Alternative academic regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

Summary of key messages

  • If you could not submit a piece of coursework or take an online assessment, or if you fail an assessment as a result of issues experienced during these difficult times, you do not need to submit a personal circumstances application – exam boards will take appropriate action where needed.
  • If you require a resit and your first sit took place on or after 1 August 2019, your resit and any subsequent retakes will now be automatically uncapped, provided you are not already capped.
  • If you pass an assessment, but wish to have the mark removed, you should use the exceptional removal of a mark process.
  • You can continue to apply individually for a five working day extension.
  • During the period where our force majeure alternative regulations are in place, there is no 24-hour window in operation.
  • University exam boards will be giving careful consideration to individual student records taking into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • You will not be penalised if marks for assessments you submitted on or after Wednesday 18 March 2020 are not as you had hoped. Individual marks will not be adjusted, but if your module outcomes contribute towards your final award (for example, if you are on level 2 or level 3) we will compare your average mark for the level prior to the 18 March 2020, with your average after the 18 March 2020When we come to calculate your final award, we will use the highest of these two averages in the calculation.
  • If you are not graduating this year, but will be returning to UWE Bristol for the 2020/2021 academic year, University exam boards will continue to take into account the impact of the pandemic on modules taught and assessed on or after Wednesday 18 March 2020.
  • If your first sit at a module took place on or after 1 August 2019, your resit and any subsequent retakes will now be automatically uncapped (provided you were not already capped).
  • You will no longer need to provide evidence to accompany an exceptional removal of a mark application.

Pre-pandemic calculator

This calculator (Excel) can be used to calculate the pre-pandemic weighted average for your assessments which had deadlines prior to the 18 March 2020.

If your module outcomes contribute towards your final award (for example, if you are on level 2 or level 3) this weighted average will be compared with the one which will be calculated by the normal methods when your student profile is considered by the 2019/2020 exam boards. The no detriment approach will mean that your weighted average mark cannot go down from the pre-pandemic outcome, but it could go up, if the average calculated by the normal method is better.

Using the calculator

Please read the guidance page on the first tab of the calculator.

You will need to include component weightings and in some cases assessment weightings too depending on how your modules are structured. You will find the weightings in your module handbook or module specification. If you are not sure of where to find them please ask your Module Leader.

If you are still waiting for marks which were for assessments with a deadline prior to the 18 March you should add those in when you receive them.

Any outcome that you calculate is based solely on your selection of marks, and the University will not be bound by any calculation that you create.

No-detriment approach

The University will be taking a 'no-detriment' approach to the 2019/2020 academic year. In practice, this means that if your module outcomes contribute towards your final award (for example, if you are on level 2 or level 3) any assessments you have submitted on or after Wednesday 18 March 2020 can lift your average for the year, but you won't get penalised if they take your average down. We will ensure that your year average mark does not suffer, so it cannot go down but it can go up.

In order to protect the value of your qualification, the exam boards will judge the circumstances in which credit and qualifications may be awarded. Even where we have had to change methods of assessment, we will work to maintain our academic standards and the value of your award. We will do this by ensuring there is sufficient evidence to determine that outcomes at the appropriate level have been achieved. Please be assured that your individual profile will be fully scrutinised at the exam boards.

‘No detriment’ means that if your module outcomes contribute towards your final award, the exam boards will ensure that the mark which will be recorded for the level of study you are enrolled on in 2019/2020 is the highest of either:

Honours degree students

  • your weighted average mark for all your assessments at that level as recorded on Wednesday 18 March 2020 or
  • your weighted average mark for the best 100 credits worth of confirmed module marks at that level at the time your student profile is considered by the 2019/2020 exam boards.

 Your best credits are determined by putting your marks in order, starting with the highest, then descending to the lowest. So, if you are registered on 120 credits, the best 100 credits used in the calculation are those associated with the highest marks.

Master's degree students

  • your weighted average mark for all your assessments at that level as recorded on Wednesday 18 March 2020 or
  • your weighted average mark for the best 120 credits worth of confirmed module marks at that level at the time your student profile is considered by the 2019/2020 exam boards.

Your best credits are determined by putting your marks in order, starting with the highest, then descending to the lowest. So, if you are registered on 180 credits, the best 120 credits used in the calculation are those associated with the highest marks. 

