Changes to Regulations made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic Changes to Regulations made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Changes to Regulations made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

There are changes to:

  1. Regulations for Bachelors, Integrated Masters and Certificate Awards (BIM awards)
  2. Common Masters Framework
  3. Submission of Work for Assessment (Taught Programmes)
  4. Plagiarism and Collusion Policy
  5. University Disciplinary Procedures

1. Regulations for Bachelors, Integrated Masters and Certificate Awards (BIM awards)

1.1.1. The University is using two sets of regulations for UG students:

a) One set applies to students who commenced their studies in 2018/19 or earlier and who were continuing their studies in 2019/20 or who commenced their studies at Stage 2 or above in 2019/20 (known as the 2018/19 BIM regulations)
b) A second set applies to students who commenced their courses at Stage 0 and Stage 1 in the academic year 2019/2020, onwards (known as the 2019/20 BIM regulations).

The changes apply to both sets of regulations.

Summary of the changes to the Bachelor’s and Integrated Masters (BIM) degree regulations:

a) increase in compensation allowable for year 1 and year 0
b) increase in compensation allowable for other years
c) to give Boards of Examiners more discretion around borderlines
d) the potential substitution of year marks in calculation of final degree mark (the safety net)
e) the removal or changes to progression thresholds on particular courses
f) that compensation is exercised.

Detail of the changes can be found here

1.2. Common Masters Framework
There is one significant change to the Common Masters Framework regulations and that is to give Boards of Examiners more discretion around borderlines.

Detail can be found here.

1.3. Submission of Work for Assessment (Taught Programmes)
There is also a change to the Submission of Work for Assessment (Taught Programmes). This document published as part of the UEA Academic Calendar contains a section on Word Limits which references coursework, written assignment, projects, reports and dissertations. This policy has been extended to include other forms of assessment such as examinations. 

1.4. Plagiarism and Collusion Policy 
In response to student concerns about academic integrity arising from the COVID-19 situation, the investigative process has been rewritten to improve efficiency and now explicitly includes provision for the marker to establish the students understanding of the academic subject matter during the investigative meeting. 

1.5. University Disciplinary and Investigatory Procedures
A temporary amendment to the University Disciplinary and Investigatory Procedures has been approved which permits high level plagiarism and collusion cases (suspected breach of Regulation 18) to be considered for summary determination from the Chair of the Senate Student Disciplinary Committee (SSDC) with the safeguards that:

a) this will only be considered where penalties will not result in the student having to leave the University; and.
b) students can request a full panel hearing should they not wish for their case to be summarily determined.

That the change is an extension from the current procedures and powers where summary determination applies only to medium and low level cases. It should improve the experience for students, by removing the need for a full online panel hearing unless this is absolutely necessary, as hearings can be stressful and cause delays for students progressing with their studies. This change was approved for implementation in 2019/20 and 2020/21 and this practice will be reviewed during 2020/21.

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Amendments made to the Regulations for Bachelors, Integrated Masters and Certificate Awards

1. Regulation 12: Stage assessment board for non-final year students

1.1.1. Regulation 12.4 (Compensation) details the criteria to be used by Boards of Examiners when a student has not achieved a passing mark in all modules. It says that a non-final year student is eligible for compensation where all of the following are met:

i. The student has an overall stage aggregate equal to or above the pass mark for the stage;
ii. The student has failed only one module, of no more than 20 credits;
iii. The failed module is not designated as Core.

It also says “Any such student will be referred to reassessment in the eligible module but may opt to take the compensation”.

The changes made:

a) introduce a difference in eligibility for compensation between student studying in Year 0 or Year 1 and those in other years of study
b) increase the compensation allowable for all students as defined below
c) change the practice whereby students opt to take compensation. Reassessment will only be offered if the year of study counts towards the final award mark: students eligible for compensation will receive the compensation but can opt for reassessment.

The amended regulation for use in 2019/20 only is as follows:

12.4    Compensation

12.4.1       A Year 0 or Year 1 student is eligible for compensation in failed modules where all of the following are met:

i. The student has passing marks in modules of at least 60 credits
ii. The failed module(s) are not designated as Core.

Any such student will be given compensation in eligible modules and will not have the option of reassessment.

12.4.2       All other non-final year students are eligible for compensation where all of the following are met:

i. The student has an overall stage aggregate equal to or above the pass mark for the stage;
ii. The student has passing marks in modules of at least 80 credits;
iii. The failed module(s) are not designated as Core.

Any such student will be given compensation in eligible modules but may opt to take reassessment.

1.1.2. Regulation 12.7 (Stage Assessment for Integrated Masters Courses) details the requirements for students to progress on these courses from Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3.  It is proposed that on courses where the progression requirement is a year mark of at least 60% this be revised for 2019/20 to be 40%. 

