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Section 3: Module Assessment

The Module Assessment regulations define how students will be assessed in each module and component. The outcome of each module assessment is used to determine a student’s eligibility for Progression and Award (Section 9) and to determine their Classification (Section 10 and Section 15).

3.1 Overarching Principles3.8 Marking Scale
3.2 Forms of Assessment3.9 Component Assessment
3.3 Assessment Methods and Tasks3.10 Requirements to Pass a Module
3.4 Digital Assessment3.11 No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment
3.5 Language of Assessment3.12 Coursework Deadlines & Late Submissions
3.6 Attendance Requirements & Eligibility for Assessment3.13 Word Counts
3.7 Pass Mark3.14 Academic Integrity

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

2. 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

3. Summative assessment is the formal assessment of student performance against the learning outcomes. Students should 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 Assessment Methods and Tasks

1.The Assessment Method defines the way in which a student will be assessed for a particular component or module. A variety of assessment methods should be used across a programme to test different knowledge and skills - examples include written examinations, essays, presentations, reports, practicals, group work and many more. The Assessment Method must be defined at the point of module approval and/ or amendment. Changes to the Assessment Method must be formally approved by UCL Education Committee or its nominee (see Chapter 7: Programme and Module Approval and Amendment Framework).
2.The Assessment Task is the specific exam paper, essay question, topic or activity which students are asked to undertake. All new Assessment Tasks should be approved by the External Examiner (although if a task has been used on a previous occasion, repeat approval does not need to be sought).
3.Guidance on Assessment Methods and Tasks is available from UCL Arena. Guidance on a range of digital assessment platforms is available from the Digital Education team.


3.4 Digital Assessment

1. 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 the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) (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 information on the operation of digital examinations is available in Annex 4.2: 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 3, Section 3.1: Attendance Requirements for details).
2. A student whose monitored attendance falls below the attendance requirement may become ineligible for summative assessment in that module and will be subject to the regulations in Chapter 6, Section 4: Learning Agreements, Barring, Suspensions and Termination of Study.
3.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 Pass Mark

1.The Pass Mark at Levels 4, 5 and 6 (Undergraduate and Graduate Certificate/ Diploma level) must be 40.00% or Grade D.
2.The Pass Mark at Level 7 (Taught Postgraduate level) must be 50.00% or Grade C.

3.8 Marking Scale 

3.8.1 Requirements 

1.UCL operates a Numeric Marking Scale and, on some programmes, a Letter Grade Marking Scale.
2.The Numeric Marking Scale must be used on the following qualifications:
 a)Certificate of Higher Education
 b)Foundation Degree
 c)Bachelors Degree
 d)Integrated Masters Degree
3.The Numeric Marking Scale should be used on all Graduate and Taught Postgraduate programmes. Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee or its nominee, a Graduate or Taught Postgraduate programme may operate the Letter Grade Marking Scale.
4.A programme must use a single marking scale across all summative components and modules so that module marks (Section 3.10), Progression and Award (Section 9) and Classification (Section 10 and Section 15) can be calculated accurately.
5.If an indicative mark is offered for a formative component, this may be on the Numeric OR Letter Grade Scale as it does not contribute to the module mark.
6.Please refer to Section 9.3: Condonement for details of the Condonable Range on each programme.

3.8.2 Pass/ Fail Modules and Components 

1.Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee or its nominee, a module or component may be marked on a Pass/Fail basis i.e. without a mark or grade.
2.Pass/Fail Components must only be used:
 a)Where the Pass/Fail status of a component is a requirement of professional accreditation AND
 b)Where the component is zero-weighted in the module mark calculation.
3.Pass/Fail Modules must only be used:
 a)On Pass/Fail Degrees i.e. where the qualification does not include a Classification (Section 10.2), OR
 b)Where the module does not contribute to the Classification.
4.On Pass/Fail modules and components, the Pass Mark should comply with the regulations in Section 3.7: Pass Mark. Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee or its nominee, a Programme may determine the Pass Mark by criterion-referenced standard setting (e.g. on the MBBS programme).
5.Pass/Fail modules and components must be documented in the Programme Summary.

3.8.3 Numeric Marking Scale

3.8.3 Numeric Marking Scale

3.8.4 Letter Grade Marking Scale

3.8.4 Letter Grade Marking Scale

3.8.5 Conversion of Marks

1.Where a student undertakes a module in another Faculty, Department or partner institution which operates a different marking scale, the student’s component and module marks must be converted to the marking scale in use on their parent programme so that Progression, Award and Classification can be calculated.
2. As different disciplines have different marking practices, there is no central UCL conversion scale. The parent and teaching faculties/ institutions must agree, in advance of the module teaching, the conversion scale which will be used for the student(s) concerned.
 

