2. Significant Changes to the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes for 2020/21

Change

30.13 Notwithstanding 30.7, the relevant Board of Examiners will award credit to an undergraduate student to permit progression, despite failure to achieve a pass mark associated with taught unit(s) at the first attempt* (i.e. a ‘compensated pass’), provided conditions (a)-(f) are satisfied.

*when considering whether to apply compensation, the exam board should only consider the unit marks achieved at the first attempt within a year of study for a student.

Rationale

In undergraduate programmes, compensation may only be applied at the first attempt to enable progression at the point that it is applied by the exam board; clarification is provided as to what constitutes a ‘first attempt’ given that an exam board may receive marks with differing attempts at different points during the year.

Change

30.19 …A Faculty Board of Examiners may also choose to award 120 credit points on the basis of a pass overall in assessment in the relevant year of study in order for an exit award to be made

Rationale

An exam board may currently award 120 credit points for the final year of undergraduate study on the basis of a pass overall and achieving the pass mark for any must-pass units to enable a student to complete a programme. Similarly, it may do the same for Ordinary Degrees, or Undergraduate Diplomas or Certificates. The above change extends that principle to exit awards.

Change

Credit framework (notes:) Individual students can take units at a higher level than normally specified during their programme, e.g. a level 7 unit might be substituted for a level 6 unit, or a level 6 unit might replace one at level 5. (stated in the notes accompanying the University’s credit framework)

Rationale

The note attached to the University’s credit framework has been removed given that individual students are not normally expected to take units at a higher level of study than the level of their current year of study.

Change

26.13 A student on a [study abroad year or year in industry] must achieve at least the pass mark for the [study abroad year or year in industry] unit to be awarded the credit.

26.14 Progression from the [study abroad year or year in industry] will be permitted where a student achieves 120 credit points with an overall year mark of at least 40 out of 100. A student who does not achieve the pass mark for a study abroad or placement unit and/or does not achieve the necessary criteria for progression should be transferred onto the appropriate point on an equivalent degree programme, as determined by the exam board.

Rationale

A clarification has been added to explicit set out the requirements to achieve the credit and ‘pass’ a study abroad year or year in industry and thus progress within the programme. Where the student does not meet the requirements for progression, they are transferred to the standard equivalent degree programme.

Change

32.12 The honours programme classification boundary ranges for bachelors honours programmes are based on marks out of 100 and are:

First / 2.1        equal to or more than 68 but less than 70

2.1 / 2.2          equal to or more than 58 but less than 60

2.2 / Third       equal to or more than 48 but less than 50

Third / Fail       equal to or more than 38 but less than 40

If the final summative programme mark falls within the range of one of these classification boundaries, the secondary rule will apply.

32.13 The classification boundary ranges for integrated masters programmes are based on marks out of 100 and are:

First / 2.1        equal to or more than 68 but less than 70

2.1 / 2.2          equal to or more than 58 but less than 60

If the final summative programme mark falls within the range of one of these classification boundaries, the secondary rule will apply.

Rationale

The ‘secondary rule’ applies where a final summative programme mark (in undergraduate modular programmes) falls within two marks below a classification boundary. The above amendments recognise that a student with a final programme mark of less than 40 (at the third class/fail border) will not be in a position to be considered for a classified degree. The same applies for the lower second/third class border in integrated masters degree programmes where a student would not be in a position to be considered for a third class degree (i.e. a mark under 50 would mean the student does not have sufficient credit points for the award of the degree).

Change

17.4 … For modular programmes: the late submission of work will incur a fixed absolute penalty of 10 marks is applied for each 24-hour period after the agreed deadline, where that period includes a working day, each working day work is submitted after the agreed submission deadline. A mark of zero is applied to work submitted five or more working days after the agreed deadline if this threshold is not already reached. If the work is submitted so late that at least five such 24-hour periods have elapsed, the mark awarded will automatically default to zero.

17.6 For group coursework, it is the collective responsibility of the student group to ensure and confirm that the work is submitted before the deadline. Students involved in group work for assessment may also be required to individually provide evidence of their participation in and contribution to the work of the group. 

If group work is submitted late, the penalty applied to the marks of individual student(s) may be retracted where there is evidence that they have satisfactorily contributed to the group work in time for the work to be submitted by the deadline, as determined by the Unit Director of other member of academic staff.

Rationale

The University has a policy in place governing the late submission of summative coursework in the form of a mark deduction from the mark that an individual student would have achieved.

The changes clarify the timeframe of each 24-hour period immediately following the submission deadline when applying penalties and that it is the responsibility of the student group to ensure and confirm that the group work is submitted before the deadline.

Change 39.3 The dissertation mark should be rounded to the nearest integer, where applicable
Rationale Confirmation that the dissertation mark should be an integer (i.e. rounded to the nearest full mark, if required) when classifying a degree.

Change

Replicate existing clause regarding the outcome of self-certificating absence from an examination in the UG and PGT progression sections:

30.9 / 38.10 Students who are absent from an examination due to illness and who self-certificate, will be required to undertake the examination at the next scheduled time the examination is run, normally in the August / September assessment period. The form of the assessment should remain unchanged.

