(updated 3/4) An update on Examinations and Assessments


Prof Jane Harrington provides details on what 'no detriment' means for students and reiterates that supporting your learning remains our top priority. We intend to progress and graduate as many students as possible over the coming weeks.

Updated with a message from the Vice-Chancellor Prof Jane Harrington

I would like to respond to the student queries that we have received regarding our assessment policy and to explain what 'no detriment' means for students – both in terms of progression and degree classifications.

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

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. Of course, if there are genuine reasons why you cannot do this, we will consider these separately and the ways in in which we can do that are documented in the FAQs.

I hope that this reassures you all that our aim is to assist you to achieve your best for this academic year.

Jane Harrington

The text below was published on 2 April:

Thank you for your patience and flexibility while the university has worked to identify the best way to support you and your studies during this global pandemic.  We have listened to your views, read your emails and noted the issues raised by the Students' Union and we understand the disruption that the Coronavirus situation has caused to your lives. 

The university believes that some form of assessment is important to the majority of you as it gives you an opportunity to get the recognition you deserve for the hard work you have undertaken.  

Therefore the university will make the following arrangements for examinations and assessments:

We 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 16 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.Viva examinations for postgraduate research students will proceed as planned, wherever possible, although these will be conducted via video conferencing. Several of them have been conducted successfully.

We have taken these actions to support your studies, whilst balancing it with supporting your wellbeing. The university is keen to ensure that the current unprecedented situation does not have a negative impact on your welfare, ability to progress, and graduate.  

Exam timetables can be accessed via the My Learning tab on the portal and are also shown below.  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.

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:

We know you will have some questions, so we have developed a set of Frequently Asked Questions. Please continue to share any questions you have and we will ensure they are answered.