What is an assignment?
Assignments are student work which are marked and contribute towards the achievement of the module. Assignments usually mean work which is coursework, although an examination may also be expected as part of the module assessment.
Assignments can be undertaken through a range of methods: essay, laboratory report, poster, oral presentation, research report, dissertation, blog, final project, artwork and portfolio.
What is an assessment?
Assessment means the methods the University uses to evaluate student learning. The assessment method may be ‘controlled’ (an exam, presentation), or a method where you do something in your own time (eg coursework).
What kind of assessments can I expect from my modules?
Most assessments are either referred to as coursework or exams, however, the University permits a wide variety of assessment types, and the nature of your assessments will depend on the module you are studying.
Other types of assessment can include: exhibitions, performances, in-class tests, field work and many others.
How do I find out what the assessments (exams, coursework etc) are in every module I am taking?
Details of all assessments should be made available at the start of teaching on each module that you are taking. This information should make it clear what type of assessment you will be required to take and, in the case of coursework, how it should be submitted.
These details can be found in online sources or in module handbooks.
What is coursework?
Coursework is a piece of work that you would normally complete outside of the class room, for example an essay, a poster or a piece of group work. You should check your module information for exact details of the coursework you are required to submit.
Coursework is undertaken throughout the delivery of the module and can be formative or summative.
What is a dissertation?
A dissertation is an assignment where the student undertakes independent research on a topic with specific support by a tutor.
Usually the dissertation is undertaken in the final year of undergraduate and Masters programmes, and results in a thesis being written.
What is an essay?
An essay is a written piece of work which may analyse, critique, review and/or discuss a specific topic. The arguments within the essay will be informed by texts, peer-reviewed sources and appropriate e-resources.
What is an examination?
An examination or exam is a piece of work produced under controlled conditions. It is usually scheduled for a specific time and date, and usually has a time limit. Exams can include essays, performances or other forms of work. You should check your module information for exact details of the exam.
Exams are usually summative assessments which may include multiple choice questions, short answers, computer-based questions and essays.
What is a final project?
Final projects are usually independent research projects undertaken in the final year of undergraduate or postgraduate study. A supervisor will provide guidance and technical experts may help in practical work skills.
The project usually results in a report or thesis/dissertation being generated.
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is an assignment which is usually a collection of related work undertaken over a length of time which may include reflective written work, professional body requirements eg competency achievement/sign off or reviews of related topics.
Portfolios can form part of personal development activities through an award and can be paper or online based.
What is a primary source exercise?
A primary source is a first-hand testimony or evidence, thus exercises using primary sources would analyse and evaluate the sources for usefulness.
What is a professional practice report?
Professional practice is undertaken mainly within vocational awards and may take place in a practice setting eg within a hospital or school.
Mentors within practice will support the achievement of specific skills and tasks, and so the undertaking of these can be written up in a report as an assignment.
What is a reflective diary?
Reflection enhances deeper learning and a reflective diary collates a student’s personal learning journey through feelings, thoughts and lessons learnt, sometimes resulting in change of practice.
What is a survey?
Surveys can be undertaken as an assignment or as part of a report or project. Surveys can involve environmental fieldwork or be part of a societal or psychology research work. Surveys require the gathering of a range of data, either quantitative or qualitative.
Module leaders are responsible for providing you with details of resit coursework.
If you have not received details of your coursework within 14 days of the publication of your results, you must contact your Student Administration Team (SAT) immediately.
Our Assessment Cycle Guidance for students film will help you find out more about the Assessment Cycle Policy and the University's assessment process.
You may also find the following useful:
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What is covered by the term "coursework"?
UWE Bristol defines “coursework” as a piece of work that you would normally complete outside of the classroom. The following are all types of coursework (so the information on this page applies to them): dissertations; essays; posters; pieces of group work; laboratory reports; oral presentations; research reports; blogs; final projects; artworks; portfolios.
What's the deadline for submitting coursework? (includes details about the 24-hour window)
The deadline for the submission of all assessed work is 14:00 normally on a Tuesday to Thursday, on a date specified at the start of each module.
Work submitted up to 24 hours after the deadline will incur a mark penalty. If you achieve a mark of more than 40% (levels 0–3), the penalised mark will be reduced to 40%. If you achieve a mark of more than 50% (level M), the penalised mark will be reduced to 50%.
Work cannot be submitted after this 24-hour window has passed and a non-submission will be recorded.
Is there any support for me if I'm unable to meet a deadline or have a problem with an assessment?
Yes. UWE Bristol provides a range of support processes to help students who are encountering situations which impact on their ability to submit work or to attend assessments.
How and where do I submit my coursework?
You should receive specific instructions either online or in your module handbook on how you submit coursework at the start of each individual module.