Below, you will find some examples of the no-detriment approach to help you understand how it works in practice.

Examples of the 'no-detriment' approach

Example 1: Level 3 student

Weighted average of all assessments in 2019/20 submitted up to and including 18 March

Best 100 credits worth of your final module marks at Level 3 at the time of the 2019/2020 exam board

Final level 3 mark (used in the degree calculation)

65%

63%

65%

61%

63%

63%

Example 2: Master's student

Weighted average of all assessments in 2019/20 submitted up to and including 18 March

Best 120 credits worth of your final module marks at level M at the time of the 2019/2020 exam board

Final level M mark

62%

58%

62% (Merit)

59%

65%

65% (Merit)

It remains the case that exam boards have the right to award one class higher than that which is calculated by the student record system when considering individual student results. The board uses specific criteria to do this: Criteria for raising the classification / differential level of an award

If you are a final year honours degree student you can use the degree classification calculator to calculate an estimate of your final outcome.

Example 3: Level 2 student

Weighted average of all assessments in 2019/20 submitted up to and including 18 March

Best 100 credits worth of your final module marks at level 2 at the time of the 2019/2020 exam board

Final level 2 mark (will be used in the degree calculation when you complete)

55%

60%

60%

55%

49%

55%

The same principle will apply to students who do not have 100 credits worth of marks. For example: a student is enrolled on four 30 credit modules, but one of them has a pass/fail outcome leaving 90 credits worth of marks to be included in the calculation.

What you can do

  • Continue to work on and submit your assessments to the very best of your ability. You should still be aiming to pass your modules in order to achieve the credit you need for your award.
  • Please continue to check Blackboard, your student email account and the coronavirus guidance for students pages to stay up-to-date with the specific assessment requirements for your course.
  • Contact us (see final section) for specific advice about any difficulties or concerns you have, so that we can advise on the best course of action.

What we are doing

We appreciate that it is a challenging time for you and you may feel anxious regarding your results. We understand how important it is to know what the University is doing so you can fully understand your situation and plan accordingly. So, as well as telling you about the ‘no-detriment’ approach, this summary outlines the changes we have made to the academic regulations. Please note that all of these remain subject to any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements.

If you cannot submit your work on time

Five working day extensions

If you wish to apply individually for a five working day extension for an assessment with a deadline on or after Thursday 23 April, you can use the normal process. You will not need to provide evidence and you can apply as soon as you are aware there may be a problem. Please bear with us as we have a large number of requests, so you may not hear from us until close to your original deadline.

In some circumstances where assessments require access to specialist software or equipment a further extension may already have been given. Those students affected would have been notified directly by their faculty.

We know that due to the unusual circumstances it may be harder for you to study. If this is the case and it is affecting your ability to meet your deadlines, please contact us as soon as you can.

24-hour window

We have suspended the 24-hour window during this period because submission using this option means you receive a marks penalty for your work which could impact on your module mark. Instead, you have the option either to apply for a five working day extension, or resit your assessments uncapped (if you are not already capped). Please keep checking our coronavirus guidance for students page for information about resit dates.

If you submit your work and achieve a pass mark but would like the mark removed so that you can resit it

Whilst the University does not require you to use any of the personal circumstances processes to receive an uncapped resit (if you are not already capped), excused credit, or a further attempt, we cannot remove a mark from your record unless you request it. So, if you achieve a pass mark but think you can do better because there were personal circumstances affecting you at the time of the assessment you can apply to get the mark removed.

You can use the normal exceptional removal of a mark process. If your mark is removed and you are not already capped for the module, your resit will be uncapped. Under the alternative academic regulations you will not need to provide evidence, but you will still need to submit the application form.

If you need to resit this year, or you are not completing your award this year, will these measures still apply?

As things develop we will review the regulations again ready for the resit period and subsequent exam boards.

We will also ensure that, where appropriate, these measures are applied to students whose results will contribute to their final outcome at future exam boards. For example; level 2 students, students who need resits and students who are enrolled on master's awards where projects/dissertations are running during the period of the alternative regulations, but are not due to be submitted until the autumn of 2020.