The amended regulation for use in 2019/20 only is as follows:

12.7.1  The Board of Examiners shall confirm that a student has satisfactorily completed the Stage where the student has passed all modules or has been awarded compensation in accordance with Regulation 12.4 and achieved the following Stage aggregate mark in the Stage in question, noting Regulation 6.7 regarding rounding of marks:

Integrated Masters Course Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3

Master of Chemistry
Master of Computing Science
Master of Engineering
Master of Mathematics
Master of Natural Sciences
Master of Physics
Master of Sciences

40% 40% 40%
Master of Pharmacy 40% 40% 40%

 

1.1.3. Regulation 12.8 (Stage Assessment for Stages 1 and 2 for Bachelors Courses with a Year or Semester Abroad, on Placement1 or with a Year in Industry details the criteria to be used and some threshold marks to be archived by students to progress on these courses.  It is proposed that these thresholds are removed in 2019/20.

The amended regulation for use in 2019/20 only is as follows:

12.8     Stage Assessment for Stages 1 and 2 for Bachelors Courses with a Year or Semester Abroad, on Placement1 or with a Year in Industry

12.8.1       The Board of Examiners shall confirm that a student has satisfactorily completed the Stage where the student has passed all modules and achieved a passing mark, or requirement of the placement provider, for the Stage in question.

12.8.2       The progression requirement in Stage 1 for students on a Bachelors course with a Year Abroad shall be either at the first attempt or after reassessment.

12.8.3       The progression requirement in Stage 2 for students on a Bachelors course with a Year Abroad shall be at the first attempt. Students who are referred to reassessment shall not be permitted to undertake a year abroad. Students who are eligible for compensation and meet the progression requirement at the first attempt with the compensated mark may proceed to the year abroad.

12.8.4       The progression requirement in Stage 1 for students intending to take a Semester Abroad in Stage 2 shall be obtained at the first attempt. Students referred to reassessment shall not be permitted to undertake a Semester Abroad. Students who are eligible for compensation and meet the progression requirement at the first attempt with the compensated mark may undertake the Semester Abroad.

12.8.5       Where a student has not completed the Stage satisfactorily as specified above, the Board shall:

(a)   firstly consider the recommendations of the Extenuating Circumstances Panel in deciding whether a student may remain on the course;
(b)   where there are no factors to be taken into consideration determine whether the student can be offered the opportunity to transfer to an alternative Bachelors degree course for which the requirements have been met;
(c)   where a student has failed a module, offer the student the option of reassessment in any failed module in accordance with Regulation 12.5.

12.8.6       The Board of Examiners may not offer the option of reassessment where a student has passed a module but has not met the higher progression threshold to continue on a Bachelors degree programme with a Year Abroad, on placement or in Industry, or the option of a Semester Abroad.

12.8.7       This Regulation, requiring a higher threshold for progression, does not apply to four year language and translation studies courses with an integral year abroad, including the BA International Relations with a Modern Language.

1.2 Regulation 14: Stage Reassessment Board

The regulations around provisional progression need updating to reflect the new compensation requirements.

14.4      Consideration of extenuating circumstances at the Reassessment Board

14.4.1 Where a student has been granted a Delayed Assessment, in accordance with the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations, the Board of Examiners shall:

(a)        for a student in Stages 0, 1 or 2 who has met the required conditions, confirm provisional progression, pending passing the outstanding Delayed Assessment(s) or reassessment(s) in no more than two modules with a credit rating of no more than 40 credits in total, by the October deadline published by the Learning and Teaching Service;
(b)        for any other student, require the student to interrupt their studies and return to undergo the Delayed Assessment at the next available opportunity.

1.3  Regulation 15.1: Final Stage Assessment Board

The rules around compensation for finalists are detailed in BIM regulation 15.1 which reads as follows:

15.1 The Board of Examiners shall confirm that a student has satisfactorily completed the Final Stage where the student has achieved the following:

(a)     at least the pass mark for numerically-marked modules including individual components of modules and/or individual sections within examinations where required and stipulated by a PSRB.;
(b)     a Pass, Merit or Distinction where appropriate and available, in modules  assessed as Pass/Fail;
(c)     any additional requirement/s for the Stage as specified by a PSRB..
(d)     eligibility for compensation in one failed module, where all of the following are met:

i. The student has an overall stage aggregate equal to or above the pass mark for the stage;
ii. The student has failed only one module, of no more than 30 credits;
iii. The failed module is not designated as Core.

15.1.1     Final-year students who are eligible for compensation will be awarded a compensated pass in the failed module and their award classification will be based on the marks obtained; they may opt to take reassessment instead of the compensation by applying to the Learning and Teaching Service by the published deadline.  Such students will be permitted to attend Graduation and have their degree conferred but will receive their degree parchment at the conclusion of their reassessment.

15.1.2     Final-year students who are eligible for compensation in a  module for which they have obtained a Delayed Assessment or who have an outstanding approved extension, will be considered as having completed their degree and will be awarded the compensation for that module. They can opt to take the Delayed Assessment at Reassessment rather than taking the compensation by applying to the Learning and Teaching Service by the published deadline.

