years to enable you to progress to the following year.

How will the 'No Detriment' approach be applied for foundation year and first year undergraduate students? (Added 22/4)

As Foundation year and the first year of an undergraduate programme (Level 3 and 4) grades do not contribute to your final overall degree classification. The 'No Detriment' approach here is to enable you to progress to your next year. A student will proceed if their average grade for the year is 40% or higher regardless of the number of failed modules. Your average grade for the year will be based on assessments in all modules up until the end of the academic year.

If your average grade for the year is 40% or greater, any failed assessments or modules will not need to be repeated or retaken, except where the three exceptions apply.

How will the 'No Detriment' approach be applied for the second year of an undergraduate degree? (Added 22/4)

To apply the 'no detriment' approach for the second year of an UG degree (Level 5) we will calculate two average grades, which will be available after the exam board in June:

  • The first average grade will be based on all marks achieved on assessments with a submission deadline before 16 March 2020.
  • The second average grade will be the normal calculation for the whole year, including all submissions on or after 16 March 2020.

We will use the higher of the two average grades to progress you to the next academic year.

However, if you have no Level 5 assessments that were due to be submitted before the 16t March 2020, we will not be able to calculate the first average grade but will calculate your normal average grade for the whole year.

In your final year, we will use the higher of the two average grades for your second year (Level 5) in the calculation of your final overall degree classification. This is to ensure that we mitigate the impact of this year in your final overall degree classification.

You will need to achieve the required minimum number of credits to progress to the next year.  The three exceptions apply.

How will the 'No Detriment' approach be applied for the final year undergraduate degree students? (Added 22/4)

To apply the 'No Detriment' approach to final year UG students (Level 6), we will be calculating two average grades, which will be available after the Progression and Awards Board in June:  

  • The first average grade will be based on all marks achieved on assessments with a submission deadline before 16 March 2020.
  • The second average grade will be the grade average based on the best 90 credits at the end of the year including all submissions on or after 16 March 2020.

For final year (Level 6) modules, the higher of the two average grades will be used to calculate your final overall degree classification. However, if you have no Level 6 assessments that were due to be submitted before the 16 March 2020, we will not be able to calculate the first average grade but will calculate the Level 6 grade average based on the best 90 credits at the end of the year.   

The second year (Level 5) grades will be used as normal.

To graduate, you will need to have achieved the required minimum number of credits.  The three exceptions apply.

I am on an integrated Master's programme, what happens to me? (Added 22/4)

Your award will be based on your 3rd and 4th year (Level 6 and 7) grades as usual. For work undertaken this year, we will be calculating two average grades, which will be available after the Progression and Awards Board in June:

  • The first average grade will be based on all marks achieved on assessments with a submission deadline before 16 March 2020.
  • The second average grade will be the normal calculation for the whole year including submissions on or after 16 March 2020.

We will use the highest average grade to determine your final overall degree classification.

If you have no modules assessed before the 16 March 2020 we will not be able to calculate the first average grade.

To progress or graduate, you will need to have achieved the required minimum number of credits.  The three exceptions apply.

I'm completing my undergraduate studies this year – how will my final overall degree classification be calculated?  (Added 22/4)

For undergraduate students completing their degree this year (Level 6), your final overall degree classification will be based on the normal calculation, using the average grade across 120 credits at Level 5 (2nd year) and the 'highest grade average' at Level 6 (3rd year).

  • The 'highest grade average' will be either your Level 6 grade average prior to 16 March 2020,
  • or the Level 6 grade average based on the best 90 credits at the end of the year including all submissions on or after 16 March 2020.

The normal weighting will apply: 20% at Level 5 and 80% at Level 6.  The 'no detriment' approach will apply only to the Level 6 modules and you will need to have passed 120 credits at Level 6 to be considered for an Honours degree. 

How will the 'No Detriment' approach be applied for taught Master's students? (Added 22/4)

To apply the 'no detriment' approach for taught Master's students (Level 7), we will be calculating two average grades, which will be available after the Progression and Award Boards in June and November:

  • The first average grade will be based on all marks achieved on assessments with a submission deadline before 16 March 2020.
  • The second average grade will be the normal calculation for the whole year including all submissions on or after 16 March 2020.

We will use the highest average grade to calculate your final overall degree classification. However, if you have no assessments that were due to be submitted before the 16 March 2020, we will not be able to calculate the first average grade but will calculate your normal average grade for the whole year.

