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Online Undergraduate Handbook

Examinations and assessment

Assessment methods

In many courses, assessment involves a combination of assessed work which may follow various formats: for example,

(i) exam and coursework
(ii) group project and presentation
(iii) exam, group project and individual presentation
(iv) open book exam and group assignment
(v) group coursework, individual coursework and group presentation
(vi) case study essay and group presentation

Similarly, a number of courses are assessed by examination only, coursework only etc.
Details of assessment requirements will be specified in detail in the full course description which you will receive detail of at the beginning of each course and will be able to download from the course Blackboard space. An overview of the assessment methods is also included in the course outline which you can find via the course unit information database on My Manchester.

Examination procedures

Your own Programme Handbook will give details of the formal examination regulations for your degree. Here we supplement these with some details of the examination procedures we follow for undergraduate courses in Alliance MBS. The Course Unit Co-ordinators set coursework and examination papers. Also, in common with all Universities, we operate a scheme of moderation by internal and external examiners.

Examination timetables

The examination timetables are drawn up centrally in the University. The University uses students' confirmed choice of courses which have been entered up on the university Student System to register students for examinations.
Students registered for examinations need to download their own individual examination timetable from the 'My Course' area of your portal 'My Manchester'. The central examinations office (based in Student Services) will send an e-mail university-wide to let students know when the timetable is available and with instructions on how to obtain your personal timetable, together with details of the location of examination rooms across the campus.

It is important that you obtain your own copy of the timetable as this gives you all the relevant details of your examinations, including your own personal seat number in each examination room. Some examinations may be split across more than one room and it is vital that you go to the correct room where each student has a pre-allocated seat.

If the details on your personal timetable are not correct you will need to complete an Examination Amendment Form which you can download here or obtained from the Student Services Centre (on Burlington Street). Your examination entry will then be amended although the new details will not appear on the student portal as alterations to the portal cannot be made once initial data has been published.

If you find an examination is missing from your timetable you should ensure that you submit an Examination Amendment Form to the Student Services Centre otherwise you will not be entered for the examination and you risk not having a seat available in the room.

Please note that examinations will be held across the whole campus, from Sackville Street to the Armitage Centre on Moseley Road in Fallowfield.

It is advisable to keep a constant check on your e-mail and on the noticeboards in case of any late announcements in respect of examinations.

Please note that, due to the number of courses offered and the complexity of the examination timetables, the full extent of the examination period will be used. This means that some examinations will be held immediately at the start of the examination period; some examinations may be timetabled on the same day or on successive days, or you may find that there is a long gap between the examinations you are taking. The University will try to ensure that students have a spread of exam dates across the examination period, however in many cases this is not possible given the Institutional constraints on the number of venues available, the number of exams that are scheduled to take place and the options available to students on any particular programme of study. Examinations can be, and often are, timetabled up to and including the last day of the second Semester. You should therefore ensure that you will be available to sit an examination up to the end of the examination period and you should not make commitments e.g. booking flights.

Extraordinarily, events may occur on the day of an examination which may cause the examination to be abandoned (e.g. evacuation due to the fire alarm sounding). In such cases the examination will be re-scheduled to another date within the same examination period. Please be aware that if you do not attend the re-scheduled examination then it is very likely that you will be required to return in the August examination period.

Whilst the University makes every effort to avoid the clustering of examinations on a student's examination timetable this is sometimes unavoidable. Please note that the University does not normally regard assessments that are scheduled close together as grounds for mitigation.

The University does not accept failure to read the timetable correctly as an acceptable reason for absence.

Examination timetables and religious observance

Students who are unable to take examinations on certain days due to their religion must report this to the Student Services Centre, Burlington Street, at the beginning of the semester in which the examinations are to take place so that this may be taken into account when scheduling your examination timetable.
For more detailed information please visit the Student Services Website.

Marking procedures and anonymous marking

All marking for University examination papers is anonymous. Therefore, your name should not appear on your work. Rather, you must enter your University ID number on the cover sheet and at the top of each page of your coursework.

An internal examiner marks every script (or assignment) once, anonymously. The Course Co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring that there are no major discrepancies across individual examination markers. The scripts are then passed to a Course Moderator who anonymously moderates a selection of scripts ensuring that there is continuity, accuracy and no systematic biases. If biases or discrepancies are detected, marks may be adjusted following consultation between the Course Co-ordinator and moderator. The Course Moderator also focuses on marginal fails and scripts that are close to compensation borderlines. Finally, we send a selection of scripts from each level two and three course to the appropriate external examiner (a senior academic from another university) with a commentary on overall performance. The external examiners are fully involved in the setting and examining of assessment and send annual reports, covering all aspects of the examination procedures, to the Vice-Chancellor.

Results

First semester results

Students will be able to view results for each component of the assessment for a course (e.g. essay, presentation, examination) via the Student System. First semester examination results are normally published on the Student System during the last week in February.

First semester results are unconfirmed results. This means that the results you are given at that time will be subject to possible change by the external examiners (if applicable) and/or the Boards of Examiners held in the summer.

Feedback on Examinations: Course Coordinators are expected to provide some form of generic feedback on overall examination performance for posting on the course's Blackboard space.

Feedback on coursework assessment: You should receive information from the Course Coordinator in the full course description on the process for receiving feedback on your coursework assessment.

End of year results

We DO NOT give results over the telephone under any circumstances, so please do not telephone Undergraduate Services or get friends or relatives to do so on your behalf as stopping to tell people that we cannot give the results over the phone just slows up the processing of results.

Students will be able to view and print a transcript of their end of year results via the Student System. These will be available once the Board of Examiners' meetings have taken place in the summer. Students will be notified closer to the time with specific information.

Adverse circumstances affecting examination performance

If you have any illness or other personal difficulties, which may affect your BMaP work during the year, your revision or examination performance, this should be reported in writing, with appropriate medical or other supporting evidence, to your Programme Administrator in your home School, when it occurs. You should also let the relevant Programme Administrator n Alliance MBS know (Hannah Cousins for BMaP and MEC courses). Full details of the requirements for reporting matters which you wish the Examinations Board to take account are given in your own Programme Handbook and it is vital, if this applies to you, that you read this section most carefully. 

University policy states that requests for mitigation submitted after the published date for the beginning of an assessment period will not be considered without a credible and compelling explanation as to why the circumstances were not known, or could not have been shown, before the beginning of the assessment period. If you are experiencing circumstances leading up to an assessment period it is your responsibility to ensure you let the School know prior to the start. In 2016/17 the start date of the assessment periods are:

16th January for semester 1;

18th May for semester 2;

21st August for the resit exam period

If you experience circumstances that have arisen during the course of an assessment period an application should be submitted within one working day of the end of that assessment period.

Not informing the University of circumstances due to personal feelings, e.g., shame, embarrassment and pride, or having concerns over the confidential treatment of requests for mitigation, are not considered to be credible and compelling explanations as to why the circumstances could not be made known or shown before the beginning of the assessment period.

Resit examinations (for first and second year students only)

The University of Manchester policy concerning the location of resit examinations is that resit examinations are taken only at the University of Manchester campus and under no circumstances will arrangements be made for students to take resits at any other location than the University of Manchester.

The resit examination period is set by the University's Examinations Office. This has been set for 21st August to 1st September in 2017. The exact dates of the individual resit examinations are published by the University Student Services Centre, on the Student Portal via My Manchester, usually towards the end of July. No resit examinations are held at any times other than those published by the Student Services Centre.

The University charges a set fee (£75) for entry to resit examinations; this fee covers all resits taken by a student in any one year.