Assessments, exams and academic matters

For more information about assessments and exams Covid-19 Advice and information- examination and assessment document

Marks and results

What happens to my mark if I’ve completed over half of my module assessment and would have been taking an exam in May?

Where at least 50% of the module assessment has been completed and there will be no exam, the mark will stand for the whole module, unless there are professional accreditation requirements or an assessment is required in order to satisfy scheme learning outcomes.

What happens to my mark if I’ve completed less than half of my module assessment?

You should continue to complete all remaining assessments and where appropriate alternative exam assessments may be set. Where less than 50% of the module assessment has been completed, appropriate alternate assessments for the remaining examination component(s) will be set.

What happens to my mark if I haven’t been able to complete my assessment?

If you haven’t been able to complete your assessment, there will be an opportunity for you to take your assessment at a later date.

What happens to my mark if my assessment did not run?

Where no mark is available at all, e.g. in the case of a field trip where the assessment did not run, the module will be deemed to have been passed for progression purposes but will not count for accreditation purposes.

The current situation has affected my studies, can I submit a Special Circumstances form?

Students will not be asked to submit Special Circumstances forms and evidence for modules assessed during the August resit period; students unable to complete the August resit assessments, for whatever reason, will automatically be granted uncapped resit opportunities for non-submissions or in the case of failure; this suspension of our normal Special Circumstances procedure will be temporary to cover this assessment period.

What happens if I’m unhappy with my marks?

If you are unhappy with your marks, you will be able to choose to accept an award based on assessment arrangements that have been put in place, to wait for marks to be available, or to defer and take resits. You will be invited to make these choices as soon as results are published. This will be on the basis of ‘no detriment’: that students opting to resit who perform less well, will still be able to accept the original award.

Will I receive my results as normal if my modules aren’t affected?

We have delayed exam boards by two weeks so results and degree classes will be released to final year students and taught postgraduates via their student record on the web on the 9th July 2020.  All other students will receive their results on the 16th July 2020.

Will I receive my summer grades as scheduled?

Results and degree classes will be released to final year students and taught postgraduates via their student record on the web on the 9th July 2020.  All other students will have their results released on the 16th July 2020.

When will final year students receive their degree results?

Degree results will be published on Thursday 9 July 2020.

I'm not in my final year, when will I receive my results?

Students who are not in their final year will receive their results on Thursday 16 July 2020.

Should I expect to receive marks and feedback on previously submitted work in three weeks as usual?

Yes. Where it is not possible for staff to mark and return feedback on previously submitted work within three weeks, they will notify students of a revised date as normal.

Special circumstances

The current situation has affected my studies, can I request an uncapped resit?

Students who pass modules in semester two but consider that Special Circumstances have adversely impacted their performance will be given the opportunity to request an uncapped resit.  Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis and students will be advised of the implications of taking such an opportunity. This will be permitted on the basis of ‘no detriment’: the higher mark will stand.

Will special circumstances change a student’s marks?

No, we do not change marks on the basis of special circumstances. However, we will be reviewing all borderline cases this year as we recognise that all students will have been affected.  

Resits

Will there be a cap on the number of resits I can take in August?

No, for August 2020 only there will be no cap on the number of modules you can resit.

Will I be charged for resits in August 2020?

No, there will be no charge for resits in August 2020.

 

Will I be asked if I want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class or not?

Yes, we will ask all final year students to complete a task on their student record where we will ask if you wish to accept or decline the indicative class of degree.

How long will I have to decide if I want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class or not?

You will have up until 5pm on Thursday 30th July 2020 to decide.  If you have not completed the task by then we will assume you wish to accept the degree class.

Can I change my mind later about accepting or declining my degree class?

We will be unable to allow students to change their mind after the deadline at 5pm on Thursday 30th July.

What if I don’t complete the ‘Indicative’ degree class task?

Students who do not complete the indicative degree class task by the deadline of 5pm on Thursday 30th July 2020 to let us know if they wish to accept or decline their degree class will be treated as having accepted the indicative degree class.

I don’t want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class’ but I need a letter for my employer to confirm that I have qualified for my degree.

That’s ok.  We can provide you with a letter to confirm that you have already qualified for your degree even if you have decided to take resits.  

Can I resit a module I have passed?

Yes, any student who has passed or failed a module in semester two 2020 will be able to resit the module if they wish to do so, in August 2020 or the following session during semester one or two.  Barring where a student has been found guilty of unacceptable academic practice.

I was repeating my modules for the capped mark. I have passed all my semester two modules at 40%, should I resit in August?

If you have passed all your modules and they were all for a capped mark, there is nothing to be gained in taking resits in August.  The degree class calculated for you will be the best that you can achieve as you have achieved the highest mark you can obtain in your modules.

Can I resit a module from semester one that I have passed?

No, you may only resit a passed module from semester two 2020.

Can I resit all my modules for the full mark?

