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3: Assessment & Examination

Assessment and Examinations

You can find details of all departmental policies relating to assessment and feedback on the Assessment and Feedback webpages, including the Departments Assessment Strategy.

Assessment criteria

Coursework and examinations are marked to an absolute standard, not a relative one. There are no ‘quotas’ for failures or for the numbers gaining a particular class of degree. All examinations are marked and moderated independently by two examiners and all coursework that forms part of student assessment is also marked and moderated by two examiners. The pass mark for all postgraduate modules is 50%. Further information on our approach to assessment and feedback is available on our Assessment and Feedback pages.

Assessment criteria

We list below the criteria which we use in the Economics Department for marking students’ work. All work is marked on a percentage scale and it is our policy to use the whole range.


An outstanding piece of work, showing complete mastery of the subject, with an exceptionally developed and mature ability to analyse, synthesise and apply concepts, models and techniques. All requirements of the set work are covered, and work is free from errors. The work demonstrates originality of thought, with strong critical reflection and the ability to tackle questions and issues not previously encountered. Ideas are explained with great lucidity and in an extremely organised manner.


An excellent piece of work, showing mastery of the subject, with a highly developed and mature ability to analyse, synthesise and apply concepts, models and techniques. All requirements of the set work are covered, and work is free from all but very minor errors. There is good critical reflection and the ability to tackle questions and issues not previously encountered. Ideas are explained very clearly and in a highly organised manner.


A good piece of work, showing a sound grasp of the subject. A good attempt at analysis, synthesis and application of concepts, models and techniques. Most requirements of the set work are covered, but there may be a few gaps leading to some errors. There is some critical reflection and a reasonable attempt is made to tackle questions and issues not previously encountered. Ideas are explained clearly and in a well organised manner, with some minor exceptions.


A satisfactory piece of work, showing a grasp of major areas of the subject, but probably with areas of ignorance. Analysis, synthesis and application of concepts, models and techniques is mechanical, with a heavy reliance on course materials. The requirements of the set work are covered but with significant gaps. Little or no critical reflection and limited ability to tackle questions or issues not previously encountered. Ideas are explained adequately but with some confusion and lack of organisation.


A failing piece of work. There is a weak attempt at analysis, synthesis and application of concepts, models and techniques. Only some of the requirements of the set work are covered. Inability to reflect critically and difficulty in beginning to address questions and issues not previously encountered. Ideas are poorly explained and organised.

Below 40

A failing piece of work. There are extremely serious gaps in knowledge of the subject, and many areas of confusion. Few or none of the requirements of the set work are covered. The student has failed to engage seriously with the subject and finds it impossible to begin to address questions and issues not previously encountered. The levels of expression and organisation in the work are very inadequate.

Coursework and Examinations

MRes module examinations and assessment

MRes Year 1*

Code Title Type of Assessment, Timing and Weighting
EC9A1 Advanced Microeconomic Theory

1 x 3 hour exam May (60%)
2 x 2 hour term tests in Dec & Mar (40%)
EC9A2 Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis

2 x 3 hour term tests held Dec (50%)
and April (50%)
EC9A3 Advanced Econometric Theory

1 x 3 hour term test Dec (25%)
2 x 2 hour term tests Feb and Mar (12.5% each)

1 x 3 hour exam May (50%)

EC9AA The Practice of Economics Research

1 research report (100% of module mark)
submitted October 2022.

In MRes year 1, all modules are compulsory. In year 2, you choose five field modules (from the list below) and complete a dissertation. You are permitted to take up to two (15 credit) modules from outside the department (along-with three of the modules listed below) but you must gain the agreement of the Director of MRes/PhD to do so. All of the (Economics) second year modules are based on 100% assessment, which in most cases will be concluded by the end of term two, allowing you to concentrate on the dissertation from the start of term three. The list below is indicative rather than definitive and we cannot guarantee that all of the options listed will be offered in every year.

MRes Year 2*

Code Title Type of Assessment, Timing and Weighting
EC9B8 Topics in Advanced Economic Theory 1

100% assessment

EC9B9 Topics in Advanced Economic Theory 2

100% assessment

EC9C1 Topics in Economic History

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 80% and 20%.

Topics in Empirical Political Economy

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.
EC9C3 Topics in Industrial Organisation and data Science

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.

EC9C6 Topics in Macroeconomics

100% assessment

EC9C7 Topics in Political Economic Theory

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 35% and 65%.
EC9C0 Topics in Development Economics

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.
EC9C4 Topics in International Economics

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.
EC9C5 Topics in Labour Economics

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.
EC9C8 Topics in Advanced Econometrics

2 pieces of coursework weighted at 50% each.

*Please note the structure of the programme may be subject to change. We consult you (through the GSSLC) about any proposed changes for the programme.

MRes assessment and examination scheme and progression rules

The following are guidelines only and the Board of Examiners reserves the right to exercise its discretion in individual cases. The exam scheme should be read in conjunction with the Rules for Award.

The examination components for the MRes in Economics are as follows:

Examination Components for the MRes in Economics

Examined Component in Year 1 CATs weighting Weighting in Overall Average for Year 1 Weighting in Calculation of Degree Average
EC9A1 Advanced Microeconomic Theory (core) 35 33.3% 14.6%
EC9A2 Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis (core) 35 33.3% 14.6%
EC9A3 Advanced Econometric Theory (core) 35 33.3% 14.6%
Examined Component in Year 2   Weighting in Overall Average for Year 2 (Taught)  
EC9AA The Practice of Economics Research (core) 15 20% 6.2%
5 Option Modules (@12 CATs) 60 80% 25.0%
Dissertation (core) 60

Note: Students are permitted in year 2 of the MRes to take up to two 15 credit modules from outside the Department. These students will overcat by a maximum of 6 CATs. Where this occurs, the Department is required to seek permission from the Chair of the Board of Graduate Studies. The pass mark for all modules is 50%.

Pass Marks: The pass mark for all modules is 50%. Students can resit failed papers for the above components once only.

