Procedures : May to October 2017
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I enclose the following documents which will be of assistance
to you in regard to Course Boards of Examiners, Subject Boards and
Progress and Award Boards.
I would wish to draw the following
matters to your attention. You
should note, in particular, section (f) refers to the
consideration of candidates on an intercalary year; section (g) to the
change in pass mark for postgraduate level 6 modules; section (n) to the
procedures for progression to placement; section (o) to
the consequences of failure in placement/intercalary year; and section (y)
to the grading scheme introduced from 2015/16 placement/intercalary year.
Also, from the 2015/16 intake a commendation (60%) band has
been introduced for postgraduate awards.
of Meetings of Boards of Examiners
Meetings of Boards of Examiners
should take place on the campus of delivery and, where a Board
cannot be held on the appropriate campus, all staff who are members
of the Board must attend the meeting at the designated location;
teleconferencing/videoconferencing is not permitted.
Requests to depart from University policy in respect of the latter
must be approved by the PVC (Education).
of Boards of Examiners
(i) Course/Subject Boards of
The Chairperson of the Course/Subject Board of Examiners
shall be the Executive Dean, Pro Dean or an Associate Dean of the Faculty in which the
course/subject is located, or, exceptionally, a Head or Associate Head of School in
the Faculty, other than the School in which the course/subject is
located, or the Director of
Access and Distributed Learning. Heads of
Graduate School may be permitted to chair Boards of Examiners
provided that they have some responsibility for taught courses.
In the absence of the designated chairperson, the board shall
be chaired by a person appointed by the appropriate
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) acting on the authority of the Senate.
(ii) Campus Progress and Award
Chairperson of the Progress and Award Board shall be an Executive Dean/Pro-Dean/Associate
appointed by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education).
Those currently appointed are:
Coleraine: Professor J
Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Arts
Jordanstown: Professor P Carmichael,
of the Faculty of Social Sciences
Magee: Professor M Durkin,
Executive Dean of the Ulster University Business School.
Involvement of External Examiners
i) Absence of External Examiners from Boards of Examiners
examiners are required to attend meetings of Boards of Examiners of
which they are members where results that contribute to final awards
are being considered (this requirement can be varied for linked PG
Diploma/Masterís courses as set out at ii) below). Where
exceptionally an external examiner is unable to attend, the
procedures set out at Attachment 4 should be followed.
The appendix to this attachment (Confirmation of Awards) should be
completed, signed by the External Examiner and presented to the
Board. The course results sheets need only be sent to an
external examiner for signature where no external was present at the
The procedures set
out at Attachment 4 also apply where, exceptionally, a temporary
external examiner has been appointed.
ii) Attendance of External
Examiners at Meetings of Boards of Examiners for linked Postgraduate
Each Faculty is authorised to
determine whether the External Examiner should attend for either the
Postgraduate Diploma or Masterís stage of the course, or for both.
If the Faculty decides on
attendance for only the Postgraduate Diploma stage the following
conditions should be fulfilled:
There is no requirement for oral examination
associated with the Masterís award;
The Masterís dissertation/project component only
is being considered;
The External Examiner moderates the work for the
If the Faculty decides on attendance for only the
The Board of Examiners should review candidatesí
results in the taught modules, with the External Examinerís role
being to moderate the work and endorse the results, decisions on
progress and resit, and recommendations, where appropriate, for the
award of the Postgraduate Diploma;
The Masterís results and recommendations for award
should be considered by the full Board of Examiners on the basis of
both the taught modules and the dissertation/project.
NB If an external examiner does
not attend one stage, there is still a requirement to sign off the course results sheet in order to signify endorsement of final
iii) External Examiner
Confirmation of Awards at Supplementary Boards
External examiners are not required to attend supplementary Boards.
