Examination regulations

  • The University has established regulations, policies, procedures and guidelines governing assessment that are in line with the Equality Act 2010. It is the responsibility of staff and students to follow them.

    All students are expected to make themselves aware of the relevant Regulations for Study for their programme. Regulations that relate specifically to formal examinations are as follows:

    Breaches of the exam rules may lead to a conduct investigation. Click on the sections below to view information about exam rules and procedures.

    1. All assessments are intended to determine the skills, abilities, understanding and knowledge of each individual student undertaking the assessment. Students are expected to actively engage with the assessment activities provided on their programmes, and to act on feedback provided by their tutors, as articulated in the Assessment and Feedback Policy. Students must ensure that they familiarise themselves with the assessment criteria and learning outcomes against which their work will be assessed, which must be given in programme and module handbooks.

    2. It is the responsibility of students to attend examinations and submit work for assessment as required. Students are required to observe all instructions given to them by examiners, invigilators and any member of staff responsible for the assessment. If a student fails to attend examinations or at the right time to submit work for assessment without good cause, the examiners have authority to deem the student to have failed the assessments concerned.

    3. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that their work submitted for assessment is legible and, if necessary, to seek appropriate support and guidance. Where a disability or medical condition impedes the legibility of the work, it is the student's responsibility, in the first instance, to request an alternative assessment provision.

    4. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all assessment deadlines are met or that approval for an extension has been granted in advance of the original deadline. Any assessment submitted after the deadline, or the approved extended deadline, will be deemed late and awarded zero marks. See the Exceptional Circumstances webpages for more details.

    5. Students must ensure they understand what constitutes academic misconduct, and ensure they do not commit such offences in preparing for assessments. If a student is found to have cheated or attempted to gain an unfair advantage, the appropriate Disciplinary Officer or Misconduct Committee, as appropriate, have authority to deem the student to have failed part or all of the assessments, or to require some other penalty.

    6. Any student who attends an examination or other part of an assessment process on behalf of or pretending to be another student, or who allows another person to attend any part of an assessment process on their behalf or pretending to be them, is committing, or colluding in, impersonation and may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University's Disciplinary Procedure.

    The following section outlines the standard examination provision for all students. Any student who is assessed by the Dyslexia and SpLD Team or Disability Team as requiring a reasonable adjustment to their examination provision will be granted alternative provision. The provision granted will be what is stated on the memo submitted to the Exams Office by the alternative provision deadline. Where the memo does not list any adjustment, the student will receive the standard examination provision outlined below.

    1. Dates and times: Examinations will be timetabled within the published examination dates for the semester. Examinations can be on any day of the week except Sundays and will start at 10:00, 14:00 or 17:30. Examinations will be 1, 2 or 3 hours long as stated on the module description. No student will have more than 2 consecutive examinations (including from evening to morning). This means students can have a maximum of two exams per day.

    2. Locations: Examinations can be held at Wheatley, Headington, Marston Road, Harcourt and the Kings Centre for Oxford based students. Examinations can be held at Joel Joffe or the Steam Museum for Swindon based students. If a student has consecutive examinations on a single day these will be held on a single campus.

    3. Exam desk: Students will be seated on a chair at a desk with a minimum size of 600mm by 600mm. There will be approximately 1 metre space in all directions, except where the desk is positioned beside a wall. Students will be required to sit at their allocated desk in the room.

    4. Examination materials: Students will have papers printed double sided in black on ivory paper in Arial 12 point font. Text will be 1.5 line spaced. There may be variations to this if requested by the module leader e.g. use of colour printing on white paper for Art History reference pictures or different fonts in academic papers used as a reference material.
      Students should complete rough work in the answer book and cross it out unless rough paper is provided. Answer books will have coloured covers with lined white pages.
      Students should write their work in black pen. Pencil should be used for multiple choice answer sheets and may be used for diagrams.
      Students are responsible for ensuring their work is legible. Illegible work may be transcribed with the permission of the module leader for a fee. Illegible work will not be marked.
      No dictionaries are permitted.
      No watches may be worn.
      If a calculator is required, students must use the Brookes calculator provided. Students may not bring their own calculator.

    5. Permitted items at the desk: All students may bring a small, transparent, unlabelled bottle of still water. Students may request permission for food, medicines or medical items to be kept at the examination desk where they have a medical need for them. Students may request permission for non-electronic ear plugs at the examination desk. 

    6. Computer use: Students will only be allocated a computer where the examination is a computer based assessment.

    7. Noise: All students are expected to remain silent in the examination room.

    8. Breaks: Students may request an accompanied visit to the toilet during the examination but will not be granted any additional time to make up for the time lost. Frequent breaks can result in a conduct investigation as this can be an indication of cheating attempts.
    1. Students may enter an examination room only when instructed to do so by an invigilator. It is advised that all students are seated 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the examination.

