No Detriment Policy

The University’s ‘No Detriment’ approach

The University’s ‘No Detriment’ approach applies to all assessment and reassessment in the 2020/2021 Academic Year.

The University is committed to ensuring that the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect your academic performance unfairly. We have in place an approach that responds to the exceptional circumstances we are facing while recognising the needs and requirements of individual students, modules and courses, and reflects accurately your academic performance.

We have agreed a number of temporary changes to our undergraduate and postgraduate policies to enable you to demonstrate your learning while recognising that many things may be uncertain and you might not be at your best. These changes are in direct response to the pandemic and provide us with a greater range of options to ensure that you are not disadvantaged.

These include:

  • a streamlined approach to extenuating circumstances and examination absence
  • expanded opportunities for reassessment and progression
  • monitoring module cohorts against previous years. 

Safety net 1

A streamlined approach to extenuating circumstances and examination absence

  • If you are unable to complete an online exam please tell us using the Notified Absence from Exams form found on your MyEssex portal. You do not need to make an extenuating circumstances claim or provide any evidence, you will automatically be offered a chance at reassessment. This reassessment will be as a free of charge, uncapped first sit (except where you’re already in capped mode or have been capped due to an Academic Offences outcome).
  • Our Exam Boards will be taking a holistic approach when making outcome decisions this year. We therefore ask that you do not submit extenuating circumstances for the general disruption caused by Coronavirus.
  •  However, if your circumstances present individual difficulties to your ability to perform or mean that you are unable to submit a piece of coursework, we ask that you submit extenuating circumstances via the form found on your MyEssex portal.  If your extenuating circumstances claim is accepted the Board will normally offer you voluntary reassessment. 
  • We understand that you may not be able to obtain evidence to support your claim, and so we will not require it. You can self-certify.

Safety net 2

Expanded opportunities for reassessment and progression 

  • If you do not pass a module, you will be offered reassessment.
  • These reassessments will be treated as first sits and will be uncapped and free of charge (except where you’re already in capped mode or have been capped due to an Academic Offences outcome).
  • We have also increased the number of credits that you can be offered reassessment in. For undergraduate students, reassessment will be offered over the Summer/in September, which will help to ensure that you can meet the requirements to progress to your next year of study. 

Safety net 3

Monitoring module cohorts against previous three years

  • We will be actively comparing module marks this year with the previous three years to ensure that the marks are in line with previous achievement.
  • The Board of Examiners will look at the performance of students on your module as a whole. If your module cohort performs more poorly than we would expect based on the last three years of students taking that module, we will consider the marks to ensure that you are not disadvantaged. 

The Board of Examiners may be limited in the action it is able to take where there are external professional or regulatory requirements or other restrictions. Contact your department if you are unsure whether your course has such external requirements or other restrictions.

Exam absences and extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances

If you were unable to complete a coursework assessment or think that your performance in an exam or other assessment has been affected by circumstances beyond your control, you should submit an extenuating circumstances claim by the relevant deadline.

Guidance, deadlines and a link to the form can be found on the extenuating circumstances webpages.

If you have not passed the affected module(s), you will be offered another attempt at the assessment under Safety Net 2. This will be for uncapped marks and there will be no resit fee.

If you have passed the affected modules(s) the Board of Examiners will be able to consider whether further action should be taken in light of your extenuating circumstances claim which would normally include offering you further voluntary reassessment.

The Board may be limited in the action it is able to take where there are external professional or regulatory requirements or other restrictions. Contact your department if you are unsure whether your course has such external requirements or other restrictions.

Notified Absence

If you can’t take an online exam at the scheduled date and time, please complete a Notified Absence from Exams form on MyEssex. You do not need to provide any evidence and you do not need to make an extenuating circumstances claim, you will automatically be offered an uncapped, free of charge, first sit in this assessment in September.

Late submission of online exams

Exams of under 24 hours' duration

If the length of the exam is less than 23 hours 59 minutes and delivered on FASER, an additional hour has already been added to the standard time for the exam to reflect the fact that it is being delivered online. This is to allow time for you to download the question paper and upload your answers. There will be technical support available in case you have any difficulties and you are encouraged to use the practice test available in advance. Should you still experience difficulties uploading your completed work, you should email your work within the allotted period to submitexam@essex.ac.uk.

Should the work be submitted late, your late submission will be treated as a missed assessment and will not be marked (see the information about extenuating circumstances). You may wish to make an extenuating circumstances claim.

Exams of 24 hours and over

If the duration of the exam is 23 hours 59 minutes or more, you should upload your answer to FASER and submit a late submission claim using the extenuating circumstances form on My Essex. You should submit your work no later than 24 hours after the published deadline. You should explain the extenuating circumstances that caused you to submit your work after the deadline. We understand that you may not be able to provide evidence to support your claim. Your school/department will decide whether to accept your claim. If your claim is accepted, your work will be marked. 

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