Assessments2019-11-13T09:50:04+00:00

Guide to Assessments

Under the General University Ordinances all students are required to complete all written assignments, examinations, practical or other coursework at the correct time during the academic year, and to attend and attempt all examinations, as appropriate in each case to the relevant programme of study or research.

Formative (Non-Assessed) Work

Formative assessments are non assessed pieces of work that give you opportunity to write a practice assessment in preparation for the submission of a summative assessment. The module convenor will set the formative assessment and will inform you of the word limit and the date by which it must be submitted.

You do not have to complete the formative assessment but we would encourage you to take full advantage of opportunity that it provides. The feedback that you receive from formative assessment is always beneficial and will help you develop the writing and critical skills you need for the summative assessment.

Summative (Assessed) Work

Students are advised to ensure that they comply with all the components of any coursework. Advice should be sought from the relevant Module Convenor should they be unclear as to any aspect of the task. This is an important component of feedback and ensures that you will address the question asked appropriately. Please pay careful attention to your essay rubrics, particularly in relation to word counts.

Other Types of Assessment

In order to proceed with your degree, you MUST have attempted all the relevant components of the module at the end of the academic year.

You cannot proceed if, for example:

  • you attempt the assessed coursework in Law of Contract but fail to attempt the examination, either in January or during the August re-sit period. Should you fail to attempt both components, you will receive an overall mark of NC (Not Completed) for the module at both sittings.
  • you attempt the first piece of assessed coursework in Law and Criminology but fail to attempt the second, either in January or during the August re-sit period. Should you fail to attempt both components, you will receive an overall mark of NC (Not Completed) for the module at both sittings.

Any student who failed to attempt all components and thus has an NC present on their record will not proceed to the next year of study if they have a second NC for the same module/s following the August supplementary period. No exemptions will be made. Please note that the same rule applies to students who have an NA (Not Assessed) for a module at the first sit who subsequently receive a second NA in August for the same module.

Certain modules include a group work component as part of their formal assessment. It is a compulsory requirement that you undertake, and fully participate in, assessed group work. Registers are taken by Student Group Leaders and absences will be reported to the Module Convenor.

Similarly, participation on WINS is also compulsory. Whilst this module is not credit bearing it must be successfully completed in the same way as Failure to complete this module will be highlighted on your academic transcript.

Deadlines

A deadline is the time and date you must have submitted your work by. Unless otherwise stated assignment deadlines are at 16:00 on the hand in day. All assessed work requires that you submit your assessment online. Longer pieces of work such as dissertations and research projects are usually required to be submitted in hard form. Some other pieces of work may be requested in hard copy but your module convenor will specify if you need to do this.

If have not submitted your work by the deadline a lateness penalty may be applied.

Presentation of Assessed Work

Students must present their assessed coursework in an appropriate academic format. Whilst there are no formalised “rules” governing this, you are advised to look at reputable legal and criminological journals for ways in which to present your work. We would advise that you use a minimum of 12 point font. Markers may deduct marks if work is presented in a way that is non-academic or difficult to read. Please check the coursework rubric for each module and comply with any requirements made as to presentation.

Referencing

Please use either a suitable legal reference style for law coursework or, for most criminological work, the Harvard style of referencing. Some module convenors will indicate that a particular style of referencing is more appropriate to the type of assessed work that you are being asked to complete. Please visit the Information Skills Resource which provides excellent referencing tutorials at:

When undertaking coursework it is essential that you read all the instructions to avoid penalties being applied to your work. The Module Convenor will be able to assist you should you have any queries relating to a particular assessment.

Late Submissions

There is a 5% penalty for every working day that the work is late up to a maximum of 5 working days (25% penalty). After this the work is not marked and you received “NC” (non completed).

Example, if the deadline were Thursday at 16:00 the below penalties would apply depending on the date you submit the work.

