Teaching and assessments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

These pages are being updated regularly. Please check back for the most up-to-date information on assessments during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for assessment in 2019/20.

We understand how diverse and difficult the challenges are that our students currently face. We also recognize just how much hard work and commitment you put into your studies.  

Your lecturers and teaching support staff are doing everything they can to support you to continue with your studies with as little disruption as possible, while maintaining the academic experience you expect of UCL and the standards that make a UCL qualification so valuable for your future. They are currently working to create alternative assessments that will test your learning and understanding as planned, but will be in a different format that will be easier for you to complete remotely. This is a major task across the whole of UCL and we are working as quickly as we can. 

Why UCL is continuing with assessment in summer 2020

We believe conducting modified assessments this year is better for our students in the long term than deferring assessment to a later date or cancelling them altogether. Giving you the best possible chance to make progress now is better than delaying the assessment burden and worries to a later unspecified date: particularly with this safety net of policies that allow us to accommodate worse than expected performance and altered degree weighting calculations. The vast majority of students do well in their assessments at UCL and we hope this will be the case this year with these changes in place.

We recognize that the current challenging circumstances will have affected your preparation for and performance in assessments.

So we have made exceptional amendments to the Academic Regulations that will support your progression without compromising the academic standards that make a UCL qualification so valued.

Recognising your performance so far

We have adopted a ‘no detriment’ principle, which recognises your performance so far and ensures that your academic outcomes cannot be negatively affected by the alternative assessments we have put in place in response to this extraordinary situation.

Supporting your progression

These exceptional amendments to the Academic Regulations are among a broad range of measures we have taken to make sure all our students are treated fairly, including alternative assessments and cancellation of assessments where sufficient performance data has already been collected to award a grade. To support these measures we have introduced a simplified extenuating circumstances process.

We recognise that some of you will feel that, despite these amendments, you need to make the difficult decision to apply to defer your assessment or interrupt your studies. We fully understand this decision and will support you with compassion and understanding to make the best decisions for you and to re-engage with your learning when you feel ready.

Please check your UCL email account and Moodle regularly, and visit the general UCL advice for students and staff about the corona outbreak.

On this page you will find answers to questions related to:

  1. Support at UCL
  2. Learning online
  3. Illness or disruption to your studies or assessment
  4. First year undergraduate capstone assessments
  5. Assessments for all other taught students
  6. PGT and MRes dissertations, project and placements
  7. Returning students
  8. How your summer 2020 alternative assessments will operate
  9. Amendments to the Academic Regulations for summer assessments 2020

1. Support at UCL 

How can I get support for managing the changes to my teaching and assessments?  

The people who have taught and overseen your progression over the past year are still here looking to support you.   

If you have questions about new teaching or assessment arrangements, then please get in touch with your lecturer or module lead. Please feel free to reach out to your personal tutor, programme director or dissertation supervisor if that applies.  Office hours or other academic support are more complicated when working remotely but your teachers are still available to help you. 

 We also encourage you to keep in touch with your classmates and continue to participate in your programme remotely.  

UCL students still have access to plenty of support during this period of remote learning, teaching and assessment. Take a look this list of support services for UCL students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  

AskUCL is also available for you to submit any questions; we are listening closely to all concerns raised by our students during this fast-changing situation. 

2. Learning online  

Where can I get support with learning online?  

These ‘Continuing to learn online’ webpages are available to provide some basic guidance around how to get started and learn effectively online as your tutors switch to teaching in a digital format. 

The page also signposts you to the main services that can help you with accessing and using the university’s online tools. 

How can I access Library’s resources? 

For up-to-date information, please see Library resources and services: essentials for students and staff during Covid-19 

What if I don’t have access to a laptop/PC or my internet is slow or unreliable?  

We know that not all of you have access to a laptop or desktop computer and that connection to the internet can be slow and sporadic. We are taking these factors into account in developing your alternative assessments.  

Students experiencing difficulty accessing technology or Wi-Fi should get in touch with the Service Desk (servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk or call +44 (0)20 7679 5000) ahead of the examination period. 

How will these changes impact on my degree?  

 Be assured that we are working to support your progression and award appropriately, fairly and safely, while maintaining the academic standards that make UCL awards so respected and valued. 

