Examinations

Welcome to Examinations. Our student reception is located within the Hub on the Ground Floor of the Main Building. We are responsible for the administration and timetabling of all University Examinations

Examination Timetabling criteria  

The Examinations Office works to a series of protocols that help create the timetable for examinations and various considerations have to be taken into account (suitable exam room availability, religious commitments, University wide Language Programmes taken as additional modules, requests from Schools for exams to be held on certain days). The timetable is programmed with the following criteria;    

  1.     Ideally, students should have no more than one exam in one day

  2.     Students will have no more than three exam sessions in two days

Here is an example of a timetable that has 5 exams in 4 days but no more than 3 exams in 2 days

Monday 8 May

9.30-11.30

Monday 8 May

14.00-16.00

Tuesday 9 May

9.30-11.30

Wednesday 10 May

9.30-11.30

Thursday 11 May

9.30-11.00

Contacts for advice or guidance:

Main Building Room G25

Lesley McCarthy Examinations Officer Tel: 0121 204 4662 E-mail:[email protected] 

Debbie Bedworth Assistant Examinations Officer Tel: 0121 204 3706 E-mail: [email protected] Working days Monday and Tuesday.

Ian Pearson Assistant Examinations Officer Tel: 0121 204 3878 E-mail: [email protected]  Working days Wednesday to Friday

Examinations

When are the examinations?

There are different examination periods for Undergraduate, Postgraduate and some Foundation Degrees.

https://www.aston.ac.uk/academic-services/for-students/examinations  select Examination Calendars, then select your degree programme.

Some courses may include class tests which are assessments that are very similar to exams but are managed by your School rather than by Registry.  Your School will inform you of the time/date/room for these tests.

What exams will I be entered for?

You will only be entered for exams for modules you are registered for on MAP. If you are not registered on MAP, the exam will not appear on your timetable, you will not appear on the exam room attendance list or be allocated a seat in the exam venue.

If the modules you are registered for on MAP are not correct, this may result in you having an exam timetable which is more difficult that it would otherwise be.  If your modules are incorrect, you must contact your School as soon as possible.

What do I do if I am not registered for an exam?

You must contact your School immediately.  If there is sufficient time to add you to the exam, you will be allocated a seat/exam room and it will appear on your exam timetable.  If it is too late to add you to the exam, your School office will advise you of the date and location of the exam.  You must then arrive early to the exam venue and report to one of the exam invigilators, who will find you a spare seat and desk.

When will the exam timetable be available?

The exam timetable release dates are available to view https://www2.aston.ac.uk/academic-services/for-students/examinations select Examination Calendars, then select your degree programme.  We aim to publish the exam timetables at least four weeks before the exam period starts, with the exception of the Referred exam period, which is usually two weeks before.

Why is the exam timetable published when it is?

We always publish the exam timetable as early as we are able to.  However, there are a number of stages involved in producing the timetable that take a number of weeks to complete.

We are not able to start scheduling exams until all module choices are confirmed.  Students generally have two weeks at the start of the term to confirm their modules and Schools have a further three weeks to confirm module selections so we are unable to start the production of the timetable until five weeks into the term.  The scheduling of the exams and the production of the draft timetable takes approximately three weeks.  The draft timetable is then provided to Schools for checking and this together with making final changes takes a further three weeks.

Why is the exam timetable not the same every year?

There are changes every year to modules and exams which have to be scheduled, the number of students taking the exams and the availability of exam rooms varies each year. All these factors mean that a new timetable is produced for each exam period and it would not be possible to schedule exams at the same time each year.

What are the University scheduling guidelines?

We work to a series of protocols that help create the timetable for examinations and various considerations have to be taken into account (suitable exam room availability, religious commitments, University wide Language Programmes taken as additional modules, requests from Schools for exams to be held on certain days). The timetable is programmed with the following criteria:

  1. Ideally, students should have no more than one exam in one day

  2. Students will have no more than three exam sessions in two days


Why do I have two exams in one day/exams on consecutive days?

