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11 February: Important Covid-19 update: Safety-net policy details announced

In response to the ongoing impact of the extended Covid-19 lockdown on your learning and teaching, we’re pleased to announce our ‘safety-net’ policy. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding during these past few weeks while we worked on the details and guidance explained in this update. DMU appreciates the input you have made to our student questionnaires and is responding to the points you raised. Below, you can see a summary of why we’ve introduced a ‘safety-net’, the key principles on which it will operate and how the policy may affect and support you. Please read the whole update carefully.

Why are we introducing a new safety-net policy?

DMU is committed to helping you reach your academic potential and protecting the academic standards, rigour and lasting quality of your learning outcomes and your eventual degree. As explained in previous updates, the experiences of the last academic year meant we had already built in adjustments to modes of teaching, exams and assessments for this academic year’s flexible learning and teaching.

However, the latest national lockdown has brought new personal and academic challenges. Therefore, we’ve created a safety-net policy that considers your individual circumstances.

How does it work?

The new guidelines, which come into effect immediately, aim to be more efficient and convenient for you as a student. The policy supports students who have experienced a mix of on-campus and online learning while managing the challenges of extended lockdown. Here are the main ways it will help:

Extending assessment deadlines

Should you need more time to complete an assessment due to lockdown-related disruption, you can request an extension by completing an ‘extension to coursework’ application form and submit it to your module leader for approval before the original deadline. You may be granted up to 14 extra calendar days.

If your reason is Covid-related (for example if you contracted Covid-19, or you’re isolating, shielding, you have key-worker status, caring duties, or unable to access specialist spaces), there is no need for you to provide evidence of this.

Change of regulations for assessments submitted late

For all deadlines from 11 February onwards, the normal penalty for late submission will not be applied for submissions up to five days late where IT, personal or academic issues associated with lockdown are the reason. This should be agreed and recorded by the module leader. In all other cases, the standard regulations and penalties apply.

Reassessment of failure

Normally, where you have been reassessed in one or more assessment tasks within a module, the mark for the overall module would be capped at the pass mark. However, in the 2020-21 academic year, reassessments will be treated as a first attempt and the module mark(s) will not be capped. This regulation applies only to reassessments granted in the course of the 2020/21 academic year and only where the first attempt at the assessment has been taken. If you fail as a result of non-submission, the standard regulations will apply and at reassessment the module will be capped at the pass mark.

If you fail the reassessment, you will be given a further opportunity for reassessment, if you have opportunities still available, but the normal resit will then apply and the overall module will be capped at the pass mark.

Progression and Degree Outcomes

Students studying at level 5 in 2020/21 will have 30 credits discounted rather than 15.  This will mean that the final award, whenever made, will be calculated on the best 90 credits at level 5 and best 105 credits at level 6. This applies only to students undertaking level 5 for the first time in 2020/21 and not to those undertaking level 5 reassessments in the current. 

Students studying at level 5 or level 6 on Integrated Master’s programmes in 2020/21 will have an additional 15 credits discounted.  This means that the final award, whenever made, will be calculated on the best 210 credits at level 5 and level 6, and the best 105 credits at level 7.

For this academic year only, in calculating your degree classification we will choose your best outcome from either the current weighting of 3:1 in favour of Level 6 or a weighting 2:1 in favour of Level 6. For students on Integrated Master’s, this will apply to your Level 7 outcomes.

Deferral of assessments due to circumstances beyond your control

We have committed to consider all assessment-deferral requests from students on their own merits.

You will need to send a deferral request to your Faculty Student Advice Centre. Third-party evidence will not be needed; however, we strongly recommend that you consult the Student Advice Centre to discuss your circumstances before making a deferral request.

If granted, you will be expected to take your assessments at the next available opportunity. If this is not possible for Covid-related reasons, you should make another deferral request.

Please note that some of these regulations might not be appropriate for programmes regulated by Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs). We are still consulting with PSRBs and will update on this as soon as we can. 

You can also view the full regulations of the safety-net policy.

Where to get support

We wish you all the best as you complete your work this year - we know how much hard work you’ve put in and we encourage you to strive to achieve your best results despite the circumstances. If you need more support, the Student Advice Centres and your programme and module leaders are available to help if you have any queries or concerns.

Please continue to stay safe, look after yourselves and your loved ones and look out for more communications via the usual channels.

*The information provided in this email bulletin is for students studying a DMU programme that is being delivered at DMU. Students on programmes that are validated by DMU, but are delivered by academic partner institutions (such as DMUIC, Leicester College, etc.), should refer to their institution/college for confirmation of local arrangements.*

Note: Information on this page was updated for clarity on Wednesday 17 February.