However, it is University policy that supplementary recommendations
for awards be agreed with the External Examiner(s)/Chief External
Examiner prior to the Board and that written confirmation is
presented to the meeting as set out in Attachment 4.
iv) Unresolved Disagreement
Between Internal and External Examiners at Boards
Senate has endorsed the Teaching and Learning Committee's
recommendation to remove the authority of the external examiner to
prevail where there is disagreement in board of examiners about
results or classifications, in order to reflect the consensus basis
of decision-making in the board. TLC (28/03/12) agreed the
following protocol in the unlikely event that an external examiner
was unwilling to endorse decisions. Should an external disagree with
the Board's decisions, this should be made explicit in the Board's
report to Senate when recommendations for award are considered.
The Chair of the Board and the external examiner are asked to
forward reports to Senate for consideration. Senate will make
a decision which may require the appointment of a new external
examiner to moderate assessments. In this case, results will
remain provisional and students will be kept informed of any delay
in the normal timeframe for publication of results.
to Provisional Module Results
Boards will receive, in the
course/subject result sheets, marks which were considered at the end
of Semester One. These
marks are subject to confirmation by Boards.
All provisional marks amendments
(other than those made on the final edition of the course results
sheets) should be forwarded without delay to the appropriate office:
School Office for amendments agreed at Subject Boards, Examinations
Office (on a Marks Amendment Form) for amendments agreed for integrated courses.
Any amendments to the final edition of the course result
sheet(s), whether made by the Course Director prior to the Board of
Examinersí meeting or by the Chairperson at the meeting, must be
recorded in red ink. The Examinations Office will
subsequently amend the computer record.
Marks amendments for Semester Two will be completed by 26
June 2017 and all marks will be published on the
by 28 June 2017.
Where, exceptionally, changes to
marks, or new marks, have to be submitted to the Examinations Office
after the meeting, these will be accepted from Course Directors
only, who will be required to transcribe the marks onto the master
course results sheets.
Adjustment of Marks/Progress
Decisions Made by an Earlier Board
Boards shall not adjust marks awarded or
progress decisions made by an earlier board, except in accordance
with the Procedures for Appeals and the Consideration of Offences in
Connection with Examinations and other Forms of Assessment.
The Campus Progress and Award Board may not adjust the marks awarded
by a Subject Board. This does not prohibit the correction of
Intercalary Year Marks
Marks for the intercalary year should be submitted
and considered by the Supplementary Board of Examiners in the
current year. Candidates should not be progressed into the
next academic year unless their marks have been considered.
Postgraduate Level 6 Modules
Senate has endorsed the Academic Standards and
Quality Enhancement Committee's recommendation (21/02/17) that the
pass mark for postgraduate level 6 modules should be 40% rather than
50% with immediate effect.
Elements of Modules to be taken/retaken
The elements of
modules to be taken/retaken (ie. CW and/or EX) should be circled in
red on the course results sheet.
Deletion of Modules
Modules to be deleted from a candidate's
record should be crossed through in red ink on the course results
sheet. It is important that Course/Subject Directors inform
the Registry Office (Student Services Centre at Belfast) of modules
to be deleted or any
missing or incorrect modules/CRNs.
Inclusion of Candidate's
Qualification Aim in Course Results Sheets
The candidate's qualification
aim is included in course results sheets. Where the Board of Examiners/ Campus Progress
and Award Board recommends a different qualification for a candidate, the
qualification aim should be amended appropriately in red ink so that
the Examinations Office can correct the computer record.
Inclusion of Leavers in Course Results Sheets
candidates are now displayed in course and subject results sheets.
This will include final year candidates who left following failure in
Semester 1 modules. These candidates may be considered by
Semester 2 Boards for the recommendation of exit awards where this
is provided for in course regulations.
Publication of Progress
and Award Information
Progress and award
information will be published to candidates through the Portal,
normally within two working days of the meeting of the Board (three
working days where a meeting is held on another campus).
Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma/Masterís
progressing directly between linked postgraduate courses
(that is from Postgraduate Certificate to Postgraduate
Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma to Masterís degree) do not
have the intermediate award conferred. Such candidates
should be recorded as AST P5 on the course results sheets
(P6 in the case of one year full-time Postgraduate Diplomas
linked to Masterís degrees or PD for Nursing courses only
where a professional award is also to be recorded).
