BREAKING: No remaining exams/assessments can negatively impact your course grades for this semester


The University of Edinburgh has decided that no remaining exams or essays due to be submitted for any courses this semester will negatively impact students’ grades.

In an email sent to all undergraduate and postgraduate students today, Professor Colm Harmon, Vice-Principal Students, clarified: “final exams (or other forms of final, summative assessment) will impact on your grades on a non-detrimental basis.”

This means that students’ marks will only count if they are an improvement on assessments/exams already taken this semester (or year if you are on a year-long course).

Here are the details:

“For an individual course, many of you will already have completed one or more substantial, in-course assessments and had these marked. So, you will already have a significant amount of credit ‘in the bag’ for these courses and an average grade for the course so far. The examination (or other form of summative assessment) cannot make your mark for the course so far go down. It can make it go up (this is an opportunity for you to improve your marks and fully demonstrate your learning), but it will not have any negative impact.

“However, for some courses, you won’t have done much (or any) in-course assessment this semester, so the final exam (or other form of assessment) will count for all or most of your marks. The Board of Examiners will therefore need to rely heavily on your ‘open book’ exam/assessment results when deciding on the mark for your course. However, regardless of this, this same principle of no detriment will apply. The Board will therefore, if necessary, discount these course marks from your degree classification if they are detrimental to your overall programme average. So again, there is no detriment to you from attempting the exam.

“To be specific, we will ensure your final academic year average is the same as, or higher than, the average you would have attained through assessment that has already been undertaken or, (as is the case with some continuous assessment), is currently in progress.

“This ‘help not hinder’ approach is an important element of our plan. It is designed squarely to ensure that you can fully participate in the exam process, but also recognises that many things may be uncertain, and you might not be at your best.”

As for final year dissertations, here’s what’s happening:

“Final year undergraduate students who are required to submit a dissertation should still submit their work, even if due to current circumstances it is not finished or up to the standard they had planned or hoped for. Your School will be in touch to advise you if the deadlines for submission have changed at all.”