School of Life Sciences and the Environment

Information on assessments and results

School of Life Sciences and the Environment


Biological Sciences

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3


Earth Sciences

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4



Click here for department specific information



Click here for department specific information


Alternative Assessments for Second, Third and Final Year UG Students

  • In the School we will be using the following forms of alternative assessment to replace examinations:
    • Alternative written assignments
    • Online Quizzes

The full list of alternative assessments by module is available here.


Alternative Assessments Timetable for Second, Third and Final Year UG Students

  • All Alternative Assessments have a window of 23 hours to be completed.  All assessments will be launched at 11:00am with the deadline at 10:00am the following day.  All times are British Summer Time (BST).
  • See departmental guidance for recommended time spent on each assessment.  Students may have assessments on successive days and multiple assessments within a week.  Much like having more than one exam in a week this is not considered to be detrimental to students’ performance.


Alternative Assessments for First Year Undergraduate Students

  • Students in their first year will have their on-campus examinations replaced by a set of alternative assessments.  The kind of assessment will depend on your subject area, and the assessment formats will all be familiar from earlier in your modules.
  • Don’t worry, you will not be asked to attempt any alternative assessment in a format with which you are not familiar already. To help you, your department will give full details with guidance and support for the completion of the assessments.
  • The assessment period will run Monday 04 May to Friday 12 June. During this time, assessments will be set with individual deadlines, depending on the format. More details will follow.
  • You will also need to continue to complete all outstanding coursework assignments that have been set already in Term 2 and Term 3.
  • First year marks do not count towards your final degree classification, but we require that you pass the year in order to progress.
  • Decisions about successful completion of Year One and progression will be made by Exam Boards on the basis of all of your marks. 


Preparing for Alternative Assessments (Years 1-4)

  • Preparing for alternative assessments
    • The alternative assessment will be made available at the scheduled time (British Summer Time - BST) on the timetable. We recommend that you set aside time to complete the assessment in a space where you can work without distractions or interruptions to complete the paper. It is a good idea to plan where you will work in advance, warn people around you, and switch off your mobile/other communications. If you are in a different time zone to BST, please calculate a suitable time of day in advance so you can ensure that you submit the work by the end of the assessment window.  The window is intended to help support our students in the difficult circumstances you may be facing, and to help ease pressures such as working across time zones, unreliable internet access, caring responsibilities, etc.  
  • Accessing the alternative assessments
    • All papers will be made available through Moodle – see departmental guidance for location of pages.
  • Format of the Assessment
    • Alternative Assignment:  The format of the alternative assignment will be similar to an examination paper. There will be an introduction sheet at the start of the assignment which outlines how to complete and submit the assessment; please read this carefully.
    • Online Quizzes / MCQs: The quiz will be completed through Moodle in the same format as online/in-class tests that students have taken throughout the year. Further details will be supplied by your department.   
  • Students without IT equipment or internet access
    • We understand that some students may not have adequate access to either IT equipment or internet connections that would enable them to complete their assessments. The following support is available to help you complete this academic year successfully:
      • Financial support - If you are unable to access IT equipment due to financial difficulties students can contact the Financial Wellbeing team to discuss options and an assessment for support from the Study Support Grant. A standard assessment process is used which calculates the level of support based on the difference between annual income and essential expenditure. 
      • IT support - If you are having other difficulties, for example technical difficulties, please refer to the access off-campus support pages.
      • Extenuating circumstances - If your difficulties with IT mean that you are not able to attempt assessments within the allocated time please see our Extensions & Extenuating Circumstances Guidance.


Completing Alternative Assessments

  • Alternative Assignments:
    • Answers should be completed electronically in a Word document. Please do not save your files using your student ID or name.
    • At the top of the first page (or in the header) of the document you submit please write (a) the course number/name and (b) your candidate number.  Please do not enter your name or Student ID number to ensure your work can be marked anonymously.
    • For each question you attempt, please state the question number.
    • Please do not cut and paste material from other documents or from the internet into your answers. The Turnitin plagiarism checker will tell us immediately if you have done this.
    • Pictures or diagrams can be included by photographing a hand drawn document.
    • Every paper will be run through plagiarism software (Turnitin). The software will also compare your work against all other students’ submitted work. Any collaboration among students will be treated as collusion, a serious assessment offence.
    • Word Counts & Over-Length Work: Each assessment will have a word limit.  The purpose of a word limit is to give all students a clear indication of the maximum length of a piece of assessed written work and the amount of work expected. Remember that shorter, succinct and well-conceived answers tend to receive better marks than longer rambling ones.  The word limits are designed to allow you to complete the assessment within the time indicated that you should spend on the assessment.  You will not be penalised for longer answers, but work above the word count will not be marked.
  • Submitting the Assessment
    • We strongly recommend you submit your work well in advance of the deadline, ideally up to 4 hours in advance, in case you experience any technical difficulties.
    • Students will be required to submit alternative assignments through Turnitin using the submission links in the module Moodle page.
    • If you are submitting a document with photos or diagrams you can reduce the size of the document by converting this to a PDF document - this will make the upload process quicker and easier.
    • Please check that you submit the correct file.
    • If you encounter technical problems in uploading the assessment to the Moodle page for the module please contact
    • Guidance Documents on submitting work:


  • Online Quiz / MCQs
    • The quiz will be open for a set duration. Departments will provide more details later. 


  • Late Submissions & Extensions
    • You cannot apply for an extension for your Alternative Assessment.
    • If you are having difficulties in submitting your Alternative Assessment on time, for example due to technological difficulties, then you should e-mail as soon as you can before the submission deadline letting us know the reason why so we can advise you on what to do.  We are here to help you and will treat all situations sympathetically.
    • Alternative Assessments are being offered to replace formal examination and therefore late submissions may be classed as a non-submission.


Coursework Assessment Deadlines

  • We have adjusted a number of coursework assessment deadlines to support students – please see below for confirmation of the new deadlines:
  • Extensions
    • You may be able to request an extension for coursework assessments if you are unable to submit on time. Extensions will be considered in line with the current extensions policy, which has had adjustments made in light of the covid-19 situation. Not all assessments are eligible for extensions, if you aren’t sure, please contact us.
    • Extensions should be applied for via the extensions system in Campus Connect. Please note you will not be able to apply for an additional extension until two weeks before the new deadline.
    • For further information please see the Extensions & Extenuating Circumstances pages.


School Contact Details

When contacting the School please use your Royal Holloway email and include your Student ID number and your full name. If your query is about a specific module please include the module code and title.

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