However, the Board of Examiners shall consider the eligibility of each
candidate on the course for the interim award with Distinction
(or Commendation if the candidate entered in 2015/16) and
record this where applicable on the course results sheet.
Recommendations can therefore be forwarded to Senate without
further consideration by Boards of Examiners for those
candidates who decide at a later stage to take the award and
not proceed and who are eligible for the award with
Commendation or Distinction.
Candidates who are eligible to proceed to the higher award
but choose not to do so may have the lower award conferred
at the Summer graduation if they are identified at the Board
of Examiners and coded AST S1 (or SA as applicable). Those
candidates who subsequently decide to take an award and not
in writing to the Examinations Office. The Examinations
Office will add AST S1 (SA) to the candidateís record,
record a date of leaving and forward the recommendation to
the next meeting of Senate which will normally be in
November. All candidates will be invited to attend the
Winter graduation to receive their awards in person.
NB. These procedures do not apply to the Postgraduate
Certificate in Education (Further Education).
Procedures for Progression to Placement
its meeting on 13 December 2011 set the 31 August as the decision
point for progression to placement or final year. Candidates may
be coded at the June board if their position is clear, otherwise the
new AST code of PN (Decision on progression to placement deferred,
candidate in good academic standing)
should be used. Candidates coded PN will appear on the
supplementary course results sheet and a decision should be recorded
at the supplementary board if known. The final date for a
supplementary board in 2016/17 is 1 September. If the decision
is not available at this board, Chair's
action will be required to subsequently record a decision to enable
the candidate to roll forward into 2017/18 academic year.
Consequences of Failure in Placement/Intercalary Year
at its meeting on 20 June 2012 confirmed that in order for a
to progress to final year, regardless of whether placement/intercalary was
mandatory or optional, the module(s) must be passed unless
otherwise determined by the Board of Examiners in exceptional
circumstances, ie, non-availability of placement but not failure.
Progression Carrying Failure: P3/P4/PX
Ė Proceed to next year (other than placement year)/PX - Proceed to final year (exempt placement/placement
Candidates may be
permitted to carry a failed module or modules amounting to a maximum
of 20 credit points at undergraduate level, providing that the
module(s) carried are not prerequisite(s) for a module in the next
year of the course. The rule applies to Honours degrees,
Foundation degrees, Associate Bachelorís degrees, and the first year
of part-time Access to HE courses. It does not apply to Masterís,
Postgraduate Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, and undergraduate
Certificates and Diplomas as only one resit attempt is permitted for
these awards. The failed element(s) must be taken in the semester
in which the module is taught, special arrangements to enable
candidates to be reassessed in a different manner are not
Boards may decide to exceed the maximum 20 credit points in
the light of extenuating circumstances.
P4 Ė Proceed to Placement Year
Boards have discretion to recommend that candidates in year 2 of
sandwich courses proceed to placement and carry a failed module or
modules providing that the module(s) carried are not
prerequisite(s) for their employment. This is permitted by
exception, and in deciding whether to allow students to proceed,
Boards should take account of the extent of failure, how badly
modules have been failed and the requirements of the work
placement. The June Board will consider such a recommendation for
candidates who have failed in modules to a value of 65 - 80 credit
points, as failures in up to 60 points are normally retaken for the
August supplementary period. It may be possible to defer the start
of placement for the latter candidates, and P4 will only be
considered for them at the supplementary board. The failed
element(s) must normally be taken in the semester in which the
module is taught; although exceptionally, for students proceeding to
placement (AST P4), examination may be deferred to the following
August; special arrangements to enable candidates to be reassessed
in a different manner are not permitted.
When considering the academic performance of candidates coded
P3, P4 or PX at Boards in 2015/16 Course/Subject
Directors should ensure that these candidates have satisfied
requirements in coursework and/or examinations for modules carried
Use of ASTs: Clarifications
PA, PC, PD, SA, SB and SC apply to Nursing courses only
and may not be used for any other courses.
P2 should be used only where candidates are progressing to a
further assessment point in the current academic year.
