Minimising coronavirus impact on your 2019/20 studies
We know that your teaching and your ability to prepare for assessments may have been adversely affected by coronavirus. We understand that the nature of your assessments may have been significantly different, and you may have been unable to demonstrate your true ability. Find out what measures we are putting in place to minimise the impact on your studies.
To help reduce the impact on your studies, we have put a 'safety net’ in place for the academic year 2019/20. The 'safety net' is intended to enable all students to work through the difficulties at this time, and to pause study and assessment for a while if you need to.
Your 'safety net' depends on your level of study and the structure of your degree. We will have sent you specific guidance to explain your specific ‘safety net’. If you have any questions about it, email your school office.
This 'safety net' was introduced 27 March 2020. If your studies were impacted by the virus before this date, you can claim extenuating circumstances.
Making a 'reasonable attempt' at your work
We expect you to make a 'reasonable attempt' with your assessed work. Even if it does not meet a pass standard, the exam board want to see how you respond to the task intellectually.
This means that your answer needs to address the task question. A blank essay submission or a discussion of a completely different topic is not considered a 'reasonable attempt'.
We understand that your studies may have been impacted by the virus before we introduced the ‘safety net’. From 1 March 2020 until 18 September 2020, you will not need to submit Extenuating Circumstances for the general difficulties associated with studying in these new conditions. Schools and exam boards will automatically allow you an extension or a deferral to a second summer assessment period.
If there are exceptional circumstances which go beyond the arrangements we are putting in place, you may want to:
- request a coursework deadline extension and/or
- defer courswork to later in the academic year and/or
- request extenuating circumstances
Find out more about notifying absence from teaching, coursework extensions and extenuating circumstances.
You can contact your Personal or Senior Tutor, or look at our study support for more guidance on extenuating circumstances.
Log in to read our:
- study skills support and information
- guide to online learning
- blog on study skills, written by students and tutors.
Equipment and IT support for online learning
You can use our student IT services for support and online resources.
We are very aware that some students will have issues with connectivity and technology and that online learning and assessments poses different challenges for different people.
If you can not participate in online teaching or assessment, let your school office know. You must tell them one time in any 14-day period.
If you are struggling to access online resources, contact your school office for support. They will direct you to suitable technical support, or put alternative arrangements in place.
If you have questions about using assistive software, contact Disability Service. We are working to make sure that no student will be disadvantaged by online teaching and assessment.
If you need to self-isolate, do not worry about being absent from your studies for this short period. Your school and the support team at email@example.com will help to make sure this does not affect your studies
Dissertation and research project support
You will continue to have regular meetings with your supervisor. These will be online.
Supervisors are working to understand where experimental laboratory projects and other empirical studies are impacted, and will make suitable adjustments to standards.
If your dissertation topic had to change significantly, your school will ensure that submission timescales are still reasonable.
Exams and assessments
All exams will be online and open-book. You will also have longer to complete your exams.
We are working hard to maintain our academic standards while making sure you are not disadvantaged.
You should continue to work on any assessments that have already been set. We strongly advise you to continue with your studies and revision as normal.
Log in and read our online open-book exams help and advice to help you prepare.
We will take into account your previous results when calculating your overall degree classification.
If you have any questions about your exams, contact your school.
Re-sits from Teaching Block 1
If you were expecting to re-sit work from Teaching Block 1, your school will contact you.
Additional assessment period in summer 2020
We have arranged a second assessment period in the summer. You can use this if you deferred your assessment(s) or need a second opportunity because of the effects of coronavirus on your health or other circumstances.
The second assessment period starts 17 August 2020. All assessments will be online.
Alternative Exam Arrangements (AEAs)
Read our alternative exams arrangements advice if you normally have AEAs in place.
Submitting your assessments
If you have paper copy submissions, your school will let you know how to submit them.
Online submission will be unaffected
Appealing your results
If you think your results were effected by Covid-19 you may want to make an appeal. Find out more about how to make an academic appeal.
Graduating if you have an appeal outstanding
You can graduate if you have an appeal outstanding.
Your transcript is a record of the unit marks you achieved and your award. It is not intended to provide a narrative of how your award was classified, or a commentary on your particular circumstances.
What a transcript does and doesn't include
- The units which have been taken in each year of study
- The overall marks for each unit, together with a mark signal indicating whether a unit was passed or failed, and whether credit has been awarded
- The total number of credits gained in each unit taken and in each year of study
- The degree awarded, degree classification and date of award (where applicable)
- A glossary to explain any mark signals which appear on the transcript
Transcripts don't include:
- Year marks
- Programme or safety net* marks
- Which units or assessments were included in the safety net*
- whether your degree was classified using your programme or safety net* marks
- an explanation of how every award has been made. There is a risk in trying to do so, that your individual circumstances may be misrepresented or misinterpreted.
- What allowance was made for any extenuating circumstances
Any context can be provided in a reference if appropriate.
*Safety net: only applies to students studying in 2019/20 whose marks counted towards their degree classification.
Transcripts for students studying in 2019/20
Where assessment was withdrawn in 2019/20 due to coronavirus, your transcript will show a mark of zero, together with a signal to show that credit was awarded.
If you have not been able to complete all of the assessment for a unit, but the board of examiners considered that you had demonstrated that you had met the intended learning outcomes, your transcript may show a zero and a signal to indicate that you had passed the unit, notwithstanding your circumstances.
These zeroes indicate the absence of a mark, rather than a true zero.
Find out about Mark signals on your assessment units and transcripts (PDF, 189kB) which you may see alongside your assessment and unit marks and what they mean.
University regulations for 2019/20
You can see these temporary changes reflected in our formal regulations which govern student progression and degree classifications for the 2019/20 academic year.
Making a complaint
Universities are having to deal with unprecedented challenges as a result of coronavirus. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) ask that you are patient and realistic about what universities can do during this unusual time.
If you are concerned that the impact of coronavirus has affected your studies, we recommend that you read the OIA FAQs. We also advise that you keep a record of opportunities that you have missed, or have changed.
Contact your school and talk about your concerns. They will investigate and try to help resolve the situation. Please allow us time to assess and respond toy your complaints.
Making a formal complaint
If you have tried resolving your complaint informally with your school, but you are not happy with the result, you can make a formal complaint.
We consider complaints on a case by case basis. You can make a complaint, using the Student Complaints Procedure (PDF, 137kB).
Suspending your studies
If you have any questions about your course, teaching methods or exams, email your school office. If you are unable to access online resources or assessments, you should also email your school office.
For other questions about the impact of coronavirus on your studies, email firstname.lastname@example.org.