Progression Rules: First year to second year: you must pass each of the core modules EC9A1, EC9A2 and EC9A3. Second year to dissertation: you must pass EC9AA and each of the option field modules to progress to the dissertation.

To be awarded the MRes in Economics: A candidate who passes each of the taught modules and passes the dissertation will be awarded the MRes.

MSc in Advanced Economics (in place of the MRes): A candidate who passes each of the taught modules, but fails the dissertation (having resubmitted the dissertation once), will be awarded the MSc Advanced Economics.

PG Diploma in Advanced Economics (in place of the MRes): A candidate who has taken 120 credits (and passed at least 90 credits) will be awarded the PG Diploma Advanced Economics.

PG Certificate in Advanced Economics: A candidate who passes two of the core modules only (minimum of 60 credits) will be awarded the PG Certificate Advanced Economics. This qualification will be awarded at the end of the first year to those who do not meet the requirements to progress to the second year.

Progression to the PhD
In order to automatically proceed onto the PhD programme, the candidate must:
(i) pass all modules and

(ii) achieve an average of 65% over all taught modules in year 1 and 2 and

(iii) demonstrate strong performance in the core modules (i.e. average of not less than 60% across the cores) and

(ii) achieve a mark of at least 65% in the dissertation.

(Calculation of the averages for both taught and core, will be weighted by the number of CATs for each module).

Marking conventions

The MRes degree carries a Distinction, a Merit and a Pass classification. Any candidate having an average mark of 70.0% or higher taken across all components of the course, with no individual module mark of less than 50.0%, will be normally considered for a Distinction. Any candidate having an average mark of between 60.0% and 69.9% taken across all components of the course, with no individual module mark of less than 50.0%, will be normally considered for a Merit.

Where the weighted average for classification is within 2 percentage points of the borderline for the Distinction or Merit category, students should be promoted if at least 50% of the weighted credits counting towards the classification are above the class boundary and this should include the dissertation.

For the purposes of the individual elements of the course, the following marking conventions are in place:

Mark Grade
70.0% and above Distinction
60.0% - 69.9% Merit
50.0% - 59.9% Pass
49.9% and below Fail

Convention for re-sitting students

Re-sit marks will be based on the combined exam and assessment weights. All re-sit marks will be capped at 50%. Where a student has failed to reach the minimum pass mark for a module which contains more than one element of assessment, the student shall normally be required to be re-examined only in the element(s) of the assessment which has(have) not met the minimum pass mark, noting that the appropriate method of reassessment is determined by the Board of Examiners.

Methods of coursework submission

Most assessed work is submitted electronically, but there may be some pieces of work that need to be submitted in hard copy. Your module leader will inform you if a particular piece of assessment should be submitted in hard copy. It is your responsibility to make sure you check with the module leader about the submission arrangements for each module.

In the case of e-submission:

Students will submit assessed coursework via electronic submission, accessed through the Tabula coursework section. Submitted work is stored only by University ID number (and all work is date - and time-coded). Please ensure you include your ID number on every page of your e-submission. You can submit your work electronically up until 12.00 noon on the deadline day and all work is date-and time-coded. You are strongly encouraged to complete e-submission prior to 11.00am on the day of the deadline in order that you can inform us of any problems that may arise. The system can become very busy just before a deadline and neither this, nor computer difficulties will be accepted as a reason for late submission.

It is your responsibility to check carefully that you have uploaded the correct file via e-submission. Failure to upload the correct file will result in a penalty of five marks per day until the correct file is produced.


Your work should be submitted anonymously, whether by e-submission or hard-copy submission. Anonymisation is based on the University ID number on your library card and you must ensure that this number appears on every page of both copies of your work. You must not print your name anywhere on your work. If submitting your work by e-submission, you must take care that you have logged into the system using your own university ID number and that you are not logged in using a friend’s ID number who has used the computer before you.


Each piece of work must be submitted by a particular date set by the Postgraduate Office and module leader (and displayed on the module web page). You will be given notice of these deadlines at the beginning of term and notified of any changes. It is your responsibility to arrange your own programme and manage your time accordingly. We advise you always to leave a safety margin in case of last–minute difficulties in obtaining books, printing files and so on. The University stipulates that markers have a maximum of twenty University working days for completion of marking, so you should receive your marks within 20 University working days of your submisison.

Please note that the submission deadlines and test dates can be found on the MRes Hub page.


You can obtain a short deadline extension of up to 5 University working days for eligible assessed work without the need for evidence. Self-certification may only be used twice in an academic year and groupwork, presentations and tests are not eligible. You can view the full list of eligible assessments on our Self Certification webpage. Please be aware that you can only apply for 1 self certification per assessment and you can only self certify a maximum of 5 days in advance of the assessment submission date.

You should submit your request using the personal circumstances portal in Tabula. If you make a request you will be given a 5 working days extension to all eligible assessment deadlines that fall within the self-certification period. Further guidance on how to use the portal can be found on the self-certify webpage. You can continue to request extensions on specific assignments using the specific extension procedure explained in the next section.

Specific deadline extensions

To seek a specific extension for assessed work you must make a request in Tabula under the Coursework Management portal. Please email if you have any difficulties. The Programme Manager will authorise requests.

Any requests for extensions should be made in a timely manner and ideally before the deadline. However, extensions can be applied retroactively, lifting any late penalty you might have already received for that assessment. Requests must be supported by evidence, which should be submitted within 5 working days of making your request. Should there be an unexplained delay of more than one week before submitting your evidence we may not be able to agree to your extension request.

Extensions are not available for technological difficulties — you should anticipate that your hard drive will crash, your work will be destroyed by a virus, or that your laptop will get stolen. Make sure you back up to a memory stick, or to your network disk space. Do not store your backup with your computer and definitely not in your laptop bag. Note also that extensions will not be granted on the basis of a student being in full- or part-time employment or on the basis of undertaking a summer internship. For assessments that are spread out over a long period of time, such as dissertations, there is an expectation that almost every student will encounter some difficulties in their lives during this period. As a result, it is anticipated that you will handle these situations without impacting on your final submission. Thus, low-level and short-term illnesses will not be considered as a basis for an extension for this type of work.

