SECTION 5: Assessment, including Marking and Moderation


5.1 Assessment Regulations

5.1.1. The purpose of assessment is to enable students to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes of their course of study and have achieved the standard required for the award.

5.1.2. Assessment will reflect the achievement of the individual student in addressing course learning outcomes, and at the same time relate that achievement to a consistent national standard of awards. APPENDIX ONE - Titles of Awards.

5.1.3. The University will ensure that the assessment requirements for courses of study are made available to students. The assessment scheme of an individual course of study is subject to both institution-wide regulations and regulations specific to that course, and students will be made aware of the detailed requirements of both sets of regulations via the course and module handbooks.

5.1.4. The assessments on a course of study will state how students will be assessed for an award, how the successful completion of the assessments satisfy the general educational aims and learning outcomes, the standard of the award, and any special assessment requirements associated with the award. This information is published in the programme specification document.

5.1.5 The External Examiner must scrutinise all examination papers and substantive assessment briefs before they are released to students.

5.1.6. All marks remain provisional until confirmed by the Course Assessment Board (CAB). The University makes information available to all students about the grounds and procedure on which they may request the CABs to review their decision in section 9 of the Regulations for Taught Students: Appealing a Result.


5.2 Student responsibilities with submission and exam attendance

5.2.1. It is the responsibility of students to attend examinations and submit the correct work for the assessment in the specified format, by the agreed submission date. In addition, it is their responsibility to follow the University’s procedures for Extensions and/or Extenuating Circumstances where it is believed that performance or ability to meet a deadline has been affected. Once a student has been given a deferral/referral opportunity, it is their responsibility to ensure they are aware of and submit the work or attend the exam by the published deadline.

5.2.2. Fit to Sit: By attending an examination or a test under exam conditions, a student is confirming that they are fit to undertake that examination and the student cannot normally then make a claim for Extenuating Circumstances.

5.2.3. If a student fails to attend an examination or submit work for assessment without good cause, then a non-submission will be noted. In cases of disputes over a submission, a student is required to provide a copy of the receipt of submission to evidence their claim. If this is not provided, the claim will not normally be considered.

5.2.4. Assessed work which is submitted late but within five working days of the agreed submission date will be accepted, however the maximum mark available for that piece of assessment will be the standard pass mark for that piece of assessment. This does not apply to the submission of assessed work relating to Tutor Reassessment, referral or deferral requirements but does apply to previously agreed, extended or renegotiated deadlines.

5.2.5. The University Academic Misconduct Regulations apply to all summative assessed work. Students who are found to have breached these regulations will have penalties applied in line with the Academic Misconduct Regulations and Procedures in force at the time of the offence.


5.3 Marking and Moderation Processes

5.3.1 Marked work must be subject to the internal moderation process.

5.3.2. The single marking or the team marking of a component of assessment will be the norm for the majority of assessments unless there are reasonable grounds, in the opinion of the course leader, for either second or blind double marking to take place.

5.3.3. In cases where a module of 40 credits or more is assessed by a single piece of assessment, unless the process has involved a model of collaborative marking, the University normally requires either second or blind double marking.

5.3.4. The set of marks for modules will be scrutinised prior to CABs to ensure that there is no unaccountable variance of grades that would unfairly disadvantage students.

5.3.5. Single Marking
Single Marking is an activity where a piece of assessment is marked in its entirety for the whole cohort by a single member of academic staff.

5.3.6. Team Marking
Team Marking is an activity where a piece of assessment is marked by a team of markers amongst whom responsibility for the marking of the assessment has been distributed. Team marking may refer to distribution by groupings of students (so that a member of academic staff marks the entire assessment for an identified subgroup of students) or by elements of the assessment (for example tutor A marks all of question 1 for all students while Tutor B marks all of question 2 for all students) – or a combination of the two.

5.3.7. Blind Double Marking
Blind Double Marking is an activity where two markers mark independently with no knowledge of the other’s marks or comments. Discrepancies in the mark allocated are reconciled between the two markers after the initial marking is complete.

5.3.8. Second Marking
Second Marking is an activity where the second marker marks the work in full, with sight of the first marker’s marks/comments. Discrepancies in the mark allocated are reconciled between the two markers after the initial marking is complete.

5.3.9. Collaborative Marking
Collaborative Marking is an activity where an initial unconfirmed mark for a piece of assessment is reached through discussion between two or more markers.

5.3.10. Standardisation

  • Standardisation is an activity to ensure that the assessment criteria for a programme, module, or module component, are applied consistently by tutors and assessors.
  • Subject and discipline areas may need to apply different strategies in order to achieve standardisation. School Teaching and Learning Committees will develop standardisation policies and processes to suit their assessment requirements.
  • These policies should include appropriate recording of standardisation events and outcomes, particularly for modules and components which are marked by more than one tutor.