If you are due to complete your award in 2019/2020

During the period of operation of the force majeure regulations, your award outcome will be calculated as per the normal calculation methods using your available and eligible marks.

However, the exam boards will be able to take some exceptional actions in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students.

If you do not pass your first sit

If you need a resit and your module or component mark is not already capped, your resit will be automatically uncapped. You do not need to take any action in order to be uncapped.

You will be advised of the work you need to resit after your results are published.

If you do not pass your resit

If you are currently resitting a module and were capped before 1 August 2019, you will remain capped.

If you are currently resitting a module and were not capped before 1 August 2019, you will be uncapped for your retake (should you need it).

If you have marks missing because you could not be assessed for your whole module

If the University did not run all the assessments for a module, the exam boards will be able to take the following action/s:

  • calculate your module mark/s based upon mark/s already achieved
  • base a component mark on the work which has been assessed
  • base a module mark on a component mark
  • if there is more than one mark to select from, it will be the highest mark which is applied to work or components which have not been assessed
  • if the missing mark is part of a large credit-rated module (e.g. a project or dissertation 45 credits or greater) the board’s decision may be based on evidence from any contributing elements that may be available and previously marked.

If you missed an assessment or if you did not pass it and are eligible for another sit:

  • you can resit the failed component/s for an uncapped mark if you are not already capped
  • if you have failed the module, an exam board may give you a further attempt (comprising of two further sits).

If you marginally fail a module - condoned credit

The 2019/2020 exam boards can condone credit if you attempt a module but marginally fail it.

This will normally happen when:

  • the overall module mark is 37% or above at levels 0 – 3/FHEQ levels 3-6; or 47% or above at M level/FHEQ level 7
  • you have passed a minimum of 90 credits at the same level or above
  • the programme-level learning outcomes have been met
  • the professional body allows it.

As a response to the coronavirus pandemic the exam board may in exceptional circumstances consider modules for condonation with a lower overall module mark. Please note: the module mark is not included in the calculation of your final result.

If you fail a module - excusing credit

If you are due to be considered for your final award, but fail a module or modules, an exam board has the ability to offer you excused credit if you have already passed 80% of the credit needed for your award. This means you will not need to pass the module/s to gain your award. Normally, you would need to apply using one of our personal circumstances processes to be considered for this, but under these regulations this will not be necessary. Please note: the module mark will not be included in the calculation of your final result.

Removal of capping from the academic regulations

When you enrol on a module, you enrol on a first sit and a resit. Prior to the implementation of the alternative academic regulations, if you did not pass the module after your first sit, your mark would have been capped at 40% for levels 0-3 or 50% for level M. Under the alternative regulations if your first sit took place on or after 1 August 2019, your resit and any subsequent retakes will now be automatically uncapped. This includes the first sit of any retake module where you have not already been capped (for example, if you previously had personal circumstances accepted).

However, if you were already capped for the module prior to 1 August 2019, you will remain capped.

As a result of these changes, capping will be removed from all future versions of the Academic Regulations. This means all of your future sits and retakes will be uncapped (unless capping has already been applied).

Please note that the changes to capping do not apply to Taylors College or City School of Architecture students.

Results publication

Normally, results are published no later than five working days after their approval by the Award Board. However, due to these additional measures this may not always be possible. We will endeavour to publish the results as scheduled but where this is not possible the date of publication will be subject to the agreement of Director of Student and Academic Services, in consultation with the Chair of the board and you will be advised accordingly.

Please keep referring to our publication of results web pages for further information.

Further advice and guidance

Information Points / Student Support Advisers

Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 85678

Email: infopoint@uwe.ac.uk

Academic Survival Guide – here you can find guidance on the standard regulations

Results publication

Normally, results are published no later than five working days after their approval by the Award Board. However, due to these additional measures this may not always be possible. We will endeavour to publish the results as scheduled but where this is not possible the date of publication will be subject to the agreement of Director of Student and Academic Services, in consultation with the Chair of the board and you will be advised accordingly. 

Please keep referring to our publication of results web pages for further information.

Further advice and guidance

Information Points / Student Support Advisers

Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 85678

Email: infopoint@uwe.ac.uk 

Academic Survival Guide – here you can find guidance on the standard regulations.