Academic Manual


Section 4: Examinations

The Examinations regulations outline UCL’s threshold expectations for students sitting unseen written examinations.

4.1 Overarching Principles4.9 Answer Books
4.2 Examination Timetable4.10 Students Arriving Late for an Exam
4.3 Special Examination Arrangements4.11 Leaving the Hall during an Exam
4.4 Identification4.12 At the End of the Examination
4.5 Items Permitted in Examination Halls4.13 Examinations & Extenuating Circumstances
4.6 At the Start of the Exam4.14 Unauthorised Absence from an Examination
4.7 Candidate Numbers4.15 Emergency Evacuation Procedure
4.8 Question Papers4.16 Examination Offences

4.1 Overarching Principles

Principle 16:    Students must follow the examination conduct regulations and protocols set out in the Examination Guide for Candidates which is published annually on the Examinations and Awards website.

4.2 Examination Timetable


Module Verification

1.Students must verify whether their modules on Portico are correct by the deadlines published by UCL Student Records each year to ensure they are entered for the correct examinations:
 a)September start students: Students must verify their modules by Week 11 of term 1
 b)January start students: Students must verify their modules by Week 2 of term 2
2.Where a student is not registered on the correct modules by the stated deadlines, their module choices will not be reflected in the examination timetable. Consequently, the student may have a timetable clash and/or there may not be room in the examination venue on the scheduled examination date. In such circumstances, students may be required to undertake the examination in their Department.  


3.UCL Examinations is responsible for publishing the Examination Timetable for students.
4.Some Departments or non-UCL colleges may also schedule additional examinations at other times of the year. Departments and colleges are responsible for notifying students about the arrangements for any such examinations.
5. Students are responsible for ensuring that they know the date, time and location of each paper they are registered to take, whether organised by central UCL Examinations or the Department, and that they are available to sit all scheduled examinations.
6. Students must notify their Department of any timetabling inaccuracies at the earliest possible time.


7. UCL examinations are held in a number of different locations, many of which are away from the main Bloomsbury Campus. Detailed information about the venues in use each year, including location codes and maps, will be made available to view online when the timetable is published.
8. Practical and oral examinations will normally be held in departmental accommodation. Students should contact the teaching Department for information about the date, time and location of such examinations. 
9. Only students with approved Special Examination Arrangements are permitted to sit examinations in one of the UCL special facility venues (see Section 4.3 below).
10. Intercollegiate examinations are usually held at the college where the module is taught. Intercollegiate candidates with Special Examination Arrangements will usually sit examinations at their home college.
11.UCL students taking examinations at other colleges or institutions must abide by the regulations of the college they are attending. Similarly, students from other colleges taking examinations at UCL are subject to UCL’s regulations for examinations as detailed herein.

4.3 Special Examination Arrangements

1.Special Examination Arrangements (SEAs) are adjustments to central or departmental/ divisional written examinations which can be made as a Reasonable Adjustment for students with a disability or longer-term condition or as a form of mitigation for students with shorter-term medical Extenuating Circumstances.
2.Special Examination Arrangements can include, but are not limited to:
  • Extra time
  • A separate room
  • Rest breaks
  • Specialist equipment
3. Students should make an appointment with the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team in Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) who will help them to complete an application and advise them on gathering the required documentary evidence.
4.UCL Examinations is responsible for confirming and implementing the necessary adjustments.

Application Deadlines

6.SEA applications must be received by the Student the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team five weeks before the main examination period and three weeks before the Late Summer Assessment examination period.
7.For all other examination periods, SEA applications must be received by the Student the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team six weeks before the examination.
8.Applications received after the deadlines (Late SEA Applications) will only be considered from students who suffer sudden illness or accidental injury.
9. Late SEA applications must be received by the Student the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing team no later than seven calendar days before the examination.
10. Where applications are received after the deadlines students should apply for a deferral to the next normal occasion under the regulations in Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.

