Coronavirus Recovery: advice and latest information

PGT Student Guide to the ‘Safety net calculation’ FAQs

The University is aware that students are currently working in extremely challenging conditions. We are responding flexibly to enable you to continue with your studies and ensure they are not adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to support you, the University, in partnership with elected officers of the Students’ Union, has implemented a number of measures designed to assist all students.

The Safety Net arrangements ensure that the current situation does not adversely affect your outcomes while also maintaining the rigour, value and high national and international standing of your Swansea University degree, as well as meeting the standards expected by external regulatory bodies.

Do I still have to undertake my Assessments/Dissertation/Project?

All students are actively encouraged to engage in assessment with a view towards completion within the normal time windows. You will be expected to pursue the appropriate number of credits for your programme and attempt all assessment, in line with the relevant regulations. If you are unable to do this due to the current situation, you should follow the revised Extenuating Circumstances Policy (included in these FAQs).

It is very much in your interests to do as well as you can in your semester 2 assessments and your dissertation/project.

How many credits do I need to be awarded my Masters degree?

You must accumulate the minimum required credit as outlined below to be eligible for a Masters award.
A Masters programme consist of 180 credits. You must pass a minimum of 90 credits of your taught modules, and 60 credits of your dissertation/project. The University will tolerate up to 30 of your taught credits.

An extended Masters programme consist of 240 credits. You must pass a minimum of 90 taught credits, 60 credits of your dissertation/project and 60 placement credits. The University will tolerate up to 30 of your taught credits.

A Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip) programme consists of 120 credits. You must complete a minimum of 90 credits of your modules. The University will tolerate up to 30 credits.

A Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) programme consists of 60 credits. You must pass all of your credits be awarded.

What is the purpose of the Safety Net for PGT students?

The Safety Net regulations have been written specifically to support Taught Postgraduate Students during this period of global challenge. As a result, it is intended that wherever possible you will not l receive a degree outcome worse than it would have been under normal circumstances.

How does the Safety Net ensure that I will not receive a worse degree outcome?

You are encouraged to engage with your assessment that have been provided for you on-line, or any alternative assessments that have been provided due to the pandemic to ensure that you achieved the required credits to complete your programme.

When calculating the outcome of your degree the University has made amendments to the regulations which removes the requirement for you to achieve a certain average in your taught modules, and a certain average in your dissertation/project to enable you to achieve a merit or distinction. Regulations covering flexible programmes already have this stipulation removed.

What this means is that previously to achieve a Merit in your Masters you must have achieved a mark of over 57% in your taught modules and more than 60% in your dissertation/project. These base line mark requirements have been removed and your outcome will now be calculated on your overall average (average of your taught modules and dissertation mark) which must be above 60% for the whole of your programme to achieve a merit.

Likewise, to achieve a Distinction in your Masters, previously you must have achieved a mark of over 65% in your taught modules and more than 70% in your dissertation/project. These base line mark requirements have been removed and your outcome will now be calculated on your overall average (average of your taught module and dissertation marks) which must be above 70% for the whole of your programme to achieve a merit.

In addition to this, the regulations that calculate your overall average mark (combination of taught and dissertation/project) for your degree outcome have been amended to allow your best marks to have a higher value/weighting in your overall average calculation as indicated in the below table.

Masters

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

PGT Standard / Flexible Regulations

Student 1 Module results (ordered by mark)

Module Mark
Module a 10Cr 75%
Module b 10Cr 68%
Module c 10Cr 65%
Module d 10Cr 64%
Dissertation 60Cr 61%
Module e 10Cr 60%
Module f 10Cr 60%
Module g 20Cr 58%
Module h 10Cr 53%
Module i 10Cr 52%
Module j 10Cr 51%
Module k 10Cr 50%

Previously: Part 1 average = 59.5% Part 2 average = 61% Overall average = 60.3% Merit

Now (applying the safety net): (in 10Cr units)
Best 60Cr: (75 + 68 + 65 + 64 + 61 + 61) = 65.67 ave * 3 = 197(20Cr from dissertation)
Middle 60Cr: (61 + 61 + 61 + 61 + 60 + 60) = 60.67 ave * 2 = 121.3 (40Cr from dissertation)
Lowest 60Cr: (58 + 58 + 53 + 52 + 51 + 50) = 53.67 ave * 1 = 53.67 (20Cr module included)
Overall average = (197 + 121.3 + 53.67)/6 = 62.0% Merit awarded

