Postgraduate Taught Student Assessment Information Postgraduate Taught Student Assessment Information

Important Information relating to Postgraduate Student (MA, MSc, etc) Assessment 

Updated 14.05.2020

We appreciate that the current environment makes this a very difficult time to be a PGT student. One aspect of PGT study is the variety of course structures and assessments; assessment measures and regulation changes are in place to help you, but they have to work for your exact course and this means it is not possible to implement a universal policy in the same way as for undergraduate courses.

This information applies to the majority of PGT courses; where this information does not apply your School will notify you and you will be given guidance. Please read the full information for the detail you need but the summary box highlights the key information published.

Summary of key information

  • Automatic extensions available for coursework if needed
  • Only use automatic extensions if you really need to
  • Coursework must only be submitted once (i.e., you cannot submit a piece of work in phase 1 then submit it again in phase 2)
  • Extenuating Circumstances still considered beyond the automatic extensions
  • Automatic extensions available for dissertations/research projects
  • Examinations available for 24-hour period
  • Automatic delayed first sit available for examinations


Please raise any questions you have with your LTS Hub team in the first instance.

You can find your Hub at: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/learning-and-teaching/hubs

Coursework Management

Submission Periods

  • The date published, and visible in Evision, is the original submission date and you are encouraged to work to that deadline. You also have an automatic 10 working day extension, you do not need to request this or provide supporting evidence. Coursework submitted within this period will be referred to as ‘phase 1 submissions’.
  • If you choose not to submit by this extended date you can have a delayed first submission, you should submit this by the absolute deadline of 3 August unless notified differently by your School – these extended submissions are referred to as ‘phase 2 submissions’. No evidence or request is needed for this provision.
  • If you are unable to meet the Phase 2 submission deadline then you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances (EC) request, ideally ahead of the deadline, to request a further delay of submission. Please provide evidence if you already have it, if not we understand that it may be not always be possible at this time and we will consider your request with this in mind.
  • Please be aware that if you delay your submission to Phase 2, or further delay with an EC request, this could lead to an interruption to studies, possibly an extension to the period of registration and/or a delay in an award being conferred. Please discuss this with your Adviser; you should you can also seek advice from your LTS Hub.
  • If you fail to submit by the absolute deadline without notification or submission of an extension request it will be considered as a non-submission fail and the classification for your degree will be managed through compensation or reassessment measures as appropriate.

  • A late submission penalty will not be applied to work submitted prior to the absolute deadline. If your work is received after this deadline without an approved extension, the appropriate late submission penalty will apply.

  • It is noted that in some identified circumstances arrangements for delayed assessment will have taken place at cohort level where it has not been appropriate to replicate assessment through an online methodology and/or due to regulatory body requirements.

  • Depending on when your work is submitted, it will be considered at either Interim Boards in the summer or Final Boards in the autumn. However, if you have an approved extension that means your work falls outside the timeframe for these Boards your work will be considered by a Board at the next available opportunity.

 

For example:

Rachel has been working on an assignment and was aiming for the published deadline but has found it really difficult to find a quiet space at home to get the work finished. She only needs a couple of extra days.

No problem, as long as Rachel submits within 10 days of the published deadline her work will be marked within the usual marking period and no penalty applied.

 

Luca has caring responsibilities at home so is not able to complete his coursework on time. An extra two weeks is not likely to be sufficient without compromising the quality of his work so he needs more than the 10 day extension.

No problem, Luca can continue working on the same assignment and submit his work up to 03 August without the need to make any request for an extension. His work will be marked within the second marking period and no penalty will be applied.

 

Keira was working to the standard submission date of 4 May 2020. She needs to make use of the 10 working day extension but doesn’t know whether the 10 days includes the submission date or not.

The extension is added on to the standard submission date so the new deadline will be 4 May 2020 + 10 working days (19 May 2020 as this time period includes a Bank Holiday non-working day).

 

Marking

Unless notified otherwise by your School:

  • If you submit your work within Phase 1 it will be marked in the first marking period by 26 June 2020 at the latest.
  • If you submit your work within Phase 2 it will be marked in the second marking period by 4 September 2020 at the latest.

