Summer assessment period – your marks, progression and graduation explained

Wednesday, 19 April 2023
The University and College Union (UCU) has confirmed that industrial action will continue over the summer term in the form of action short of a strike. This begins on Thursday 20 April and coincides with the university’s assessment period.

Article updated on 27 April 2023 to reflect further detail of the contingency regulations.

Some staff may take part in a marking boycott as part of action short of a strike. While the majority of our students will be unaffected by this action, some may be. We understand that you might be concerned about how this could affect your marks, progression to your next year of study, or graduation.

Please be reassured that we expect your examinations and assessments to take place as currently planned. Your papers are prepared well in advance of the exam period, so continue to revise and prepare to do your very best in your assessments. If you don’t complete your assessments, you will get a mark of zero for each uncompleted assessment. 

Maintaining the integrity of your degree awards and supporting you to achieve the assessment outcome you have worked for continue to be our absolute priorities. The University has published contingency regulations which outline the steps that we expect to take to mitigate the potential impact of the boycott, should it become necessary. 

The contingency regulations mean that, despite the potential impact of the boycott on some students and some courses, we expect to have enough evidence of your academic performance to make appropriate decisions regarding your progression or graduation this summer. The key points can be summarised as follows:

Where all marking is completed

If all the marking for your module is completed, we will use the completed module mark as usual. If you meet the required pass marks for your programme, your progression or graduation will be unaffected by the marking boycott. 

Part-for-whole marking 

If some of the marking for your module is not completed, and you have already received marks for the module that are - according to the module guide - worth at least 40% of the module, then we will normally use your mark for that assessment as the whole mark for the module, on a ‘part-for-whole’ basis. The way that we do that is described in full on our Quality Manual webpages.

Derived mark

If some of the marking for your module is not completed, and we have not been able to mark assessments worth at least 40% of a module, then we will derive a mark for you based on your completed marks from the current academic year, your part-for-whole modules and – if applicable – from your previous years’ marks. We will give you that derived mark for the elements that are unmarked.

To qualify for a derived mark in an assessment that we're not able to mark before the Exam Board deadline, you must have completed that assessment. If you don’t complete it, you’ll receive a mark of zero for that assessment. 

If the marking boycott affects your module and part-for-whole or derived marking is used to generate your mark, then you can accept this as your final mark. It will appear on your transcript and can be used to help schools make progression and classification decisions according to the normal schedule.

The majority of students will be unaffected by the marking boycott. We expect either the part-for-whole or the derived mark regulations to apply to those students impacted. In the unlikely event that your school can’t determine whether you have met these requirements for your programme, they will contact you direct via your university email. 

Further options 

If the marking boycott affects one or more of your modules and you do not want to accept a part-for-whole or derived mark in those assessments, you can choose to wait until your original assessment can be marked.

If the assessment could not take place, or if the assessment will never be marked, then you can do an equivalent sit of that assessment, taking it again at the first opportunity and waiting for it to be marked. If you choose not to accept the progression or classification decision, we cannot at this point give you a firm date by which your assessments will be marked. This means that we cannot guarantee you will be able to progress to your next year of study, or graduate, to the expected timetable.

If you choose to not accept your progression or classification decision, your derived or part-for-whole marks no longer apply. Your mark will be entered on to your transcript, whether it is lower or higher than your derived or part-for-whole mark.

Programmes with Professional and Statutory Responsible Body (PSRB) requirements

Some programmes or individual modules carry an extra professional accreditation element. This may mean there are additional standards or requirements around the assessment or marking process.

If your programme or module carries these requirements, and you are likely to be affected by the marking boycott, your module/programme convenor will contact you directly via your university email to discuss your options.


Graduation ceremonies will take place through July. Our Registry and Academic Affairs team will send finalists an invitation to register for the ceremonies to university email addresses on Wednesday 26 April. Please continue to plan for your summer graduation ceremonies.

We understand that you may have questions regarding the boycott and your marks. Your schools are currently working through the detail of the regulations and how the marking boycott will affect them. Please be patient as they identify how their students may be affected before providing you with more information.

In the meantime, many of your queries will be answered through our FAQs. For information on your assessments – including revision aids, welfare support and links to your timetables – visit our exam support web pages.

Student Communications Officer

Communications and Marketing
University Park Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone:+44 (0)115 82 32353