In 2020, we introduced a set of emergency actions including a final grade policy to ensure students would not receive a mark below their pre-Covid average, for the 2019/20 academic year, following the outbreak of the coronavirus. We called this a ‘no-detriment’ policy.
For the 2020/21 academic year we took these one-off emergency actions and reviewed our wider support in order to permanently embed robust protection for you throughout our processes during the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
It is not possible to reintroduce the same no-detriment approach for the 2020/21 academic year, for two key reasons:
Last year’s no-detriment policy worked on the principle that students already had a previous set of marks or credits, pre-pandemic, to be able to calculate a no detriment safety net mark. This year there are not enough credits unaffected by the pandemic to calculate a no-detriment safety mark that will fully represent your achievement for 20/21 in the same way.
Unlike in March 2020, where teaching moved from in-person to 100% online within a very short space of time, this academic year has been taught in a flexible way from the start. For 2020/21 there is now no obvious date up to which we could take marks and work out an average.
2020/21 Safety Net
The measures from the 2020 no-detriment that we have put in place are complemented this year by the further support options which form the enhanced 2020/21 ‘safety net’ for all students. These have been here throughout 2020/21 to protect the standard of your degree, and thereby your personal and professional aspirations, and support you in achieving your potential.
Module Level Assessments
To ensure no disadvantage, the exam boards will review module level performance to ensure that students are being assessed as comparable to the module’s performance in previous academic years. If we find that a module is underperforming compared to previous years marks will be adjusted to ensure students do not perform worse than pre-pandemic cohorts.
As in the 2019/20 no-detriment policy, you will continue to have the opportunity to retake an assessment without a cap on marks (a re-instated first attempt). This will give you the opportunity to improve your grade if you feel you could perform better.
Award Calculations for Final Year Students
When it comes to your final grade our established Academic Regulations include a safety net for times such as these. The Exam Board will take this into account for students who find themselves on the border between two classification bands who may have the class of their degree, diploma or certificate raised at that point.
It is important that you continue to talk to your programme teams, personal tutors and university staff to help us provide support when it’s needed.