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Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Page last updated: 07/08/2020

Teaching and learning

Information around student assessment, mitigation arrangements, tuition fees and complaint processes relating to coronavirus.

2019/20: TEACHING AND LEARNING, EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES AND MITIGATION

Plus Icon How will my achievements be assessed this year?

We encourage all students to do their best and to submit their assessments.

When examiners assess your work this year, they will make academic decisions based on your academic performance against the learning outcomes.   

Academic Board has agreed a schema, guidance and changes to the Academic Regulations to enable Leeds Beckett University to make appropriate academic decisions covering assessment, student progression and the award of academic credit and degrees on undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Further information on the approved Covid-19 pandemic arrangements (Covid-19 Response - Schema, Guidance and Regulations) and a factsheet for students (Covid-19 Response - Progression and Award Factsheet for Students) is available under Section 4 of our Academic Regulations here

Further information on mitigation is provided below in the FAQs.

Plus Icon Can I have an extension to an assessment deadline?

All students have received up to four-weeks extension to all deadlines which were originally due or set between Monday 23 March and the end of the assessment period for their particular subject or School. This was in recognition of the potential impact of Covid-19 and to enable you to continue to complete your assessments.

New submission dates incorporated any extensions you had already been given by your course team, and are not in addition. That means if you already had a two-week extension to the original date of submission, this granted you an additional two weeks.

Your course team has reviewed their assessment requirements, and any deadlines that currently fall within the period, and will have notified you of the new submission dates.

Plus Icon When should I apply for a further extension?

It is recognised that circumstances may arise in which students are unable to complete or submit assessments. These are known as extenuating circumstances.

Students may submit details of their extenuating circumstances to request

  • an extension to an assessment deadline (mitigation at the point of assessment); or
  • apply for mitigation to lessen the harmful effect of their extenuating circumstances on assessment outcomes.

You are still entitled to submit individual requests for extenuating circumstances where you are seeking an extension to an assessment deadline or mitigation under our academic regulations (section 8).

In considering the assessment of students, the University will duly consider individual requests for mitigation due to extenuating circumstances which might have affected a student’s performance.

Plus Icon What is the extenuating circumstances and mitigation process?

Extenuating Circumstances

We encourage all students to do their best and to submit their assessments.

If you have specific individual extenuating circumstances that are affecting you and you are unable to meet the extended deadlines you should advise us and submit a request for mitigation for these individual extenuating circumstances.

It is recognised that circumstances may arise in which students are unable to complete or submit assessments or may impact on students’ engagement with their studies and assessed work. These are known as Extenuating Circumstances.

If the submitted extenuating circumstances are found to be valid, mitigation in respect of these will be considered in accordance with the University Regulations.

Extenuating circumstances which may have affected the performance of a cohort of students will be presented to the relevant Progression and Award Board. Where the circumstances are deemed to warrant this, the marks of the entire cohort may be adjusted upwards.

In recognition of the potential impact of Covid-19, we will consider this as general extenuating circumstances which may have affected the cohort as a whole. This will permit Progression and Award Boards to consider mitigation where appropriate as “Category A” mitigation for all students, for the period of the Covid-19 measures, even if you have not applied for it. This does not affect the need to submit assessed work or undertake examinations.

If you have specific individual extenuating circumstances that are affecting you and you are unable to meet the extended deadlines you should advise us and submit a request for mitigation for these individual extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating Circumstances and Mitigation

You can apply for extensions to assessment deadlines (i.e. mitigation at the point of assessment), for mitigation (e.g. if you are unable to sit an examination due to illness) or an authorised absence if you have individual extenuating circumstances which are Covid-19 or non Covid-19 related. For example, this may apply if you are ill due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) or if you have other non Covid-19 extenuating circumstances.

You may wish to apply for mitigation relating to individual extenuating circumstances that may be affecting you due to other reasons, such as non Covid-19 related extenuating circumstances or for individual circumstances that specifically are impacting upon your engagement with your studies or your submission of assessments.