Date you submit  Penalty Grade you would get if assignment was given 60%
Thursday before 16:00 none 60%
Thursday 16:00:01 – Friday 16:00 5% (multiply by 0.95) 57%
Friday 16:00:01 – Monday 16:00 10% (multiply by 0.90) 54%
Monday 16:00:01 – Tuesday 16:00 15% (multiply by 0.85) 51%
Tuesday 16:00:01 – Wednesday 16:00 20% (multiply by 0.80) 48%
Wednesday 16:00:01 – Thursday 16:00:00 25% (multiply by 0.75) 45%
After Thursday 16:00:01 Work is not marked, you receive 0 0

Word Count

You can go 0.9% above the word count without incurring a penalty – anything more incurs a penalty. There is no specific penalty for going under the wordcount, however please bear in mind that academic staff decide assignment/word count based on how many words they think you need, it is not recommended to submit work more than 10% below the wordcount.

Overlength by: Deduction from final mark
0.1 – 0.9% No deduction
1 – 10% 10%
11 – 25% 25%
25 – 50% 50%
50% + Work will be given a 0 which will grade module overall as NC (Not Completed)
“Undercounting” (ie cheating by claiming that an essay has a word length lower than the true count) Work will be given a 0 which will grade module overall as NC (Not Completed) and you may be asked to attend a Disciplinary meeting

Exclusions from the Wordcount

Appendices, end or footnotes, graphs/tables, diagrams, reference list and/or bibliography, tables of statutes and/or tables of cases are not included in the word count but marks may be deducted if these are inaccurate or inappropriate in length or style. Anything embedded in the text such as quotes and authors’ names are included in your word count. Please note that you do not need to include a contents page as part of your coursework. If in end, please check with the Module Convenor at the earliest available opportunity.

Footnotes & Bibliographies

Footnotes and bibliographies are not included in the word count. However, if students abuse this by including things in the word count that should be in the main body of the text (as a way to get around the wordcount) then a penalty may be incurred. This is at the discretion of the lecturer.

An extension of time for submission of assessed coursework will only be granted under appropriate circumstances – ie if you have been prevented from submitting the work on time by circumstances outside your control which can reasonably be said to have affected your work, such as serious illness or personal difficulties.You should advise your Personal and Academic Tutor at the earliest available opportunity of any such circumstances as extensions will not be granted retrospectively.

Explanatory Notes for Extenuating Circumstances

Providing Evidence

You will be asked to provide evidence to support your application for an extension. Where you seek an extension on medical or personal grounds, appropriately dated evidence is required to accompany the extension request from the University Health Service – this should be the standard University Extenuating Circumstances Form. Should you not be registered with the University Health Service you should submit a doctor’s note as evidence.

You will need to add in the length of time you are requiring an extension for on the form. The maximum extension we can give is two weeks. This is because we have to meet the three week feedback rule. The completed form should be dropped into the SEO Reception or emailed to Law Exceptional Circumstances Team

If your Extension is Approved

Once the extension request has been considered you will receive an email confirmation of rejection/approval and your new hand in date. Should the new hand in date not be met the usual lateness penalties will be applied.

Students submitting to turnitin after an extension will need to use the ‘Extensions’ dropbox.. You may receive a late submission response but you should ignore this as we will be able to check that you have a valid extension.

If your studies are adversely affected by medical or other circumstances, you should consult your Personal and Academic Tutor or a Year Tutor.

Useful Links

Extenuating Circumstances Form

University Health Service

Personal & Academic Tutors

Year Tutors

Reporting Scales for Marks Awarded

Class Mark (%)
1st 70-100
2:1 60-69
2:2 50-59
3 45-49
Pass 40-44
Fail 1-39
Work Not Submitted
Note: includes ‘work’ which does not represent a genuine attempt to answer the question(s) set.
0
Module will receive an NC (Not Completed)
Class Mark (%)
Excellent Distinction 80+
Distinction 70 – 79
Merit 60 – 69
Pass 50 – 59
Fail 40 – 49
Poor Fail Below 40

Feedback

The School is fully committed to providing quality feedback to all students throughout their degree programmes, and aims to meet the 3 week rule in relation to assessed and non-assessed work. This means that your tutors plan on completing the marking process and providing appropriate feedback with 3 weeks during term time. Should the marking team not be able to meet the three week rule you will be emailed via the Student Experience Office and given the date you will be receiving your feedback.

