No detriment policy – maximising flexibility to support student success

  • All students will be awarded or progressed fairly, ensuring that they are not disadvantaged.
  • Students will not be penalised if they submit their coursework up to five working days after the deadline.
  • If you’re unable to make a submission of coursework or exams, because of your personal situation, don’t submit. Under these circumstances, wherever possible, we’ll award a qualification that reflects your academic attainment to date.
  • Students with missed results will be offered deferred assessments at a later stage for the opportunity to improve performance.

Examination timetables:

We have instructed examination boards to award qualifications on the available data, where this is possible, and will give you your results in the originally planned timescales. For students who have been awarded qualifications on partial data, we will, however, give you opportunities to take deferred examinations in late summer/autumn to improve your degree performance.  We did this in 2006 when we also had disruption of exams and our careful consideration in awarding degrees led to no students asking to take missed papers. 

Examination boards:

Some students have raised concerns that the disruption during this academic year will have a detrimental effect on their degree attainment and progression.  We wanted to make it clear that it is the University’s key responsibility, after your health and wellbeing, to make sure we offer all the support and guidance we can to aid you in meeting your potential and the degree that you deserve.  We will ensure that our examination boards assess you in a way which maintains academic quality and standards, but also strives to ensure that no student is disadvantaged.  

Assessment details:

If you go to the Blackboard site for your modules you will find details of your modified assessments, what you need to do to complete these assessments and how to upload your submission(s) or engage with the online interactive assessment. At the moment Schools have given you the basic arrangements and further information will be added over the next few weeks, as assessment deadlines get nearer. So keep looking on Blackboard and check what actions you need to take.

Many assessments are time-constrained take away papers and should be completed by the date and time specified in the details on Blackboard.  We have designed the assessment timings to give you enough time to complete assignments, taking into account different time zones and individual student situations.  The times specified relate to UK time, so you will need to calibrate this with your own time zone if you are submitting from outside the UK.

How do I submit my alternative assessments?

For written assessments, all work should be uploaded as detailed within the assessment instructions on Blackboard.  For other assessments (for example interactive assessments conducted over the internet), details will be provided by the relevant module staff in advance of the assessment taking place.  In all cases, it is important that you familiarise yourself with the assessment methodology and assessment criteria in advance of any submission or on-line interactive assessments.

Further information and advice for students about completing assessments online is available via the TLC web pages: http://students.tlc.aston.ac.uk/. Additional information will be published here to address any emerging queries.

What happens if I have trouble getting access to or uploading work?

We are aware that on some occasions, students may experience technological problems in submitting alternatives to on-campus assessments.  We are setting up support to help students in this position.

For technical issues or to report a lack of available equipment and/or reliable internet access, please contact Digital Services on the channels below:

Self-services portal: Solve

Email: it_helpdesk@aston.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 3445

Please include relevant details including Programme and/or Module code so that this can be communicated to programme teams.

For issues related to health and wellbeing support, or any general issues please contact student@aston.ac.uk .

Any students seeking support through our Counselling and Wellbeing Service should apply online through our website: www2.aston.ac.uk/current-students/health-wellbeing/counselling-and-mental-wellbeing-service

Fit to Sit and Exceptional Circumstances:

If you choose to submit an assessment for grading (either coursework or examination alternative), you will have deemed yourself fit and equipped to take the assessment, and accept the outcome of the assessment as valid, i.e.we will consider this a valid attempt.

If, for whatever reason, you believe that you are not fit and able to take an assessment, then please do not submit.  We will then automatically and without penalty defer your attempt to the next assessment opportunity.  An exception circumstances form is not required.  If you are deferred in an assessment due to inability to take it, the deferred assessment may or may not take the same format. 

Coursework only: We would encourage you to submit coursework on time if you have not been ill or affected by other exceptional circumstances.  If, however, you suffer illness or other exceptional circumstances preventing you from completing or submitting your coursework between 24th March - 30 June 2020, you will be able to obtain extensions of up to five working days for all coursework submissions without making an exceptional circumstances submission to an ECAP.  This means that you can submit your coursework up to five working days late without penalty and without the need of an ECAP submission. This temporary change to the exceptional circumstances procedures does not apply to alternative assessments where the assessment has been designed to be completed within a fixed period of time. 

Please upload your coursework by the deadline if possible.  If, however, due to health, technological or other personal circumstances (including on-going special circumstances, caring responsibilities or recent bereavement), you are unable to upload you coursework on time, then you don’t have to submit an exceptional circumstances submission as long as you upload your work within FIVE working days of the deadline.  If your circumstances mean that you need longer then you are required to submit an exceptional circumstances submission.

Modified examinations: If you intend to upload your modified examination you must do so by the deadline.  If, however, you cannot do so due to health, technological or other personal circumstances (including on-going special circumstances, increased caring responsibilities or recent bereavement), then you should follow the fit to sit procedures and not submit the modified examination.  If you do not submit your modified examination for any reason, you will not need to submit an exceptional circumstances submission to cover you for this.  As these modified examinations are substitute assessments for written examinations, and are therefore designed to be completed in a fixed time, late submissions will only be accepted in very exceptional situations and would require an exceptional circumstances submission.

Late submissions: Coursework submissions made after the automatic five-day extension period can still be made, but standard lateness penalties will apply. If students have a valid reason for submitting coursework late, they will need to make an exceptional circumstances submission to an ECAP.

Deferred assessments: If you are unable to undertake your modified examination or submit your coursework we have agreed that you can automatically be deferred.  This means for final year students and postgraduate students, and where we can with other years (including those currently on a placement year), we will award qualifications or progress you where we have sufficient available data without the need for you to take the deferred assessments (and without penalty).  For some programmes covered by regulatory or professional body requirements, however, it will be necessary for you to take any deferred assessments before being able to be awarded or to progress.

Fixed time examinations: Fixed-time assessments are designed to be undertaken and submitted within the specified time window and students should ensure that they allow sufficient time to submit the work by the deadline. Owing to the timed nature of the assessment, submissions after the deadline will only be accepted in very exceptional circumstances, and students will need to make an exceptional circumstances submission to an ECAP.

For details of how to make an exceptional circumstances submission, see the Guide to Exceptional Circumstances here.