Our assessment guarantee 2020-21

Working closely with our Students’ Union, we have taken steps to protect all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students from the impacts of Covid-19, to make sure you receive a fair grade.


The below guidance applies to the 2020-21 academic year.

Reviewing results against previous years

Across the University, our Exam Boards will review the performance of students this year by comparing grades to previous years’ averages. We will make adjustments where necessary to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by the pandemic.

Exam Boards make sure results across different programmes and year groups are fair and consistent. They look at your performance, along with previous years' performances and the circumstances in which assessments took place.

Read our FAQs on how exam boards can make adjustments to ensure you are not disadvantaged.

Simpler extenuating circumstances

If you’re unwell, you are not expected to sit an in-person or online assessment. 

If you’re unable to attend your exam, submit extenuating circumstances for your absence, even if your exam is online.  

Extenuating circumstances are usually unforeseen personal or health problems that are outside your control, and that have affected your ability to complete assessments. You do not need to submit an extenuating circumstances form for general levels of disruption related to the pandemic, for example if you have needed to self-isolate.

What counts as extenuating circumstances

If you feel you need to submit an extenuating circumstances form, first contact your academic department, who will be able to help you through the process. You should include as much detail in your application, so that we can make sure you receive the support you need.

You can now report any valid medical and personal circumstances (including non-Covid related) without having to provide supporting evidence. 

Let us know if you have a problem

Changes to programmes and assessments

Ahead of the 2020 academic year, all departments reviewed programmes and made changes to assessments, to account for the higher levels of online learning this year and the difficulty of holding formal in-person exams.

We also reviewed the number and types of assessments you are required to take this year, with open-book exams replacing invigilated papers, changes to coursework, and asynchronous online assessments and tests.

Assessment deadlines have also been looked at, to help reduce the number of assessment deadlines that fall in the same day.

Flexible deadlines

We have worked with our departments to be as flexible as possible with any requests for deadline extensions. If you are struggling with your deadlines, please contact your department to ask about the help that is available to you.

Waiving resit fees 

If you fail an assessment the 2020-21 academic year, you will not be charged a resit fee to retake the assessment (this applies if you take the resit this academic year, or in a future academic year). 

Students who have already paid a resit fee will be refunded.

Support – get in touch

Our extensive range of support services for students are all available online.