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University of Essex

Regulations relating to academic affairs


Administration of teaching


Lectures and classes will begin on the hour. To enable students to move from one to the next, lectures and classes shall end not later than ten minutes to any hour.


Availability of optional modules may be subject to student demand and timetabling constraints. Every effort is made to timetable optional modules in such a way that clashes are minimised. However, where a student is enrolled for two modules with a timetable clash between lectures, the student is required to change one of the conflicting modules. Students may request special permission from the Executive Dean or his/her deputy to be exempted from this requirement. Each request will be judged on its merits.

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Administration of examinations


Examinations shall take place at times determined by the relevant Programme of Study. Publication of examination dates and times will be published by the Academic Registrar in a timely manner and in such a way that gives adequate notice to staff and students.


Students must comply with the requirements of the Examinations Office in relation to examination entry. Alterations to examination entry after the published deadline will be made at the discretion of the Registrar and Secretary and may be subject to a fine.


The result of any examination taken by a student who is in debt to the University will not normally receive formal recognition by the University where that debt relates to the fees of their course or ancillary academic costs, unless otherwise determined by the Registrar and Secretary after consideration of individual circumstances.


Attendance at all examinations associated with the approved programme of study is compulsory and any student who fails to present himself or herself for such an examination at the time and place published by the Registrar and Secretary, except when prevented from doing so by illness or other sufficient cause, will be deemed to have failed in that part of the examination. Misreading of the examination timetable will not be regarded as 'sufficient cause'.


Invigilators shall have the power to remove any candidate from the examination room for good cause.


No candidate will be admitted to the examination room later than 55 minutes after the start of any examination of more than one hour’s duration. No candidate will be permitted to leave the examination room permanently during the first 55 minutes or during the last 30 minutes of an examination of more than one hour’s duration. For examinations with a duration of up to one hour candidates will be admitted to the examination room up to 10 minutes after the start of the examination and will be permitted to leave the examination room permanently only with the permission of the invigilator.


Where a candidate is unable for good cause to attend a written examination in the place arranged for the examination permission may be given by the Registrar and Secretary for the examination to be held elsewhere, provided that it is simultaneous and invigilated.


Project or other work which is part of an examination must be submitted by the required date, otherwise such work may be left out of account in the assessment of the examination result.

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Modules may be assessed by coursework or by examination or by a combination of both. Coursework may include class tests, project work, field work and laboratory work and other appropriate forms of assessment. The detailed methods and rules of assessment for individual modules are available from Departmental Offices or their equivalent.


Students are examined at the end of each year of their course and must satisfy the examiners before being permitted to proceed. Examinations for groups of students on specified modules or courses may take place at times other than the main examination period in May/June.


Students who do not satisfy the examiners in the examinations may be permitted to re-sit specified examinations, to undertake a repeat period of study, full-time or part-time, or be required to leave the University.


In degree courses of three years’ duration, the final class of degree will normally be based upon the assessment of the second and final years of study. In degree courses of four years’ duration, the assessment of the third year of study may be taken into account in assessing the final class of degree. The detailed rules of assessment for the award of first degrees are approved by the Senate and are available from your Student Services Hub.


Students are required to be regular and punctual in their attendance at such instruction as may be prescribed by the relevant department in relation to individual modules.


Students are required to see members of academic or professional services staff to discuss their attendance, conduct and progress when required to do so.


A student who is absent from teaching for more than one week during term shall inform the Head of Department as soon as possible, in writing, giving the reason for his or her absence. A student who is absent for more than two consecutive weeks during term must provide medical evidence in the case of illness, or appropriate corroboration where there are other reasons for absence, at the earliest opportunity.

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Academic progress


Students will be permitted to proceed with their programmes of study only if their progress is satisfactory.


The progress of each student shall be reviewed at regular intervals during the academic year by academic departments. Where necessary Heads of Department or, in the case of students following joint degrees, the Director of the course, shall inform the Executive Dean or his/her deputy of any student whose progress gives cause for concern. The Executive Dean or his/her deputy may refer a student to the Progress Committee, which shall be appointed annually by the Faculty Education Committee. In such cases the Progress Committee shall act on behalf of the Faculty Education Committee and may require a student whose progress is unsatisfactory to withdraw from the University. First and Second Year Boards of Examiners may also require a student whose progress is unsatisfactory to withdraw from the University. A student who is required to withdraw from the University on the grounds of unsatisfactory progress has the right of appeal in accordance with the procedures approved by the Senate.


