Mitigating the Impacts of Covid-19 on your Studies in 2020/21
City is working with the Students’ Union to ensure that students results are not impacted unfairly as a result of the pandemic. The following outlines what City is doing to support you to succeed and progress in your studies at this time. Some universities refer to this approach as the “no detriment policy”.
In 2020/21, we have:
- Re-designed how we deliver our programmes during the pandemic including moving some of our programmes online.
- Reviewed the number and types of assessments you are required to take where relevant, to make them as manageable as possible in the current circumstances.
- Implemented a revised Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Policy to support you in a way that is proportionate and responsive to your needs.
*Please note, there may be exceptions on externally accredited programmes with PSRB requirements.
We will continue to consider further actions to support students at the current time and we will update this page as relevant information become available.
Updated Extenuating Circumstances process and policy
The Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Policy is in place to support you with circumstances that may be affecting your studies.
To support you during the pandemic, we have adjusted our EC approval process so Schools can now consider and process submitted EC claims as long as your EC request is submitted before the relevant Assessment Board for your assessment is held.
Depending on your situation, EC’s can be submitted ‘With Evidence’, ‘With Self-Certification’ or ‘Without Evidence’.
EC without Evidence: We accept that the current situation with the pandemic is an exceptional circumstance. Where your studies have been impacted directly or indirectly by the pandemic and you are unable to provide evidence, you can inform us of the impact of the pandemic on you by stating it as a reason for submitting an ‘EC without Evidence’. Please also tell us in brief why evidence could not be provided as part of your claim so we can provide you with the appropriate support
You can find full details of the types of Extenuating Circumstances Claims here.
You can also get extra guidance and support by using the Students Union Online Case Form.
Reviewing your Term 1 marks
To further support you, we are also reviewing provisional marks achieved for term 1 assessments this academic year. The review aims to:
- review the marks given to an overall module cohort;
- ensure that the marks given to an overall module cohort are in line with what would normally be expected;
- ensure your work is marked fairly within the pandemic circumstances;
- identify students who may need additional support; and
- secure the value of your qualification and maintain City’s academic standards.
Please note that if your programme is accredited by a Professional Body, specific arrangements may apply and your School will confirm what these are. Also, all marks released to you prior to the final Assessment Boards for your programme are provisional.
Interim Assessment Panels
We are holding Interim Assessment Panels to review the provisional marks following your Term 1 assessments. Where appropriate, these panels will make recommendations about marks to Assessment Boards later in the year. This can include a recommendation of ‘scaling’.
Additionally, it may be identified that you may benefit from some additional support (e.g. personal tutor meetings, study skills sessions, and IT support including wifi or data) as you progress through the remainder of the year. If this is relevant to you, we will contact you shortly to provide you with:
- the type of support being recommended for you. This could be as a cohort undertaking a particular programme or as an individual student with specific needs;
- the reason(s) as to why such support is being recommended;
- any other relevant information about your marks.
Please note that in relation to marks, any recommendations such as scaling remain provisional. Final decisions will be made at the end of year Assessment Boards in consultation with the External Examiners for your programme.
Assessment Boards are held by each School after the final assessment is completed to ensure Assessment Regulations are fairly and consistently applied. After the Assessment Boards have met, the agreed results are verified, signed-off and released.
The role of Assessment Boards include:
- considering and agreeing marks achieved by each student for assessment components, the overall module mark and credit to be awarded.
- considering recommendations from Interim Assessment Panels, Extenuating Circumstances Panels, Academic Misconduct Panels, Fitness to Practise Panels, Fitness to Study Panels and other advisory panels as applicable.
- applying any relevant PSRB requirements in accordance with approved programme Regulations.
- agreeing the application of grade adjustment(s)
Scaling at Interim Assessment Panels for your Term 1 Assessments
To scale your marks, the Interim Assessment Panel for your programme will review your provisional marks. In some instances, the Panel may recommend that the marks for a module need to be adjusted where there have been factors that shows overall attainment has not been what we would usually expect.
Scaling could be used where relevant to either increase a spread of students across the mark range or to re-align a high or low average attainment. Any changes such as scaling remain provisional. Final decisions will be made at the end of year Assessment Boards in consultation with the External Examiners for your programme.
Please note that scaling will only be recommended in cases where there are factors that shows overall attainment has not been what we would usually expect. This is because adjustments were made to your module design and assessments at the start of 2020/21 to support you to progress and succeed this academic year.
- Modules and assessments that have not had a recommendation of scaling at the Interim Assessment Panels can still be scaled at the Assessment Boards if appropriate.
- We may not be able to review provisional marks that are subject to Professional Body requirements, as these programmes are externally accredited.
Scaling may be considered when:
- There is a significant, clearly identifiable and evidenced based issue with an assessment or module.
- The range of marks for an assessment or module significantly fails to match student performance, for instance, failing to fit onto the marking criteria which might be evidenced by one or more of the following:
- the range of marks is not in line with what would be expected from past performance on the module;
- the range of marks is not in line with what has been achieved by the same students registered on other modules at that level;
The above criteria are guidelines for Interim Assessment Panels to consider. Interim Assessment Panels will decide when it might be appropriate for scaling to be recommended.
Application of scaling:
- Interim Assessment Panels will consider statistical data for each module, including assessments within the module (for the current academic year and up to 3 previous academic years, where the data is available). If an Examining Board considers that the marks are not an accurate reflection of the expected academic standards achieved by the students, the Board may consider taking corrective action by scaling marks.
- An Interim Assessment Panel can recommend to scale marks down as well as up if that is deemed necessary to ensure marks are an accurate reflection of the academic standards achieved.
- Please note recommendations to scale down marks is usually a rare occurrence. Where scaling down is being recommended passing students will not be scaled to fail.
- Academic judgment will be used to determine the appropriateness of the recommendation for scaling and senior staff with oversight of Interim Assessment.
- Panels within each School will ensure there is consistency in the approach, to make sure that mitigation is used fairly.
- If a scaling recommendation is being considered, relevant external examiners should be consulted.
- Scaling requires academic judgement and is not a tool which can be used to ensure that students that fail* their assessment will pass. However, student who pass their assessments will not fail.
*If you have failed to pass one or more of your first term modules firstly, please make sure you contact your School and arrange a meeting to discuss your educational needs. Your School will help you to come up with a plan to support you to succeed in your summer exams, as well as any resits you will be taking. You can also use the opportunity to talk about any problems you are having or any support you might need.
City is dedicated to helping our students to achieve their best potential and are here to help you. For other support available to all students please see the ‘Support available to you section’ below.
Support available to you
There are many support services available to you and we encourage you to engage with these to give you the best chance of future success at City.
- If you would like support with your study skills: City’s Academic Skills team are offering a wide-ranging series of online Academic Skills Tutorials and Workshops. These are free and you can choose the sessions that best address your needs. You can find information on these and access study skills guides here. If you have any further questions regarding the sessions, you can contact LEaD directly via ALS@city.ac.uk
- If you don’t have access to technology, WiFi or data: If this impacts on your ability to successfully study you can apply for the Digital Inclusion Fund and you may receive money or vouchers towards the cost of items you need. Please ensure you include how the lack of access to technology, WiFi or data impacted on your ability to study or pass the module in your application.
- If you need support with your wellbeing, mental health or have any specific support queries you can find a list of all our support services here.
- If you have any general questions or worries: You can contact your Course Officer. Your Course Officer is here to help, so if you have any questions or worries, please do make contact via email or by phone. Your Course Officer might not always be able to help you themselves, but they will do their best to direct you to the right person or team at the University who can.