Student 2 Module results (ordered by mark): New calculation increases grade awarded

Module Mark
Module a 15Cr 81%
Module b 15Cr 77%
Module c 15Cr 75%
Module d 15Cr 72%
Dissertation 60Cr 67%
Module e 15Cr 65%
Module f 15Cr 64%
Module g 15Cr 53%
Module h 15Cr 50%

Previously: Part 1 average = 67.1% Part 2 average = 67% Overall average = 67.0% Merit

Now (applying the safety net): (in 15Cr units)
Best 60Cr: (81 + 77 + 75 + 72) = 76.25 ave * 3 = 228.75
Middle 60Cr: = 67 ave * 2 = 134 (all 60Cr from dissertation)
Lowest 60Cr: (65 + 64 + 53 + 50) = 58 ave * 1 = 58
Overall average = (228.75 + 134 + 58)/6 = 70.1% Distinction awarded

Student 3 Module results (ordered by mark) -

ModuleMark
Module a 20Cr 83%
Module b 20Cr 75%
Module c 20Cr 73%
Module d 20Cr 63%
Dissertation 60Cr 62%
Module e 20Cr 51%
Module f 20Cr 44%

Previously: Part 1 average = 64.83% Part 2 average = 62% Overall average = 63.4% Merit

Now (applying the safety net): (in 20Cr units)
Best 60Cr: (83 + 75 + 73) = 77 ave * 3 = 231
Middle 60Cr: = (63 + 62 + 62) = 62.67 ave * 2 = 125.3 (40Cr from dissertation)
Lowest 60Cr: (62 + 51 + 44) = 52.33 ave * 1 = 52.33 (20Cr from dissertation)
Overall average = (231 + 125.3 + 52.33)/6 = 68.1% Merit awarded

Note the module at 44% could be tolerated, or could be re-sat. If this went up to 50%, the overall average would go to 68.4, so no overall difference to the grading.

Student 4 Module results (ordered by mark)

ModuleMark
Module a 20Cr 73%
Module b 20Cr 64%
Dissertation 60Cr 63%
Module c 20Cr 56%
Module d 20Cr 53%
Module e 20Cr 51%
Module f 20Cr 45%

Previously: Part 1 average = 57% Part 2 average = 63% Overall average = 60.0% Merit (just)

Now (applying the safety net): (in 20Cr units)
Best 60Cr: (73 + 64 + 63) = 66.67 ave * 3 = 200 (20Cr from dissertation)
Middle 60Cr: = (63 + 63 + 56) = 60.67 ave * 2 = 121.3 (40Cr from dissertation)
Lowest 60Cr: (53 + 51 + 45) = 49.67 ave * 1 = 49.67
Overall average = (200 + 121.3 + 49.67)/6 = 61.8% Merit awarded

Note the module at 45% could be tolerated, or could be re-sat. If this went up to 50%, the overall average would go to 62, so no overall difference to the grading.

Student 5 Module results (ordered by mark)

ModuleMark  
Module a 20Cr 70%    
Dissertation 60Cr 65%    
Module b 20Cr 62%    
Module c 20Cr 58%    
Module d 20Cr 56%    
Module e 20Cr 51%    
Module f 20Cr 32% 67% in supplementary capped at 50%

Here no award could be made as there is one module below 40%. This would need to taken as a supplementary assessment. Rules would then be run.

Previously: Part 1 average = 57.8% Part 2 average = 65% Overall average = 61.4% Merit

Now (applying the safety net): (in 20Cr units)
Best 60Cr: (70 + 65 + 65) = 66.67 ave * 3 = 200 (40Cr from dissertation)
Middle 60Cr: = (65 + 62 + 58) = 61.67 ave * 2 = 123.3 (20Cr from dissertation)
Lowest 60Cr: (56 + 51 + 50) = 52.33 ave * 1 = 52.33
Overall average = (200 + 123.3 + 52.33)/6 = 62.6% Merit awarded

PGT Extended Regulations

Student 6 Module results (ordered by mark in each year)

Year 1 (this year)

ModuleMark
Module a 20Cr 77%
Module b 20Cr  75%
Module c 20Cr 63%
Module d 40Cr  53%
Module e 20Cr  51%

Year 2 (next year)

ModuleMark
Module f 40Cr 75%
Dissertation 60Cr 71%
Module g 20Cr 67%

This student had some lower marks in year 1 due to disruptions.