Late submission or failure to submit

Work submitted late will be marked subject to a penalty, unless an assessment deadline extension has previously been approved. All work submitted late (after 12.00 noon on the due date) will incur a five-mark penalty per day (not including weekends, University closure days and public holidays) with a minimum mark of zero for an assessment. Late work must be submitted by the original method of submission for that particular module (e-submission or hard-copy submission to the MRes/PhD Office). It must not be submitted to anyone else.

A zero mark will be recorded when a candidate fails to present themselves for an examination or submit an item of assessment for a module for which they have been registered. In circumstances where a zero mark has been awarded (including instances of plagiarism and cheating, where the opportunity for reassessment has been withheld by those investigating the offence) the MRes/PhD Board of Examiners has the power to deem the taught component failed.

Mitigating circumstances

Detailed guidance on how to submit a case for mitigating circumstances and the evidence required to substantiate a case is available here.

Mitigating circumstances are defined as:

  • Situations that the student could not have predicted and had no control over (e.g. serious illness, death of someone close, being the victim of crime, family difficulties and financial hardship);
  • Situations with negative impact on the student’s ability to undertake assessments/examinations which are independently evidenced in a timely fashion; (e.g. doctor’s note during illness showing duration and level of negative impact);
  • Situations that are acute or short term, the timing of which are relevant to the impact on study (normally within three weeks of the relevant assessment event deadline).

Any claim for Mitigating Circumstances should be submitted via your personal Tabula page as soon as possible. If you are taken ill during an examination you should inform the Senior Invigilator immediately and submit a mitigating circumstances claim as soon as possible, following the guidance on the link above.

Claims for mitigating circumstances will be considered by the Mitigating Circumstances Panel, consisting of the Senior Tutor, the Director of PG Student Engagement and Progression, Director of Graduate Studies (Taught Degrees), Director MRes/PhD, Director of Studies, Head of Department and the Programme Manager), which will make recommendations to the Exam Board. The Panel will determine whether mitigation is granted and the severity of the impact (weak, moderate or severe), ensuring decisions are equitable and consistent across cohorts.

Deadlines: where you are applying for an extension to a coursework deadline because of mitigating circumstances, you must apply as soon as possible and definitely before the submission deadline. All other mitigating circumstances claims must be submitted as soon as possible and no later than 5 working days before the Mitigating Circumstance Panel, which normally takes place one week in advance of the Exam Board. You should be aware that if you bring extenuating or mitigating circumstances to the Department after exam marks are known, they will not be considered unless there are exceptional circumstances, which prevented you from making the Department aware of them prior to the Exam Board (even if it were not possible to supply all of the supporting evidence at that time). Without wanting to invade your privacy, the University expects that you bring such circumstances to the Department’s attention in a timely manner, despite the discomfort you might feel in so doing. The Department will do all it can to support you in difficult situations.

Possible Action by the Exam Board: If a claim is supported by appropriate evidence (e.g. medical evidence), the Board of Examiners may be able to exercise discretion. The Board may recommend the candidate sits (as for the first time) at the next available opportunity; or base a grade for a module on unaffected assessment marks; or condone missing work, for example. However, neither the Board of Examiners nor the Mitigating Circumstances Panel are permitted to change a module mark.

Medical Evidence: Should be supported by a medical practitioner (or counsellor). There is policy on Self-Certification which will allow students to self-certify for an automatic extension of five university working days, and to do this twice in any academic year. Please apply for an extension through Tabula.

Whom to contact: In order for your circumstances to be considered as mitigating by the Department, they must be conveyed formally using the Mitigating Circumstances tab on your Tabula page. If you feel inhibited from talking to a member of staff in the first instance, you may also consider talking to a member of the GSSLC, the Student Union, the University Tutor or a member of staff in Student Support Services.

Exams are a stressful time for all students and hence you should expect to feel some degree of anxiety during the exam period. When taking an exam, it is not uncommon for students to feel a rising level of anxiety and to think that it is a panic attack. A panic attack during an exam will not be taken as a severe mitigating circumstance, unless:

  • the Department already has evidence to confirm that you have a history of similar anxiety and panic attacks and can provide medical evidence of this panic attack.
  • significant medical evidence can be provided that documents the symptoms of the panic attack during the exam and confirms that you would have been unable to complete the exam under the circumstances.

We are aware that in some circumstances it is considered shameful or embarrassing to disclose the details of these kinds of circumstance to those outside one’s family. This is not the case in the prevailing UK culture and you should be aware that the Department and the University are fully supportive of students in difficult circumstances and want to assist if at all possible.

Please Note: Long term chronic conditions (normally greater than a term in duration and that are likely to continue) and disabilities are dealt with under the Reasonable Adjustments (RA’s) policy. However a significant deterioration of a permanent or chronic condition already reported and covered by reasonable adjustments, is classed as a mitigating circumstance. Guidance in relation to reasonable adjustments is available on the above link and is summarised below:

The Equality Act 2010 requires the University to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate who is disabled (within the meaning of the Act), would be at a SUBSTANTIAL DISADVANTAGE in comparison to someone who is not disabled.

  • Noting ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ and that a disability is defined as ‘a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
  • Students who have long term chronic conditions or disabilities and who believe they are entitled to reasonable adjustments should in the first instance contact DisabilityServices or Wellbeing Support Services and request an appointment to discuss their support requirements.
  • A reasonable adjustment may be unique to the individual and could include special examination arrangements, delayed deadlines but also alternative methods of assessments.
  • Any reasonable adjustments made are evidence based; students are required to supply appropriate and recent medical evidence, or, in the case of a specific learning difference such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, a full diagnostic assessment. The type of appropriate evidence required can be discussed with Disability Services or Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  • Once a student has met with Wellbeing Support Services, the adviser will contact the student's department and the Examinations Office (with their permission) to recommend any specific adjustments.
  • Reasonable adjustment recommendations for examinations must be made before the annual deadlines as set out by the Examinations Office on the Examination Arrangements web page. Recommendations that are made AFTER these deadlines will be handled under the Mitigating Circumstances Policy.
  • Recommendations to apply reasonable adjustments may include for the student to be able to complete assessments via alternative assessment methods; bearing in mind that academic or professional standards in relation to core competencies and assessed criteria still need to be met.
  • Further information on disabilities and reasonable adjustments can also be accessed in the University’s Disability Services web pages.

