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Assessment design considerations

This page outlines basic principles around the design of assessments. Its content is primarily aimed at colleagues based at the UK campus but may also be of interest to those in China and Malaysia.

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Getting started

Ensuring that assessment and feedback are fit for purpose remains a key requirement of Higher Education. Whether  designing something new or reviewing current practise with a view to further development, a helpful place to start is with these basic considerations:

Programme-level assessment

Assessment load and design should be considered beyond the scope of an individual module. For example, is there any overlap with other modules, assessments or deadlines? Will this help achieve your aims?

Consistency is key to making sure that everyone understands what, when, how and why they are being assessed.


Student engagement with assessment

All students should have opportunities to engage with assessment at all stages. This includes understanding their learning objectives, level descriptors, instructions and receiving good quality feedback.

This helps prevent confusion, and also makes clear your expectations from the start.



Make sure you don't change things at the wrong time. Common deadlines or marking and moderation periods should be avoided when possible.

Make sure that any changes are communicated early and often. This helps everyone be aware of the change and have time to adjust.  


If you are a member of University staff and would like some help to review or develop your assessment practices, please email our: Assessment Advisor  Email
This page was last updated on 20 August 2021 at 10:08 (GMT)