.

New and Revised Student Regulations

 

Changes for 2017/18 Academic Year

  • General Editorial and Formatting Changes

  • Addition of internal and external hyperlinks to improve navigation within all regulatory documents.

  • Introduction of the MPhys award.

  • Addition of Chapter 5: Recognition of Prior Learning, relocated from the previous Assessment Regulations and Policies document.

  • Award listings that include a compulsory placement year, study abroad, or language placement have had their terminology standardised to ‘with Placement Year’.

  • Pass Degree qualifications have been clarified to confirm that the awards are made with Honours, and may be awarded as an exit award for Integrated Masters Programmes prior to the commencement of Level 7 study:

    • A student who has followed an approved programme leading to a degree with Honours, but who fails to reach at least a 3rd Class Honours standard, may, at the discretion of the Board of Examiners, be awarded a Pass Degree; provided that they have achieved a minimum of 320 credits for a full-time degree, or 440 credits for a sandwich/language degree overall. There shall be no Pass Degree for programmes leading to an Integrated Master’s Degree, however a Pass Degree may be awarded as an exit award prior to commencement of Level 7 study.

  • Amended Regulations 2.3.3, 2.5.2 and 2.5.3, regarding External Examiner oversight and attendance as follows:

    • 2.3.3. All University Boards of Examiners with External Examiners as part of the Board membership will request that the External Examiners endorse the decisions of the Board and the conduct of assessment processes. All Board minutes must explicitly record the views of each of the External Examiners.

    • 2.5.2.External Examiners appointed to programmes are expected to attend final Programme Boards where degree classifications for the graduating cohorts are discussed and approved. External Examiners appointed to individual modules are expected to attend Module Boards where those marks contribute to the final Stage of an award.

    • 2.5.3. If, due to unforeseen circumstances an External Examiner is unable to attend the meeting of the Board of Examiners they should, wherever possible, be available for consultation at the time the Board is held (e.g. by telephone). Under exceptional circumstances, for example serious illness of an External Examiner, Schools may request that the Regulation Sub-Committee waive the attendance requirement (Regulation 8.3.1 Waivers of Regulations).

  • Regulation 10.1.1 and 10.1.2, regarding the Abandonment of Examinations, have been conflated and amended to reflect current University Guidance to Schools on the Abandonment or Assessments.

  • The definition of a ‘Mature Student’ has been removed from Section 1.
  • The options for Placement assessment component b to be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis on non-numerical Grade Scale have been removed from Section 4.2.2. References in Sections 4.3 and Section 9 to Placements that do not contribute to award classification have been removed as they no longer match current University practice.
  • Changes have been made to regulations around the transfer to the Ordinary Degree, with the transfer only being able to be done via a Representations Board. This has affected the following regulations:
    • Regulation 5.2g: The following regulation has been removed: shall be required to transfer to the Ordinary Degree, where the programme specification for the programme states that it is available.
    • Regulation 6.2.6: Amended as follows: If a student fails repeat assessments, where these constitute the third attempt, and virtuous credit is not available or appropriate, the Board of Examiners will require the student to withdraw from the programme of study or to transfer to the Ordinary Degree, if available and if sufficient credits have been accrued.
    • Regulation 6.2.9: Amended as follows: If a student fails restart assessments, where these constitute the third attempt, and virtuous credit is not available or appropriate, the Board of Examiners will require the student to withdraw from the programme of study or to transfer to the Ordinary Degree, if available and if sufficient credits have been accrued.
    • Regulations 6.5.1 and 6.5.2: Previously a single regulation, this regulation has been split into two and amended to reflect the above change to Ordinary Degree transfer:
      • 6.5.1: The Board of Examiners may require allow a student who makes representation to the Board in relation to failure (see Regulation 5.6) to transfer to an Ordinary Degree, where available, when they fail to meet the requirements for progression to the next Honours Stage. Transfer to an Ordinary Degree can only be effected by a Representations Board; Programme Boards cannot transfer students to an Ordinary Degree.
      • 6.5.2: Such Transfer to an Ordinary Degree shall only take place where the student, following any condonement, has accumulated 100 credits at the end of the first Stage, or at least 200 credits at the end of Stage 2. Transfer to the Ordinary Degree shall not be effected unless the student, prior to any condonement, has accumulated 80 credits at the end of the first Stage, or at least 160 credits at the end of Stage 2. Any opportunity to apply virtuous credit regulations should be explored prior to transfer to the Ordinary Degree, and the implications of transfer to the Ordinary Degree must be made clear to the student.
  • Regulation 7.6, regarding degree calculations for students with ‘unspent’ exceptional circumstances has undergone significant changes to allow Boards of Examiners to better consider the promotion of students with unspent exceptional circumstances.

