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Mark scales

All marks awarded within the Department of Psychology are on the University mark scale 0-100. Marks formally communicated to students are entered into final spreadsheets and used for academic transcripts are on the University 0-100 scale.

Scaling of MCQ marks

The marks from each MCQ exam are scaled according to the University’s procedures, as described in Appendix K of the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback.

The purpose of scaling is to ensure that all MCQ exams are appropriately calibrated to the University Marking Scale, and thereby to guarantee equivalence of weighting across different Modules.

Recording marks

Formative and summative marks are recorded on e-vision and are available to individual students (your own marks) and to academic and administrative staff in the Department.

Marking Procedures for each Type of Assessment

Marking procedures are dependent upon the progression stage, and the type of assessment. The following marking procedures are used for each type of assessment:

MCQ closed exams, Research Methods VLE tests (Years 1 and 2)

  • Marking is anonymous
  • MCQ exams are marked by computer and the University scaling algorithm is applied (see below).
  • VLE tests for the Research Methods strand are marked by computer

Practicals/ Open Essays (Years 1 and 2)

  • Marking is anonymous
  • Practicals and essays are marked according to the grade descriptors listed below, using a system of moderated marking
  • Marking is performed by a team of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) and one or more faculty members (typically the Module Organiser) working in the same room and consulting each other in cases where questions about how to interpret and apply the marking guidelines arise. In this way consistent procedures are applied to a piece of work, with members of faculty overseeing all marking procedures, and taking responsibility for marking standards and all moderation of provisional marks
  • Details of the process of moderated marking ("table marking") are as follows. Faculty meet with GTAs to discuss marking criteria, then they each mark a sample of scripts and agree marks for these and iron out any discrepancies in how criteria are applied. GTAs then mark all scripts together (table marking) over 3 or 4 sessions, with faculty on call to provide support. Faculty then moderate the marked scripts by checking a representative 10% sample of all scripts spanning a range of marks within the 1st, 2.1, 2.2 and 3rd class boundaries. In addition, all scripts awarded a fail are marked by faculty. Significant errors in marking identified by faculty at this stage will result in the complete set of work being remarked.

Mini-projects (Years 1 and 2)

  • Marked by members of faculty and GTAs

Closed essay exams (Years 3 and 4)

  • Marking is anonymous
  • Third and fourth year summative essay exams involve moderated marking. The module leader will normally first mark the work and complete the mark-sheets. These will be passed on to the second marker who will inspect a subset of scripts spanning a range of marks. If the second marker approves the marking standards, the first marker’s grades will stand. If the second marker feels that the marking requires further attention, the module can be fully second marked. Modules running for the first time are always fully second marked.

Literature Survey (Year 3)

    • Literature surveys are marked independently by two members of staff, one of whom is normally the dissertation supervisor and the other of whom is unaware of the student's identity. Markers do not have sight of each other's comments and marks until the process of agreeing the mark. The final internal mark is agreed by consultation between the two markers, with additional commentary provided in the event of a significant discrepancy (defined as a difference in marks of 10% or more that also crosses a degree class boundary, or marks crossing the pass/fail boundary). If no agreement can be reached, the piece of work and the comments of the two internal markers are considered by a third marker allocated by the Chair of the Board of Examiners or Chair of Board of Studies.

Projects (Years 3 and 4)

    • Project dissertations are marked independently by two members of staff, one of whom is normally the dissertation supervisor and the other of whom is unaware of the student's identity. Markers do not have sight of each other's comments and marks until the process of agreeing the mark. The final internal mark is agreed by consultation between the two markers, with additional commentary provided in the event of a significant discrepancy (defined as a difference in marks of 10% or more that also crosses a degree class boundary, or marks crossing the pass/fail boundary). If no agreement can be reached, the piece of work and the comments of the two internal markers are considered by a third marker allocated by the Chair of the Board of Examiners or Chair of Board of Studies.

Combining marks within individual modules

Where marks are combined within a module the percentage for each piece of work is given on the relevant module assessment page.

External Examiners

The Department appoints two external examiners. Their role is to ensure that assessment policies and procedures are fair and fairly operated, that principles of clarity, equity, consistency and openness are observed, that assessment methods are appropriate, that the structure and content of programmes of study are appropriate, and to ensure comparability of standards with other similar institutions.  External examiners receive and approve drafts of all summative assessments, scrutinise submitted summative work and take part in the Board of Examiners.  Their comments are considered as part of the University’s Annual Programme Review process by University Teaching Committee.


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