Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Assessment and Feedback


Departments across the University use a variety of both formative and summative assessments to test their students' achievement of learning outcomes. For information on Good Practice in Examination and Assessment click here.

Abolition of the 50% rule

For all students starting their degree programme before 2013, half of the marks contributing towards an undergraduate degree by credit weight had to come from tests conducted under examination conditions - unless an exemption had been granted, which could take that minimum examined proportion down to 35%.

The 50% rule only applied to undergraduate degrees, and from 2013/14 will no longer apply to new students or intermediate year students – instead Departments will be able to determine their own assessment strategies, with appropriate requirements in place regarding the proportions of examined element in a degree programme. Read more.

Transforming assessment: new HEA resource and grant-funded pilot scheme

In October 2012 the HEA released A Marked Improvement, a publication which presents a strong rationale for transforming assessment in Higher Education. The document includes an assessment review tool, offering a practical method to take stock of current practice and look to a targeted approach to strategic change. The publication also includes further resources for staff, which can be used to support changes to assessment policy and practice. Download the report here.

In November 2012, the HEA also launched a new opportunity for higher education institutions to join a national pilot scheme aiming to helping institutions transform their assessment strategy through applying the review tool contained in A Marked Improvement. The HEA is looking for eight higher education institutions in the UK with the vision and enthusiasm to rejuvenate and refresh their assessment policy and practice.

Teaching development grant projects

The HEA has three schemes within the Teaching Development Grants programme - Individual, Departmental and Collaborative. The substantive thematic call areas for 2012-13 includes assessment and feedback, with the following strands:

  • Students re-shaping assessment and feedback.
  • Engaging employers in assessment and feedback.
  • Re-thinking programme level assessment and feedback.
  • Transforming feedback practice.
  • Promoting academic integrity through assessment.

Information on funded projects are available on the Teaching Development Grants web pages.



Feedback is integral to the learning process and is one of the main benefits that students gain from assessment.

Transforming feedback practice

ASSET: Moving forward through feedback (University of Reading) explores the use of video to support and enhance the feedback experience for staff and students.

Enhancing Feedback website (University of Edinburgh) – this website has tailored information and advice for staff and students relating to making the most out of feedback.

Enhancing student engagement with feedback - best practice guides (Sheffield Hallam University) – a series of best practice guides for the application of technology to deliver actionable feedback.