Assessment and feedback

You can expect to receive your marked work with feedback and/or annotations within 20 University working days of the submission date, unless extenuating circumstances within the Department prevent this. If the date for returning work is missed, you will be notified. All assessment and examination results are only provisional and will not become finalised until after the Exam Board.

We have a rigorous and robust marking and moderation process, as set out in the Department's Assessment and Feedback Strategy for all assessments. By setting out the rigorous steps taken in marking assessments, we aim to create a transparent and trustworthy system, such that you can be confident in the assessment process and in the marks you receive. You are not permitted to challenge your marks on any assessed work, as academic judgement cannot be challenged, but you are encouraged to use all of the forms of feedback available to clarify and deepen your understanding.

Querying assessed work marks

University regulations state that you may not query a mark awarded on a piece of assessed work or examination on the basis of academic judgement. The Department will reject any requests by students to have their work reviewed on the basis that they disagree with the marker’s evaluation of their performance. The Department will, however, allow a student who believes that the marks for a piece of work in a module run by the Department of Economics have been totalled incorrectly, to request an arithmetic check on the paper. The Department has the right, after such an arithmetic check, to adjust the mark upwards or downwards.

Should you wish to request an arithmetic check of your marks for an assessment, please complete an Assessed Work Mark Check form, (available on the MRes/ PhD Hub page) and submit it, together with the marked copy of the assessed work in question, to the Postgraduate Office within seven working days of the date the assessment was made available for you to collect. The Department will then carry out a check of the marks. If no discrepancy is found, you will be advised of this and asked to collect your work. You will be advised that there is no right to a further check or questioning of marks. Should a discrepancy be discovered, the Department will calculate the correct mark for the work and adjust this on our systems. You will then be contacted to collect your work, which will have the corrected mark annotated on it.

Class tests

A number of modules have mid-term tests that contribute to your final marks in the module concerned. Class tests are organised by the Department rather than by the central examinations team, but normal exam conditions apply:

  • You should not use any books, papers, calculators, mobile phone or any other information storage and retrieval device to the test unless this is expressly permitted in the test rubric.
  • You must not talk or communicate with other candidates or pass information to one another during the test.

Please note that the Department reserves the right to take group photographs of students attending a test, in order to discourage cheating through assumed false identities. Please see section below entitled 'Good Practice in Exams', as a class test will be treated in the same way as an examination.

NOTE: It is likely that the majority of class tests will be administered online. In this case, and unless told otherwise, these will be open-book tests.

Mitigation for tests

Please take time to read the Departmental Policy on the correct procedure to follow should you encounter technical difficulties during a class test.

The Department cannot grant an extension to a test or reschedule the date of any test. If you are unable to take a test, or your illness is of such long duration that it prevents you from submitting a piece of work within an appropriate extension, you can apply for an exemption, so that the work is condoned. The weighting of the assessment is normally passed onto your final examination for that module.

All evidence should be submitted via the mitigating circumstances portal in Tabula and should be submitted in a timely manner.

Please note that requests made to condone absences from tests due to attendance at an interview or an assessment centre will not normally be accepted, unless there is clear evidence that the interview could not be postponed. We expect you to make clear to potential employers who may invite you to attend interviews and assessment centres that you have certain commitments throughout the academic year, and that attending tests is a compulsory part of your course.

Examination schedule and feedback

MRes examinations take place during early May (weeks 32 and 33). The exam rubric for each module can be found on the module webpage. September exams are available for students who fail to pass a module at the first attempt in June. These take place in the first week of September. Access to marked scripts (for revision purposes) is only available for students who fail a module. Due to the large number of exam scripts the Department deals with, we are unable to offer exam script access to students who achieve a pass mark. Students will be provided with generic feedback on the main exams, including summary statistics by question ( where not precluded by small numbers). This will be made available after the September resit period. Generic feedback will not be available for resit papers.

Reasonable adjustments

If you have a disability, learning difficulty, temporary disability, illness or other medical condition that could affect your ability to take examinations, please discuss this with Disability Services in the first instance. If appropriate, we may then organise reasonable adjustments for you. These may include, for example, extra time, the use of a PC or a scribe (where the ability to write is seriously impaired), rest breaks or permission to take a particular item(s) into examinations, as may be agreed in advance. In all cases you will need to submit medical or other appropriate and acceptable evidence to support your request.

If for reasons of religious observance you would prefer not to take examinations on a particular day(s), you must notify us of your preferences by contacting the Postgraduate Office. Please note that submission of a request does not mean that your examinations will definitely not be set on the dates/times you would wish to avoid.

Good practice in exams

All of the assessment on the MRes course, (in the form of class tests and final exams) is classed as internal to the Department (i.e. outside the University examination timetable).

  • Familiarise yourself with the instructions for each of your examinations and ensure that you follow them when completing your exam paper.
  • Answer the correct number of questions, if you answer more than the required number the department will mark the questions in the order that they appear, up to the required number of questions in each section.
  • Fill in the question numbers on the required page.
  • Ensure you only submit the required number of documents and in the correct format.
  • Check the last file that you upload to ensure that it is the version you want marked - if you upload an incorrect version we will only mark that one. If you upload a blank or corrupt file you may receive a mark of zero.
  • Try to ensure that your file size does not exceed 10MB.
  • Ensure that any images you insert have been compressed (following the department's guidance), and are visible on the paper, images that cannot be seen clearly or are cropped might not be marked.