This may lead to consideration by the School in the following ways:

a) An extension to an assessment deadline, at the point of assessment; or
b) If an extension is not possible and you have extenuating circumstances which are affecting you then these may be taken into consideration by Progression and Award Boards for the application of mitigation when making academic decisions relating to progression and award.

As indicated above if you do not submit an assessment and have not without good cause provided us with information on extenuating circumstances, then normally this would result in a recording of a non-submission of assessment.

Categories of Mitigation

Mitigation is categorised in section 8.3.13 and 8.3.15 of our Academic Regulations according to the seriousness of extenuating circumstances as follows:

a) Category A – Very serious - Category A mitigation permits the Progression and Award Board to consider alternative forms of mitigation in their determination of academic judgments and decisions

b) Category B – Sufficiently serious to defer assessment

c) Rejected – the Panel will reject claims which are late, (not substantiated by original documentary evidence - not applicable in Covid-19 period) or are not deemed sufficiently serious to warrant deferral.

Role of Progression and Award Boards

If the submitted extenuating circumstances are found to be valid, mitigation in respect of these will be duly considered in accordance with the University Regulations.

The Progression and Award Board will also receive a report on all extensions to assessment deadlines granted at the point of assessment and all outcomes of requests for authorised absence granted.

The mitigation permitted by the Progression and Award Board will normally be deferral of assessment to permit the student to be assessed as if for the first time (Section 8.3.15 Academic Regulations).

In recognition of the potential impact of Covid-19, we will permit Progression and Award Boards to apply the highest level “Category A” mitigation to all students, for the period of the Covid-19 measures, even if you have not applied for it.

Extenuating circumstances which may have affected the performance of a cohort of students will be presented to the relevant Progression and Award Board. Where the circumstances are deemed to warrant this, the marks of the entire cohort may be adjusted upwards.

Category A mitigation permits the Progression and Award Board to consider alternative forms of mitigation in their determination of academic judgments and decisions (see section 8.3.15 of the Academic Regulations).

Plus Icon What if I do not submit my assessments?

We encourage all students to do their best and to submit their assessments.

If you do not submit an assessment and have not without good cause provided us with information on extenuating circumstances, then normally this would result in a recording of a non-submission of assessment (see Sections 8.2.5 to 8.2.7 of the University’s Academic Regulations).

If you have not submitted assessments, this may mean that there may not be sufficient evidence that you have passed the learning outcomes of the level/award and may mean that you will need to complete further reassessments or could may result in other outcomes including failing the year.  This may also impact on your ability to evidence and meet any specific Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements.

If you have specific individual extenuating circumstances that are affecting you and you are unable to meet the extended deadlines you should advise us and submit a request for mitigation for these individual extenuating circumstances.

Further information on mitigation is provided below in the FAQs.

Plus Icon How do I submit requests for consideration of extenuating circumstances and mitigation?

You may apply for extensions, mitigation or authorised absence if you have specific extenuating circumstances that may be affecting your engagement with your studies or your assessment or examinations These may be Covid-19 related or other non-Covid circumstances.

We accept that it will be difficult to obtain evidence from a GP or health care professional given the Public Health England advice and current pressures on health services.

We have adapted our extenuating circumstances and mitigation request process to enable self-certification with an explanation of the circumstances affecting you. Please provide any evidence you are able to with your form.

View our revised extenuating circumstances and mitigation process on MyHub.

Our student fact sheet on the revised extenuating circumstances and mitigation process in the case of coronavirus (Covid-19) is available from Leeds Beckett University’s website.

Plus Icon If I have category A Covid-19 mitigation applied do I still need to submit all work?
Yes. We have encouraged and are supporting all students to continue with their studies and to submit all their assessed work.

Please be assured that should you fall ill with this virus and have to self-isolate, now, or at any time, we will make sure you do not suffer academic disadvantage. Students who are advised to self-isolate, or who are ill due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) can apply for mitigation or an authorised absence.

