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4: Assessments and Examinations

In this section of the Handbook, we will provide information about the assessment methods that are used throughout the Degree programme, as well as the various policies and procedures that are in place. You can find details of all policies relating to Assessment and Feedback on our Assessment and Feedback Webpages. In particular, here you will find a link to the Department's Assessment Strategy.

Coursework and tests

We aim to give you the opportunity to reflect on your development and progress as you proceed through your degree at Warwick. Much of your time here will be spent engaged in coursework. This includes locating information, taking notes, carrying out calculations and analysis, preparing reports for class discussions, completing exercises, and writing essays and projects. To this end, we use a variety of different types of assessments.

Assessed and non-assessed coursework

Coursework can be either 'assessed' or 'non-assessed'.

Most assessments will give a mark that contributes to your First Year mark or Honours credit. These assessments are called 'summative' and they define the progress you have made towards the module's learning objectives. However, some coursework is informally assessed, and we call these 'formative' assessments, which provide you with feedback on your progress and advice on how to maintain or improve it, but the mark will not count towards the final module mark. For example, in some First Year modules, while formal assessment of your performance is via mid-term tests, coursework and a summer exam, some class assignments and essays are assessed informally so that both tutor and you can monitor progress.

Assessment often combines both formative and summative elements, for example, when work is returned to you with a mark and feedback of one form or another. Only in end-of-year exams is assessment purely summative, though generic examination feedback is provided.

We give you more exercise sheets, tests and problem sets on the core modules in the first and second years to provide you with more continuous feedback on how you are performing against the standards we set and to allow you to reflect on your progress. In many economics First Year modules there is some non-assessed coursework. This gives you time to learn about the standards that will be applied to your coursework in the Second and Final Years, and allows you to make a few mistakes without damaging your prospects. During your Second and Final years, you will complete a mixture of summative assessments and exams.

Non-assessed coursework is not less important than assessed coursework, and is just as compulsory, forming an essential part of the learning process in all modules. You will benefit from it intellectually, psychologically, and in their examination performance. You need to submit all work, whether formal or informal, by the deadlines set. Working to deadlines is a skill which employers look for from graduates.

Make sure you use module Support and Feedback classes as well as Advice and Feedback hours to discuss assessment coursework.

Class tests

A number of modules have mid-term tests. These are summative assessments that contribute to your final mark in a module. You can find details of the assessment weights for each Economics module on the module webpages. The timing of each test can be found on our timetable, located under the Current Students section (Hub) of our webpage and on Tabula.

Please note that we will apply heavy penalties if a student is found cheating during a test. If you require special arrangements for tests, please contact the UG office to make us aware of this, providing the relevant documentation from Disability Services

Marking criteria

Performance is classified into five broad categories of: First; Upper Second (2.1); Lower Second (2.2); Third; Fail. There are a range of marks for each of the classes and the marking criteria are provided in the table below:

Class (Marks) Comprehension Analysis Critique Presentation
First Demonstrates command of the subject matter including, where appropriate, methodological, technical and scholarship skills. Presents a tightly-focused, relevant and well-structured answer with full and accurate development of concepts/theories, and excellent use of evidence. Understands and evaluates relevant arguments, debates and/or interpretations in a manner that demonstrates a developed capacity for independent thought. This may amount to an extension of existing arguments, debates and /or interpretations. Provides a thorough and consistent deployment of techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling/grammar.
2:1 Demonstrates good appreciation of the subject matter including, where appropriate, methodological, technical and scholarship skills. Presents a coherent and closely-argued answer with good structure, accurate use of concepts/theories, and good use of evidence. Understands and evaluates relevant arguments, debates and/or interpretations in a manner that demonstrates a capacity for independent thought. Provides a good deployment of techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling/grammar.
2:2 Demonstrates an understanding of core aspects of the subject matter including, where appropriate, methodological, technical and scholarship skills. Presents an answer to the question taking into account appropriate structure, development of concepts/theories and reasonable use of evidence. Understands and reproduces relevant arguments, debates and/or interpretations. Acknowledges and employs techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling/grammar
Third Demonstrates some familiarity with the subject matter including, where appropriate, methodological, technical and scholarship issues. Shows an understanding of the question with some structure, knowledge of concepts/theories and use of evidence. Demonstrates some awareness of relevant arguments, debates, and/or interpretations. Shows awareness of techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling/grammar.
Fail Demonstrates little evidence of familiarity with the subject matter including, where appropriate, methodological, technical and scholarship skills. Demonstrates a poor grasp of the question with loose structure, little knowledge of concepts/theories and inadequate use of evidence. Demonstrates little awareness of relevant arguments, debates, and/or interpretations. Provides a poor demonstration of techniques of academic writing with particular reference to structure, referencing/sourcing and spelling/grammar.

The 20-point scale

The 20-point scale is a University-wide marking scale that has been adapted from the 17-point scale, which was in place from 2010. It is based on a mapping of the five broad class categories into a 20-point marking scale, as set out in the table below.

These procedures do not apply to quantitative problems or short-answer questions, which are marked using the whole range of marks between 0 and 100. The 20-point marking scale applies to essay-type questions (both coursework and examination).

For example, an essay which is deemed to be an Upper Second class piece of work may be awarded only the mark of 62 or 65 or 68 within the range 60 to 69, according to whether the work is judged to be of low, medium or high worth, respectively, within the corresponding class. One of the motivations for the scale is to encourage essay markers to use higher marks within the first class range and lower marks in the fail range.

For those modules in which the examination paper is made up of a combination of essay-type questions and quantitative problems or short-answer questions, the 20-point scale is relevant only for the essay elements. The final mark will continue to emerge as an aggregation of individual marks, where these individual marks have been obtained in different ways. Note that this means that the aggregate mark itself is not constrained to be one of the 20 marks on the scale.

Class Scale Mark Descriptor
First Excellent 1st 100
Exceptional work of the highest quality, demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. At Final Year level: work may achieve or be close to publishable standard.
High 1st 88

Very high quality work demonstrating excellent knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills. Work which may extend existing debates or interpretations.

Mid 1st 82
Mid 1st 78
Low 1st 74
Upper Second (2.1) High 2:1 68

High quality work demonstrating good knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.

Mid 2:1 65
Low 2:1 62
Lower Second High 2:2 58

Competent work, demonstrating reasonable knowledge and understanding, analysis, organisation, accuracy, relevance, presentation and appropriate skills.

Mid 2:2 55
Low 2:2 52
Third High 3rd 48

Work of limited quality, demonstrating some relevant knowledge and understanding.