The logistical difficulties of scheduling a large number of exams involving many thousands of students in a limited number of days makes it inevitable that some students will occasionally have two exams on the same day or exams on consecutive days.

If the modules you are registered for on MAP are not correct, this may result in you having a more difficult timetable that would otherwise be the case.

Why are all my exams scheduled close together/spread far apart?

The difficulties of scheduling a large number of exams involving many thousands of students in a limited number of days means it is not always possible to spread them evenly over the exam period.

What happens if I have a religious commitment that falls during the exam periods/class tests?

The University acknowledges that in the observance of your religion there may be certain holy days and religious festivals which will prevent your attendance at some examinations and assessments. Please use the Religious Commitments task in MAP to let us know when you will be unavailable (please note this should only be used to let us know about unavailability due to religious commitments).

Please complete this task before the expiry date defined in MAP (usually by the end of week 3 of the academic year). Although we are sympathetic to the religious commitments of candidates, it may not always be possible to accommodate all individual requirements.

Do I need to re submit my religious commitments each year?

Yes, as dates can change each year, the MAP request must be completed every year.

How do I register for a foreign language dictionary?

All students who are eligible to be allocated a foreign language dictionary will have a task included in their MAP to do list.  Students have three weeks after enrolling to complete the task.  An English/foreign language dictionary will be made available to registered students for each exam/class test where allowed.  Under no circumstances can a std.

I've registered for a dictionary in my first year. Do I need to resubmit my request for each academic year?

There is no need to renew this request.  The registration remains on your record until you leave the University.

I no longer require a dictionary for my exams. How do I cancel this?

Email [email protected] with your name, student number informing us that you no longer require a dictionary and this will be removed from your student record.

How am I assessed and who decides if I pass?

Most courses at Aston are made up of modules of study. Modules are assessed using different assessment methods such as exams (sometimes called class tests) practicals, presentations and coursework. The marks from your assessments are used for your module mark. You may receive marks and feedback for assessments from your tutors throughout the year but these marks are not formal until they have been considered by an Exam Board. For undergraduate students, this normally happens at the end of the academic year. For postgraduate students it is a little more complicated and will depend on your course but an Exam Board might meet at the end of every term or teaching period. 

You can find further information about Exam Boards and Exam Board decisions in the General Regulations.

What if I have health, personal problems or something else which affects my studies?

Your school can consider any Exceptional Circumstances which have affected your studies.  Exceptional Circumstances are events or problems which you did not expect and which stop you being able to perform to the best of your abilities in your studies. If you have Exceptional Circumstances then you will need to complete and Exceptional Circumstances form. If you have long term problems which affect your studies you should always let your school know. You may be able to access some additional support from the University’s Disability Team. 

You can find more information in the Student Guide to Exceptional Circumstances.

What if I am unable to sit an exam?

It is your choice whether or not you attend an exam. If you attend an exam then you are saying to the University that you are fit and well enough to take the Exam. If you are unable to sit an exam then you must tell your school as soon as possible. You will also need to complete an Exceptional Circumstances and Absence form to explain what happened.  

You can find more information about Exceptional Circumstances in the Students' Guide to Exceptional Circumstances.

What if I cannot submit my coursework on time?

Penalties are normally applied to coursework which is handed in late. The later you submit your work, the more marks you will lose. If your coursework is very late you may not get any marks at all! If there have been unexpected problems or issues which have caused you to submit your coursework late then you should complete an Exceptional Circumstances and Absence form. 

You can find more information about Exceptional Circumstances in the Student Guide to Exceptional Circumstances.

What If I fail some or all of my modules?

If you are undergraduate student and not in your final year then you can normally be allowed a maximum of 3 attempts to pass a module. If you are a final year undergraduate student or you are a postgraduate student on a taught programme, you can normally be allowed a maximum of 2 attempts to pass a module. Your results will be considered by an Exam Board which will decided what you need to do about any assessments you have failed.

You can find further information about Exam Boards and Exam Board decisions in the General Regulations. 