A student who is prevented by ill health or other serious impediment from meeting the normal requirements of his or her programme of study for more than six consecutive weeks, may not, except with the permission of the Executive Dean or his/her deputy, count that term as part of the requirements of the programme of study for which he/she is registered.

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  1. It is an academic offence for a student to engage in unfair academic practices or to cheat in any examination, or in any other submitted part of his or her University work, whether or not such work is formally assessed. A student may be found guilty of an academic offence whether or not there has been intention to deceive; that is, a judgement that negligence has occurred is sufficient to determine guilt.
  2. Academic offences include:
    1. plagiarism, that is, using or copying the work of others (whether written, printed or in any other form) without proper acknowledgement in any assignment, examination or other assessed work
    2. repeating work previously submitted for another assignment without full acknowledgement of the extent to which that previous work has been used
    3. falsifying data or evidence
    4. submitting a fraudulent claim of extenuating circumstances
    5. assisting another student to commit an academic offence
    6. submitting written work produced collaboratively unless this is explicitly allowed
    7. copying the work of another candidate or otherwise communicating with another candidate in an examination
    8. introducing any written, printed or electronically stored information into an examination other than material expressly permitted in the instructions for that examination
    9. defacing or interfering with exam script booklets

    This list is not exhaustive.
  3. Allegations of academic offences shall be dealt with in accordance with procedures determined by the Senate. Previous offences shall be taken into account.


In submitting any piece of work (eg dissertation, thesis, essay or report) a student shall acknowledge any assistance received or any use of the work of others.

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Award and conferment of degrees


A candidate who has fulfilled the requirements of the prescribed programme of study and has satisfied the examiners for the degree of Foundation Degree in Arts or Foundation Degree in Science shall be eligible for conferment of the degree in one of the following classes:

  • Pass
  • Merit
  • Distinction


A candidate who has fulfilled the requirements of the prescribed programme of study and has satisfied the examiners for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Laws (Ordinary) shall be eligible for conferment of the degree. These awards are unclassified.


A candidate who has fulfilled the requirements of the prescribed programme of study and has satisfied the examiners for the degree of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Business Administration with Honours shall be eligible for conferment of the degree in one of the following classes:

  • Class I
  • Class II Division i
  • Class II Division ii
  • Class III


Candidates who do not satisfy the examiners in the final examinations of the final year of study for the degree may be re-assessed in accordance with the rules of assessment for Undergraduate awards. Marks will be capped excepted where a candidate is repeating the year. Candidates will be required to undertake the appropriate registration and pay the fee determined by the University. Students who are not fully registered shall not be permitted in the intervening year to receive instruction or supervision at the University of Essex. Students who are given the opportunity to be re-assessed shall be subject to the Statutes, Ordinances, and Regulations of the University at any time they are present in the University.


In the case of illness or other sufficient cause affecting a candidate an honours degree and occurring after the Sunday of the sixth week of the Spring term (ie week 21) of the candidate’s final year course of study but before the end of the final examinations, the candidate may on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners concerned and at least one external examiner be eligible for conferment of an aegrotat degree. Candidates who were required to be examined during the January examination period in their final year, and who were affected by illness or other sufficient cause which occurred during this period, and which was not an ongoing problem, may also be considered for an aegrotat degree. Candidates who have conferred on them an aegrotat degree may present themselves for examination for the honours degree at the next available opportunity which will normally be within one year. Such candidates shall be required to register partially and to pay an appropriate fee as determined from time to time by the University. They shall be subject to the Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations of the University at any time they are present in the University. It shall be open to the examiners to recommend conferment of an Honours degree under conditions prescribed in Regulation 6.25. to candidates who present themselves for examination under this Regulation.


