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Marking and Moderation Process

How is my work marked?

After you submit your work, it is marked by at least one tutor. All written exams or coursework in the University are required to be marked anonymously, i.e. your identity will not be known to your tutor as he or she marks the assignment. Your tutor should only be able to identify you by your regnum. Anonymous marking helps the University to ensure that the marking process is objective and avoids bias.

Not all assessments, such as presentations, can be marked anonymously due to the nature of the tasks.

Your work may then be subject to a process known as moderation. Moderation will generally involve a second marker checking a sample of work, along with the first marker’s marks and comments, to verify the overall standard of marking and the use of the marking criteria.

The purpose of moderation is to provide an internal check on the marking to ensure that the marking criteria are applied in a fair and consistent manner and that marking within this module and between modules is consistent.

The marks of the first marker generally will stand unless the moderation highlights significant differences between the two markers. If there are significant differences, further action will be then be taken with the approval of the Course Lead.

Methods that can be used to resolve disagreements include the first marker reviewing the marks following feedback from the second marker, all assignments being second marked by the second marker or third marking of the sample by another tutor.

Where there is significant disagreement in terms of the general consistency of marking, for instance if the first marker has marked too harshly or too generously, the two markers can negotiate to adjust the marks accordingly for all students and not just those in the sample.

Marks for individual students will not be changed after moderation, except in cases of mathematical errors, when marking criteria have not been correctly applied or when all assignments have been second marked. This ensures that all students are treated fairly and equitably. If marks for individual students in the sample are changed, those students could benefit or be disadvantaged by being included in the sample of work that was moderated or second marked.

What happens next?

After your assignment is marked by your tutors, it is then subject to external moderation by an external examiner. The use of external examiners is standard practice across the university sector in the UK. Each programme at the University has at least one external examiner, who is often a tutor in the same subject area from another university.

Why is this important to you? External examiners provide an additional check on the marking carried out by your tutors. External examiners help to ensure that marking within modules and across the entire programme is consistent and that our regulations and procedures have been applied appropriately. External examiners are also responsible for ensuring that the standards of this programme are comparable with equivalent programmes at their university and other universities that they have worked or examined at.

External examiners will not necessarily see all assignments. They may agree a sample with your tutors in advance. However, external examiners do have the right to see all assignments if they wish. The agreed sample should contain those assignments that have been moderated or second marked and a range from the top, middle and bottom of the marking scale and first class or distinction marks, fail marks and borderline pass/fail marks.

External examiners do not act as another marker. They check the sample to see whether the marking is appropriate and consistent. If the external examiner suggests changes to the marks, as with internal moderation and second marking, the marks for all students on the module (not just those sampled) will be changed accordingly.