Feedback Overview

Please note that feedback strategies may vary for each module according to the particular style of teaching adopted.If you are unsure about the feedback strategy adopted by a particular module you should speak to your seminar tutor, or contact the module convenor.

You are strongly advised to take the opportunities available to you to improve your assessment performance by accessing your feedback for both your formative and summative. You are also encouraged to take advantage of drop in feedback and feed forward sessions that may be offered by Module Convenors, Personal Tutors and teaching teams.

How is feedback delivered?

Feedback is delivered in a variety of ways such as;

  • opportunities for discussion in seminars
  • question and answer in seminars and/or lectures
  • the opportunity to ask specific questions of your seminar tutor, or module convener during their Feedback and Consultation Hour, or by e mail
  • peer feedback, through discussions in seminars and on subject discussion boards
  • tutor response to non-assessed and assessed coursework – which may include comments on the submitted work itself, an annotated marking grid/comment sheet
  • generic feedback posted on mole
  • specific time allocated to group feedback in seminars and/or lectures
  • specifically arranged group and/or individual feedback sessions or surgeries
  • opportunities to speak individually with your seminar tutor and /or module convenor using their Feedback and Consultation hour.
  • discussions about overall performance with your subject and/or personal tutor (with additional compulsory feedback meeting allocated for final year students)

Feedback on Examination Performance

You have the right to request to view your examination papers and seek guidance and feedback from an appropriate member of academic staff. Such sight of papers should normally take place within three weeks of the release of exam marks for the Autumn Semester. If you fail a Spring Semester module you must seek feedback in advance of the August supplementary period from the relevant Module Convenor. Please note that for students who have returned home overseas may only receive feedback via their Sheffield University email account.

Requests for Remarking

Students should be aware that requests to re-mark assessed work will not be considered. Quality is maintained through systematic second marking, internal moderation and external moderation.

Useful Links

Receiving Feedback

Feedback Portal

Feedback and Consultation Hour

The examination timetables are posted on line by the Examinations Office and announced over e-mail. Please check the timetable very carefully. If you miss an examination through failing to attend a venue at the correct date and time, you will automatically be awarded an NC (Not Completed) for this module. You cannot take the examination on a different date during that examination period.

Examination Timetable

Usually the draft exam timetable is released in April, and the final version is released in May. You can check this here Examination Timetable Information. The exam timetable is created centrally for the whole university, not by departments.

BE SURE TO CHECK THE FINAL EXAM TIMETABLE AS SOME TIMINGS MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM THE DRAFT TIMETABLE

Semester 1

Examinations for semester one subjects take place in Weeks 13 to 15 of Semester One, which fall in January. Registration is automatic.

Semester 2 

Semester Two subjects are examined in Weeks 13 to 15 of semester two, which fall in May/June. Registration is automatic.

FAQs

Materials permitted in exams2018-03-15T11:34:31+00:00

Each module has its own rules about assessment and about which materials, if any, may be taken into examinations. Some modules operate with ‘open book’ examinations. This means that candidates may take any materials into the examination. In others, no materials whatsoever are permitted. In some modules, students may only take certain specified materials into the examination room. Such materials must not be annotated or marked in any way. This includes underlining, highlighting, post-it notes, stickers or other bookmarks used to indicate particular pages. You may, however, fold pages over. In some examinations, the permitted materials are supplied for you in the examination room and you will be advised of this by the Module Convenor prior to the examination/s in question.