Some modules may require you to submit your coursework online. If this is the case you will receive detailed instruction at the start of your module.
Information about your coursework and submission methods is also given in the myUWE Coursework sub-tab. View the guidance for using myUWE.
Please note that you may not submit coursework by email.
Where coursework is submitted online this will normally be through the Blackboard virtual learning environment. It is important that you read and follow the instructions you are given about this, as it is your responsibility to submit files that staff can read and mark, and to submit them before the submission deadline. If you do not, your marks may suffer. View the guidance for using Blackboard.
- You may submit to the assignment as many times as you wish, but only the last submission you make will be assessed.
- If your last submission is after the deadline but within the 24-hour late submission period, this submission will be the one marked and not any earlier versions. The mark penalty will apply.
- The date and time of your submission is taken from the Blackboard server and is recorded when your submission is complete, not when you click submit.
If your coursework is not received by the deadline, or within 24 hours of that time, you will see a non-submission on your record.
Submission of hard copies
Where there is a requirement for coursework to be submitted as a hard copy, this is usually done via submission boxes located at your campus:
- Frenchay Campus: the submission boxes are located at the Coursework Hub, Level 1 of A Block (underpass area).
- Bower Ashton Campus: students should go to the C block corridor (or will be given alternative instructions where appropriate).
- Glenside Campus: the submission boxes are located in A block behind the Information Point.
Some items of coursework (for example, posters or dissertations) are not submitted via a submission box, and you will be notified of the arrangements for these at the start of the module.
Submission by post
Where there is a requirement for coursework to be submitted as a hard copy and you submit your coursework by post, you must obtain proof of postage (for example, by using Recorded Delivery) and note the date and time of postage.
Students based at Bower Ashton Campus:Student Administration Team
UWE Bristol, Bower Ashton Campus
Kennel Lodge Road
Off Clanage Road
Bristol, BS3 2JT
Students based at Frenchay Campus:Student Administration Team
UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus
Bristol, BS16 1QY
Students based at Glenside Campus:Student Administration Team
UWE Bristol, Glenside Campus
Stapleton, BS16 1DD
Students based at UWE Bristol, Gloucester Campus:
UWE Bristol, Gloucester Campus
Gloucester, GL1 2LG
Students based at University Centre Hartpury:
Where do I collect my marked coursework if it was submitted as a hard copy?
If you submitted a hard copy of your coursework, you will be sent an email advising you when your coursework is ready for collection.
- Students based at Frenchay Campus can collect their work from the Coursework Hub in the A Block underpass. The service is available between 9:00 and 17:00 Monday to Thursday, and 09:00 to 16:30 on Friday.
- Students based at Bower Ashton can collect their work from room 0C49a. Please check the noticeboard at the submission point for details of the collection times.
Please note: You must bring your card with you in order to claim your work.
What's the pass mark for a module?
Individual pieces of work or exams are also known as elements of assessment. Whilst you do not have to pass each element in its own right (unless there is a professional body requirement to do so), the marks for elements are grouped together into components and the overall mark for a component is calculated from the weighted average of all the elements associated with it. You are required to reach a particular standard in a component.
All modules have one or two components.
If a module has two components the overall mark is calculated from the weighted average of both components. Component weightings are set out in the module specification.
Level 0, 1, 2, 3 modules
The pass mark for a module is 40%.
Modules with one component
In a module with one component the component pass mark is 40%. The mark for the component will also be the mark for the whole module.
A mark of 35%–39% in the component will not be enough to pass the module.
Modules with two components
In a module with two components the component pass mark is 35%, but the aggregate mark for the module must be at least 40%.
You will not pass the module if you get less than 35% in either component, or if you get an aggregate mark of less than 40%.
If you achieve a mark of 35%–39% in each component it will not give you a high enough overall mark to pass the module. If you are eligible for a resit you will need to redo both components. If you are eligible for a retake you will need to redo both components.
Level M modules
The pass mark for a module is 50%.
Modules with one component
In a module with one component the component pass mark is 50%. The mark for the component will also be the mark for the whole module.
A mark of 40%–49% in the component will not be enough for you to pass the module.
Modules with two components
In a module with two components the component pass mark is 40%, but the aggregate mark for the module must be 50%.
You will not pass the module if you achieve less than 40% in either component, or an aggregate mark of less than 50%.
If you achieve a mark of 40%–49% in each component it will not give you a high enough overall mark to pass the module. If you are eligible for a resit you will need to redo both components. If you are eligible for a retake you will need to redo both components.
Module structure and the calculation of module marks
The way in which a module is structured and how individual assessment contributes towards the overall module outcome is outlined in our 'Passing a module part one' film.
View details on how the overall module mark is calculated and what marks are needed to pass in the 'Passing a module part two' film.