Other pointers for good practice in examinations, include:

  • familiarising yourself with University's Examination Regulations 10.2
  • familiarising yourself with the rubric beforehand and doing what the rubric asks (the rubric for each module can be found on the module webpage - it is better to use this source for accurate exam rubrics rather than using past papers, as these may be out of date)
  • showing your working in mathematical/quantitative answers - enough to be awarded method marks if you get the wrong answer. In any case full marks ought not to be awarded for correct 'bottom line' answers - we are also interested in checking reasoning and understanding.

Other advice on how to tackle exams is available through these links:

Use of calculators in exams

The University Regulations forbid the use of programmable calculators and any calculators which can store formulae or text in examination rooms. The Regulations also forbid you to take manufacturer’s instructions in the use of calculators into the examination room.

Possession of electronic storage or retrieval devices

Students who are in possession of electronic storage or retrieval devices (including Smart devices), either at the examination desk or on their person, will be awarded a mark of zero for the examination. This is an absolute penalty and there is no opportunity to appeal the mark of zero.

Use of bi-lingual dictionaries in exams

Students whose first language is not English are allowed to use a single-volume, non-specialist, general-purpose bilingual translation dictionary covering English and their first language. Permitted dictionaries should give only equivalent words and phrases in English and the first language and should not include further explanatory text or appendices, other than of a trivial nature. Encyclopaedic, electronic, pictorial or specialist/subject-specific dictionaries (e.g. legal or business dictionaries) are not permitted.

It is your responsibility to provide your own bi-lingual dictionary. All bi-lingual dictionaries must be authorised by the Department and you should take it to MRes/PhD Office, prior to the exams period to get it stamped. No notes may be made in dictionaries.

Bags in exam rooms

Please remember that the University’s Regulation 10.2 states that:

“Candidates are forbidden to take into the examination room any books, papers, calculators, or any information storage and retrieval device, or any attache case or bag in which such items can be carried, unless there is an express provision otherwise in the case of a particular paper. Candidates are forbidden to pass calculators or any other item to one another during examinations.”

You are reminded that you should not take any bags, cases, or rucksacks etc into the examinations rooms.

The only exceptions to this are:

  1. small pencil cases may be used for pens, pencils and rulers etc
  2. if necessary plastic carrier bags may be used to carry permitted texts or other material into open-book examinations (unless you have been given special individual permission to have any other kind of bag with you in connection with an approved special examination arrangement).

You are strongly recommended NOT to bring bags with you to examinations. If you do, you will not be permitted to bring them into the exam room (other than as noted under (a) and (b) above). Also you must not leave bags outside exam rooms where they may cause any kind of obstruction.

If you do bring bags into the Department on an exam day, please store them in the lockers provided in the MRes hot desk room (s2.134/ s2.136) or leave them in the hot desk room (any valuables you leave at your own risk).

Handwriting legibility policy

You are responsible for ensuring that handwritten answers in exam scripts are legible and can be read by markers.

Markers will make reasonable efforts to read scripts, and those found to be illegible will be checked by a moderator to confirm whether or not the handwriting can be deciphered. If the marker and moderator are unable to read a script it should be forwarded to the Director of the MRes/PhD for scrutiny. If the answers are still deemed illegible, the indecipherable sections will not be marked. The Programme Manager will annotate the mark grid to indicate to the Board of Examiners any scripts with illegible handwriting, to help inform the Board’s decisions about resits and borderline cases.

The Department does not allow scripts deemed illegible to be retyped following a first examination, unless there is medical evidence of mitigating circumstances that would have affected a candidate’s handwriting in exam conditions. Except for circumstances in which a disability could not have been anticipated, students should provide medical evidence for special exam arrangements by the deadlines set by the Academic Office.

The Department believes the onus for writing legibly should rest with students. Students with illegible handwriting who still achieve sufficient marks to pass a module will not be allowed a resit attempt. Students failing a module at the first attempt, where sections of an exam script have been found to be illegible, will normally be offered a resit opportunity. Students will be offered the chance to type their answers in the resit exam. The maximum mark which may be awarded for a module on re-examination is 40 for undergraduate modules and 50 for postgraduate modules.

Examination boards

The Board of Examiners comprises a subset of full-time members of the academic staff in the Department of Economics, members of the academic staff from other departments for joint programmes and external examiners appointed by Senate. The Board, chaired by the Director of MRes, makes recommendations that are subject to confirmation by Senate.

The external examiners are experienced senior academics from other universities whose role is to monitor our standards, to advise us on issues, including borderline cases, and generally to act as independent arbiters and scrutinisers and to ensure that the Board’s decisions are fair.

Exam board decisions

The general range of decisions available to the Board is set out below. The Assessment and Examination Scheme provides guidelines only and the Board reserves the right to exercise its discretion in individual cases.

June Exam Board

The Board will consider the progress of students in the taught component. It will determine whether the student shall:

  1. Proceed to the second year of the MRes (for first year students)
  2. Be permitted to submit the dissertation (for second year MRes students). Students will only be permitted to submit the dissertation when they have passed both option modules
  3. Be required to be re-examined in specified modules
  4. Be awarded a lower qualification (for those students who fail to meet the progression criteria)
  5. Be required to withdraw.

September Exam Board (Final)

This is the Board at which students who have completed the full requirements of the degree are considered. It will determine whether a student shall:

  1. Be awarded the degree
  2. Be awarded the degree with distinction or merit
  3. Be permitted re-submission of the dissertation
  4. Be awarded a lower qualification (as specified in the MRes examination conventions)
  5. Not be awarded a qualification

Exam marks

You will be notified by email when exam results are viewable via Tabula (or the current student page). Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (2018) means that we will not give out examination or assessment marks over the telephone or to any third party without your prior written permission.

Academic Integrity

What is academic integrity?

Academic integrity means committing to honesty in academic work, giving credit where we've used others' ideas and being proud of our own achievements

The Department follows the Academic Integrity Framework approved by the University. Students should ensure they are familiar with this, and with Regulation 11, which governs academic integrity.