Mid 3rd 45
Low 3rd


Fail High Fail (sub Honours) 38 Work does not meet standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Evidence of study and demonstrates some knowledge and some basic understanding of relevant concepts and techniques, but subject to significant omissions and errors.
Fail 32 Work is significantly below the standard required for the appropriate stage of an Honours degree. Some evidence of study and some knowledge and evidence of understanding but subject to very serious omissions and errors.
25 Poor quality work well below the standards required for the appropriate stage of an Honours Degree.
Low Fail 12
Zero Zero 0 Work of no merit OR Absent; work not submitted; penalty in some misconduct cases.

Deadlines, Extensions, Exemptions and Absences


Each piece of work must be submitted by a particular date, as set by the UG Office and approved by the module leader. You will be given notice of these deadlines. The Department’s guidance to markers specifies a minimum of four term-time weeks’ notice of deadlines. It is your responsibility to arrange your own schedule 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, computer issues and so on. Aim to submit the piece of work a day or more before the final deadline. No reduction in late penalties will be made if you find you cannot upload the material before the deadline. Also bear in mind that demand on the system is likely to be high in the last hours before the final deadline. Assessment deadlines for the academic year 2017-18 can be accessed through Tabula.

Late Submissions

If you submit work after the deadline, your work will be marked subject to a penalty in the form of a deduction of percentage points from the awarded mark. You will receive a five percentage point deduction per day (excluding Saturdays and Sundays, Bank Holidays and University closure days) thereafter, with a minimum mark for that assessment of zero.

The following table shows how the penalty system works (penalties are given in percentage points):

Day/Time Submitted Submission Deadline
  Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri
After deadline Mon and Before deadline Tues 5        
After deadline Tues and Before deadline Weds 10 5      
After deadline Weds and Before deadline Thurs 15 10 5    
After deadline Thurs and Before deadline Fri 20 15 10 5  
After deadline Fri and Before deadline successive Mon 25 20 15 10 5
After deadline Mon and Before deadline successive Tues 25 20 15 10 5
After deadline Tues and Before deadline successive Weds 30 25 20 15 10
After deadline Weds and Before deadline successive Thurs 35 30 25 20 15
After deadline Thurs and Before deadline successive Fri 40 35 30 25 20
With a further five points for each day, excluding weekends

For work that is submitted electronically, do not leave it too close to the last minute. Penalties cannot be removed in situations where the network was busy around the time of the submission deadline. You must also check your submitted work as invited to do so when e-submitting. Penalties cannot be adjusted if you or we later find that you have submitted a wrong file or a corrupted document. A 20 percentage point penalty will be imposed as a matter of routine, should you submit the wrong piece of work or submit your work to the wrong module code, assessment or department.

For problem sets, where solutions are discussed in module Support and Feedback classes immediately after submission, any late submissions will receive a mark of zero.

Extensions and Exemptions

If you submit work after the deadline, your work will be marked subject to a penalty and if you miss a mid-term test or final examination, you will normally be given a mark of zero in that assessment. However, during the year there may be times when you are unwell and this might occur in close proximity to assessment deadlines or on the day of a test. If you are unable to complete an assessment by the deadline or are unable to attend a test, you will need to submit an exemption or extension request, together with medical or other supporting evidence.

Requests are considered by the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager, in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies and not by your lecturer, class tutor or personal tutor. All applications and evidence for extensions and exemptions are considered against the twin criteria of force majeure and evidence. If your request is necessitated by factors over which you have no control, and which you could not have reasonably anticipated (force majeure), and if these factors can be documented in some way, your request will normally be approved. Extensions or exemptions may be granted on compassionate grounds, e.g. death or serious illness in your immediate family. Evidence that is in any other language than English must be accompanied by an official translation. It is your responsibility to ensure that the UG Office receives all evidence in a timely manner, which means within one week of submitting your request and from the date of the assessment.

If an extension is granted, a new deadline will be set by the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager. Submission of work to this new deadline will be subject to the normal late submission penalties. If you are granted an exemption to an assessment, then your absence from or non-submission of the assessment will be condoned; this normally means that the percentage weight that your assessment would have attracted will be redistributed to the end-of-year examination.

If you are thinking of asking for an extension or exemption, you should first ask yourself whether you could have reasonably foreseen the reason for your late submission or absence and taken avoiding action. If so, in fairness to those students in similar situations who took the necessary steps or precautions, your request is unlikely to be granted.

Extensions to Assessed Work

To seek an extension for assignments you must fill in an extension request form, available on Tabula.

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. You will need to submit evidence to support your request and this can either be uploaded onto Tabula or should be submitted within one week of your request to the UG office ( Should there be an unexplained delay of more than one week before submitting medical evidence, we may not be able to agree to your extension request. Bear in mind that your request will not be the only one coming in, especially during periods of numerous submissions deadlines. Allow reasonable time for the situation to be resolved before contacting the staff involved again.

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 (less than 4 days) and factors such as problems with computers, will not be considered as a basis for an extension for this type of work. This differs from assessments which have a shorter time to complete and for tests that have to be taken at a specific time.

Please ask for an appointment to see the Director or Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies only if your request relies on highly personal information. Personal lobbying will not benefit your case at all.

If you are taking a module that is offered by a different academic department, it is still your home department (Economics) which makes the decision on an extension or an exemption from a test. In the case of an outside module, you need to e-mail the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager directly and include your evidence. S/he will consider your request and, if it is approved, you will then need to collect and complete the form (if there is one) from the outside department, ask the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager to sign it and take it to that department so they are aware of your extension. With some departments the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager will need to email or telephone the appropriate person in that department. Given the inter-departmental communication, approval is likely to take longer than for an assessment within economics.

Nature of evidence required for deadline extensions

The nature of evidence that you will need to supply to support a deadline extension request is dependent on the type of assessment, as follows:

For assessments, you will have had lengthy notice of deadlines and plenty of time to prepare. Low-level or short-lived illness should not prevent timely submission. More serious and lengthy illness will easily entitle you to a formal medical certificate signed by a doctor or medical professional and this will be required to avoid late penalties or a mark of zero. In the event that you are not able to submit your assessment, it can be condoned based on the evidence you submit. In this case, the credit for the assessment will be transferred to the summer examination.

Problem sets and presentations

For some assessments, a short-lived illness (less than four days’ duration) may disturb your preparation or performance and for these lesser assessment events (typically between five and 10 per cent of module credit), we will normally accept self-certification. You are permitted to submit only two self-certifications during the academic year and the form must be submitted within three days of the assessment event. Frequent self-certification will not be permitted; patterns of self-certification are monitored by the UG office, who will request formal documentary evidence should they feel the need to do so.

If you self-certify illness for failure to submit work on time, you will normally be granted an extension that may vary with circumstances but which will always be short. For problem sets, where solutions are discussed in module Support and Feedback classes immediately after submission, no extensions can be granted, but you may be condoned from the assessment, based on the evidence. The weighting would normally be passed onto the final examination. Information on solution availability can be obtained from module leaders.

