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COVID-19 Assessment Arrangements

Safety Net FAQ

We are here to answer all the questions you might have regarding our Safety Net policy.

This page includes the detail on our COVID-19 assessment arrangements, including the safety net policy. This policy applied to students in the 2019-20 academic year to mitigate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown.

The ‘safety net’ policy will apply for most students on undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes.

Please note that, for some programmes which are professionally accredited, we may not be permitted to apply the ‘safety net’ policy. We are doing everything we can to make the case to professional bodies to be as accommodating as possible. If you are studying on a professionally accredited programme, your School will communicate with you separately about this, and what it means for you.

Yes, so long as you complete and pass your remaining assessed work for the year, we will guarantee that the credit-weighted mean average mark you have achieved to date will be the lowest average mark you’ll be eligible to achieve for the year as a whole.

Yes. The ‘safety net’ will only apply if you submit and pass your remaining assessed work for the year.

Please see the worked examples for how we will calculate your benchmark credit-weighted average.

Safety Net worked through example (PDF 0.1 MB)

 

The University will take 60 credits of confirmed assessments to work out your benchmark. It is extremely likely that you will already have achieved 60 credits through work in Semester 1 or in previous years

We will take your best 60 credits in order to create your benchmark – this may be all from your current year of study but could include those from previous years to “backfill” up to 60 credits. Please see the worked example for more details of how this will be calculated.

Safety Net worked through example (PDF 0.1 MB)

If you have not achieved 60 credits of study at York St John, we will create a provisional benchmark for you based on marks already achieved. Any provisional benchmark will be calculated from confirmed marks from assessments already completed and we will use your best marks to do this.

To calculate the provisional benchmark we will use the credits that have already been confirmed this year, for example, based on 20 or 40 confirmed credits. Once all the marks for this year are available we will recalculate the benchmark using the previously confirmed credits and the best credits from the remainder of this year. The School Assessment Board (SAB) will be provided with the provisional benchmark, the recalculated benchmark and the programme level average. For students who had a provisional benchmark, SABs will be asked to compare this with the recalculated benchmark and programme level average. If the provisional benchmark is significantly higher than the recalculated benchmark and programme level average, the SAB will have the discretion to allow the recalculated benchmark to stand in place of the provisional benchmark.

Safety net example with less than 60 credits (PDF 0.2MB)

 

If you have failed one or more modules then the safety net will apply to you, but your 60 credits will be made up of marks from the previous year, as your resit marks will not be confirmed. If you do not meet progression requirements in order to pass the year, then the safety net will not apply to you.

It is possible that some modules can be condoned if you have failed them. This will depend on your specific programme and will be reflected on the programme specification. The University regulations allow for 20 credits of failure to be condoned on each level for undergraduate programmes and 30 credits for postgraduate programmes, where a module is not compulsory for progression or award and you have received a mark of at least 20. If you have a module condoned and have no other failures, then you can pass the year and the safety net will apply to you.

If we have used the benchmark to calculate your degree classification, this will be reflected on your transcript. We are working through the detail of what this will look like and will confirm in due course.

The University will calculate a provisional benchmark for you on 60 credits when these marks are confirmed. We will then further calculate a benchmark for you when marks are confirmed in June, before your dissertation.

If you suspend your studies or request to defer your assessments, so that you are able to complete your studies once the current crisis is over, the safety net will not apply to you.

From 20 April, all teaching and learning is moving online and will be delivered remotely. There will be no need for you to come on to campus. Your School will be in touch with you to give you more details.

The ‘safety net’ policy will apply to assessed work in the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year.

Please note that, for some programmes which are professionally accredited, we may not be permitted to apply the ‘safety net’ policy. We are doing everything we can to make the case to professional bodies to be as accommodating as possible. If you are studying on a professionally accredited programme, your School will communicate with you separately about this, and what it means for you.

If you studied abroad in semester 1 the credit accumulated through your host institution will not count towards calculating your benchmark. We will create a benchmark for you based on your marks for your 60 best credits marks achieved in the previous year. 

No, the Benchmark is not used to replace module marks. The module marks you are given during the remainder of this academic year will remain unchanged and these will be the marks that will appear on your transcript. The Benchmark is only used for comparison with your level credit-weighted average. The Benchmark is only used if you meet the progression or award requirements and you have a credit-weighted level average for this year that is less than your Benchmark.

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