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Academic Registry and Council Secretariat

Our Queen Mary Covid Mitigating Measures Policy

The measures set out below are the recommendations arising from discussions between QMSU and Queen Mary, via the Covid Mitigating Measures task and finish group. These measures apply in the 2020-21 academic year only.

1. Regulatory

1.1 Borderline classification zone of consideration expanded from 1% to 1.5% for 2020-21 finalists.

2. Assessment design and delivery

    2.1 Schools and institutes are reviewing and where necessary aligning assessments to ensure they are suitable for delivery in a remote format, and that assessment is streamlined to address overassessment.

      2.2 Schools and institutes are asked to reconsider their deadlines where appropriate, without bunching assessment deadlines. In some instances, it is not possible to change deadlines, and where this is the case, your school/institute will explain why.

        2.2.1 Students who cannot meet the deadline can submit a self-certified extension request.

          2.2.2 Where a student does not submit by the deadline (original or extended), the late work penalty will apply as usual to be fair to students who do submit on time. The penalty can be waived where the student provides valid E.C.s. Your school/institute will be able to advise the deadline for submitting an E.C.

          3. Extenuating circumstances (E.C.)

          The fit to sit policy will apply in the usual way (if a student submits an assessment that assessment will count, except in rare cases where a student can show that they were unable to determine their fitness to sit). However, the E.C. policy has now been adapted (see below).

          Please note E.C.s cannot be used to give additional marks or recognise a student’s potential (as with all institutions); they are primarily a deferral mechanism, until a point where a student is in a position to undertake the assessment.

            3.1 Self-certification will be expanded. There will now be no limit on the number of occasions on which a student can submit an E.C. claim for consideration without evidence (N.B., this is not the same as automatic approval).

              3.1.1. Students will need to submit a claim to be considered. This will help with engagement and to identify and address concerns.

                3.2 The definition of an extenuating circumstance has been temporarily expanded to recognise the effects of the pandemic on students’ ability to engage in assessment. Typically, an E.C. relates to a circumstance which is both ‘unforeseen and beyond a student’s control’. This year, students will also be able to submit an E.C. claim for circumstances outside their control arising from the long-term effects of the pandemic.

                  3.3 We have updated the categories of E.C.’s to ensure that sufficient account is taken of caring responsibilities, suitable study environments, and access to the necessary hardware/software so that these will now be accepted as E.C.’s. Issues that have always been accepted as valid reasons for extenuating circumstances, such as domestic violence, but are (sadly) particularly likely to occur at this time, will continue to be accepted.

                   4. Examination Boards

                    4.1 School/institute-level Subject Examination Boards should take patterns of student achievement into consideration and compare results against those of previous pre-covid cohorts (and of the same cohort on other modules) to look for modules that seem out of line. If there is a variation that cannot be adequately accounted for and can be attributed to an assessment issue linked to the pandemic, restorative measures such as scaling may be presented to the Faculty-level Degree Examination Board for consideration.

                      4.2. The calendar for examination boards will be reviewed to open up as much time as possible for potential coursework extensions, whilst ensuring progression and award decisions are made in a timely way, and sufficient notice for students to prepare for any resits.

                      In addition to the above, please remember that most programmes of study do not require a student to pass every module outright in order to qualify for the award. Instead, we allow a degree of compensation – so long as a student passes enough modules in total and has a high enough weighted average mark, failing (or not passing) some modules will not prevent achievement of the intended award. For most bachelors programmes, 45 credits can be failed (or not passed) across the three-year degree, with no more than 30 of those in any one developmental year. There are some exceptions – notably LLB, MBBS, BDS and accredited programmes where there are strict professional requirements – and there are certain specified modules on most programmes that must always be passed outright – please contact your School/Institute for exact details of how this applies to your individual programme of study.

                      Please also note, some of the measures outlined above are not directly transferrable for some clinically and externally regulated courses, such as BDS and MBBS, but work is ongoing to ensure students studying such courses have Covid-mitigations too. We will consider how mitigation measures can be implemented for these courses, such as BDS, LLB and MBBS, in order for students on these courses to also be protected and fairly assessed.

                      This document outlines Covid-mitigation measures that have been agreed to date. We will continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic to ensure students are fairly assessed.

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