COVID-19: Safety net for overall marks introduced

The University has introduced a ‘safety net’ approach to determining students’ overall marks for the 2019/20 academic year.

The new approach aims to ensure that the year average for 19/20 for each student will not be negatively impacted by the difficulties arising from transitioning to online learning and assessment or industrial action.

Providing students attain a minimum pass mark overall for the year (calculated from all completed assessments in 2019/20 and including any which still need to be completed) then the University will calculate two overall marks for each student as follows:

  1. Your overall average for all your assessments in 2019/20, and
  2. Your overall average for assessments Examination Boards designated as unaffected by the move to online teaching or industrial action

The higher of these two averages will be used for progression and degree classification purposes. We believe that this is a fair way forward and means you will not be unduly disadvantaged by the present situation.

Pro Vice Chancellor for Education, Professor Gavin Brown commented: “As you will appreciate, there is now much work to be done to operationalise this new policy. A team of colleagues is working hard to develop guidance for you, Schools, Departments and Boards of Examiners. We hope this will be complete in the next two weeks. In the meantime, please could I ask for your patience.”

Departments are working extremely hard at present on the immediate need to support students’ learning and organise remaining assessments.

Students are being asked to make sure staff are given time to do this with minimal disruption. The best way to do this is to focus on your studies while the guidance is developed which will answer any questions you may have.

Gavin Brown added: “I hope you will agree that we are all doing our best to take good decisions in challenging circumstances and communicate with you regularly. We will continue to work hard to support you at this difficult time.”