All modules with an R, M or H resit indicator can be resat for the full mark.  Resit indicators of P, S, F, or T will be resat for a capped mark.  If you decide to resit a pass mark or a Y resit indicator you will receive the full mark as well.  You can only resit pass marks and Y indicators for modules assessed during semester two 2020.

Will I be able to resit a failed module from semester one for the full mark?

No, if you failed a module in semester one with an F resit indicator and you are eligible to resit it in August it will be for the capped mark.

I am a level 0 or level 1 (Part One) student and I have passed enough credits to go on to the next year of my course. Are there any benefits to resitting in August?

Part one modules are not used in the cascade to calculate the final degree and therefore an improved resit performance will not improve the final classification, unless you are studying for an FDA or FDSC award where all your modules, including part one will count in the final classification.

 

I am a level 2 or 3 (Part Two) student and I have passed enough credits to go on to the next year of my course. Do I benefit from resitting in August?

You may wish to consider taking resits in modules where you could better your marks, but you should also consider the workload involved in preparing for your resits so as not to overburden yourself.  You should reflect on your performance and consider taking resits in modules in which you can realistically gain better marks.  We would recommend that you take advice from your department before deciding to take further assessments for modules you have already passed.

What if I don’t want to take any resits in August, can I leave all my resits until next year?

Yes, however you should be aware that if you have more than 20 credits of fail it means that you will not be able to go in to the next year of your course.  Resits next year will therefore be a repeat year and if you choose to return to University and follow the modules you failed again, you will be required to pay tuition fees for the number of credits you are repeating.  You should note that by repeating a module you will be required to undertake the full module and all assessment components.

If I chose not to register to resit in August will I lose one of my resit opportunities?

No, if you decide not to register for a resit in August you will not lose one of your resit opportunities, it will be carried forward to next session for you.

What if I want to resit all of my semester two modules even though I have passed them but I don’t want to sit them in August?

If you have passed enough credits to allow you to go in to the next year of your course but you want to resit your passed modules in the 2020-21 academic session you can do so.  However, you will be doing them in addition to the modules you will be taking next year.  Students considering this option should take advice from their department as this would be a significant burden.  Alternatively you can request to delay entry into the next year of your course and request that you repeat the credits in 2020-21 before continuing with your studies in the following academic year.

Where do I go to get advice on whether or not I should resit in August?

Your department should be able to offer you academic advice regarding your resits.  If you need advice regarding registering for resits you should contact ugfstaff@aber.ac.uk for Undergraduates or pgsstaff@aber.ac.uk for Postgraduates.

Upon receiving marks for alternative assessments, how much time will I have to opt into a resit?

You will be asked to complete a task on your student record to opt to resit or not.  The task will be available on your student record the same day as your results are released with a deadline to complete it by the 30th July at the latest.  Resits will be on the basis of ‘no detriment’: that students opting to resit who perform less well, will still be able to accept their original award or their original mark in the case of students who are not in the final year.

Deadlines

Have the deadlines been extended?

All term two assessment deadlines have been extended by one week.  Unless otherwise advised by your department, all deadlines for term three remain the same.

Will extensions be granted for assessed work due in term 3?

All deadlines were extended by one week for term 2.  Departments will contact you where deadlines for term 3 have been extended.

Can I have an extension for the alternative assessment that I’m am taking instead of an examination?

It will not be possible for your department to give extensions for any alternative assessments that are replacing the formal examinations that would have taken place in May 2020.  This is because staff are working to very tight deadlines to complete marking and moderation before Examination Boards so that your results can be released on time.  If you are unable to complete work for the coming deadlines, you will be given the opportunity to submit work in August or during the next academic year.

Dissertations and major projects

What decision has been made regarding dissertations and major projects?

Please check with your department for revised submission dates.

Is it possible for dissertation deadlines to clash with alternative assessments?

We cannot answer this at this time. Dissertation deadlines vary depending on your department, therefore, please contact your department for further information.

Other questions

Who can I speak to about my individual exam/study adjustments?

If you were due to take an exam and are worried about the impact of the alternative arrangements on your disability you can discuss this or study requirements with our Accessibility Advisers.  Please email – disability@aber.ac.uk.

What happens if I decide not to submit an assessment until the current situation is over?

Students who decide not to submit assessments until conditions have improved, should understand that if you defer any or all of these until later this summer, there will not be any invigilated on-campus examinations, so assessments will have to be conducted remotely.  If students choose to wait until the next academic year, then the form of the assessment may revert back to its original form; however, we cannot predict that far ahead.

We will endeavour to ensure that any student who attempts to complete assessments this summer, will be able to progress to the award (if they are a finalist or Masters student) or progress to the next stage (if they are a non-finalist). We would urge you to consider carefully before deciding to delay taking any assessment now, and to talk any such decision through with academic tutors and your family and friends. 

Where can I get advice about my alternative assessment?

It is your responsibility to ensure that you understand the requirements of the alternative assessment.  However, if you think you have found an error in the instructions provided for your alternative assessment, or the instructions don’t appear to make sense, you should contact your department to report this using the contact details provided.