To graduate, you will need to achieve the required minimum number of credits. The three exceptions apply.

I am on an accelerated degree, what happens to me?  (Added 22/4)

If you are in Year 1 of an accelerated degree, your average grade will be based on assessments in all modules up until the end of the academic year. A student will progress if their average grade for the year is 40% or greater, regardless of the number of failed modules.  We will apply the university 'Technical Extenuation' to all modules submitted on or after 16 March 2020.

If you are in Year 2 of an accelerated degree, we will be calculating only one average grade.  The average grade will be the normal calculation, based on the best 90 credits of your Level 6 modules.  We will apply the university 'technical extenuation' to all Level 6 modules. This average grade will be available after your exam board in July.

To progress or graduate, you will need to have achieved the required minimum number of credits by gaining at least a pass mark in these modules.

What if I am on a programme that is accredited with a professional body?  (Added 22/4)

The normal rules for professional bodies will apply. Most professional bodies have agreed to alternative arrangements for assessment, where appropriate, but there may be requirements for progression. This will apply for students at all Levels.

You can see the list of professional bodies and the programmes affected.

These professional bodies will be imposing slightly different restrictions on the university, which is why the exact details of how your programme is affected is being provided by your Programme Leader.

What if my submission deadline was on or after the 16 March 2020 but I submitted my work before this?

Students that had a submission deadline on or after 16 March 2020 and submitted their work earlier than 16 March will not have the assessed grade included in the first average grade calculation.

If my programme started after 29 December 2019, what happens then?  (Added 22/4)

We will apply the University 'technical extenuation' to all assessments submitted after 16 March 2020 and then calculate your normal average grade for the year. 

I am an Erasmus students, what happens to my grades? (Added 22/4)

If you are an Erasmus student, whose year abroad ended before the expected time, please do not worry. We will use the grades which are available to work out your average grade for the year.  Where grades are not available from your Erasmus host/institution, we will use the University's Recognition of Prior Learning procedures to acknowledge your Erasmus experience and ensure that you have sufficient credit to progress.  Credit awarded through Recognition of Prior Learning does not contribute towards your average grade for the year as there are no module marks.

I am on a placement during 2019-20, what happens to me? (Added 22/4)

If your placement ends before the expected time, please do not worry.  We will adjust your assessment requirements or use the experience gained so far to assess the learning outcomes required for that module. The three exceptions apply.

I have interrupted my studies, what does this mean for me? (Added 22/4)

The normal Regulations will apply in future years.

I am a part-time student; what happens to me? (Added 22/4)

Your 2019-20 grades will be reviewed in the same way as for full time students.

I am on a degree apprenticeship, what happens to me? (Added 22/4)

Your 2019-20 grades will be reviewed in the same way as for full-time students; we will take into account any interruption to your work-based learning as a consequence of the situation with Coronavirus.

I applied for Extenuating Circumstances for a piece of work that was due before the 16 March. Will this be included in the calculations of my average grade? (Added 22/4)

If the initial submission deadline was before the 16 March 2020 and you submit your work by the extenuating circumstances submission point (10 working days later), the work will count towards the first average grade calculation even if the extenuating circumstances submission point is on or after 16 March 2020.

What if I am studying in the University of Greenwich International College (UGIC)?  (Added 22/4)

The principle of 'No Detriment' will still apply to your programme.  However, UGIC operates a range of intake dates across the year as well as a different term structure to the remainder of the university.  You should continue to engage with all of your modules and assessments and contact the UGIC College Director for details.

I have another question that hasn't been answered here, what should I do? (Added 22/4)

In the first instance, please contact your Programme Leader or Personal Tutor for further information who should be able to assist you.

What is Technical Extenuation? (Added 22/4)

To ensure that you are not disadvantaged by this disruption, we will be analysing and benchmarking your grades against previous students and if there are significant differences, we will make appropriate positive adjustments.

What does 'No Detriment' mean? (updated 16/4)

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students will NOT receive a lower overall average than the average that they had achieved by 16 March 2020.
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students that are due to graduate this year will NOT receive a lower classification than the average that they had achieved by 16 March 2020.

What this means is that a student's average can only go up, not down. 

The only exception to this is a small number of professional bodies where they do not allow us to do this. The list of programmes which they affect is now available, if you have any questions please speak to your Programme Leader.