P1 should be used where a
candidate is proceeding to the next academic year without
P9 should be used for Masterís candidates who are not due to
submit their dissertation until the next academic year, as
per the normal duration specified in the course document,
and are therefore permitted to proceed to the next academic
year. Examples are candidates requiring ethical approval or
part-time students who begin their dissertation in June and
would not be expected to complete until the next academic
year. This will ensure that Finance do not charge the
module fee in the next academic year and the Examinations
Office will not charge a re-enrolment fee. P9 is
not used when a candidate has been granted
ab extension of time and/or used the EC1 process.
D5 (rather than P1 or P9) should be used where Masterís
candidates are given an extension of time to complete their
dissertations. This will ensure that Finance do not charge
the full module fee in the next academic year.
P6 applies only to one year full-time linked Postgraduate
Diploma/Masterís courses where candidates have successfully
completed the Postgraduate Diploma stage of the course and
are proceeding to the Masterís stage in the same academic
of Two or More AST Codes
Banner system can only record two AST codes that can then be
reported on and displayed to the candidate on the Student
Course/Subject Directors are responsible for tracking the
history of candidates who this applies to and for ensuring
that first sit/resit marks are correctly recorded.
It is inadvisable to recommend a combination of more
than two ASTs as this information cannot be recorded on
Banner, nor will it be displayed on reports or to the
student on the Student Portal.
Reserve AST Decision for Students who have Gone on
Leave of Absence
Candidates who have gone on Leave of Absence and are not in
good academic standing should have a reserve decision
recorded at the Board of Examiners. This decision will be
held as a comment against the candidate's record
and formally communicated to the candidate.
Timing of First Sits
Candidates who were permitted, following semester one
assessment period to take Semester One examinations as for the
first time normally take these in May; alternatively a first sit in
August may have been permitted, following consultation between the
Course/Subject Director and the candidate. Boards of
Examiners/Progress and Award Boards in May/June should ensure that,
subject to Semester Two performance, AST D2 is recorded on the
course result sheets for candidates who have deferred first sits to
August. AST D4 should be recorded for candidates who were coded
first sit of a resit following the semester one assessment period
and who have deferred the resit to August.
Integrated Foundation Year Courses
Candidates who have successfully completed the IFY should
be progressed to the linked degree course by recording AST
P5 on the course results sheet.
Candidates who are eligible to proceed but choose not to do
so may exit at this point with the award of Diploma, by
recording AST S2 on the course results sheet, provided that
this provision has been made in the course regulations.
Commendation or Distinction should also be recorded where
For repeated assessments the capping of the mark applies to
the repeated component (eg essay), not the overall mark for the
element (eg coursework) or the overall module result. The maximum
mark a candidate on an undergraduate course may obtain in a repeated
coursework component, or examination paper, is 40% (50% for a
postgraduate course). The mark for the repeated coursework component
is aggregated with the mark(s) for coursework component(s) the
candidate has already passed to produce the overall coursework
mark. Where a module is assessed by coursework and examination the
overall coursework mark is aggregated with the examination mark for
the purpose of calculating the module result. Aggregations should
take account of the weightings at each level, ie, between elements
(coursework and examination) and within elements, as appropriate.
coursework element of a module comprises two equally weighted
components (in this example the components are essays). A candidate
receives an unaggregated mark of 60 in the first essay but is
required to resubmit the second essay for a maximum unaggregated
mark of 40. If the mark of 40 is achieved the final coursework mark
is 60 + 40 aggregated to 30 + 20 = 50).
at the Final Attempt
Senate, at its July 2013 meeting, approved the revised
Admissions Policy. Section 5.8.1 now reads in
instances where a student failed at the final attempt and
was required to withdraw from a programme of study he/she
would not be eligible to apply for re-admission in the next
academic year, to the same or related programme, or to that
programme offered in a different mode (full-time to
part-time and vice versa), or to register as an occasional
student to retake the failed module(s).
Transfer on educational grounds to the
programme offered in different mode would also not be
permitted. This policy applies where a candidate is
exited with a lower award due to failure at the final
attempt. A related programme is
one where there is commonality of modules.
