Psychology is an empirical science that aims to understand the mind and behaviour in humans and non-human animals. As a psychology undergraduate, we will encourage you to explore and question scientific approaches to understanding mind, brain behaviour and experience (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, QAA; 2016). Your degree is also accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and if you achieve 2.2 or above you will be eligible for the graduate basis for chartership in psychology (GBC) from the BPS.
We have clearly aligned your degree to the requirements stipulated by the BPS Undergraduate Education Committee (UEC) and The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) Subject Benchmark Statements (2010) which broadly state that:
“The learning and teaching strategies that will be used to support students’ achievement of the learning outcomes, and the assessment strategies that will enable students to demonstrate those achievements (BPS, 2016)”.
Alongside professional body requirements for your degree, we are deeply committed to providing all students with a high-quality learning experience. All assessments have specific objectives, which are directly linked to the learning outcomes at the module and course-level. The following are the key principles that underlie our assessment aims in psychology:
· All students will engage with a range of relevant formative and summative assessments, clearly linked to the module and course-level learning outcomes.
· All assessment processes will be designed to be accessible and inclusive and aligned with the University’s Equal Opportunities Statement and all relevant equality legislation.
· Formative and summative assessments will be designed to enable students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge they have acquired at both module and course levels.
· The feedback mechanisms in place will include guidance on how to improve performance.
· Assessment processes and outcomes will be designed to enhance students’ personal and professional development through the acquisition of skills.
· All assessment processes will be designed to embody the underlying principles of reliability; validity; equity; timeliness; manageability; and inclusivity.
(The University Assessment Strategy was approved by Senate on 29 January 2014)
To ensure we meet the above assessment aims, your psychology modules contain a mixture of both summative and formative assessments, a diverse range of assessments, rigorous quality assurance mechanisms, and importantly, helpful feedback on work that you have submitted to help you improve on future assessments.
Summative assessments contribute to the final mark for a module; these include exams, essays, in class tests, MCQs, presentations, and group work. Whereas, formative assessments are those pieces of work, which do not contribute towards the final mark of a module. Our diversity of assessment types has been commended by the BPS and the wider university and is viewed as best practice.
A list of the types of assessments we use in psychology can be found on the Undergraduate Guide pages on Moodle.
To ensure for accuracy of assessments and that they meet the intended learning outcomes of the module all exams and written assessments are internally verified by academic staff not associated with the module and externally verified by the external examiners.
- Marking criteria is available on your module moodle webpage
- Module convenors will give more information about the assessment in a lecture or seminar session.
- Assessment and feedback hours are an opportunity for students to meet with their Lecturers and Tutors on a one-to-one basis and receive invaluable feedback and guidance or simply discuss interesting topics.
- Feedback forums in moodle, allow you to post comments and discuss issues relating to topics and assessment. They will thus act as a form of peer-to-peer feedback and a way for module conveners to give feedback by answering any questions.
- If you would like help with academic writing skills your personal tutor support or DSEP can help.
For more information on reasonable adjustments, please see the relevant section of this handbook. Students can apply for extensions to assignments, in accordance with the University’s Policy on Examination Arrangements for Students with Disabilities.
For all tests and examinations, provisions are made for any student who requires a reasonable adjustment, including separate rooms, extra time, typing answers on computers, rest breaks, stop-the-clock breaks etc. Please note, that this can only be done in liaison with Disability Services and Student Support and if the information is provided to student support by the deadlines given.
In order to ensure that both staff and students have clear expectations, we will communicate with all students:
- that assessments are reasonably distributed across the programme to minimise the ‘bunching’ of deadlines, from both the student and staff perspective.
- specific deadlines for individual pieces of work and, crucially, the dates on which assessed work will be returned to students with feedback, which should be no later than 20 University working days after the date of submission.
- all dates associated with assessment are communicated to students via departmental handbooks at the start of each academic year (please find here)
- 20 University working days maximum turnaround is a universal requirement (more details here).
If feedback from submitted work is designed to be formative towards performance in a subsequent assessment (including an examination), then the calendar of submission/return of coursework should be such as to ensure that the student has a realistic opportunity to reflect on their learning from that feedback in the subsequent assessment.