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Coronavirus: academic measures to support students this term

Written by Communications Team
Published date 01 May 2020

On Friday 1 May, Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), wrote to students to confirm a range of measures which are designed to ensure students at all levels of study aren’t academically disadvantaged in the results and awards they achieve this term.

Further information about the University's response to the global coronavirus pandemic is available in our FAQs.


No detriment grade

We’ve introduced a 'no detriment grade’ for second and third year undergraduate and postgraduate summer term units which contribute towards award classifications. Progression and Award Boards will be presented with two grades for every student – the marked grade and a ‘no detriment grade’ based upon your prior and predicted performance. We will award the higher of the two marks as long as your submission is of a pass standard.

Read our additional no detriment grade guidance.

What else is changing?

We’ve made other temporary changes to support your learning and assessment for the summer term:

Adjustments to teaching & learning

  • Your units have been modified to enable online delivery during the summer term. The vast majority of you have been successfully engaging with this and we’re listening carefully to feedback course by course to make any necessary changes.
  • Students can apply for financial support for costs linked to studying remotely. More information is available on the University Hardship Fund page.

Adjustments to assessment deadlines and requirements

  • We’ve provided more time for assessment where necessary; you will have been told by your course team if this applies to you.
  • We’ve adjusted the submission requirements where necessary, modifying tasks to enable remote working and acknowledging work completed to date.

Adjustments to how we’ll assess your work, determine marks and award classifications

  • We’ve relaxed the requirements for evidence for Extenuating Circumstances claims relating to coronavirus and will allow claims relating to IT issues.
  • All first year undergraduate units in summer term will be assessed as Pass/ Fail only to simplify assessment and focus on learning. You will be given feedback to support your next stage of study.
  • Where there is no possibility of completing all work for assessment as a consequence of coronavirus, boards will be able to take account of your extenuating circumstances and may be able to award credit on incomplete units.
  • We’re removing the mark cap for any students resubmitting units in September.

What you need to do?

  • These adjustments should ensure that if you engage as fully as you can with summer term online teaching, learning and assessment you will be supported to achieve the marks and awards you deserve and would have been expected under normal circumstances.
  • It’s critical to engage fully with assessment and submit what you can for every unit. You should also tell us about any specific personal circumstances which are hindering your ability to engage with teaching, learning and assessment at the earliest possible moment. It won’t be possible to use any of these adjustments after you have completed the unit.
  • You only need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances Claim outlining how coronavirus has impacted you when it is not possible for you to complete the full assessment requirements for a unit. You should still submit whatever work you can.