Student Guide to Assessment

This guide is designed to help you understand the processes we use to deliver and manage assessment-related processes, what support is available to you and how we agree and approve your results. It also provides you with an explanation of the codes we use when we issue results and transcripts.


1.1 When we design and approve our curriculum, we agree what assessment method is best suited to measure the learning outcomes in each unit you study. We also consider how the assessment type we use will help you to acquire skills, knowledge and experience that will help you gain graduate level employment when you complete your course.

1.2 We have three types of assessment at unit level:

Formative assessment: This is designed to help you monitor and assess your performance so that you can see what support you may need to improve it. You will receive feedback on your performance but it will not contribute to your marks for the unit. We advise every ƹƵto take the opportunity to complete any formative assessment as we know it will help you achieve better overall marks.

Diagnostic assessment: This is designed to help us see if you need any additional support and if necessary, refer you to one of our specialist support teams. Any assessment undertaken will not contribute to a unit result.

Summative assessment: Designed to enable you to demonstrate you have met the learning outcome of the unit. You will be given a mark for each assessment or in some cases, a pass/fail grade. All the marks will contribute to your overall mark for the unit.

1.3 Each assessment element will have a weighting which tell you how much it will contribute to your overall unit level grade. Some units will require you to pass every assessment in order to pass the unit overall whilst in others, you must achieve a pass grade on an aggregate of all the marks from the assessment you have taken.

1.4 We provide information about assessment on each unit’s unit information form (UIF). You can find all the UIFs for the units you are registered on, via BREO, along with assessment briefs which provide with detailed information on each assessment you will take.

1.5 Your assessment brief will also tell you when your assessment deadline is and how to submit your work


2.1 We know that, from time to time, there may be issues such as illness that mean that you cannot submit your assessment by its due date. Sometimes these will be serious issues and may impact beyond just submitting assessment. We have processes in place to support you, should you find yourself in either of these situations. We group these processes together to form our mitigating circumstances or additional considerations policy. You can find the policy here

The Student Engagement & Mitigation team processes a large volume of queries and applications, especially during examination board periods. You should continue to work on your assessment whilst you wait for an outcome of any claim you make, and submit your work as soon as possible.

2.2 We have three principles that we take into account and they are that the circumstances are:

• Unforeseen and outside of your control

• Supported by appropriate information and/ or evidence

• Have had an impact on the your ability to complete an assessment

Extensions

2.3 We realise that it can be difficult to get medical appointments for short illnesses or minor ailments and if we ask for evidence, this may put undue pressure on health services. Our Student Engagement and Mitigation (SEAM) team will allow short-term extensions on the basis of self-certification but within certain parameters and up to 7 calendar days.

2.4 There are other options that can be applied if you need more than a 7 calendar day and you should review the policy (see 2.1) for information on all the options available.

2.5 There are some assessment types for which you cannot claim mitigation for and again, you can find these are details in the mitigation policy.

2.6 You should let your unit co-ordinator know if you are applying for mitigation (including an extension) so you can find out how to submit your work if your application is approved.

2.7 We can’t give an extension for any resits you have. However, if approved, we can offer you the opportunity of taking your resit(s) the next time they are scheduled. The timing of any rescheduled resit(s) may affect when you can move to the next level in your studies or even when you graduate.

2.8 We can’t approve extensions for practical pieces of work such as presentations, placements, group assignments or exams. We can only award a resit opportunity if your application is approved. The impact may be the same as detailed in 2.7 above.

Evidence

2.9 We will ask you for evidence to support your mitigation claim and the table below are some of the examples of circumstances and the types of evidence we would normally accept. This is not an exhaustive list and you can email mitigation@beds.ac.uk for further guidance on types of evidence you could provide to us

Circumstance Acceptable evidence
1. Serious or extended illness or injury Medical certificate or GP note signed during the illness or incident with a stated period of refrain. Needs to bear Surgery Stamp
2. Injury of a close relative or dependent Medical certificate or GP note signed and clearly stating the refrain period or support given to the other person(s). This must be during or around the hand in date. Needs to bear Surgery Stamp
3. Bereavement Copy of a Death Certificate or dated Order of Service Official letter from a person with whom you have a professional relationship, such as a Counsellor, Faith Leader or GP confirming the impact on you
4. Domestic and/or Personal Problems Medical certificate or note signed confirming the problem and impact. Needs to bear Surgery Stamp Official letter from a person with whom you have a professional relationship (see above
5. Court Attendance e.g. jury service Official correspondence from the Court, Tribunal Authority or letter from Solicitor.

