Coronavirus Recovery: advice and latest information

Safety Net Regulations: Standard Postgraduate Taught Masters Programmes

Students enrolled on Programmes following Standard Regulations (Part one/Part two)
(full and part-time students to be applied pro-rata)

These emergency regulations reflect the inherent differences in Postgraduate study and have been written specifically to support Taught Postgraduate Students during this period of global challenge. As a result, it is intended that wherever possible no student will receive a degree outcome worse than they would have under normal circumstances.

Students pursuing modules completed after 14 March 2020 are considered to have had their studies affected. Completed modules completed before this date, unless specifically identified by the College/School, are unaffected.

Students enrolled on programmes leading to professional registration, or any other programme defined as a special case by Colleges/Schools, will be included in the Safety Net approach. However, because of the requirements of Professional, Statutory and Regulatory bodies there may be variations in how the safety net approach is applied. Students’ Colleges/Schools will notify them of how the safety net approach will work for their specific programme.


All students will be expected to pursue 180 credits for their programme and attempt all assessments, in line with relevant academic regulations.


All students must accumulate a minimum of 901 taught credits and 60 Directed Independent Learning credits as outlined in the University’s relevant Academic Regulations to be eligible for an award (in order to demonstrate that the programme learning outcomes have been achieved).


Where Pandemic restrictions may impact upon the original assessment approach, and where necessary and appropriate, assessment approaches may be changed by their College/School to enable students to continue to engage with their studies.


The Learning Outcomes and, where necessary, assessment approach for the 60 credit Directed Independent Learning (dissertation or project) element may need to be modified to reflect the challenges of study within the current circumstances, whilst upholding the standards of the Programme.


Students undertaking laboratory based (or other impacted) projects as part of their Directed Independent Learning may apply to defer their studies and return to complete in the 2020-21 academic session. Any additional University fees incurred as a result will be waived by the University, but students should note that they may incur additional costs due to, for example, accommodation, travel and deferral of employment.


All students will be eligible for consideration of Extenuating Circumstances in line with the revised .


The minimum mark requirements stipulated in the Standard Taught Master’s Regulations at Part 1 and Part 2 for consideration for Merit or Distinction will not apply, and eligibility for a Merit or Distinction will be determined by the student’s overall average for the degree scheme weighted as follows:

Credits AccumulatedRelative Weighting
Best 60 Credits 3
Next Best 60 Credits 2
Remaining 60 Credits 1


Students who fail modules will automatically be registered for Supplementary Assessment. Where programme regulations permit, the University will tolerate failure down to 40% in non-core taught modules in up to 30 credits, in line with current academic regulations.

Students eligible for toleration at the first attempt who wish to waive their right to supplementary assessment for their failed modules may, with the support of their College/School within 10 days, request for modules to be recorded as ‘tolerated failures’, in line with standard academic regulations. 
Such failures shall be referred to as ‘tolerated failures’. Credit will not be awarded for tolerated failures.


Students may suspend their studies in accordance with the current academic regulations and the University will be sympathetic to student requests. Students who do not pursue modules within the defined period of operation for these regulations will not be subject to the ‘safety net’ for degree classification. Where approved, periods of candidature may be extended accordingly, within the constraints of University Boards. 

Extenuating Circumstances and Supplementary Assessments:


Students will have the opportunity to undertake supplementary assessments (capped) to redeem failed credits in taught modules, in line with current academic regulations.


Students with approved Extenuating Circumstances will be considered sympathetically for extensions and/or deferrals to support their studies, in line with standard academic regulations.


Students with a high number of deferred or supplementary assessments, may in discussion with their College/School, be considered for an extension to the submission deadline for the Directed Independent Learning. Any additional University fees incurred will be waived.


Any students who fail the Directed Independent Learning element, will automatically be eligible for one attempt to resubmit (capped), in line with current academic regulations and time limits. Any additional University fees incurred will be waived.


Students with approved extenuating circumstances may be permitted to defer assessments to the 2020/21 academic session as an External Candidate or, exceptionally, as an internal candidate.


The best mark principle will apply to supplementary assessments undertaken as a result of Extenuating Circumstances due to the current pandemic, whether they are undertaken in the current or next academic session.


Students who fail core modules are required to undertake supplementary assessment, in line with standard academic regulations.


All supplementary assessments will be capped at 50%, in line with standard academic regulations.


Supplementary and deferred assessment within the academic session should mirror the first attempt assessment format and weighting wherever possible.


Students who pass modules will not be eligible for supplementary assessment in order to improve their module mark.

1. Unless a higher credit requirement is otherwise specified within specific programme regulations

Specific Regulations for Standard 180 Credit Masters Programmes

Directed Independent Learning

Directed independent learning is defined as a single piece or pieces of self-directed study (undertaken under the guidance of a supervisor), totalling 60 credits, which provide(s) an opportunity to engage in extended research on one or more aspects of the syllabus relating to the programme. The directed independent learning can take a variety of forms, chosen to be the most appropriate for the programme, and/or to enhance the employability prospects of the students. This can be defined at programme approval and will be equivalent to the effort required to prepare a dissertation of up to 20,000 words.