It is really important though that you do engage with the assessment for your modules to the best of your ability as we will need you to have completed all of your modules.

Is my university taking a 'no-detriment' policy and what does that mean? (updated 16/4)

The university will be taking a 'no-detriment' approach to the 2019/20 academic year. The only exception is where the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) do not allow us to do this. The list of programmes which they affect is now available, if you have any questions please speak to your Programme Leader.

The university's 'no-detriment' policy will include the application of the university's 'technical extenuation' to all assessments undertaken from 16th March 2020 onwards, aligned with relaxation of some Extenuating Circumstances requirements and an overall Grade Point Average approach to progression of foundation and first year undergraduate students.

This means that, to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by this disruption, we will be analysing and benchmarking your grades against previous students and if there are significant differences, we will make appropriate positive adjustments. And, at the same time, if, as a foundation or a first year undergraduate, you reach a threshold of 40% for the year across all modules, regardless of the marks of individual modules, you will still progress. All students will also still be able to apply for extenuating circumstances.

What should I do if I can't undertake the exam?

If you cannot undertake the exam please apply for Extenuating Circumstances, the new relaxed rules can be found on Student News. 

I am a UGIC student, how does this apply to me?

This guidance applies to University of Greenwich students only. Please contact UGIC directly for specific advice.

What does a Take Home exam mean?

For a Take Home exam, the exam paper will be released on the module Moodle page at the time scheduled on the exam timetable.  Please see your exam timetable for the start date/time and the submission date/time for your paper.

The scheduled start and submission time will be British Summer Time, so if you are studying in another country it is your responsibility to work out the start and submission time for your local time. 

The original exam duration will still be on the front of your exam booklet to help you get a sense of the expected effort. As this is a Take Home exam, we do not expect the work to take you more than one day to complete.  We recognise that during the Covid-19 crisis many of you have other commitments, IT issues and worries and possibly other overlapping exams, so we are supporting you by providing extra time to accommodate this. There will, however, be no extension to the scheduled submission deadline on the exam timetable.

How long will I have to complete my exam?

If you are given a Take Home exam you will have a week in which to submit your answer document with no further opportunity to upload beyond this timeframe. This may not apply where there are Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements (e.g. Pharmacy).  Please refer to your Exam Timetable for details.

If you are given an Online exam then you will have the normal duration for the exam plus extra one hour that is allocated for downloading, small breaks, completing the exam and uploading the document (this extra hour is already included in the time allocated on the exam timetable). There will also be a further two hours where you can submit your work, but this will be classed as a late submission.

How do I submit the Take Home exam?

You will be required to complete the exam paper, following the instructions on the paper.  You only complete those questions required by the exam paper.  The expectation is that you will provide your answers as a Word file, following the word limits set for your exam paper. However, please read your instructions carefully because additional information may be provided.  

In the Word document, you will type your answers and/or embed diagrams (something you have drawn or provide a solution to a problem that you would prefer to write), you can take a photo and embed this into the Word document.  However, you must ensure that the Word document you submit has at least 20 written characters in the file or it will not upload.

We advise that you submit your work as soon as you finish. Please do not leave it until the published submission date. It may also be to your advantage if you upload an early draft of your document so that should you experience system/Internet failure later, the examiners can mark on the basis of the draft.

You can only upload one file, but you can override previous files. Take care to ensure that you upload the correct file – clearly name your file so that mistakes don't happen, e.g. 'PSYC1299ExamFinal'

What is the word limit for my Take Home exam?

The word limit will depend on the original duration of the exam. Further guidance will be provided in the instructions to the exam.

Why are there word limits in Take Home exams?

We want to be fair to all students therefore, the word limits are there to help students to understand the expectations for their answers. We are also mindful of the wellbeing of the academic team who will be marking these exams. If you go over the word limit, the additional text will not be marked.

What does an Online exam mean?

An Online exam will be released on the module Moodle page at the scheduled time on the Exam Timetable.  You will have the normal scheduled time that is on the front cover of your exam paper plus one extra hour (this extra hour is already included in the exam timetable; for clarity the submission time includes the extra hour). The extra hour is to enable you to download the paper, take short breaks, accommodate any IT problems, and submit the paper. 

The scheduled start and submission time will be British Summer Time, so if you are studying in another country it is your responsibility to work out the start and submission time for your local time. 

