Examination Guide for Candidates

All students must read this guide carefully before undertaking any UCL examinations.

Examination Guide for Candidates

On this page you can find:

1. Introduction

2. Preparing for your examinations

3. Examination Timetables

4. Regulations and Guidelines for On-Line Examinations

5. Examination offences

6. What should I do if…

7. General regulations

8. Useful contacts

1. Introduction 

1.1 General regulations

You must ensure you are aware of the regulations detailed in this guide, which govern UCL examinations.

UCL students taking examinations at other colleges as part of the University of London’s Intercollegiate Scheme 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 in this guide.

1.2 Responsibilities for academic assessment

UCL expects students to engage and comply with the assessment requirements of their programme. 

1.3 Unauthorised absence from assessment

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,,then the student will be awarded a mark of zero. (or grade of F) and will be deemed to have made an attempt.

If you are absent or make an un-assessable attempt due to illness or other Extenuating Circumstances, then you must notify your Department as soon as possible.

1.4 Practical and oral examinations

These forms of assessment will normally be organised by teaching departments. You should contact the teaching department for information about the date, time and location of such examinations.

1.5 Reports, projects, coursework, etc.

All work completed in your own time must be submitted to the examiners as instructed by them. The work must be expressed in your own words and incorporate your own ideas and judgements.

2. Preparing for your examinations

2.1 Exam Adjustment arrangements

If you have a disability, dyslexia or health issue
To apply for exam adjustments you must submit an application together with supporting medical evidence at least five weeks before your first examination.

Find out more about examination adjustment arrangements

Candidates sitting in main examination halls will not be given additional time for taking prescribed medication, toilet visits or any other purpose. If additional time is required, an application for exam adjustments must be made.

For further information about exam adjustments contact Student Disability Services or the Student Enquiries Centre

2.2 Module verification exercise

(September starting students only)

You should ensure you verify your module selections when asked in term one. If you do not undertake this task, you may be entered for the wrong examinations.

2.3 Your individual timetable

You will be notified by email when your individual timetable for the main examination period is available.. Your timetable contains details of all the examinations for which you have been entered.  If any of the details are incorrect, you must contact your parent department or UCL Examinations immediately.

2.4 Your candidate number

All UCL written examinations will be examined anonymously by candidate number instead of by name. You will be allocated a unique candidate number each year, which will consist of four letters plus a check digit (e.g. ABCD1).

During the first term, you will be issued with a candidate number which you must retain until the end of your current year of study.  You will be emailed a version of your candidate number that you can print. You are also able to obtain a copy of this by logging into Portico under MyStudiesYou must use your candidate number for all assessments unless instructed otherwise.

Your candidate number can also be viewed on Portico.

3. Examination Timetables

3.1 Examination dates

The majority of UCL examinations will take place during the third term and will be organised by UCL Examinations. However, some departments or intercollegiate colleges may also schedule additional examinations at other times of the year.  You will be notified about the arrangements for any examinations held outside the main examination period by the department or intercollegiate college concerned.

You must ensure you are available to sit all examinations scheduled. Dates for each examination period are available on the exams webpage on the main UCL website.

If you fail or defer examinations, you may be required to take them in the Late Summer Assessment period.

3.2 Intercollegiate examination venues

Intercollegiate examinations are usually held at the college where the module is taught with the following exception of
candidates with exam adjustments, who will usually sit intercollegiate examinations at their home college.

4. Regulations and Guidelines for On-Line Examinations

All centrally managed examinations will be delivered on-line during the 2020/21 academic year.

Further information/guidance for these examinations can be found on the Exams and Assessments web pages.

5. Examination offences

5.1 Examination Misconduct

UCL takes matters of examination misconduct very seriously. Examples of actions that constitute an offence include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating, attempting to cheat or assisting someone else to cheat
  • Committing plagiarism or self-plagiarism
  • Colluding with other students. Which is defined as the unauthorised collaboration by two or more students on any assessment
  • Contract Cheating, such a buying the services of essay mills

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,  a mark of zero for the component or module concerned and, for the most serious offences, exclusion from UCL on a temporary or permanent basis.

5.2 Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person's thoughts, words, artefacts or software as though they were your own.

Any quotation from the published or unpublished works of other persons must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and you should identify your sources as accurately and fully as possible.

A series of short quotations from several different sources, if not clearly identified as such, constitutes plagiarism just as much as does a single unacknowledged long quotation from a single source. Equally, if you summarise another person's ideas, judgements, figures, diagrams or software, a reference to that person in the text must be made and the work referred to must be included in the bibliography.