A breach of academic integrity is called 'academic misconduct'. This this term can include deliberate cheating, which Warwick's regulations define as 'an attempt to benefit oneself or another, by deceit or fraud... [including] reproducing one's own work or the work of others without proper acknowledgement'. However, a breach of academic integrity can occur inadvertently, for example due to being in a rush to complete an assignment, or by not checking what’s expected.

This includes:

    • Plagiarism. Presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own;
    • Self-plagiarism. Submitting the same work that you have already submitted for another assessment, unless this is permitted;
    • Taking a copy of another student’s work without their permission;
    • Passing someone your work to use as they see fit.
    • Collusion. Working with one or more other people on an assessment which is intended to be your own work;
    • Contract cheating. Where someone completes work for you, whether for remuneration or not, which is then submitted as your own (including use of essay mills or buying work online);
    • Arranging for someone else to impersonate you by undertaking your assessment or examination, in person or otherwise;

      • Accessing, or attempting to access, unseen assessment materials in advance of an in-person or online examination, or to obtain or share unseen materials in advance of an in-person or online examination, or to facilitate such activities;
      • Submitting fraudulent mitigating circumstances claims or falsifying evidence in support of mitigating circumstances claims (this may also be considered a non-academic disciplinary matter);

      • Fabrication or falsification of research, including falsifying data, evidence or experimental results;
      • Presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own.

      What is plagiarism?

      It is important for you to avoid the suspicion of plagiarism in your assessed work. It is not plagiarism to cite without attribution ideas and theories that have passed into the public domain. The more widely you read and research your coursework, the quicker and better you will know what is and is not in the public domain, and the more safely you will be able to determine what can go without a supporting reference. You should ensure that you complete the tutorial developed by the Library on Avoiding Plagiarism. You may also access a brief video on plagiarism prepared by the Department.

      The best way is to ensure that you adhere to good practice, represented by the rules for references and citations. Usually this means that when you first take notes from a book or article you should be careful to preserve the details of author, title, date, and page numbers. Such precision is an important transferable skill in itself, and shows that you are acquiring a professional approach.

      Students who lack confidence in writing sometimes prefer copying or quoting from the textbook to expressing ideas in their own words. Why should they use their own words when somebody else’s words are better? Such students do not intend to cheat. They escape serious consequences by scattering quotation marks and references, sometimes, in large quantities. The marker is uneasy because it is not clear that the student has done more than a bit of intelligent cutting and pasting. It is impossible to be sure that the student has an independent understanding of the topic. Such work may pass, but will not get a good mark.

      Copying or paraphrasing lecture notes or online sources, even with quotation marks and citations, is something we would especially discourage. When you copy from a published source at least you have the security of knowing that the work that you are copying has been scrutinised by referees (of academic journals) and reviewers (of books). Lecture notes are not subject to independent scrutiny and have no such guarantees of quality. Notes provided by lecturers, or eventually online sources, should be only a starting point of your research, not your finishing point. Again, work based on lecture notes and/or online sources will not get a good mark.

      Some other tips for avoiding plagiarism are:

      • Identify which key sources you may need to read and reference in good time before you start your assessment
      • Always be honest in your bibliography or literature review – it’s often the first place markers look when they start reading your assignment. It will also help you identify gaps in your own preparation if you only include sources you have genuinely consulted.
      • Read widely, and consult scholars who disagree with each other on theories or ideas and decide where you stand on the topic in question; just be sure to demonstrate how the existing literature has informed your writing, even if you come to your own conclusions
      • Don’t be afraid to use your own words – you’ll learn more, find your own voice as a writer, and your work will be more interesting to read. Just make sure you reference each theory and concept as well as each quotation, and be careful not to paraphrase or to stitch others’ ideas together as your own.
      • Organise and structure your work in your own way, this will help you develop your thinking and research on the subject and avoid inadvertently replicating others’ lines of argument or discussion.

      Academic Referencing

      When to acknowledge sources

      One of the most important skills to develop is a recognition of when you need to acknowledge a source. You should do this:
      • when you quote directly using other people’s words. Text taken directly from someone else must always be in quotation marks. You are strongly advised to avoid this practice, which, if done repeatedly demonstrates only copy-paste skills. Use your own words to show knowledge and understanding of the material
      • when you paraphrase the ideas, arguments or theories of others, including lecture material in your own words
      • when you use evidence from the work of others to support your own arguments
      • when you rework published data or use it as the basis of your own calculations
      • when you include charts, tables and diagrams produced by other people. If the source you have taken the material from has copied it from someone else, you must reference both the original author and the source you have used yourself
      • when you reuse material that comes from work you have previously submitted for assessment whether at Warwick or elsewhere

      In each of these cases you need to incorporate a specific citation into the text or tables of your coursework. You must also include the source in your bibliography, but it’s not enough just to include the source in a bibliography or list of references at the end.

      Any textbooks you do use should be included as a reference in your bibliography at the end of your coursework. However, you do not need to give references for ideas and theories which have passed into the public domain and appear in any number of textbooks: for example “Economic theory suggests that demand curves for normal goods are negatively sloped.” The same logic means that you can refer to a vacuum cleaner as a hoover, even if it is made by Panasonic or Miele, because the Hoover Corporation failed to register its name as a trademark before it entered the public domain.

      How to acknowledge sources

      There are many possible forms of citation. The one we favour takes the form of abbreviated references in the text (rather than footnotes or endnotes) coupled with a list of references with full detail at the end. Each text reference is limited to the author's last name, date of publication and page reference. Some examples:

      (1) According to Howlett (1994, p. 3), the need for rapid mobilisation is a crucial reason why market institutions may not sufficiently adjust the allocation of resources to wartime priorities.

      (2) The original application of rational expectations to macroeconomics is usually attributed to Lucas (1972).

      (3) One theory argues the first industrial revolution occurred in Britain due to a unique combination of factor prices (Allen 2009).

      Avoid the use of footnotes to add extra comments and asides. If what you need to say matters it should go in the main text. If it doesn’t belong in the text, leave it out. If you are required to or choose to use footnotes as the means of referencing, you should include the full reference in the footnote, as well as in the bibliography.

