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Assessment: Marking and Feedback


    • Marking Scales
    • Link to 20 Point Marking Scale and History Specific Marking Descriptors
    • Feedback on Assessed Work and Exams
    • Top 10 Feedback Tips



The University uses the '20 Point Marking Scale', which directly maps to the different degree classification, and it is now used to mark all undergraduate work. Some work may receive an overall mark that is a composite of several marks from the 20 Point Marking Scale. Classification is a complex matter, requiring skill and judgement on the part of markers, and no brief list can hope to capture all the considerations that may come into play. There is no requirement that a piece of work would have to meet every one of the specified criteria in order to obtain a mark in the relevant class. Equally, when work displays characteristics from more than one class, a judgement must be made of the overall quality. In some respects, expectations differ between essays and exam answers. The latter will, for example, normally contain less detailed evidence than the former.

Presentation, style, grammar and spelling are important aspects of the ability to communicate ideas with clarity. Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the Undergraduate Style Guide and get into the habit of following its recommendations on presentation, footnoting, bibliography, etc. Poorly written essays are less likely to meet the criteria laid down for a particular class than well-written ones.

Penalties may be imposed due to poor attendance, over-length work, work that is submitted late,and any form of plagiarism/cheating. Students should ensure that they are fully aware of the Department and University's regulations in respect of these issues, as detailed in the Penalties section of this handbook and the website.

20 Point Marking Scale and History Specific Descriptors



The Department of History takes feedback on both formative and summative work very seriously.

All students will receive written feedback via Tabula on their work within 20 working days, except the final third term assessments and exams. In addition, all students have the oppertunity to book appointments to attend a one-to-one tutorial with their seminar tutor to support the written feedback. This system is designed to help students understand how to improve their written work.


Dr Sarah Richardson devised 10 points to help students get more from their written and oral feedback. They have now been adopted by the Students Union:

  1. Be confident! Go and see your tutor for feedback! Find out about your tutors’ availability and how they prefer to be contacted.
  2. Prepare a few questions you want to ask before seeing your tutor. Perhaps email them to your tutor in advance.
  3. Think about what you want feedback on e.g. structure, analysis, referencing? Be specific.
  4. Discuss your assignments with other students (this is not ‘copying’).
  5. Learn how to give constructive, tactful and positive feedback to other students.
  6. Ask for constructive assignment feedback comments from other students.
  7. Think about when, where and how you can get feedback – verbal, written, email, audio; from seminars, labs, before/after a lecture, and from other students.
  8. Be organised – if you want feedback for your next assignment (from tutors or students) – don’t leave it until the last minute.
  9. Use exemplars of assignments and discuss with other students – this will help you understand what is being required.
  10. Get advice on how to improve for your next assignment – ‘feed-forward’.