Coursework, exams, resits and progression information.
Hybrid Learning & Teaching for 2020/21
Given the global pandemic situation and guidelines for limiting spread of the virus, the assessment scheme has been adapted to satisfy asynchronous teaching constraints. As a result, a significant part of the evaluation will now be based on coursework. Consult the examinations pages for details.
This year, at least 50% of the grade of a course will be based on coursework for the majority of the courses. You can consult the course index page for details specific for each course.
Coursework will usually be submitted either electronically, or in paper form to the ITO.
Coursework deadlines will be announced at the beginning of each course, to help you plan.
Work will normally be handed back within three weeks (generally two) for most courses. Some courses (example large practicals) may take longer but this will be advertised.
Coursework will be annotated with a grade and/or a mark. Please note that these are provisional and may be revised by the Board of Examiners (for example, this might happen if it became clear that coursework had been much more harshly marked on one course than another).
In year 3 exams are usually held during the April/May exam diet. However this year exams will be replaced either with additional coursework assessment or timed take-home (“open-book”) exams offered remotely.
The course lecturer will normally advise you if the format of the examination will be different from what you see in the course's past papers: however, it is your responsibility to read the rubric of the examination paper!
For Honours courses (including combined honours), the examinations must be passed at the first attempt, although failures on individual papers are permitted. That is, students failing to obtain an overall Honours pass mark, or failing to achieve 80 credits at the end of the year will not be permitted to enter fourth year.
Calculators not provided at Informatics exams
If the use of a calculator is permitted in a take home exam, it is your responsibility to use your own calculator to do the exam.
Only a calculator from the approved list specified in Policy 4.1.3 of the College of Science and Engineering Policy and Procedure of the Use of Calculators in Examinations 2020-21 may be used in Informatics exams.
Please note: You are entirely responsible for the working order of your calculators and batteries. You are warned that although electronic calculators have a high degree of reliability, you should check the correct entry of data and the credibility of results. The commonest form of malfunction is due to the run down of batteries.
Other schools within the University may have different policies on providing calculators; please make sure you check this before any exams. If in doubt, take an approved calculator with you to the exam, just in case.
Examinations, coursework and projects are taken into account in assessing each student's performance.
Progression into fourth year, or passing an ordinary degree, is determined by the (credit-point weighted) average of the third year courses. However, the marks for the individual courses are carried through into fourth year, where they are combined with the marks for the fourth year courses to calculate the overall degree class.
The Board of Examiners has the discretion to take into account criteria other than the raw mark in deciding admission to Honours or the award of an Ordinary degree. The criteria used by the third year Board include:
- did the candidate suffer serious medical, psychological or emotional stresses that adversely affected their performance? For this reason, it is most important that you keep your Director of Studies informed of any such circumstances when they happen.
- did the candidate's choice of courses include some with unusually low averages, or that encountered serious problems during delivery?
- does the candidate display particular strengths in some areas that mitigate the overall failure?
- does the candidate have a strongly improved performance compared to the previous year of study?
Progression to fourth year; ordinary degrees
To be admitted to the fourth year of the Honours degrees, students must achieve an overall mark of 40% (Progress to the MInf year 4 is 55% average rather than just 40%) in third year, with examinations taken at the first attempt. In addition, it is necessary to pass at least 80 credits' worth of courses. In combined degrees, the Board of Examiners may consider that a clear fail in one half of the degree will debar the candidate from progressing to fourth year. Further, failure on certain courses (notably the major practicals) may reduce the candidate's BCS exemptions (see below).
BCS Exemptions/ CEng accreditation
The rules for accreditation for CEng and exemption from parts of the British Computer Society examinations are somewhat complicated. The following is a summary: if in doubt, consult the DoT.
If you gain an Honours degrees in SE, CS, AI&CS, AI&SE, CS&E or SE&E, including the Professional Issues course, and pass the Informatics Honours project, then you are eligible for CEng accreditation and exemption from Parts I and II (and Project) of the British Computer Society Examinations.
If you gain an Honours degrees in CS&ManSci, CS&Maths, or CS&Physics, and pass the Informatics Honours project, then you are eligible for exemption from Part I (and Project) of the British Computer Society Examinations.
If you gain an Ordinary degree in Informatics, and pass one of the CS3 major practicals, then you are eligible for exemption from Part I (and Project) of the British Computer Society Examinations.