    2. Students are under examination conditions as soon as they enter the examination room and must not communicate with anyone but an invigilator while in the examination room, including before and after an examination.

    3. Students are not permitted to open the examination paper or make any notes until instructed to do so by an invigilator.

    4. Students arriving late, i.e. once the examination has begun, will be granted admission into the examination room up to one hour after the start time of the examination. Students arriving more than one hour after the start time of the examination will not be allowed entry regardless of the circumstances for the late arrival.

    5. Students granted late admission into the examination room will not be entitled to extra time to compensate for any time lost due to arriving late.

    6. Students are not permitted to leave the examination room in the first hour or the last 15 minutes of an examination. Students may only leave an examination once the necessary attendance and identification checks have been completed, which may be after the scheduled end time for the examination.

    7. Students who wish to attract the attention of an invigilator should raise their hand. Students may not leave their seats without permission.

    8. Students are permitted only the following items at the examination desk:
      • Brookes student card as identification. The ‘Valid Until’ date must not be earlier than the date of the examination;
      • Writing implements, either loose or in a clear plastic pencil case;
      • One clear bottle of still water, with the label removed;
      • Materials which are stated on the front page of the examination paper;
      • Medication which has been approved by the Head of Examinations or nominee;
      • Container of personal items placed under the examination desk.
      All other items and materials are unauthorised and are not permitted at the examination desk or on or about the student’s person

    9. A container is provided at each examination desk for personal items. This container must be placed under the examination desk and students are not permitted to remove any items until their examination script has been collected and they are instructed they may do so by an invigilator.

    10. Students bringing electronic devices into the examination room must ensure that alarms are cancelled and the device is switched off. An electronic device which activates in the examination room is considered to be causing a disturbance

    11. Bags and coats must be left in the designated area of the examination room. The University accepts no responsibility for the safe-keeping of items deposited in the designated areas.

    12. The possession of unauthorised items and/or materials at or about an examination desk or on or about the person is regarded as an act preparatory to an attempt to cheat. Students found with unauthorised items or materials on or about the examination desk or their person will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University’s Student Disciplinary Procedure. Any unauthorised items or materials may be retained by the University at its discretion. The same consequences will follow for anyone found using any form of cheating or attempting to cheat or assisting someone else to cheat in examinations.

    13. Students who have a medical condition which may require them to leave the examination room during an examination must contact the Head of Examinations before the examination.

    14. Students whose examination involves arithmetical calculation that requires the use of electronic calculators will have a University approved calculator placed on the examination desk by the invigilator before the start of the examination. Students must not use any other calculator in the examination, unless instructions state otherwise. A watch or other device capable of operating as a calculator counts as an unauthorised calculator for the purpose of this regulation.

    15. Language dictionaries are not allowed in an examination room.

    16. Students must sit only at the desk on which there is a card showing their name, and leave it visible throughout the examination.

    17. Students must write their name and student number and any other information requested on every answer book. At the end of the examination, before handing the answer book(s) to the invigilator, students must fold and seal the section containing their name and student number.

    18. Scrap paper is not permitted unless specified in the examination rubric. All rough work should be written in the answer book and crossed through. Supplementary answer sheets, even if they contain rough work only, should be attached to the back of the main answer book.

    19. Answer books, used or unused, must not be removed from the examination room. Students must not damage or deface any paper or material supplied.

    20. Students should write in ink or use a ballpoint pen, other than when completing a multiple choice answer sheet or when the instructions state otherwise.

    21. Except with the permission of the invigilator, students must not communicate with anyone but an invigilator while the examination is in progress.

    22. Students must not leave the examination room and re-enter, except in an emergency and with the permission of an invigilator. A student who has to leave the room in an emergency will not normally be allowed to re-enter and continue unless it has been possible to obtain an escort.

    23. Electronic and smart devices, and their accessories, are not permitted on the student or on the exam desk under any circumstances. These items must be left in the belongings area or sealed inside the valuables container at the desk. Students who have any such items on their person or on their desk will be subject to disciplinary action. Any item suspected to be a smart device is subject to inspection and confiscation by the invigilator. This includes but is not limited to pens, glasses, wristbands and wearable items

    24. Students may not wear any watch or monitor while they are in the exam room. Analogue or simple digital watches may be placed in the clear plastic bag provided on the exam desk and left visible on the desk to be used for timekeeping. The watch must not have any smart capabilities such as a calculator, wireless connectivity or memory bank.

    This section relates to summative in-class tests (that is an in-class test which counts for marks towards the module’s overall assessment). For other forms of assessments that take place during class time where the following regulations would be inappropriate the General Regulations will apply, as well as any additional regulations and/or guidelines specific to the module.

    1. Students may enter a test room only when instructed to do so by an invigilator. It is advised that all students are seated 10 minutes before the scheduled start of the test.