If you need to resit a component/s or retake a module and you then pass it, the mark is capped at 40% (levels 0–3) or 50% (level M). This is unless you have a missed assessments/exceptional removal of a mark application accepted which has enabled the Examination Board to uncap your mark. However, if a piece of work or a module has previously been capped due to an earlier failure, the marks for your resit or retake cannot be uncapped – even if you have a missed assessments/exceptional removal of a mark application accepted for the latest resit or retake.
What happens if I cannot submit online due to a critical systems failure?
The following actions will only be considered in cases where there is no access to critical systems (defined as Blackboard, myUWE and UWE Bristol networks) for more than five minutes in the final two hours before submission.
If there is a temporary loss of access to online coursework submission caused by a critical systems failure, the University may decide to take the following action:
- ALL deadlines for work submitted online will be extended by an additional 24 hours.
- ALL deadlines for assessments that are not submitted online will be extended by an additional 24 hours (due to the potential for losing access to Blackboard materials).
- ALL deadlines where students have already been given an extension under Reasonable Adjustments will be extended by an additional 24 hours.
- If the extension falls on a Saturday or a public holiday then it will last until 14:00 on the next working day.
Students will be advised of the extended deadlines via messages on Blackboard, myUWE, the information screens and posters around the Coursework Hub.
Please note that this process does not cover interruptions to:
- other UWE Bristol services
- residency networks
- equipment and services not supplied by UWE Bristol (eg students' domestic network access, personal computers).
Interruptions or system failures limited to student computer labs are not covered.
The responsibility to submit on time remains with students.
What happens if I need a resit or retake?
If you need to resit a module, you will be assessed again for the entire component/s you have not passed, even if you passed some of the work at the first sit. You do not need to pay for a resit. If you need to use a further attempt (retake), you will have to redo all assessments and pay for the whole module again. No marks can be carried over from one attempt to the next, even if a missed assessments or exceptional removal of marks application has been accepted.
If you have a resit, this is shown in your academic record using a code. For example:
- 1RA – This is your first attempt at the module and you need to resit component A
- 1RB – This is your first attempt at the module and you need to resit component B
- 1RALL – This is your first attempt at the module and you need to resit all components.
If the code starts with a ‘2’, that means it is your second attempt at the module. A ‘3’ would mean your third attempt and so on.
How do I find out about my resit coursework?
Module leaders are responsible for providing you with details of resit coursework. It may be that they have already informed you of what you need to do, or it may be posted in Blackboard.
If you have not received details of your resit coursework within 14 days of the publication of your results you must contact your Student Administration Team (SAT) immediately.
How do I find out about my exam timetable?
We publish the dates of the University’s Assessment Periods on our website before the start of the academic year.
Publication of student exam timetables
Student timetables for exams taking place in Assessment Periods 1, 2 and 4 are published in myUWE (login required) four to six weeks before the Assessment Period.
Student timetables for exams taking place in Assessment Period 3 are published in myUWE (login required) one week before the Assessment Period.
Please note that some exams take place outside of the University’s standard Assessment Periods – you will be informed of these at the start of the module.
When do I find out my exam results?
Marks for exams that take place within the standard assessment periods will be published following the Examination Boards. Marks for exams that take place at other times should be released within four weeks of the date of the exam.
View Awards Board and results publication dates.
When should I notify the University of my additional support needs?
You should notify an Assistant Disability Adviser (ADA) of your needs by the published deadlines. If you tell us about your additional support requirements after these deadlines, the University cannot guarantee that reasonable adjustments will be made for you to sit your examinations.
If you need emergency additional support arrangements, for example as a result of an accident, the University will make every effort to arrange them regardless of when your request is made. If you have a serious infectious illness such as mumps, measles or chickenpox, you should not attend the University even to sit an examination.
It is your responsibility to make the University aware of your needs and to provide appropriate evidence.
Find out more about Disability Service at UWE Bristol.
When will I get my feedback?
All students have a minimum entitlement to assessment feedback on their assessed work. Normally you should get marks and feedback within 20 working days (excluding university closure days) following the deadline for submission of the assessment. This period may be shorter or longer for some forms of assessment.
Where the period is greater than 20 working days, you will be informed of the deadline and the reason.Make sure you find out the specific arrangements for the return of your marked work.
How do I receive my marks?
All of your coursework and exam marks are published in myUWE (login required).
Unconfirmed marks will be released to students via myUWE as soon as they are available. Please note that unconfirmed marks are subject to moderation by the Examination Board, so they may still go up or down. For this reason, please do not contact your module leader about unconfirmed exam marks that have been individually released in myUWE.
The final agreed mark will be confirmed to you on the official publication date once the Examination Board process is complete.
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