6. Work Commitment Only students studying part-time can apply concerning work commitment issues.

Official letter on headed paper signed by your line manager, or senior stating the increased work pressures, the reasons behind this and the likely duration. We can also accept emails from an official email address sent directly to mitigation@beds.ac.ukfrom the line manager – we cannot accept forwarded messages

7. Representing County or Country at Sport

Official letter from the appropriate sporting association or authority that explains the event your involvement.
8. Religious Observance Confirmation from the ƹƵ Chaplain or a Faith Leader that the religious observance is a reasonable one for a member of the faith.

9. Active Exercise of Citizenship e.g. Reserve Forces

Letter from the appropriate association or authority that explains the absence and dates.
10. Victim of Crime

Official Police or other investigating authority letter confirming the reported crime and where

appropriate, a list of items stolen, such as a laptop or computer. Medical certificate or GP note signed confirming the incident and impact on you. Needs to bear Surgery Stamp

11. Childbirth or complications during pregnancy

Copy of a birth certificate Medical certificate or note signed confirming complications were affecting the student. Needs to bear Surgery Stamp

12. Other

Other mitigating circumstances that do not fall under any of the criteria defined above

Please contact mitigation@beds.ac.ukas soon as possible so that a member of the team can discuss if your reason for applying can be considered. Appropriate types of evidence will be communicated to you.


3.1 What is moderation?

Once your assessment has been marked, usually by the academic staff who taught you on your unit, we undertake a process called Moderation. It is the process we use to ensure that academic standards and assessment criteria are consistently applied. It makes sure that every piece of assessment submitted is marked to the same standard and marks are fair.

3.2 What types of marking are there?

We use two types of marking to ensure fairness and objectivity in the assessment process. These are double marking and second marking.

· In ‘double marking’ a second marker reviews students’ scripts and is unaware of the mark awarded by the first marker.

· In ‘second marking’ a second marker reviews students’ scripts aware of the mark and comments made by the first marker.

3.3 How do you decide which type of marking to use?

The type of marking used depends on the level (4, 5, 6, 7 etc.) and weighting of the assessment. For lower level and lower weighted assessments, we usually use second marking, and for higher level and higher weighted assessment, we generally use double marking.

Occasionally, how experienced the markers are has an impact too on which method we use. For example, second marking might be used rather than double marking, if one of the markers is less familiar with the assessment or less experienced.

The table gives a fuller range of examples.

Context Process
Level 4 sample second marking
Levels 4, 5 and 6 for assessments weighted 30% or less for an assessment of a unit sample second marking
Levels 4, 5 and 6 for assessments weighted 30%of the total assessment load (with exception of projects and dissertations) sample double marking
Projects and dissertations at level 6 and 7 complete double marking

3.4 Which work is moderated?

We moderate all summative assessments (see 1.2). In some cases a ‘sample’ is moderated, and in other cases, all work is moderated. If we take a sample of assessed work to moderate, this sample will be randomly picked and the number of

3.5 What happens when the markers disagree?

Occasionally, markers will disagree about the marks given. Using the moderation process, we ask first and second markers to reach a consensus about the mark to be awarded. If consensus is not possible, but there is close agreement (typically within 9%), the script(s) will be reviewed and the marks awarded after moderation by another experienced member of staff.

In the event of a serious disagreement (typically more than a classification i.e. 10% difference), the entire set of scripts are double-marked by another internal marker. These steps help prevent erroneous marks being awarded by a single academic.

In other cases, we compare the average mark and standard deviation of all markers in a unit/assessment to ensure that there is broad equivalence. If the marking of any individual marker is inconsistent, we undertake further moderation of all of the assessments marked by that marker. We give particular attention if:

  • the average marks of one marker are 7% or more higher or lower than those of the average for the unit;
  • If the standard deviation indicates that a marker may not be using the full grading scale.

3.6 External Examiners

We assign an External Examiner(s) to each course and unit. External examiners are experienced subject-specialist academic staff from other universities. They are appointed by the External Examiner Committee following a nomination process.

Their role is to take an independent view in assuring and maintaining academic standards and verify that academic standards are appropriate to national subject benchmark statements, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, ƹƵ course information forms and other relevant information.

Their duties include:

  • To be given the opportunity to comment on the intended assessment methods and Academic Regulations which directly affect students on the course;
  • To review all draft examination papers and assessment briefs for units for which the external examiner is contracted (including units at level 4);
  • To consider a sample of graded scripts from each unit to which the external examiner is contracted, to confirm that the scripts have been graded in accordance with the criteria stated, to the proper standard, fairly and accurately.

