Assessment Boards for Undergraduate Programmes

1 Introduction

1.1 Assessment Boards carry full responsibility for considering the performance of students and module outcomes. Progression and awards follow automatically based on the credits and grades confirmed by Assessment Boards.

There is provision for programmes which need to satisfy any additional requirements imposed by a professional body or other external agency to hold a Professional Qualifications Board (PQB) at programme level.

In addition there is a University Assessment Board for Exceptional Circumstances (UABEC) which serves to ensure the fair and consistent treatment of all undergraduate students whose overall performance requires special consideration.

2 Assessment Boards and Professional Qualification Boards

2.1 Assessment Boards will normally be run for College/School for practical and efficiency purposes and to ensure consistency.

2.2 Frequency of Meetings: Formal Assessment Boards will be held after each semester to process results and eligible awards and progression.

2.3 All formal Assessment Boards should be supported by informal preparatory boards in advance of the formal meeting.

2.4 Formal Assessment Boards may be held virtually.

2.5 Composition

i. Chair: PVC Dean or in exceptional circumstances a nominee (normally a senior academic manager of the College/Department not involved in the teaching delivery of the Programme(s) under consideration). In circumstances where the chair has had involvement in teaching or other engagement with student(s) they should declare an interest and temporarily step down as chair of the Board for that item.

ii. Programme Leader(s)/Academic Leads/Workforce Development fellow

iii. At least one External Examiner

iv. Relevant Heads of Discipline (or their nominee)

v. Programme Leader from franchised partner institution(s) delivering the programme

vi. Assessment Board Officer

The following have right of attendance:

i. Chair of Academic Board or nominee

ii. Registrar or nominee

2.6 Terms of Reference:

To undertake a performance review of module and student results across the entirety of the programme:

i. To oversee assessment procedures operating at programme level, to confirm assessment outcomes are in accordance with the regulations validated for specific programmes (if applicable)

ii. To review the way in which standards achieved at programme level are being maintained

iii. To confirm the module, award and progression results for individual students with regard to award and credit requirements

iv. To receive exceptional written requests from the Programme Team of any outstanding results requiring acceptance and approval with reasons for late submission or change

v. To consider those students whose overall performance has been affected by the cumulative effect of documented extenuating circumstances. An Assessment Board may consider that a full-time student who has achieved less than 40 credits should not be automatically failed and terminated in the light of their known circumstances. In such cases, the Board may recommend to UABEC that the fail/terminate outcome be rescinded. All such recommendations must be fully evidenced

vi. To consider those students (part-time or full-time) who are performing at a level that gives cause for concern. In the first instance, such students should normally receive a formal notification from the programme leader* that their progress gives cause for concern and be provided with guidance on remedying this. Students who do not respond to guidance and continue to perform at such a level may be recommended to UABEC for a formal restriction or redirection of studies including those from Professional Qualification Boards unless contrary to specific PSRB regulations (see Section (xi) below)

vii. To identify the deficiencies in student profiles that prevent progression/completion and to record appropriate action for academic counselling advice and guidance

viii. To act in accordance with the outcome of any appeals that may have been upheld

ix. To implement recommended academic offence outcomes as determined through the procedures for academic offences

x. To complete the board report declaration to formally approve the recommendations on behalf of Academic Board

Professional Qualification Boards only:

xi. To meet any additional requirements of the professional body or other external agency

In accordance with the policy for programmes and modules owned by one College and delivered by or in another College, Assessment Boards will take place under the auspices of the parent College.

3 Publication of Results

3.1 Semester 1: Provisional module results, subject to final confirmation at the second semester Boards, will be posted on UDo to a deadline in accordance with the internal/external moderation marking schedules as indicated in the assessment calendar. PQBs will operate as normal and a small number of Assessment Boards will operate at the College/Department level to determine final results for January completing students.

3.2 Semester 2: Provisional module results, subject to final confirmation at the second semester Boards, will be posted on UDo to a deadline in accordance with the internal/external moderation marking schedules as indicated in the assessment calendar. Assessment Boards will operate at the College/Department level to determine final results, stage results and classification awards will be posted to UDo following the completion of the Assessment Boards.

4 The University Assessment Board for Exceptional Circumstances (UABEC)

4.1 Membership is by Academic Board appointment for a period of between two and four years.

4.2 Composition

i. Chair: PVC Dean or Director or other senior manager with appropriate experience

ii. A serving External Examiner

iii. A Quality Manager

iv. Two members of the teaching staff with extensive experience of learner guidance and support

v. Two members of Academic Development and Quality Committee (ADQC)

vi. A permanent officer carrying responsibility for the organisation and management of the Board

In attendance:

i. The Registrar or nominee

ii. Student Policy and Regulations Manager or nominee 

4.3 Terms of reference

The remit of the Board is to consider submissions on individual students which have been established by The Registry as having satisfied the criteria for special consideration.

i. To assess the evidence presented on students whose performance may have been depressed by extenuating circumstances that could not be taken into account through the powers available to Undergraduate Assessment Boards, and to determine the appropriate outcome.

ii. To consider those students who have been recommended by an Assessment Board for an automatic fail/terminate outcome to be rescinded. UABEC may either uphold the recommendation of the Assessment Board or confirm the fail/terminate outcome.

iii. To assess the evidence presented on students whose performance has given cause for serious concern and who have not responded to the advice offered by the programme team. If, in the Board's opinion, the evidence indicates that the best educational interest of the student would be served by the issue of a formal instruction, the Board may determine that the student's studies are restricted or redirected, or that the student's registration is terminated.

iv. To establish over time, as case-law accumulates, generic guidelines for the consideration of special case students.

Guidance: For guidance on the award of Bachelor’s Degrees with Honours in the event of extenuating circumstances, please see section I2.

4.4 Frequency of meetings:

The Board will meet within 28 days of the release of Autumn semester results and within 14 days of the last Undergraduate Board meeting at the end of the spring semester. It will also meet in late August/September to consider any outstanding cases.