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Section 19: Assessment

19.Assessment

Information on examination and assessment, including details of the information students will receive, how work is set and marked, and when they will receive notification of their marks.

19.1.About assessment

Assessment is a general term that is used to describe the mechanisms by which students’ achievement through their programme of study is measured. The department’s programmes typically use a mixture of formative and summative assessment to test different skills and to enable students to achieve the intended learning outcomes: formative assessment provides feedback to students about their progress towards achieving the intended learning outcomes for the module; summative assessment provides a clear statement of achievement or failure that can be made in respect of an individual student’s performance and contributes to an overall degree classification.

Further information:


19.2.Assessment structure

Each module will have one or more summative assessments that will test students against the learning outcomes for that module. The mark for each summative assessment contributes a given percentage towards the overall module mark. Examples of common assessments include examinations, coursework, presentations, group project work, and in-class tests. Most modules have multiple assessments, such as a coursework and examination.

Some summative assessments have multiple tasks, for example a coursework might be comprised of app development, a report, and a presentation. The mark for each assessment task contributes a given percentage towards the overall assessment mark.

The assessment structure for each module is summarised on the module’s syllabus. Students should expect that, for each module, the details of all summative assessments, any constituent parts, and their weightings will be published via the module’s Moodle page at the start of the term in which the module is delivered (www.ucl.ac.uk/moodle.)

Further information on completing and passing modules is given in Section 9: Progression and award.

Further information:


19.3.Assessment information for students

Assessment is a critical aspect of the programme and it is important for students to understand how and when they will be assessed, what is expected of them, and how this will contribute to their overall award.

Programme Directors are responsible for ensuring that students are provided with comprehensive, accurate and timely information for all the assessments they will take throughout their programme. Students should expect the following information to be published for each assessment, where relevant, at the point it is set:

  • A description of the assessment task (i.e. what is required), any word count or other restrictions, and any penalties that may be applied if restrictions are exceeded.
  • Marking criteria setting out how marks will be awarded for the assessment task;, for group work this should also include information on whether and how the contribution of individuals will be assessed; for peer assessed work this should include information on how marking should be carried out, and on how the marks awarded by peers will be second-marked and moderated.
  • Instructions on the style of referencing to be used (for example, Harvard, Vancouver, APA, etc.), and examples of this.
  • Instructions on when and how work should be submitted (for example, via Moodle and/ or in hard-copy via the Departmental Office.)
  • Information on when and how provisional marks and feedback will be published (for example, written comments via Moodle, general verbal feedback in class.)

Further information:


19.4.Marking criteria and learning outcomes

Information on what marking criteria and learning outcomes are, and what information students can expect to receive.

19.4.1.Marking criteria

Each summative assessment has marking criteria that sets out how the work will be marked. This is typically an explicit statement of the criteria applied in marking, including a detailed description of the qualities representative of different grades or ranges of marks. For quantitative assessments, such as exams, this is commonly an explicit explanation of how the assessment is scored, i.e. how many marks are available in total and how many marks are associated with each question.

The marking criteria for coursework and other assessments are published via the module’s Moodle page at the point the coursework is set. For written examinations, the marks available for each question and each sub-part of each question are published as part of the paper.


19.4.2.Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes for each module specify what a student should be able to do as a result of having completed it, ideally something that is measurable. This is typically an action rather than a concept. Summative assessments are designed to tests students’ learning against these outcomes. The learning outcomes for each module are published via the module syllabus.

Further information:


19.4.3.Marking scales

Summative assessments are criterion-referenced, which means that the assessment evaluates the ‘absolute’ quality of a candidate’s work against the marking criteria; the same work will always receive the same mark, irrespective of the performance of other students in the cohort.

All marking is on a scale of 0-100. Module marks are rounded to the nearest integer, with decimal places below five being rounded down and decimal places of five or more being rounded up.

Some assessments are binary marked, which means that a genuine attempt will be awarded a mark of 100, otherwise the work will be given mark of 0. The aim of this type of assessment, which usually carries a small weighting, is to help students to learn but to relieve the pressure of chasing every mark.

