Safety Net Policy

To be applied for students completing matriculated, taught courses in Trinity Term 2020.

  1. This policy applies to subjects where remote assessments (either open-book exams or longer pieces of assessed work) are going ahead in Trinity Term 2020. It aims to reduce the risk that students may be disadvantaged by the conditions in which they revise for and sit their exams in the exceptional circumstances of  the CV-19 pandemic.  

  1. Each studentfinal result must be a reflection of their own performance in summative assessmentsEvidence from formative parts of the course is not sufficiently rigorous or consistent to be used for summative purposes. 

  1. Students are expected to pass the assessment in accordance with their subject’s normal rules, demonstrating they have met the learning objectives of their programme of study. 

  1. The amount of prior summative assessment varies widely between subjects. Subjects will therefore be considered in two groups. 

Type 1: Subjects in which at least 50% of the marks contributing to the final degree award under the original assessment schedule have been banked prior to the end of Hilary Term (14 March 2020). The student’s overall result will be the higher of:  

a) The result calculated including all assessments, or 

b) The result calculated using only the banked assessments. 

Type 2Subjects in which less than 50% of the marks contributing to the final degree award under the original assessment schedule have been banked prior to the end of Hilary Term. The student’s overall result will be the higher of: 

a) The result calculated including all assessments weighted normally, or 

b) The result calculated using an adjusted algorithm consisting of one or more of: i) double-weighting of banked assessments; ii) adjusted weighting of Trinity Term assessments; iii) discounting the lowest marks achieved in Trinity term assessments; iv) scaling of marks on particular papers; v) adjusting the class boundaries. The exact formulation should be chosen by subjects on the basis of their particular circumstances, with Divisional Offices ensuring across-Division consistency of approach.

  1. Regardless of which of the above applies, all marks will appear on the transcript, with appropriate explanatory text. 

  1. In this context ‘result’ means degree classification for undergraduates or award of Distinction, Merit or Pass for taught postgraduates. 

  1. A ‘banked’ assessment is a piece of summative work that was completed before the end of Hilary Term – Saturday 14 March 2020. In the case of projects or dissertations where the bulk of the work was completed prior to this date but the submission deadline was after it, subjects should decide whether to treat the work as banked or not. 

  1. Subjects should apply these rules in a way that achieves results distributions that avoid unjustifiably large variances from recent years. 

  1. In exceptional cases where very substantial adjustments have been made to assessment regimes, subjects have the right to deem that no further safety net is necessary. 

  1. These rules apply to all candidates regardless of their personal circumstances.  

  1. In addition, all students will be asked to complete a pro forma statement of the conditions under which their exams were sat, to be taken into account by the examiners. 

  1. As in any year, the Examiners will have the right to make further adjustments to results in the light of Mitigating Circumstances notices submitted by candidates suffering particularly severe impacts likely to have affected their academic performance, such as illness or bereavement. 






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