Plus Icon If I have category A Covid-19 mitigation applied should I still apply for mitigation for specific extenuating circumstances that I wish to considered by Progression and Award Boards?
Yes. We are encouraging students who are being adversely affected by specific extenuating circumstances, whether Covid-19 related or otherwise to apply for mitigation if those circumstances will affect your performance or ability to complete/submit assessments or undertake examinations.
Plus Icon If I already have Category A Mitigation that predates Covid-19 what does this mean for me?

Existing Category A mitigation relating to your individual extenuating circumstances that has been accepted and predates Covid-19 will be taken into account by the Progression and Award Board for the relevant period or modules to which this applies.

In addition, there is a general award of Category A mitigation for all students from 23 March for the period of Covid-19 arrangements to recognise the specific extenuating circumstances caused by the virus which may have impacted on students’ performance.

Plus Icon If I already have Category B Mitigation does this still apply?

Yes. Category B Mitigation will still apply. 

In addition, we will permit Progression and Award Boards to take into account the general extenuating circumstances relating to Covid-19 (Category A) to inform decisions relating to progression and award for the period of the Covid-19 measures, for all students, even if you have not applied for it.

Plus Icon Will a Category B Mitigation previously awarded be amended to Category A?

No. Category B Mitigation will not be amended to Category A.

Any existing Category B mitigation relating to your individual circumstances that has been accepted and that predates Covid-19 will be taken into account by the Progression and Award Board for the relevant period or modules to which this applies. Generally, the award of Category B mitigation results in a deferral of your assessment to the next available opportunity with the full range of marks available.

In addition, we will permit Progression and Award Boards to take into account the general extenuating circumstances relating to Covid-19 (Category A) to inform decisions relating to progression and award for the period of the Covid-10 measures, for all students, even if you have not applied for it.  

Extensions to assessment deadlines due to mitigation at the point of assessment may also have been applied relating to extenuating circumstances including Covid-19 from 23rd March 2020 (see FAQ above on “can I have an extension”).

Plus Icon My course is PSRB (Professional, Statutory, and Regulatory Body) accredited. Will Category A mitigation also be applied at exam and award boards?
Yes, where the application of mitigation is permitted by the PSRB. This will need to take account of any specific PSRB requirements in respect of essential modules that must be successfully completed and passed, any requirement for a minimum passmark, skill or level of achievement or attendance or other PSRB related regulatory requirement.

Please contact your course director for more information.
Plus Icon If I have mitigating circumstances that don’t relate to Covid-19 do I still apply for mitigation?

Yes. The University needs to understand where you have specific extenuating circumstances so that appropriate mitigation can be defined. Normally, students will receive one mitigation outcome even if there are multiple extenuating circumstances in play (e.g. both personal and Covid-19 related).

Plus Icon Where can I find further details about what will happen at Progression and Award Boards?

Academic Board has agreed a schema, guidance and changes to the Academic Regulations to enable Leeds Beckett University to make appropriate academic decisions covering assessment, student progression and the award of academic credit and degrees on undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Progression and Award Boards will consider the Covid-19 general extenuating circumstances and any accepted specific individual extenuating circumstances requests to inform their academic decisions in respect of students’ assessments and achievement of the required learning outcomes, for progression and the award of credit or award.

Where Progression and Award Boards determine that in applying their academic judgement, they will permit mitigation under our academic regulations section 8.3.15 b) they may determine whether a student will be given the choice between accepting an allocated mark or being assessed again as if for the first time.

In recognition of the potential impact of Covid-19, we will permit Progression and Award Boards to apply the highest level “Category A” mitigation to all students, for the period of the Covid-19 measures, even if you have not applied for it.

Further information on the approved Covid-19 pandemic arrangements (Covid-19 Response - Schema, Guidance and Regulations) and a factsheet for students (Covid-19 Response - Progression and Award Factsheet for Students) is available under Section 4 of our Academic Regulations on the University’s website.