Students on Programmes operating a Numeric Marking Scale

3.Where a student takes a module in a Faculty, Department or partner institution operating a Letter Grade Marking Scale, the student must receive a letter grade AND an equivalent numeric mark for each component and module. The numeric mark must be formally recorded in the Student Records System.
 

Students on Programmes operating a Letter Grade Marking Scale

4.Where a student takes a module in a Faculty, Department or partner institution operating a Numeric Marking Scale, the student must receive a numeric mark AND an equivalent letter grade for each component and module. The letter grade must be formally recorded in the Student Records System.

3.9 Component Assessment

1.Each programme is composed of credit-weighted modules. Each module may include one or more assessed components. Components may be equally weighted, or some components may carry a higher weighting than others (e.g. Essay 60%, Presentation 40%).
2.Components may be:
 a)Formative: 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, OR
 b)Pass/Fail: Subject to approval by UCL Education Committee or its nominee a module may include a Pass/Fail Component (see 3.8.2 above). A student must pass the component in order to pass the module, but the component will not be given a mark, and will not be included in the calculation of the module mark, OR
 c)Summative: The marks from all summative assessment components must be included in the calculation of the module mark.
3.Summative Components may be:
 a)Condonable: On a Condonable Component, any mark below the Pass Mark, including marks of 0.00%/ Grade F, may be Condoned, if the student meets the Module Pass Requirements in Section 3.10 below.
 b)Non-Condonable: Where a Programme designates a module as Non-condonable (see Section 9.3: Condonement), the Programme may also determine that one or more components within that module are Non-condonable (must be passed). A student who does not Pass a Non-condonable Component must be reassessed in the affected module (see Section 11: Consequences of Failure).

3.10  Requirements to Pass a Module

1.In order to pass a module at Levels 4, 5 or 6 a student must achieve: 
 a)A weighted mean of at least 40.00%, plus at least 40.00% in any Non-condonable Components, OR
 b)A preponderance of at least Grade D, plus at least Grade D in any Non-condonable Components.
2.In order to pass a module at Level 7 a student must achieve:
 a)A weighted mean of at least 50.00%, plus at least 50.00% in any Non-condonable Components, OR
 b)A preponderance of at least Grade C, plus at least Grade C in any Non-condonable Components.
 

Calculation of Module Marks

3.The marks from all Summative assessment components must be included in the calculation of the module mark.
4.Where a programme operates a Numeric Marking Scale, the module mark must be calculated as follows:
 a)Where component marks are converted to percentages, percentages must be rounded to 2 decimal places.
 b)All summative component marks must be weighted and then averaged.  
 c)The weighted mean must be rounded to 2 decimal places.
5.Where a programme operates a Letter Grade Marking Scale, the module grade must be the highest letter grade in which at least 50% (the preponderance) of the summative component marks falls.


3.11 No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment

1.A student must be awarded a mark of 0.00% or Grade F 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.


3.12 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:

Late Submission Penalties
 
4.Undergraduate students who submit before the second week of the third term will receive a mark of 1.00%.
5.Work which is not submitted at all will receive a mark of 0.00%/ Grade F for that Component under the regulations in 3.11: No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment.
6.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.
7.In the case of coursework that is submitted over- or under-length and is also late, the greater of any penalties must apply.
8.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.
9.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.
10. 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.


3.13 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, or one Letter Grade, for that component and must not take the student’s mark below the Pass Mark (see Section 3.7).
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.

3.14 Academic Integrity

1.Students must maintain the highest standards of academic integrity whilst studying at UCL. All work submitted for assessment must be the student’s own, unless authorisation has been given for collaboration, and all work must be appropriately cited and referenced. 
2.Section 4: Examinations outlines UCL’s requirements for conduct in examination halls. Guidance on referencing and avoiding plagiarism is available from UCL Library Services (see http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/docs/guides/references-plagiarism). Departments are also responsible for informing students of any discipline-specific referencing conventions via Student Handbooks, Moodle or equivalent. 
3.UCL will investigate and, where necessary, penalise any conduct which is likely to give an unfair advantage to the candidate, affect the security of assessment, and/ or affect the standards of the degrees awarded by UCL including, but not limited to, instances of plagiarism, self-plagiarism, impersonation, collusion, falsification, exam room misconduct, or contract cheating. Any such conduct will be investigated in accordance with the regulations in Chapter 6, Section 9: Examination Irregularities and Plagiarism.