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View the latest edition of the Assessment Handbook [PDF format]

Guidance on Assessment

Assessment criteria

Read the general assessment criteria document [Word format] that is used to guide marking in qualitative and quantitative work at levels three to seven (3-7).

Assessment practice

Resources are available from the Centre for Higher Education Research and Practice such as guidance on marking rubrics, assessment briefs and workload equivalence.

Purpose of the Assessment Handbook

The first edition of the University's Assessment Handbook, endorsed by the then Teaching and Learning Committee, was published in 2001.

It was designed to assist academic and other staff involved in the assessment of students of the University and partner institutions. The handbook promotes best practice at a general level and compliments faculty or subject-level policies and strategies.

The working group reviewed the Assessment Handbook in 2002 and further editions were published in 2003, 2007 and annually since 2009.

Changes to the latest edition

The latest edition has been updated with these changes:

  • availability of national Honours degree classification descriptions (December 2019) (14.1) and consequent updating of qualitative assessment criteria (Appendices J1-5);
  • classification of Master's degrees of more than 200 credit points (October 2019) (14.7);
  • inclusion of the confirmed Honours classification algorithm for Integrated Master’s degrees (March 2019) (14.7);
  • revision to internal moderation policy (October 2019) and removal of requirement for external examiners to see all work of first class or Distinction candidates as part of the moderation process (June 2019), with sampling now permitted (15.2 and 15.4);
  • extension to normal maximum period for return of coursework and feedback from 15 to 20 working days (October 2020) (16.2);
  • inclusion of link to QAA guidance on contract cheating (18.4);
  • extension of plagiarism register to include all forms of cheating (June 2018) (18.6);
  • revised procedures for extenuating circumstances, with self-certification permitted for periods of ill-health affecting performance up to five working days (June 2019) (19.5);
  • reference to the posts of Dean of Academic Business Development and Dean of Learning Enhancement (May 2020) (19.3, 19.4, 19.8 and Appendix K).