Marking and moderation

Coursework will be marked in accordance with the arrangements set out in the assessment brief, using the approved marking guidance and assessment.

Normally your module leader will mark the assignments submitted; however, where there are large numbers of students on a module, or where team teaching takes place, there may be more than one marker for an assignment. Processes are in place to ensure that marking is fair and the grades given are consistent with similar courses at other universities.

You will receive a provisional percentage mark or grade for your submitted work, normally through Gradebook in Blackboard. All marks are provisional until they have been formally ratified by a Board of Examiners following both internal and external moderation processes. This means that there is a possibility that the mark you may have been given for a piece of work may change, especially if any issues with the marking of the assignment are raised by the internal moderator or external examiner.

We operate a policy of anonymous marking of all examinations and coursework assignments where the method of assessment is appropriate, e.g. essays and reports whether submitted in hard copy or by e-submission.

Your identity will not be made known to the lecturer at the time of marking. This is to protect both students and markers against the possibility of bias, whether conscious or unconscious.

Not all work can be marked anonymously. There are some types of assessment where it is not possible for your identity to remain unknown. These include:

  • Performances
  • Written evaluation of an oral presentation
  • Practice portfolios
  • Exhibitions
  • Presentations
  • Practicals
  • Viva voce examinations
  • Critical / observational analysis

Internal moderation is where a sample of work is reviewed by another member of academic staff to ensure that the marking is of an acceptable standard, is fair, and that constructive feedback has been provided. No individual mark will be changed on the basis of a sample moderation.

Issues or discrepancies identified during internal moderation will lead to a discussion between the marker and moderator to consider any actions required. Where an error in the calculation of a mark is identified, the mark will be corrected and the module leader requested to check assessment calculations for the cohort as a whole.

Blind double marking is where two markers grade the same work independently of each other. All final year projects and dissertations will be blind double marked following which there will be a moderation process where a final mark is agreed by both markers.

Second marking is where work is marked by a second tutor after having sight of the original marks. Second marking is considered to be good practice for the development of new academic staff, but may also be a professional body requirement.

External moderation is where external examiners review a sample of work to check that the standards are comparable with other higher education institutions. External examiners are employed at other higher education institutions or are occasionally drawn from the relevant profession or industry. They are a crucial part of the quality assurance of higher education. Our External Examiner webpages have more information about external moderation.

You will be made aware of the External Examiner moderating your award via the Programme Committee organization on Blackboard. There you will also be able to access the most recent external examiner annual report where they comment on the quality and standards of the University’s courses.

Under no circumstances should you attempt to make direct contact with any external examiner regarding your individual performance (or for any other reason); doing so may lead to disciplinary action.

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