2.  Significant Changes to the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes for 2017/18

Change

New content has been added to Section 1 to formally establish the procedure for introducing and applying regulatory changes within the Taught Code to student cohorts.

Rationale

To clarify that students are subject to the most recent version of the Taught Code with material changes only being introduced for the next academic year where they benefit students. They otherwise are phased in for ‘new entrants’ from a specified academic year.

Change

A set of revisions, primarily to the existing section on the recognition of prior learning (Section 4), sets out the governance for admitting students to ‘top-up’ a qualification, gained at Bristol or another higher education institute, to a higher award.

Rationale

To clarify:

  • the responsibilities for approving the recognition of the lower award as prior learning;
  • the process of subsuming a lower award;
  • that students will not be admitted to any programme with prior learning if they already hold a degree in the same subject nor will they be re-admitted to the same point on a programme if they have previously been required to withdraw.

Change

A new section (14), wholly replacing the previous version, describes a refreshed approach to anonymity in the marking process and at board of examiners’ meetings

Rationale

The new approach explicitly acknowledges the instances where absolute anonymity is either not possible, practicable or in the student’s interests; whilst still maintaining that it is respected where employed. An associated change to the student identifier in the assessment process will be implemented on a transitional basis through the Student Lifecycle Support Programme.

Change

17.26 “In the case of final year undergraduate students on modular programmes, if a student has extenuating circumstances which have been accepted, the School Board of Examiners may decide to (but not exclusively)…

  • disregard the affected mark for the purposes of calculating the final programme mark and degree classification (in such cases, the affected unit mark/s should be removed from the calculation of the year mark, before the degree classification weighting for the programme is applied);

Rationale

To establish a common procedure for disregarding a unit mark due to extenuating circumstances when calculating the final programme mark and degree classification.

Change

Removal of the requirement for a re-sit or re-submission to be scheduled as soon as possible after the learning experience in taught postgraduate programmes (from Section 38).

Rationale

To permit flexibility in scheduling a re-sit or re-submission given that the imperatives will differ depending upon the programme structure.

 

Change

“9.8… Holidays, working commitments or financial constraints at the time of the examination will not normally be considered a sufficient cause or reason for taking the examination outside the UK.”

Rationale

To clarify that financial constraints will not normally be considered a sufficient cause to permit an examination being sat outside of the UK

Change

“21.1 No marks that contribute to examination results should be disclosed to students Marks are provisional until they have been agreed by the Faculty Board of Examiners unless they are clearly identified as being provisional.”

Rationale

To emphasise that marks are provisional until they have been agreed by a faculty board of examiners and to provide schools discretion in their release, subject to this condition.

Change

“17.29 For taught postgraduate students in the dissertation component of the programme, if a student has extenuating circumstances which have been accepted, the Board of Examiners may, depending upon the categorised impact of the circumstance, decide to:

  • Take no action;
  • Allow the re-submission of the dissertation where the student has achieved a mark of less than 45 out of 100 without penalty.”

Rationale

To provide flexibility to a board of examiners for permitting the re-submission of the dissertation without penalty for a student with accepted extenuating circumstances, regardless of the mark achieved.

Change

“39.3 An exit award with Merit or Distinction may be permitted where students leave their intended programme because ofare prevented by exceptional circumstances from completing the intended award.”

Rationale

To clarify that a classified exit award from a taught postgraduate programme may be permitted where students leave their intended programme because of an ‘exceptional circumstance’, rather than being prevented for completing the award.

Change The clause stating that a transfer of programme is a permissible progression outcome, as determined by a board of examiners, has been removed from section 29.
Rationale To emphasise that a transfer of programme should not be a progression outcome but a decision made separately, under the University’s policy for student transfer.

Annexes