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5: Assessment

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 submission procedures

Module examinations and assessment

MRes Year 1*

Code Title Type of Assessment, Timing and Weighting
EC9A1 Advanced Microeconomic Theory
Module Leader: Professor Motty Perry
1 x 3 hour exam held May 2018 (60%)
2 x 2 hour class tests (40%)
EC9A2 Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis
Module Leader: Dr Thijs van Rens

2 x 3 hour exams held Jan 2018 (50%)
and April 2018 (50%)

EC9A3 Advanced Econometric Theory
Module Leader: Dr Mingli Chen
1 x 3 hour exam held May 2018 (50%)
4 x 2 hour mid term class tests (4 x 12.5%)
EC9AA The Practice of Economics Research
Module Leader: Professor Vera Troeger
1 research report (accounting for 100% of module mark)
to be submitted October 2018.

In the second year, you choose two field modules (from the list below) and complete a dissertation. All of the 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
EC9B1 Topics in Advanced Economic Theory
Module Leader: Dr Herakles Polemarchakis
100% assessment

EC9B2 Topics in Applied Economics
Module Leader: Dr Mirko Draca
100% assessment

EC9B3 Topics in Macroeconomics and International Economics
Module Leader: Professor Carlo Peroni
100% assessment

EC9B5 Topics in Economic History and Development
Module Leader: Professor James Fenske
100% assessment

EC9B6 Topics in Public and Political Economics
Module Leader: Prof Francesco Squintani
100% assessment

*Please note the structure of the programme may be subject to change. In the next academic year we will be consulting you (through the GSSLC) about proposed changes for the second year of the MRes. If they go ahead, these changes will result in more choice and flexibility for you when you choose your option modules. The overall CAT weighting will remain the same and so the overall assessment burden will not change.

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 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% 15%
EC9A2 Advanced Macroeconomic Analysis (core) 35 33.3% 15%
EC9A3 Advanced Econometric Theory (core) 35 33.3% 15%
Examined Component in Year 2   Weighting in Overall Average for Year 2 (Taught)  
EC9AA The Practice of Economics Research 15 20% 6%
Option 1 30 40% 12%
Option 2 30 40% 12%
Dissertation 60

The pass mark for all modules is 50%.

Progression Rules: First year to second year: you must pass each of the core modules; Second year: you must pass EC9AA and each of the option field modules to progress to the dissertation. Pass mark for all modules is 50%.

You can resit failed papers for the above components once only. All resit marks will be capped at 50%.

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 MSc): 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
Decisions regarding progression to PhD will be made by the final MRes exam board. In order to automatically proceed onto the PhD programme, the candidate must: pass each of the first year core modules and achieve an average mark of 65% or greater (the first year average); and pass both second year option modules and EC9AA and achieve an average of 65% or greater (the second year average) and pass the dissertation with a mark of 65% or above.

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 will normally be considered for a distinction. Any candidate having an average mark of between 60.0% and 69.9% taken across all components of the course will normally be considered for a merit.

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

70.0 distinction

60.0-69.9 merit

50.0-59.9 pass

40.0-49.9 fail

39.9 fail

Convention for re-sitting students

You should note that normally re-sit marks will be based on the combined exam and assessment weights. All re-sit marks will be capped at 50%.

Methods of 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.

Staff in the MRes/PhD Office then print off the submitted work which is stored only by University ID number (and all work is date - and time-coded) and distribute to the designated marker. You must include your ID number on every page of your e-submission.

E-submission is open to access up until 3.30pm on the deadline day. Students may complete e-submission earlier than the specified assessment deadline.

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 three marks per day until the correct file is produced.

In the case of paper submission:

Submit your work to the MRes/PhD Office, Room S0.91 on the specified date. The deadline for submission of work is 3.30pm.

A submission form should be attached to both copies of your work. All work will be date–stamped on receipt.

The MRes/PhD office will accept assessed work from the start of the working day, at 8.30am, through to the submission deadline of 3.30pm.


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 MRes/PhD 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 four term-time weeks for completion of marking, so you should receive your marks within 20 (working) days of your submisison.

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

Extensions to assessed work deadlines

Requests for an extension to assessed work (which can only be granted as a result of mitigating circumstances) should be emailed to the Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Manager (Research) (Maryanne Heafey), who will authorise these in consultation with Director of MRes.

Extensions are not available for technological difficulties – you should anticipate that your hard drive may crash, your work may be destroyed by a virus and that your laptop may get stolen. Make sure you back up to a writable CD, or 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.

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 3.30pm on the due date) will incur a three-mark penalty per day (not including weekends 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 Board has the power to deem the taught component failed.