Undergraduate modules

Modules at Level 4 (First), Level 5 (Intermediate) and Level 6 (Advanced) are marked on the undergraduate scale; the module pass mark is 40.

Mark Classification
70 — 100First class
60 — 69Upper Second Class (2:1)
50 — 59Upper Second Class (2:1)
40 — 49Third Class (2:1)
0 — 39Fail

Masters modules

Modules at Level 7 (Masters) are marked on the postgraduate scale; the module pass mark is 50.

Mark Classification
70 — 100Distinction
60 — 69Merit
50 — 59Pass
0 — 49Fail

19.4.4.Grade descriptors

Grade descriptors relate general characteristics of assessed work to a range of marks. The department publishes general grade descriptors to help students interpret the marks and grades they receive for their work.

Further information:


19.4.5.Publishing provisional and final marks

Marks for coursework and examinations are unconfirmed provisional and subject to change until they have been confirmed by the Final Programme Board of Examiners, the Faculty Board of Examiners, and are reviewed and published by UCL Academic Services.

The reason for this is that marking must be subjected to internal moderation and external review to ensure fairness, consistency, and equitability of standards before marks and awards can be finalised.

Students will receive provisional marks for their work throughout the academic year, once marking has been completed. For coursework, in-class assessments, etc. the provisional marks will be provided via Moodle Gradebook within 30 calendar days of the assessment/ submission date. Provisional examination marks will be issued following the Summer Programme Board of Examiners.

Final marks are published via Portico (www.ucl.ac.uk/portico) following final verification at the end of the academic year.

Further information:


19.5.Award classification

Information on how assessment and module marks are combined to reach a programme mark and classification.

19.5.1.About award classification

The overall module marks for each year of the programme are combined to form a weighted mark, which is used to determine the award classification. The algorithms for calculating programme marks are specific to the level of the qualification.


19.5.2.Module mark

A module mark is a weighted average of its summative assessment marks, i.e. the total sum of each assessment mark multiplied by its assessment weighting. The calculated module mark is then rounded to the nearest integer.

For example, for a module with an examination weighted at 70% and a coursework weighted at 30%: module mark = (exam mark × 70%) + (coursework mark × 30%.)

In order to pass an undergraduate module, i.e. one at Level 4 (First), Level 5 (Intermediate), and Level 6 (Advanced), a student must: (i) complete the module; (ii) achieve an overall module mark of 40%; (iii) achieve a minimum mark of 40% in any assessments that are prescribed as non-condonable in the programme’s Scheme of Award; and (iv) achieve any minimum qualifying marks prescribed for individual assessments in the programme’s Scheme of Award and by accrediting bodies.

In order to pass a postgraduate module, i.e. one at Level 7 (Masters), a student must: (i) achieve an overall module mark of 50%; (ii) achieve a minimum mark of 50% in any assessments that are prescribed as non-condonable in the programme’s Scheme of Award; and (iii) achieve any minimum qualifying marks prescribed for individual assessments in the programme’s Scheme of Award and by accrediting bodies.

A unit/ credit weighted module mark is determined by multiplying the module mark by the units/ credits awarded for that module. Students are awarded units/ credits for a module when it is passed.


19.5.3.Year average mark

A year average mark relates to a specific year of the programme (i.e. where programmes span multiple years); it is calculated by adding together the course-unit weighted module marks and dividing this by the total number of course-units accumulated in that year.


19.5.4.Programme mark

Awards are classified based on students’ performance throughout their programme, determined by an overall programme mark. The programme mark is based on marks of the modules that will count towards the award.

The amount a module mark contributes to the programme mark is weighted according to that module’s credit/ course-unit value and, for undergraduate programmes, the year in which it was taken (such that the later years of the programme contribute more towards classification.) The marks for retaken or substitute modules will be assigned to the year in which that module was first attempted, rather than in the year it was taken, if that is different.

Undergraduate programmes

The programme mark is calculated as the sum of the Year Averages weighted according a ratio specific to the programme of study.

