Our commitment to final year MSci students is that they will not be academically disadvantaged as a result of the pandemic. We are offering two ways in which this will be implemented: a Safety Net (sometimes called a 'no detriment' policy) and a Best 90 policy. These will ensure that, as far as we can, the impact of the last months of disruption is minimised, although please note that our regulations require that you must pass 90 credits in your final year to be able to graduate.
Safety Net: The safety net guarantees that any performance you have achieved before the disruption is locked into the degree calculation and your overall mark will not drop below that threshold. We will calculate a guaranteed Safety Net baseline final degree percentage using your averages from Years 2 and 3, and all final year coursework and other assessment marks that were unaffected by either the coronavirus emergency or industrial action in 2019-20. This will be the baseline mark, and we guarantee that your final classification will not fall below this. So if, for example, your baseline mark is under 70% but 60% or over you will be awarded at least an upper second class degree, providing you pass enough credits overall to graduate.
We will work through your complete portfolio of work identifying ‘components’ (individual pieces of coursework or other assessments) that are ‘unaffected’ and ‘affected’. So all of your second year and third year work will be included, as will all summative work that you have completed this academic year that was ‘unaffected’. This will include any work with submission deadlines before 02 March 2020. We will average your marks for this portfolio – the 3rd stage and final stage will be double-weighted in calculating the degree average.
This work will take place at the summer Examination Boards when all marking has been completed and checked by External Examiners. For that reason we cannot let you know this baseline mark now, but will use it in awarding your degree classification.
Best 90: We will be calculating the overall percentage for your final year based on the best 90 credits out of 120 credits that you are taking this year. This means that the lowest marks will not be used to calculate your final year stage average. That might be, for example, a single 30 credit course, or two 15 credit courses, or other combinations. This mark will be fed into our standard degree calculation ‘algorithm’ (so for MSci degrees, the marks for stages 3 and 4 will be double-weighted in relation to second year work.)
The changes to the calculation we employ will ensure that only your best work will be used to calculate your final classification and if your classification outcome calculated under the Best 90 policy is higher than your Safety Net baseline, then you will be awarded the higher classification – i.e. your degree classification can only go up, not down.
Where professional bodies accredit our degrees, we will still calculate a mark to form a baseline guarantee of classification, and use the best 90 credits to calculate your final year average, but you may be required to pass all courses or specific courses for accreditation. You will get clear information from your School about the requirements for your programme.