If you are having any technical issues with your computer or software, you can contact IS for advice.

IMPORTANT: Please note that academic staff in your department will NOT be able to offer you any academic advice on how to prepare or answer the questions in your alternative assessment that is in lieu of the exams.  Just like the exams, it is important that your submission is your own work and reflects your academic ability.  Please do not contact your department or individual module coordinators to seek advice of this kind.

Will there be a degree ceremony?

Yes there will be a degree ceremony. Students will be invited to attend degree ceremonies with their cohort at a later date.

I’m a student with DSA needs, will there be any adjustments to my assessments?

Reasonable adjustments to remote/online assessments are/ will be made for students with identified DSA needs.

I’m a PGCE Student, what is happening with my course?

PGCE students will be contacted separately by your department to explain what has been approved by the Welsh Government. 

Is the university following a ‘no detriment’ policy? How does the safety net approach apply to other universities and why can it not apply to ours?

We have based our approach on the ‘no detriment’ principle. That is why our policy includes, depending on individual circumstances, a number of options for students: such as offering uncapped resits along with the security of allowing you, after any resit, to accept original awards if you prefer. After receiving detailed information about your own individual circumstances from your department, we would encourage you to discuss your options with your friends and family.  

There is no single agreed definition of ‘no detriment’ or ‘safety net’ policies. Other universities use different systems to award and classify their degrees, which means there will be differences in how these principles will be applied in practice. The Quality Assurance Agency guidance states that “irrespective of the model providers' use for grading, they should focus on ensuring that the classifications students will ultimately be awarded are fair, valid and reliable”.

Our approach has been developed to ensure the robustness and value of your degree irrespective of the stage in which you find yourself.  We are trying to give you the best opportunity to succeed. We have applied the principle of ‘no detriment’ diligently and fairly in these extremely challenging times.

Will the Unacceptable Academic Practice still apply during the current situation?

Yes, the regulations associated with unacceptable academic practice (UAP) will still apply. If a UAP allegation is found to be substantiated, the penalty will be assigned according to the Points-based Penalty System, and the opportunity for an uncapped resit will not apply.

Will the cascade system change? Will this be reflected on the student record?

The cascade system will run as normal for final degree classification.

The cascade calculator is still available on the student record.  However, the calculator is unable to cope with missing marks.  Your department will be able to advise you if some of your modules are not going to be assessed.

Is the supplementary exam period still due to run as scheduled?

As you know, a decision has already been taken to offer alternate assessments to the main campus-based examinations in May and extensions to coursework deadlines have been granted.  The supplementary exam period will run as scheduled in August, however, this will not involve campus-based examinations. 

What is the Window of Opportunity for an overall degree outcome to be reviewed at panel?

The Window of Opportunity should run as normal but preponderance would apply to those modules in which marks are available, discounting any modules where assessment is not complete.  The Special Circumstances panel will review all Window of Opportunity cases falling within 2% of any borderline, including looking at the impact of Coronavirus on semester two performance.

Will a safety net be provided for students required to sit alternative assessments for 100% of their module?

Students unhappy with their module mark would be offered the opportunity to take the assessment for full marks at a later date.

How should I proceed if I'm yet to hear from my department regarding the changes?

The last few weeks have been difficult and unsettling for everyone, and we are aware that many of you will be anxious about completing forthcoming assessments. We ask you to bear with your departments as they work through the full implications of the University’s approach in order to adapt under the current extraordinary circumstances.
If you have further questions, you can also contact the Registry using the following contact details:
Undergraduates - ugfstaff@aber.ac.uk
Postgraduates - pgsstaff@aber.ac.uk
Telephone:  01970 622354 or 01970 62229

How does this policy apply to practical and creative subjects?

Our policy is based on the principle of no detriment to students. Where possible alternative assessments will be arranged or rescheduled. Your department will be in touch with you about these arrangements.  Where there is no available assessment in a module it will be deemed to have been passed for progression purposes. Where a pass is required for accreditation, and the required assessment has not run, students will be allowed to resit in August, or at a later date with no resit fee.

I’m having problems submitting online assessments, who can I contact?

If taking an online assessment or submitting coursework assessment presents a problem for you, for example because you do not have a computer or internet access at home, please contact us:   through the Information Services support desk +44 (0)1970 62 2400 or by email is@aber.ac.uk. We will endeavour to work collaboratively with you to find a solution that works for you.

You can also contact your academic department by email and telephone as normal and for other queries, Registry services are still available online and over the telephone.  Please use the following contact details: Undergraduates - ugfstaff@aber.ac.uk; Postgraduates - pgsstaff@aber.ac.uk and by telephone: +44 (0) 1970 622354 or +44 (0) 1970 622290. 

What if I have questions or queries that are specific to my department that haven’t been answered here?

If your questions or queries haven’t been answered here we urge you to contact your specific department. Individual students will get clarity on their own personal circumstances following discussion with their department(s).