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‘No Disadvantage’ Assessment Policy

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Further to the information released on 20 March, which set out the University-wide decision to suspend physical face-to-face teaching and confirmed that there would be no on-campus exams this summer, I am writing to let you know that we will be taking a ‘no disadvantage’ approach for all assessments that replace on-campus exams this summer, noting that we are involved in ongoing discussions with accreditation bodies (where relevant). Your School will be in touch with you shortly if you are a student on one of these programmes.

While you will still need to pass these assessments, any marks achieved will only be used in calculating your overall average if this is to your advantage. We hope this provides you with the reassurance that your achievements will be fully reflected in your final degree classification. Even with this safety net we know that you will want to perform at your very best – and high marks in these assessments can still raise your average for the whole year.

Our Examination Boards this year will also be taking these exceptional circumstances into account. Boards operate a process of ‘mitigation’ every year, allowing for individual situations which might impact students’ performance in assessments. This year, we will be applying mitigation on a far greater scale and we are also working on guidance for you about how this will operate.

We have many, very different programmes of study, so these arrangements will apply differently in the three Faculties, and we will send further details shortly about how these arrangements will apply to you and what to do if you are ill; have specific circumstances which mean you cannot complete an assessment; or if you are experiencing difficulties in engaging with online learning or assessments.

We hope that these decisions mean that you will be able to prepare for any upcoming assessments without worrying that achievements that you have already made will be negatively affected by the difficult conditions under which you are working. Our wellbeing and student experience support services are available for you, wherever you are, and you can find more details on our Student Support website.

We wish you all the best for these upcoming assessments, and hope you remain safe and well.

Kind regards,

Professor April McMahon

Vice President for Teaching, Learning and Students

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