Dissertations/ final project submissions

  • The original date is the first deadline you were given and is visible in Evision; you are encouraged to work to that deadline where possible. You also have access to a 10 working day extension, for which no evidence or request is needed. 
  • If your circumstances mean you cannot meet the deadline including the extra 10 working days then you must talk to your supervisor, and you can agree a revised submission date directly with them.  It is important that your supervisor notifies your LTS Hub of this revised submission date so that your work can be considered by the next available Board. Please also be aware that a revised submission date could lead to a delay in an award being conferred.
  • If you are making use of extension arrangements please consider the impact of this on your dissertation/research project and discuss it with your supervisor; you may have to agree to some variation to scope and/or methodology in light of the current circumstances.

For example:

John is a finalist and he has been facing personal challenges and has a number of items still to complete. He has planned his work load and is confident the majority of items will be ready to submit within the 10 working day extension, but his dissertation project has fallen behind and he is worried there is still too much work to do.

No problem, John should contact his adviser and discuss a revised submission point which is realistic for him. In doing this his supervisor should consider with John what this might mean for his likely completion date so he is able to make an informed choice when setting the date agreed upon.

 

Examination/ Open Book Assessments

Submission Periods

  • You will be scheduled to take examinations/open book assessments within a 24-hour period and wherever possible the date will be the same as your previously scheduled examination.
  • If you believe yourself to be ‘unfit’ to sit on the day of your examination then you should not attempt to take it and will be eligible for a delayed first attempt within the later assessment/ reassessment period. You do not need to request this or submit evidence.
  • If you have a delayed first attempt or reassessment then this will be with a revised assessment task.
  • If you do sit your assessment but then feel afterwards that you were ‘unfit’ to sit then you can submit a retrospective EC request to sit it again in the later assessment/ reassessment period. These requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. You should submit evidence to support this if you have it, but it is accepted that this may not be possible.
  • Where a word count limit is stated a breach of greater than 10% at question level will lead to a fixed 10-point penalty at the assessment level. This will be applied no matter how many breaches you have made within the assessment.
  • If you upload more than one document within the 24-hour assessment period then the latest submission will be marked.

For example:

Louis has just completed his 2 hour open-book exam and uploaded his answer document. He is worried that he may not have correctly saved his final question answer and might therefore have uploaded the wrong version for marking.

No problem, Louis can resubmit the correct version without penalty, providing this is within the scheduled 24 hour period for assessment.

 

Nina is sitting her main series 2 hour ‘exam’ today and has planned to do this in the morning whilst her partner is available to look after their daughter. She’s worried that she may be interrupted though and her broadband has been really slow recently.

No problem, open- book exams are available for 24 hours so Nina can submit her work at any point within that timeframe. She should work offline in producing her answer document and can then just go online to upload once it’s completed. Sometimes plans are interrupted so whilst it would be ideal to ‘sit’ her exam in her chosen 2 hour slot she can take  breaks or complete her work in a more flexible way as is most helpful within the 24 hour period. If something happens that means she is unable to sit her assessment today then she can choose not submit at all and will be automatically scheduled to have a delayed first sit in the later exam series.

 

Marking

  • The marking deadline for the main exam series is 26 June 2020 at the latest and for the delayed assessment/reassessment period it is 4 September 2020 at the latest.

Reassessment

  • You will be reassessed in coursework only IF necessary (see ‘Compensation’ below) further to a failed first submission or following non-submission without authorisation (i.e. without an agreed extension).
  • Unless you are informed otherwise, this may be after the Board has met, reassessment will take place between 17-28 August 2020.
  • Unless you are informed otherwise, this may be after the Board has met, coursework reassessment tasks will be released on 24 July.
  • Board dates will be published on the Portal.

Compensation

  • Please look at the questions and answers section below on the safety-net that is available to you as a PGT student.

Returning from Interruption to complete outstanding assessments

  • If you are an interrupted student due to return to undertake a delayed assessment or reassessment you will be subject to the arrangements available to current students.  This includes the undertaking of modified activity; availability of delayed submission; or waiving of assessment items (as long as this does not take you above the allowable maximum amount of compensation and it is in your best interests).