Seen Questions2018-03-15T11:34:02+00:00

Some examinations have essay questions that are seen in advance of the date of the examination(ie, part of the examination paper that is seen in advance of the date of the examination) these are called ‘Seen Examination Questions’. These seen questions are uploaded onto MOLE for students registered for the relevant modules. You must ensure therefore that you are able to access your e-mail account at all times.

What do I do if I am ill on the day of the exam?2018-03-15T10:12:18+00:00

If you believe the illness has a significant impact (eg. a doctor would sign you off sick from work) then you will need to go to a doctor on the day of the exam to get a medical statement. Preferably the University Health Service as they will know what to provide.

You will need to submit an extenuating circumstances form with the medical statement to law-exceptionalcircumstances@sheffield.ac.uk (you can submit the form first and medical evidence as soon as it is available)These will be considered by the student welfare committee. If they decided that the evidence warrants your exam to be given an NA (non assessed), then you will be able to sit the exam in the August Resit period for free and with an uncapped mark (eg. if your exam is marked as 75% your grade will be 75%.

What counts as extenuating circumstances?2018-03-15T10:11:54+00:00
What happens if I miss an exam?2018-03-15T10:11:30+00:00

It depends if there are extenuating circumstances or not:

  • If the reason is not extenuating circumstances (eg. overslept, travel delay, minor illness, went to the wrong location) then you would have to resit the exam in the August Resit period (this will incur a fee). The exam will be capped at 40% (eg. Even the exam is marked 75%, you will only get a result of 40%)
  • If there are extenuating circumstances, you will need to submit the extenuating circumstances form and evidence to law-exceptionalcircumstances@sheffield.ac.uk or to the Student Experience Office (BA-CG1). These will be considered by the student welfare committee. If they decided that the evidence warrants your exam to be given an NA (non assessed), then you will be able to sit the exam in the August Resit period for free and with an uncapped mark (eg. if your exam is marked as 75% your grade will be 75%.
What happens if I am late to the exam?2018-03-15T10:11:00+00:00

If you are less than 30 minutes late you will be allowed entry, after 30 minutes no entry is allowed. There are no exceptions to this no matter what the reason for lateness was.

Please allow plenty of time to arrive at the exam location, especially if travelling is required.

When will I get exam results?2018-03-15T10:10:28+00:00

Provisional results are released usually in Week 5 of Semester 2 for the Autumn semester and late June/early July for the Spring semester.

 

My exam is close to assignment deadlines and other exams, can it be changed?2018-03-15T10:10:04+00:00

No – the exam timetable is made by the central exams team who have over 50,000 exams to timetable in a 3 week period. We will try to ensure students do not have 2 exams on the same day (though this cannot be guaranteed) but proximity to deadlines and other exams is not a valid reason to request changing an exam time. The university must be able to timetable exams any time within the exam period in order for exam timetabling to be possible.

Where can I get things approved for an exam (eg. calculator)?2018-03-15T10:09:26+00:00

SSiD in the Student’s Union (https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/exams/calculator)

When will the exam timetable be released?2018-03-15T10:09:04+00:00

Usually the draft exam timetable is released in April, and the final version is released in May. You can check this here https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/exams/timetables. The exam timetable is created centrally for the whole university, not by departments.

BE SURE TO CHECK THE FINAL EXAM TIMETABLE AS SOME TIMINGS MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM THE DRAFT TIMETABLE

Useful Links

Exam Help

301: Study Skills

Personal & Academic Tutors

The basic principle underlying the preparation of any piece of academic work is that the work submitted must be your own work. Plagiarism, submitting bought or commissioned work, double submission (or self plagiarism), collusion and fabrication of results are not allowed because they violate this principle. Rules about these forms of cheating apply to all assessed and non-assessed work.

What happens if I use unfair means?