Previously: Overall average =

(77*20 + 75*20 + 63*20 + 53*40 + 51*20 + 75*40 + 71*60 + 67*20) / 240 = 66.8% Merit

Now (applying the safety net): (in 20Cr units)

Best 60Cr: (77 + 75 + 75) = 75.7 ave * 4 = 302.7 (20Cr from module f)
Second 60Cr: = (75 + 71 + 71) = 72.3 ave * 3 = 217 (20Cr from module f, 40 Cr from diss)
Third 60Cr: (71 + 67 + 63) = 67 ave * 2 = 134 (20Cr from diss)
Lowest 60Cr: (53 + 53 + 51) = 52.3 ave * 1 = 52.3 (40 Cr from module d)
Overall average = (302.7 + 217 + 134 + 52.3)/10 = 70.6% Distinction awarded

PGDip

Credits AccumulatedRelative Weighting
Best 40 Credits 3
Next best 40 Credits 2
Remaining 40 Credits 1

PGCert

Credits AccumulatedRelative Weighting
Best 20 credits 3
Next best 20 credits 2
Remaining 20 credits 1

Will marking of my dissertation/project take into account the current pandemic?

Markers will make appropriate adjustments in their approach to assessing your work to take account of the challenging circumstances in which it has been produced in relation to issues such as limited access to primary sources, difficulties obtaining physical library resources, closure of lab facilities used to undertake experiments, restrictions on data gathering and interviews etc.

Will the Safety Net be applied if I am on a programme leading to professional registration?

If you are enrolled on programme leading to professional registration, or any other programme defined as a special case by Colleges/Schools, your programme 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. Please contact your college for information on how the safety net will be applied for your specific programme.

What will happened if I was planning to undertake a laboratory based Project/Dissertation as part of my directed independent learning?

If you were planning on undertaking a laboratory based (or other impacted) projects as part of your directed independent learning which you now can’t now access due to labs and the campus being closed, you may apply to defer your studies and return to complete this part of your masters next academic year (2020-21). However, at this point the University can not guarantee when labs will be fully operational. Any 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.

What if I deferred some of my assessments from last semester?

Any assessments deferred from the first semester will need to be submitted in the supplementary period.

I failed a module or modules last term. How will this be dealt with?

You will be provided with an opportunity to re-sit your failed modules in August but this attempt will be capped at a mark of 50. If you have extenuating circumstances approved for the module then your re-sit will be uncapped.

The Safety Net is designed to allow your best module marks to carry more weighting in your overall average calculation. The amendments the University has made to the regulations means that your lowest module marks will carry less weighting in the calculation for your overall average and therefore in your award outcome. Remember though, that you still have the chance to improve your average through your performance in Semester 2 modules and your dissertation/project.

If I attempt my semester 2 taught assessments and fail, will I be able to try again?

Yes, you will be permitted to re-sit failed Semester 2 modules should you wish to. These re-sit attempts will be in August. Marks in a re-sit will be capped at 50%. The safety net calculation will be applied to your re-sit module mark(s).

If you fail a core module, then you must resit and pass the module to be eligible for the award.

If you are undertaking a supplementary assessment that has approved extenuating circumstances, the best mark principle will apply and be used to calculate your degree outcome.

If I fail a semester 2 module, but still qualify for a degree to be awarded, what will happen?

If you fail a ‘non-core’ module, we will offer you the option of taking the degree if you have enough credits to be eligible for the award, or of re-sitting the failed taught Semester 2 module. You have 10 days after receipt of your results to inform your college/school that you wish your failed module to be recorded as ‘tolerated fails’. These modules will be referred to as ‘tolerated failures’. Credit will not be awarded for tolerated failures.

What happens if I fail my dissertation or project?

If you fail your Directed Independent Learning element (dissertation/project), you will automatically be eligible for one attempt to resubmit (capped), in line with current academic regulations and time limits.

If you have applied for and have approved extenuating circumstances, your resubmission will be uncapped. Any additional University fees incurred will be waived.

What happens if I decide to suspend my studies for the rest of this academic year?

You can suspend your studies in accordance with the current regulations (link included below) however, depending on the pandemic situation at the time of the re-commencement of your studies the PGT ‘safety net’ degree classifications might not apply. If you suspension is approved you will return next academic session as an internal candidate. Please contact your College/School to discuss this further.

https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/academic-life/academic-regulations/assessment-and-progress/suspension-of-studies-taught-programmes/ 

Can I apply to extend my Candidature (length of study)?

