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Safety Net Policy: Assessment and Degree Classification (COVID-19 Impact)

Information about the impact of COVID-19 on Assessment and Degree Classification

To support you, we have put considerable measures in place through blended/online learning and changes to assessments to help all students. This will ensure that you are not disadvantaged in your studies, through no fault of your own, and everyone is treated fairly. 

As part of this, we have reviewed and updated our Safety Net Policy which will be in place throughout the whole of the Academic Year 2021/22 to make sure you have the support you need during these unprecedented times. 

We are committed to: 

  • Treating all students fairly and equitably, whilst retaining the integrity of the University of Hertfordshire award 
  • Supporting students to complete their studies with a degree classification that fairly recognises their performance 
  • Upholding the standards of our University, as required by our regulatory bodies, and ensuring that employers will continue to recognise the quality of your degree 

Assessment regulations

During the pandemic, the following temporary changes will apply to our regulations:

1. You are expected to pass all modules on your course in order to successfully complete your qualification. However, under certain circumstances the University allows you to fail up to 30 credits of modules across all years of your studies, through a process called 'compensation' at the final exam board. When the exam board 'compensates' a failed module, it also reduces the average grade used to calculate your degree classification (the 'classification grade') by 2.5% for each15-credit-point module that needs to be compensated. But during the Covid-10 pandemic, this 2.5% penalty will not be applied except where the failure is due to a proven case of cheating in the module.

2. For Undergraduate and Integrated Masters students in their final year of studies, the University will use a flexible approach to calculate degree classifications this year. 

  • Bachelor’s DegreesNormally, your classification is based on the best 90 credits of your final year grades (weighted 75%) and the best 90 credits from your remaining Levels 5 and 6 grades (weighted 25%). But in 2021/22: 
    • If your grades are better at Level 6 than at level 5, then all your level 5 grades will be disregarded when calculating your degree classification. Instead, the best 90 credits at level 6 would be used. 
  • Integrated Master’s DegreesNormally, your classification is based on the best 90 credits of your final year (Level 7) grades (weighted 50%), the best 120 credits from your remaining third and final year (Levels 6 and 7) grades (weighted 30%), and the best 90 credits from your second year (Level 5) grades (weighted 20%). But in 2021/22: 
    • If your grades are better at Level 7 than at level 6, then all your level 6 grades will be disregarded when calculating your degree classification. Instead, the best 90 credits at level 7 would be used (weighted 80%), along with the best 90 credits from your Level 5 (second year) grades (weighted 20%). 

Sandwich Awards

Additionally, during the pandemic, the following temporary changes will be made to Sandwich Awards:

Previously, a sandwich award required the successful completion of at least 36 weeks of full-time placement activity from a maximum of two approved placements. However, many placement students have experienced problems with their placements due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed that the University should be more flexible with respect to students who could not complete their 36 weeks. The following arrangements have been agreed:

  • A reduction of the 36-week minimum requirement to 30 weeks minimum;
  • In exceptional circumstances, the University is able to approve a Sandwich award where a student has accumulated down to the 24 weeks placement activity.

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