What if I have been asked to leave my course or I am being awarded a lower qualification?

If your results are very poor then the Exam Board may be concerned that you cannot continue with your course. If you are an undergraduate student, you may be asked to withdraw. If you are a postgraduate student you may be asked to withdraw or you may be awarded a lower qualification. You have the right to respond to this before the Exam Board makes its final decision. You can do this in writing and/or by attending a meeting with the Exam Board. Staff at the Advice & Representation Centre in the Students’ Union can help you write your representations and can often go to the Exam Board meeting with you.  You can contact the Advice & Representation Centre on 0121 204 4848 or by email at [email protected]

What if I am unhappy about my results?

If you have received an Exam Board decision and are unhappy with the outcome then you may wish to make an Academic Appeal. You have 14 days (including Saturday and Sunday) from the date you received the Exam Board decision to appeal.

Staff at the Advice & Representation Centre in the Students’ Union can help you with your Academic Appeal You can contact the Advice & Representation Centre on 0121 204 4848 or by email at [email protected] 

You can find information about this in the  Academic Appeals pages of the University website.

Do I have to pay tuition fees if I have to retake my modules?

It depends on what course you are studying and what the Exam Board has decided it wants you to do.  You do not normally need to pay extra for exams or assessments taken during the referred exam period. 

If you are an undergraduate student repeating with attendance then you will normally only pay for the modules you are repeating. You can calculate this by dividing your annual tuition fee by 12 (the number of 10 credit modules you would take in a normal year.) This will give you the cost for one 10 credit module. You then need to multiply this by the number of modules you are repeating (remember 20 credit modules count as 2 modules.)

If you an undergraduate student repeating without attendance then you will normally only have to pay the cost of one module. You can calculate this by dividing your annual tuition fee by 12 (the number of modules you would take in a normal year.)

For postgraduate students it is a little more complicated and may depend on the course you are studying. You may find that you do not need to pay fees for your repeat studies but you should contact your school for further information. 

You can find more information about Tuition Fees in the Tuition Fees Charging Policy which is in the Regulations and Policies part of the University website.

What will happen to my Aston University Scholarships in a repeat year?

You cannot recieve a scholarship if you are in a repeat year.

I receive grants and loans through Student Finance England (or Student Finance Services) and have to repeat a year - what will happen with my funding?

The university will notify SFE that you are repeating a year. You can also do this via your application form if you know this at the time you are applying for funding.

If you will be repeating your studies without attendance then you will not be able to receive grants and loans during your repeat year. You may be able to find some part time work but most students are not able to claim benefits during this time. 

If you are repeating with attendance then you may be able to receive grants and loans. All students who can access student funding from the UK government can normally receive funding for the ordinary length of their course plus one extra year. Any years that you have previously studied at Aston or elsewhere or any repeat years of study are taken into account and can reduce the number of years you can be funded for. Even if you have only attended 1 day, it is counted as a whole year.  

If this is the first time you have repeated and you have never studied previously at Higher Eduication levels you will be awarded an additional year of funding. If you have already had to repeat a year or if you have previously studied at another university then you will only qualify for the non income assessed element of the loan (no income assessed element of the loan or grant and no tuition fee loan). Your funding will resume when you progress to the next full year of your course. Exceptions can be made for students who have compelling personal reasons for needing to repeat their studies.

If you are concerned about your funding please book an appointment with a Student Adviser via the Hub reception.

I am an international student - will problems with my exams and my results affect my visa?

If you are in the UK with a student visa then missing exams or assessments or failing and repeating your studies can have serious implications and you should seek advice from one of our International Student Advisers.  Aston University has to monitor your attendance and progress and may be obliged to report any problems to the UK Visas and Immigration. It is very important that you contact your school to explain why you cannot attend an exam or submit an assessment. If you have failed and it will now take longer for you to complete your studies then you may need to extend your student visa. You can contact an International Student Adviser on 0121 204 4567 or by calling The Hub Advice Zone on 0121 204 4007.