No detriment measures update

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From Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience 

Please note – this guidance is intended for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students only. If you are on an apprenticeship programme, please wait for further guidance from your department. 

Dear Students 

Following my email to you last week concerning our No Detriment measures, I wanted to provide more details on the approaches that have been developed to support the different circumstances you are facing in 2020/21.  

In keeping with guidance from our regulator, the Office for Students, and in line with many other universities, we are adapting our approaches this year to suit the specific impacts that Covid-19 has had on the whole of this academic year.  

Please find below answers to some of the key questions you have raised in recent days. 

What no detriment measures will be used this year? 

To ensure no student is disadvantaged because of Covid-19, our package of measures includes: 

  • More flexibility for coursework submissions and deadlines. 
  • No requirement for supporting evidence to prove the impact of Covid-19. 
  • An assurance that Boards of Examiners will offset the impact of the pandemic on your academic performance. 

This year’s measures reflect how the pandemic has affected students’ entire academic year rather than needing to mitigate for the sudden, unexpected changes to teaching from March 2020 onwards.  

Why is there no Safety Net calculation this year? 

Applying a University-wide Safety Net Calculation this year would not present a fair reflection of your academic abilities or your progress for the following reasons: 

  • The 2019-20 Safety Net Calculation, implemented in March 2020, was undertaken during a time of a sudden and unexpected disruption due to the pandemic and the need to move to remote learning.  
  • By March 2020, a significant proportion of you had completed sufficient assessments to calculate a fair and robust weighted average on which the Safety Net Calculation could be based.  
  • With national lockdowns taking place in November 2020 and January 2021 this year, there are insufficient marks already achieved to make the same calculation.  
  • Finally, academic staff planned this year’s modules and assessments to be suited for online delivery rather than needing to make unexpected changes to teaching partway through the year.  

What are the mitigations available to Boards of Examiners? 

Boards of Examiners already have powers to act to ensure there is no disadvantage to either individuals or groups of students. Boards consider individual performance as well as reviewing the performance of this year’s students against previous years.  

If Boards find evidence of an individual or group of students at a disadvantage, they already have several measures available to them. Last year, these measures were enhanced in response to the pandemic and these enhanced measures will be used once again this academic year. The full range of mitigation measures for Boards of Examiners will be published later in the term.  

In the meantime, please make sure that you complete any work that has been set to the best of your ability given your personal circumstances. 

I hope this has helped reassure you of our commitment to protecting your academic progress. Later in the term we will be revisiting this in our Student WebChat series. Please contact your student support team or our mailbox if you have any urgent enquiries. 

Best wishes 


Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education and Student Experience 


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