Removed Regulation: 

    • If a candidate has ‘unspent’ Exceptional Circumstances and there is evidence of reasonable performance elsewhere in their profile the Board of Examiners may decide to increase the borderline band for degree classification for the candidate, taking into account the learning outcomes of the programme.                         

New Regulation:

    • If a candidate has ‘unspent’ Exceptional Circumstances and there is evidence that their performance has been affected in these modules compared to performance elsewhere in their profile, the Board of Examiners may decide to exclude a maximum of 40 credits of final year modules affected by unspent Exceptional Circumstances from the degree classification calculation for the candidate, taking into account the learning outcomes of the programme.

  • Regulation 10.3 has been removed, as publishing of an alphabetical list of degree awards does not reflect current University practice.

    • Any final award, including the degree classification of a student, is regarded as public information and may be published by the University in any form and released to enquirers on request. The results of students who have been recommended for an award shall be published in a list drawn up in alphabetical order by student name.

  • Amendments to the Dissertation Module definition (Regulation 1.9) to ensure adequate provision for students to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma where a programmes dissertation module is larger than 60 credits, and specifying that dissertations should consist of a single module, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements.       
    • Dissertation Module is the term used in these Regulations for the 60-80 credit Level 7 module which is normally the final component of a full Master’s programme. If a dissertation is larger than 60 credits adequate provision should be made for students to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma. Dissertations should consist of one module, subject to the requirements of professional, statutory and regulatory bodies. The module may be research or professionally focused, as appropriate for the programme, subject to overall consistency of the programme with the QAA descriptor for a higher education qualification at Level 7 (Master’s degree). The module will normally be assessed by a dissertation (a substantial essay or formal professional report) and may also include a number of other assessed elements, including oral tests, laboratory or field studies, or other forms of evaluation. Precise requirements will be defined in the module specification.            
  • New Regulation 7.1.4, enabling students formally to begin their dissertation Stage prior to the confirmation of all taught results by the Exam Board. At the point of the Board, if the student has failed more than 30 credits, the Board can ‘pause’ the students dissertation for referrals to be taken, or recommend that the referrals are taken following the students dissertation submission at their discretion:     
  • A student may begin their dissertation stage prior to receiving confirmation of all taught stage results, but may be required to cease work on their dissertation subject to a formal academic progress review meeting, to be held at the end of their taught study, at which point the following options become available: 

    • The Board of Examiners may allow a student to continue with the dissertation stage trailing a maximum of 30 taught credits.
    • A student who is found to have failed more than 30, but no more than 60 taught credits will be required to either:
      • Cease work on their dissertation stage and complete referrals of all failed taught modules prior to recommencing their dissertation stage, or,
      • Continue their dissertation stage to completion, and subsequently complete referrals of all failed taught modules at the next available appropriate opportunity following the completion of their dissertation stage.
    • Where both of the above options are deemed equally appropriate in a particular case, the decision on which of the above options will apply will be made in consultation between the Board of Examiners, Programme Director, and the student concerned.    
  • Amendment to Regulation 8.6, regarding treatment of ‘unspent’ exceptional circumstances. Regulations allowing Boards of Examiners to ‘widen the borderline’ where a student has unspent exceptional circumstances has been removed and replaced with a regulation to enable Boards of Examiners to exclude up to 40 taught credits of final year modules from degree calculations that are affected by unspent exceptional circumstances:

    • If a candidate has ‘unspent’ Exceptional Circumstances and there is evidence that their performance has been affected in these modules compared to performance elsewhere in their profile, the Board of Examiners may decide to exclude a maximum of 40 Taught Stage credits of modules affected by unspent Exceptional Circumstances from the degree classification calculation for the candidate, taking into account the learning outcomes of the programme.

  • The wording of Regulations 10.3, 10.4 and 10.6, regarding Masters awards ‘with distinction’ or ‘with merit’, has been amended to better define the margins within which students are eligible for promotion:

    • 10.3. The margin within which candidates are eligible for promotion for a Master’s programme of 180 credits is 0.5% or less below a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade boundary. Students within 0.5% of a Pass boundary will be promoted automatically.

    • 10.4. Master’s may be awarded ‘with Distinction’ or ‘with merit’:

      • To achieve the award of distinction students must achieve an average mark of at least 70% over 180 credits. A minimum average unrounded mark of 67.50% is required for both the taught and dissertation stages of the programme.
      • To achieve the award of merit students must achieve an average mark of at least 60% over the 180 credits. A minimum average unrounded mark of 57.50% is required for both the taught and dissertation stages of the programme.
    • 10.6. The margin within which candidates are eligible for promotion for Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma programmes is 0.5% below a Pass, Merit or Distinction grade boundary. Students within 0.5% of a boundary will be promoted automatically.