Therefore, the code T2
should not be used to transfer Honours degree candidates who
have failed at the final attempt to another Honours degree
programme. The University's Regulations for Degrees,
and Integrated Master's (Regulation 18) does not allow for
transfer from one Honours degree programme to another
Honour's degree programme as a result of failure.
Candidates in this position should be coded U1 or exit with
a lower award, if this provision exists within the course
Arrangements for Candidates Repeating Without Attendance
(ASTs N4 and N5)
N4 or N5 may not proceed on their course of study until the modules
they are required to retake have been successfully completed.
Candidates who are permitted to take/retake
examinations without attendance in the next academic year may need
to have special papers set if the module assessment arrangements
have been restructured. Course/Subject Directors are required to
advise candidates on the Communication of Results form whether their
examination(s) will be held in the first and/or second semester.
However, a candidate, who is required to retake coursework and/or
examination in a single Semester Two module only, may elect to
retake this at the January examination period provided that he/she
notifies the Examinations Office prior to the start of the academic
year. Successful candidates may be permitted to proceed to take
semesters out of sequence. In addition, successful candidates, who
have been required to retake Semester One modules only, may be
permitted to proceed to take semesters out of sequence. Permission
to reverse semesters is subject to approval by the Course/Subject
Director following consultation about prerequisites and the sequence
in which modules must be taken.
for Calculating Summary Mark for Awards
The summary award mark
used to determine the degree classification is included on
the course/subject results sheet for candidates completing
full-time honours degree programmes where the Level 6
modules taken in the final year amount to 120 credit points.
The calculation is based on the new method for calculating
summary marks for awards approved by the Teaching and
Learning Committee at a meeting held on 13 October 2010.
Details of the new method, including an example of how
the award mark is arrived at, are set out in the Notes of
Guidance for Course/Subject Results Sheets.
Information on the conventions for rounding marks and
scenarios where the aggregate award mark is not calculated
are also included in the Notes of Guidance. Staff
should note that this method must also be used where the
award mark is calculated manually and entered on results
sheets, e.g., for postgraduate programmes or where Level 5
modules contribute to the summary award mark.
Notes of Guidance for
Course/Subject Results Sheets are available through the Portal at the following
location: My Teaching tab>Examinations & Assessment channel>
Assessment Process & Boards of Examiners (section for summary
award mark method).
Boards do not have discretion to award a class of degree
which the marks do not warrant (eg IIi or Commendation for 59%). However,
the convention of rounding up means that, for example,
59.50% or above would become 60%. The Board should ensure
that, through its moderation processes, including the
involvement of external examiners, the overall marks and the class of degree/grade
Placement Associated Awards
2015/16 placement/intercalary year a new grading scheme will apply to
the DIAS/DPP(I) associate award as follows: 40% pass,
60% commendation and 70% distinction. This change does
not apply to students who completed their placement year
prior to 2015/16.
Postgraduate Awards (including integrated Masterís degrees)
Classification is determined exclusively by
candidatesí performance in the modules studied at the highest
level (level 7) with each module weighted according to its
credit value, with the exception of Masterís degrees of more
than 200 credit points, where the classification is based on
the final 120 credits points. A Commendation band has
been introduced at 60% from the 2015/16 intake. Whilst there is no
longer the requirement for 50% of the modules to be in the
Commendation/Distinction band for the award of ĎPass with
Commendation/Distinctioní, where a dissertation or a project
(with 45 credits or more) is part of a Master's, the result
in that module must also be at 60% for the Commendation
award and 70% or above for the Distinction award.
For integrated Master's courses using the Honours
classification system there is no third class band.
Certificate of Personal and Professional Development (CPPD)/Postgraduate
Certificate of Professional Development
Candidates on part-time programmes who have successfully completed PPD modules should be considered
by a Board of Examiners and coded AST P1, S1 or S3. Candidates
on full-time programmes who are being awarded their degree and who
are also eligible for consideration of a CPPD award, having
successfully completed 60 PPD credits, will be considered for the
CPPD award at a later Board, after their main award has been
processed. Progressing candidates registered on full-time
programmes will not have a progress decision recorded for PPD
modules. Performance and standards will be considered
internally by schools by checking the module marks sheets.
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