Mid-term tests

You cannot apply for an extension to a mid-term test and nor can a test be rescheduled. Please see the section below on exemptions from assessments.

RAE (EC331) presentations
If you self-certify for illness for failure to make your presentation, your tutor will re-schedule your presentation and/or accept late submission of any written work that is associated with it, within appropriate limits.

If you are not sure into which category a given assessment falls, please ask the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager.

Regularly refused reasons for extensions

If you are thinking of applying for a coursework extension or exemption from a test, you should be aware that, if your reason is the same or similar to those given below, your request is likely to be refused.

"I travelled abroad over the vacation and was unable to obtain references from local libraries."

Comment: The University doesn’t require you to do academic work in the vacation. It may be a good thing if you do, but some students have to undertake paid employment. You could, and in this case should, have at least completed your research for the essay in term time.

"I travelled abroad over the vacation and as a result I returned late to the University or I had a poor internet connection whilst abroad."

Comment: The University requires you to be in residence in term time, and most assessments are submitted electronically. If you are concerned about poor internet connection you need to check before travelling whether this will be an issue.

"I have a last-minute invitation to an important job interview for which I need to prepare a presentation."

Comment: You knew you’d applied for the job, and building in some slack for interviews is just part of normal time management. You should plan to research and write assessed coursework with a margin to spare so that complications like this, which are predictable, don’t put you into a spin. However, your request will be viewed sympathetically if you get several last-minute invitations to interviews in quick succession. If the interview or assessment centre falls on the day of a test and you have evidence that this event cannot be moved, we may be able to consider an exemption request.

"I had too many other important things going on and forgot to submit my essay on the right day, but my file is dated the day before the deadline, proving that my essay was ready beforehand."

Comment: You have to give the right degree of priority to your academic work. The date on a file is easily manipulated.

"I was about to submit my essay on the day of the deadline when my computer crashed/was stolen, meaning I could not access e-submission website/access my file to upload."

Comment: Don't leave essential tasks to the last minute; please leave plenty of time to upload your work via e-submission, leaving a margin of error in case of technical difficulties. Always make regular backup copies of files both physically, such as on a memory stick, and using online facilities. Transport issues will also not be accepted as an excuse for late submission.

I submitted the wrong file to the e-submission website, but didn't notice at the time/I submitted the file for the wrong assessment/to the wrong department's system"

Comment: You should review your submission before confirming or submitting. Students submitting the wrong file or submitting to the wrong section on the e-submission system will receive a 20% point penalty to their mark even if they can prove it was submitted by the deadline. It is your responsibility to check that you have submitted the correct file to the correct assessment/department.

Exemptions from assessed work: (Absences)

If you are unable to take a mid-term 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. In the case of WBS modules, if an assessment is missed or not submitted and you request an exemption based on mitigating circumstances, this will not be considered until the Exam Board. You will be given a mark of zero and this will only be condoned when the Exam Board meets.

Mid-term tests

You should notify the UG Office if you have missed a test or expect to miss one. Requests to condone an absence from a test should be made to the Undergraduate Teaching & Learning Manager. If you are unwell and the test is worth up to 10%, you are permitted to self-certify and should submit the form to the UG Office within three days of the test. Only two self-certifications are permitted each academic year and they are closely monitored and can only be requested for short term illness (less than 4 days' duration).

If the test is worth more than 10%, you will be required to submit a medical certificate to the UG office Absence may also be granted on compassionate grounds, e.g. death or serious illness in your immediate family, supported by appropriate documentation. It is your responsibility to ensure that the UG Office receives these documents within one week of the date of the absence. We will not chase you for them and if you do not provide this evidence, your absence will not be condoned.

Please note that requests made to condone absences from tests due to attendance at an interview or an assessment centre will normally be accepted, only if there is 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.

These reasons for absences will not normally be condoned:

  • Open Days
  • family celebrations
  • holidays
  • mistakes with travel arrangements
  • mistake with time or location of test.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Research in Applied Economics (RAE) final project

EC331 Research in Applied Economics (RAE) is a core module for Final Year students in BSc Economics, BSc Economics and Industrial Organisation, BSc Mathematics and Economics, and optional for other Economics joint degrees. The module is unusual in the Department in that it is assessed entirely by coursework (three assessments and the final project). We have received feedback from External Examiners and employers that this is a valuable module in terms of challenging you, by providing a bridge into an MSc degree, and through giving you a platform to demonstrate the accumulation of learning from your economics degree.

RAE provides a vehicle for you to apply your knowledge and skills to a project of your own choosing in order to deepen and broaden understanding of that knowledge, develop expertise in a specific area of interest, build self-confidence through the development of an idea to fruition and discover how economic ideas can be applied to a specific problem.

Over the last years a number of our RAE students have been selected to present their final project at the Carroll Round — an International Conference for Undergraduate Research held at Georgetown University, alongside students from other leading Economics Departments around the world, including Harvard, NYU, LSE and Oxford. Others have had the opportunity to present their final project at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research and the International Atlantic Economic Society.

Good practice in assessment

Essay-writing guidance

Essays are often a major source of uncertainty for incoming students. To understand the criteria which your tutors will use to mark your written coursework, you should familiarise yourself with the information here. Not every module requires coursework in the form of essays, but the rules that apply to essays can often help in relation to other kinds of coursework too. Sources of advice on essay writing include:

  • departmental guidance
  • your module Support and Feedback class tutor
  • your lecturer
  • the study skills sessions organised by Careers & Skills
  • online provision from the Library
  • regular drop-in session with the Economics Librarian in the Department.

During your first year, you will have the opportunity to develop a range of skills through the Personal Development Module (PDM). One compulsory session will be on academic writing, which will include how to structure and reference your essays, and another will be on referencing and plagiarism. Having participated in these activities, you will then be able to apply these skills across your modules in all years of your degree.

You are advised to back up your files regularly to minimise the risk of losing documents. Please make sure that you do not leave the submission of your work until the last minute; build in some time to put things right if your computer crashes, as most submission is online, through Tabula.


Coursework should normally be printed on one side of the paper only. Double line spacing is required as this makes reading easier and leaves space for comments by the tutor. It is advisable for you to draw diagrams with computer packages where possible in order to further enhance your skills in this area. Pages should be numbered and submissions should be anonymous. You should include your student i.d. number on each page, but not your name.

Word limits

Please remember that work is judged on quality rather than quantity, and you must adhere to word limits and include your final word count clearly on your essay. If you feel you can say what you need to say in fewer words, then do so. We do not include a 10% margin above the word count. Excessive length will be penalised and the marker may ignore any material in excess of the word limit. Module leaders will indicate any exceptions to the standard word limit regulations, such as references. Do not include additional material in the form of lengthy footnotes or appendices unless this is specifically authorised by the coursework assignment.

