Marks 'safety net' and extenuating circumstances
As part of our response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, we introduced an individual marks safety net, which will be tailored for each student, depending on individual performance, alongside the Circumstances Impact Process (CIP) as described below.
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, 27 March 2020.
If your coursework or other assessment was originally due to be submitted before 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 the 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.
As a result of this marks safety net, completing the remainder of your assessments can only have a positive impact on your marks. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you attempt your exams and assessments this summer as it puts you in the strongest possible position to continue or complete your studies as originally planned.
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 already taken for Autumn and Spring modules accounts for less than 40% of all assessment for your 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 a full set of marks prior to adjustment, 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 all required assessments due to circumstances arising from the coronavirus outbreak, our Circumstances Impact Process outlined below will apply.
Circumstances Impact Process (CIP)
We understand that not everyone will be able to complete the ‘take home’ exams in a way that accurately reflects their academic progress. For example, some students may have been affected by illness, internet restrictions, limited access to learning materials, or caring responsibilities.
These circumstances will vary significantly for different students, which is why we introduced the updated, flexible extenuating circumstances process, called the Circumstances Impact Process (CIP), for students to use if they feel they have been disadvantaged. This has temporarily replaced the standard Extenuating Circumstances process.
This updated process will allow you to choose how best to proceed with your studies, depending on your individual situation. Through this process, we can:
1. issue extensions for coursework and dissertations on reasonable request and with no requirement for evidence of the reason for the request
2. permit any student to defer exams to September on reasonable request, again with no requirement to provide evidence of the reason
3. following publication of results, permit any students to retake assessments on reasonable request in August/September without penalties or capping of marks, if you should feel that the outcome does not reflect your ability. Please make sure you seek advice from your School/Department before submitting a request to do this.
Some of these decisions could mean that your work cannot be marked in this academic year. We will do all we can to advise you on how best to proceed – and this is why it will be important for you to stay in touch with us and seek advice if unsure how to proceed.
Please note, there are some deadlines by when you will need to submit a CIP request. Please refer to the frequently asked questions for more information.