We are working with the relevant professional bodies to make sure that the assessment alternatives we offer meet their standards and requirements. 

We will provide updates as soon as we can. In the meantime, please bear with us while we work through all of the challenges. 

Your fellow students at most universities around the world are experiencing similar changes at short notice; UCL will be working with its global networks to ensure you will not be disadvantaged.  

If you feel you need help managing these changes, you can also contact wellbeing, disability and mental health; see this list of support services for UCL students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

3. Illness or disruption to your studies or assessments

What if I cannot complete my assessment because of Covid-19 illness or other circumstances? Can I apply for extenuating circumstances?  

If you think that you have symptoms of Covid-19, or you have been in close contact with someone with symptoms, please follow the guidance on self-isolation.

You may be dealing with illness, isolation, concerns for family and friends here and abroad, caring duties, home-schooling and other childcare demands, and an increased workload, and financial concerns among other potential challenges. 

If any illness or other circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances to have reasonable adjustments made to support you to complete your coursework or alternative assessment.   

To help smooth this process, we have made changes to the Extenuating Circumstances procedure to make the procedures quicker, easier to follow, and more accessible to all.  UCL is now accepting self-certification for all extenuating circumstances for the rest of this academic year; you do not need to provide evidence.  Your Faculty will send you further details of the online form you can use to submit a self-certified claim.

Please refer to How your summer 2020 assessments will operate

We also recognise that, in extreme cases, you may want or need to make a deferral.  However, we are living in uncertain times and we do not know when we might be able to reschedule such a deferral so our advice is to first work with your programme director, personal tutor and/or supervisor to see if you can get extenuating circumstances or another arrangement, before considering deferral.  Your department will help you to make the best choice for your particular circumstances.   

More information on Extenuating Circumstances  

4. First year undergraduate capstone assessments 

Have exams been cancelled for 1st year undergraduate students?  

On Friday 20 March, you received notification to your UCL email account from Portico that all further year 1 assessments have been cancelled. Instead, you will be required to undertake a first year capstone assessment: a single short piece of work to reflect on and demonstrate your learning across your programme.  

You will receive more specific advice from your department as soon as they have designed a suitable capstone assessment for you. More details are set out in the FAQs below.  

Why have capstone assessments been introduced? 

Capstone assessments have been introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, to alleviate stress and pressure on first year undergraduate students who would normally have a substantial assessment load at the end of their first year of study. Progression rates from first to second year are normally very high and the contribution of the assessments to final degree classification is usually very low. Therefore, we are replacing your planned assessments with a light-touch alternative that ensures students have engaged meaningfully with their programme and met some of the key learning outcomes.  

What does capstone assessment mean? 

The term Capstone Assessment refers to the stone at the top of a structure. It is often used to describe assessment activities that encourage students to think critically, to solve challenging problems by reflecting on and integrating their learning, and to develop generic skills.  

Some programmes will already be using these capstone or integrative assessments that are built into the programme design, often as part of learning through project work, within a portfolio, or where integration is a fundamental educational strategy of the programme.  

The term ‘capstone’ may be used interchangeably by your department with ‘synoptic’, or ‘integrative’ assessment but do not be concerned: all students will be taking the same type of assessment. 

Who will take the capstone assessment? 

All UCL first year undergraduate students will take the capstone assessment. This also applies to students returning from interruption and the vast majority of students taking year 1 assessments deferred from previous years. Affiliate students will not normally take the capstone assessment.  

What will be tested in the capstone assessment? 

Capstone assessment requires students to combine some elements of their learning from different parts of their programme, demonstrating accumulated knowledge and understanding of their area of study by integrating and applying their skills, knowledge and understanding to a problem or particular example.  

Capstone assessments can address a number of learning outcomes across the year of study but are not intended to address them all.  The content, focus and format of the capstone assessment for each programme will be part of the programme-wide assessment of learning that you have already completed throughout the year in activities such as group-work, in-class exercises and tests, course work, formative assignments or portfolios. 

What will my capstone assessment look like? 

The exact design of the capstone assessment will vary from programme to programme but all assessment will share the same common features:  

  • The assessment will be designed in the context of the programme as a whole  

  • The workload will be relatively modest. For example, a word count of between 1,000 -3,000 words if the assessment is discursive; approximately 4-5 pages of drawings and worked examples if the assessment is technical; up to 10 brief, linked tasks if the assessment is problem solving . 