Recourse to the services of ‘ghost-writing’ agencies (for example in the preparation of essays or reports) or of outside word-processing agencies which offer ‘correction or improvement of English’ is strictly forbidden, and if you make use of the services of such agencies you render yourself liable for an academic penalty.

Use of unacknowledged information downloaded from the internet also constitutes plagiarism.

Where part of an examination consists of ‘take away’ papers, essays or other work written in your own time, or a coursework assessment, the work submitted must be your own.

For some assessments it is also illicit to reproduce material which you have used in other work/assessment for your programme. You should make yourself aware of your department's rules on ‘self-plagiarism’.  If in doubt, you should consult your personal tutor.

UCL uses Turnitin®, a sophisticated detection system, to scan work for evidence of plagiarism. This system has access to billions of sources worldwide (websites, journals, etc.) as well as work previously submitted to UCL and other universities.

Failure to observe any of the provisions of this policy or of approved departmental guidelines constitutes an examination offence. Visit the UCL plagiarism pages for further details.

6. What should I do if..

6.1  I lose my candidate number card?

A replacement can be obtained by logging into Portico under MyStudies. Your candidate number will also be displayed on Portico.

6.2 I’m unable to sit an examination?

A student who, through illness or other Extenuating Circumstances [EC], is prevented from attending an examination must submit an EC Claim Form. Further information about EC provisions is available in Chapter 4 of the Academic Manual.  Failure to submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim is likely to result in you being awarded a mark of zero (Grade of F) and to be deemed as having made an attempt.

6.3 My examination performance is adversely affected?

If Extenuating Circumstances [EC] affect your performance at assessment, you must submit an EC Claim Form, together with appropriate supporting evidence, as soon as possible and no later than one week after the circumstance has taken place to your home department/faculty. Your student handbook/Moodle specifies where EC claims are to be submitted for your department/faculty.

Circumstances for which allowance has already been made (e.g. extra time allowed for special assessment arrangements, or extension of a coursework deadline) should not be notified in this way. However, an acute episode or sudden worsening of a long-term or chronic condition will be considered under the EC provisions.

7. General regulations

Students should read these general regulations in conjunction with any faculty or programme specific derogations or variations as detailed in Chapter 8 of the Academic Manual or their departmental handbooks.

7.1 Unauthorised absence

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, then s/he student will be awarded a mark of zero (or grade of F) and will be deemed to have made an attempt.

7.2 Re-assessment

Students who fail up to 60 credits  are expected to re-enter the examination(s) at the next normal occasion (normally the Late Summer Assessment period), unless they have met the criteria for the failure to be condoned, been interrupted or have been suspended or withdrawn. Students who are on a Study Abroad year at the time of the next normal occasion will be re-examined during the late assessment period in the summer following their period of study abroad. 

Students who fail more than 60 credits will normally be required to repeat their attendance in those modules in the following year.

7.3 Number of permitted attempts

Students who are eligible to resit,  may re-enter for assessment on one, and only one, more occasion.

Resitting students must only be reassessed in the failed module component(s).

7.4 Re-sit marks

Where a student passes a resit, the overall module mark will be capped at the pass mark.

Where a student fails a resit, the higher mark from the two attempts will be recorded against the affected module component(s). 

7.5 Interruption of Study

An Interruption of Study is available for students who require a temporary break from their studies and plan to resume their studies at a future date.  Students who want to interrupt because of a disability, an illness or other Extenuating Circumstance should discuss the all of the possible the options available to them with their departmental/programme tutor.

8. Useful contacts

8.1 Student Records

This section is responsible for the co-ordination of UCL's central student record keeping function, from enrolment, module registration, through to results and award.

8.2  Examinations

This section is responsible for the organisation and delivery of UCL's centrally managed examinations.

8.3 Disability, Mental Health & Wellbeing

Student Support and Wellbeing provide support for students that have long-term conditions that meet the criteria of a disability as set in the Equality Act 2010. This support can include reasonable adjustments for academic courses. Reasonable adjustments can be made across various areas of their academic journey including examinations and the team can discuss and implement potential exam adjustments with students.

8.4 Student Enquiries Centre

The team at Student Enquiry Centre can advise you how to complete many UCL processes and how to access the core services that UCL provides.

Although normally located on Floor 1 of the Student Centre Building, The Student Enquiries Centre is currently operating on a remote basis and can be contacted via askUCL

You can get in touch with any of the above teams through the askUCL student enquiry system

Other useful contacts are:

8.5 Security Systems

8.6 ISD Service Desk

8.7 Portico Helpdesk