Deferring Assessments

 

Cardiff University’s  Extenuating Circumstances policy and procedure allows students who are not able to attend examinations or meet assessment deadlines to “defer” assessments. This means that you will be given the opportunity to take the assessment at a later date. The deferred assessment will be considered a 1st attempt (or 2nd/3rd attempt if you have previously failed).

 

If you ask to defer your spring and/or autumn semester assessments and this is accepted, you will normally be offered the opportunity to undertake the assessments during the August of that academic year. Be aware that some health care programmes have in year re- assessments. 

 

If you decide to defer the assessments in August, then you will be required to repeat your year of study as an internal or external student.

 

The resit period for exams (or alternative timed assessments) is usually during the second two weeks of August but this can vary from year to year. You can check  the resit examination period here.

 

Whether or not to request the deferral is an important decision as there may be implications in terms of academic progression, finances and visa, as well as your degree classification and holidays.

 

If you do not defer and do not sit/submit the assessment

 

If you do not request permission to defer an assessment or examination using the extenuating circumstances procedure and you do not sit/submit the assessment by the deadline, you will receive a zero mark and fail the assessment. Any re-assessments will be deemed as incremental attempts (i.e. 2nd, 3rd) and will be capped at the pass mark. You should be offered another attempt at the assessment in accordance with the rules of your programme. Subject to being able to continue on a programme:

  • an undergraduate student is permitted three attempts to achieve the award of credit in a module (a first attempt and two re-assessment attempts);
  • a postgraduate student is permitted two attempts to achieve the award of credit in a module (a first attempt and a re-assessment attempt).

 

The only way to challenge an incremental attempt and a capped mark is to submit an academic appeal at the end of your academic year (within 28 days of receiving your formal results trancript). This can be a very difficult challenge to make and you will be required to provide very good reason why you could not make the University aware of your circumstances prior to, or at the time of, the affected assessment.

 

If you do not defer and do submit

 

If there are circumstances that are severe, exceptional, unavoidable and likely to impact on your performance, it may be better to use the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure to request that the assessment is deferred. 

 

If you attempt the assessment you are declaring yourself fit to do so. If you achieve a low pass, this low pass will count towards your degree classification. As above, if you fail, any re-assessments will be deemed as incremental attempts (i.e. 2nd, 3rd) and will be capped at the pass mark. You should be offered another attempt at the assessment in accordance with the rules of your programme. Subject to being able to continue on a programme:

  • an undergraduate student is permitted three attempts to achieve the award of credit in a module (a first attempt and two re-assessment attempts);
  • a postgraduate student is permitted two attempts to achieve the award of credit in a module (a first attempt and a re-assessment attempt).

 

What about the Safety Net?

 

From 16th March 2020 to the end of the 2020 August resit period, a Safety Net 2019/20 was applied to all University assessment to ensure that students’ academic interests would be protected in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 

The University have since created new Safety Net 2020/21, that differs from the first and is aimed at those graduating in 2021.

 

Our current understanding is that there is no Safety Net Policy being applied to students who graduate after 2021.

 

I am on a postgraduate taught programme. If I defer my taught assessments, can I progress to the dissertation stage?

 

In most cases postgraduate taught students must pass the taught stage of the programme before they can progress to the dissertation stage. If you decide to defer an assessment it is likely that you will not be able to start work on your dissertation and receive supervision until you have passed any deferred assessments. This will usually be in the September after the August resit period.

 

In our experience, when this happens the deadline to submit the dissertation will be pushed back to the December or January.  International Students need to be aware that there may be an impact on a student visa and should seek advice from International student Support through Student Connect.  If there is likely to be a financial impact, you can seek advice from from the Money and Funding Advice Service, who are also available through Student Connect.

 

In some cases, you may be permitted to start work on your dissertation if you have only a very small amount of  credits outstanding. We would recommend that you contact your programme lead or personal tutor to find out if this an option.  

 

Will the deferred assessment be in the same form as the original assessment?

 

This can vary between Schools, programmes and assessments. It is possible that you may be given the same assessment title twice, for example this may be the case if you are deferring your dissertation. However, it is also possible that you may be offered a new whole new assessment or question.

 

What happens if I fail a deferred assessment?   

