Changes to exams and assessments in response to coronavirus

Postgraduate studying

The University is changing students' exams and assessments to recognise the difficulties caused by coronavirus

  • 27 March 2020
  • 5 min read

The University has been working tirelessly over the past few weeks to respond to the rapidly changing coronavirus situation. Our first concern is your health and wellbeing, and that of our staff and university community during this time. 

It’s also our priority to continue, as far as possible, to deliver your course, support your learning, and enable you to undertake your assessments, so that you can make normal progress this year, and complete your course if this is your final year. This has resulted in us making some rapid adjustments to taught courses, for example moving face-to-face teaching to online delivery.

Changes to assessments

We are making reasonable adjustments to our assessment practices and regulations. This takes account of the impact the coronavirus outbreak may be having on your ability to study and to complete assessment during these final weeks of this academic year. For example, nearly all assessments have been modified to be delivered online, and this will also include modifications to second attempts (referrals/deferrals) as appropriate. 

Applying for Extenuating Circumstances

We have also made changes to the Extenuating Circumstances (ECF) criteria. These now recognise the current social circumstances and impact the outbreak may have on your ability to engage and complete your assessments:

  • A student following government advice to self-isolate due to COVID-19 may submit extenuating circumstances to self-certify for up to ten days, and may self-certify more than once within the time period permissible for ECFs;
  • A student may submit extenuating circumstances for computing difficulties, to reflect that more students will now be working remotely;
  • A student who works either full-time or part-time in one of the professions defined by the government as a key profession may submit extenuating circumstances for work commitments. In these circumstances the ECF period of self-certification may be longer than 10 days, but must be proportional to the impact of the circumstance on a student's ability to study. Any self-certification periods beyond the defined 10 days are to be approved by the Course Leader;
  • A student with additional caring responsibilities (for example where a school closes, and their child is now at home) may submit for extenuating circumstances;
  • A student who has pre-booked holidays during the Easter/Summer holidays may submit a valid extenuating circumstance for any work where the submission date, date of assessment, or the period where the student would have been expected to have been working on preparing the assessment now falls into the holiday period due to a change.

Completing modules beyond the summer

For a very few courses, there may be a limited number of modules which cannot be completed this summer for other reasons. This could include Professional Body requirements for fixed examination, the completion of pre-registration clinical work placement hours, or due to extenuating circumstances. 

If this affects your course, you will be allowed to trail the outstanding modules into the next academic year. There will be no attendance requirement (except for placement) and you will only have to sit the relevant outstanding assessments. Your Course Leader will be in contact with you to provide further details following the Board of Examiners which take place mid-July. 

More advice and information

If you have any queries relating to these changes, please contact your Personal Tutor for further advice and support. Check MyPort for the full changes to the Examination and Assessment Regulations.

 

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