Resits – options
Alternatives to formal written exams:
Normally, when a student fails a module, then a resit is required. This may involve all or only part of the assessment - the Board of Examiners must decide. In any event, if an examination has to be resat, then the format of the resit usually follows that of the original examination, but this is not mandatory. For example, it may be acceptable to replace an unseen examination by a suitable take-away essay, or vice-versa. Nevertheless, all candidates must be informed of the nature of the resit and, wherever possible, this should be described in the Degree Programme Handbook. The requirement to resit is to be transmitted to the students by the DPD and/or Secretary to the Board with instructions for the student to ascertain the form of the resit. Changes to format of assessment must apply to the whole cohort.
In some cases, the resit necessarily must be in a different format e.g. practical examinations which cannot be organised in August; it is left to the Board of Studies to authorise the form that such resits should take. In the case where it is impossible to offer a resit in some element of the assessment, then this should be ignored for the purposes of reassessment, although a mark from the first attempt of this element, which is to the advantage of the student, may be used.
When students repeat in residence, they should generally have the normal student experience in terms of assessment. It is however permissible for the board of examiners to decide on alternative arrangements in exceptional circumstances (for example, if there are restrictions on student numbers for some part of the assessment). Note that, with the exception of late submissions or modules with core components, it is the overall module mark at resit that is capped for degree calculation purposes, and not the component marks.
It would be good practice for Schools to provide clear information about the requirements for reassessment to students repeating in residence, advising them in writing at the start of the academic year
Timing of reassessment
Undergraduate Examination Convention M48
Integrated Masters Examination Convention M48
Postgraduate Taught Examination Convention M47 and M51.
- Undergraduate students are expected to attend the resit examinations at the August/September resit period following the first attempt, as required; any absence without permission counts as an attempt. Permission to sit for the second occasion not at the resit period of the same academic year can be granted only by the PEC Committee. It may be necessary for the Chair of the Board to remind students of these conditions, both early in the year (so that holidays are not booked, for example) and at the time when the results are published after Semester 2. (Note that, if the degree programme regulations specify a work placement during the resit period following the failure, then the DPD may permit (M48 (b)) the reassessment at August/September resit period in the following year.)
- Resits for the third occasion (not applicable to final stage students) will normally occur at the ‘next normal occasion’ in the following academic year i.e. this may be January for Semester One modules and May/ June for Semester Two modules. Permission to sit for the third occasion at an alternative time can be granted only by the PEC Committee.
- Postgraduate resit examinations will usually occur at the University’s normal assessment periods, either at the August/September resit period or at the ‘next normal occasion’ in the following academic year.
- Taught Masters’ students have the right to one resubmission of their dissertation, but this does not apply to students who have failed more than 40 credits of the taught element of the programme. Resubmission should be within a defined period agreed by the board of examiners, normally within 3 months of a board of examiners decision.
Treatment of reassessment
Undergraduate Examination Convention P59
Integrated Masters Examination Convention P59
Postgraduate Taught Examination Convention R56 and R57
- Convention P59 applies only in the context of degree classification. Where a student has passed following reassessment, or by compensation, or by discretion of the Board, at stages beyond Stage 1, a mark of 40 (or 50 for level 7 modules) must be used in the calculation of the degree classification.
- Convention P59 does not apply in the context of progression. Convention J35 is used in determining a student’s right to progress by compensation: the student’s best mark for each module must be used in calculating the stage average and a new average must be calculated after each resit attempt (not just after the first attempt). Note that, for the purposes of this calculation, if the best mark is greater than 40, then this shall be used. However, the mark used thereafter, for determining the degree classification, reverts to 40 (Convention P59); see Example 4 in Appendix 2.
- Note that a student on an IM degree is not permitted to resit modules that have already been passed, and therefore they cannot by this means improve their stage average. Note also that when a module has been passed by compensation, by discretion or at resit, a mark of 40 (or 50 for level 7 modules) must be used in calculating the Stage average for the purposes of determining whether or not the relevant progression threshold has been reached.
- At each stage, the actual marks obtained at each attempt must be available to the Board of Examiners (Examination Convention 59), and may be taken into consideration.
- The formal University transcript (from SAP) contains all the relevant return marks, making clear where there are any passes on lower marks or at the second attempt.