Marks ‘Safety net’ and Extenuating Circumstances
As part of our response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, during the 2019/20 academic year we introduced an individual marks safety net, which was tailored for each student, depending on individual performance, alongside our Circumstances Impact Process (CIP) as described below.
The CIP replaced the normal Extenuating Circumstances Process, on a temporary basis and only in respect of assessments undertaken in 2019/20, with effect from 23 March.
From 28 September, for all extenuating circumstances in respect of modules being taken in 2020/21, the normal Extenuating Circumstances Process (not the Circumstances Impact Process) will apply.
How does the marks ‘safety net’ work?
In normal circumstances, your full assessment mark for each module is usually made up of:
- marks from coursework and other assessment undertaken over the course of your module in the Autumn and Spring terms
- your marks from exams or any other form of assessment undertaken in the Summer term.
The safety net means that, subject to certain important exceptions, your mark for each module will be no lower than the average you had achieved through the coursework and other assessment with an original submission date before the end of the Spring term, up to and including 27 March 2020.
If your coursework or other assessment was originally due to be submitted up to and including 27 March, but you received an extension, it will still count for the purposes of the safety net if the extension allows for marking to take place in time for the Summer Exam Boards. This will typically apply, for example, to 10-day extensions given by Schools. It may not apply to extensions given to individual students. Please speak to your Academic Tutor or Student Support Coordinator, HBS School Office, or ISLI Helpdesk, if you have any concerns.
Your final module marks will be used to calculate progression or your degree award in the normal way at the end of the take home exam period.
If you are retaking an exam or assessment, you will be awarded whichever mark is higher; your original ‘safety net’ mark, or your retake mark.
If you are resitting an exam or assessment, you will be awarded whichever mark is higher: your original attempt (with the marks ‘safety net’ already applied) or your resit mark.
There are a number of circumstances where the marks safety net cannot apply and therefore it is especially important that you complete the remainder of your assessments:
- where the assessment for an Autumn and/or Spring module accounts for less than 40% of all assessment for that module, as there is not sufficient basis to demonstrate that learning outcomes have been met. In these cases, your final module mark will be based on your full assessment in the usual way, but the Circumstances Impacts Process outlined below will still apply.
- where, on the basis of the set of your full assessment marks (i.e. the marks for the module based on the Autumn, Spring and Summer assessments), a finalist has not achieved the requirements for the award of an Honours degree at the threshold for Third Class on their programme or where a postgraduate taught student has not achieved the requirements for the award of their qualification at the level of “Passed”.
- where programmes are subject to professional regulation we may not be permitted to apply the marks safety net.
If you were not able to submit work for one or more of your required assessments due to circumstances arising from the coronavirus outbreak, our Extenuating Circumstances Process outlined below will apply.
Post-results requesting further retakes
Once results have been published, which will take into account the marks ‘safety net’ measures you must contact your Academic Tutor or whoever your School/Department advise you to consult to discuss your results and circumstances prior to submitting your request. They will be able to give you personalised advice on the advantages and disadvantages of attempting a further reassessment, particularly if you have already achieved the grades that will allow you to progress or complete your degree.
Information about who will be available to speak to and when during these five working days will be sent to you by your School/Department in advance. However, if you are still not sure whom to contact then please contact your Student Support Coordinator, or the HBS School Office/ISLI Helpdesk as appropriate.
From 28 September, for all extenuating circumstances in respect of modules being taken in 2020/21, the normal Extenuating Circumstances Process (not the Circumstances Impact Process) will apply. If your request is in relation to a 2019/20 assessment impacted by COVID-19 and is therefore covered by the Circumstances Impact Process (CIP) you should indicate this on your extenuating circumstances form (ECF) in section 10a. In this case, please state "This request relates to an assessment under the CIP" and provide the name of the individual from your School you have discussed your results with prior to submission of this request. In most cases evidence will not be required in support of such requests. Please read the ECF carefully and complete all sections. We will not be able to approve incomplete forms.
This must be requested within 5 working days of the publication of results.
If you are not able to meet this deadline because, for example, you are seriously ill or have suffered a bereavement, you must submit your request as soon as possible, explaining the reason for the delay and giving evidence for this if required. We will do our best to accommodate justifiable late applications, but it may not always be possible for us to do so. Where we are not able to accommodate a justifiable late application we will contact you to discuss options with you.
Will this safety net apply to 2019/20 reassessments taken in 2020/21?
No, the current Individual Safety Net mark that has been applied to 2019/20 will not apply to reassessments taken during the academic year 2020-21.