University news

An important update on changes to your assessment and exams

A message from Professor April McMahon, Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students

I am writing to let you know about some changes that we are making to the way we organise our assessment, including exams, in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

All of our decisions are being made in your interest to help you progress in your studies and earn a qualification which you can be proud of, and which will be valued by employers and accrediting bodies.

Your School will be in touch with detailed arrangements shortly but in the meantime I can confirm that alongside the decision to suspend physical face-to-face teaching, there will be no on-campus exams this summer.

We are removing all internal Foundation Year and Year One end of year examinations but will evaluate your progress across the year, and in most instances there will be automatic progression for students into the next year of their programme. There will be no resit exams for these students in August.

There will be an assessment and progression point during or at the end of Semester 1 in the following year of study.

Teaching and learning will continue online now and after Easter – it is important that you keep engaging with this to complete your studies this year and to ensure that you are prepared for study next year. We will also be releasing summer exam papers or other assessments for you to do online as formative assessments, with helpful feedback which will support you as you move into your next year of study.

For all other undergraduate students, Schools will confirm for each programme whether further assessments are required in order for you to progress in your studies. These may include online, open-book assessments or an alternative form of online assessment such as an essay, report or other task.

For postgraduate taught students, programme level intended learning outcomes from the taught component of your course will be reviewed by your School. Where any learning outcomes have not been delivered or assessed, this may be built into a revised dissertation or project plan. Dissertations and projects will be reviewed by Schools so these can be completed, submitted and assessed online.

All students who have a Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) plan will continue to be supported, with appropriate adjustments made where needed. The communication from Schools will include details about disability support recommendations and advice about what to do if you feel you need further support.

The Library has migrated as many of its services as possible to its digital platforms. You will find Library staff online and there to help. We have the largest eBook collections in the UK and have diverted all our print budgets to purchasing digital editions. Visit the Library website for more information.

I recognise that these changes will represent a greater challenge for some students than for others in terms of access to computer equipment, Internet access, or access to quiet study space, for example. We will continue to work with our support services and the Students’ Union to try to address these issues – but we recognise this is not straightforward.

As I hope you appreciate, we are doing everything we can to make sure your teaching and progression to your qualification can continue. We will be providing extensive support to you over the coming days and weeks as we look to change the way you are assessed and taught.

We are also considering the implications of current events for this summer’s graduation ceremonies and we will update all graduating students by the start of April.

I know you will be worried, not only about your studies, but the wider situation. Our support services are available to you and we are continually updating our advice on My Manchester news.

We will keep you informed of any developments.

Kind regards

Professor April McMahon

Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students

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