Academic Referencing

It is important that you, no matter what your background is, familiarise yourself with the approaches used at Warwick. The fact that you may not have written essays before coming to this University is not an acceptable excuse. You must take the initiative to ensure you have all the skills needed to produce good work as it is expected here, and the referencing and plagiarism tutorial that forms part of the PDM will help with this. Bear in mind that there will be slight differences between what departments require so do not assume that the approach will be exactly the same if you are taking a module in another department.

There are numerous online resources to help you grasp proper academic referencing including the Library and The Centre for Student Careers & Skills. We have a dedicated Economics Librarian coming to the Department regularly.

If you are ever in doubt about referencing and avoiding plagiarism speak to your module tutor or your Personal Tutor before you submit your piece of work.

When should you 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
  • when you paraphrase the ideas, arguments or theories of others 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 person 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.

How should you 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, date of publication and page reference. For example:

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.

“We were five months in Palermo ... One day [Alfred] came down from the roof to tell me he had just discovered the notion of ‘elasticity of demand’” (Mary Paley Marshall, cited by Keynes, 1951, p. 334).

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

Avoid the use of footnotes to add extra comments and asides. If what you need to say matters it should go in the 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.

What goes in the 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 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.

Keynes, J.M. (1951). Essays in Biography. 2nd edn.

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

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

When you don’t need to acknowledge sources

Any textbooks you do use should be included as a reference in your bibliography at the end of your coursework. However, you don’t 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.

Some examples of misuse

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.
  • Don’t 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 won't 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.

Submitting your work

Please note that most modules will require submission of assessment by e-submission, but there may be some assessments that will also be submitted as a paper copy. In cases where a paper copy is required in addition to an electronic copy, it will be the timing of the submission of the electronically submitted copy that will matter for the purposes of the deadline. It is your responsibility to make sure you check the module webpage and/or with the module leader about the submission arrangements for each module. If you are not able to bring your work to the UG Office you may send it in by recorded delivery (a mailing service which requires the recipient to sign to confirm delivery). However, make sure you post it with sufficient time that it arrives in the Department before the deadline. Take into consideration that the Department is not open at the weekends, University closure days or during public holidays.


A large amount of your coursework will be submitted and marked electronically and the Department uses Tabula for e-submissions, for recording your marks and for providing you with feedback. If you are granted an extension it will also appear on Tabula. You are asked to read the guidance on the e-submission system carefully before using it.

It is your responsibility to check that you are submitting the correct document to the correct module assignment and you are asked to check your assignment before finally submitting. If you do submit the wrong assignment, you will receive a 20 percentage point penalty.

You can submit your work electronically up until 23:55:00 on the deadline day and all work is date-and time-coded. Penalties will be applied to work submitted after this time. You are strongly encouraged to complete e-submission prior to 15:30 on the day of the deadline in order that you can inform us of any problems that arise during the working day. 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.

If you are submitting assessed coursework to other departments, you should familiarise yourself with that department’s particular submission deadlines and methods, as these may differ to those in the Department of Economics. For example, submission deadlines in some departments are at 3pm.

All electronically submitted work is marked online and feedback on this assessed work will also be provided via Tabula. You will receive a notification when your feedback is available to download on Tabula.

E-submission guidance

As most of your work will be submitted electronically, there are some key points to follow to ensure you don't make a mistake:

  1. You should ensure that your document includes your student ID number, but not your name, as all marking is done anonymously. You should also include the final word count.
  2. The assignment must be a 100% electronic submission and so any object such as graphs, figures or equations will have to be incorporated into your electronic document.
  3. To submit your document online, once you have produced your final electronic file as e.g. a Word document, you will need to create a PDF document from that Word document. To create a PDF document you can download a copy of the free software PDF converter from ITS ( and follow the instructions. Alternatively, on the Warwick network go into Delivered Applications and install PDF Converter. You will be able to print (with ScanSoft PDF create!) to produce a PDF file from within Word by choosing File — Print; you will see ScanSoft PDF create! as a printer alongside your other available printers.
  4. Name the resultant PDF file as follows: module code-assignment number.pdf. For example, ec208-a1.pdf would be the name for your first assignment for EC208-Industrial Economics 1. ec307-a2.pdf would be the name for your second assignment for EC307- Macroeconomic Policy in the UK.
  5. Check the final document before uploading to ensure it has been converted accurately.
  6. Double check you are submitting the correct document and that you are submitting it to the correct module/assessment.
  7. If you submit more than one document for your assignment these should be submitted simultaneously.
  8. Upload the PDF via Tabula. If you have a technical problem with your submission then you should print off the error page and then email the PDF submission to However, given that you should have left enough time to resolve any difficulties, this will not be accepted as an excuse for a late submission.

Paper submission

When this is required, you must submit you work to the designated location, usually the UG Office, S0.98 on the specified date. The UG Office will accept assessed work from the start of the working day, at 08:15, through to the specified deadline.

A Feedback Cover Sheet for Paper-submitted Assessed Work (supplied on the Economics Hub or available to collect from the UG Office) must be attached to your work. This includes a declaration that you have read the Department’s policy on plagiarism, also found within this Handbook. All work will be date-stamped on receipt.

Submission and evaluation are anonymous. Anonymisation is based on the University ID number on your library card. You must ensure that this number is printed on every page of your work. The UG Office will require your University library card when you submit your work. Your submitted work will then be recorded on the Departmental database.

Marking, moderation and feedback

Marking and moderation

A percentage mark will be awarded and recorded on each piece of assessed coursework. All marks that contribute towards end of first year or final degree credit are moderated across the range of marks and across the first markers. Usually this involves taking a preliminary sample, then sampling more thoroughly where the preliminary sample indicates discrepancies. The agreed marks remain provisional until confirmed by the external examiner at the end of your Final Year. Thus, you are told your marks on a provisional basis. Due to moderation, the mark on your assessment may not be the same as the mark on Tabula. The mark on Tabula is your final moderated mark.

We want to reassure you that the marking and moderation for all our assessments is fair, consistent, robust and reliable and hence give you confidence that when you receive a mark, the mark has been arrived at following a detailed and rigorous process. You can find further details about the marking and moderation process on the Department's Assessment and Feedback pages.

If you have any concerns or feedback about the assessment process then please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the first instance.

Return of marked assessed work

Marked assessed work will normally be returned to you within 20 University working days after the submission deadline, and should be collected within four weeks thereafter. Depending on the module, your marked work will either be available to collect from the UG office or will be returned to you during module Support and Feedback classes. The UG Office will announce days/times for the collection of specific pieces of assessed work. The Department does not accept responsibility for work which is not collected by students within four term-time weeks of its being made available for collection.

Please also see the University Policy on the Timing of the Provision of Feedback to Students on Assessed Work.