Any form of unfair means is treated as a serious academic offence and action may be taken under the Discipline Regulations. In the first instance, an internal investigation, conducted by the School of Law’s Discipline Officer, will take place. For a student registered on a professionally accredited programme of study, action may also be taken under the Fitness to Practice Regulations. Where unfair means is found to have been used, the University’s Discipline Committee has a wide range of penalties at its disposal, ranging from:

  • awarding a grade of zero or NC;
  • awarding a grade of zero and refusing the right to re-sit (hence a Law student may not, for example, be able to re-take a foundational subject and thus would be unable to gain a Qualifying Law Degree);
  • suspension from the University for an agreed period of time, fines and community service;
  • expulsion from the University in serious cases.

Descriptions of Unfair Means

Plagiarism, either intentional or unintentional,  is the stealing of ideas or work of another person (including experts and fellow or former students) and is considered dishonest and unprofessional. Plagiarism may take the form of cutting and pasting, taking or closely paraphrasing ideas, passages, sections, sentences, paragraphs, drawings, graphs and other graphical material from books, articles, internet sites or any other source and submitting them for assessment without appropriate acknowledgement.

Examples

  • You produce an essay which includes ideas and/or quotations taken from other writers. This is plagiarism and violates the principle, unless the source has been attributed as explained above. The length of the copied section is not relevant, since any act of plagiarism offends against the general principle set out above. When copying sections from other writers it is not sufficient simply to list the source in the bibliography.
  • You download an article or prepared essay or other piece of work from the Internet and submit it, with or without amendment, as your own work. This is plagiarism of the most serious kind and will normally result in disciplinary proceedings.
  • You pay someone else – whether a fellow student, web based company or otherwise – to write an essay which you then submit as your own. This is plagiarism of the most serious kind and will result in disciplinary proceedings.
  • You “cut and paste” from another person’s work without putting the pasted work in quotation marks and/or you fail to attribute it to the original author. This is plagiarism and violates the principle.

The rules about plagiarism and collusion apply to assessed questions, open-book examinations, seen examination questions and non-assessed questions.

The basic principle underlying the preparation of any piece of academic work is that the work submitted must be the student’s own work. Plagiarism and collusion are not allowed because they violate this principle and are regarded as amongst the most serious forms of cheating.

The following information has been taken from a centralised University document, published by Learning and Teaching Services relating to the use of unfair means:

The University expects its graduates to have acquired certain attributes. We expect to show that you are:

  •  a critical, analytical and creative thinker
  • an independent learner and researcher
  • information literate and IT literate
  • a flexible team worker
  • an accomplished communicator
  • competent in applying their knowledge and skills
  • professional and adaptable.

Throughout your programme of study at the University you will learn how to develop these skills and attributes. Your assessed work is the main way in which you demonstrate that you have acquired and can apply them. Using unfair means in the assessment process is dishonest and also means that you cannot demonstrate that you have acquired these essential academic skills and attributes.

Submitting bought or commissioned work (for example from internet sites, essay “banks” or “mills”) is an extremely serious form of plagiarism. This may take the form of buying or commissioning either the whole assignment or part of it and implies a clear intention to deceive the examiners. The University also takes an extremely serious view of any student who sells, offers to sell or passes on their own assignments to other students

Collusion is where two or more people work together to produce a piece of work, all or part of which is then submitted by each of them as their own individual work. This includes passing on work in any format to another student. Collusion does not occur where students involved in group work are encouraged to work together to produce a single piece of work as part of the assessment process.

Examples

  • You get another student to write up or dictate the whole or part of an essay which you then submit as your own. This is collusion and violates the principle.
  • You copy the whole or part of another student’s essay with or without their knowledge and consent. This is collusion and violates the principle. If the student whose work is copied consents to the copying both students are guilty of collusion.
  • You produce one agreed piece of work together with one or more other students, produce an essay together, and then each of you writes it up and submits as your own individual effort. This is collusion and violates the principle. It is not necessary that the submitted essays be word-for-word identical if it is clear that you have worked together on the ideas or structure of the essay.