Mitigating circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are those events which have had a detrimental effect on your study, to the point that it is in your interest to draw your Department’s attention to them and ask for them to be considered in mitigation of poor performance. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) illness, both bodily and emotional; the severe illness or death of a close family member; a shocking or traumatic personal experience. In addition, sudden, unexpected changes in family circumstances might affect your ability to make academic progress as a consequence of their demonstrable emotional impact upon you and may also be considered as mitigation.

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. 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 Students’ Union, the University Tutor or a member of staff in Student Support.

Where there are mitigating circumstances which affect your performance either during the year or at exam time, (a) make sure that either the Director of MRes/PhD, or the Teaching and Learning Manager (Research) know the circumstances and (b) be sure to produce a medical certificate or other relevant document. The University Mitigating Circumstances form must be used; download the form and view additional guidance provided by the University.

When requesting medical evidence to support your application for mitigation, the medical consultation must be carried out by a recognised clinician, normally a General Practitioner or a doctor based in a hospital and not, for example, by a practitioner or dispenser of traditional medicine. You are advised to make clear to your doctor that the information will be shared with a number of people and to discuss with your doctor the most appropriate wording of the medical evidence.

If medical evidence is provided then the Board of Examiners may be able to exercise discretion. The Board might: recommend the candidate sits (as for the first time) in September or the following May; or base a grade for a module on (possibly adjusted) assessment marks; or condone missing work, etc. Note that self-certification, unsupported by a medical consultation, will not be acceptable.

If you are taken ill during an examination you should inform the Senior Invigilator immediately. You will be required to provide a medical certificate from a doctor, which should be submitted to the Postgraduate Office, for MRes/ PhD students room S0.91, as soon as possible.

In order for your circumstances to be considered as mitigating by the Department, they must be conveyed formally to someone in the Department (the Teaching and Learning Manager, the Director of MRes/ PhD, for instance). The Department expects that you will discuss your circumstances before Exam Boards meet, so that they may be taken into account in good time. 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 does expect 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.

Assessment and feedback

You can expect to receive your marked work with feedback and/or annotations within 20 working days of the submission date, unless extenuating circumstances 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 MRes/PhD 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 bring 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.
  • All coats and bags must be left at the side or back of the classroom.
  • You must not talk with other candidates or pass calculators or other items 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. If a student is suspected of cheating during a class test the invigilator will warn the student and a full report will be made to the Director of MRes/ PhD.

The student will be allowed to complete the test. After the test is completed the Teaching and Learning Manager will write to the student to notify them that an allegation of cheating is being investigated and then to notify them of the decision of the investigating panel. If the allegation of cheating is upheld, the student will usually receive a mark of 0% for the test.

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.

Special exam arrangements

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 Maryanne Heafey (Teaching and Learning Manager) and Disability Services in the first instance. If appropriate, we may then organise special exam arrangements for you. These may include, for example, extra time for dyslexic students, the use of a PC or a scribe (where the ability to write is seriously impaired), individual invigilation to allow for 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 MRes/PhD 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 takes place within the department in the form of the class tests and final exams. However, all of the following procedures apply.

To maximise your chances of success in an examination, there are a number of pointers for good practice, such as:

  • familiarising yourself with what happens in the exam room by reading the Examination Regulations 10.2
  • familiarising yourself of the rubric beforehand and doing what the rubric asks
  • filling in the question numbers on the front page
  • not wasting time writing out the question - but do write down the question number
  • striking out any material that is not to be read (e.g. unwanted attempts)
  • writing as legibly as possible
  • showing your working in mathematical/quantitative answers – enough to be awarded method marks if you get the wrong answer. We are also interested in checking reasoning and understanding
  • answering only the number of questions indicated in the examination rubric; if you answer more questions than are prescribed by the rubric, and fail to provide a clear indication of which answers should be discarded by the marker (e.g. by crossing them out), then the marker will mark answers in the order in which they appear in the exam booklet and, after the prescribed number is reached, will discard the rest.

Other advice on how to tackle exams:

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.

Use of mobile devices in exams

The use of PDAs or mobile phones, or any other hand-held devices that facilitate wireless communication, are not admissible in examination conditions.

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 will need to 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 Chief Exams Coordinator for scrutiny. If the answers are still deemed illegible, the indecipherable sections will not be marked. The relevant Teaching and Learning 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.


In University Regulation no. 11, "cheating" is defined as ‘an attempt to benefit oneself or another, by deceit or fraud. This includes deliberately reproducing the work of another person or persons without acknowledgement.'