Feedback on your assessed work

We take very seriously the provision of feedback to you on assessed work, most of which is electronic. We are sensitive to the importance of this and have mechanisms in place to enhance the quality of the feedback on assessed work. The Warwick tradition is to give some weight to assessed work submitted through the year, partly to reduce the pressure of final exams but also to enable you to gauge your progress over time from the comments and marks you receive at regular intervals.

Feedback will be provided in a variety of ways. You may receive written comments on your work, or as a separate linked document, or as a summary of comments on the feedback sheet. These might indicate what was done well in your assessment, those areas where you could improve and a general evaluation of your coursework in aspects of presentation, structure and referencing. These comments should enable you to understand the basis of the mark you have been given and how you may improve your work in the future. You will also find the mark you received on Tabula. In addition, we provide generic feedback on assessments, which will provide more general comments on the cohort's performance on this assessment. It will outline particular aspects that were done well, common problems and ways to improve, as well as an overall assessment of performance, including a cumulative distribution function, which will allow you to determine how you performed relative to your peers.

If you are not satisfied with the quality of the feedback you have received, you should approach the module lecturer or tutor. However, prior to doing this, you must be able to demonstrate that you have reviewed your personal feedback and the generic feedback and reflected on both through re-reading your work. You are also advised to make use of Advice and Feedback hours to further discuss your feedback, noting, however, that markers are not permitted to re-read your assessment. Academic judgement cannot be challenged. If you still need more information go to the UG Office, who will forward your request for more feedback to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Other types of feedback

Feedback comes in a variety of ways. There are many channels through which we aim to give feedback other than only at the point of returning assessed work. Here are some of the different ways in which we provide you with feedback:

  • Module Support and Feedback meetings complementing module lectures are intended to give you the opportunity to test your understanding of material. Most module Support and Feedback classes are often based on exercises or problem sets which should be prepared in advance. Time during module Support and Feedback classes is given to working through answers so that you can see what you did well and what less well. We try to keep the number of students in these classes as small as possible so that your needs can be accommodated.
  • Pieces of non-assessed work, in addition to assessed work and tests, are collected periodically and feedback given by tutors on these.
  • Tutors and lecturers advertise Advice and Feedback hours at which they are available to go over individual problems with you.
  • Tutors and lecturers are accessible by email to receive and respond to individual questions.
  • Lecturers are often available to you at the end of lectures to respond to questions.
  • A number of modules run online blogs or forums through which lecturers and tutors can respond to issues that you raise.
  • Where you wish to have feedback on more general issues beyond module-specific questions, feedback can be obtained from a variety of sources including the UG Office, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, your Personal Tutor, the Year Tutors and the Directors of Academic and Pastoral Support.

Querying of assessed work marks

University regulations state that you may not query a mark awarded on a piece of assessed work, including an examination, on the basis of academic judgement. We will reject any requests by you to have your work reviewed on the basis that you disagree with the marker’s evaluation of your performance. You are entitled to approach the module leader or lecturer to discuss your performance in the assessment, but please note what you must do prior to this, as outlined in the previous section. However, you are not permitted to ask your lecturer or tutor to re-read your work or comment on the mark and certainly not to lobby for a re-mark.

If you believe that the marks for a piece of coursework (not an exam) in a module run by the Department of Economics have been totalled incorrectly, you are permitted to request an arithmetic check on the paper. We have 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 (not an exam), please complete an Assessed Work Mark Check form, which is available from the useful forms section on the Economics Hub. You should submit it, together with the marked copy of the assessed work in question, to the UG Office within seven working days of the date the assessment was made available for you to collect. We 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, we 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.


What is plagiarism?

In University Regulation 11, cheating is defined as “an attempt to benefit oneself or another, by deceit or fraud. This shall include reproducing one’s own work or the work of another person or persons without proper acknowledgement.”

We define plagiarism as a specific form of cheating: the attempt to pass off the theories, inferences, reasoning, computations or work of others as if they were your own. We also include plagiarising of one’s own work under our definition. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with individual departments’ policies on plagiarism if you are opting to take one of their modules.

Work submitted to the University of Warwick for official assessment must be all your own work and any parts that are copied or used from other people or from work you have previously submitted at Warwick or elsewhere must be appropriately acknowledged. Failure to properly acknowledge any copied work is plagiarism and may result in a mark of zero.

A significant amount of unacknowledged copying shall be deemed to constitute prima facie evidence of plagiarism, and in such cases the onus will be on you to establish otherwise. The university uses Turnitin as its plagiarism detector and all submitted work is analysed by Turnitin. The reports indicating the amount of your work that is similar to or taken from other sources is available to the marker, together with a reference to the original source.

Each year a few students step across the line that separates poor scholarship from cheating. The penalties for cheating are severe and when we detect cheating we apply them rigorously. The penalties normally range from a mark of zero on the work concerned to a smaller deduction of marks. In the most severe cases, your place on the course may be threatened. There are also wider implications that can affect your future. For example, most employers expect a job reference to confirm that an applicant is honest, to the referee’s knowledge. If you have cheated in a piece of work, your referee may be unable to provide this assurance.

All of the practices on the following list constitute plagiarism:

  • reproducing ideas from another published work without citing the source
  • reproducing words from another published work without quotation marks and a citation of the source
  • 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
  • colluding with other students to produce joint work for a non-group assessment
  • including sections from a piece of work that you have submitted previously at Warwick or another institution, including school, without referencing that you are reproducing them
  • downloading part or all of a document or ready-made essay from an internet website and pretending it is your own work
  • failure to include a complete bibliography at the end of your work.

The Department provides information regarding academic referencing and how to do it and you should check the Academic referencing section of the Handbook for details of this. In the first year, students are also required to participate in a compulsory Plagiarism Tutorial, as part of the Personal Development Module. You will find this a good source of information to understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it in practice. Further sources of information are also available through the Library and our dedicated Librarian.

Why is plagiarism penalised?

Plagiarism is damaging. It damages 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.

Plagiarism is regularly detected and penalised and the penalties are severe. 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 vast majority of students would not even contemplate any kind of plagiarism. If you are tempted, please understand that the penalties and other repercussions can be severe.

How is plagiarism penalised?

The procedure is described in University Regulation 11. The Department also has its own policy and procedure document used in the investigation of any case of suspected plagiarism.

As a summary of our Departmental plagiarism procedure, 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 Undergraduate Studies, or his/her deputy. A review of the work will take place, and you will be invited to a meeting to discuss the work and the allegation. The Director or Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies will then make a recommendation to the Head of the Department about whether plagiarism has occurred and the penalty to be exacted. Where the Head of Department decides an offence has occurred and exacts a penalty, there are a number of different types of penalty available to the Department, with a maximum penalty of a mark of zero on the relevant piece of assessed work. Alternatively, in cases involving students beyond their first year of study, in cases where the plagiarism offence is felt to be severe, or in cases where a student has previously been found guilty of some form of cheating, the Head of Department may report the matter to the Academic Registrar for consideration by an Investigating Committee of the 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 you have rights of representation and defence which are described in the regulation and departmental procedure.