External examiners can’t change marks for individual pieces of assessment. However, they can ask that:

  • unit teams give consideration to future marking (typically at threshold or outstanding levels);
  • all the work of a particular assessor is re-marked by an independent assessor;
  • an amended marking scheme is applied to all students’ work submitted for a particular assessment task

4.1 Once all the marking and moderation processes are complete, we hold Portfolio Examination Boards and a Scheme Examination Board. These Boards consider and formally approve your results. Portfolio Examination Boards approve your results and whether you can progress to the next level of study. The Scheme Examination Board receives recommendations from Portfolio Examination Boards and makes the final decision on awards. Each Board is chaired by a senior academic or member of ƹƵ staff and they are attended by senior academic colleagues representing each of the courses of the ƹƵ.

4.2 What does my Examination board outcome mean?

We will send you official confirmation of your results after your Examination Board has met and reviewed your academic profile. Each Examination Board must follow our Academic Regulations in making decisions on results and academic profiles.

4.3 Your end of year results will be published on e:Vision, and we will send you an email to explain what your results mean.

4.4 Your results and the Examination Board decisions will be displayed on e:Vision in ‘View My Results’ which you can find under ‘Course Results’ next to the Academic Year tab.

4.5 Your award will be displayed under ‘Course & Award Details’.

4.6 We can’t give you details of your results by telephone for security and confidentiality reasons, so make sure you check your e:Vision account

4.7 You can update your contact details on e:Vision to make sure you receive all communications from us and not just about your results.

4.8 You must ensure that you act on any instructions we have included with your results. If you don’t, there may be serious consequences for your continued studies with us. 4.9 If you have any queries about your results, you can contact the Student Information Desk. They may be able to answer your question immediately but if not, they will contact your course team.


The tables below provide you with detailed explanation of the codes we use on your results transcript. We have categorised them for you to help you understand the decisions the Examination Board has made.

5.1 Codes for Unit level result

Code Definition
AF Academic Offence: Unit Failed
DO Academic Offence: Under investigation
G Fail Grade: No submission made
IN Student has not taken assessment due to an interruption
LP Late Placement - Grade not yet available
LT Late Submission agreed - Grade not yet available
MC Grade Held: Mitigating Circumstances
NY Grade not available until the next academic year
NZ Non-submission and exit
PZ Compensated unit
QF Qualifying fail - the Unit grade is within the pass range but an element of assessment that must be passed has been failed
QP Qualifying pass - the grade is within the fail range however the quality of the work overall has been determined as a pass by the Examination Board
RF Unit result has calculated resits required
WD Student has withdrawn from assessment

5.2 Codes used at ƹƵlevel for Progression/Continuing

Decision Level Explanation
Progress to next level UG You have passed all units at your current level of study and will progress to your next level.
Progress with compensated unit UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level of study and have been compensated for up to 30 credits and will progress to your next level.
Progress with outstanding resit UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level of study and have a resit in up to 30 credits. You will progress to your next level and you will complete your resit alongside your studies at your next level. If you fail your resit and cannot be compensated, you will be required to retake your failed unit before progressing any further.
Progress with outstanding retake unit UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level of study and have a retake in up to 30 credits. You will progress to your next level and you will retake your unit alongside your next level. If you fail your retake and cannot be compensated, you will be required to withdraw from your course and cannot progress any further.
Progress with outstanding retake unit capped UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level of study and have a capped retake due to academic offence in up to 30 credits. You will progress to your next level and you will retake your unit capped alongside your next level. If you fail your retake and cannot be compensated, you will be required to withdraw from your course and cannot progress any further.
Academic Issues Outstanding and progress UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level of study and have a suspected academic concern/offence in up to 30 credits. You will progress to your next level pending your outcome. Once your outcome is received, your progression will be reviewed to one of the decisions above.
Continue with course UG
PG
You can continue to your next units.
Compensated unit PG You have passed at least 60 credits and have been compensated for up to 30 credits.

5.3 Codes used in you have Resits/Retakes

Decision Level Explanation
Resits have to be completed UG
PG
You have failed one or more assessments in a unit (s) and are required to resit the assessment (s) you have failed. Resit grades are capped at 40%.

If your resit is a replacement for your first attempt because of an approved mitigation claim or your academic appeal has been upheld, your result will not be capped.
Retake Year UG You have failed at least 30 credits and must re-register on pay for a retake year. You will only be required to retake the units you’ve failed and you will not be able to progress to your next level until you have passed them.
Continue with course including retakes UG
PG
You have failed up to 30 credits on your lower level after you were progressed with an outstanding resit and you must now retake the unit at no charge. (UG)

You have failed a unit and must pay and retake it at the next available opportunity. (PG)
Retake unit capped due to academic offence UG You have failed up to 30 credits due to academic offence on your lower level after you were progressed with an outstanding resit and you must now retake the unit capped with no charge.