  • The task will have coherence, rather than testing a disjointed selection of unlinked learning outcomes 

  • The task(s) will require synthesis of learning  

  • The scoring will be pass/fail only  

  • The assessment can be completed in ‘open book’ circumstances remotely (completed in Moodle, or downloaded from Moodle, completed on a computer or manually and uploaded and submitted to Moodle, or using readily available software your programme already uses for coursework) 

How long is a capstone assessment?  

This will vary by programme. Some programmes will run very light touch capstone assessments as they will have already carried out extensive in-course assessment. Others will require slightly longer and more challenging assessments (but still within the scale described above).  

Some programmes will adopt more general assessments of the type that can be completed by students across a number of programmes, others will set assessments that are specific to their programme alone.  

Programmes may adapt some aspects of their planned course work or assessments to create their single capstone assessment, others will adapt existing formative assessments that test integration of knowledge to create a capstone assessment. 

All programmes will communicate clearly to candidates with instructions and expectations such as word counts, referencing or structure requirements, and broad marking criteria. Where possible they will also provide examples.   

My programme is across more than one department. Which one will be the focus of my capstone assessment?  

Where students are pursuing a programme over more than one department (e.g. Maths & Economics) the home department modules or non-condonable modules will take priority in the focus of the capstone assessment. 

My programme is shaped by one of the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB). What will this mean for the capstone assessment in my programme? 

Any specific Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) requirements for first year learning outcomes will be integrated into the assessment. Your programme team will ensure the assessment you take is acceptable to the relevant PRSB although these may be different standards to those usually expected of 1st year cohorts in these exceptional circumstances. 

I am worried about an exam that relies on particular computer programmes or good connectivity? 

We are making efforts to make reliance on good computing power or connectivity as low as possible for all programmes. When you receive details of your assessment, if you are concerned about your ability to complete the assessment with the resources available to you, you should discuss this with your programme team.  Students experiencing difficulty accessing technology or Wi-Fi should get in touch with the Service Desk (servicedesk@ucl.ac.uk or call +44 (0)20 7679 5000) ahead of the examination period. 

When will the capstone assessment take place? 

We expect that all programmes will get the assessment details to students no later than the start of next term in late April. Your department may provide more details sooner, if they are confirmed before that date.  

First year capstone assessments must be submitted on Monday 29 June or Tuesday 30 June, according to your faculty.

Your departments will send details of your capstone assessment and the submission deadline. If you are a disabled student and would like to discuss reasonable adjustments and support for completing your capstone assessment please contact Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL.

Disabled students with a SORA already in place can access an extension of one additional week where possible, however may be granted a deferred assessment instead.

How will the assessment be marked? 

The assessment will be pass/fail only. If you pass, you will progress into year 2.  

Classification schemes will be adjusted where necessary and the first year of study will be zero weighted for the purposes of degree classification for all students in this cohort.  

What will happen if I fail the assessment?  

We anticipate that the pass rate will be similar to other years when the overwhelming majority of students progress successfully into year 2.  The average pass rate for year 1 students is 96% and we anticipate as many, if not more, students will be successful this year.  

Fail grades would normally be reserved for failure to submit, for submissions that clearly do not constitute a reasonable effort to engage with the task or where there are substantial deficiencies in the submission. If you do fail you will have the opportunity to take a further, similar assessment a few weeks later.  

What will happen if I am unwell or need to defer?  

We recognise some students will need to defer. Deferred assessments will take place later in the summer.  

We understand students are juggling worries about study and exams with concerns about their personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of their loved ones. We have adapted the Extenuating Circumstances process to acknowledge these difficult times and to make the procedures easier to follow and more accessible to all. Nonetheless, we are strongly encouraging all our students to attempt the capstone assessments provided by your programme with the rest of the first year cohort wherever possible. This will ensure you get a break over the summer before you embark on year 2. 

I am already carrying fail grades from modules or assessments in Term 1. What happens now? 

If you pass the capstone assessment you will progress to year 2. If you have failed previous assessments, particularly if they are non-condonable assessments, you should discuss your studies with the programme team as you may need additional support in year 2 to be successful in your degree.  

