Compare how your uni is changing exams and assessments to cope with coronavirus

See which unis are doing no detriment policies and which aren’t

Without classrooms to study in or physical lectures to attend, students are wondering how their assessments could possibly continue as normal. Universities are scrambling to adapt by pushing back deadlines, graduating entire cohorts early, and cancelling exams.

Students are starting petitions for “no-detriment” policies, because why wouldn’t you. Thousands signed them for Sheffield, King’s, Leeds, and Cardiff.

Here’s what unis are doing with their assessments and exams. See how their efforts compare to what your uni is doing.

We’ll update this when unis start changing their policies. If there’s one not on this list, drop us a line at [email protected]

No-detriment/safety net policies

Really, the best you can hope for here is a “no detriment” policy – where your average grade you’ve already got is in the bag, and you can only make it go up with any assessments to come.

Edinburgh introduced a no detriment policy, telling students: “The examination (or other form of summative assessment) cannot make your mark for the course so far go down.”

Exeter has also introduced a “no detriment” policy. As long as students actually pass their assessments, the mark they gain in that assessment cannot negatively impact their overall grade.

Liverpool has also announced a similar policy, with the same caveat that students must still pass. “I urge you to try your best in the coming period,” Liverpool’s Pro-Vice Chancellor Gavin Brown reminded students.

Southampton’s no-detriment policy reassures students that, as long as they submit work for their assessments, they’ll get at least their average mark for the academic year.

After a student petition demanded it (Google “post hoc ergo propter hoc”), Warwick introduced a “safety net policy”. Students will still need to submit their assessments, but average marks for the year can only be raised.

Unfortunately for the slackers, it seems like no-detriment policies don’t actually mean you could just write your name and walk away with the 2.1 you’ve already bagged.

First and second year exams cancelled

Of course, for a first or second year, the prospect of no exams is sweeter yet.

Glasgow has cancelled first and second year exams, with the exception of a few mostly medicine-related subjects.

Any first years not on the list of exemptions will automatically progress to second year, whilst second years will progress based on “the assessment taken to date and any outstanding coursework still due for submission”.

UCL has gone one better, replacing all first year exams with a “reflective essay”, based on something freshers have learnt this year. The assessment will only have a pass or fail grade.

Final exams cancelled for some subjects

Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine cancelled all its final exams for sixth year medics.

Edinburgh’s PPLS (Philosophy, Psychology & Language Science) cancelled future undergrad assessments. Will only need to do an assignment if they haven’t done any assessed work for their course. If they have, they’ll be assessed on the basis of work already submitted.

Dissertation deadlines pushed back

Coventry has pushed dissertation deadlines back by two weeks to May. “We have agreed to an automatic two week extension on all semester two coursework deadlines with immediate effect,” an email told students.

Entire cohorts graduating early

KCL told all fourth year medics they have now graduated. All 394 medical students met the criteria for graduation, and are being given the option to register early with the General Medical Council.

Exams aren’t optional, guys

Bristol clapped back to a student open letter by saying exams wouldn’t be optional (and that there would be no tuition fee refund). Harsh, but seems like just making explicit the “you still need to pass” sentiment in most unis’ no-detriment policies.

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