Assessment

We know how important assessment is to our students and we want to make sure that you have all of the information that you need so that you understand how we assess your work. Your course leader and personal tutor are useful sources of advice and guidance regarding the issues relating to assessment on your particular course. An explanation of the assessment process is provided in the student handbook, and further details are provided below.

In higher education, 'assessment' describes any process that appraises an individual's knowledge, understanding, abilities or skills. The ways in which you will be assessed at the University of Wolverhampton will:

  • allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes of your course and modules;
  • enable you to reflect on your performance, following timely, meaningful and useful feedback;
  • encourage you to identify your strengths and weaknesses so that the level of achievement can be measured and recorded

Over the course of your studies you will be assessed in lots of different ways which will be relevant to your subject area.

During your studies you will encounter two main types of assessment activities:

Formative
(informal)


Assessment activities that provide you with feedback.  The marks and grades for these assessment activities do not contribute towards the module mark and grade.  Formative assessment activities are useful to provide you with feedback to let you know how you are doing.  Sometimes the format of a formative assessment activity will be the same as the summative assessment activity for the module, in order to prepare you and ensure that you are familiar with the summative assessment task

Summative
(formal)

Assessment activities where the mark you receive will contribute towards completion of your modules

 

You will receive feedback throughout your course. At times this feedback will relate to a particular piece of work and the mark you have been awarded for it (see below), but it also may come in the form of more general advice and guidance from members of staff. In both cases the feedback you are given will help you to develop your thinking and/or practice in relation to your subject area.

How we assess your work

 

 

Click on the headings below to find out more:

Assessment brief written

Assessment briefs are summaries of each assessment activity that you will be asked to complete for your modules.  Assessment briefs provide important information such as: submission date; size of the assessment (e.g. word limits); weighting of an activity (if there is more than one assessment point for your module); additional information that you will need in order to complete the assessment activity successfully.

Internal review

All assessment briefs have to be approved by University reviewers to ensure that they are appropriate, inclusive, and provide all students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the relevant learning outcomes of the module.

External review

All approved assessment briefs are sent to academic staff from a different University (known as External Examiners), who provide an independent opinion of the proposed assessment. At this stage, the External Examiners have to approve the assignment brief before you receive it at the start of your modules.

Assessment unpacking

In the first few weeks of a module, you will be given an opportunity to discuss the details of the assessment brief to ensure that you understand the tasks that have been set. You will share your understanding of the assessment brief with the tutor who will be able to address any queries and provide clarification.

Anonymous submission

Where possible, your work will be submitted anonymously.  The nature of some assignments means that anonymous submission is not possible (e.g. presentations, practical examination, oral examinations). When academic staff mark your work you will only be identified by your student number, and not by your name.  This is done to avoid any unintentional bias when your work is marked.

Marking

Each piece of submitted assessment will receive a percentage mark. Your marks will relate to performance descriptors which outline the generic characteristics of a piece of work at your level of study.  

 

Undergraduate

 

Classification

Percentage Mark

Pass grade

First

>70

Upper Second

60

Lower Second

50

Third

40

Re-sit / retake required

N/A

<39

 

Postgraduate

Pass grade

Distinction

>70

Merit

60

Pass

50

Re-sit / retake required

N/A

<49

Moderation

To ensure consistency of marking across a module, every assessment activity is moderated by an independent member of staff (i.e. a member of staff who is not part of the module teaching team).  The role of the moderator is to ensure that the marks are at the appropriate level and that the feedback provided to you is appropriate, supportive and will allow you to develop and enhance your future work.

Feedback to students

You will be provided with your percentage mark and some feedback comments.  The feedback will provide an explanation for why your work has been given a particular mark.  It will also explain how you could improve this mark in future assessment tasks.

External grade approval

The External Examiner will look at a sample of work from each module.  At this stage, the role of the External Examiner is to ensure consistency of marking within the module and that the level of the work is equivalent to that at other universities in the country.

Assessment Boards

You percentage mark remains unconfirmed until it has been considered by an Assessment Board.  The role of the Assessment Board is to receive and confirm the marks for your work, whilst applying our academic regulations to ensure our assessment processes have been consistent and fair. Assessment Boards are chaired by a senior independent member of staff and take into account comments that have been made by the External Examiner.

Classification

All your assessments will contribute to the receipt of University credits.  When combined, these credits result in the achievement of an award (see table above and University Academic Regulations 2016-2017 (PDF 420K, Downloads file) for further details).  The type of award depends upon the course on which you have enrolled.

Some awards use different classifications to recognise the level of achievement.  The award classification can be used by some employers as a way of selecting applicants for jobs.

If you need any help to understand your mark or your feedback, contact Faculty Student Services or visit the Results Support webpages.

Academic Appeals

The University Academic Appeals procedure is in place to enable students to appeal against the decisions of an Assessment Board, for example where a grade has been recorded incorrectly or there has been or an error in the application of the University regulations in a decision regarding progression, completion or classification.  Visit the Academic Appeals webpages for further details.

 

Find out more in our Student Student Handbook 2017/18 (PDF 1,725K, Downloads file)

Read more about our Academic Regulations 

Access more information on our Skills for Learning support 

Download the Assessment Journey (PDF 194K, Downloads file)