5.3.11. Internal Moderation

  • Internal moderation should take place to cover the work of a minimum of 15% of the student cohort or 10 students (whichever is the greater but normally not more than 30 students) normally covering high, medium, low attainment. All assessments within a module should be internally moderated, irrespective of their weighting.
  • All failed assessments should be made available to the Internal Moderator and subsequently the External Examiner who will undertake duties as prescribed by External Moderation.
  • It is expected that where multiple markers have been used across a cohort of submissions that the sample size normally includes assessments marked by all markers who contributed. A record for this moderation is required and should be kept as evidence for the process having been undertaken.
  • For each Delivery of a Module, the module leader is required to demonstrate that the assessment for that cohort has been subject to the appropriate moderation. This must include evidence that those responsible for internal moderation have confirmed their satisfaction with the standards and processes applied to the assessment of that delivery.
  • Internal Moderation is not a further mark of the piece of work in question. Disagreements with the standard applied are referred back to the initial marker for review. If the matter cannot be reconciled between the two, then a third member of academic staff or External Examiner should be involved to support an agreement on the mark. Internal moderation allows an appropriate member of academic staff not involved in the initial assessment to confirm that:

  1. The marking has been undertaken appropriately against the assessment criteria;
  2. The marking was fair, valid and reliable;
  3. Appropriate feedback has been provided;
  4. Standards have been consistently and appropriately applied for the level of study being assessed.

5.3.12. External Moderation

  • For each delivery of a module at post-Foundation level, the module leader is required to demonstrate that all assessment material for that cohort has been subject to appropriate scrutiny by an External Examiner. The purpose of engagement with the External Examiner is to allow them the appropriate opportunity to confirm satisfaction with the standards and processes applied to the overall assessment of that delivery.
  • Work presented for sight by the External Examiner must have been part of the internal moderation sample. The role of the External Examiner is not to mark or adjudicate on individual pieces of assessment; it is to confirm independently that processes have been followed with consistent application of standards that are typical of the sector as a whole.
  • A sampling of the assessment process of 15% or 10 students (whichever is the greater but normally not more than 30 students) normally covering high, medium and low attainment and all failed assessments should be made available to the External Examiner. This sample can be the same provided for internal moderation. A pro-forma for this moderation should be used and appropriately stored as evidence for the process having been undertaken.


5.4 Academic Judgement

5.4.1. Following conferment by a CAB, disagreement with the academic judgement in the assessment of an individual piece of work or any assessment decision based on the marks, grades and other information relating to a student’s performance cannot in itself constitute grounds for a request for a re-mark by a student.

5.4.2. Assessment is a matter of academic judgement based on the expertise of the tutors responsible for marking. Tutors are responsible for interpreting the assessment regulations for the course if any difficulties arise, and their academic judgements cannot, in themselves, be questioned or overturned.

5.4.3 Marks, grades and percentages are used by tutors to communicate their judgement of different aspects of a student’s work, in order to provide information on which the final decision on a student’s fulfilment of course learning outcomes may be based.

5.4.4. Request for a review of a mark or grade
A student can only request a review of a mark or grade where there is demonstrable material irregularity within the marking process. In addition, a request for a review of a mark or grade will only be permitted where it has not yet been referred to a CAB and has not already been second or blind double marked. A material irregularity may be any of the following:

  • The mark or grade was not based on the specified assessment methods or criteria provided as part of the assessment brief
  • The published split of marks has not been applied
  • A piece of work handed in on time was treated as having been submitted late and thus not marked or given a downgraded mark
  • There has been an error in calculating the final mark or grade
  • There is evidence that questions, or parts of questions, have not been marked. If you are unhappy with your mark or grade, to begin this process we expect that you raise your concerns with your Tutor or Module Leader within 5 working days after the release of the unconfirmed results. A reasonable delay would be permitted where you have provided evidence that the tutor has not responded promptly to your timely request for this feedback. We expect you to contact the tutor who has marked your work for a more detailed explanation of the mark or grade and how they reached their decision. If after this, you can demonstrate a material irregularity has occurred within the marking process, the following should be actioned before the CAB takes place;

  1. You submit a request for a review of your mark or grade to the Module Leader and provide an explanation and/or evidence of the material irregularity
  2. The review of the explanation and/or evidence along with the mark or grade will be completed by another member of staff and should be completed in advance of the CAB
  3. The Module Leader will normally provide a written response to you no later than 10 working days after the date of your request to explain their review and any decision made.
  4. If after the review a re-mark is required, the new mark or grade will in all cases replace the original mark or grade and will be subject to standard moderation processes.

Related policies and frameworks

Grade Safety Policy