Our approach to preventing academic disadvantage due to Covid-19

We want you to be proud of your degree and the hard work that you have put into your studies. We are committed to ensuring that the value and academic standard of your degree is as good as that achieved by students prior to Covid-19. This is why we have put a number of approaches in place to prevent academic disadvantage.

Removing barriers before study commenced

Lecturers used 12 University Agreed Principles to review your courses which ensures that they:

  • could be delivered at a distance, and
  • that you would have access to the resources you need (electronic access to core reading; equipment loan etc)

In many programmes, temporary changes were made:

  • to the approaches used in helping you learn, and
  • to the assessment methods

The outcome is to reduce the impact of the additional challenges caused by Covid-19 and studying away from campus.

Many of these changes were made as a result of student feedback. Changes were also overseen by a University-level Approvals Group to ensure that the quality of your courses was maintained.

One size does not fit all

The pandemic and its disruption will have impacted you all very differently and as a result we have not continued the 'blanket approach' to applying extenuating circumstances this academic year.

However, the University Fit to Sit and Extenuating Circumstances Procedure is available for all students to use if you have been adversely affected. If you need additional support or an extension on your assessments you can contact your Programme Leader to explain your situation.

Mechanisms to ensure robust assessment

We have set processes which ensure the validity and reliability of course assessment and marking. These remain fit for purpose in preventing academic disadvantage:

  • Checks are undertaken to exam papers ensuring that they are fair and appropriate.
  • When marking assessments, processes are in place to ensure that the grades are in-line with the assessment criteria.
  • Samples of assessments from modules at level 9 and above (or where the marks contribute to your degree outcome) are shared with external examiners (lecturers/professors from other Universities) to ensure that the standard of marking and of our awards is comparable to that in other Universities.
  • We use a range of evidence to compare grade profiles for a module which highlights if a module appears to be unusual and requiring investigation. This can lead to all marks in a module being adjusted (a process with requires approval from the Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching). This stage is intended to address any consequences arising from the changes made to assessment in response to Covid-19 disruption.


We are closely monitoring outcomes from Examination Boards to ensure that students are performing similarly to pre-Covid times. Evidence to date has raised no concern that the standards of our awards have been impacted.