Plus Icon Tuition fees information

Following Government advice, we suspended face-to-face teaching to protect the health of staff and students.

Although face-to-face teaching has been suspended, we continue to support all our students to achieve their desired outcomes and ensure no-one is academically disadvantaged by the current situation caused by Covid-19. We have done this by mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on teaching and assessments by moving to online teaching, adapting assessments and introducing new guidelines for our mitigation process. We will therefore not be refunding tuition fees.

These changes have been made to protect students and staff and comply with government requirements, whilst continuing with your teaching, learning and assessment.  All the decisions that the university is making to respond to the changes Covid-19 has imposed on our lives are being made in your best interest, ensuring that you can progress your studies and earn a qualification that you are proud of, and that will be valued by employers and accrediting bodies.

We believe that the measures we’ve put in place ensure the ongoing delivery of your educational experience and outcome, but we recognise that there may be some students whose specific circumstances are such that they are not able to take advantage of the alternative measures that have been put in place. If you consider that you have been disadvantaged as a result of the actions that we have taken and wish to make a complaint, please complete the Covid-19 complaints form.

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a result of lockdown and the measures that have been taken, please contact our Money Advice Team. They’re here to provide advice on budgeting, managing debt and signposting potential sources of financial support.

Plus Icon How do I submit a student complaint relating to coronavirus (Covid-19)?

A streamlined version of the student complaints procedure is in place to handle complaints relating to coronavirus (Covid-19). You can find the complaint form and procedure on our student complaints page.

Plus Icon Letters from Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities

Michelle Donelan, Minister of State for Universities has written letters to students and international students.

2020/21: TEACHING AND LEARNING ARRANGEMENTS FROM SEPTEMBER

Plus Icon What will my learning and teaching experience in 2020/21 look like?

In academic year 2020/21, your course will be delivered via a blend of online and digital learning and on-campus teaching and learning, with the necessary Covid-19 social distancing and other measures in place on campus informed by Government and Public Health England advice and guidance. Importantly, the teaching content you will receive won’t change; it will be what was planned for the academic year 2020/21 before the current Covid-19 outbreak. Not only does this maximise your learning experience, it also ensures that we support our more vulnerable learners, including those who may need to self-isolate or shield. 

The key points about your learning and teaching experience are:

  • Your start date will not change and you will start university at the original planned time
  • Course delivery will typically be in three 10-week blocks
  • To comply with social distancing, you will experience a ‘blended’ approach to learning – this is a mix of face-to-face on-campus and online teaching and learning
  • In the period up to December 2020 (teaching block 1) we are working within the government 2 metre social distancing measures. During this time, we will prioritise small-group and specialist teaching and are not planning to deliver large-group teaching on campus throughout 2020/2021. This will ensure that maximum space will be available for work that requires the use of specialist space or resources
  • We remain determined that as many students as possible will access on-campus contact with tutors in each term.   However, in most cases, if you choose not to attend, or are not able, to attend campus due to Covid-19 (e.g. due to self-isolation, shielding or travel restrictions), the taught content will be available online
  • Wherever possible we are planning to create ‘study bubbles’ – these are groups of students who consistently study together
  • In the event of a further government lockdown in response to Covid-19, we will prioritise digital and online learning and support to enable students to continue with and complete their studies. This will include the achievement of all learning outcomes including any specified professional statutory and regulatory body accreditation requirements where this applies
  • If there is an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, we will continue to provide blended delivery for teaching block 1 or semester 1 in 2020/21. We will keep teaching blocks 2 and 3 or semester 2 under review, informed by Public Health England advice
Plus Icon Will the university be open in September?

Yes, we will be open in September and your course will begin at the originally planned time. Your course will be delivered through a ‘blended approach’ - a combination of on-campus face-to-face teaching in small groups alongside online teaching and learning. See the key points above for more detail.

Plus Icon Will it be safe to come onto campus?

