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Covid-19 Exam Guidance

History Exams for 2020

Unseen exams are being replaced by open book take-home assessments. The format is the same as that of unseen exams. These are assessments designed to mimic the established exam format as closely as possible but are not online exams.

You will have 7 calendar days to complete each paper, although we do not expect you to spend more than a few hours on each exam. You do not need to answer all the questions in one sitting, and if you wish you may consult your notes, etc., while you are completing the paper.

We will be using exactly the same marking criteria as we’d normally use for an unseen exam. To repeat, we will absolutely NOT be making this assessment any more harshly than we would an unseen exam!

The exam timetable with the release dates for each paper can be found HERE.

You should prepare for these open-book take-home assessments in exactly the same way as you’d prepare for an unseen exam. We will not be expecting anything more elaborate than the sort of answer that you’d be able to write were you sitting this paper in an exam hall.

Other departments are replacing their unseen exams with a range of different alternatives, so your friends in other departments may be assessed in other ways that are better suited to the specifics of those disciplines. Equally, if you are taking modules in other departments, you will (of course) need to follow the arrangements that those departments have put in place.

Exam Guidance

  • You must submit answers on Tabula by 11:00am on the deadline date (all dates will be live on tabula by Monday of Week 2 or can be found on the departmental exam timetable).
  • You must ensure that you upload the correct exam answer paper to the correct module.
  • Your exam answer paper MUST include:
    • Student ID number.
    • The module code and the module title.
    • Clearly state which questions have been answered.
  • Answers should be a maximum of 1500 words.
  • Answers are not expected to include a bibliography or footnotes.
  • Answers should NOT include any significant amount of material already presented in ANY assessed work.
  • Where necessary, papers for modules affected by industrial action in the 2019-2020 academic year include additional questions to provide a full range of topics.
  • This take-home examination is a one-year variance from the normal examination format due to COVID-19 and will apply only in the 2019-2020 academic year.






  • How and when do I submit?
    • You should submit in the normal way via Tabula by 11:00am on the date stated on Tabula.
    • Work emailed to the History Office or to a tutor, or submitted by any means other than Tabula will not be accepted.
    • Submit all answers on one document.
    • Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to upload your work and try not to leave this until the deadline day itself. Technical problems with your IT equipment or difficulties with uploading your work which result in your missing the deadline cannot be accepted as valid reasons for late or non-submission, and penalties will be imposed accordingly.
    • As with other history assignments, you can resubmit your answers up to the deadline.



  • Is this an essay or an exam?
    • This is a replacement for the exam. Due to the current situation with COVID-19 the department is able to give students 7 calendar days to respond to the set exam questions. These are assessments designed to mimic the established exam format as closely as possible but are not online exams.


  • What support can I expect from my module tutor during the 7 days?
    • If you have any questions or concerns you may email the module convenor within the first working day of the paper being published. Convenors are only able to clarify terminology or wording of questions. After this point you should aim to complete the questions to the best of your ability.


  • Is there a word count for each answer?
    • Answers should be a maximum of 1500 words.


  • Am I allowed to consult my notes while completing the exam?
    • You are allowed to consult your notes and other sources. If you do so, then you should include a list of the sources consulted at the end of the question.


  • Do I need to include references and/or a bibliography?
    • You do not need to include references or a bibliography.


  • How long should I be spending on each question?
    • You should spend approximately one hour on each question. We have given you 7 calendar days to complete this new assignment exam so that people with caring responsibilities or limited access to IT equipment have a fair chance at responding, but this does not mean we expect you to spend more time than you would normally spend completing an exam.


  • I have additional exam arrangements, such as extra time. Do I get extra time added to the 7 days?
    • Each answer should take approximately one hour to answer so the 7 day timeframe should give you sufficient time to take rest breaks, etc.
    • We have consulted with the Disability team and they agreed that no additional extension requests should be granted, including students with reasonable adjustments, as the 7 day would allow students sufficient time to respond.


  • Will this submission be checked for plagiarism?
    • All submissions will be rigorously checked for plagiarism, so be careful when writing your answers that you do not unintentionally include anything lifted from another source without attributing it. You do not need to provide footnotes and references as you would in an essay assignment, but if you consult any material (including your own notes) you should make a note of this at the end of each answer. If in doubt, include the name of the author whose quote or argument you are citing in brackets after using it. Needless to say, any form of collusion will be considered under the University’s rules on cheating and plagiarism and might result in disciplinary action, so please do not contact one another about the exam during the 7 day period. Please see the UG Handbook for more details on plagiarism and collusion regulations.


  • Will this submission be subject to the normal rules on penalties such as late penalties/over length etc.?
    • Please see the UG Handbook for more details. The word count is a maximum of 1500 words per question (not including the list of sources consulted).


  • Can I apply for an extension for this new assignment?
    • This assessment is NOT eligible for extension requests or self-certification extension requests.


  • Can I apply for mitigation for this new assignment?


  • What if I am unable to complete this assignment due to a disability, an illness or caring responsibilities?
    • You will need to apply for mitigation. Please read the University Guidance on mitigation for this period.


  • What if I am unable to complete this assignment due to lack of internet/IT equipment in my home?
    • You will need to apply for mitigation. Please read the University Guidance on mitigation for this period.


  • When will I get feedback on this work?
    • This work will go to the Summer 2020 Exam Board. Exam boards are being moved to later dates as a result of the pandemic, and feedback and results will be published as soon as possible after these meetings.


  • My module was impacted by Strike action. Will my paper be different?
    • We have added additional questions to all exam papers for modules affected by the strike. This will ensure that students will be able to select from 10 questions related to topics covered in weeks not affected by the strike, as well as from additional questions related to the topics due to be covered during the strike.