Quality Manual

Assessment overview and School responsibilities

This page contains essential information around assessments, including an outline of School responsibilities. Its content is primarily directed at staff but may also be of interest to students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses.

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Please be aware that during academic year 2019/20, the University introduced exceptional regulations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This page was previously affected by these arrangements and has been documented accordingly. 

Further details can be found in the "Exceptional regulations applied in response to Covid-19" section below.

Assessment overview

Includes: compliance with section on Assessment in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education

The University is committed to ensuring that methods of assessment are effective in enabling every student to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes for the credit or qualification being sought in an equitable, valid and reliable way. The University meets that commitment through its policies and procedures.

These guidelines have been written to signpost the relevant policies and procedures and were written using the Advice and Guidance sections for Assessment in the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.  

For more information about Assessment, please consult the following on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) website: 

UK Quality Code, Advice and Guidance: Assessment


Essential information

Includes: established principles; exceptions

  • It is an established principle of the University, endorsed by Executive Board (UEB) and Education and Student Experience Committee (ESEC), that when registered for a University of Nottingham qualification all teaching and assessment must be in English. The only exception is where the subject of study is a language or literature other than English.
  • The volume, timing and nature of assessment should enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.
  • Assessment must be carried out securely, including the secure storage of assessment questions, the appropriate invigilation of examinations and the confirmation of student identity in the submission or sitting of assessments.

School responsibilities

Includes: in-house exams, assessment guidelines, marking by number, recognition of other learning

The School is responsible for the following:

  • Setting assessment at the level appropriate to the academic standard for each award of credit or qualification.
  • Ensuring that student performance is equitably judged against the appropriate academic standards (see policies on marking and grading, degree classification and external examining). 
  • Ensuring that the principles, procedures and processes of assessment are publicised to students, academic and administrative staff, external examiners and appropriate others through suitable channels.

* Guidance for students is also available in the Quality Manual's student engagement category; general guidance for examinations is available for sitting University examinations' and about the legibility of work submitted for assessment. For more information, please consult the Related links for students section.

  • Schools wishing to hold 'in-house' examinations or tests (including on-line assessments and 'take away' examinations) should ensure that they publish written policies on the use of such assessments.  Schools holding such assessments whilst students are still being taught on other modules should ensure that there is no conflict between those assessments and student attendance at teaching or other activity associated with other modules the student is taking.
  • They should also ensure that the needs of students with dyslexia, disabilities and/or long-term medical conditions are considered when conducting such assessments. The School's policy must be included in a School's student handbook(s) or otherwise drawn to the attention of students.
  • Seeing that any ‘in-house’ examinations or tests are carried out securely including a confirmation of student identity and proper invigilation of examinations. Guidance and support can be sought from the Assessment Operations team within Registry and Academic Affairs.
  • Ensuring that the rules and regulations for progressing from one stage of a programme to another and for qualifying for an award are publicised to students, academic and administrative staff, external examiners and appropriate others through suitable channels. Guidance for Schools on the sort of information they should make available to students can be found in Information about Provision of Higher Education, this includes information about assessment policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that all involved in the assessment of students, including support staff who have responsibilities in this area, are competent to undertake their roles. Relevant policies include Responsibilities of the School Examinations Officer, marking and grading, Policy on occasional teachers, Policy on students who teach and any other policy mentioned in this overview. For more information, please consult the Related links for staff section.
  • Where students are involved in assessment through peer to peer activities they are provided with guidance which helps them to fulfil the role in question.
  • Ensuring a transparent communication of student achievement at individual assessment task level.
  • Making those who might be eligible for the recognition of prior learning aware of the opportunities available and are supported through the process of application and assessment for recognition in line with the policy on Recognition of Other Learning (ROL). For more information, please consult the following:

Recognition of Other Learning

  • Ensuring that assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice and subject specific educational scholarship.
  • Publishing clear assessment guidance and criteria such that staff and students can engage in dialogue to promote a shared understanding of the basis on which academic judgements are made.
  • Provide students with opportunities to develop an understanding of, and the necessary skills to demonstrate, good academic practice.
  • Seeing that feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental.
  • Acting responsibly in any circumstance where draft assessment questions/tasks, or students work, are held or transported off-site (including where scripts are sent to an external examiner).
  • Ensure that students are given information regarding where in the assessment process anonymity ends in line with the marking by number system employed by the University.

For more information about this system, please consult the following:

Marking by number

Schools are expected to make sure that students are aware of the School's responsibilities

Related links for students


Related links for staff


Exceptional regulations applied in response to Covid-19   Flag of United Kingdom   Flag of China   Flag of Malaysia

Please be aware that the following Exceptional Regulations were developed and applied during academic year 2019/20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These records are campus specific and should be read in conjunction with all other content on this page.

The active application of these arrangements then ceased at the beginning of academic year 2020/21. Any outcomes from their application during academic year 2019/20 will, however, continue to be honoured and used in all decisions regarding those affected. 

For more information about the Exceptional Regulations as a whole, please consult the following:

Exceptional Regulations: Covid-19 - 2019/20 - 2020/21

If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please contact:

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This content was last modified on 08 April 2022

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