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Section 1: Structure of Examination Boards

1.1   INTRODUCTION

The University operates a campus-wide assessment system. The system is intended to deal with progression issues at all levels and with the awarding of qualifications.

1.2   AN OUTLINE OF THE COMMITTEE STRUCTURE

The model below represents Swansea University’s structure for managing student progression and awards. The University’s Senate delegates the responsibility for managing the bestowing of Swansea University Awards and ensuring the quality and standards of awards made in the name of the University to the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee. The University Progression and Awards Board, under the authority delegated to it by the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee has responsibility for overseeing the University’s assessment process and confirming progression and award decisions submitted to it by the School/Subject Examination Boards.

 

 

1.3   EXAMINATION BOARDS

1.3.1 School/Subject Examination Boards

The Faculty/School is responsible for arriving at the module marks for each student studying its modules. Initially, and following strict marking conventions, provisional marks shall be determined. Faculties/Schools will be required to record provisional marks on the assessment system. These marks, coupled with the end of session results will be considered by Faculties/Schools at a School/Subject Examination Boards. It shall be at the discretion of the Executive Dean (or nominee) whether the Examination Board is held at Subject or School level. Careful consideration should be given to the award of borderline marks (marks ending in ‘8’ and ‘9’.) The provisional marks and decisions will then be submitted to the University Progression and Awards Board which shall confirm the progression and award decisions.

The School/Subject Examination Board will also consider evidence of extenuating circumstances relating to individual students (Schools should be aware of the University’s Policy on Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessment“).

School/Subject Examination Boards should ensure that full and thorough consultation with other Schools/Subjects has occurred with regard to Joint Honours students.

1.3.2 Membership of Faculty/School Examination Boards

Chair: Executive Dean (or nominee).
Chief External Examiner: One External Examiner to act as Chief External to sign the official results endorsement form.
External Examiner: Relevant External(s) for all boards where award recommendations are made.
Internal Examiner: Members of staff as determined by the School/Subject.
External Reps: Cross-representation from other Schools/Subjects where applicable. 
Secretary:  To be determined by Executive Dean or nominee.

1.3.3 School/Subject Examination Boards -Terms of Reference

School/Subject Examination Boards

  • To ensure that the rules and regulations relating to progression are applied consistently and those standards are maintained.
  • To confirm marks for modules taught by the School/Subject.
  • To receive recommendations on extenuating circumstances and finalise marks.
  • To determine progression issues, with reference to the rules and regulations, and to award supplementary assessments;
  • In the case of students at the end of their programme of study; to make recommendations on provisional awards for degrees/certificates/diplomas and other qualifications to the University Progression and Award Boards.
  • To make recommendations on exit qualifications.
  • To nominate representatives to attend, on behalf of the School/Subject, the University Progression and Awards Board.
  • To draw up subject level pass lists/result endorsement forms and ensure that these are signed by a Chief External Examiner.

School/Subject Examination Boards will meet to finalise the marks of students at the end of their programme. The External Examiner(s) must be available for consultation at this meeting and are also required to sign the result endorsement forms following the meeting.

1.4   University Progression and Awards Board

1.4.1

The University Progression and Awards Board will act under the authority delegated to it by the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee, and oversee the University’s assessment process and confirm marks and all progression and award decisions. In addition, the Board will be responsible for monitoring the quality and standards of awards may in the University name. All awards recommended by an Examining Board must be conferred by the University Award and Progression Board before Certificates and Transcripts can be issued.

1.4.2 University Progression and Awards Board – Terms of Reference

  • To monitor and ensure adherence to the requirements of the University’s academic and assessment regulations by progression and award boards;
  • To approve recommendations on the awarding of degrees and other qualifications;
  • To report to the Learning Teaching and Quality Committee on all awards bestowed by the University;
  • To approve recommendations from School and other relevant boards, on progression issues with reference to the assessment regulations;
  • To receive and consider reports from all Faculty/School progression and award boards and other relevant boards;
  • To determine cases where a procedural irregularity has occurred during the proceedings of progression and award boards and where a recommendation has been made contrary to Regulations;
  • To make recommendations on the revocation of awards;
  • To review, on an annual basis, issues relating to the assessment process;
  • To monitor and report on key performance indicators in relation to assessment outcomes;
  • To approve recommendations on the award of prizes;
  • To make recommendations on the bestowing of aegrotat and posthumous awards;
  • To consider External Examiners’ reports and ensure appropriate responses are made and to report to the Learning, Teaching and Quality Committee any issues of concern.

1.5   ISSUES REQUIRING APPROVAL BY SENATE

1.5.1 Recommendation on the Revocation of an Award

At an Examination Board every effort shall be made to reach a consensus. If a disagreement arises between the External Examiner and the relevant Examining Board regarding issues of standards, the views of the External Examiner shall be noted in the minutes of the Board and in the external examiners’ report. The External Examiner may appeal, in exceptional circumstances, to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) or another Pro Vice-Chancellor (where the PVC (Education) is unavailable or is in conflict of interest). The decision of the Pro Vice-Chancellor shall be final.

When the decision of an External Examiner gives rise to a case of dispute between the External Examiner(s) and internal examiners it is within the power of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) to decide on the matter, at their discretion, or to appoint another External Examiner to provide an independent opinion. The Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education)may take into account any written reports submitted by members of the Examination Board.

In choosing a second External Examiner the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) may also take into account, but need not be bound by, the nomination (if any) of an Examination Board for a second External Examiner. A decision on whether or not to reconvene the Examination Board shall be at the discretion of this second External Examiner whose decision on this matter shall be final.

1.5.2 Disputes Between the School/Subject Examination Board and the University Progression and Awards Board

Decisions made by the University Progression and Awards Board or by the Chair/Deputy Chair of that Board shall normally be made in accordance with the regulations and therefore, such decisions will normally be final. In exceptional circumstance where there is a disagreement between the School/Subject Examination Board and the University Progression and Awards Board or the Chair/Deputy Chair of that Board with regards to the application of the regulations, the Chair of the School/Subject Examination Board may appeal to the Pro-Vice Chancellor responsible for Standards and Quality. The decision of the Pro Vice-Chancellor shall be final.