Coronavirus Recovery: advice and latest information

1.    Responsibility

1.1 

Faculties/Schools must provide advice and guidance to the student with the aim of facilitating the production of directed independent learning of the requisite standard for a Taught Master's degree. The work shall be the candidate's own, (the content shall be the responsibility of the student), albeit achieved with the benefit of advice and guidance from the supervisor.

1.2

Supervisors should exercise great care in the comments made to candidates regarding the final outcome of the degree to which the directed independent learning will contribute i.e. Supervisors should not attempt to predict that the student will pass with merit/distinction.

1.3

Full-time students are required to be in attendance at the University for the whole programme, unless the programme incorporates periods of study/research away from Swansea, and must be available for supervision when undertaking the directed independent learning. Students undertaking research away from the University or leaving Swansea for personal reasons must request an authorisation of absence from the Executive Dean or their delegate. Students who are absent without authorisation may be withdrawn from the University in accordance with the Engagement Monitoring Policy for Taught Students.

2.    Selecting a Topic

2.1

Faculties/Schools, collectively or through a designated individual (e.g. the Programme Director ), should ensure that the topics are appropriate for a Postgraduate Taught Masters research related degree programme. It is expected that the topic would normally be agreed before the completion of Part One for students on standard masters programmes, and as specified by the Faculty/School for students on extended and flexible programmes. Topics should be recorded on the Record of Supervision sheet (see 5.1).

2.2

The proposal should lie within the broad field of expertise of the Supervisor(s). 

2.3

The subject should be identified following discussion between the student and the supervisor(s) and should be approved centrally by the Faculty/School. Where possible, topics should be so designed that more than one member of staff may assist the student. The names of staff suitably qualified should be conveyed to the student.

2.4

Candidates on standard programmes may begin preparatory work on their directed independent learning during Part One of the programme but will only be permitted to submit their work following successful completion of Part One. Candidates on Extended or Flexible programmes will be invited to begin preparatory work on their directed independent learning, as instructed by the Faculty/School.

3.    Timescale

3.1

The proposal should be agreed in accordance with University's deadline for submission and should be suitable for completion within the allotted time span.

3.2

Students experiencing unexpected personal or medical difficulties should notify their Faculty/School as soon as possible. Faculties/Schools may consider requesting an extension to the time-limit.

4.    Timetable of Supervision

4.1

The University requires Faculties/Schools to hold a minimum of three formal compulsory meetings. Where possible, these should take the form of meetings between the Supervisor and student; however, in exceptional circumstances supervision may be provided online e.g via Zoom or Skype. Student attendance at these meetings shall be monitored. Faculties/Schools wishing to provide additional supervision may do so. Faculties/Schools requiring additional meetings should make these requirements known to the student via the Faculty/School Handbook.

4.2 

Normally the same supervisor would be expected to be present for all of these meetings. 

4.3

Faculties/Schools must ensure that cover is provided to students in cases of staff absence, including holidays or sickness. Faculties/Schools should ensure that students are informed of cover arrangements during the summer period.

4.4 

A record will be kept of students who fail to attend meetings and such records shall be available to Examination Boards/Appeals Committees. 

4.5

Every Faculty/School shall hold a minimum of three formal meetings for full-time students as outlined below. In the case of part-time students, it may be more appropriate to offer additional meetings to monitor progress over their studies and it is recommended that a minimum of four meetings are held. A record, agreed between the Supervisor and the student, shall be kept including dates, action agreed and deadlines set (a recommended template is available from Academic Services). The student shall be responsible for maintaining this record and shall submit it with the work. Supervisors should keep a copy of this record.

It is expected that the student will meet with the Supervisor in person. However, it is recognised that this may not be possible. In such circumstances the Faculty/School/student are expected to keep a formal record of the meeting, including reference to the format of the meeting e.g. e-mail, video conferencing, telephone. Students undertaking research away from the University or leaving Swansea for personal reasons must request an authorisation of absence from the Exevutive Dean or their delegate. 

4.5.1 Meeting 1

For standard masters programmes the first meeting shall take place immediately following confirmation of the completion of Part One. For all other programmes the date of the first meeting shall be determined by the Faculty/School and published to students in the Faculty/School Handbook.

This meeting should be used to formalise a detailed work plan, set deadlines for completion of work and discuss the structure.