Fabrication is submitting work (for example, practical or laboratory work) any part of which is untrue, made up, falsified or fabricated in any way. This is regarded as fraudulent and dishonest.

A student experiencing any problems with the application or interpretation of these rules and principles should always consult their tutor.

Avoiding the use of Unfair Means

To avoid using unfair means, any work submitted must be your own and must not include the work of any other person, unless it is properly acknowledged and referenced.

As part of your programme of studies you must learn how to reference sources appropriately in order to avoid plagiarism. This is an essential skill that you will need throughout your University career and beyond. You should follow any guidance on the preparation of assessed work given by the academic department setting the assignment.

You are required to complete a declaration for all formally assessed coursework (including work submitted online), confirming that the work submitted is entirely your own.

If you have any concerns about appropriate academic practices or if you are experiencing any personal difficulties which are affecting your work, you should consult your personal tutor or a member of staff involved with that unit of study.

There are two different elements of progression when you are studying for a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD) at Sheffield. It is important that you understand these rules in order to guarantee that your degree is recognised upon graduation as one that enables you to train as a barrister or solicitor should you wish to pursue a career in Law. The first element is University progression and the second is QLD (Qualifying Law Degree) progression.

Progression Routes

a) If you have an NC (Not Completed) or an NA (Not Assessed) for any module at the end of either the Autumn or Spring Semester and do not re-sit or first take these modules during the August supplementary period, you cannot proceed. You need to complete all the components relevant to these modules in the August supplementary period in order to gain a final mark and thus attempt your full suite of 120 credits for the year. If a second NC is recorded in August following the re-sit period, you will not be able to proceed to Level 2 or Level 3. If you attempt the module and fail it, there may still be implications for your progression at Level 1 (please see below).

The same principle applies to any student given an NA for mitigating circumstances at the first sit for modules in either the Autumn or the Spring Semester and gains a second NA during the August supplementary period as this will also halt progression to the following academic year because 120 credits have not been attempted for the academic year.

If, before the August re-sit period, you have a fail in a module which was assessed by two separate components (ie an examination and an assignment) you do not have to re-sit any component which you passed first time around. As such, it is important that you collect any assessed coursework and feedback sheets from the Law School Programmes Office as soon as they become available. The same rule applies to students who have an NA or an NC. Please contact the TPO as soon as possible after you receive your results if you have any queries.

b) At Level 1, if you completed your modules and obtained a mark of less than 30 in any module in the Autumn or Spring Semester you must re-sit that module as compulsory during the August supplementary period in order to attempt to proceed to Level 2. If you still have a mark on your record of below 30 after August, you cannot proceed to Level 2. Your August mark will be capped at 40.

c) At Level 1, students may proceed to Level 2 carrying one mark between 30 and 39. At Level 2, students are also permitted to proceed with one mark between 1 and 39. At Level 2, any re-sit marks in August will also be capped at 40.

d) Students who accrue fails at Level 3/4 are required to carry these to classification.

Students may not be awarded any degree unless they have studied and attempted the assessment in 240 credits of study over Levels two and three/four, 90 credits of which must be gained at Level 3/4. The examiners have discretion to recommend the award of a pass (non-honours) degree to a candidate with only 180 credits. You cannot be awarded an honours degree unless you have passed 200 credits over Levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 at least 90 of which must be gained at Levels three/four. Therefore all fails at Level 2 in particular should always be re-sat.

