Academic Quality Procedures Handbook

3. Programmes of Study

3.3 Assessment Process

  1. Undergraduate Programmes: The University appoints a Programme Board for each Part of each degree programme with the following membership:
    • the Head of Department who shall act as Chair
    • at least three other internal examiners, one of whom shall act as Deputy Chair and, in the case of joint programmes, at least one of whom shall be a member of the partner department
    • one independent board member.
    In addition, the membership will include the Responsible Programme Assessor for the programme where parts B, C (or D for the extended degrees) are under consideration.

    After a module has been assessed the Internal Examiner publishes the Module Mark which is subject to the approval of the External Examiner for all modules contributing to the degree award. Module Marks may then only be altered by Programme Boards acting in accordance with Regulation XX or by the Head of Department or Academic Misconduct Committee acting in accordance with Regulation XVIII
  2. Postgraduate Programmes: A Programme Board is appointed for each postgraduate programme, with the same constitution as for undergraduate programmes, including the External Programme Assessor. The same procedure for the publication of results also applies, except that in the case of postgraduate programmes, a Review Board may be appointed at an interim stage of the programme to confirm module marks and the award of associated credit. This ensures that the progress of students who are taking programmes on a part-time basis is formally reviewed and that they can receive the confirmed results of the modules they have completed without waiting until the Programme Board at the end of their programme. Any necessary reassessment arrangements can also be made in the light of a Review Board's decision. The Programme Board retains the power to publish the final pass list for the programme as a whole and to make awards.
  3. All meetings of Programme Boards report their proceedings to the University's Examinations Officer. This ensures that difficult cases have been fairly treated and are properly followed up.
  4. Undergraduate students' placement reports submitted for the award of Diploma in Industrial Studies (DIS), Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) or Diploma in International Studies (DIntS) are also subject to the moderating function of the External Examiner system.
  5. Individuals who teach on University programmes (perhaps providing special expertise in particular subject areas) but are who are not full time members of the Academic Staff of the University are not permitted to examine unless first appointed as internal examiners by Senate on the recommendation of Learning and Teaching Committee.
  6. In common with all universities in the UK, Loughborough uses external examiners to help monitor the academic standards of its awards. The University expects individuals proposed for appointment as External Examiners or External Programme Assessors normally to hold a senior academic post at another UK HEI and be research-active. Appointments are for not more than three years in the first instance but may be extended to a total of four years. Suitably experienced individuals from industry or from PSRBs (Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies) may also be appointed to bring particular professional expertise to the external examining process. Care is taken to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Full details of the criteria for external examiner appointments are incorporated in the University's Code of Practice for External Examining , which also covers induction, examining responsibilities, and the reporting process. From June 2007 external examiners' reports, together with the Department's response, are made available for discussion at Staff-Student Committees.

    A standard form is supplied to external examiners for use in producing their report. External examiners' fees are paid in two installments, the second of which is dependent on the submission of their report. The following are relevant forms in relation to external examiners:

  7. All examination scripts are subject to internal moderation: i.e. a sample of scripts is scrutinised by a second internal examiner to check that the assesment criteria have been applied consistently (and where applicable that the marking scheme has been followed) and the outcomes of the assessment are fair and reliable. The sample should include examples of scripts from across the mark range and borderline cases.
  8. All projects and dissertations are subject to double/second marking: i.e. every piece of work is independently assessed by more than one internal examiner. Each marker keeps a record of all marks awarded, together with his/her rationale for awarding each mark. In some cases, second markers have sight of the first marker's marks and/or comments. Where this is not the case (sometimes called 'double blind marking'), marking sheets may be used to ensure that the marks given by the first marker do not influence the second marker's judgement. The two markers subsequently confer to arrive at a set of agreed marks.
  9. Pieces of coursework, other than project reports or dissertations, that contribute 50% or more of the overall mark for the module, are subject to internal moderation by selective sampling (cf examination scripts). This applies whether the module is assessed by a mixture of written examination and coursework, or by coursework alone.
  10. In cases where there is a difference between the marks of different internal examiners that cannot be resolved between them, the opinion of a third internal examiner should be sought.
  11. The involvement of external programme assessors and external examiners in the assessment process is explained in the 'Code of practice for external examining for taught undergraduate and postgraduate programmes'. This includes a requirement that they see a sample of work for modules assessed by coursework alone.
  12. All examination scripts are anonymously marked: i.e. the scripts are identified only by Student ID number and desk number and the identity of students is not revealed to the markers. Departments may at their discretion determine that coursework for named modules will also be marked anonymously: this will be made clear to the students concerned.
  13. It is a requirement that departmental rules for the assessment of Group Work be made explicit to students and sufficiently flexible to take into account contributions of individuals where this is appropriate. Where the assessment of group or team work counts towards the degree classification and comprises 50% or more of the overall module mark, it must include an element of either individual or peer assessment or both.
  14. Under the University's Impaired Performance Policy and Procedures, students may submit claims of impaired performance when they have experienced serious or acute problems or events beyond their control which have adversely affected their performance in an assessment, or have prevented them from completing an assessment.
  15. Adjustments may be made to examination and assessment arrangements, in consultation with the University's Disabilities and Additional Needs Service (DANS), to accommodate the particular support needs of students with physical, sensory or cognitive impairments and/or other additional needs.
  16. An appeals process against decisions of a Programme Board in certain defined circumstances is codified as University Regulation XIV.
  17. The following documents are relevant: See also the University's Code of Practice for Staff in Supporting Students' Mental Health
  18. Special provisions apply to the ITT Partnership.