Goldsmiths University of London Grading System

By | 8th June 2017

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Goldsmiths University of London Grading System

Goldsmiths University of London Grading System

  1. Students are assessed by a variety of assessment methods considered through the approval process to ensure that the learning outcomes for the individual modules and programmes overall have been successfully met.
  2. Assessment methods may include seen or unseen written examinations, coursework, oral examinations (viva voce), practical examinations, presentations, portfolios, exhibitions, performances, professional practice.
  3. The Board of Examiners are responsible for the approval of the content of written examination papers.  The written examination papers shall reflect the balance between the various parts of the module covered, shall be deemed to be at the appropriate standard, shall give students the element of choice and or be so designed to be completed during the allotted time.

Written Examinations

  1. The following types of written examination papers are used within Goldsmiths’ College:
    • unseen written examination papers in which no materials are permitted in the Examination Halls;
    • unseen written examination papers in which students are permitted to refer to a specified book or books, or to use calculators in the Examination Halls;
    • written examination papers which have been read by the students in advance of the examination.  These are sent to students by the academic department one week or two weeks in advance of the examination depending on the instruction/directions of the examiners;
    • takeaway papers which are given to students by the academic department on a specified date, to be completed and returned by a specified date (it should be noted that students write the answers to these papers away from the examination hall).
  2. Formal written examination papers are normally taken in May/June although some programmes have other dates and departments should ensure that students are aware of the dates at the start of the programme.  There will be a late summer period for students who are permitted retakes or, in the cases of acceptable extenuating circumstances, deferred assessments. (see section 5 ‘Written Examinations’)

Oral Examinations

  1. When oral examinations are part of the programme regulations and comprise more than 20% of the overall assessment, this element shall be conducted by not less than two Examiners.  Where an oral examination is 20% or less of the overall assessment and it is conducted by one examiner, a recorded copy of the work must be made available for the External or second examiner to scrutinise.

Written Assessments

  1. Written assessment includes all assessable elements of a module which forms part of the requirement of the programme of study other than practical and written examinations i.e. essays, reports, reviews dissertations, projects and portfolios.
  2. Other forms of assessment are oral examinations (viva voce), practical or performance examinations, presentation, studio presentation exhibition and professional practice.
  3. Where coursework forms part of the formal assessment of a programme of study, this shall be clearly stated in the Departmental Handbook.  Details of the work required, and the date and time of submission, shall be communicated in writing to the students by the relevant Department at the beginning of the academic year.
  4. The Departmental Handbook should also include a warning against using materials already submitted for assessment.  However this does not mean that students cannot discuss the same issues across assessments, rather it means they must not use the same material to support it.
  5. Departments should ensure that the information for ‘Assessed Coursework Requirements’ includes the following:

“You are reminded that you may not present substantially the same material in any two pieces of work submitted for assessment, regardless of the form of assessment. For instance, you may not repeat substantially the same material in a formal written examination or in a dissertation if it has already formed part of an essay submitted for assessment. This does not prevent you from referring to the same text, examples or case studies as appropriate, provided you do not merely duplicate the same material.”

3.5 Legibility of Written Work

  1. Students must ensure that work submitted for assessment is legible and coherent, normally they will only receive marks for work that can be read.
  2. If Examiners are unable to read a student’s work, the Head of Assessments should be informed as he/she may be able to arrange for work to be transcribed.  The costs incurred for an amanuensis shall be charged to the student.
  3. If a work has to be transcribed the student will dictate the completed work to an amanuensis under supervision.  This typed (or hand-written) version should correspond line for line and page for page with the original; both the original work and the transcription shall then be returned to the Examiners for marking.

3.6 Submission of Assessed Coursework

Students are responsible for submitting assessed coursework, portfolios, dissertations, etc., by the deadline published by the department(s), for presenting him/herself for written examinations at the published time and place, and for submitting information on extenuating circumstances.

  1. It is the responsibility of Departments:
    1. to publish deadlines for the submission of all assessed coursework at the beginning of the academic year and to ensure that students retaking not in attendance are aware of the deadlines;
    2. ensure students sign a statement which confirms they have read the misconduct regulations every time they submit a piece of assessed work;
    3. make appropriate arrangements for the submission of coursework, the issuing of receipts, collection of signed statements and maintain reliable records;
    4. make students aware that they may not present substantially the same material in any two pieces of work submitted for assessment, regardless of the form of assessment.  The same material may not for instance, be repeated substantially in a formal written examination or in a dissertation if it has already formed part of an essay submitted for assessment.  This does not prevent a student from referring to the same texts, examples or case studies as appropriate, provided he/she does not merely duplicate the same material.
  2. Departments may require students to submit coursework electronically, in which event, one printed copy of the submission should also be submitted.