 

In order to progress to the next stage of study, you must pass a specific number of credits. This number varies between courses.

 

If your assessment is deferred due to Extenuating Circumstances (coursework or examination) to the summer resit period and you subsequently fail, you may not be able to progress to the next academic year if you do not have the sufficient number of credits.

 

It is not usually possible for the University to permit further re-assessment during an academic year except in very exceptional circumstances. The next opportunity to attempt the assessment(s) in question, is likely to be during the next academic year.

 

If you cannot progress you will be required to repeat the year. Repeating a year of study can impact on many things, such as eligibility to receive student finance, sponsorship, visas for international students, as well as degree classification. More information on repeating a year can be found here.

 

How many credits to I need to progress?

 

As above, this will depend on your level and programme of study. Your School Office or Personal Tutor will be able to confirm the number of credits you will need to pass to progress to the next stage of your programme of study.  The information should also be in your School or programme handbook.

 

What is the maximum number of assessments I can defer?

 

You can defer as many assessments as you can demonstrate are being impacted by extenuating circumstances. However, there is a limit on how many credits you can complete in the August resit period.

 

The maximum number of credits you will be able to defer will depend on your programme of study.  The maximum can be up to 60, but some programmes this will be as few as 30 credits. You will need to check your course hand book or programme regulations to confirm the re-assessment rules for your programme.

 

When assessments are deferred due to an extenuating circumstance, the Exam Board might permit you to resit or resubmit more than the permitted number of credits, but there is no guarantee this will be agreed.  

 

It is very important to be aware that the August re-assessment period is only 2 weeks long.  Think about how many exams or timed assessments you would be able to undertake in this period of time.

 

If you have deferred more credits that you are permitted to sit in the August resit period, then you may find that you are required to sit/submit these assessments in the next academic year, before progressing to the next stage of your programme.

 

On this note, if you have a student visa, it is important that you take your time limit to remain in the UK into consideration before deferring your assessments. If you are required to repeat the year, but this is not permitted by your Visa, this may become a barrier to completing your programme. Student Advice cannot advise on Visa related issues, and for more information and guidance on this matter, you must speak to International Student Support via Student Connect.

 

If I defer assessments in my final year can I graduate with my cohort?

 

If you are required to pass the assessment, or have not achieved enough credits to graduate you will not be able to graduate with your cohort. Most students will be offered the opportunity to attend graduation in the summer of the following year. You will receive your transcript confirming your degree classification in the September flowing the resit period. 

 

Timeframe to complete your programme of study

 

The time limit for a student to complete his/her Programme shall be normally no more than two years beyond the normal duration of the Programme as indicated in these Senate Regulations or three years for students undertaking an intercalated degree year. This period may be extended by the Academic Standards and Quality Committee on the recommendation of the Board of Medical Studies under exceptional circumstances. If you have previously repeated a year of taken and Interruption of Study you may be out of time to complete your course.  If this is an issue for you it is very important to seek advice before you decide to defer an assessment. 

 

How might my student finance be effected?

 

If you defer assessments to the August re-assessment period, then your student finance will not be affected. If you defer August re-assessments to the following academic year then your student finance is likely to be effected. It is very important to discuss the implications of deferring August resit assessments with the University’s Student Funding and Advice team.

 

Does it cost to re sit exams or resubmit course work?

 

You will not have to pay additional fees to resit exams or resubmit course work during the August re-assessment period or during the current year of study. If you are required to repeat the academic year, there will be financial implications that you need to be aware of. 

 

How much does it cost to repeat a year?

 

This will depend on whether you repeat as an internal or external student and your fee status.  More information can be fund here.

 

However you decide to proceed is likely to implicate your student funding; we would strongly encourage you to speak to the Money and Funding Advice Service before making this decision.

 

Pre booked holidays

 

If your request to defer an assessment is approved, then you will be required to attempt the re-assessments at the next available opportunity. If you are unable to sit/submit on the new date, then you will need to make your School aware by submitting Extenuating Circumstances. In our experience, the University will not consider a pre-booked holiday as a good enough reason for a further deferral. As such, if you do not attend the assessment, and your extenuating circumstances are rejected, you are likely to be awarded a mark of zero.

 

Contact Student Advice

Advice@cardiff.ac.uk
+44 (0)2920 781410

 

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