      Creating a bibliography

      Complete references belong at the end of the essay. These should contain precisely those articles and books that you cite in the text, no more and no less. In particular, markers will be alert to you including references to sources that you have not used and have only listed to make your bibliography appear larger.

      Your references might comprise books, chapters and journal articles, alphanumerically by author's last name and publication date, with the book title or journal title underlined or in italics, and article or chapter titles in quotation marks. The principle here is that it’s the library catalogue entry that gets italicised or underlined. Place of publication and publisher are optional for University coursework though not if you aspire to publishable scholarship. Note that if
      you cite articles or chapters you should also give first and last page numbers. For the above examples:

      Howlett, W.P. (1994). “The Wartime Economy, 1939-1945.” In Floud, R., and McCloskey, D., eds, The Economic History of Britain Since 1700. 2nd edn, vol. 3, 1-31.

      Lucas, R.E. (1972). “Expectations and the Neutrality of Money.” Journal of Economic Theory, vol. 4, 103-24.

      Allen, R. The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

      For further guidance on reference style, consult a well-known economics journal such as the Economic Journal.

      Common pitfalls in academic referencing

      Citations and references can be misused. Here are some points on which to take care.

      • An essay is an exercise in writing, not in using other people’s words. This means that, unless something is extremely effective, you should not quote. You can summarise the thoughts of others, but make sure that the writing is your own style. We want to know what you think.
      • Do not use citations as a substitute for argument. What gives your argument authority is logic and evidence, not the number of scholars you can find who agree with you, so don't pad the bibliography with material you haven't used. It will not impress the marker. The marker does want to know that you have read widely, but to read widely without understanding benefits no one. Using large quantities of references can sometimes actually signal to the marker that you do not really grasp the topic in detail. Use references selectively as proof of your good faith as a scholar, not to batter down disagreement or bury points of difficulty.
      • Only cite what you yourself have used. For example, you may read something that itself refers to another source. Thus Gordon (1998), Macroeconomics, p. 490, discussing excess volatility in aggregate consumption, refers to an article by Marjorie Flavin (1981) in the Journal of Political Economy.

      Suppose the point matters to your essay. Whom do you cite: Flavin or Gordon? If you cite only Flavin it makes you look good: here’s a student who seems to have gone into the subject in depth. But you run the risk of making an inappropriate citation: you have to trust Gordon; was his purpose in making the citation really the same as yours? The correct form is “Flavin (1981), cited by Gordon (1998, p. 490)”. That makes Gordon, not you, responsible should the citation prove incorrect or inappropriate. Better still, if the point really matters, go to the original reference and read it yourself. Then you can cite it confidently without risk of being caught out.

      It is particularly important to note when a table, chart or diagram has been reused by someone you are citing. You must include reference to the source you used but also show that the author themselves took the material from someone else.

      Academic misconduct or poor academic practice?

      Warwick distinguishes between academic misconduct and poor academic practice. Academic misconduct is defined as follows:

        Academic misconduct are acts or omissions by a student which give or have the potential to give an unfair advantage in  an examination or assessment, or might assist someone else to gain an unfair advantage, or an activity likely to undermine  the integrity essential to scholarship and research. (Regulation 11)

      Academic misconduct requires the intention to obtain an unfair advantage, or knowingly engaging in a behaviour that  has the potential to give an unfair advantage, irrespective of whether such advantage is actually obtained. (Regulation 11)

      Poor academic practice is less serious than academic misconduct, but should be avoided nonetheless:

       Poor academic practice is the failure to observe principles of academic integrity. It typically (but not exclusively) occurs when  referencing is inadequate, but not in a way suggesting that the student attempted to gain an  unfair advantage.  (Regulation 11)

      Poor academic practice should be used where the extent of plagiarism or other misconduct is limited. It can be  used in particular at earlier stages of a student’s degree, when they might only have an imperfect understanding of  the principles of academic integrity. It can be found, e.g., where a student has referenced the material used but not indicated  that it is a verbatim quote. (Guidance on Regulation 11)

       There is no penalty for poor academic practice: marks are not deducted, instead work is assessed under the marking  criteria  (e.g., the University Marking Scales have an implicit expectation in respect of good academic practice). (Regulation  11)

      Should poor academic practice be identified in your work, the Department will provide you with resources to help you to improve on your academic practice skills. Please also see the section on Academic Referencing in this Handbook.

      Student collaboration and academic integrity

      Discussing your work with your colleagues can be a positive and fruitful learning experience. Often it is enhanced by showing your colleagues what you have done. However, there is no good reason for another student to ask to borrow a file on which your essay, project work or exam scripts are recorded. If your work is copied by another student, and the copying is detected, you lay yourself open to accusations of abetting or colluding with their academic misconduct, or even of engaging in academic misconduct yourself. The same risk of suspicion of academic misconduct will occur if you do not use the material yourself but pass it on to a third person, because without your involvement the academic misconduct would not have been able to take place.

      Collaboration, or working cooperatively with other students, is an excellent way of acquiring knowledge. Teamwork enables you to cover material more quickly and more efficiently. Having to explain things to others clarifies them and fixes them in your mind and can be an important part of your learning experience. But collaboration can give rise to concerns. Sometimes students fear that collaboration may lead to accusations of plagiarism, in the sense of passing off others’ work as your own.

      We think there is a clear distinction between the cooperative acquisition of knowledge and the copying of another’s work and submitting it as your own. You may discuss an assignment with classmates, but you should always use your own words when working on an individually submitted piece of work. If you find yourself in a situation where cooperation with another student has become so close that you find yourselves working towards a joint result, discuss it with your tutor before submitting your work.

      In terms of collaboration during University exams and tests, whether online or in-person, this is strictly forbidden. You should not engage in any contact of any kind with third-parties, including other students, while the exam or test window is open. This includes, but is not limited to: telephone conversations, instant messaging, text messaging, group messaging and email messages. Making contact with others to discuss a University exam or test during an exam or test window is a form of academic misconduct. You should also not share your previous exam/test scripts with other students, or use exam/test scripts obtained from other students in your assessed or examined work.

