UCL News


Update on national Marking and Assessment Boycott

19 May 2023

Further information on the University and College Union (UCU) nationwide ‘Action Short of Strike’ which includes a marking and assessment boycott. This may affect some students.


Further update: published 22 June 

The University and College Union (UCU) announced a national marking and assessment boycott as part of action short of strike (ASoS), which began on Monday 24 April at UCL. During this boycott, staff who are UCU members may choose not to carry out tasks such as marking exams and assessments or processing marks.  

We expect that the vast majority of students will remain unaffected by this action and, in most cases, will receive their results on time, and progress, and graduate as normal.  

In some cases, students might experience delays in receiving some of their marks and we are working hard to minimise impact on these students.  

What is UCL doing? 

In January, an Examinations and Assessments Contingency Panel was set up with representation from across UCL, including the Students’ Union UCL Education Sabbatical Officer.  

The purpose of the panel is to provide guidance to Boards of Examiners and to help ensure that students are not disadvantaged by industrial action. The panel is tasked with the following:  

  • To do everything possible to ensure students who are affected can graduate or progress on time and that your degree is an accurate reflection of your academic achievement. 
  • To support Boards of Examiners because they are in the best position to determine whether learning outcomes and any requirements from professional bodies have been met.  
  • To ensure that where Boards of Examiners are confident that you have met your programme requirements overall, they are able to award degrees and degree classifications (and approve progression) even where there are some missing marks.  
  • To consider all individual cases that fall outside of our general guidance to ensure we are consistent and fair to all students across UCL. 

In addition:  

  • All marks received by the deadline for processing results will be considered in the normal way when making decisions about progression and awards. 
  • Marks received after an award has been issued will be provided to the student and a new transcript issued.  
  • If marks are received late and added to the transcript, and they improve the original classification, the new classification will stand and the award reissued.  
  • Degree classifications cannot be downgraded.  

We will keep updating you with more information to help you identify how you may be impacted and what support is available to you from UCL. Our FAQs for students on industrial action are being updated regularly with the latest information.  

What is a Board of Examiners?  

The departmental Board of Examiners is the decision-making body for student progression, award, and classification decisions. Their job is to formally confirm module marks and progression, award, and classification decisions. 

Boards are made up of Department and Faculty subject experts, along with senior academics or practitioners from other universities who help us to monitor the quality of the education we provide to our students. 

What are learning outcomes?

Learning outcomes describe the result of a learning process, and what students will learn and be able to do if they successfully complete the programme or module of study. 

Will my marks be affected due to the marking and assessment boycott?

Boards of Examiners will assess whether industrial action has impacted the learning and assessment of each module. Departments will do everything possible to ensure exams and assessments are marked, and that students can access their marks from Thursday 6 July 2023. Your final marks will reflect your academic achievements and your success in meeting your programme learning outcomes.  

Will I receive all my marks on Results day?

The marking and assessment boycott may mean that some students experience delays in receiving marks or feedback on exams and assessments. In some cases, students might have missing marks for particular exams or assessments. If you are in this situation, detailed information will be available to you on Results Day.  

What is being done to ensure I receive my marks on Results Day? 

We will try to mitigate this boycott as much as possible. In some cases, the Board of Examiners may deem it appropriate that marking could be reassigned to other subject experts. Please be assured we are working hard to minimise any disruption and will aim to inform you of delays wherever possible.

Will there be any impact on my progression from one year of study to the next, or on finishing studies and graduation?

We will take all available steps to minimise any disruption and ensure that you can progress from one year of study to the next, or that you can graduate at the end of your degree as normal.  

Will my marks change?

If some of your marks are missing, Boards of Examiners may take the decision to award you on the basis of your other marks. When marks are received after an award has been issued, these will be provided to you and a new transcript issued.  

NOTE: If marks are received late and added to the transcript, and they improve the original classification, the new classification will stand and the award reissued. Degree classifications cannot be downgraded. 

Will I need to request a new certificate or transcript if my marks change?

You will not need to request a new transcript; this will be sent to you automatically.  

Final degree documents 
Your degree documents will be posted to your home address within four months from the release of your results.  

You can place an order for your free e-transcript via the UCL online store

An e-transcript is an official electronic document containing a full record of confirmed academic results and can be used for third party verification purposes, for example job applications, applications for further study, visa requirements or third-party verification by a solicitor. 

Statement of Award 
You will be able to download a Statement of Award letter from Portico. This is an official letter that can be used as proof that your award was conferred by UCL. 

Further information and support

We understand that this can be unsettling for students. For the most up to date information about your modules and programme, your department should be your first point of contact.  

We are committed to supporting students during this period, with a range of services available. A more detailed list of FAQs can be found on the UCL Students website.       

If you have further questions that cannot be answered by your department, please do submit these through askUCL selecting the ‘Results’ category.  

If you are worried about the impact industrial action might have on your mental health and wellbeing, UCL's Support and Wellbeing team provides a safe, confidential, and non-judgmental space for you to discuss any issues that concern or affect you.    

 To find out more and get in touch, please visit the Support and Wellbeing webpages, or contact us through askUCL. SSW services will remain open as usual during the period of industrial action.       

You can also find advice from Students’ Union UCL on their website.