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1. How do I know what coursework and exams I have to do and when?

It is the student’s responsibility to find out what forms of assessment are required for a particular module. This includes when exams have to be sat, and what coursework has to be handed in and when. All the details should be found on the Deadlines and Feedback pages.  If you find this information is not available here, or if you find a discrepancy between information in these pages, please notify Kelly Freebury and the Module Organiser so that the confusion can be resolved.

2. What happens if I exceed the word limit on my coursework?

If you exceed the word limit, the piece of work will be marked as normal, but the grade awarded will be reduced by 10% of the available marks. You should be mindful of the fact that good work is often short and to the point and thus you should try to adopt a writing style to reflect this.

3. What happens if I fail a module?

UG Handbook - What happens if I fail a module?

4. What should I do if I think I won't be able to sit an exam?

Failure to attend an exam with no Exceptional circumstances or without Self-Certification will result in a mark of zero for that assessment. If you believe you have exceptional circumstances, contact your supervisor at the earliest opportunity to discuss. Your options are as follows:

  • Complete the self-certification form on evision BEFORE the start time of the exam. This will allow you to take the exam during the resit period. Please note that if you self-certify your absence from an exam, you cannot attempt the exam on the original date. If you want to attempt the exam, you should instead apply for Exceptional Circumstances (see next point).
  • Sit the exam but submit a Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment Claim. This is usually the best option if you feel up to sitting the exam AND you can obtain evidence of your exceptional circumstances. Information about Exceptional Circumstances can be found here: UG Handbook - Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment
  • Notify the Department formally that you are unable to sit the exam and submit either an Exceptional Circumstances Form or the self-certification form. It may be possible to resit the exam.

If you are ill on the day of an exam, you should complete the self-certification form BEFORE the exam start time.

5. What should I do if I cannot meet a coursework deadline?

Deadlines are strictly observed. Failure to hand in work by the deadline with no exceptional circumstances will result in a penalty. 10 marks will automatically be deducted when a deadline is missed, and a further 10 marks for every further 24 hours that passes. If you are ill or have other exceptional circumstances contact your supervisor at the earliest opportunity. Your supervisor will discuss your specific case with you. You will need to complete a Exceptional Circumstances form and provide evidence. The exceptional circumstances pages of the handbook provides more information on this. It is important to act straight away because, unless you are completely incapacitated (and are later able to provide evidence of this), you cannot complete the form in retrospect.

6. How are exceptional circumstances forms assessed?

Your circumstances will normally be considered by the Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment (ECA) Committee, who meet regularly. Students cannot attend these meetings. The outcome of the appraisal will be communicated via email. If your claim is not accepted, you will be informed of the reason. Your claim can only be considered if you have completed both the Exceptional Circumstances form and submitted relevant evidence to support it. Your claim will remain confidential and, within the Department, disclosed only to the committee. However, if you decide to appeal against a decision, the University’s Special Cases Committee will also see your claim and the associated evidence.

7. What are the possible outcomes of my claim?

Please see the Exceptional Circumstances pages in the UG Handbook UG Handbook - Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment

8. What should I do if I cannot attend a tutorial or practical?

Attendance at tutorials/practicals is compulsory. If you are unable to attend due to illness you should complete a self-certification of illness form (see  If you are unable to attend for a different reason, you should notify the Department in advance.

9. What should I do if I cannot attend a lecture?

In the event that you do miss a lecture, you should ensure, in advance, that someone you know and trust can take notes for you. To ensure you catch up you can also (1) look at the slides on the VLE, (2) listen to the class capture (3) do all the relevant reading.

10. Where can I find out information about the course structure

The student wiki provides all of the information on the organisation of the Department of Psychology and the way courses are organised. The VLE is the primary site for providing detailed academic content. The library can help you with finding reading materials. The Departmental website provides general information about the Department, teaching and research. If you have problems finding specific module content that cannot be accessed by any of the above methods, contact your specific Module Organiser (not the tutor or the practical organiser, usually the member of staff who delivers the lectures).

11. What should I do if my tutor or lecturer is late for a tutorial/lecture?

Wait 10 minutes and then contact reception. Reception will try to contact the tutor/lecturer, and if necessary reschedule the session. Students will be informed in advance of the time and place of the new tutorial/lecture. If a member of staff is absent for any reason, they will usually inform the Department immediately, and a message will be circulated to students. Sometimes, if there is very short notice, messages do not get through in time.

12. What is an early warning report (EWR)?

If you do not attend a compulsory lecture/tutorial/practical, or fail to submit a piece of coursework, you will be given an early warning report (EWR) unless you have a valid reason for your absence.

Receiving an EWR is a potentially serious matter. If you accrue more than 2 in a given term then you will need to discuss the matter with your supervisor. It may also prove necessary to inform the Board of Studies of the situation especially if other EWRs are issued during the course of your studies. If this arises then the Board will consider your overall pattern of performance and may then issue a formal written warning. In the most extreme cases, failure to address the concerns raised by the EWRs may lead to the Department recommending that you be withdrawn.

It is important to realize that all EWRs that are issued to you are included in your file. These may influence the kind of reference you receive when you wish to engage in voluntary work, paid employment, or future study. It is not uncommon for employers to ask about attendance and the ability to meet deadlines. 

Thus, if you ever experience difficulties with attending classes or submitting work for any reason, it is important that you speak to your supervisor at an early stage.

13. What should I do if there is a problem with one of my sessions/modules that seems to be affecting the whole class?

Talk to your Student Representatives about raising the issue with the Staff-Student Forum, so it can be looked into. If considered serious, it may be followed up by the Department Teaching Committee or the Board of Studies in Psychology. Your Student Representatives, or if necessary Departmental Staff, will report back to you the outcome of the Department’s assessment.

14. What are the participation hours for and how many do I need to gain?

Please see the 'Participation Hours' section in the Undergraduate Handbook UG Handbook - Participation Hours

15. How does assessment change from year to year?

We use a variety of assessment methods to ensure that you have mastered both the content and the skills you will need as a graduate of a BPS accredited Psychology course. Assessment methods and weightings change across the 3 (or 4) years of your course in accordance with your level of study. For example, early in the course (Years 1 and 2) the core knowledge required by the BPS is assessed predominantly in multiple choice exams. Later in the course (Years 3 and 4) there is a much greater focus on your application and evaluation of the core knowledge, assessed through open and closed essays. For information on how each stage of the course contributes to your overall mark, please see the student handbook. For information on the assessment method used in any specific module, please see the Assessment folder for that module on the VLE.

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