Should you experience any serious IT issues we will leave the submission link open for a further two hours; however, if you submit during those extra hours, you will need to complete an Extenuating Circumstances application, or your work will be capped at the pass mark.

How many questions do I answer for an Online exam?

You will be required to complete the exam paper, following the instructions on the paper.  You only complete those questions required by the exam paper.  The expectation is that you will provide your answers as a Word file. However, please read your instructions carefully because additional information may be provided. 

In the Word document, type your answers and/or a embed diagrams (something you have drawn or provide a solution to a problem that you would prefer to write), you can take a photo and embed this into the Word document.  However, you must ensure that the Word document you submit has at least 20 written characters in the file or it will not upload.

We advise that you submit your work as soon as you finish. We advise that you save your work on a regular basis.

You can upload only one file, but you can override previous files. Take care to ensure that you upload the correct file – clearly name your file so that mistakes don't happen; e.g. 'PSYC1299ExamFinal'.

Are there any word limits for Online exams?

No, unless your exam paper instructs you to keep to a word limit; for example, some short-answer questions have a word limit.  In most cases, the time allowed for the exam will limit how much you can write. As usual, please remember to also look at the weighting/score assigned to each question to decide on how much you will write.

What is a Seen exam?
(Only for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Science and Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences)

For a Seen exam, the exam paper will be released on the module Moodle page on the date that you have been advised in your Module Handbook.  The submission date and time will be on the Exam Timetable. 

What is the submission guidance for Seen exams?
(Only for students in the Faculty of Engineering and Science and Faculty of Education, Health and Human Sciences)

The scheduled start and submission time will be British Summer Time, so if you are studying in another country it is your responsibility to work out the start and submission time for your local time. The original exam duration will still be on the front of your exam booklet to help you get a sense of the expected effort.  We recognise that during the Covid-19 crisis many of you have other commitments, IT issues and worries and possibly other overlapping exams, so we are supporting you by providing extra time to accommodate this.  There will, however, be no extension to the scheduled submission deadline on the exam timetable.

You will be required to complete the exam paper, following the instructions on the paper.  You only complete those questions required by the exam paper.  The expectation is that you will provide your answers as a Word file, following the word limits set for your exam paper. However, please read your instructions carefully because additional information may be provided. 

In the Word document, type your answers and/or a embed diagrams (something you have drawn or provide a solution to a problem that you would prefer to write), you can take a photo and embed this into the Word document.  However, you must ensure that the Word document you submit has at least 20 written characters in the file or it will not upload.

We advise that you submit your work as soon as you finish. Please do not leave it until the published submission date. It may also be to your advantage if you upload an early draft of your document so that should you experience system/Internet failure later, the examiners can mark on the basis of the draft.

You can only upload one file, but you can override previously updated files. Take care to ensure that you upload the correct file – clearly name your file so that mistakes don't happen; e.g. 'PSYC1299ExamFinal'

Where will I find my exam paper?

The exam information and exam paper will be placed in the first section of your module Moodle page.  In the title of the section it will say:

Important – Exam paper and exam submission links

The exam paper will be hidden until the start of the exam.  When additional information and advice is ready your Module Leader will send you a message.

Will my submitted exam paper be checked for plagiarism?

Your work will be submitted through a standard plagiarism check, which means it will be examined against all published work, textbooks, online material and other students' work.  If you cut and paste work from the teaching materials in Moodle, you will not receive marks for this. Don't be tempted to collude with other students. This an opportunity for you to demonstrate what you have learned. 

The university reserves the right to undertake additional checks on the authenticity of your work and may request a viva if they suspect it is not your work that you submit. A viva is a meeting between you and the Module Leader (or nominee) to test your knowledge through a virtual meeting.

Your exam paper is submitted on the understanding that it is your work only.

How will I know what to do; I have never taken an exam like this before?

Before the exam period we will be publishing detailed instructions on each module Moodle page, providing step by step instructions on how to download the exam paper, complete the paper and upload the paper.  You will have plenty of time to read these instructions so you will know what to do. 

I have a Greenwich Inclusion Plan/normally get more time to do my exams, what happens for me?  (Updated 27 April)

If you are normally allocated additional time to sit an exam, then this will be added to the normal exam duration for Online exams. In addition, for an Online exam all students will receive a further one hour for downloading, small breaks, completing the exam and uploading the document etc. What this means is that you will get your usual extra time plus the additional one hour. There will also be a further two hours where you can submit your work, but this will be classed as a late submission.