How will my performance in this assessment affect my degree classification? 

The assessment will be zero rated in your degree classification.  

How will the capstone assessment be shown on my transcript? 

Like other universities we are considering what will appear on students' transcripts and are consulting with the Russell group and universities more widely. UCL is committed to not letting students lose credit for the hard work they have done so far this year.   

How can I prepare for the capstone assessment if I do not know exactly what it will test?   

The capstone assessment will require you to synthesise and apply your understanding and skills from across your programme of study.  Your best preparation is to complete the remaining teaching and learning activities on your programme, to take a well-earned Easter break, and then to begin to review and revise your learning across all modules. The stated learning outcomes for each module are a good guide to what you should revise and they will be used in the design of the assessment by your programme team.  

The assessment will be testing broad principles and application of knowledge and conducted in an open book setting so do not focus on memorising information or small details. Instead focus on your understanding of what you have learnt and how it can be applied to real world problems: you could use Moodle discussion forums or consider setting up virtual study groups that will allow you to talk through your understanding of your subject with one or more fellow students. This approach will also best prepare you for your studies next year. 

When will I hear more about what my capstone assessment looks like? 

Programme teams are already working on designing your capstone assessment. They have been given very clear guidance on the purpose, duration and possible formats for producing a meaningful capstone assessment for their students. They have also been given some example assessments they may wish to adopt or adapt.  

We anticipate that all students will have some further information from their departments to help them prepare for the assessment within the next few weeks, however the exact date will vary from programme to programme. All programmes will provide their students with the full details of the assessment at the end of April at the very latest to ensure there will be ample time for you to prepare successfully for the assessment. 

5. Assessments for all other taught students

Why are in-person exams being replaced by alternative assessments? Why have UCL not deferred all exams to a later date?   

We understand that many of you might have preferred to defer your assessments in light of the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on your ability to focus on your studies. However, we are aware of the significant risks to you of postponing assessments to some undefined point in the future, as it is not clear how long this period of disruption will last.  

Our priority is to create a safe and productive learning environment for you to continue learning and be able to complete your programme in a timeframe that will not put an undue burden on you.   

It is for this reason that your lecturers and teaching support staff are working to create alternative assessments that will test your learning and understanding as planned, but that will just be in a different format that will be easier for you to complete as we operate remotely.  

This is a major task across the whole of UCL and we are working as quickly as we can. You will receive more specific advice from your department as soon as they have designed suitable alternative assessments for you.  

When will I know what my alternative assessments will be?  

Your department will advise you of your alternative assessment.

What format will my alternative assessment take?  

Approaches to the alternative methods of assessment for these exams will vary by module. The majority of assessment that was originally set in the examination timetable will now be delivered as timed 24-hour exams, coursework, or first year capstone assessments, or will be excluded.

Some exams or tests are being replaced with longer-term assignments more similar to coursework. Some will be cancelled because your learning can be or has already been assessed elsewhere. Some are being replaced with timed 24-hour “open-book” exams; in such cases you will have 24 hours to complete and submit. These open-book exams should certainly not take you more than a few hours work; the 24-hour period is simply there to allow for differences in time zone and other commitments and to accommodate students with special arrangements for their assessments.  

Your programme team is working hard to create alternative assessments that will test your learning and understanding as planned. This is a major task across the whole of UCL and we are working as quickly as we can.  

What will my assessment deadlines be? 

The Late Summer Assessment (LSA) examination period runs from 24 August – 11 September 2020.

Timed online exams and coursework submission will take place during this revised examination period. PLEASE NOTE: the deadline for the submission of first year assessments is after the examination period (see 4. First year undergraduate capstone assessments).

On Tuesday 28 July 2020 your  LSA  exam timetable will be sent to you in an email from Portico. It will include timed 24-hour exams submission deadlines. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the number of UCL students, emails will be sent out from Portico in batches throughout the day. Once all the emails have been sent, your timetable will be visible on Portico.

The LSA timetable will NOT show exams that have now been excluded or replaced with alternative assessments set by your department. Your department will advise you on any assessment that is not a deferred exam (the LSA exam timetable will only include details of 24 hour online exams).  