5.4 Codes and explanation when we make an Award

Decision Level Explanation
Awarded UG PG This means that you have successfully met all the requirements of your award and we have approved an award based on the volume and level of the credits you have passed. Many congratulations to you!
Compensate and award UG You have passed at least 90 credits at your current level and have been compensated for up to 30 credits. This means that you have successfully met all the requirements of your award and we have approved an award based on the volume and level of the credits you have passed. Many congratulations to you!
Intermediate Award UG PG This is used if you have withdrawn, did not re-register for your course as required and been withdrawn as a result, or, that you did not make sufficient progress on your course because of failure in your unit (s). In all cases, we have approved an award based on the volume and level of the credits you have passed.
No submission - Intermediate Award UG PG You have been exited due to non-submission with an award applicable for the credits that you have passed. We have approved an award based on the volume and level of the credits you have passed.

5.5 Pending results – when we can’t yet make decision

Decision Level Explanation
Academic Issues Outstanding UG
PG
We are investigating whether you have committed an academic offence in some or all of the assessment you have submitted. We will notify you of the outcome of our investigation.
Results not yet available UG
PG
Your results for the unit (s) are not available yet. Please contact the Student Information Desk
Placement pending completion UG
PG
Please contact your tutor for more information.

5.6 Other Codes - Failure

Decision Level Explanation
Academic Failure UG
PG
You have not made sufficient academic progress on your course and will be withdrawn from your course. The reasons for this will be due to academic failure, or because you did not submit assessment.
Exit from Level 4 with foundation year passed UG You were progressed to Level 4 after passing foundation year but have not made sufficient progress to continue and will be withdrawn from your course.

6.1 After the Scheme Examination Board has approved your award, you will receive notification that you will be sent a transcript and an award letter. These will be sent by post to your home address. The transcript is your formal record of study with us.

Your transcript will include:

  • your name
  • your ƹƵreference number
  • date of birth
  • programme of study
  • awarding institution
  • place of study
  • language
  • course title
  • unit and assessment results in ascending order by academic year
  • total credits passed per year
  • total credits passed overall and your approved award and classification (if applicable)

On the back page(s) of the transcript, there will be detailed explanation covering:

  • explanation of unit results
  • outline of the ƹƵ’s credit system
  • Minimum number of credits required each award
  • Outline of the ƹƵ’s grading system
  • Calculation and enhancements of Postgraduate a
  • Calculation for Integrated Masters
  • Calculation for Undergraduate honours awards
  • GPA equivalence table

6.2 If you have any questions about your final transcript, contact either your course administrators or our Student Information Desk.


If you are unhappy about your results or the outcome of your Examination Board, you have two options available to you. You can make an academic appeal or make a complaint. We have provided some details below so you can decide the most appropriate route, but you should check each webpage for full details before making either an appeal or a complaint. The Students’ Union advice service can also offer support and guidance to you. The Students’ Union can be contacted by emailing help@bedssu.co.uk

7.1 Academic Appeals web page

An academic appeal is a request for review of an Examination Board decision related to assessment results, academic progression and/or award. Where a complaint is specified as having an impact on assessment results, academic progression and/or award, it must be treated as an academic appeal. No mark or grade will be awarded without evidence that a ƹƵhas met the associated learning outcomes. Academic Appeals may not, therefore, result in changes of grade (other than as required to permit a further opportunity) or breaches of ƹƵ academic regulations.

Academic Judgement cannot be challenged by a student. This is defined by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator as ‘a judgment that is made about a matter where the opinion of an academic expert is essential. So for example a judgment about marks awarded, degree classification, research methodology, whether feedback is correct or adequate, and the content or outcomes of a course will normally involve academic judgment’.

7.2 Student Complaints web page

A Complaint is defined as the expression of a specific concern about the provision of an academic or related service by the ƹƵ. Your complaint could be about your teaching and learning experience, for example about the quality of teaching or resources in the Library or about the provision of other services such as ƹƵsupport or course administration.

The webpage provides you more information and details about how to make your complaint.

telephone

ƹƵ switchboard
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1234 400 400

Outside office hours
(Campus Watch)
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89

email

Admissions
admission@beds.ac.uk

International office
international@beds.ac.uk

Student support
sid@beds.ac.uk

Registration
sid@beds.ac.uk

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