Other Reasonable Adjustments

11.SEAs only apply to unseen written examinations. UCL supports students undertaking other assessment methods, including coursework, via the provisions in Section 5: Reasonable Adjustments.

4.4 Identification

1.To gain admission to the hall, students must present one of the following:
 a)UCL ID card
 b)Home college ID card (intercollegiate students)
 d)Driving licence with photograph
2.If a student fails to produce an approved means of identification on the day, they must sign a declaration of identity form and a label will be attached to the examination answer book to notify the examiner.

4.5 Items Permitted in Examination Halls

1.Students must not have unauthorised items on or under their desk or about their person. All unauthorised items will be confiscated for the duration of the examination.
2.If a student finds that they have inadvertently brought unauthorised items into an examination the student must inform a member of invigilation staff immediately.
3. The following items are permitted in a written, practical, oral or other examination: 
 a)ID card or other approved means of identification
 b)Candidate number card
 c)Question papers and examination stationery
 d)Other materials approved by the examiner
 e)Calculators (approved models only – see below)
 f)Mathematical instruments
 g)Clear pencil cases containing pens, pencils (for MCQ examinations and diagrams only), highlighter pens, correction fluid/tape, erasers, sharpeners and small bottles of ink
 h)Bottles of still (non-carbonated) water only (except for laboratory exams).
4.The following items are prohibited in a written, practical, oral or other examination:
 a)Revision or course notes
 b)Books, statutes or dictionaries (except where approved by the examiner – see below)
 c)Paper for rough work
 d)Laptops, audio players, or devices with internet or data storage capabilities
 e)Opaque pencil cases or staplers
 f)Food or other hot/cold drinks (except on medical grounds (prior approval required))
 h)Ear plugs (except on medical grounds (prior approval required))
 i)Headgear (except that which is worn on religious or medical grounds (prior approval required for the latter)
5.Students should leave all non-essential items at home as UCL cannot accept responsibility for the loss of property or guarantee its safety.
6.Students must follow the directions of the invigilation staff in regards to bags, coats, revision notes or other prohibited items.
7.All valuables, including wallets and travel cards, must be placed under the examination desk in the plastic wallet provided.
8.Students are not permitted to keep their examination timetable on their desk during examinations. Timetables must be placed under the desk in the plastic wallet provided.

Mobile Phones and Communication Devices

9.All mobile phones, smart watches and other communication devices must be switched off before students enter the examination hall.
10.Students must not have mobile phones, smart watches or communication devices on their desk or about their person and must instead place them under the examination desk in the plastic wallet provided.
11.Students must not send or receive calls or messages during an examination, or allow ringtones or pre-set alarms to cause a disturbance.

Electronic Calculators

12.Programme Boards of Examiners will determine whether students are permitted to use an electronic calculator in a particular examination.
13.At all other examinations, the unauthorised use of electronic calculators is not permitted and will be treated as an examination offence. Random checks will be made during examinations to ensure that these regulations are complied with.
14.UCL has approved a standard calculator for use in examinations. Students will be committing an examination offence if they are found using the wrong model. Further details are available in the Examination Guide for Candidates published each year on the Examinations and Assessments website.
15.Exceptionally, a Department may approve the use of non-standard calculators for one or more of its examinations. In such circumstances, the Department will inform all students taking the examinations concerned what type of calculators will be permitted in the examination hall. If students are in any doubt, they should consult their tutor. Students may still need a UCL-approved calculator if they are taking examinations for modules taught by other Departments.
16.Students must indicate the make and model of calculator used on the front of their examination answer book. 
17.Students must ensure that their calculator is in good working order and provide themselves with an alternative means of calculating should the calculator fail during an examination. Spare calculators will not be available at the hall on the day. 
18.Where credit may be given for using the correct method when a final answer is wrong, the student must provide the examiner with sufficient information about the process of derivation. Further details are available in the Examination Guide for Candidates published each year on the Examinations and Awards website.
19.The use of material stored in the pre-programmable memory of a calculator will normally constitute an examination offence.

