Student News and Events

News and events for University of Brighton students

Safety Net Quick Guide

Your safety net for examination and assessment

Photo of Ruth Whittaker, Pro-Vice-ChancellorA message from Ruth Whittaker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) emailed to all students 2 February 2021

I wrote to you at the beginning of this month to introduce the range of measures in place to ensure you are not academically disadvantaged because of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are now able to provide some further information and clarity on those measures.

In addition, due to the continuing impact of the pandemic and having listened closely to student feedback, as a priority we are currently investigating how we can take the impact of the pandemic into account when classifying your degrees. We will provide more information about this as soon as we are able to finalise the details, so please bear with us a little longer. This will add to the existing safety net package in place which we have introduced to protect you and the academic standards of your awards for this academic year.


  • To ensure no student’s academic performance is disadvantaged by the pandemic
  • To provide a range of flexible safety net measures to enable students to complete assessments to the best of their ability and achieve awards that fairly reflect their performance and uphold academic standards

Degree classification

We know many of you will be feeling anxious or uncertain about how this will impact your award classification. As a priority we are currently investigating how we can take the impact of the pandemic into account when classifying your degrees. We will provide details about this as soon as we can.


We are no longer requiring evidence for extension requests – you can request an extension from your course leader for reasons such as IT failure, and other short-term challenges.

Resits without penalty

Resits for failure and non-submission
If you fail an assessment, or if you do not submit, you will automatically receive generic mitigation and will, where possible, be offered another attempt to complete the assessment without further penalty (i.e. a deferral). This means that your marks will not be capped at the pass rate.

Note that deferral on assessment may not always be possible if your Course is associated with a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB), check with your Course Leader if you are unsure.

Resits for improvement
If you have passed an assessment but feel that the mark is unrepresentative of your performance, because of something that has affected you when undertaking the assessment, you can request an opportunity to undertake a new assessment without penalty by submitting a claim for mitigating circumstances.

This may be of interest to you if you are looking to achieve a particular profile of marks for professional or further study reasons.

to discuss whether submitting a claim for mitigating circumstances is the right decision for you. If you have a Learning Support Plan you should seek advice from the Disability and Dyslexia Team.

See our further information about mitigating circumstances and the associated application form.

In-year module retrieval
In-Year Module Retrieval (IYMR) is available for foundation year and level 4 modules flagged with the IYMR logo. The maximum mark for the retrieval piece of work will no longer be capped at 40%.

Changes to assessment

We have reviewed and adjusted the assessments of modules where appropriate to ensure that every assessment reflects the changes we have had to make to learning and teaching this year due to the pandemic.

View the Safety Net Quick Guide in PDF

I would like to reassure you that we are working hard and listening to our students to ensure that our response to the ongoing pandemic provides good protections.

If you are experiencing difficulties and require support please contact one of the University’s support services.

We will continue to update you on Government guidance about the return to campus. I’d also like to reassure you that along with other universities, we are involved in discussions with the Department for Education to support the safe return of all students to face-to-face learning at the earliest opportunity, with a particular emphasis on those subject areas where practical experience is linked to the achievement of learning outcomes.


Robin Coleman • 2 February 2021

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