Soton’s ‘no detriment policy’ means your grades can’t go below your current average

After 22 March assessment marks can only improve your overall average

The University of Southampton’s Vice-President of Education, Alex Neill, announced in an email to students today that all assessments taking place with a deadline after March 22nd would be subject to a ‘no-detriment’ policy.

This ‘no- detriment’ policy means as long as students submit work for all required assessments this semester, they are guaranteed their academic year average will be no lower than the average that they had achieved by 22 March 2020. If students achieve higher than their current average in further assessments, then they can still raise their final mark.

The email said for Masters students the ‘no detriment’ policy “applies to the taught element of their degree programme” and “if you do well in assessments submitted after 22 March, of course, your academic year average could go up.”

The only exception to this is if students are completing assessments “that are accredited or regulated by external professional bodies”, but the university said they are “working with other Russell Group universities to make the case to professional bodies that we all need to be as flexible as possible in these circumstances,” the email said.

First and second year students won’t have to take module-level exams

First and second year students will not have to take module-level exams. Instead they will be asked to complete one assessment, or two smaller ones for Combined Honours students. For second year students and third year students taking four year courses, this will apply “where possible”.

Final year students still have to complete dissertations

Undergraduate final year students are asked to complete their dissertations or final projects.

Students were reassured, “We will not let the unprecedented and very difficult circumstances that we are all having to work in bring down the average that you had achieved at the end of last term”.

The email also said the university will be working to enable students to achieve goals and experiences that are not tied to assessments in the coming months.

“It is clear that you will be a very special generation of students in ways that we could not possibly have anticipated, and our promise to you is that we will do all in our power to recognise that.”

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