Questions and Answers

Q. What if my course is regulated by a PSRB? What is a PSRB? How do I know if my course is regulated by a PSRB?

A. Your School will provide separate guidance that outlines the assessment contingency measures they have been put in place to support you through this period.  If you have any questions about this please contact your Course Director or Personal Adviser in the first instance.

A PSRB is a Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body, if you are unsure whether your course is regulated then please ask your LTS Hub team.

Q. I submitted my work in Phase 1 - can I have an extension to the absolute deadline provided by my School?

No. You only have one opportunity to submit at first attempt so if you have already submitted your work then this will be the version that is marked.  However, if you are concerned that you will not pass this assessment you can submit an EC request and the pre-board Extenuating Circumstances Panel will determine whether you should be offered a Delayed Assessment opportunity – for most this is during the August reassessment period, 17-28 August.

Q. If I have Extenuating Circumstances and cannot submit my work by the absolute deadline provided by my School what happens? How do I submit an EC request?

If you cannot submit your work by the absolute deadline you should submit a Consideration by Board of Examiners request ahead of your School’s pre-board Extenuating Circumstances Exam board in July.  You should submit evidence to support this if you have it but we accept that this may not be possible.

Q: What safety-net is available to me as a PGT student?

The below provides clarification about how your Masters award will be considered.

For PGT students the requirements are:

a) Passing all ‘core’ modules (if you are on a PSRB regulated course this can include passing all modules and all assessments within a module);

b) Achieving a credit weighting average mark for the year of 50%; and

c) Achieving a pass mark in all taught modules, except for up to 40 credits which may be designated compensation*

Note: Compensation is not available if you are on a PSRB regulated course and have to pass all modules.

*The University award regulations for Masters Students allows the Exam Board to use discretion to permit compensation in up to 40 credits of failed modules across assessment and reassessment combined. This means that the marks from modules where you have performed well can compensate for those where you have not. This means that you could receive your Masters award without passing all modules and without undertaking reassessment. Compensation is not available for dissertations.

Classification of Masters Awards

Distinction

For Masters Awards:

Overall aggregate over 180 credits of at least 70% for the whole course 

For MFA Award:

Overall aggregate over 360 credits of at least 70% for the whole course

Merit

For Masters Awards:

Overall aggregate over 180 credits of between 60% - 69% for the whole course

For MFA Award:

Overall aggregate over 360 credits of between 60% - 69% for the whole course

 

Awards for students within 2% of Merit and Distinction are determined as follows:

Overall aggregate over 180 credits (Masters) or 360 credits (MFA) within 2% of the borderline of the higher PLUS Credits Outcome
68% - 69% At least 50% of credits at 70% or above Distinction
58% - 59% At least 50% of credits at 60% or above Merit

 

On 3 April 2020 an additional ‘safety-net’ was introduced which means that Boards will have the discretion to uplift you to the next category dependent on your performance prior to 13 March. 

In summary:

a) Exam Boards can compensate up to 40 credits of failed modules (for non PSRB regulated courses)

AND

b) For all students whose overall aggregate falls below the usual 2% borderline for a Merit of Distinction, Exam Boards can recommend a Masters with Merit or Distinction depending on your performance prior to 13 March 2020.

Information for Taught Postgraduate Students Information for Taught Postgraduate Students

We appreciate that this is a very worrying time for you. Undertaking a Masters course is often an intense experience in normal times and the current restrictions in place make the completion of your studies difficult and complex. We would like to reassure you that we are giving a lot of thought as to how we can support you in your learning so that you can complete your course in as close a way possible as we can manage.    