  1. The Chair of a Board of Examiners may suspend any particular decision of the Board where:
    1. the decision contravenes either a University regulation, policy, or procedure
    2. the decision, in the judgement of the Chair, leads to unfairness or inconsistency
  2. In signing the grids at the conclusion of the Board meeting, the Chair shall indicate next to his/her signature that he/she has not approved the decision relating to the relevant candidate number(s).
  3. The Chair shall then refer the decision to a sub-Committee of Senate by notifying the Vice-Chancellor’s Office. The sub-committee shall be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor or his/her nominee, and shall consist of not fewer than three further members of Senate who are also senior members of academic staff. Where possible, the members should be chosen from disciplines cognate with that in the case under consideration. The sub-committee shall review the facts of the case and taken an independent and final decision. Any decision open to the original Board of Examiners shall be available to the sub-Committee. The sub-committee may wish to view the grids of other students in order to ensure consistency.
  4. The decision of the sub-committee shall not require the agreement of external examiners but the external examiner shall be informed of the decisions.


In the event of a candidate’s death, the Board of Examiners may recommend to the Senate the award of a degree, diploma or certificate post obitum provided that it is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence that the candidate would have successfully completed the intended award and that the candidate had successfully completed at least two-thirds of the programme of study.


No student, past student, or other person may represent himself or herself as a graduate of the University of Essex until such time as a degree of the University has been conferred.


Except with the special permission of the Registrar and Secretary no degree of the University shall be conferred upon, or certificate or diploma of the University granted to, a person who is in debt to the University in respect of education fees related to that qualification (see also Regulation 6.5). Normally, no student in any type of unauthorised debt to the University or its companies may attend graduation or other similar event nor receive services of the University or its companies until said debt is cleared.


Students who are eligible for conferment of degrees may have them conferred upon them either at a congregation for the conferment of degrees or in absentia.


Students attending a congregation of the University for the conferment of a degree or otherwise shall be required to wear dress suitable to the occasion.

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Intellectual Property Rights


Intellectual property rights generated by a student in the course of his/her study lie with the student, except in specific cases relating to commercial exploitation where agreement has been reached between the University and the student or where otherwise covered by an existing agreement between the student and his/her sponsoring body.

Assessment by Dissertation (Immigration Control)


Any undergraduate or post-graduate taught student subject to immigration control who enters a dissertation period where that dissertation represents the totality of education during that time (regardless of ‘term time’ or otherwise) is required to continue to engage with their studies by being present on campus on a regular (full time) basis.


Either the student should meet with their supervisor on at least a monthly basis and, where appropriate, a full plan of the research to be undertaken and the approach will be agreed by the supervisor and the supervisee which outlines expected progress during the period. Departments may require students to present themselves on a regular basis in order to confirm attendance at the University. Any prolonged period away from campus may prevent the University from being able to sponsor the student’s visa and result in their withdrawal from the University. 

Work-placement and study abroad (Immigration Control)


Students subject to immigration control on a full time work placement or study/work abroad activity are required to attend on a full time basis and adhere to relevant local requirements; failure to do so could result in the student being withdrawn from the University and the cancellation of his or her visa sponsorship.


Students on an Essex Abroad (or work experience abroad) programme or placement who are subject to immigration control may not re-enter the United Kingdom without first notifying the Essex Abroad office except at the end of each (host university) term (returning at the beginning of the next) or the end of the academic year as appropriate.  If they leave the programme they must notify the Essex Abroad office immediately.  Failure to do so could result in the student being withdrawn from the University and the cancellation of his or her visa sponsorship. 


If a decision taken in accordance with University student progress or assessment regulations conflicts with the University's legal or compliance obligations then the matter shall be referred to the Registrar and Secretary who shall decide upon a course of action.


A student may appeal that decision to the Vice-Chancellor, in writing, within five days of the Registrar and Secretary's decision on the grounds of:
(a) substantive factual error; and/or
(b) extraordinary circumstances where the student was physically unable to support the University in discharging its compliance obligations.


The Vice-Chancellor will accept or reject the appeal within 10 days and their decision is final; there is no further right of appeal.


Where the Vice-Chancellor is unavailable to review the appeal within the timescale the Deputy Vice-Chancellor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor(s) may consider the appeal.

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