It should also be noted that the Investigating Committee can, and does, refer serious cases of cheating on to the Discipline Committee. The Discipline Committee can impose further penalties, including the termination of your registration at the University.

What if I'm accused of plagiarism, but wish to appeal?

If you are accused of plagiarism, the Director or Deputy Director of Undergraduate Studies will give you the opportunity to make representations before a decision is taken.

Please note that if the Department finds that you have committed plagiarism, but you believe the Department's decision to be incorrect, you have the right to refer the matter to the Investigating Committee. A meeting of the Investigating Committee will then consider the case and take a decision as to whether it believes cheating has taken place or not. If it determines cheating has taken place, the Committee will decide on an appropriate penalty, which may or may not be the penalty previously imposed by the Department.

Students have the right to appeal against the decision/s of the Investigating Committee, but only on very specific grounds: please see Regulation 11 (6) and Regulation 11(10).

Good practice and unfair practices

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.

It is important for you to avoid the suspicion of plagiarism or cheating in your assessed work. 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. It may, however, be brought to a plagiarism meeting.

Copying or paraphrasing lecture notes, 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 journals) and reviewers (of books). Lecture notes are not subject to independent scrutiny and have no such guarantees of quality. Notes provided by lecturers should be only a starting point of your research, not your finishing point. Again, work based on lecture notes will not get a good mark.

Helping others to plagiarise or collaborate?

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 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 same will occur if you do not use the material yourself but pass it on to a third person, because without your involvment the cheating 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. 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. Your module tutor may supply you with further guidance. 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.

Other forms of cheating

There are many other kinds of cheating, including cheating in tests or exams. The following are just some types of cheating, all of which are punishable:

  • concealing information on or near your person during a test or exam and 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
  • continuing to write after you have been told to stop writing in a test or exam
  • submitting any falsified documentation.

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 can be severe.

Cheating in a class test is dealt with in the Department, but may be passed onto the Academic Registrar and the Investigating Committee. If an invigilator suspects you of cheating in a class test, the invigilator should let you know that they will be submitting a report to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Once the invigilator has warned you that a report will be made, you will be allowed to complete the test. 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 plagarism, 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. You can also access resources via the Personal Development Module's Plagiarism Tutorial and the Library. For advice on the Department's Plagiarism Procedure, please refer to the Department's Quality Assurance Manager.


Most of your assessment will be in the form of University examinations. For each exam, you are required to bring your student i.d. card and place it on your desk, so that your identity can be checked during the examination. You should avoid bringing a bag with you to the examination room, as you will not be permitted to bring it into the exam with you. The use of PDAs or mobile phones, or any other hand-held devices that facilitate wireless communication is not permissable in examination conditions.

Examination methods

Most 15 CAT Second and Final Year Economics modules are assessed under a 'standard scheme' which combines a 2-hour, closed-book, unseen examination contributing 80% of the credit for the module, with other pieces of assessed coursework contributing 20%. The number of pieces of coursework can vary from one module to another; this is indicated in the module descriptions. Some non-standard schemes apply, and you are advised to check the individual module webpages for the definitive information.

In some departments where modules are assessed by a combination of coursework and examination, examiners prohibit you from answering exam questions that overlap with coursework previously submitted. This is not the case in Economics.

In all EC-coded examination papers, you may answer any question subject to the restrictions (rubric) written on the question paper itself, regardless of the assessed work you have submitted. Modules offered by other departments have their own examination methods. It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with these, particularly regarding their rules and procedures for assessed work.

Examination dates and timetable

For non-finalist undergraduates, there are two examination periods, with the main exams being held in May/June and resit exams held in September. For finalists, there is only one examination period, in May/June. For more information on the exam periods, please see the Examinations Office website. Please note that undergraduate examinations are scheduled centrally by the Examinations Office and, as such, the Department has no control on which exams are held on which day.

It is your responsibility to check the date, time and location of your exams and ensure you are there in time. If you miss or are late to an exam, you are not permitted to sit the exam later in the day. You will receive a mark of zero.

Special arrangements for exams

If you have a properly-documented and approved need for special arrangements for your examinations (e.g. you are allowed extra time to compensate for a condition) then these arrangements can be made. If your condition will last more than 12 months, typically evidence will be provided by Disability Services. But you do still need to notify us when asked to do so - otherwise late requests may not be granted. If you have a serious condition which will affect you sitting an exam but it will last less than 12 months, you will need to send medical evidence from a doctor or hospital to the UG Office. If it is in a language other than English then an official translation is required. You must contact Disability Services by the end of the spring term to register for special arrangements. Please check the Academic Office website for specific dates.

Please contact the UG Office with the details of any special arrangement requests.

Good practice in exams

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 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 rubric rather than using past papers, as that may be out of date)
  • 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. In any case full marks ought not to be awarded for correct 'bottom line' answers - 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
  • make sure that if you use more than one answer booklet, you label them appropriately. Ensure that the separate booklets are tightly bound together so that they will not come apart before they reach the markers.
  • Other advice on how to tackle exams is available on the following websites:

Exam boards, progression and resits

Exam Boards in each of the three years fulfil different roles. The Final Year Exam Board is the most important, in the sense that as long as you pass and proceed through the earlier boards (and most students do!) then it is only in this final board that your degree class is determined.

Examination boards are obliged to adhere to Examination Regulations.

The examination regulations are designed to establish quality standards for all Warwick degrees and to ensure equity of treatment across all candidates.

The First Year Board of Examiners

The first year of all single and joint honours degree courses in Economics (except for Mathematics and Economics) is a qualifying year. If you fail to progress to the second year at the first attempt in June you have the right to make one further attempt, which normally involves a resit exam in early September.

Results are considered by a Board of Examiners for the Faculty of Social Science: i.e. decisions are taken at the level of the Faculty, not the Department. The Board's members are representatives of each department in the Social Science Faculty. Please note that all marks are provisional and may be raised or lowered by the exam board.

For candidates admitted in 2013-14 or later, the criteria for proceeding are as follows: “A candidate who achieves passes in whole modules weighted at 80 credits, who has also passed in all required modules and has also achieved an overall average mark of 40 should proceed. Note also that at the June examination board, a candidate who is not permitted to proceed, but has achieved an average of at least 40, will be required to resit all failed required core modules. You will find full conventions on the examinations website. The Board meets after the June examinations. At this time, the decisions available for each candidate on an Honours degree and taking first year exams for the first time are normally for the candidate:

  • to proceed to the second year
  • to resit exams in failed modules, normally in September.