Rationale

To confirm in the ‘progression and completion’ sections of the Taught Code that students who have self-certified absence from an exam will be required to undertake the exam at the next time it is scheduled, normally in the same form and in August, before completing their programme of study. This includes students in their final year of study.

Change

30.18   Re-assessment of units within the final year of undergraduate modular programmes is permitted where a failed unit is deemed to be ‘must-pass’ (e.g. for professional accreditation reasons), in which case the Faculty Board of Examiners will offer the student a final re-assessment opportunity. A re-sit should test those assessments in the unit that have been failed and need not be in the same form as the original assessment, as long as it tests the same learning outcomes and does not compromise any competence standards.

19.25-28 In the case of [non-final year undergraduate students on modular programmes / final year undergraduate students on UG modular programmes / taught postgraduate students in the taught component of the programme], if a student has extenuating circumstances which have been accepted, the Board of Examiners may decide to (but not exclusively):

  • permit the student to repeat the assessment (in the same or alternative form) without losing an attempt penalty (i.e. as for the first attempt) where a fail mark prevents the credit points being awarded for the unit;

Rationale

Clarification of the circumstances in which the form of the assessment may be modified when a student is re-taking or repeating (due to extenuating circumstances) it.

Change

A new point of policy and set of expectations have been introduced into section 15 with regard to internal moderation.

Rationale

A set of institutional-level expectations underpins existing moderation strategies ensuring that marking processes are robust and treats students fairly.

Change

9.6 For students holding a Tier 4 visa who need to re-take a limited number of units during a supplementary year, in order to retain their visa, the student must be taking at least one unit in each teaching block, and that unit must be:

  • the unit that was previously failed; or
  • if that unit is no longer offered, an appropriate replacement unit for the original unit.

Rationale

The policy on supplementary years in relation to visa-holding students has been revised to restrict these students to undertaking only those units that are required by the relevant exam board in order for the student to complete their programme of study.

Change

The Dissertation
34.18 For most postgraduate Masters awards, an extended piece of work, such as a dissertation or project, is required. Postgraduate Masters awards with an enhanced research component normally require dissertation/s worth 90 to 120 credit points. Dissertation requirements, including the use of text comparison software such as Turnitin, are outlined in annex 14 ‘Dissertations in Taught Postgraduate Programmes’ and in individual programme specifications.

34.21 School responsibilities concerning the dissertation:
a) To assign each student a dissertation supervisor by the start of the dissertation.
b) To provide students with information and guidance on the dissertation process. Students may receive information in a school handbook, in a dissertation workshop, seminar, work session or via Blackboard. Where appropriate, information will cover the use of text comparison software such as Turnitin in relation to academic integrity and plagiarism, including how to make individual requests not to use Turnitin if there are contractual, security or safety obligations on the University to safeguard sensitive material in a dissertation from third parties – see Annex 14.

34.22 Dissertation supervisor’s responsibilities

h) Where there is sensitive material in the dissertation, the dissertation supervisor will consider whether there are contractual, security or safety obligations on the University to safeguard the material from third parties. If the school mandates the use of Turnitin for submissions, the student or supervisor may initiate a request for an exemption from the Turnitin requirement on the appropriate form. The supervisor is responsible for submitting all requests to the relevant Faculty Education Director (or nominee). Where the student initiates the request, the supervisor must provide a recommendation on the form. If the Faculty Education Director (or nominee) approves the request, the dissertation supervisor will undertake a manual check on the dissertation in relation to academic integrity and plagiarism and will inform the school when the check has been completed – see Annex 14.

34.23 Student’s responsibilities during the dissertation

h) Where there is sensitive material in the dissertation, the student will consider, in discussion with their dissertation supervisor, whether the University should safeguard the material from third parties due to contractual, security or safety obligations. If the school mandates the use of Turnitin for submissions, the student or the dissertation supervisor may initiate a request for an exemption from this Turnitin requirement on the appropriate form – see Annex 14.

Annex 14: Dissertations in Taught Postgraduate Programmes

Submission of the dissertation

Where a school requires electronic submission, students must submit an electronic copy of their dissertation via Blackboard or via email to the school. Electronic submission of the dissertation enables examiners to check submitted dissertations for plagiarism using text comparison software, such as Turnitin. One copy will normally be securely stored in the school, in line with data protection guidelines. Students should retain an additional copy of the dissertation in case they are called for an oral examination.
Where schools mandate the use of Turnitin for submissions, a student or dissertation supervisor may initiate a request on the appropriate form for an exemption from the Turnitin requirement if there are contractual, security or safety obligations on the University to safeguard sensitive material from third parties. The supervisor is responsible for submitting all requests to the relevant Faculty Education Director (or nominee). Where the student initiates the request, the supervisor must provide a recommendation on the form. The Faculty Education Director (or nominee) will make a decision on the request and the faculty will communicate the outcome to the student, to the supervisor and to the school. If the request is approved, the supervisor will undertake a manual check on the dissertation in relation to academic integrity and plagiarism and will inform the school when the check has been completed.

Rationale

To allow for an alternative academic integrity and plagiarism check instead of Turnitin where there are contractual, security or safety obligations on the University to safeguard sensitive material in PGT dissertations from third parties.

Annexes