The amended regulation for finalists in 2019/20 only is as follows:

15.1 Final Stage Assessment Board

The Board of Examiners shall confirm that a student has satisfactorily completed the Final Stage where the student has achieved the following:

(a)     at least the pass mark for numerically-marked modules including individual components of modules and/or individual sections within examinations where required and stipulated by a PSRB.;
(b)     a Pass, Merit or Distinction where appropriate and available, in modules  assessed as Pass/Fail;
(c)     any additional requirement/s for the Stage as specified by a PSRB..
(d)     eligibility for compensation in failed module(s), where all of the following are met:

i. The student has an overall stage aggregate equal to or above the pass mark for the stage;
ii. The student has failed no more than 40 credits;
iii. The failed module(s) are not designated as Core.

15.1.1     Final-year students who are eligible for compensation will be awarded a compensated pass in the failed module(s) and their award classification will be based on the marks obtained; they may opt to take reassessment instead of the compensation by applying to the Learning and Teaching Service by the published deadline. Such students will be permitted to attend Graduation and have their degree conferred but will receive their degree parchment at the conclusion of their reassessment.

15.1.2     Final-year students who are eligible for compensation in a module for which they have obtained a Delayed Assessment or who have an outstanding approved extension, will be considered as having completed their degree and will be awarded the compensation for the module(s). They can opt to take the Delayed Assessment at Reassessment rather than taking the compensation by applying to the Learning and Teaching Service by the published deadline.

1.4. Amendments to Regulation 15.3 Degree classification

1.4.1. Regulation 15.3 sets out how degrees should be classified using Stage aggregate marks for each year contributing to the final award mark and taking credit weightings into account and gives the percentage weighting each contributing year should make to the final award mark. It also sets out what information should be made available to the Board of examiners and how marks around degree classification boundaries should be considered.

There are three areas of change:

a) Boards of Examiners will consider the performance in each item of assessment for all finalists so that particular consideration can be given to a student’s performance in assessment completed prior to 15th March 2020.
b) A safety net is introduced to ensure that a student’s final year performance in 2019/20 cannot reduce their final award mark below that of their performance in the preceding contributing year.  
c) A further safety net is introduced for students for whom 2019/20 is a contributing year to their final award

1.4.2. Regulation 15.3.1 (c) is amended to include the following steps in calculating the final award mark

For final year students on standard undergraduate courses in 2019/20 the final award mark would be calculated as follows:

Final award mark (%) =  (A x B) + (C x D)*

where

            A = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 2

B = Stage weighting applied to Stage 2

C = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 3

D = Stage weighting for Stage 3

*If A > C then substitute A in place of C in the calculation

For final year students on Integrated masters courses in 2019/20 the final award mark would be calculated as follows:

Final award mark (%) =  (A x B) + (C x D) + (E x F)*

where

A = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 2

B = Stage weighting applied to Stage 2

C = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 3

D = Stage weighting for Stage 3

E = credit weighted aggregate mark for stage 4

F = Stage weighting for Stage 4

*If C > E then substitute C in place of E in the calculation

For undergraduate students for whom 2019/20 is a year of study which contributes towards their final award mark:

 

Final award mark (%) =  (A x B) + (C x D)*

where

A = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 2

B = Stage weighting applied to Stage 2

C = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 3

D = Stage weighting for Stage 3

*If C > A then substitute C in place of A in the calculation

For students on Integrated masters courses for whom 2019/20 is a year of study which contributes towards their final award mark the calculation would be:

 

Final award mark (%) =  (A x B) + (C x D) + (E x F)*

where

A = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 2

B = Stage weighting applied to Stage 2

C = credit weighted aggregate mark for Stage 3

D = Stage weighting for Stage 3

E = credit weighted aggregate mark for stage 4

F = Stage weighting for Stage 4

*If Stage 2 was 2019/20 and if C > A then use C in place of A in the calculation

*If Stage 3 was 2019/20 and if E > C then use E in place of C in the calculation

1.4.3 Regulation 15.3.4 is amended to include a reference to the performance of students in assessment completed prior to  15th March 2020.  With undergraduate courses assessed over two, or three counting years, giving Boards of Examiners additional discretion within the 2% zone of consideration is considered necessary and appropriate. 

15.3.4 With respect to Final Classification, the Board of Examiners shall consider the recommendations of the Extenuating Circumstances Panel and shall have additional discretion to consider students outside the 2% borderlines and giving particular attention to the performance of students prior to 15th March 2020.

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2. Amendments to the Common Masters Framework regulations

Regulation 17 details the consideration to be given when making recommendations of masters awards with merit and distinction.  As most taught postgraduate course are studied over one year (180 credits) the impact of the disruption will be significant.  It is proposed that the following wording be added to Regulation 17.4.2 and 17.4.3:

When considering the performance of students studying in 2019/20 Boards of Examiners shall have additional discretion to consider students outside of the 2% borderlines and pay particular attention to the performance of students prior to 15th March 2020.