School of Computer Science

Assessment Information


The basic unit of assessment is the module. The overall Year Mark is the weighted average of the module marks. The weight of a module is directly related to its credit value. A module with 20 credits has twice the weight of a 10 credit module.

To progress from one year to another, students must normally have accumulated a certain number of credits and have passed the necessary modules listed in the degree regulations. The minimum number of credits for progression is 100 (out of 120) credits. This is a number that is set centrally for the whole of the University.

Types of Assessment

Assignments set and marked during the semester make up what we call continuous assessment. This not only allows you to monitor your performance on the course, but most of the time, the marks you obtain count towards a percentage of your final module mark. This is a good thing because by keeping up with your coursework you can substantially lower the threshold required for passing the summer exam. The downside is that by not completing continuously assessed work, you are actually raising the exam threshold.

Continuously assessed work is submitted electronically via Canvas. Your lecturer will confirm for each of your modules. Very occasionally work will be handed in to the Teaching Support Office via drop off post boxes. In the latter case, you must sign the declaration on the cover sheet regarding plagiarism. You will receive a receipt for your submission - keep your receipt safe in case you suspect that your submission got lost.

The online system will send a digitally signed email, which will include details and hashes of the files you have submitted.

Lecturers will always publish the deadline for submission with each assignment that is given out, and will state the penalties that are applied for late submission. For small pieces of work the penalty is usually that you don't receive any credit at all.

Once a piece of assessed work has been submitted to the school, no part of it may be withdrawn or replaced for any reason.

In the programming workshop and various team projects you will have to attend a viva (that is, a life interview with a tutor) in which to present and explain your work. Take them seriously and be prepared for the examiner's questions. Think about presentation as well as content. Not only will this help you get a better mark, it also exercises and develops your presentation skills.

The School strives to return marked work to you as quickly as possible. For weekly assignments this usually means that you get your work back within one week. Where there are only a few assignments per semester, and where the lecturer has no assistance in marking them, you should expect the results within two weeks.

At the end of the academic year, around the beginning of May, you will sit final exam papers. These typically count for 80-100% of your final module mark. You will have the four weeks of the Easter Break and the first two weeks of the Summer Term to revise for them. For each module there is at least one scheduled Revision Lecture at the beginning of the Summer Term. In our experience, though, these come too late for students with serious gaps in their understanding. This is yet another way of saying that there is no alternative to working continuously in each module as it is presented. Past papers to some modules are available from the University's Examinations Office at exam paper but please note that a change of lecturer from one year to the next can make these quite irrelevant.

Failure to Achieve Credit

First or Second Year

Students who fail to achieve credit in First or Second Year modules at the first attempt, have the right to one further opportunity for assessment - typically (but not always) in the same form as the main assessment. Note that you are strictly limited to one opportunity to retrieve a failure. Resit examinations take place in late August / early September of each year. The maximum recorded mark for a module following successful re-assessment is limited to 40%.

It also possible that the School will ask you to repeat a module. In this case you have to take the module again in the next academic year, including continuous assessment and examination. Again, the maximum recorded mark is 40%. If you fail a significant number of modules you may want to explore the possibility of repeating the module in the following academic year (rather than resitting it in August/September). If you want to do that then you have to ask for it in writing (with a dated and signed letter; e-mail is not sufficient).

Final Year

Students who fail to achieve credit in Final Year modules do NOT have a resit opportunity. Note that Years 3 and 4 of MEng and MSci programmes are considered both final years, and this rule applies to both.

MSc students

For students on MSc programmes the pass mark is 50%. All exams (and the project) only have have one resit/repeat opportunity.

If you receive 49-40%, this will disallow the award of a merit or distinction

If you receive under 40%, this is a fail and will mean failure of the entire programme.