Reference Materials

20.For some examinations reference materials may be provided by the examiner. There may also be occasions when students are instructed, in advance of the examination, to bring specific documents with them to the hall. Such documents must be unmarked unless the examiner has indicated otherwise. 


21.The use of paper or electronic dictionaries is not permitted for the purpose of helping students overcome any deficiency in their command of the English language. Dictionaries will only be permitted for other purposes where the examiner has notified UCL Examinations in writing before the examination.
22.At all other examinations, the unauthorised use of dictionaries is banned and will be treated as an examination offence. Random checks will be made during examinations to ensure that these regulations are complied with.

4.6 At the Start of the Exam

1.UCL morning and afternoon examinations start at 10.00am and 2.30pm respectively unless otherwise indicated on the timetable; students must note any exceptions that apply to them.
2.Students should arrive at the hall between 10 and 20 minutes before the start of the examination.
3.Students must observe any instructions given on the day by invigilation staff, examiners or other staff responsible for the conduct of examinations.
4. Students must sit in their allocated seat. Seat numbers will be used to verify attendance and to ensure that marks are awarded to the correct candidate.
5. Students must not speak to other candidates once they have entered the hall.

4.7 Candidate Numbers

1.All UCL written examinations must be examined anonymously by candidate number instead of name. 
2.Students must display both their candidate number card and their identification (see Section 4.4 above) on the desk at each examination. 
3.Students must enter their candidate number in the space provided on all examination answer books (with the exception of Multiple Choice Question [MCQ] papers, where the student number should be used) unless instructed otherwise on the day.

4.8 Question Papers

1.Students must not begin reading the question paper before the start of the examination. However, students should check that the examination code and title on the front cover of the question paper are correct. Students must alert a member of invigilation staff immediately if they have been given the wrong paper.

4.9 Answer Books

1.Prior to the start of the examination students may enter the following information on the front cover of the answer book: 
 a)Candidate number
 b)Student number (MCQ cards only)
 c)Seat number
 d)The examination title and code
 e) The date and venue
 f)The make and model of the student’s calculator (if applicable)
2.Students must not write anything else on their answer book or question paper, or any other materials present on their desk, before the start of the examination unless told to do so by the supervisor (for computer users, this includes typing).
3.Students must write clearly in English, or the language specified for the examination.
4.Students must write only in blue or black ink (or in the case of MCQ examinations, pencil).
5. Pencils may be used for drawing diagrams, charts, graphs or other illustrations.
6. Examiners may refuse to mark any answers which are illegible.
7. All rough work must be done in the answer book and crossed through; scrap paper must not be used. 
8.Students should cross through any questions answered over and above the number required or any other work which the student does not wish to be marked.
9. Students should only request a supplementary answer book when their main answer book is full.
10.Students must not write their name on any answer books or materials submitted for marking, to ensure their anonymity is maintained.
11.Students must enter the following information on the front cover of their main answer book in the boxes provided: 
 a)The number of answer books used
 b)The question numbers answered in the order attempted
12.Students must enter the following information on all used answer books:
 a)Candidate number
 b)Seat number
13.Students must ensure that all answer books, supplementary books and any other materials to be submitted for marking (except MCQ cards) are tied securely behind their main answer book using the tag provided. MCQ cards should be handed in separately.
14.When the time permitted for the examination has passed, students will be given one extra minute to prepare their answer books for collection, including tying books together and completing the front cover(s). When the end of the one minute allowance is announced students must stop writing immediately. It is an examination offence to continue writing after the one minute allowance has passed.
15.When time is called, students must not speak to other candidates and must remain silent in their seat until all answer books have been collected.
16.With the exception of those papers clearly marked not to be removed from the hall, students may take away their copy of the question paper. However students must not take out of the hall any used or unused answer books, restricted question papers, or other items of examination stationery.
17.If a student removes a completed answer book from the examination hall this will constitute an examination offence and the work will not be marked.