Students commencing degrees from September 2012 – Repeat Year Study at Levels 1 and 2

Students who fail the academic year at Level 1 (who commenced their studies from September 2012 onwards) should note that only three attempts are permitted at a failed module. Should you fail the year and not be able to proceed to the next academic year of study (with more than one fail at the end of the academic year you will have exhausted two of the three attempts permitted (ie the first sit and subsequent second sit in August) – if you repeat the year and fail more than one module on a third occasion, you are required to leave the degree programme and withdraw from the University. It is only under exceptional circumstances deemed permissible at Faculty level that a student may “wipe the slate clean” and repeat Level 1 in full the following academic session (thus losing the first two attempts). Students may only have one (third attempted) fail on their record at the end of a Repeat Year which will allow them to proceed as a Pass Conceded to Level 2. If you have more than one fail and cannot proceed, a third repeat year of study is not permitted and you will be required to withdraw from the University.

Students who fail the academic year at Level 2 (who commenced their studies from September 2012 onwards) should note that only two attempts are permitted at a failed module. Should you fail the year and not be able to proceed to the next academic year of study (with more than one fail at the end of the academic year) a repeat year of study is not permitted and you will be required to withdraw from the University.

Full details are available on the University website.

Resit examinations or coursework re-submissions, are a “second chance” to take an assessment. Students must re-submit work or be re-examined if they wish to attempt to redeem their failed modules.

In order for the student to be considered for a pass overall on the programme of study, they must pass all assessment components of a module to be awarded an overall pass mark for that module.

The SRA has revised its rules for students embarking on Qualifying Law Degrees who graduate from University with fails in the foundational subjects of legal knowledge. Students are now required to pass (within the maximum three permitted attempts) the following modules prior to graduation should they wish to persue a career in the legal profession. Students should note that the SRA rule in place prior to the 2014/15 academic session as regards one permitted condoned fail in a foundational subject is no longer in existence.

Understanding Law
Land Law
Law of Contract
Constitutional Law
Equity and Trusts
Criminal Law
Administrative Law and Justice
Torts Law
European Union Law

Students should note that for the three permitted attempts, it is the final mark in these subjects that counts towards qualification. For example, if you receive a mark of 38 in Torts Law and re-sit gaining 32, it is the 32 that counts towards your qualified status.

If you fail one of the subjects listed above you should always re-take during the Supplementary August Examination Period should you wish to guarantee graduation with a Qualifying Law Degree that will enable you to practice.

Should it be necessary for you to re-sit any modules, you will receive details of re-sits and how to register when you access your Spring Semester results which you should act on immediately.

Supplementary Period Timetable

The examination timetable will be sent to you shortly before the examinations and You must not book holidays or make arrangements which will make it impossible to return to Sheffield during August until you are sure that you will not be required to return to attend examinations. Students who pass an assessment have no right to resist that assessment with a view, for example, to gaining a better mark.

Grades

All resit marks are ‘capped’ should you need to complete a resit and pass during the August supplementary period will only receive a pass grade of 40 for Undergraduate Programmes and 50 for Postgraduate Programmes.

Seen examination questions and assessed essay questions are uploaded onto MOLE in August with an e-mail notification sent to students.

Students who are treated as ‘Not Assessed’ (NA) in January/February or May/June and who sit for the first time in August do not have their grades capped at 40. You cannot carry a Not Assessed grade to the next level of study and, as with other students, you are expected to attempt, and be available to take, this module in August. If you are prevented in August from taking a module previously NA’d, and subsequently receive a second NA, you cannot proceed to the next year of your degree.

Overseas Re-Sit Examinations

The University will permit international students may pay a fee to resit examinations in August in their home country via the British Council. If you wish to take advantage of this arrangement you are required to notify the Examinations Team before the end of the second semester. We recommend all overseas students to do this in case they do fail a module in semester two.

Non Assessed

Students who are treated as ‘Not Assessed’ (NA) in January/February or May/June and who sit for the first time in August do not have their grades capped at 40. You cannot carry a Not Assessed grade to the next level of study and, as with other students, you are expected to attempt, and be available to take, this module in August. If you are prevented in August from taking a module previously NA’d, and subsequently receive a second NA, you cannot proceed to the next year of your degree.

