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;
• and for final year students (with the exception of some students pursuing programmes that are subject to the requirements of Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies) the inclusion of the previous Safety Net for your 2019/20 average to be used in the determination of your classification.

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

Why is the Safety Net Policy from 2019-20 not being replicated?

It is not possible to replicate the Safety Net that was used in 2019-20 as this approach ensured student outcomes were protected based on an average of mark of modules unaffected by Covid-19. In 20/21, the entire academic year has been affected by the pandemic so this is not possible.

What is module comparison/adjustments and how will it affect my profile?

The University Progression and Award Board will review students’ performance at module level and compare performance with performance on the same module over 5 years (where data is available), to ensure there is comparability.

Will my overall module mark go down as a result of the module comparison/adjustment?

No, the No Detriment process will not adjust marks downwards.

When will I know about the outcome of module comparison/appropriate adjustments?

Provisional adjustments will be made following the teaching block 1 assessment period. All marks are provisional until they are confirmed by the end of year Progression and Award Board. Students will be provided with confirmed marks following the relevant Progression and Award Board.

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

No. The University has designed the Framework with reference to the requirements of all relevant external organisations with oversight of University Degrees.

I am studying for a professional degree (e.g. Medicine, Nursing, Physician's Associates), do these adjustments apply to me?

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

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:

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 the overall outcome of my award if I am unhappy with it?

Appeals must be made on one of the grounds identified in the University procedures, available on the University's Academic Appeals policy.

The University operates a strict 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.

FAQs for Final Year Students

How will my degree be classified during 2020-21?

During 2019/20, you (with the exception of some students pursuing programmes that are subject to the requirements of Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies) would have been supported by the ‘Safety Net’ Policy and your penultimate year marks were protected.

Once we have all your marks for your final year, we will work out your standard degree outcome/classification in the normal way, using the marks actually awarded, and compare them to your ‘safety net outcome/classification’ calculated by including the module marks generated by the Safety Net in 2019-20

If your ‘safety net outcome/classification’ is higher than your ‘standard degree outcome/classification’, your ‘safety net outcome/classification’ will form the basis of your degree. If your ‘standard degree outcome’ is higher, this will form the basis of your degree classification.

What will appear on my transcript of marks?

The actual marks you achieved in each module will appear on your transcript irrespective of whether your degree classification is based on your ‘final degree outcome’ or on your ‘protected classification’.

What are the degree classification rules?

Degree classification rules have been written to assist Schools/Colleges in arriving at such decisions.

The classification rules and regulations for awarding credit can be found on the Classification of Honours Degrees policy.

What if I had a mark reduced last session on the basis of academic misconduct?

Your ‘safety net classification’ will be based on the marks recorded on the system from your previous year (2019-20), which will include any penalties for academic misconduct.

Do I have to pass all my final year modules?

You will have to pass a minimum of 80 credits in the final year in order to be awarded a degree based on either your protected or your final classification. However, if you are pursuing an accredited Engineering degree you will be required to pass a minimum of 100 credits in order to be eligible for your degree. If you are pursuing a professional programme in Human and Health Science or Medicine, all modules must be passed in order to qualify for your degree. Full regulations are available on the University’s Undergraduate Assessment Regulations, Section 2.  

If I fail a non-core module in my final year, but still qualify for my degree, 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 taking a re-sit. You will be given a deadline by which you need to make the decision or we will assume that you are re-sitting the failed module(s). Marks will be capped in line with the relevant assessment regulations unless supported by appropriate Extenuating Circumstances. Your School/College will be able to help you to decide what to do by explaining the pros and cons of keeping the failed mark(s), or of re-sitting.

If I fail modules in my final year, which mean that I have not qualified for my degree, what will happen?

If you have not qualified for your degree, you will be offered re-sits in all failed modules. Marks will be capped at 40% (50% for those in the final year of an Advanced Initial Degree) unless supported by appropriate extenuating circumstances. Your final year outcome will be made available to you on your student intranet account following the Reassessment Progression and Award Boards. If you qualify for your degree at the Reassessment Progression and Awards Board, the Safety Net Classification will be awarded in those cases where this classification is higher than the standard degree classification.

What happens if I opt to resit a failed module and I get a lower mark than my first take?
The best mark principle will apply.

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.

FAQS for Non Final Year Students

What are the progression rules for non-final year students? 

A simplified summary of the progression rules is given below, for full details please see the Rules for Progression and Awarding Credit in a Modular Environment.

• You must aim to accumulate 120 credit points at each Level of Study, i.e. if you are a full-time student you must ensure that you are pursuing modules which total 120 credit points and you must aim to pass all those modules to qualify automatically to proceed to the next Level of Study. 
• If you accumulate 120 credits at the end of the year you will automatically progress to the next Level of Study.  If you are a student pursuing an advanced initial degree,  you may be required to obtain a specified average mark, as well, to be able to progress.  Please refer to your School/College/Programme handbook for further information. 

I am a non-final year student and I have been given a tolerated failure. What is a tolerated failure? 

The University will tolerate a limited number of failures (up to 40 credits at each level or 20 credits for students pursuing professionally accredited Engineering programmes.) The conditions for tolerating a module are as follows: 

1. The module is not regarded as being “core” to the degree scheme  
2. The failure in a module is not below 30%. 
3. You have not failed more than 40 credits.

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

Please note that toleration does not apply to some programmes (e.g. Nursing programmes).  

I am a non-final year student and I qualify for toleration, what does this mean?

Students eligible for a tolerated failure(s) will be given the opportunity to either undertake the reassessment OR accept a Tolerated Failure(s) and complete the level. You will not need to inform your School/College of your decision as all students will receive details of the reassessments. 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 re-sitting.
Marks will be capped in line with standard regulations at Levels 5 and 6 (non-final year), unless supported by appropriate Extenuating Circumstances.
All students eligible for tolerated failures will receive their end of level decision following the re-sit Examination Board.

I am a non-final year student and I do not qualify for toleration, can I re-sit my failed modules? 

The opportunity for reassessments will depend on the number of credits you have passed and the relevant assessment regulations. For further information please see the Rules for Progression and Awarding Credit in a Modular Environment.

How does the No Detriment Framework apply if I am a visiting or an exchange student undertaking a period of study abroad at Swansea University?

Students undertaking a period of study abroad at Swansea University will, in line with the No Detriment Framework, take assessments that have been designed to reflect the move to mainly on-line learning and have their module marks reviewed and where appropriate adjusted.

Visiting/Exchange students will also have access to the revised Extenuating Circumstances Policy and will be offered reassessments in any failed modules.

I am a student who was unable to complete my exchange/study abroad placement

Please contact your College/School directly.