3.7 Non-Submission of Work or Absence from Written Examinations

  1. The Assessment Regulations do not allow for extensions to deadlines to be granted in advance.  Students with a disability may have been granted an assessment reasonable adjustment that allows them to apply for a short term deferral if their managed long term condition is worse at the time a submission is due.
  2. Students who do not submit acceptable evidence of extenuating circumstances (see section 4 ‘Extenuating Circumstances’) in respect of an absence from examination or late submission of coursework (at any time after the deadline notified) will be deemed to have made an attempt and be assigned a result of ABS (absent), for that element of the assessment.
  3. Where assessment for a module comprises a number of different elements, a student is required to re-sit only those elements in which she/he failed.
  4. The mark awarded for a re-taken examination shall, unless there are extenuating circumstances deemed acceptable by the Board of Examiners, be subject to a penalty. The mark awarded shall be capped at the pass mark for the assignment.

3.8 Non-Valid Attempt

To be eligible for any award, a student must have made a valid attempt at all assessments; that is all elements of a module and all modules of a programme of study (See section 2.3 ‘Award and Progression Criteria for UG Credit Framework Degrees’).

The following constitute a non-valid attempt:

  1. a non-submission for which a mark of 0% must be awarded;
  2. or a plagiarised assessment, for which a mark of 0% must be awarded;
  3. a very bad fail, including a submission that does not even attempt to address the specific learning outcomes:  in this case a mark between 1% and 9% must be awarded.

Non-valid attempts are failed modules and must be re-taken as directed by the Board of Examiners.

3.9 Re-entry

  1. Students cannot retake modules which have been passed, that is attained the required pass mark or higher.
  2. Students are required to use all permitted attempts to retrieve failed modules
  3. Students enrolled on undergraduate degree programmes are provided with three permitted attempts to pass a module; students enrolled on Certificates, Diplomas and Masters’ awards are provided with two permitted attempts to pass a module.
  4. The format of the assessment for re-entries should be in the same format as the original assessment.
  5. Failed assessments that require students to attend to complete them, such as teaching practice or practical assessments, may not be re-assessed in late summer; the module must be retaken in attendance the following session.
  6. Students registering for a programme of study for the first time from September 2014, will be required to retake in late summer if directed to do so by the Board of Examiners.
  7. Continuing students, those registered on or before September 2013, will still be able to withdraw from re-assessment in late summer, providing they notify the Assessments Team in writing by the required deadline.  Students who do not withdraw from assessment in late summer and do not sit or submit assessments will be noted as absent and will have used one of their permitted attempts.
  8. Students who withdraw from assessment or fail that occurrence in late summer, will be required to retrieve their failed modules and retake at the next normal occasion when the assessment is held i.e. in the following session.
  9. If an overseas student fails a written paper and is not in attendance for retakes, it may be possible to arrange for the re-sit to take place abroad in the May examination period only, normally under the aegis of the British Council, all costs incurred must be met by the student.

Re-entries on undergraduate credit framework degrees

  1. Students who do not achieve an overall pass mark of 40%, will be automatically required to re-enter the module even if he/she has passed enough modules to progress to the next level of study.
  2. Failed modules can only be compensated, that is awarded credit where the failure is compensated by achievement in other modules, once all 3 permitted attempts have been made. (See section 2.3 ‘Award and Progression Criteria for UG Credit Framework Degrees’).
  3. Where assessment for a module comprises a number of different elements, a student is required to re-sit only those elements in which she/he failed.
  4. Re-entries will be subject to the re-entry penalty, which is the mean of the actual mark obtained in the re-entry and the module pass mark,

E.g. 60 (retake mark) + 40(pass mark) = 100, divided by 2 = 50%, mark awarded to student is 50%)

3.10 Deferred Assesment

  1. A deferred assessment for an assignment may be granted by the Board of Examiners in relation to extenuating circumstances (see section 4) having taken into regard currency of learning.
  2. Extenuating circumstances which are considered to have brought into question the validity of a particular assessment as a measure of a student’s achievement and are outside the student’s control can be considered in relation to non-submission of coursework or absence from a written examination.
  3. Students may be offered the opportunity of submitting/sitting the assessment at a later date (also as if for the first time). The timing of such deferred assessments will depend on the nature of the student’s individual circumstances and the type of assessment missed.
  4. The written assessment or written examination paper should normally be sat or submitted in August /early September, unless attendance is required as for a practical element, such as teaching practice.
  5. Students are required to sit as directed and if absent for deferred assessment in late summer, they must provide further extenuating evidence to cover the August/September period or be noted as absent. If evidence is provided and accepted by the Examiners, assessment/s should be submitted/taken at the next opportunity, that is when the assessment is normally submitted/taken.
  6. Deferred assessment should be in the same format as the original assessment.