Leave of Absence

Should you take Leave of Absence during a Semester and return to repeat that Semester the following year you cannot retain any assessment marks – the module is required to be repeated in full with all assessments undertaken afresh. The same principle applies to students who have been Not Assessed for all or part of a previous academic year and to students who fail the year and have to re-sit modules during the following academic year. No individual assessment or overall marks can be carried forward from examinations or assessed essays for modules previously undertaken.

Your degree classification will be awarded anonymously to avoid any possible bias. It is important therefore that if you have any special circumstances such as serious illness which has affected your performance you report these to your department in good time so that they can be considered before the final anonymous degree classification board meeting. The link extenuating circumstances form can be found at the bottom of this page.

How your Classification is Determined

Your degree classification will be determined by the outcome of two calculations:

  1. your weighted average grade and
  2. the distribution of your weighted grades, in both cases based on the grades you obtained in the modules contributing to your degree programme. You should note that:
  • your degree classification is based on modules taken at Levels 2 and 3 (and Level 4 if you are on a four year programme); modules taken at Level 1 of your programme of study are not used for classification purposes and are, therefore, excluded from this process;
  • the grade obtained in individual modules is weighted according to both the credit value of each module and the Level in which the module was studied.

For further details of how a degree class is calculated, SSID have put together some information and created an animated tutorial to show you how degrees are classified. You can view the information and animation at the following link; http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/exams/classification

A student who is awarded 180 credits will thereby pass the examination for a master’s degree. A student who is awarded 120 credits will be eligible for the award of the postgraduate diploma, and a student who is awarded 60 credits will be eligible for the award of the postgraduate certificate.

Provided that a student is awarded no fewer than 165 credits and has obtained an average grade of no fewer than 50 for each assessment, the examiners may in their discretion recommend that the student be deemed to have passed the examination for a master’s degree.

Similarly, provided that a student is awarded no fewer than 105 credits and has obtained an average grade of no fewer than 50 for each assessment, the examiners may in their discretion recommend that the student be deemed to have passed the examination for
a postgraduate diploma.

Starting with the highest qualification given, a master’s degree will be classified as a distinction, merit or a pass grade.

To be considered for the award of distinction, a student must obtain a dissertation grade of not less than 69.5

To be considered for the award of merit, a student must obtain a dissertation grade not less than 59.5.

The student must have successfully obtained 180 credits at their first sitting in the case of a masters degree, or 120 credits at first sitting in the case of a postgraduate diploma to be considered for the award of distinction.

The student must have successfully obtained 165 credits at their first sitting in the case of
a masters degree, or 105 credits at their first sitting in the case of a postgraduate diploma to be considered for the award of merit.

The examiners may in their discretion recommend the award of a mark of distinction or merit to a student registered for a master’s degree, such that:

(a) A student who obtains a weighted mean grade of not less than 69.5 in the examination as a whole and a grade of not less than 70 in units to the value of not less than 90 credits may be recommended for the award of the degree with distinction.

(b) A student who obtains a weighted mean grade of not less than 59.5 in the examination as a whole and a grade of not less than 60 in units to the value of not less than 90 credits may be recommended for the award of the degree with merit.

The examiners may in their discretion recommend the award of a mark of distinction or merit to a student registered for a postgraduate diploma, such that:

(a) A student who obtains a weighted mean grade of not less than 69.5 in the examination as a whole and a grade of not less than 70 in units to the value
of not less than 60 credits may be recommended for the award of the postgraduate diploma with distinction.

(b) A student who obtains a weighted mean grade of not less than 59.5 in the examination as a whole and a grade of not less than 60 in units to the value
of not less than 60 credits may be recommended for the award of the postgraduate diploma with merit.

Considering the appropriate evidence, examiners may in their discretion recommend the award which best reflects the overall performance of the student notwithstanding the regulations above.

The University’s general regulations which relate to all taught postgraduate degrees can be found here https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/calendar