6. PGT and MRes dissertations, projects and placements

Who do I go to with my questions around dissertations, placements and/or projects?  

Your first point of contact should continue to be your dissertation/project supervisor. They will be best-placed to advise you on specific implications of these circumstances for your particular research. 

What happens if my PGT Supervisor for dissertations/projects becomes ill /or are required to support the national response to Covid-19?  

Programme Leads and supervisors have been advised to identify and designate back-ups for teaching and assessment activities.  

As you can appreciate, staff availability will be difficult to predict during this time. However, if staff become unavailable at short notice, you can expect that your department will notify you of an alternative point of contact through their usual communication channels.

How is the ‘no detriment’ approach being applied to MRes programmes?

The separate requirement for 2019/20 MRes finalists to achieve a dissertation mark above a specified minimum in order to quality for Merit or Distinction has been removed.  For MRes programmes with progression to doctoral programmes part of a 1+3 arrangement, the programme Director/Departmental Graduate Tutor will consider the possibility of progression on a case-by-case basis if the progression threshold has not been met.

The rationale for the no-detriment policy for MRes programmes is that taught modules and their assessment will usually have taken place earlier in the academic year and therefore not been affected by lockdown in late March. Mitigation for these programmes therefore focuses on the dissertation/research project, which is the most important part of an MRes. However, Faculty Boards of Examiners have authority to apply mitigation to any taught components assessed after March under the normal material irregularity policy. Students whose non-research modules have been affected by lockdown (i.e. there were assessment deadlines during lockdown) should contact their programme directors in the first instance.

My research requires lab work but UCL labs are closed. What should I do?  

UCL remains closed to staff and students until further notice. Your supervisor and programme team have been advised that teaching and assessment (including dissertations and projects) must be redeveloped so that you can deliver them remotely.   

My research relies on primary data sources. How can I access it?  

Dissertations and projects must be adjusted so that you can complete the task using data that you already have access too remotely, or that you can collect via remote means.  

If an assessment depends on you conducting primary research in the field or face-to-face, or accessing data via a secure terminal on campus, staff have been advised that the methodology must be adjusted. Your supervisor can work with you to discuss the available options and any implications for your specific project/assessment.  

I had field work / a placement planned as part of my programme. What is happening to these?  

At this time, all field trips and placements have been suspended for the remainder of the academic year. Your department and programme will be making decisions about necessary adjustments in line with UCL guidance (which aligns to Public Health England advice) and in consultation with any relevant professional bodies.   

If I already work within the setting in which my placement was due to take place, can I continue?  

You should continue to follow the advice and guidance from Public Health England and your employers in terms of your contracted work. If you have any concerns about your placement, you should discuss these with your employer in the first instance and consult with your supervisor for guidance on the implications of your options.   

My programme is shaped by one of the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB). How do these changes to assessment affect this?

Departments have been seeking out specific advice from the relevant professional bodies and working with them to make sure that the teaching and assessment alternatives we offer meet their standards and requirements. 

Your fellow students at most universities around the world are experiencing similar changes at short notice; UCL will be working with its global networks to ensure you will not be disadvantaged. 

We will provide updates as soon as we can. In the meantime, please bear with us while we work through all of the challenges. 

If you have any questions about this, please speak with your programme lead in the first instance.  

How does the move to online/remote delivery affect the ethics approval for my dissertation/project?  

New guidance is available on the Research Integrity website on the implications for ethical approval and data protection registration when moving your research from face-to-face to fully online.  

The webpage also includes guidance for researchers on how to safely move research online, as well as the data management and safety considerations. 

What do I do if I am dissatisfied with my department’s proposed approach to alternative assessment?  

Our priority is to ensure that all students understand the circumstances and rationale behind the alternatives that we can offer. Staff are making their best effort to provide a dissertation or project that enables each of you to complete your studies and graduate on time.  

You have the right to request to interrupt your studies and may apply under the extenuating circumstances policy to defer your dissertation on the grounds of ‘serious problems with academic project work.’ Unfortunately, in the current situation, we cannot guarantee that a delay or deferral would enable you to complete your original project.  

We are very aware that some students may have chosen to come here or chosen your particular course because of elements that are no longer available to you. We encourage you to discuss the implications of your options with your supervisor so you can reach an informed decision on how to proceed.  

