Returning to Study in 2020/21

Returning to Study in 2020/21

Returning to Study in 2020/21


As a current student of the University, in advance of the 2020-21 academic year, you are asked to make yourself familiar with the information, available here, on key University wide education policies. 


These policies are relevant to all students and will be useful to you throughout your studies.  They contain important information and address issues such as what to do if you are absent, how to raise an appeal or a complaint and how the University will calculate your degree outcome. The information listed is updated on, at least, an annual basis.


Blended Learning and Covid-19


Most recently, the University’s education policies have been amended to reflect the University’s blended approach to learning and its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.


Changes have been made in instances including: 


  • Where existing policy wording was specific to on-campus study and did not reflect blended or online learning scenarios; 
  • Where definitions used by the University (e.g. Plagiarism) did not encompass types of assessment increasingly in use as an alternative to traditional in-person examinations, such as open book examinations; 
  • To ensure University processes (such as those which underpin policies on academic appeals and academic misconduct) can be adhered to and take place both on and off campus, utilising technology such as Microsoft Teams; 
  • To reflect the possibility of student absence as a consequence of Covid-19 and the fact that evidence to support such absence will not be required.  


The Release of Grades


These policy changes also reflect a change to how the University releases grades to students.


What is the change?


While prior to the 2020/21 academic year, overall courses grades were rounded to the nearest whole number before being released, in academic year 2020/21 and beyond an overall course grade, unrounded and to two decimal places, will be released.


For example: A course has two essays each weighted 20% and one exam weighted 60%, the grades for which are B2, A3 and C1 respectively.  The overall Grade for the course would be determined as follows:



Grade Point






(20% x 16) + (20% x 20) + (60% x 14)

= 3.2 + 4 + 8.4

= 15.60 = B3








Why is the University making this change?


Although rounded marks have previously been released to students, it has always been the unrounded grade that has been used to calculate the Grade Point Average (GPA) and therefore degree outcome. This change to release unrounded grades therefore does not affect the overall degree you achieve; the change only makes the marks you achieve, and which contribute to your degree classification, more transparent.


You can read more about how the University releases marks and calculates degree outcome via the webpage on University wide education policies here.