Academic Manual

3 Module Assessment 2017-18


3 Module Assessment 2017-18

The following regulations apply to all UCL UG and PGT students.

The following substantive changes have been made for 2017-18 - please see the Recent Changes page for further details:

  • New section created collating all regulations in respect of Module Assessment
  • Late Submission and Word Count regulations relocated from the Consequences of Failure section
  • Late Submission regulations clarified to avoid ambiguity.

3.1 Overarching Principles

Principle 1:

Assessment is integral to learning and teaching; it should develop students’ knowledge and understanding as well as measuring attainment.

Principle 3:

Students must have frequent opportunities to develop their understanding of assessment, for example through formative assessments, guided marking, peer review and opportunities to practise key assessment methods.

Principle 7:

Assessment tasks must enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have attained and exceeded the intended learning outcomes.

Principle 12:

The UCL Pass Mark represents the minimum, threshold standards which students must meet in order to pass a module, progress through their programme and be awarded a degree.

Principle 28:

Marking scales must be transparent and clearly communicated to students in advance of the assessment.

Principle 36:

Any penalties applied, such as those for late submissions or over-length coursework, must be proportionate and applied fairly.

3.2 Forms of Assessment

1. A programme must include both formative and summative assessments:
Formative Assessment
Formative assessment provides students with frequent opportunities to develop their knowledge and understanding of assessment so that they understand how to do well on their programme. Students should receive feedback on formative assessments to help them understand how to improve their performance. A formative assessment may include an indicative mark, but these marks do not contribute to the award of credit and are not included in the calculation of the classification.
Summative Assessment
Summative assessment is the formal assessment of student performance against the learning outcomes. Students must receive a mark and should receive feedback for every summative assessment. These marks are used to determine a student’s progress through their programme and their eligibility for an award. Summative assessment marks are recorded in the student’s transcript and aggregated using a set formula to determine the student’s classification at the end of the programme.

3.3 Methods of Assessment

1. A variety of assessment methods should be used across a programme to test different knowledge and skills. Guidance on appropriate assessment methods is available from UCL Arena. Guidance on a range of digital assessment platforms is available from the Digital Education team.

3.4 Digital Assessment


The Assessment Framework for Taught Programmes applies to the conduct of all forms of assessment. However there are additional considerations and risks involved in managing digital assessments. These regulations should be read in conjunction with the remainder of this Chapter.

Good Practice for Exam Design
2. In line with the British Standard ISO/IEC 23988:2007, if a computer-based examination lasts longer than 90 minutes there should be provision, if not detrimental to the purpose or validity of the assessment, for candidates to take a break.
Testing Summative Online Assessment Tasks
3. The technology being used for all summative online assessment tasks must be tested before students undertake the assessment.
4. If the assessment involves invigilators then these invigilators must be familiar with the software and they must know what the candidates are expected to do during the assessment, so that they can spot any attempts to cheat. 
Skills and Access
5. It must be ensured that all students have access to the required technology needed to carry out the assessment. 
6. Reasonable Adjustments may be possible for students with dyslexia or other disabilities. This must be arranged in advance of the assessment in consultation with Student Disability Services (see Section 4.3: Special Examination Arrangements).
7. If any specific technical skills are required to undertake an assessment, students must have been given a training opportunity to acquire these skills in advance of the assessment. 
Further Guidance
8. More detailed guidance on the operation of digital examinations is available in Annex 4.5.1 E-Assessment Guidelines.
9. Further advice and guidance is available from the Digital Education team.

3.5 Language of Assessment

1. All assessments should be conducted in the English language unless the purpose of the assessment is to test the ability of students in another language.

3.6 Attendance Requirements & Eligibility for Assessment

1. UCL’s minimum attendance requirement is 70%. Departments may stipulate a higher percentage and/ or additional requirements where appropriate (see Chapter 1, Section 4.3: Attendance Requirements for details).
A student whose monitored attendance falls below the attendance requirement is ineligible for summative assessment in that module and will be subject to the regulations in Chapter 1, Section 9.2: Barring Students from Assessment.
  A student who is absent due to illness or other Extenuating Circumstances must notify their Department as soon as possible following the procedures in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.

3.7 Undergraduate Requirements to Complete a Module

1. An undergraduate module is ‘Complete’ when a student has been academically assessed in all of the examined components relating to the module.
2. An undergraduate module is ‘Passed’ when a student has been academically assessed in all of the examined components relating to the module and achieved the Pass Mark for the module as a whole.
3. Students must Complete any component representing more than 20% of a module. Some programmes may also require students to Complete specified components with a lower weighting. Whenever Completion of a component is required, this must be clearly publicised to students.
4. The threshold for Completion must be set by the Department and must be clearly publicised to students. The threshold should normally be a requirement to submit at least a specified fraction of the assessment. If the threshold for Completion is not reached, then the component will be judged ‘Incomplete’ and the student will receive a mark of zero.
5. If Completion of the component is not required for Completion of the module, or if no threshold criteria are set, then the mark obtained by the student, including zero, must be awarded for the component. The overall mark must be calculated in the usual way and the student declared ‘Complete’ for the component.
6. An examination or assessed component is deemed Complete if a student has submitted an answer that can be academically assessed. The mark awarded, however, might be zero. If a candidate makes little or no attempt at the examination or other form of assessment, the component and the module as a whole will be deemed ‘Incomplete’.