7. Returning students 

I am a student who is currently interrupting and I’m expecting to resume my studies shortly.  What should I do? 

You will be able to re-enrol on Portico without attending in person.  Once you do so you will have full access to UCL’s on-line facilities.  You will also be able to pay your fees on-line. 

You will be able to enrol from the date you are due to resume your studies. 

Please see the other FAQs on this page for more information about support with online learning and assessment. 

If you need a visa to study at UCL we will allow you to re-enrol from outside the UK.  Please note that you will need to apply for the correct visa to return to UK when you are able to do so, and you will need to provide evidence of this upon your return to UCL. If you require a Tier 4 visa in order to complete your studies, you will need to request our CAS number. Please refer to our guidance about CAS numbers

If you have any queries about your record, please do this by logging in to askUCL, our student enquiry system.

8. How your summer 2020 alternative assessments will operate

First year capstone assessments

First year capstone assessments must be submitted on Monday 29 June or Tuesday 30 June, according to your faculty.

Your departments will send details of your capstone assessment and the submission deadline.

If you are a disabled student and would like to discuss reasonable adjustments and support for completing your capstone assessment please contact Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL. Disabled students with a SORA already in place can access an extension of one additional week where possible, however may be granted a deferred assessment instead.

Timed 24-hour online exams

All timed online exams will run for 24-hours.

If you have timed online examinations, the exam paper will be released 24 hours before your submission deadline (it may be visible before the release date but NOT accessible).

Submission deadlines for timed, online exams will be set as 12:00 or 15:00 (UK time).

There will be no timed 24-hour online exams at weekends: ie there will be no Sunday release of papers or Saturday submission deadlines.

How to sit the timed online exam

  1. Log in to Moodle as usual
  2. Download a template answer sheet and enter your candidate number and module code.
  3. Note the overall word count for your exam and do not write more than required: this will ensure that completion of the assessment is possible within the usual exam duration.
  4. Submit your timed, 24-hour online exam via Turnitin. This is a similar process to the submission of coursework via Turnitin.

If you have queries or technical issues with submission

An examination paper query form will be on Moodle for students to complete if you have a query. It will be submitted with the examination script (it is the same process as for invigilated in-person exams).

If technical issues mean you cannot submit via Turnitin, there will be an alternative submission process [TO BE CONFIRMED].

Examination adjustments for timed, 24-hour online exams

The duration of these exams has been set to 24 hours which takes into account those students who may need additional time and rest breaks as a reasonable adjustment, as well as different time zones. The Student Support and Wellbeing Team have contacted students who had in-person exam-based support to discuss accessing online exams. Students who are concerned about accessing 24-hour online exams should contact Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL.

What if you have two timed 24-hour online exams in one day

Some students will have two timed exams released in one day. You will be required to submit both papers the next day, one at 12:00 and one at 15:00 (UK time). This 27 hour window is designed to enable you to complete both exams. Students who are timetabled to have two exams in one day and are concerned about accessing and completing these exams due to a disability should contact Student Support and Wellbeing via askUCL.

Coursework (that was previously an invigilated exam)

Deadlines for coursework that were previously invigilated exams

The Late Summer Assessment (LSA) examination timetable will be published on 28 July 2020 and sent to you from Portico. This timetable will include 24 hour timed online exams that were centrally managed during the Main 2020 only.  The deadlines for deferred coursework and other forms of assessment will be published by your department. The dates that will appear in the examination timetable will be the submission deadline date, not the date that the assessment has to take place on. The deadline will not be before 24 August 2020.

Extensions granted via a SORA for Coursework (that was previously an invigilated exam)

Where coursework is being set as an alternative to an examination, a one-week extension will be granted. If you are not able to submit with the additional week, you can apply for an extension or a deferral through Extenuating Circumstances.

Coursework (not alternative assessment) and other assessment not included in the original examination timetable

Your departments will give you the details and submission deadlines for coursework and other assessment not included in the original examination timetable.

Submission deadlines will be outside of the scheduled dates and times that are in the examination timetable and will avoid the Capstone submission deadlines.

