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Assessment and exams 19/20

Last reviewed Wednesday 9 September 2020, 1pm

If you can’t find an answer on this page, contact our dedicated University Help Centre.

Assessments and exams

Our priority is to ensure that learning, assessments, and results are not adversely affected as a result of COVID-19. Below are the measures we have put in place to support students studying on campus at the University in Sheffield; students studying for a SHU award at a partner institution will be informed by the partner of any changes to assessments and examinations.

In making these decisions we have taken several things into account.

  • We do not want any student to be disadvantaged.
  • We want to be able to respond to individual circumstances.
  • We want to ensure that you are able to progress in your studies.

Level 5, Level 6, and Level 7 and Higher Degree Apprenticeship (all levels) students

Assessment requirements

You are expected to complete your assessments where possible. If you believe you will be unable to do so, contact Hallam Help at or on 0114 225 2222.

Outstanding Level 4 modules

If you are a Level 5 student and you are trailing any failed Level 4 modules from last year, you do not need to complete assessments for the Level 4 modules (unless there are Professional Body requirements or you are an apprentice). Level 4 modules will be recorded as passed.

Assessment marking

We want to reassure you that there will be no detriment to your assessment as a result of our actions to respond to COVID-19. Department Assessment Boards will take into account the overall performance of your course year group and your individual profile. 

The process for ensuring no detriment will involve

  • Comparing whole module mark sets against previous years’ marks. If this year’s mark set is out of line with these, we will make adjustments to increase all marks in the module (scaling) to bring them in line with previous years.
  • Reviewing the profile of each student to look out for lower marks in semester two modules than would otherwise have been anticipated. This will cover the marks across all of the modules taken this year, and in previous years if this is helpful. If we see any evidence of lower than expected marks, we will be able to increase students’ marks as appropriate.

Throughout this process we will involve those who chair the department assessment boards and our external examiners to ensure fair outcomes for our students.

Results schedules

We will try to keep to results publication schedules, adjusted for extensions to submission deadlines. If there are delays, your department will let you know.

As your marks and feedback become available via Grade Centre, please remember that these are provisional and will not be confirmed until your Departmental Assessment Board. As a result of the no detriment measures, these marks may be subject to change. Your official results can only be accessed via the Results page of My Student Record. There is no need to take any further action until these official results are made available. Further information and guidance will be released alongside these results.

Retaking assessments

If you are referred in a module, marks for the referred assessment tasks taken during the summer reassessment period will not be capped at the minimum pass mark. If you have passed a task which was undertaken when Covid-19 measures were put in place but are dissatisfied with the assessment outcome (specifically, if you believe you have not achieved to your best ability despite other university measures in relation to no-detriment) you can request to take the assessment or examination again during the reassessment period for your course . Your mark will not be capped and your highest mark will stand. Support will be available for you, but you will not have access to extra formal teaching. 

Instructions to request a no-detriment retake

Retaking modules in 2020–21

You would only retake a module in 2020–21 if you do not pass the module through standard assessment or a compensated pass.

Professional body requirements

If there are assessment requirements from a professional body – including health and teaching bodies – this will have been communicated to you personally. 

We are working with professional bodies to ensure that our arrangements meet their requirements and that your eligibility to join a profession is not put at risk.

Apprenticeship assessments and exams

Course leaders will be in touch to update you on arrangements for your areas. For information on exams, see the examinations section above.

If you are studying an apprenticeship at the University and have been furloughed by your employer, please contact your Work Based Coach who can help you with any enquiries about your study.

On 4 April the Government updated its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance to say that apprentices can continue to train while furloughed.

If you have any further questions about apprenticeships, please email

Foundation Year and Level 4 students

Automatic progression

Foundation Year and Level 4 students will progress automatically onto the next level of study.

This means you don’t need to complete assessments or reassessments for this academic year, unless your course includes requirements from a professional body. This approach also excludes apprentices studying at Level 4 due to the unique nature of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.

Professional body requirements

We are working with professional bodies to ensure that our arrangements meet their requirements and that your eligibility to join a profession is not put at risk.

For students studying certain modules, existing assessment arrangements will stand, because of professional body requirements. Your course team will contact you directly to confirm which assessments you need to complete. If you aren't sure whether you need to engage with assessment, contact your course team for advice.

Your student transcript

Any confirmed marks will be stated on your 2019–20 transcript. All your modules will be listed and shown as passed.

Students on study breaks

If you were taking a study break and were due to return in September 2020, you will return to the same level as planned when you began your break. For example, if you took a break during Level 4, you will return to Level 4.

Students with no module passes

If you don’t yet have passes for this year, we will contact you to discuss options for the next academic year. We will review your progress and engagement with studies based on all the data and information we have.

Retaking the year

Student Support Advisers will be in contact with students who may benefit from repeating the year. 

Certificates of Higher Education (CertHE)

If you leave Level 4 under these arrangements, you will not receive a CertHE. These arrangements only allow you to progress to Level 5.

Further support

If you are feeling anxious, your Student Support Adviser can help. Contact them through Hallam Help at or on 0114 225 2222.

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