Coronavirus-related FAQs

All exams this summer will be undertaken as online assessments.

The assessment may take the form of the exam paper as already written or, where the existing exam paper is not amenable to being undertaken online, it may be an alternative assessment designed by your module team specifically for this purpose.

In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to assess the learning outcomes for the module by means of an online assessment, your exam will be deferred until such a time as it is possible to undertake the assessment. If that is the case, you will be contacted by your Module Leader via Blackboard.

The online assessment will be released to students via Blackboard at the time and date that the exam is scheduled on the exam timetable. For example, if your exam is scheduled for 10am on 28 April, that is when it will be released to you on Blackboard. The exam timetable will be published on Thursday 26 March on the Student Hub.

For most modules, you will have 24 hours in which to complete and upload your work, using the Blackboard submission link. For some modules, where the nature of the assessment requires it, you will have less than 24 hours in which to complete and submit your work. Full details will be provided to you by your Module Leader. You should note that your exam is not expected to take longer to complete than the originally planned time (2 or 3hrs for example). The 24 hours provides a window of time for you to complete and upload as required.

Your Module Leader will be available on Blackboard during the first hour of the online exam in order to answer any questions you might have, and will check in periodically throughout the submission period to address any other issues that have been raised.

How to open and submit your online timed assessments on Blackboard

There are three main steps that you need to follow:

Step 1:

Login to Blackboard and go to the relevant Blackboard module site where you will find a dedicated menu area for the Timed Assessment for that module.

Step 2:

Inside this area, you will find the online timed assessment paper which includes the questions and any instructions. This will become available to you at the time that the online timed assessment is set to start and remain available for 24-hours. Some online timed assessments will need to be completed in less than 24 hours, your module leader will confirm if this applies to your assessment.

You can download the online timed assessment paper to open it offline on your computer.

Please remember, however, that you can remain online and use the Discussion Board with the Timed Assessment area in the Blackboard site if you have any queries for the module leader relevant to the assessment.

Step 3:

In the Timed Assessment area of the Blackboard site you will also find an assignment submission link. This will be available to you for 24-hours from the time that the online timed assessment starts. Some online timed assessments will need to be completed in less than 24 hours, your module leader will confirm if this applies to your assessment.

To submit your response to the assessment, login to Blackboard and go back to the Blackboard site for the module and click to enter the Timed Assessment area in the site. Click on the submission link and follow the instructions you will see on-screen to submit your exam. 

You must submit within the 24-hour period given to you (or alternative time period allowed as advised by your module leader). Please ensure you follow all the steps to get a digital receipt of your submission. You will only be able to submit once so please ensure you submit the correct and complete document.

Further detailed guidance:

Where do I find my exam timetable? 

Exam timetables can be found on the exam timetables page.  

How do I find my online timed assessments on Blackboard? 

Your exam will be available on your module Blackboard site accessible via the ‘Timed Assessment’ link in the left hand navigation panel of the module’s Blackboard site. 

What if I’m ill/caring for someone? 

If you are unwell or unable complete an academic assessment as a result of following advice that you must self-isolate, stay at home or caring for someone, you should use the mitigating circumstances procedure. 

What if I have a disability and concerned about my upcoming timed assessment? 

If you have a disability and are registered with the Disability and Learning Support Team and have concerns about your upcoming timed assessment, please get in touch with DLS: [email protected] Further information can be found on this page. 

Do I have to complete it online, or can I upload files? 

You should upload your submission in a Microsoft Word format (unless otherwise advised by the module leader) using the assignment submission link in the Timed Assessment area of the relevant Blackboard site. Your module leader will provide specific instructions if you have to embed pictures or diagrams. 

What if I don’t understand what I have to do? Where do I get help? 

Your module leader will be available via the Discussion Board in the Timed Assessment area of the relevant Blackboard site during the first two hours of the timed assessment period to answer any queries you may have about the examination. Staff will also check the discussion board at periodic intervals during the 24-hour period in order to support students in different time zones. 

What if I can’t get online, or if my connection drops? 

You should use the mitigating circumstances procedure to request a deferral for the assessments that you are not able to complete. 

How long should I take? - I can’t spend 24 hours! 

Your module leader will provide information on the amount of time you should spend on the examination within the 24-hour window. You should however not leave submitting your answers until the very last minute. We recommend that you start the submission process at least 1 hour before the end of the 24-hour period. 

Can I write as much as I want? 

Your module leader will provide an indicative word count for each question to give you a guide on how much you should be writing.

Will you check for plagiarism? 

Yes, plagiarism detection software will be in use. As you will have access to resources to complete your assessment any content you use from external source materials will need to be referenced correctly. Whenever you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarise someone else’s ideas, you have a responsibility to give due credit to that person for their work. Support can be found on the Referencing your work page

Where the University believes that academic misconduct has taken place the University will investigate the case and apply academic penalties as published in Section 10 Academic Misconduct regulations

Can I work with others to complete the exam? 

This is an individual piece of work so do not collude with others on your answers as this is an academic offence. 

Where the University believes that academic misconduct has taken place the University will investigate the case and apply academic penalties as published in Section 10 Academic Misconduct regulations. 

Can I submit my work after the deadline? 

Work submitted after the deadline will not be marked and will automatically be given a mark of zero.

Practical assessments that cannot be submitted online will usually be modified to an alternative assessment that can be undertaken online. Alternatively, where this is not possible, the assessment will be deferred until such a time as it is possible to undertake the assessment.