It is recommended that this meeting also be used to ensure that the student understands the issues associated with academic misconduct (plagiarism) and the referencing style required.

4.5.2 Meeting 2

For full-time standard masters programmes a second meeting should normally take place approximately four weeks after the first meeting. For all other programmes the date of the second meeting shall be determined by the Faculty/School and published to students in the Faculty/School Handbook.

In the case of part-time students on standard masters programmes this meeting will normally occur within twelve weeks of the first meeting. Faculties/Schools may wish to hold a further meeting for part-time students to monitor their progress.

Faculties/Schools/students may use this meeting to discuss progress and discuss draft sections of the work. Supervisors should ensure that a student is still able to complete the work in accordance with their work plan. 

In the case of full-time students any issues which may necessitate requesting an extension (such as personal difficulties/illness which will affect their ability to complete on time) should be identified at this meeting and Faculties/Schools should consider whether they wish to submit a request for an extension to the submission deadline.

It should be noted that requests for extension for full-time students will normally be considered, administratively on behalf of the Academic Regulations and Cases Board. Applications should be considered and approved by the Faculty/School in a timely manner; normally within a month of the submission date. Extension requests should be submitted, by the Faculty/School, to Student Academic Services.

4.5.3 Meeting 3 - (part-time students only)

Faculties/Schools may wish to introduce a further meeting in the case of part-time students to monitor progress and ensure that a student is still able to complete within the schedule outlined in the work plan. Draft sections of work may also be discussed at this meeting.

Any issues which may necessitate requesting an extension, such as personal difficulties/illness should be identified at this meeting and Faculties/Schools should consider whether they wish to submit a request for an extension to the submission deadline.

4.5.4 Final Meeting

A third and normally final meeting should be held approximately one month later (for full-time students) which should allow for final amendments. 

In the case of part-time students on standard masters programmes this meeting should occur 15 months on from completion of Part One.

This meeting shall include a report on the progress of the student and a draft of the final work should be discussed. Students are expected to provide a draft of the final work in good time for Supervisors to read and comment on the draft at the meeting. Supervisors are expected to comment on the draft in broad terms but are not expected to proof read, correct typographical errors etc.

5.     Submission

5.1

Students shall be expected to submit to the Faculty/School a copy of the written record of their formal meetings on supervision. The University strongly recommends that, wherever possible, Faculties/Schools adopt the template available from Academic Services.

5.2 

This record shall be kept in the student file within the Faculty/School and may be provided to Academic Services in cases of appeal.

6.    Resubmissions

6.1

Students who fail the directed independent learning element at the first attempt and who are permitted to resubmit their work should be given one formal feedback session, including written feedback on the reasons for failure, immediately following confirmation of the result by the University Progression and Awards Board.

6.2 

Faculties/Schools should ensure that the feedback reflects all comments from examiners (internal plus, where applicable, external) and that the student is informed of the necessary changes required.

6.3

Faculties/Schools or Student Compliance Services will then assume responsibility for recording student engagement in the form of welfare check ins for the remainder of the resubmission period. Students are not entitled to additional supervision

6.4

Students resubmitting their work will remain subject to the requirements of the Engagement Monitoring Policy for Research Students and will be expected to be fully engaged with their studies during the resubmission period. Students will be monitored on a four-weekly basis up until the point of submission within the time limit set for full and part time students and will still be subject to the escalation process for reasons of non-engagement.

Proposed Set Up

3 events for full time or 6 events for part time students who are granted resubmission to be added to the system after the official University publication of results.

The Engagement Monitoring team will receive a list of students from the Assessment and Awards team and set up events accordingly. For example:

Full time Taught Masters on a September entry course

September First submission.
November PAB Progress decision - Resubmission for 3 months. Set up events.
December RMS Engagement check to be completed by Supervisor following meeting to discuss student’s written feedback.
January RMS Engagement check to be completed by the Professional Services or SCS.
February RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following resubmission.

Part time Taught Masters on a September entry course

September First submission.
November PAB Progress decision - Resubmission for 6 months. Set up events.
December RMS Engagement check to be completed by Supervisor following meeting to discuss student’s written feedback.
January RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following interim email.
February RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following interim email.
March RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following interim email.
April RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following interim email.
May RMS Engagement check to be completed by Professional Services or SCS following resubmission.