3.11 Marking Schemes and Grading Criteria

  1. Every programme of study shall have a marking scheme which shall be approved by Learning, Teaching and Enhancement Committee and subsequently lodged with the Quality Office.  (See generic marking schemes below or the appropriate ‘Programme Specification in the Departmental Handbooks)
  2. Undergraduate degrees are governed by a classification scheme entitled ‘Formula for the Final Weighted Average Mark’.  Degree classifications of students registered after 2005 are calculated using the Goldsmiths’ College formula (G2).  Degree classifications of students registered after 2010 are calculated using the new Goldsmiths’ College formula (G3).  See section 2.6 ‘Assessment for Honours for Credit Framework Degrees’, and section 7.4 the associated ‘Assessment for Honours for Course Unit Degrees’ which are based on a percentage scale as appropriate.
  3. Masters’ degree awards are made on a fail/pass, merit or distinction basis, there is a standard criteria for calculating the award. (See 2.7 ‘Goldsmiths’ Standard Criteria for Masters’ Awards’ at pass merit, or distinction).  However schemes of marking for Masters’ awards can be individual to each programme and students should check the requirements in the appropriate programme specification available in Departmental Handbooks.
  4. Marking schemes for undergraduate Certificates and Diplomas are individual to each programme; they are awarded on a pass/fail basis, some programmes have introduced a merit or distinction on an individual basis as set out in the individual programme specification.

The following are the agreed College-wide grading criteria for undergraduate degrees assessed under the credit framework:

Mark

Descriptor

Generic grading Criteria

Specific Grading Criteria (Marking Criteria)

0%

Non submission or plagiarised assessment

A categorical mark representing either the failure to submit an assessment or a mark assigned for a plagiarised assessment.  n/a

1-9%

Very bad fail

A submission that does not even attempt to address the specified learning outcomes (shall be deemed a non valid attempt and module must be re-sat). n/a

10-24%

Bad fail

Represents a significant overall failure to achieve the appropriate learning outcomes (shall be deemed a valid attempt and must be resat unless all three permitted attempts have been used ). Departments should still continue to list specific grading criteria in each generic grading band in order to allow an assessment of the level of achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes.

25-39%

Fail

Represents an overall failure to achieve the appropriate learning outcomes.  (must be resat unless all three permitted attempts have been used ).  See paragraph 211 regarding compensation of failed modules and appendix 5 for criteria to be met to allow compensation. As above

40-49%

Threshold

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to a threshold level (honours). As above

50-59%

Good

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to a good level. As above

60-69%

Very good

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to a very good level. As above

70- 79%

Excellent

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to an excellent level. As above

80 – 89%

Outstanding

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to an outstanding level. As above

90- 100%

Exceptional

Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to an exceptionally accomplished level. As above

For Masters Degrees:

Generic Grading and Specific Grading Criteria (marking criteria)

Mark

Grade

Descriptor

Generic Grading Descriptors

Specific Grading Criteria (Marking Criteria)

0%

Non submission or plagiarised assessment A categorical mark representing either the failure to submit an assessment or a mark assigned for a plagiarised assessment  n/a

1-9%

F

Very bad fail A submission that does not even attempt to address the specified learning outcomes (shall be deemed a non valid attempt and unit must be re-sat). n/a

10- 29%

E

Bad fail Represents a significant overall failure to achieve the appropriate learning outcomes Departments should still continue to list specific grading criteria in each generic grading band in order to allow an assessment of the level of achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes.

30-49%

D

Fail Represents an overall failure to achieve the appropriate learning outcomes. As above

50-59%

C

Pass Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to a threshold level As above

60-69%

B

Good (merit threshold) Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to a good level. As above

70- 79%

A

Excellent (distinction threshold) Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to an excellent level. As above

80 -100%

A+

Exceptional Represents the overall achievement of the appropriate learning outcomes to an exceptionally accomplished level. As above