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Fair Assessment

Marking and moderation

Internal staff work together to ensure that the mark awarded to you is a fair and accurate.
There are two main marking methods: individual marking, and group marking.
The method of marking used for each unit will depend on:
  • the discipline
  • number of students in your cohort
  • nature of the assignment (text, artefacts, performances etc.)
  • whether the unit is a final major project unit (all final major projects are double or group marked).

Find out more about Assessment Regulations (PDF 199.7KB).

Individual marking

Your work will be marked by a qualified academic member of staff from your course. They will act as the first marker.
The first marker will carry out their assessment and award an appropriate mark against the marking criteria for the unit.
The second marker will then moderate students’ work through a process of either sampling or blind double marking.


The second marker:
  • Looks at least at 10% of students work (including examples of high, medium and low grades).
  • Checks the rigour and consistency of the judgments made by the first marker.
  • Samples all fails and all A grades, except on courses where there are more than 60 students, in which case not all A grades must be included.
  • Assess students’ performance against the marking criteria and come to a conclusion about the overall mark.
The first and second markers compares their decisions, resolve and discrepancies and agree on a final mark and feedback.

Blind double marking is carried out on all final major projects.  The 1 and 2 marker assess student work. They complete individual assessment feedback forms and compare their decisions. They resolve any discrepancies and agreeing a final mark.

Group marking is used for practical work: performance exhibitions and shows. It involves 2 or more markers. They assess students’ performance against the marking criteria for the unit and make notes. They come together to discuss their individual judgments and agree a final mark and feedback.

External moderation

External Moderation is a final, external check that the marking is at the right level for the type and level of the course. It is carried out by External Examiners who are subject experts in their relevant field from other Higher Education (HE) institutions, or from industry.

The main purpose of external moderation is to ensure that marking is in line with the rest of the HE sector and that it is fair to all students in a cohort, and over time.

External Examiners will consider a sample of student work, either sent to them in advance or by viewing a sample selection of work on display. The sample is chosen by the Course Leader to reflect a range of achievement from the top, middle and bottom of all the student grades. There is no significance in being chosen for the sample and students whose work is sampled will not have their work remarked.

After discussion with the internal markers about how the grades were decided the External Examiners have the right to moderate the whole cohort of grades if they feel the marking is out of line with national norms. They may do this in a number of ways, including raising or lowering the letter grades of all students in a unit, or only some students (e.g. all 2.2s); or moving a grade boundary (e.g. all students on B be moved to B+).

Find out more about Assessment Regulations (PDF 199.7KB).

Anonymous marking

Anonymous Marking happens when the marker does not know the name of the student whose work they are marking. The University has a policy which encourages the use of anonymous marking in assessments where this is appropriate.

This is used in combination with all other assessment processes as a valuable extra tool in ensuring that your work is marked fairly. Your Assessment Brief will confirm whether your work will be marked anonymously.

f it is not possible for your work to be marked anonymously your course team will explain why. All other processes will remain in place to ensure fairness in assessment.

Assessment feedback

The maximum turnaround time for feedback is 4 weeks. In case of dissertations, feedback will be returned within a maximum of 6 weeks.


  • you have concerns about the way your assessment was conducted
  • you have extenuating circumstances which you were not able to tell the University about at the time.
Appeals must be submitted within 15 working days of the publication of results.
Student’s Union Advice Service is available to provide support if you need it.
If your appeal is successful it may lead to a new Exam Board decision.