Widening the Safety Net – Helping you graduate with the marks you deserve
A message from Ruth Whittaker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Students) emailed to all students 5 March 2021
I know that one of your biggest concerns right now is the impact of the pandemic on your academic grades.
Your education and experience underpins everything we do at the University of Brighton, and so listening and responding to your feedback and concerns is vital. I’m pleased that we’ve worked in partnership with the BSU on a new method of calculating awards for our Undergraduate and Postgraduate awards, which I hope will make a significant difference to you.
The new calculation is shown in the infographic below or see the PDF version of the Safety Net.
We have, where possible applied the same principle to our full range of awards. If your award is not listed below, please see the FAQs for details.
Schools are now working to confirm arrangements for courses where there may exceptionally be differences in how the new methods are applied, for example for Professional, Statutory, Regulatory Body (PSRB) or course structure reasons. Your Schools are aiming to confirm course specific arrangements to you by the Easter break.
I also spoke to Ramy, your BSU Vice President for Education, to answer the main questions and concerns you’d shared with the BSU about the safety net policy this year. Watch the video recording of this discussion.
I know this has been, and continues to be an incredibly tough time. I hope this helps to give you assurance that your hard work will be fully recognised, and you will be able to graduate with the marks you deserve.
WIDENING THE SAFETY NET
Helping you graduate with the marks you deserve
At the start of February, we outlined our “Safety Net”, to make sure that no student’s academic performance is disadvantaged by the pandemic, and setting out the range of flexible options available to you.
We also promised that we would investigate how we can take the impact of the pandemic into account when classifying your degrees. In consultation with the BSU, we have revised the way your degree classification is calculated, and this is set out below.
We are moving to a ‘best of’ approach where your best performing modules during this year will be counted toward your classification, and the lowest-performing modules don’t count.
As in previous years you will still need to pass all your modules. However, we recognise the continued impact of the pandemic and therefore the modules in which you achieve your lowest pass marks will be discounted when calculating your award.
We hope our revised approach to calculating your degree award classification reassures you of our commitment to ensuring you graduate or progress based on your best work. While other aspects of the safety net, outlined below, are available to you, we are confident the new approach will provide sufficient protection to enable you to achieve your full potential.
*This revised approach to calculation awards will apply for most courses, however there will be some exceptions and differences for some courses, due to the structure of your course or due to your course being associated with a Professional, Statutory, Regulatory Body (PSRB). Your School will contact you by Easter to confirm arrangements for your course where this may differ.
WHAT THIS MEANS – AT A GLANCE
CURRENT LEVEL 6 UNDERGRADUATES
Your classification will be made up of:
- Your best 80 credits (out of 120) in your final year, weighted at 75%. Your lowest performing 40 credits will be excluded from the calculation.
- Your full 120 individually performance benchmarked level 5 credits taken in 2019/20 weighted at 25%
CURRENT LEVEL 5 UNDERGRADUATES
Your classification will be made up of:
- Your best 80 credits (out of 120) in Level 5, weighted at 25%. Your lowest performing 40 credits will be excluded from the calculation.
- Your final year calculation currently remains at 120 credits, weighted at 75%. We will continue to review the impact of the pandemic against our methods for calculating awards as your progress through your studies.
CURRENT LEVEL 4 UNDERGRADUATES
Your level 4 results will not count towards your award, however we know many of you may be concerned about how this year’s experience may impact your future achievement. For this reason, we would like to assure all current level four students that the impact of the pandemic will be taken into account when calculating your awards.
For masters degrees your classification will be made up of:
- Your best 80 credits out of 120 taught credits. Your lowest performing 40 taught credits will be excluded from the calculation.
- plus your final element module, worth 60 credits
An Examination Board may allow credit to be awarded at the end of your stage of study for failed modules. We have increased the amount of compensated credit available in a stage of study from 20 to 40, (up to 40 credits per 120 credits studied). The Examination Board must be assured that the course learning outcomes can still be met. Compensation cannot be applied to mandatory modules or be used to change module marks. There may be differences in how this is able to be applied for your course due to Professional, Statutory, Regulatory Body (PSRB) requirements.
We hope this gives you confidence that, while the other safety net measures are available to you if you need them, your degree will be calculated based on your best work.
A REMINDER OF THE KEY POINTS OF THE SAFETY NET
AUTOMATIC MITIGATION FOR ALL, IF YOU DO NOT PASS OR CANNOT SUBMIT
Did you fail an assessment, or 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).
- 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, WITHOUT PENALTY, FOR IMPROVEMENT
Did you pass, but experienced serious circumstances which impacted on your marks?
We hope that for most of you the revised approach to calculating awards will mitigate the impact of any unrepresentative performance on your award classification. However if this is not enough, you can apply for a resit.
- The application process for resits for improvement opens after you have received the ratified results from your course examination board. Within 14 days after you have received these results you can submit an application for a resit to your school office through the new mitigating circumstances for unrepresentative performance procedure
- Flexibility on evidence: even if you cannot provide evidence, you can still apply and explain what affected your performance
- We encourage you to think carefully before applying for a resit and seek support and guidance from your Personal Academic Tutor or Brighton Students’ Union:
- To consider whether you are able to complete a new assessment/ piece of work in the referral period.
- To make sure this additional work is only undertaken when this is likely to have an impact on your award classification or for professional reasons.
- To highlight any unintended consequences of undertaking a resit, such as potential delay to your progression or award.
Not sure you will be able to meet a deadline?
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.