View further details on the University's regulations to plagiarism.

Some examples of plagiarism are:

  • reproducing ideas from another published work without citing the source

  • reproducing words from another published work without quotation marks

  • copying another student’s work and pretending it is yours, with or without their permission, and whether they are a present or past student at this or any other university

  • downloading work from an internet website and pretending it is yours.

Plagiarism will be penalised and penalties are severe. Some forms of plagiarism are more easily concealed and therefore harder to detect. The effort taken to conceal plagiarism will usually be taken as evidence of the perpetrator’s intention. Therefore, the greater the effort, the more severe the punishment when it is detected.

The Department now makes extensive use of the Turnitin plagiarism detection service. This web-based service allows us to submit student assignments for comparison with working papers, existing theses, published sources, web pages and other students’ work. The software produces extremely detailed reports.

The procedure for dealing with cases of alleged plagiarism is described in University Regulation 11. If a marker decides that he or she suspects plagiarism in a piece of coursework, he or she will report it to the Director of MRes/ PhD, who will in turn make a recommendation to the Head of Department or designated deputy. Where the Head decides an offence has occurred and exacts a penalty, the maximum penalty is a mark of zero on the relevant piece of assessed work. Alternatively, the Head may report the matter to the Academic Registrar for consideration by an Investigating Committee of Senate. If the Committee finds an offence has been committed it has the power to impose a mark of zero for the entire module unit or some more severe penalty. At each point the student has rights of representation and defence which are described in the Regulation.

It is important for you to avoid even the suspicion of plagiarism or cheating in your assessed work. The best way is to ensure that you adhere to good practice. 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 cannot detect plagiarism, but is uneasy because it is not clear that the student has done more than some 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 out lecture notes is something we would especially discourage. Notes provided by lecturers should be only a starting point of your research, not your finishing point. Again, work based largely on lecture notes will not get a good mark.

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 disk or file on which your essay or project work is 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 cheating, or even of engaging in cheating yourself.

The University's ProofreadingPolicy  provides a framework for acceptable use of proofreading. It sets out expectations, acceptable practices and exceptions. Please ensure you are familiar with this policy and if you do use a proof reader you must inform them of the University’s proofreading policy and check your own piece of work prior to submission to ensure that it is in line with University policy and expectations. You will be asked to make a declaration on submission of assessed work to confirm that the submission is your own work and to declare whether you have used a proof reader.

Other forms of cheating

Plagiarism is just one form of cheating. There are, of course, other kinds of cheating, such as cheating in tests or exams. This can take several forms, some of which are listed below:

  • concealing information on or near your person during a test or exam and then referring to this information during the test or exam
  • by using electronic devices to retrieve information in a test or exam
  • copying another student's work or communicating with other students in a test or exam
  • arranging for another student to take a test or exam on your behalf
  • purchasing essays from another person and submitting these as your own work.

The above list is not exhaustive and any form of cheating can and will be punished by the University. As with plagiarism, the penalties for cheating in a test or exam can be severe.

As is stated in Regulation 11, suspected instances of cheating in an exam will be referred to the Academic Registrar and on to the Investigating Committee of the Senate. If an invigilator suspects a student of cheating in an exam, the invigilator should let the student know that they will be submitting a report to the Academic Registrar. Once the invigilator has warned the student that a report will be made, the student will be allowed to complete the exam. Please refer to the University’s Regulation 11 for more information.

In contrast, cheating in class tests is dealt with in the Department, but may still be passed on to the Academic Registrar and the Investigating Committee. If an invigilator suspects a student of cheating in a class test, the invigilator should let the student know that they will be submitting a report to the Director of MRes/ PhD. Once the invigilator has warned the student that a report will be made, the student will be allowed to complete the exam. The investigative process and penalties are then the same as those set out for plagiarism and other forms of cheating in coursework.

Where should I go for advice on these matters?

If you have read all of the above and are still not sure what constitutes plagiarism, collusion or other forms of cheating, 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 Plagiarism Procedure, please refer to the Department’s Quality Assurance Manager.

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
  6. Be allowed to progress to the PhD.

Exam marks

You will be notified by email when exam results are viewable via Tabula. Compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998) means that we will not give out examination or assessment marks over the telephone or to any third party without your prior written permission.

Transcripts and degree certificates

Official transcripts and degree certificates will be provided by the Graduate School Office, University House, after graduation. 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 within 42 days of notification. You are required to complete a form if you wish to appeal against the decision of the examiners for your course. Access the form, including contact details for advice on appeals procedures.

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 Graduate School Office at