Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
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Undergraduate COVID Mitigation Package of Education Measures 2020/21

In March 2020 we introduced a package of measures designed to ensure that students experienced no disadvantage due to the rapid movement to online teaching, learning, and assessment necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. We have since invested in developing a blended approach to teaching, learning and assessment to ensure the quality of the student experience which will allow individual students to be able to achieve successful outcomes, no matter where they are in the world. Circumstances this year are therefore different to last year in that we are all better prepared for online learning and assessment. Nevertheless, we recognise that the continuing pandemic, and particularly the recent move to a further lockdown in the UK, may be impacting on you and your studies. Taking account of an agreed set of principles across our Russell Group peer institutions, and in consultation with and support from the Students’ Union, a package of support has been agreed which is designed to mitigate the ongoing aspects of the pandemic. This is specific to the structure of Warwick degrees and the volume of assessment undertaken by students and reflects the circumstances of the current year. The summary below provides an outline of the measures for the academic year 2020-21.

On this page you will find information about:

Examinations and Assessments

First Year Undergraduate Students

  • We will offer further first sit and resit opportunities (expected to be held in September) for all failed core modules required for progression into year 2. Departments will inform you in due course of the required core modules that need to be passed. In addition, you should be reassured, that any student who has achieved passes in all required core modules and who has achieved an overall average mark of 40 but has not passed other modules totalling the required credits to progress, may still be permitted to proceed, where the Board of Examiners is satisfied that the candidate’s performance demonstrates sufficient knowledge, understanding and skills in modules relevant to the degree programme to justify progression. There may be some courses accredited by external professional, statutory and regulatory bodies, known as PSRB’s (e.g. Medicine, Engineering, Degree Apprenticeships) where these rules may be different. If this is the case Departments will inform you over the next few weeks.
  • You are able to defer an assessment period (normally an examination period), where a Senior Tutor is satisfied that it is in your best interest (and if you agree). The board will allow a resit (or first sit) at the next available opportunity (normally the September examination period). Students should contact the Departmental Senior Tutor in the first instance if they wish to be considered for a deferral.
  • Examination Boards have discretion to allow progression where students have missing marks due to medical reasons and this will continue to be applied this year.

Intermediate Year Undergraduate Students

  • As last year, we will continue to offer further first sit and resit opportunities in the September resit period for intermediate year students if you have failed modules and have mitigation or if you do not meet the requirements to progress to the next year of study.
  • You are able to defer an assessment period (normally an examination period), where a Senior Tutor is satisfied that it is in the your best interest (and if you agree). The examination board will allow a resit (or first sit) at the next available opportunity (normally the September examination period). Students should contact the Departmental Senior Tutor in the first instance if they wish to be considered for a deferral.
  • Examination Boards have discretion to allow progression where students have missing marks due to medical reasons and this will continue to be applied this year.

Final Year Undergraduate Students

  • We will continue to offer further first sit and resit opportunities in the September resit period for final year students if you have failed modules and have mitigation or if you do not meet the requirements to graduate.
  • To ensure student outcomes are consistent with that of previous pre-COVID years, Examination Boards will analyse the distribution of marks across modules and, where appropriate, will be able to make adjustments at the module level to ensure comparability of outcomes.
  • Examination boards have discretion to adjust classification outcomes for students where there is evidence that mitigating circumstances have impacted on performance.
  • You are able to defer an assessment period (normally an examination period), where a Senior Tutor is satisfied that it is in the your best interest (and if you agree). The examination board will allow a resit (or first sit) at the next available opportunity (normally the September examination period). Students should contact the Departmental Senior Tutor in the first instance if they wish to be considered for a deferral.
  • A continued guarantee that for students graduating in 2020/21 their final graduating degree classification will not be adversely affected by the rapid move to online assessment and teaching arrangements taken between 13/3/20 - 4/10/20 of the 2019/20 academic year. This was ensured through the introduction of the ‘graduation benchmark’ in 2020 which departments will calculate at final year Exam Boards in 2020/21.
  • Dissertations and Projects: Given the ongoing constraints arising from the pandemic, you will need to take this into consideration when developing your dissertation topic and research methodology. Where research for a dissertation or project is already underway and has been impacted by Covid-19, (e.g. a lack of access to relevant resources, the impact of library and archive closures, lack of access to laboratories, difficulties in undertaking fieldwork or a lack of internet access due to working from home) please discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible. There are also opportunities to apply for extensions or to provide evidence of mitigating circumstances (see above).

Extensions

All Years

  • We have introduced an automatic blanket 1-week extension for eligible assessments where submission deadlines have already been announced and are currently scheduled between the 11/01/2021 – 1/02/2021. This is to mitigate the rapid changes required to students’ plans around accommodation and travel back to campus which have had to change and the new lockdown of 5/1/21 has necessitated. There may be some exceptions to the blanket 1-week extension if the assessments are time dependent (e.g. tests, examinations, and weekly homework) or for PSRB accreditation requirements. Departments will inform students which assessments are not covered by this blanket extension rule. However, students still have the right to ask for an extension or self-certification on top of these new rules if they need it. Departments have been asked to show flexibility in granting extensions due to the current situation. The University in collaboration with the Student Union will continue to monitor the situation over the next month.
  • Students who have reasonable adjustments of flexible deadlines from Wellbeing Support Services will still have this additional flexibility on top of any self-certification or blanket 1-week extension.
  • If you have submitted an assessment late, but have appropriate mitigation (e.g. if there was a failing in IT or there was a need for childcare which affected submission, or other Covid related issues), it is possible that through the Mitigating Circumstances process, a recommendation can be made to Examination Boards that any late penalties be removed.

Mitigation

All Years

  • The mitigating circumstances portal (found on Tabula in the personal circumstances tab or MyWBS), allows submission of general mitigation and COVID-19 specific mitigation claims Clear guidance for evidence where it is available is provided. For 2020/21 the University will continue to be sympathetic to claims where it has not been possible to obtain evidence and sufficient explanation has been provided. Examination Boards will consider mitigation claims when deciding resit, progression and graduation classification decisions.
  • Lack of or failings in IT equipment (including broadband capability) are included as legitimate mitigation claims. Specific time in on-line examinations will be provided to cover any issues with IT equipment. Issues with accommodation which impacts study, the need to prioritise childcare or other issues arising due to lockdown are also legitimate mitigating circumstances. Examination boards can remove late penalties if required through mitigation.