We have created detailed plans for learning and teaching which will meet social distancing rules and will create a safe environment in which you can learn. This involves moving to teaching students in small groups face-to-face, holding lectures online, reducing the number of students within specialist facilities and teaching students within specified zones of the campus. We will continue to follow Government and PHE guidance around Covid-19 in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both students and staff.

Plus Icon My course is accredited, will I still be able to meet these requirements?

We will prioritise face-to-face teaching and practical teaching to meet the intended learning outcomes and any requirements of relevant professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRB) if your course includes these elements. This will ensure that your course retains its full professional status.

Plus Icon Will things change if the Covid-19 alert level changes?

If there is an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, we will continue to provide blended delivery for teaching block 1 or semester 1 in 2020/21. We will keep teaching blocks 2 and 3 or semester 2 under review, informed by Government and Public Health England advice.

In the event of a further government lockdown in response to Covid-19, we will prioritise digital and online learning and support to enable students to continue with and complete their studies. This will include the achievement of all learning outcomes including any specified professional statutory and regulatory body accreditation requirements where this applies.

Plus Icon What learning support will be available for students?

We are committed to ensuring you continue to have opportunities to access the learning and wellbeing support that you need over the forthcoming year. General learning spaces, including access to libraries, will be available to be booked online; and where specialist space is needed, this will either be provided: as normal; created in newly adapted spaces; or replicated as part of an enhanced suite of online resources. Library support will be provided 24/7 online.

Plus Icon What wellbeing support will be available for students?

We believe the wellbeing of our students is very important. We will be offering the same high-quality support services in the next academic year as usual. These will mainly be delivered online and cover money advice, mental health support and disability services.

Our Students’ Union will also be providing their usual support and activities, some of which will be delivered online, covering welfare, education, housing and social matters. 

You can read more about this in our ‘Student services’ section.

Course changes 2020/21

Plus Icon What does it mean if I chose to defer my studies?
  • Your request will be considered by your course team.
  • Should your request be permitted this would mean you would suspend your studies and recommence these in 2021/22. 
  • This may mean that you need to study a different version of the course or that some option modules may have changed. You will be notified of this nearer the time.  
  • You will also need to consider if there are implications for any professional accreditation associated with your course. Your course team will be able to advise you on this.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, or your visa if you are an international student.
  • Further advice and guidance are available from the Student Money Advice Team, Student Immigration Advice & Compliance or the Students’ Union Advice Service.
Plus Icon I am considering transferring to another course at Leeds Beckett University, what do I need to know?
  • Places on courses may not be available for 2020/21 entry;
  • You would need to satisfy any applicable course admission requirements and professional requirements (where applicable) and processes for entry with advanced standing or credit transfer.
  • This may have implications for any professional, regulatory or statutory body accreditation status where applicable. Your course team will be able to advise you on this.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were required by the other provider to start afresh on your selected course. 
  • You would retain any credit you have successfully achieved and been awarded at Leeds Beckett University. This may not meet the applicable course admission or professional requirements for admission to another course and this will need to be considered. 
  • You would be awarded any credit or contained award you have successfully achieved by Leeds Beckett University.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were to continue studies at another provider and were required to start afresh on your selected course.
  • Further advice and guidance are available from your course team, the Student Money Advice Team or the Students’ Union Advice Service.
Plus Icon Can I transfer to another provider?
  • Yes, however, the new provider will make the decision as to whether to accept your application.
  • You will need to satisfy any applicable course admission requirements and processes for entry with advanced standing or credit transfer. 
  • Places on courses at other higher education providers may not be available for 2020/21 or 2021/22 entry.
  • This may have implications for any professional, regulatory or statutory body accreditation status where applicable.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were required by the other provider to start afresh on your selected course.
  • Other higher education providers may also be making changes to courses and methods of delivery in response to Covid-19 for 2020/21;
  • You would be awarded any credit or contained award you have successfully achieved at Leeds Beckett University.
  • Further detail can be found in our Student Transfer Plan 
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