Please contact Student Wellbeing if you have a Greenwich Inclusion Plan and are concerned about the arrangements for your exam:  wellbeing@gre.ac.uk

Note: the question was clarified on 27 April, the answer remains unchanged.

What happens if I have a question during the exam?

The Module Leader (or nominated person) will be available online to answer any appropriate questions for the first two hours.  Remember they cannot help you answer any of the questions, but they can respond to any queries regarding any potential error in the paper or lack of clarity in the instructions. You can ask your question via the Q&A forum on the module Moodle page and the response will be posted there. The Module Leader or nominated person will only be available for the first two hours of any exam (Online or Take Home exam). If you have any questions after the first two hours, then your assessment instructions on Moodle will provide an email address for you to send those to.

I am not in the UK so at what time should I sit my exam?

The Exam Timetable times are published using British Summer Time (BST) so please ensure that if you are overseas, you understand what local time you will need to be online in order to download the paper and when the deadline is for submitting your paper.  Work out these times before the exam and write them down.

Why are my exams being delivered in this way?

Due to the closure of the university buildings and UK Government advice restricting travel, we are unable to conduct exams in the usual manner. We have considered best practice and teaching staff have used their academic judgement to decide on the adjusted exam format. Therefore, if you have more than one exam, they may be a combination of exam formats.

Can I upload multiple files?

You must only upload one file. You may overwrite the file you have uploaded with further versions, but Moodle will only retain the last file that you upload.

Do I have a limit on the size of the file I can submit?

While we do not expect you to exceed the upload file size limit, you do need to be mindful of this when taking photos or scans of pages. In the unlikely situation where your file is too large to upload, you should use a medium quality/lower resolution option with any photos or scanned images. Please check how to do this in advance of the exam.

What if I upload the wrong file?

You may overwrite the wrong file you have uploaded with another file. However, you must be mindful of the submission deadline. Please notify your Module Leader if you make a mistake and submit late due to this.

What if I am worried about accessing and submitting my exam files online?

We will provide a test submission link, allowing you to practice working on a word file and uploading. A short video tutorial and a step by step guide will be provided, these will show you how to access the exam paper, embed photos to your word (if needed) and submit files online. Your Module Leader will let you know when this is ready.

Where can I access my exam timetable?

Exam timetables can be accessed via the portal.  To provide you with all the extra information you need for the alternative exam arrangements, this year your exams timetable will not feed into your exam timetable app, meaning that the timetable will not appear there. We will only be providing the timetable on the portal.

What if my module grade is only based on my exam result? 
(Only for foundation and first year of an undergraduate degree)

We recognise that there are a few modules on programmes, where exams are the only piece of assessment. In such instances, we will look at Grade Point Average for the year and progress level 3 and 4 students (foundation and first year of an undergraduate degree) if a threshold of 40% is achieved, regardless of the marks of individual modules.

However, the same list of the several Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) where this is not allowed is now available, if you have any questions please speak to your Programme Leader.

What if my module grade is only based on my exam result?
(Only for second and third year undergraduate and students on taught Master's programmes)

For students at level 5, 6 and 7 (second and third year of an undergraduate degree and those on a Master's programme), we will offer free resits and deferrals to recover any modules that do not gain a pass grade.

I have an upcoming dissertation deadline, what is happening with it?

We are giving undergraduate and postgraduate taught students a three week extension for your dissertation deadline, where we can. If you have already received an extension, this will be increased to three weeks where it has been shorter. If you have received a three week extension already, no further extensions will be allowed. Some exceptions will apply, for example, if extensions would push students into the exam period. Your Module Leader will be able to provide you with more information about this.

We would like to urge students, who are able to complete earlier, to still continue to do so, as this will assist you with managing your time and avoiding potential bunching up of deadlines.

If I have to defer or resits my exam or assessment, will I be charged?

No, we will not charge for in-year resits or deferrals. We will also relax the rule on allowing only 30 credits to be carried over for the next academic year and will not charge any additional fees to do this.

Additionally, we will aim to provide additional support in such instances and are investigating the possibility of organising an additional resits period before the start of the academic year to minimise carry-over of credit and potential impact on ongoing study.