At UEA we offer four types of postgraduate taught course each with their own particular character: traditional subject based advanced study (e.g. MA, MSc) , conversion courses for graduates to learn a new discipline (e.g. business, legal studies), courses that lead to professional qualifications and careers (e.g. PGCE), and MRes courses that can lead on to PhDs.  Many of our courses are accredited by professional, regulatory and statutory bodies (PSRBs), for example the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which means the requirements of each course are often different. In some you must pass all assessment components of all modules, in others you might be required to pass all core “essential” modules but not others providing you pass the course overall.  Some courses have a dissertation and others do not. Consequently, your School will be the best source of information for you as to what to expect in the weeks after Easter and through to the completion of your course.

As you will be aware from previous communications and the advice on the Portal, we have developed some principles and a set of over-arching measures to support you to complete your course. Our measures have been designed in discussion with the UEA Students’ Union and with two key concerns in mind. 

  • First, we must maintain academic standards and ensure the value of our degrees, as required by the Office for Students and other regulatory bodies. 
  • Second, we are keen to support our PGT students to be able to successfully complete their studies and we recognise the significant challenges that many will inevitably face as a result of the COVID-19 disruption.  We therefore want the burden of assessment to be as light as possible and we want to put in place safeguards to support students and relieve their stress.

1)  Where we can we have moved teaching and learning activity on-line. Staff are preparing teaching and support sessions for delivery online for the remaining teaching weeks after the Easter vacation. On courses where this is not possible, your School will have been in touch. 

2) We have reviewed and redesigned as necessary assessments due from 13th March 2020, liaising with Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) where required.  We will ensure we only assess learning necessary to demonstrate the achievement of course-level learning outcomes.  This will mean that some assessments may now cover more than one module, and some will be waived completely. 

3) We have introduced blanket extensions of 10 working days for all written assignments without the need to make a request or to provide any evidence. If students feel that this still will not be enough time for them to complete their assessed work, we advise them not to complete the task at this time and we will give them another first attempt opportunity in a future assessment session either in August or in the Autumn.

4) In the case of exams or an assessment ‘event’, any student who is not able to sit an assessment will be automatically provided with another first attempt opportunity in the next assessment session without the need for request or provision of any evidence.

5) We have re-designed examinations that were scheduled as written examinations as online examinations so they can be taken by all students wherever they will be in the world and at a time that suits them within a 23 to 24-hour window. Some of the scheduled examinations have now been replaced with a coursework assignment and others have been waived altogether.

6) In cases where awards can be made with merit and distinction Boards of Examiners will be given additional discretion to consider students outside of the 2% borderlines and pay particular attention to the performance of students prior to 13th March 2020.

7) If your course has an interim Examination Board to consider your performance in the taught elements, this will still go ahead when marks are available. If reassessment is required arising from completed work carrying a failing mark which cannot be compensated, we will discuss with you when the best time is to do this. 

8)  Many courses include a project or dissertation. If you are in the planning/proposal stage and do not have a dissertation/project supervisor please contact your Module Organiser. If you have already started on your project/dissertation and are unable to access the research facilities, undertake a work placement, or undertake fieldwork required as planned, or if your project/dissertation has been in some way disrupted by COVID-19 please contact your project/dissertation supervisor to discuss this.  There may be alternatives or you could agree an appropriate new work plan and submission deadline. If your project/ dissertation supervisor is unavailable, please contact your Adviser or LTS Hub team.

9) If you think you may require an extension to your registration period to enable you to complete the course please contact your LTS Hub team. 

 

Our priority is to put arrangements in place to help you complete your course.  Sadly, there are a small number of postgraduate courses which we have had to suspend as either students in key essential worker roles are not able to study, or professional placements are unavailable at this time. The students on these courses have been informed and will be kept updated by their Schools. If you believe that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is so severely impacting your ability to complete the course that you wish to interrupt your studies please contact your Course Director and/or LTS Hub team to explore your options.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for you, and hope that the above information is helpful.  Because PGT courses are so different across the University, if you have questions about your course we recommend that you contact your Course Director in the first instance. 

Please be aware that we are working in a dynamic and changing environment ourselves and our plans may need to change if we are advised to do so by the UK Government’s Office for Students. We will keep you updated and alert you if changes become necessary. If you have any questions, please send them through to lts.admin@uea.ac.uk. We will keep the Portal pages updated with answers to frequently asked questions and so please check here for information.