Presentations can be undertaken using Blackboard Collaborate. Alternatively, you may be asked to record your presentation using Panopto, and to submit the recording to Blackboard.

Group presentations will usually be modified to make them individual presentations.

Your Module Leader will keep you fully informed about the arrangements for your assessment.

Because all assessment will be undertaken online, you will be able to complete your assessment anywhere in the world, provided that you have access to a reliable internet connection.

As, in most cases, you will have a 24-hour window in which to complete and submit your online exam, it will not matter in which time zone you are undertaking the assessment.

If you are unable to complete your assessment, you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim, and request either an extension (available for coursework only) or a deferral (available for both coursework and exams).

Note that, for the duration of these exceptional times, you will not need to provide documentary evidence to support your request.

Should you be deferred, you will need to undertake the assessment during the scheduled deferral period, which runs from 29 June to 10 July.

Note that if you are a final year undergraduate student, this would mean that you would be unable to attend the July graduation ceremony, as your award will not have been conferred in time.

Note also that if you do not complete outstanding assessments by the end of the deferral period, you may not be eligible to progress to the next year of your course, as you may not have accumulated sufficient credits.

If you are normally entitled to additional time in an exam, this additional time is already accounted for within those online exams which have a 24-hour submission window – no further time will be allowed or required.

If your exam is a much shorter time-limited assessment, your Module Leader will advise on these arrangements. However, please be reassured that you will not be disadvantaged.

If you would expect to have a scribe/amanuensis, the Disability Learning Services (DLS) team is currently working with the Learning Innovation team to ensure that appropriate assistive technology is available to support you in undertaking your assessments. The DLS team will be in touch with you about this in due course.

Yes, if you are a continuing student you will be able come back next year.

However, you should note that if you do not complete outstanding assessments by the end of the deferral period, you may not be eligible to progress to the next year of your course, as you may not have accumulated sufficient credits. In this case you will come back next year in order to complete any outstanding assessments (either with or without attendance, in accordance with the academic regulations).

The graduation ceremony scheduled for 22 April at Marylebone Parish Church has been cancelled. Graduands who were expecting to attend this ceremony have already been contacted and will be invited to attend the next ceremony.

At present, we are planning for the graduation ceremonies scheduled for 20 – 22 July at the Royal Festival Hall to take place as normal. However, if it does not prove possible to hold these ceremonies they will be re-scheduled for later in the year. Should this be the case, we will contact you with further information at an appropriate time. Further updates will also be available on our Graduation webpage.

Your Module Leader is responsible for keeping you informed, via Blackboard and/or email, of all the specific arrangements for your module assessments. Your Module Leader will be in regular contact with you.

If you are unclear about any aspect of the arrangements, you should contact your Module Leader in the first instance.

If your Module Leader is unavailable (for example, due to illness), then please contact your Course Leader.

If you have questions about anything to do with your teaching or assessment, then in the first instance you should contact your Module Leader. If your Module Leader is unavailable (for example, due to illness), then please contact your Course Leader.

If you have questions concerning any other aspect of the University’s services, then please consult the Student Hub in the first instance. If the answer you need is not there, you will find details of how to contact the relevant service team.

Note that although all University colleagues are currently working remotely, all services are operational and someone will get back to you as normal.

It is very important that you keep in contact with the University during this period.

Please ensure that you regularly check:

  • your University email account
  • your course and module Blackboard sites
  • the University webpages – updated information will be published to the Student Hub
  • The University’s Coronavirus Response page

You can use resources in your exam paper however any content you use from external source materials will need to be referenced correctly. Whenever you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarise someone else’s ideas, you have a responsibility to give due credit to that person for their work. Read about referencing and citing external sources.

Remember this is an individual piece of work so you are not permitted to collude with others (students or external people) on your answers as this is academic misconduct.

When you submit your paper it will be checked using text-matching software so remember:

  • Do not copy and paste
  • Do not try to disguise the duplication by making minor changes
  • Always reference any resources you use, otherwise this will be considered as an academic misconduct

Where the University believes that academic misconduct has taken place the University will investigate your exam paper and if you are found to have breached the academic regulations, an academic penalty will be applied for example, a mark of zero for the entire module. Read more about academic misconduct and penalties.

General FAQs

There are three main University exam periods each academic year:

  • January: Semester One exams
  • May: Semester Two exams
  • July: referral/deferral exams

Exam timetables and their publication dates are provided on our Exam timetables page.

Exams are held Monday-Friday and there are no exams on weekends or on public holidays.

Exams normally start as follows, but check your exam timetable carefully in case of changes:

  • Monday-Thursday: 10am, 2pm and 6pm
  • Friday: 10am and 2pm

Note that you may have an exam scheduled in any of the available slots, including the evening, even if you only study during the day.

Information about exam clashes is provided on our Exam clashes page.

If you’ve had an accident that may affect your ability to sit exams, check our Individual exam arrangements for temporary conditions page for details of what to do next.

If you feel you're too ill to sit the exam, you should follow the mitigating circumstances procedure.

If you feel that you're able to sit the exam, you may do so, but please note that the University operates a ‘fit to sit’ policy, which means that if you attend the exam, you have deemed yourself fit to do so and are not eligible to submit a mitigating circumstances claim for that assessment.

Because of the large number of exams that need to be scheduled in a short timeframe, sometimes students will have two exams in one day. You wouldn't normally be expected to sit any more than two exams in one day.

Sometimes it's impossible to avoid students having exams on consecutive days, because of the number of exams that need to be scheduled in a short timeframe.