    2. Students are under examination conditions as soon as they enter the test room and must not communicate with anyone but an invigilator while in the test room, including before and after the test.

    3. Students are not permitted to open the test paper or make any notes until instructed to do so by an invigilator.

    4. Students arriving late, i.e. once the test has begun, will be granted admission into the test room up to one hour after the start time of the test provided the test has not officially ended. Students arriving more than one hour after the start time of the test will not be allowed entry regardless of the circumstances for the late arrival.

    5. Students granted late admission into the test room will not be entitled to extra time to compensate for any time lost due to arriving late.

    6. Students are not permitted to leave the test room in the first hour or the last 15 minutes of the test. Students may only leave a test once the necessary attendance and identification checks have been completed, which may be after the scheduled end time for the test.

    7. Students who wish to attract the attention of an invigilator should raise their hand. Students may not leave their seats without permission.

    8. Students are permitted only the following items at the desk:
      • Brookes student card as identification. The ‘Valid Until’ date must not be earlier than the date of the test;
      • Writing implements, either loose or in a clear plastic pencil case;
      • One clear bottle of still water, with the label removed;
      • Materials which are stated on the front page of the test paper;
      • Medication which has been approved by the Module Leader.
      All other items and materials are unauthorised and are not permitted at the test desk or on or about the student’s person

    9. Students bringing electronic devices into the test room must ensure that alarms are cancelled and the device is switched off. An electronic device which activates in the test room is considered to be causing a disturbance.

    10. Bags and coats must be left in the designated area of the test room. The University accepts no responsibility for the safe-keeping of items deposited in the designated areas.

    11. The possession of unauthorised items and/or materials at or about a test desk or on or about the person is regarded as an act preparatory to an attempt to cheat. Students found with unauthorised items or materials on or about the test desk or their person will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the University’s Student Disciplinary Procedure. Any unauthorised items or materials may be retained by the University at its discretion. The same consequences will follow for anyone found using any form of cheating or attempting to cheat or assisting someone else to cheat during tests.

    12. Students who have a medical condition which may require them to leave the test room during a test must contact the Module Leader before the test.

    13. Students whose test involves arithmetical calculation that requires the use of electronic calculators will have a University approved calculator placed on the desk by the invigilator before the start of the test. Students must not use any other calculator in the test, unless instructions state otherwise. A watch or other device capable of operating as a calculator counts as an unauthorised calculator for the purpose of this regulation.

    14. Language dictionaries are not allowed in a test room unless stated in the rubric of the test paper

    15. For written tests, students must write their student name and number and any other information requested on every answer book or other paperwork used within the test. Where answer books are used, at the end of the test, before handing the answer book(s) to the invigilator, students must fold and seal the section containing their name and number. 

    16. Scrap paper is not permitted unless specified in the test rubric. Where answer books are used, all rough work should be written in the answer book and crossed through. Supplementary answer sheets, even if they contain rough work only, should be attached to the back of the main answer book.

    17. Answer books, used or unused, must not be removed from the test room. Students must not damage or deface any paper or material supplied.

    18. Students should write in ink or use a ballpoint pen, other than when completing a multiple choice answer sheet or when the instructions state otherwise.

    19. Except with the permission of the invigilator, students must not communicate with anyone but an invigilator while the test is in progress.

    20. Students must not leave the test room and re-enter, except in an emergency and with the permission of an invigilator. A student who has to leave the room in an emergency will not normally be allowed to re-enter and continue unless it has been possible to obtain an escort

    1. All students are expected to be present for their examinations and timed assessments (including in-class tests) and are responsible for meeting set deadlines for coursework submission. Changed assessment arrangements, including extensions to coursework deadlines, will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

    2. A student wishing to request a changed assessment arrangement must complete and submit the Change of Exam Date application form or Change of Coursework Deadline form, complete with appropriate evidence. Details of what constitutes appropriate evidence is outlined below. These forms are available on the Exams webpages.

    3. The deadline for a request to change an examination date to be received by the Exams Office is five working days after the publication of the examination timetable.

    4. Students affected by exceptional circumstances should submit an application for consideration of those circumstances through the Exceptional Circumstances procedure. The procedure for Changed Assessment Arrangements is not intended to cover students wishing to request consideration of exceptional circumstances.

    5. The University will normally only agree to a Changed Assessment Arrangement in the following circumstances:
      • Religious observance or belief, including festival observance, prayer times etc.
        Documentary evidence: letter from the head of church or equivalent faith/belief leader.
      • Military training or Active Duty requirements.
        Documentary evidence: letter from an official of the relevant authority.
      • National or international activities where the University or country of origin is represented
        Documentary evidence: letter from an official of the organising body.
      • Undertaking voluntary or paid work related to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
        Documentary evidence: written confirmation that a student is undertaking voluntary or paid work from the relevant NHS trust or similar body.
      • Activities undertaken by a dependent of the student which fall into one of the accepted categories above and for which there is a demonstrable support requirement on the student.
        Documentary evidence: see evidence requirements for the relevant category above.