If you have failed the criteria for proceeding to the second year, you will be given the chance to resit them. Marks are capped at 40 and only the exam will be taken into consideration (not assessments). The First Year Board of Examiners may recommend that you withdraw from the University, but you still have the right to resit. Secretaries to First Year Boards of Examiners will inform you of the modules that you are required to resit and when the resits are (normally September). If you fail your resits, you will normally be asked to withdraw from the University. Under defined circumstances you have the right to appeal against this decision. More information on the appeals process can be found online (

There is a second meeting of the Board after the September examinations. At this time, the decisions available to the Board, for each candidate on an Honours degree and resitting first year exams, are normally for the candidate:

  • to proceed to the second year
  • to be required to withdraw.

Medical and other documented information affecting performance is noted in June, but will usually affect decisions only at the September Board. This is because any student who is unable to take the June examination through illness is offered the chance to sit exams "in a first attempt" (i.e. retaining the right to resit in the event of failure) in September. It is very important that you make available to your Personal Tutor or to your Year Tutor any evidence that provides documentary support for any mitigating circumstances (usually medical) affecting your performance and to do so before the Examinations Boards meet. The Exam Board will only consider evidence that is submitted in a timely manner, unless justification for the delay is provided. Further information can be found in the Mitigating Circumstances Section of the Handbook: Section 4.11.4.

The Second Year Board of Examiners

The Second Year Board of Examiners comprises a subset of full-time members of the academic staff in the Department of Economics. It makes recommendations that are subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The Second Year Board does not classify candidates. Its only purpose is to consider whether and how candidates should proceed to the final year. The Board usually meets in the first week of the summer vacation. Please note that all marks are provisional and may be raised or lowered by the exam board. The decisions available to it are normally for each candidate:

  • to proceed to the final year of an Honours degree course
  • to resit failed modules the following June, without residence, in order to proceed to the final year but with marks capped at 40%
  • to proceed to a pass degree
  • to be required to withdraw.

If a student fails to pass 60 credits of modules and if the average is below 40%, students are permitted to resit their second year 'without residence' which means that they do not attend the University but return the following June to resit specified examinations.

In case of illness or other very special circumstances, a first attempt may be declared null and void and a subsequent first sit allowed. The University publishes rules on progression for intermediate year students.

Medical and other documentary evidence potentially affecting performance is noted by the Second Year Board and carried forward to the Final Year Board. It is not normally considered by the Second Year Board in any detail, unless special circumstances make it relevant to the Board's decision. It is very important that you make available to your Personal Tutor or to your Year Tutor any evidence that provides documentary support for any mitigating circumstances (usually medical) affecting your performance - and to do so before the Examination Boards meet. Evidence that is not provided in a timely manner and with no justification for the delay will not be considered by the Exam Board. Further information can be found in the Mitigating Circumstances Section of the Handbook: Section 4.11.4.

The Final Year Board of Examiners

The Final Year Board comprises a subset of full-time members of the academic staff in the Department of Economics, together with external examiners (three at present) appointed by the Senate. It makes recommendations that are subject to confirmation by the 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 scrutineers. Please note that all marks are provisional and may be raised or lowered by the exam board.

The Board usually meets in the last week of the Summer term and considers the results of each candidate's second- and final-year modules. The decisions available to it are normally for each candidate:

  • to be awarded an Honours degree of First, Upper second, Lower second or Third class
  • to be awarded a Pass degree
  • to resit failed modules the following June, without residence, in order to be awarded a Pass degree
  • to fail.

The Examination Board works with a set of conventions that determine your degree class in a consistent and fair way. The conventions are based partly on the average mark across all modules and partly on the profile of marks across modules. The conventions are harmonised for use in all degree courses within each Faculty and are available online.

All undergraduates currently studying in the Department will be graduated under the 'harmonised' conventions. Degree classification is related not only to your overall average (arithmetic mean) over your modules, but also to the profile of marks. There are no limits on the numbers of candidates who can obtain a particular degree classification.

Exam conventions have a language of their own. Read them carefully. Most of your questions will be answered by the fine print.

Medical and other documentary evidence potentially affecting performance across your Second and Third Years is considered by the Final Year Board. It is very important that you make available to your Personal Tutor or to your Year Tutor any evidence that provides documentary support for any mitigating circumstances (usually medical) affecting your performance - and to do so before the Examination Boards meet. Evidence that is not provided in a timely manner and with no justification for the delay will not be considered by the Exam Board. Further information can be found in the Mitigating Circumstances Section of the Handbook: Section 4.11.4.

You may also wish to read guidance on the marking scales used in the University.

If you fail a module you will not normally be allowed to resit it. In case of illness or other very special circumstances a first attempt may be declared null and void and a subsequent first sit allowed. If you fail your degree overall, you will normally be permitted to resit failed exams the following summer, without residence (which means without attending at the University), in a final attempt to obtain a pass degree (an honours degree is no longer possible).

Please see the Senate Examination and Degree Regulations on Pass degrees for more information.

Mitigating Circumstances

Extenuating or mitigating circumstances are those events which have had a detrimental effect on your capacity to study, to the point that it is in your interest to draw the 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 or event that might affect your ability to make academic progress as a consequence of the demonstrable emotional impact upon you.

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:

(i) 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.

(ii) 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.

It is important that you make the Department aware of any such event immediately after the event and provide medical evidence (as specified above), as evidence that is not submitted in a timely manner will not be admissible, unless a justification for the delay is provided.

We are aware that in some cultures it is considered shameful or embarrassing to disclose the details of these kinds of circumstances to those outside of your family. This is not the case in the prevailing UK culture and 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 your Personal Tutor or other member of staff in the first instance, you may also consider talking to a member of your SSLC, the Students’ Union, the University Dean of Students or a member of staff in Student Support for initial, informal advice.

Clearly, though, in order for your circumstances to be considered as mitigating by the Department, they must be conveyed formally to someone in the Department (the Undergraduate Office, Personal Tutor, Year Tutor, the Directors of Academic and Pastoral Support, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, for instance). We expect 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 us 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. We will do what we can to support you in difficult situations. Be assured that we treat all information in a confidential manner and our electronic filing system is secure.

If you have a particular medical or personal circumstance that is long term, you are required to submit medical evidence on a regular basis to confirm that this circumstance is still continuing. If you make us aware of a particular condition at the start of your first year and this continues throughout your degree, you should submit a medical certificate at least once every year and ideally more frequently, so we have up-to-date medical evidence should it be required.

