The ‘safety net’ is a package of measures to ensure that undergraduate students are not disadvantaged by unfamiliar and new types of assessment (such as online exams, open book exams) and teaching, as well as any other personal circumstances arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have taken account of developments at other Russell Group universities, and have developed a package of support that is specific to the structure of Warwick degrees and the volume of assessment already undertaken by the time the Covid-19 pandemic seriously impacted teaching and assessment at the University.
The safety net package consists of:
- An automatic 2 week deadline extension for assessments in progress (initiated before 13 March 2020).
- The ability to self-certify twice (from 13 March 2020) for extensions to assessment deadlines of 5 university working days each (on top of the two week extended deadline if necessary), without the need for evidence.
- Resit or further first attempt opportunities for intermediate and final year students in September if you do not meet the requirements to graduate (final year students) or progress (intermediate year students).
- A new right to request deferral of all of your assessments where you know in advance that your circumstances prevent you from completing your assessment and where your Senior Tutor is satisfied that it is in your best interests to defer.
- The development of a new update to the mitigating circumstances portal (found on Tabula in the personal circumstances tab or MyWBS), which allows submission of mitigation with relaxed evidence requirements. This removes the difficulty and stress of obtaining evidence and the burden on the NHS or other health and wellbeing systems for providing it.
- The ability to explain how personal circumstances may have impacted the production of your thesis, dissertation, laboratory, consultancy or other major research projects (including the inability to access data, undertake surveys or other important resources). Exam boards will be able to take this into account when assessing your degree outcomes. Departments may have developed particular approaches to collecting this information already or, if not, you can submit the information via the mitigating circumstances portal (found on Tabula in the personal circumstances tab or MyWBS).
- A commitment that our changes to assessment methods in Term 3 will not disadvantage either intermediate or final year students when their final degree classifications are awarded. For final years we ensure this by introducing the ‘graduation benchmark’, which departments will calculate at final year Exam Boards. We have published guidance on how this applies for current intermediate year students and how this applies for current final year students. Students must pass enough module credits to graduate in order for the graduation benchmark to apply.
Exceptions for accredited and regulated degrees
Certain courses are subject to external standards or regulation which may not permit application of all aspects of the safety net in full (such as the graduation benchmark). Where this is the case the University is working with these professional bodies to determine the best approach that protects the accreditation of the course. This is especially important for students wishing to go into regulated professions. Where it is not possible to apply the full safety net for these reasons, your department will confirm this to you.