Extensions to usual Coursework (SORAs)

If you are granted an extension to coursework as part of your SORA, the process remains unchanged

9. Amendments to Academic Regulations for summer assessments 2020

Undergraduate degree classification and grades

Undergraduate finalists

Provided you satisfy the award requirements the final classification average will be based on the higher outcome of: 

  1. Calculation with the final year mean based on the best 60 credits*; or 
  2. Calculation with the final year excluded. 

*For integrated Masters programmes with a heavily-weighted dissertation module, the best 60 credits from any modules will be used to calculate the mean, which may include re-weighting the dissertation credit. 

These principles will be adapted for classification schemes with variations that do not use a final year average. 

All final year modules will still appear on the transcript. 

Continuing undergraduates in years 2, 3 or 4, and Integrated Masters programmes students (MSci, MEng etc)

For the majority of students, provided you satisfy the award requirements, the weighted average of your module marks for 2019-20 will be calculated using only the marks from your best 60 credits. At the end of your studies, this mark will be combined with your marks from other years to calculate an overall average mark for your degree. At the same time, a separate calculation will determine an overall average mark for your degree based only on marks from other academic years (i.e. with marks from 2019-20 excluded). Whichever of these two averages is higher will then be used to determine the class of degree you will be awarded.

If you are taking less than a full credit load (e.g. because you have previously interrupted your studies or deferred assessments from last year) the best 50% of credits taken this year will be included in the calculation of your year average for classification.

Departments will provide detailed information to their students in due course.

Graduate and postgraduate degree classification and grades

  • Full-time Postgraduate taught Masters Programme students: Provided you have satisfied the award requirements, your final award will be based on the average of your performance in your best 90 credits. 
  • Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma students: provided you have satisfied the award requirement, classification will be based on the best 60 of the 120 credits.
  • Masters programmes of greater than one calendar year duration: provided you have satisfied the award requirement, the highest 50% of your 2019/20 credits will count towards classification.
  • Part-time postgraduate taught students: provided you have satisfied the award requirement, the best 50% of your credits taken in 2019/20 (unless this would disadvantage the student) will count towards classification.
  • Flexible (and students returning from interruption or with deferrals only) postgraduate taught students: the best 50% of credits taken in 2019/20 will be used at the point of classification where this results in a higher classification than using all credits. Where assessment in 2019/20 relates to one module worth 15 credits or fewer, the module mark may be discounted for classification purposes if this results in a higher average mark.
  • MRes students: classification will be based on the average of your performance across your programme. There is no longer a dissertation threshold mark that must be achieved to qualify for an overall Merit or Distinction. For MRes programmes with progression to doctoral programmes, if you have not met the threshold for automatic progression the programme Director/Departmental Graduate Tutor will consider the possibility of progression an a case-by case basis if the progression threshold has not been met. If your ability to undertake your research project is significantly affected you may interrupt your studies but please bear in mind that there may be implications for your funding which are beyond UCL’s control.

No Late Summer resits

The Late Summer Assessment period will be for deferred assessments only. 

For postgraduate taught and undergraduate finalist exam reassessments, there will be an extended centrally managed exam period in January 2021. Your departments may run other postgraduate taught and undergraduate finalist re-assessments earlier. Reassessments for continuing students will take place next academic year.


Condonement (permissible level of assessment failure that will not affect progression)

Normally, some programmes include a number of modules that must be passed if a student is to progress, known as non-condonable modules. For all programmes in 2019-20, every module will be considered condonable in this academic year (2019-20), unless the learning outcomes are specifically linked to Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) requirements that cannot be met elsewhere in the programme. This will also apply to modules taken earlier in the academic year.

Undergraduate progression, including Integrated Masters students

If UG students have exceeded an overall average for the year of 40.00% they will be allowed to have 30 credits condoned and carry over up to 30 further credits of failed modules into a later assessment period.

For programmes accredited by Professional Engineering Institutions, the volume of permitted condonement is different owing to Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body accreditation requirements, but the same principle of allowing condonement plus 30 credits trailed into the following year will apply.

In discussion with their departments, students may opt to resit out of attendance next year instead of progressing provisionally in 2020/21 with the trailing fail.

Students who do not achieve the minimum credits to progress will repeat the failed modules next year.

Integrated Masters progression to MSci/MEng

Your department will inform you if your programme has specific requirements for progression to MSci or MEng, and how the no detriment approach will be applied.