Absence from an examination normally means a mark of zero in that examination. Exceptions to this rule are considered against the twin criteria of force majeure and evidence. If you are unlucky enough to be ill or suffer adverse circumstances (e.g. bereavement) or to be ill in such a way as to affect your performance either during the year or at exam time, you must ensure that you do the following:

  • make sure that your Year Tutor knows the circumstances
  • complete the Mitigating Circumstances form and submit it with your evidence to your Year Tutor or the UG Office. The form must be fully completed with as much information as possible
  • be sure to produce a medical certificate or other relevant documentation. If medical evidence is provided then the Board of Examiners may be able to exercise its discretion. The Board might take different sorts of action, depending on whether you are a first year, or second/final year student: it might recommend that you sit in September or the following June (as a first sit), or base a grade for a module on (possibly adjusted) assessment marks, etc. Note that self-certification, unsupported by a medical consultation, will not be acceptable in these circumstances.

Please see Regulation 12 Absence for Medical Reasons from a University Examination for First Degrees and the University’s guidance on mitigating circumstances.


Although the Examination Boards follow standard guidelines, in exceptional circumstances, they can exercise discretion when awarding a particular class of degree to take into account relevant individual circumstances such as health. However, the Boards do not exercise discretion lightly or arbitrarily, nor do they alter marks, unless specifically authorised to do so by the external examiners on academic grounds. Exercising discretion may mean placing more weight than usual on some parts of your performance than others - for example, on the final year, if the second year was known to be affected by illness.

Any departure from guidelines is always based on properly documented evidence (usually a medical certificate or counsellor's report), and taking into account the need to treat all candidates consistently and fairly. Thus the Boards do not (and do not have the right to) waive rules or adjust marks without good reason. In particular, the Boards will not award a higher degree class just because of illness if there is insufficient evidence in your record to justify the higher class.

External Examiners

One or more external examiners (i.e. examiners of professorial or equivalent status from another university) must be present at the Final Year Board and must confirm its decisions. One of the most important functions of external examiners is to ensure that the Board's decisions are fair. External Examiners also contribute towards the upkeep of standards of marking by moderating a sample of student assessments.

The role of the External Examiner is to ensure that:

  • degrees awarded are comparable in standard to those in similar degree courses in other universities in the United Kingdom
  • the assessment system is fair and is fairly operated in the classification of students
  • degrees awarded are at the appropriate level as set out in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (Chapter A1 of the UK Quality Code) and take appropriate account of the relevant Subject Benchmark Statement
  • students achieve the learning outcomes for the degrees set out in the relevant Course Specifications.

External Examiners also write a report on their views of the quality and standards of the assessments and examinations conducted in the Department and on the administrative processes behind this. The Department considers these reports at the Undergraduate Management Committee, sends a formal response back to the External Examiner, and considers how to incorporate any suggestions made into Departmental provision.

For more information on the role of External Examiners, please see the website of the Quality Assurance Agency.

Exam pass lists

Pass lists for exams are posted in University House first. You can elect to have your name withheld from the pass list. The classified pass list is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Detailed results are posted on Tabula as soon as practicable after the pass list has been posted (usually about a day). Compliance with the Data Protection Act (1998) means that we will not give out examination or assessment marks over the telephone, by email, or to any third party without your prior written permission.


The Department of Economics awards several prizes throughout the three years for outstanding performances. Previous examples have included the Deutsche Bank Prize for the top performing first-year student in Economics and the Department Examiners’ Prize for the Best Performance in Research in Applied Economics. The current prizes awarded are the following:

  • Oliver Hart prize for the best performing students (around 20 students) in the first and second years (£100 cheque).
  • Peggy Ford Memorial Prize for final year students for outstanding performance in economic history (£25 cheque).
  • Rohin Modasia Prize — An enterprising approach to economics in application to the real-world business or public sector — i.e. a practical project or a practical application of the subject making a potential usable contribution towards the wider community (promoting sustainability, alleviating poverty etc) (£150 cheque).
  • Departmental Examiners' Prize for final-year students for best performance in EC331 Research in Applied Economics (£100 cheque) and best performance in economics-based degrees (not EPAIS or PPE) (£100 cheque). The award winner(s) are chosen by the Final Year Board of Examiners and may share the prizes in some years.
  • Shiv Nath Prize (£100 cheque) for final-year students for best performance in BSc or BA in Economics, Politics and International Studies.

Examination feedback

We want to assure you that the marking and moderation for all our examinations is fair, consistent, robust and reliable and hence give you confidence that when you receive a mark, the mark has been arrived at following a detailed and rigorous process. All examination scripts have a first marker and a moderator and undergo an administrative check to ensure the marks have been totalled correctly. All results are considered by a Board of Examiners. Further details regarding the assessment procedures in the Department can be found on the Department's Assessment and Feedback webpages.

Following the decisions of the Exam Board, you will be able to access all of your marks via the Economics Hub. Following the September examination period, you will be provided with feedback from the summer exams, in the form of a break-down of the marks you obtained per question on each module and, where the number of students is large enough, the summary statistics per question and a cumulative distribution function will also be available so that you can compare your performance with others on the module. Generic feedback on summer examinations will also be provided through a summary by question covering what was generally done poorly and what was done well. Bottom line solutions to quantitative papers will also be provided as a further form of feedback. All feedback will be provided after the September examination period so that no student is advantaged and the feedback will be available for a limited period of time. The feedback is there for you to reflect on your performance, but you are not permitted to discuss the feedback with any member of staff.

If you are a student on a single honours degree based in the Department of Economics, or you are a joint honours degree student where the Department of Economics is a partner department, and you fail a core module that you are required to resit in order to progress, you will be sent can request a photocopy of your marked exam script to see how this has been marked. However, tutors or lecturers will not be able to provide further individual feedback or explanation. You will not be able to use the script to challenge marks. Please note that the moderation process may have had the effect that the final mark on your script does not coincide exactly with the marks given to each part.

While you may appeal against an exam board decision, there is no provision under the University guidelines for you to challenge the academic judgement of the examiners or to dispute the marks awarded in individual modules or pieces of work.

If you have any concerns or feedback about the examination process then please contact the Quality Assurance and Examinations Coordinator in the first instance.

Please see Section 5 for further information on feedback and raising concerns.

The appeals process

First year and intermediate-year appeals

First-year and intermediate-year undergraduates have the right to appeal only against a decision that they be required to withdraw from their course of study, and then only if they are in possession of relevant evidence which was not available to the Board of Examiners when its decision was reached. You are required to complete a form if you wish to appeal and should consult the Examinations website. An appeal must be lodged in writing within 10 days of the publication of the exam results.

Final year appeals

Under certain defined circumstances, final-year undergraduate students may appeal against the award of a particular degree class or if they have not been awarded a qualification. You are required to complete a form if you wish to appeal and should consult the Examinations website. An appeal must be lodged in writing within 10 days of the publication of degree results.

  • The appeal procedures may not be used to challenge the academic judgement of examiners nor to dispute marks awarded in individual modules or pieces of work.
  • Further appeals information and forms can be found on the Academic Registrar's webpages.