    6. A changed examination date/time will be within the relevant examination session provided the student can be supervised under examination conditions in the interval between the timetabled date/time and the changed date/time. This supervision period will be between examination sessions on the same day or overnight on the day before or after the timetabled date. If supervision is not possible, the changed examination date will be within the relevant resit examination session

    7. The University has specifically excluded the following grounds for making a request for a Changed Assessment Arrangement:
      • Personal and family holidays;
      • Weddings: either the student’s wedding or that or a family member of personal friend;
      • Job interviews;
      • Expeditions, unless the expedition relates to one of the acceptable circumstances listed in point 5 above;
      • Work experience;
      • Travel arrangements, including all flights, internal, abroad or to home;
      • Sporting activities except when representing the University or country of origin as listed in point 5 above.

    Consideration of mitigation for errors on examination papers or disturbances during examination sittings will be in accordance with the following classification:

    • Minor - no mitigation action required following the examination sitting 

    • Moderate - mitigation action required following the examination, for example, via an adjustment to marking.

    • Severe - mitigation action required following the examination, typically via the offer of an uncapped resit of the examination, marked as a first sitting of the affected assessment.

    In all cases, the student must have attended the affected examination in order to be eligible for any mitigation.


    For examples of mitigation responses, please see the Problems on your exam day page.

    1. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that their work submitted for assessment is legible and, if necessary, to seek appropriate support and guidance. Where a disability or medical condition impedes the legibility of the work, it is the student’s responsibility to request, in the first instance, an alternative assessment provision. For more information see points 13 and 14 below, and the policies and procedures governing alternative provision.

    2. Where appropriate, all text coursework should be word-processed. When it is not appropriate for the work submitted for assessment to be word-processed (e.g. in-class tests, examinations) it is the responsibility of the student to take steps to ensure that their handwriting is legible.

    3. When the ability of the examiner to assess work submitted for assessment is impaired because the handwriting is considered illegible, they should seek a second opinion from an appropriate staff member.

    4. A student who submits work for assessment where the handwriting is considered illegible may, with the agreement of the Module Leader, be given the opportunity for the work to be transcribed, verbatim, under the conditions set out below.

    5. A student who submits work for assessment where the handwriting is considered illegible, and who has not sought appropriate support and guidance, may have their work assessed on the basis of the legible parts only and a mark awarded accordingly.

    6. A student who has submitted work for assessment where the handwriting is considered illegible and who has the agreement of the Module Leader, will be entitled to have their work transcribed under the conditions set out below.

    7. The Module Leader should arrange with the Head of Examinations for all/part of the work to be transcribed verbatim. The student will be asked to transcribe verbatim all/part of the work to a scribe/typist under examination conditions. If the student refuses to transcribe verbatim all/part of the work it will be assessed on the basis of the legible parts only and a mark awarded accordingly. If the student agrees to transcribe verbatim all/part of the work it must be done under examination conditions as outlined below.

    8. Any costs incurred in the production of the transcript will be borne by the student, other than students with a disability or medical condition impeding the legibility of work submitted for assessment.

    9. The transcription must take place as soon after the original assessment as is feasible; bearing in mind the time required to organise the event. This may cause a delay in the release of results for the student.

    10. The student cannot bring any unauthorised materials into the room. The student must not attempt to omit or include any words that were not in the original script. The student must dictate, verbatim, the words from the original script to an appropriate member of staff.

    11. The staff member must write/type exactly what is dictated by the student to produce a transcription of the original script. Spelling and grammar must not be corrected by either the student or the staff member. An invigilator must be present throughout the transcription.

    12. The transcription must be checked and signed as an accurate record of the original work by both the student and the invigilator. The transcription will not be passed to the marker until the student has paid for the total cost of the transcription.

    13. A student who has a disability (under the terms of the Equality Act 2010) or a long-term medical condition, which may impede the legibility of the work submitted for assessment are encouraged to identify themselves to the Disability Team or Dyslexia and SpLD Team as appropriate. On submission of relevant documentary evidence and/or assessment, alternative provision may be provided (for example, an Amanuensis or access to a PC).

    14. A student who has a short-term medical condition (e.g. broken arm) that will impede their ability to write legibly, should contact the Head of Examinations (for examinations) or the relevant Module Leader (for coursework, including in-class tests) as soon as possible. On submission of relevant documentary evidence alternative provisions may be approved. In the case of examinations a PC to type the work may be offered to students but a scribe or extra time will not be offered. The student should consider applying for mitigating circumstances for the affected module.