Important changes to curriculum and assessment regulations
From September 2012 the University is making some changes, called the Revised Academic Structure, which will affect all students. Some of these changes will affect you now, in preparation for 2012.
The most important changes that you need to be aware of immediately are:
- Changes to honours degree classifications
- Changes to assessment regulations - trailing failures
- Extenuating Circumstances
- Transitional arrangements from 2012
Please read these changes - they may have an impact on your studies.
There are further changes over the coming year that we suggest you read. These are:
- Changes to assessment regulations from September 2012
- Changes to course structures from September 2012
- Transitional arrangements from September 2012
- Changes in descriptions of levels
The full and detailed 'Examination and Assessment Regulations' contain the definitive version of all these changes. These regulations are updated in September of each year and are available at www.port.ac.uk/accesstoinformation/policies/academicregistry/filetodownload,10383,en.pdf
But please note because these regulations are updated annually each September they will only reflect the changes from the dates on which those changes actually come into effect.
Please speak to your school/department if you need more information.
From September 2011, providing you have passed enough units to gain an honours degree we will ignore your worst 20 credits at level 5 and your worst 20 credits at level 6 when we calculate your degree classification. This will provide you with a greater opportunity to gain the degree that you deserve based on your very best work.
If you fail units you will no longer be allowed to progress with trailing failures.
In the past you could, in some circumstances, continue to the next level of your course even if you had failed up to 20 credits. From 2011 you must have passed all your units before you can continue your studies. However you may be allowed to progress if a failed unit has been compensated and given credit by a Board of Examiners.
If, because of failure, you cannot progress to the next year of your course the Board of Examiners will either allow you to repeat the units you have not yet passed or exclude you on the grounds of academic failure.
If you repeat units you will have to attend at the University and register as a repeat student on all the units not yet passed; you will also have to take all the assessments for these units. Your overall mark in these repeat units will not be 'capped' or limited so you can potentially achieve up to 100 per cent for a repeated unit.
From June 2012 onwards Boards of Examiners will not be able to give deferrals for extenuating circumstances that have affected students during the referral period.
This means you must attend all re-sit examinations and submit all referral work due on time otherwise you will be failed and will have to take a year out to repeat the units you have not passed.
Most deferrals are scheduled to be completed during the referral period. These must also be completed or you will be failed and will have to take a year out to repeat the units you have not passed.
In some circumstances you might be “compensated”. The term compensated means that even if you have not passed the unit the Board of Examiners has decided to give you credit for that unit. This will then be described as a 'pass after compensation'. However, this can only happen if you have achieved all of the following:
- An average mark for the year of at least 40 per cent across all units and
- Attempted the final assessment in the unit to be 'compensated' or have a valid extenuating circumstance to explain the non-attempt
Please note this only means that a Board might compensate you, compensation is not an automatic guarantee.
There will be a limit on the total amount of compensation allowed per student in order to get a degree (60 credits for an honours degree, 30 credits for a Master's degree).
There will also be a limit of 20 credits on the amount of compensation possible at each level of an honours degree.
Some professional courses, such as those accredited by an external professional body, may not be able to allow compensation because of the accreditation conditions.
By September 2012, all years of all courses will have a Revised Academic Structure, meaning the standard unit size will be 20 credits at undergraduate level and 30 credits at postgraduate level. If you started your course before 2012 but will not be completing until after September 2012, then these transition arrangements will apply to you.
You will retain any credit (units) either awarded before September 2012 or awarded as a result of assessments already completed and submitted prior to September 2012.
If you cannot progress into the academic year 2012-2013 because of failed units, you will instead study units nearest in equivalence in the new Revised Academic Structure to those units you failed under the current academic structure.
If you are returning from a period of suspended study you will also have to study the units available under the new Revised Academic Structure.
As a consequence, you may have to study units with a greater combined credit value than those which have been failed or, in the case of a period of suspended study, not yet completed. For example if you need 30 credits, which previously could have been achieved by studying three 10-credit units, you may instead have to study two 20-credit units.
You should also note that changes to the optional units available may mean you have to study units different to the ones previously available prior to 2012.
In either case (repeating or returning from a period of suspended study), the exact list of units you need to study will be determined by your Head of Department or School.
Courses that start in January or February will make these transitional arrangements from January or February 2012 instead of September 2012.
In the case of students with a disability then a reasonable adjustment may be made that differs from the above arrangements.
In addition to the immediate changes detailed above, there will also be some changes to assessment regulations from September 2012.
- Referral will now be known as second attempt assessment.
- Second attempt assessment can only be allowed in a unit if you attempted the 'final assessment'; your department will ensure you are advised which assessment is treated as the final assessment.
- At undergraduate level you may undertake second attempt assessments in units totalling no more than 40 credits per annum.
- At postgraduate level you may undertake, second attempt assessments in units totalling no more than 60 credits per annum.
- Additionally, in the final year of your course you may undertake second attempt assessments in the project or dissertation unit.
- The mark for each second attempt assessment will be limited (or 'capped') to a maximum of 40 per cent but the overall mark for the unit will not be limited (or 'capped'). This means if you did well in an exam but had to do the coursework again, the good mark you got in the exam would allow your overall unit mark to be greater than 40 per cent.
- The second attempt assessment period will run from 15 July 2013 to 2 August 2013.
From September 2012 the standard unit size will be 20 credits at undergraduate level and 30 credits at postgraduate level. The majority of units will be year-long units.
The academic year for the great majority of courses will consist of an induction week, and then two 12-week teaching blocks separated by a three week Christmas break.
The Easter or Spring break will be three weeks long and take place after the end of the second 12-week teaching block.
There will be a six week period following the Easter/Spring break which will be used for consolidation and assessment; this will include an examination period in the last four weeks when all formal examinations for the year will take place.
From September 2012 onward all University credits and units will reflect the National Qualification Framework (NQF) numbering. Previously (since 1995) the University has used a mixture of numbers and letters.
The translation of these is straightforward and a table is shown below for your reference
|University of Portsmouth pre-2012||National Qualification Framework (NQF)|
|Level 1||will now become||Level 4|
|Level 2||will now become||Level 5|
|Level 3||will now become||Level 6|
|Level M||will now become||Level 7|
|Level D||will now become||Level 8|