      How we investigate suspected breaches of academic integrity

      Here is a summary of our Departmental academic integrity procedure:

      (1) Where a marker decides that they suspect academic misconduct in a piece of assessed work, they will report it to the module leader and an initial discussion will take place between the marker and the module leader. Where academic misconduct is suspected by an invigilator or other member of University staff in an in-person, or online, examination, the Invigilator will raise their concerns with the student and inform them that a report of suspected academic misconduct will be made to the Head of the Department.

      (2) Should the module leader (in the case of a piece of assessed work) or Head of Department (in the case of an examination) confirm that there is a suspicion of academic misconduct, they will refer the case to Academic Integrity Lead for Economics who will determine whether the case should be investigated. Should the module leader or Head of Department determine that the student's work is showing poor academic practice but not academic misconduct, they will provide the student with guidance and advice on how to improve their academic practice.

      (3) Should academic misconduct be suspected, an Academic Conduct Panel (ACP) will be convened in Economics, which comprises one of the Assessment, Feedback and Academic Integrity team as Chair, plus at least one other member of academic staff, and the Assistant Programmes Manager. The student will be invited to attend this Panel, along with a student-nominated representative for support, if desired, and/or to submit a statement. The Panel will consider the evidence gathered, including the student's written statement and/or verbal statement.

      (4) The ACP will consider whether the case constitutes: (i) poor academic practice, (ii) academic misconduct or (iii) neither academic misconduct or poor academic practice.

      (5) In the case of (i), guidance will be provided by the Module Leader to the student to help them improve on their academic practice and referencing.

      (6) In the case of (ii), the ACP will make a report to the Head of Department. The Head of Department will consider the assessed work, the student’s report and the report of the ACP, and on this basis decide whether to apply one of the sanctions available to the Department, or to refer the case to the Academic Registrar.

      (7) Should the Head of Department decide to apply a local sanction, they will write to the student, informing them of the sanction and including the ACP report.

      (8) The student may either accept the sanction or may request, within ten University Working Days of being informed by the Head of Department of the sanction, that the case is considered by an University-level Academic Integrity Committee (AIC).

      (9) If, at (6) the Head of Department decides to refer the case upwards, it will be heard by an University-level AIC.

      (10) The AIC will decide whether there is a case to be heard, and if so, a meeting will be convened, to which the student and their chosen representative will be invited.

      (11) The student will receive the decision of the AIC in writing after the meeting;

      (12) The student has the right of appeal against either the decision of the AIC or the sanction applied.

      Please note that the level of proof required for suspected academic misconduct to be found proven or not proven is the civil standard ‘the balance of probabilities’, that is, on the basis of the available evidence it is more likely than not that the student committed academic misconduct.

      Consequences of breaches of academic integrity

      Breaches of academic integrity are damaging. They damage the perpetrator, who does not learn how to be an economist, but learns how to be dishonest. It damages relations between tutors and students, because it generates suspicion. It damages all students when they leave, because the perpetrator will eventually devalue the reputation of a Warwick degree. It damages all academic staff, who have to spend time policing the rules in place of teaching and research.

      Breaches of academic integrity are regularly detected and penalised and the penalties are severe. The policies are strict even if it’s the first time your work has not met standards of academic integrity: here are some of the possible consequences:

      An Academic Conduct Panel may impose the following sanctions:

      (i) A reduction in mark for the assessed work to reflect the impact of the academic misconduct. The mark may be reduced down to zero;

      (ii) Require re-submission of the original work with revised referencing, for a capped mark;

      (iii) Require re-submission of a new piece of work for a reduced or capped mark.

      In addition to those above, an Academic Integrity Committee may impose the following sanctions:

      (i) Determine that the student’s previous work, for which credits had already been accumulated, is to be investigated for academic misconduct by the student’s home department;

      (ii) Recommend to the Academic Registrar that the student be withdrawn from the University, either for a temporary period or permanently under Regulation 36;

      (iii) Determine that a student shall have no right to resubmit, or remedy failure with respect to, the piece or pieces of work in respect of which the case was referred to the AIC.

      Academic Integrity Advice and Support

      The University provides comprehensive guidance on academic integrity and links to resources on the Academic Integrity website.

      If you have any questions on this, you should seek advice in good time from either the module leader, your module tutor, or your Personal Tutor. For advice on the Department's Academic Integrity Procedure, please refer to the Assistant Programmes Manager.

      Transcripts and degree certificates

      If you attend a Degree Congregation you will be presented with your certificate on stage. If you do not attend a ceremony your certificate will be posted to you or can be collected from Student Reception (Senate House). Digital certificates will be issued in additional to hard copy certificates. The University's Awards and Ceremonies web pages contain lots of information regarding graduation day and how to obtain your degree certificate and official transcript.


      If an Exam Board decides that your performance merits the award of a lower qualification than the one for which you were registered or does not merit the award of a qualification at all, you have certain rights of appeal. You must submit your appeal within 10 working days of the date of notification of the decision of the Board of Examiners that is the subject of the appeal. You are required to complete a form if you wish to appeal against the decision of the examiners for your course. You can download the appeals form and access further information here

      There is no right of appeal against the requirement to resubmit work or resit examinations, nor against the decision to award a Master’s degree at pass level rather than with distinction or merit.

      Appeals may be made on one or more of the following grounds:

      1. There is evidence of exceptional circumstances that affected your performance which you were unable to present in time for the meeting of the Board of Examiners. In this instance, you are required to provide an explanation as to why the evidence was not available at the meeting of the Board of Examiners.

      2. There is evidence of procedural irregularity or unfair discrimination in the examination process.

      3. There is evidence of inadequacy of supervisory or other arrangements during your enrolment at the University. In this instance, you are required to explain why a complaint was not made at an earlier stage.

      Appeals made on grounds covered by (1) or (3) will be rejected if you do not provide an explanation for the lack of availability of the evidence when the Board of Examiners reached its original decision.

      If you have any queries about appeals please contact the Doctoral College at