  • Addition of the definition of a "Deferred Assessment” as follows:
    • Assessment in a failed module with no increment to the attempt number for that assessment. The Board of Examiners may require the student to attend the University and receive tuition.
  • Amendment to Regulation 2.3 (Regulation 2.1 in the General Regulations for Undergraduate and Integrated Masters Programmes), taking into account the phased implementation of new GCSE grading structures:
    • Applicants must provide evidence of proficiency in the English language as demonstrated by a pass at GCSE grades A*, A, B or C, (Grades 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 or 4 in new GCSE grading structures) or a qualification recognised by the Senate as being equivalent.
  • These regulations now include explicit reference to Class Tests to reflect their coverage of a widening variety of in-situ assessments in addition to traditional examination formats.
  • Regulations 9 and 24 have been updated to reflect current Student and Academic Services practice in regards to the provision of calculators for examinations:
    • Regulation 9: For exams that allow calculators, candidates will bring their own calculator which must be from the Casio FX-83, Casio FX-85, HP10s or HP10s+ series. No other type of calculator is allowed. The Examinations Office has a limited supply of approved spare calculators and cannot guarantee that there will be sufficient to supply one to a student if they have not brought their own.
    • Regulation 24: For exams that allow calculators, candidates should bring their own calculator, which must be from the Casio FX-83, Casio FX-85, HP10s or HP10s+ series. No other type of calculator is allowed. The lid must be removed and placed either in the clear bag provided or with the candidate’s bag/coat. The Examinations Office can in some circumstances provide candidates with a HP10s or HP10s+ calculator, but they cannot guarantee to have sufficient numbers of calculators available. Students must not rely on the University being able to provide a calculator.
  • Regulations 16d and 27 have been updated to reflect current Student and Academic Services practice in regards to the provision of calculators for examinations, as outlined in the above section.
  • Existing Regulations 12c and 41 have been removed, as they no longer reflect current University practice:
    • Regulation 12c: When appropriate (once a week for each examination session) lilac coloured examination answer booklets have been used.
    • Regulation 41: At the end of the examination, the Invigilator shall remind the candidate that a report will be made to the University Disciplinary Officer (acting as nominee of the University’s Chief of Operations and Estates). The candidate should also be informed that he or she should see the Academic Registrar as soon as possible.

  • The specific categories of sexual violence, harassment and hate crime have been added to the list of disciplinary offences covered by the regulations.
  • Regulation B2.4 has been removed:
    • Where the University considers it possible that a criminal offence has been committed the University Disciplinary Procedures will not be used as an alternative to criminal proceedings.

  • Amendment to the definition of repeat offence to specify an offence is only classed as repeated in an assessment submitted after a student has been notified of their initial offence.
  • Level 0 offences removed from example offences, and amendment of the definition of a Level 0 penalty to “No penalty to awarded mark. A warning will be given. A Level 0 penalty can only be arrived at through mitigation.”
  • Regulation B2.1 has been amended to allow an appropriate nominee designated by the Executive Dean of the relevant School to act in the absence of the appointed Fitness to Practise Officer:            
    • A member of staff will be appointed to act as Fitness to Practise Officer (FPO) for each School containing programme(s) and/or subject(s) which are subject to Regulations on Fitness to Practise. FPOs should not be in a position where he or she may also need to provide pastoral support to students involved in disciplinary or fitness to practise cases. In these instances, or in the prolonged absence of the Fitness to Practise Officer, an appropriate nominee designated by the Executive Dean of the relevant School should act as the Fitness to Practise Officer.           
  • The former Assessment Regulations and Policies document has been reconfigured as Assessment Policies, now containing the following Sections:
    • Marking Policy
    • Definitions of Marking Practices
    • Generic Marking Scales
    • Late Submission of Work and Penalties
    • Recycling of Assessment Content
  • The above Sections have been subject to significant amendments, so students should familiarise themselves with the new Assessment Policies document at the point of re-enrolment.
  • Aston Student Code of Conduct

  • Precautionary Exclusion Risk Assessment Form – Student Discipline

  • Precautionary Exclusion Risk Assessment Form – Fitness to Practise/Fitness to Study

Changes approved by Senate for 2011-12 onwards

What's new for students 2016-17

What's new for students 2014-15

What's new for students 2013-14

What's new for students 2012-13

What's new for students 2011-12

Changes before 2011-12

Changes approved by Senate before 2011-12

What's new in General Regulations 2009 | 2010
What's New in Examination and Assessment Regulations 2009 | 2010
What's new in regulations on student discipline 2010