To have your candidature extended you will need to have extenuating circumstances approved (see below section on revision to the extenuating circumstances policy). You can apply for an extension to your candidature via your supervisor, or in the case of PGCert and PGDips, please contact your Programme Director.

https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/academic-life/academic-regulations/postgraduate-regulations/general-pg-regs/  (point 16).

Under the current pandemic the University has revised its extenuating circumstance policy acknowledging that it may be difficult for you to obtain evidence in the current climate, noting the current pressures on the health services and other services, and will make every effort to consider application sympathetically.

What changes have been made to the Extenuating Circumstances policy as part of the Safety Net?

During the current period the University will operate the Extenuating Circumstances Policy flexibly, to support students who are having difficulties preparing for/undertaking assessments.

Please read this updated guidance and the attached Student Frequently Asked Questions document. If you have any queries, please contact your School/College directly or Student Academic Services: assessmentawards@swansea.ac.uk 

If you struggle to meet any deadlines or prepare for/complete assignments, please contact your School/College to request the Extenuating Circumstances application form. If your College/School supports your application, the most likely outcome is that you will be offered an assessment deferral/extension.

Who will consider my extenuating circumstances application?

All Extenuating circumstances applications, including those for alternative assessments set in place of in-person examinations, such as remote examinations, will be considered by your School/College.

Your School/College will provide you with an extenuating circumstances form to complete and confirm the deadline for submission of this form and any supporting evidence (if appropriate).

What are the deadlines for submitting an Extenuating Circumstances application?

Please note that whilst your School/College will be flexible in considering your application, you are asked to submit your form as soon as you can. Whilst your School/College will make every attempt to be flexible, you will be given a final deadline for submission of forms/evidence by your School/College, in accordance with the University Examination Board dates.

Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to supply supporting evidence. Please do not wait to obtain your evidence before submitting your form to your School/College-please submit your form as soon as you can, and any supporting evidence can be submitted to follow.

What qualifies as 'extenuating circumstances'?

Please refer to Section 3 of the Extenuating Circumstances Policy for a non-exhaustive list of circumstances likely to be accepted by the University as valid extenuating circumstances. In addition, please note the additional information below:

Remote working:

If working remotely from home has affected your ability to complete or submit a piece of work, please clearly explain the specific issues you’re having on your extenuating circumstances application form (access issues etc.). A member of your School/ College will be in touch if further information is required. During this period the University will accept extenuating circumstances applications based on technical difficulties.

Self-Isolation:

If self-isolation is affecting your ability to complete or submit a piece of work, for your supporting evidence, you will need to provide information on the circumstances in your application form. The University will accept self-certification for up to 14 calendar days for self-isolation.

Other illness or injury:

If you have an illness or injury that is affecting your ability to complete or submit work which is not related to COVID-19 Coronavirus, then for your supporting evidence you will need to provide details on these circumstances in your application form. Your School/ College will accept self-certification for up to 7 days for any illness or injury not related to COVID-19 Coronavirus. If you have an illness or injury that requires a longer period of recovery, please let your School/College know. They will let you know whether further evidence is required.

Caring responsibilities and domestic difficulties:

The University recognises that many students may have caring responsibilities or experience domestic difficulties that may impact upon their ability to prepare for/undertake assessments during this period. The University will consider applications sympathetically.

What supporting evidence do I need to submit with my Extenuating Circumstances application?

The University recognises that it may be difficult for students to obtain evidence in the current climate, noting the current pressures on the health and other services, and will make every effort to consider applications sympathetically.

As such, it has been agreed that students may self-certify for up to a period of 7 calendar days. This means that provided that your School/College accept your circumstances as valid, you will not be required to provide supporting evidence for a period of up to 7 calendar days. For any periods beyond 7 calendar days, you may be asked by your School/College to provide supporting evidence.

If self-isolation is affecting your ability to complete or submit a piece of work, for your supporting evidence, you will need to provide information on the circumstances in your application form. The University will accept self-certification for up to 14 calendar days for self-isolation.

What happens after I submit my form to my School/College?

Your School/ Coolege will acknowledge receipt of your application and let you know whether further information/evidence is required. Your School/College will let you know the outcome of your application in due course. If your application is approved, you will be informed that your assessment(s) has/have been deferred/extension granted/any other appropriate outcome, wherever possibly before the deadline for assessment.