3.8 Pass Mark

1. The Pass Mark at levels 4, 5 and 6 (Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate/ Diploma level) is 40.00%.
2. The Pass Mark at level 7 (Taught Postgraduate level) is 50.00%.

3.9 Requirements to Pass a Module

1. A module may include one or more summative assessment components. 
2. One or more of those components may be Non-condonable (must be passed).
3. Components may be equally weighted, or some components may carry a higher weighting than others (e.g. Essay 60%, Presentation 40%).
4. The module mark should be determined from a weighted average of all component marks.
5. In order to pass a module at levels 4, 5 or 6 a student must achieve a weighted average of 40.00%, plus 40.00% in any Non-condonable component(s).
6. In order to pass a module at level 7 a student must achieve a weighted average of 50.00%, plus 50.00% in any Non-condonable component(s).
7. There is no minimum pass mark for formative assessment components and any indicative mark that might be given must not be included in the module pass requirements.

3.10 No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment

1. A student must be awarded a mark of 0% for a Component and must be deemed to have made an attempt where they:
  a) Are absent from an examination, presentation or other assessment event, OR
  b) Do not attempt a paper or task, OR
  c) Attempt so little of a paper or task that it cannot be assessed, OR
  d) Do not submit coursework.
2. A student who is absent or makes an un-assessable attempt due to illness or other Extenuating Circumstances must notify their Department as soon as possible following the procedures in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.

3.11 Coursework Deadlines & Late Submissions

1. Planning, time-management and the meeting of deadlines are part of the personal and professional skills expected of all graduates. For this reason students are required to submit all coursework by the published deadline date and time.
Extenuating Circumstances
2. Where a student is ill or has other Extenuating Circumstances preventing them from meeting the published deadline, they must refer to Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances. If the EC is accepted, the student may be granted an extension. If the deadline has already passed, the late submission may be condoned i.e. the below penalties will not apply.
Late Submission Penalties
3. Where there are no Extenuating Circumstances, the following penalties must apply to all Components which are submitted after the published date and time:
Modules at levels 4, 5 and 6

Component Mark


Component Mark


Up to 2 working days late Deduction of 10 percentage points, but no lower than 40.00% No Penalty
2-5 working days late Mark capped at 40.00% No Penalty
More than 5 working days late Mark of 0% Mark of 0%
Modules at level 7

Component Mark


Component Mark


Up to 2 working days late Deduction of 10 percentage points, but no lower than 50.00% No Penalty
2-5 working days late Mark capped at 50.00% No Penalty
More than 5 working days late Mark of 0% Mark of 0%
4. Undergraduate students who submit before the second week of the third term will receive a mark of 0% but will be considered Complete.
5. Programme/ module teams must clearly communicate to students whether and when coursework solutions will be published. Submissions must not be accepted or marked after the specified publication date.
6. In the case of coursework that is submitted over- or under-length and is also late, the greater of any penalties must apply.
7. As some submissions are made in hard copy or involve artefacts which cannot be submitted at weekends, and because there is no technical support for online submissions at weekends, penalties must be based on the number of working days. As a result, a deadline set for a Thursday will only begin to incur the higher penalties on a Monday, and those set on a Friday will only begin to incur the higher penalties on a Tuesday, or longer in the case of bank holidays or UCL closure days. Deadlines should be set with these restrictions in mind.
8. For electronic submissions, programmes should avoid setting deadlines after working hours. It is good practice to set the deadline date and time in hours, minutes and seconds, and to state the time zone.
9.  Where dual submission is used (i.e. students submit a hard copy and an electronic copy) the Assessment Information for Students must clearly state the deadlines for both modes of submission.

3.12 Word Counts

1. A minimum and/ or maximum word count may be specified as part of the assessment criteria for a component or module. The word count must specify whether footnotes, bibliographies, appendices, tables, figures etc. are to be included in the word count.
2. Where a word count is included, the module information for students must provide clear details of any penalties that will apply for over- or under-writing.
3. Penalties must not exceed a deduction in marks of 10 percentage points for that Component and must not take the student’s mark below the Pass Mark (see Section 3.8).
4. Standardised penalties may be agreed at Faculty, Departmental/ Divisional, Programme or Module level. 
5. In the case of coursework that is submitted over- or under-length and is also late, the greater of any penalties must apply.