A3.10 Failure and Reassessment

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    A3.10.1 A module is failed if:

    1. the work submitted for assessment is not of a high enough standard to gain an overall pass mark for the module;
    2. no work has been submitted by the module deadlines, and no application has been made for an extension on the basis of mitigating circumstances;
    3. the student has committed academic offences and a penalty of failing the module has been imposed.

    A3.10.2 The University believes that students should have opportunities to study at their own pace and to redeem an initial failure. However, the University also considers it necessary to limit these opportunities in order to protect the standard of its awards. Programmes of study should therefore be designed for students to complete their studies (including any resits) within a certain standard length of time.  Where appropriate, further provision may then be made, in accordance with the regulations governing the programme, for individual students to complete their studies in a shorter time, or to suspend, transfer, or defer completion of their studies.

    A3.10.3 Entitlements and regulations for re-sitting assessment tasks or re-taking modules, governing particular types of University awards, are set out in the specific regulations governing the award scheme (UMP, postgraduate taught programmes, postgraduate research programmes, foundation degrees, etc).  If not specified in the award scheme regulations, or if a programme does not fall within the scope of one of the University's specific award schemes, the programme regulations should specify:

    1. the number of re-sit opportunities to which students are entitled for failure on an individual assessment task, and the circumstances under which a re-sit will be permitted (e.g. attainment of a minimum grade at the first attempt);
    2. the period of time within which work must be submitted for re-assessment (i.e. whether students must re-sit assessments at one level before progressing to the next level of the programme, or whether they are permitted to progress to the next stage of the programme carrying a failed module);
    3. whether marks awarded for re-assessed work will be capped (e.g. at the minimum pass mark for students passing at re-sit);
    4. whether students who fail the re-sit opportunity are permitted to re-take the failed module, and the maximum number of times students are permitted to attempt a module;
    5. the requirements to be satisfied when a student is to retake a failed module, including whether marks or grades for successfully completed assignments will be carried forward;
    6. the maximum credit value for which failure may be condoned for the award (see also 3.11 below).

    General requirements

    A3.10.4 Programme assessment regulations must specify which or how many elements must be passed for the award and make provision for a student to make good an initial failure.  Examination Committees have discretion to interpret these regulations flexibly in the case of individual candidates, subject to the requirements of the principle that an award should only be made when a candidate has fulfilled the objectives of the programme and achieved the required standard.  The Examination Committee shall not unreasonably withhold permission for a student to be reassessed in accordance with course regulations.

    A3.10.5 The reassessment of a candidate for an award shall normally take place within the maximum permitted length of the course.  The Examination Committee shall specify, in accordance with the regulations applying to the programme, which elements of assessment must be retaken, the form of reassessment and when it is to take place. A student may be required to study certain course components again before reassessment.

    A3.10.6 A candidate for reassessment may not demand reassessment in elements which are no longer current in the course. The Examination Committee may, at its discretion, make such special arrangements as it deems appropriate in cases where it is not practicable for students to be reassessed in the same elements and by the same methods as at the first attempt.

    Reassessment for other awards

    A3.10.7 Candidates who have failed in their first attempt to satisfy the Examination Committee in the assessment for any other award of the University may, where course regulations permit, be reassessed for the award at the discretion of the Board of Examiners on more than one occasion within the maximum planned length of the course.  Where course regulations permit, the Examination Committee may alternatively determine that the candidate has achieved the level required for a lower award or permit reassessment for a lower award.

    For further information about these regulations, please contact the Academic Registrar.

    Academic Enhancement & Standards Committee, 27 June 2012
    Academic Board, 18 July 2012