Coronavirus Recovery: advice and latest information

What is the University doing to support my studies through the pandemic? 

The University is aware that students are currently working in extremely challenging conditions. In response to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic and changes to Welsh (and UK) Government Policy, the University is continuing to work with students to ensure the provision of appropriate support and to protect their outcomes.   

In order to support you, the University, in partnership with elected officers of the Students’ Union, has  developed a range of approaches that together form a  No Detriment Framework designed to prevent an impact on student performance, mitigate the effects of any impact and to make adjustments where appropriate.

These approaches, along with continued enhancement of online learning and study environments, and the revised Extenuating Circumstances Policy, are already in place and now form the cornerstone of the University’s No Detriment Framework. 

What is the No Detriment Framework? 

The No Detriment Framework  is a range of actions that will be used for all taught students according to their circumstances, in order to provide support and protection 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.  The Framework includes: 

  • the operation of a flexible Extenuating Circumstances Policy; 
  • assessments that have been designed to reflect the move to mainly on-line learning; 
  • the option to re-sit tolerated failures;
  • the review and possible adjustment of module marks;
  • the retention of the revised classification for taught master's degrees implemented in the 2019/20 session.

The University Progression and Award Board will also review and consider every student’s performance in accordance with the assessment regulations.

Will the No Detriment Framework affect the quality of my degree?

The University has designed the Framework with reference to the requirements of all relevant external organisations with oversight of University Degrees.

I am a Postgraduate Taught student; how does the No Detriment framework apply to me?

Firstly, the Extenuating Circumstances Policy has been modified and expanded to ensure flexibility and allows for self-certification to support students through the ongoing Pandemic.  Please see FAQ on Extenuating Circumstances.

The changes made to the classification system last session for Pass, Merit and Distinction for Postgraduate Taught students has also been retained, as defined by the Regulations Below:

I am a Postgraduate Taught student on a standard master’s programme; how will my degree be calculated?

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.  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. Examples of the application of this amended calculation are indicated in the below table.

I am a Postgraduate Taught student on a flexible or extended master’s programme; how will my degree be calculated?

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. Examples of the application of this amended calculation are indicated in the below table. Please note that the Flexible and Extended programme regulations did not include a 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 so this adjustment did not need to be made to these programme regulations.

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)

ModuleMark
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 : (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

ModuleMark
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 : (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: (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: (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: (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: (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

I am studying for a professional degree (e.g. medicine, nursing, Physicians Associates), do these adjustments apply to me?

Due to Professional Body requirements and the structure of these programmes Colleges have put in place different measures of support. If you are  pursuing a professional programme your College will contact you directly with the specific information.

Can Postgraduate Taught students re-sit a failed module?

If you do not pass all of your taught modules, you may be given reassessments.  Marks will be capped at 50%.  

If you do not attempt the reassessment, you will be awarded a mark of 0%.  However, the best mark principle will apply at the Progression and Award Board and the Board will refer to the first attempt marks where a higher mark has previously been scored. 

If you fail a module at the second attempt, no further opportunity to redeem the failure will be available.

What is the best mark principle?

When determining the progression decisions of students following the reassessments, the University Progression and Award Board shall refer to the best mark scored by the student in each particular module, during the session.  It follows, therefore, if a student scored a higher mark at the first attempt, the Progression and Award Board shall refer to that mark as opposed to the reassessment mark.  The Best Mark Principle shall only apply within one academic session and will operate at the reassessment Progression and Award Boards only.  It is irrelevant to ‘Core’ modules since such modules must be passed.

I am a postgraduate taught student and have been awarded a tolerated failure. What is a tolerated failure?

The University recognises that some students will fail some modules.  The University will tolerate a limited number of failures in taught modules at the Progression and Awards Board (no more than 20 credits for programmes in Engineering and 30 credits for all other programmes) provided that you have met the following criteria:

  • The module is not regarded as being “core” to the degree programme.
  • The failure in a module is not below 40%.
  • You have not failed more than 30 credits (20 credits for engineering programmes).
  • The module is not contributing to the 60 credits of directed independent learning.
  • The modules are a second attempt.

Students eligible for a tolerated failure(s) will be given the opportunity to either undertake the reassessment OR accept a tolerated failure and continue with their programme.     It will be up to you to decide whether to complete the assessment(s).  Your School/College will be able to help you to decide what to do by explaining the pros and cons of keeping the tolerated mark(s) or undertaking the reassessment.  If you chose to tolerate you will be required to complete the appropriate Request for module toleration form, which will be made available to you following the Progression and Award Board.

Marks will be capped in line with standard regulations unless supported by appropriate Extenuating Circumstances.   

Please note that credit will not be awarded for tolerated failures.

Please also note that toleration does not apply to some programmes (e.g. MSc Social Work).

Full-time Taught Master’s students are only permitted a maximum of two attempts at passing a module, normally the original attempt and one further attempt to redeem a failed module, awarded at the discretion of the Progression and Award Board.  Therefore, if you fail a module at the second attempt, no further opportunity to redeem the failure will be available.

I am a Postgraduate Taught Student, can I request an extension to my dissertation/project/Directed Independent Learning submission deadline?

Further details on requesting an extension to your deadline can be found in the General Postgraduate Regulations.

I am a Postgraduate Taught Master’s Student, what happens if I fail my dissertation/project/Directed Independent Learning module?

If you submit and 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 do not submit your Directed Independent Learning element  (dissertation/project), you will fail your programme and you will be considered for an exit award.

What changes have been made to the Extenuating Circumstances policy for 20-21 to support me?

During the current period the University is operating a more flexible Extenuating Circumstances Policy, to support students who are having difficulties preparing for/undertaking assessments.

Please read this updated guidance and the attached Frequently Asked Questions.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 complete an Extenuating Circumstances application form (available through Canvas and/or your School/College). If your College/School supports your application, the most likely outcome is that you will be offered an assessment deferral or an extension. 

What if I want to query my marks?

If you believe that a mistake has been made in calculating your module mark e.g. a mark for an assessment component has not been included, you may submit a request to your School/College for a particular mark be checked.

Full procedures are available on the University’s Accuracy of Published Marks policy. 

This process is not intended to be a process for challenging the academic judgement of the marker and will simply confirm that your mark has been calculated correctly.

Can I appeal against the overall outcome of my award if I am unhappy?

Appeals must be made on one of the grounds identified in the University’s Academic Appeals procedures.

The University operates a filtering process and appeals not based on the grounds listed in the procedures or that are not supported by evidence, will be rejected e.g. if you have not disclosed information to your School/College prior to the meeting of the Progression and Awards Board.