4.10 Students Arriving Late for an Exam

1.Students arriving less than 45 minutes late will be allowed into the hall to sit the examination but will forfeit any time already elapsed. The student must report to an invigilator so that the time of arrival can be recorded and any instructions provided.
2.Students arriving more than 45 minutes late will not be allowed into the examination hall.
 a)If the late arrival is due to illness or other valid Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) the student should submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form according to the procedures in Section 6 as soon as possible and no more than 7 calendar days after the exam.
 b)If there are no Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) the student will receive a mark of 0%/ Grade F and will be considered to have made an attempt (see Section 3.11 No Attempt or Minimal Attempt at Assessment).

4.11 Leaving the Hall during an Exam

1.Students must not leave the hall during the first 45 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination. Toilet visits are not normally permitted during these times.
2. At all other times, students must not leave their seat without first seeking permission, except in cases of illness or emergency. Students must notify the invigilators by raising their hand if they have a query, feel unwell, need more stationery or the toilet, or want to leave the hall permanently after the first 45 minutes or before the last 15 minutes of the examination.
3.In case of illness or emergency, students must only leave their seat if accompanied by a member of invigilation staff.
4.All candidates must be accompanied on toilet visits and each visit will be recorded on the attendance sheet. 
5.If a student wishes to leave the hall permanently after the first 45 minutes but before the designated finish time, they must raise their hand and remain in their seat until their answer books have been collected.

4.12 At the end of the Examination

1.Each examination will include 15 and 5 minute warning announcements.
2.Once the final 15 minute warning has been announced, students must remain in their seat until the answer books for all candidates have been collected and students are told they may leave.
3.Students should leave the hall quickly and quietly when told to do so by the supervisor as there may be longer examinations taking place in the same hall.
4.Students must collect their valuables from the plastic wallet under their desk and place the empty wallet on their desk before leaving the hall.

4.13 Examinations & Extenuating Circumstances

1.If illness or other Extenuating Circumstances prevent a student from attending an examination, or affect a student’s performance at an examination, the student must submit an EC Form, together with appropriate supporting evidence, as soon as possible and no later than one week after the circumstance has taken place, to their home Department/Faculty. Circumstances for which allowance has already been made (e.g. extra time allowed for Special Examination Arrangements) will not normally be eligible for any further mitigation. However, an acute episode or sudden worsening of a long-term or chronic condition will be considered under the EC provisions.
2.For further details see Section 6: Extenuating Circumstances.

4.14 Unauthorised Absence from an Examination

1.If a student is absent from an examination or other form of assessment without permission or, although present at an examination, either does not attempt the paper or attempts so little that it cannot be assessed, and provides no evidence of Extenuating Circumstances, then the student will be awarded a mark of 0.00%/ Grade F for the missed/non-attempted examination.
2.For further details see Section 11: Consequences of Failure.

4.15 Emergency Evacuation Procedure

1.In the event of an emergency, the hall supervisor will tell students to leave all materials on their desks and direct them to the nearest exit. Examination conditions will still apply and students must not speak to any other candidates on any topic.

4.16 Examination Offences

1.UCL takes matters of examination misconduct very seriously. The following are examples of actions that constitute examination offences: 
 a)Cheating, attempting to cheat or assisting someone else to cheat 
 b)Having unauthorised items on or under the desk or about one’s person
 c)Writing before the start of the examination or after the one minute allowance has passed
 d)Writing notes on hands, arms or other parts of the body
 e)Leaving the hall unaccompanied or without permission
 f)Tampering with answer books, question papers or other examination stationery
 g)Committing plagiarism or self-plagiarism
 h)Causing a disturbance or disrupting the examination process
2.Anyone suspected of an examination offence will be reported to the UCL authorities and may be called to appear before an Examination Irregularities Panel. Penalties for examination offences include, but are not limited to, formal reprimand, disqualification from one or all examinations for the session, and exclusion from UCL on a temporary or permanent basis.
3.For further details see Chapter 6, Section 9: Examination Irregularities and Plagiarism.