An Extra Mural Year (EMY) does not factor into calculation of the programme mark (i.e. is weighted 0); Marks for a Study Abroad Year (SAY) are included and are weighted according to the year of the programme in which the SAY was taken.

Programme Ratio for weighting Year Averages Weighted Year Averages Programme mark
1:3:5
  • Year 1
  • Weight: 19
  • Year 2
  • Weight: 39
  • Year 3
  • Weight: 59
  • - -
    • ( Yr Ave 1 × 19 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 2 × 39 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 3 × 59 )
    1:3:0:5
  • Year 1
  • Weight: 19
  • Year 2
  • Weight: 39
  • EMY
  • Weight: 0
  • Year 4
  • Weight: 59
  • -
    • ( Yr Ave 1 × 19 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 2 × 39 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 4 × 59 )
    1:3:5:5
  • Year 1
  • Weight: 114
  • Year 2
  • Weight: 314
  • Year 3
  • Weight: 514
  • Year 4
  • Weight: 514
  • -
    • ( Yr Ave 1 × 114 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 2 × 314 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 3 × 514 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 4 × 514 ) +
    1:3:5:0:5
  • Year 1
  • Weight: 114
  • Year 2
  • Weight: 314
  • Year 3
  • Weight: 514
  • EMY
  • Weight: 0
  • Year 5
  • Weight: 514
    • ( Yr Ave 1 × 114 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 2 × 314 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 3 × 514 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 5 × 514 ) +
    1:3:5:5
  • Year 1
  • Weight: 114
  • Year 2
  • Weight: 314
  • SAY
  • Weight: 514
  • Year 4
  • Weight: 514
  • -
    • ( Yr Ave 1 × 114 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 2 × 314 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave SAY × 514 ) +
    • ( Yr Ave 4 × 514 ) +

    Further information:


    Postgraduate programme mark

    The overall programme mark is determined from a credit weighted average of the marks for modules that count towards the award. This is the sum of the relevant credit weighted module marks divided by the total credit contributing to the award (i.e. 180 credits for a Masters degree, 120 credits for a Postgraduate Diploma, and 60 Credits for Postgraduate Certificate.) The calculated programme mark is then rounded to the nearest integer.

    Only modules that are passed or are condoned confer credit and can contribute to an award and classification. Where a student achieves more credit than is required for an award, the Board of Examiners will determine which modules are counted.

    Further information:


    19.5.5.Classification

    Undergraduate programmes

    Students who have completed the requirements for an Honours Degree will, on the recommendation of the Undergraduate Programme Board of Examiners, be awarded either:

    • First Class Honours, or
    • Second Class Honours (Upper Division), or
    • Second Class Honours (Lower Division), or
    • Third Class Honours.

    Classification of the Award of Honours Degree is based on the programme mark as determined from the weighted year average marks:

    Mark range Classification
    70+ First class
    60 – 69 Second Class Honours (Upper Division)
    50 – 59 Second Class Honours (Lower Division)
    40 – 49 Third Class Honours

    Further information:


    Taught masters programmes

    Students who have completed the requirements for a Taught Masters Degree will, on the recommendation of the relevant Programme Board of Examiners, be awarded either:

    • Masters with Distinction
    • Masters with Merit
    • Masters

    Classification of the Award of Masters Degree is based on the credit-weighted programme mark over 180 credits and the mark for the project/ dissertation module.

    Further information:


    19.6.Feedback

    Information on what feedback is, how will students recognise it (questions in lectures, emails etc.), how and when students will receive feedback on their work and what will it look like.

    19.6.1.Feedback on assessment

    Students should receive feedback for every summative assessment they take. The aim of feedback is to provide an evaluation of the assessed work that has been marked, to help students evaluate their work and identify and understand how it could be improved, to develop students’ assessment literacy, and to inform their future learning.

    Feedback takes a variety of forms, including individual written comments, annotated marking schemes, individual oral feedback, automated feedback, model or indicative answers, face-to-face marking in lab classes, and feedback given during lectures. The type of feedback given depends on the nature of the assessment and the approach of the marker.

    Details of when and how feedback will be provided for the assessment will be published alongside the assessment instructions and marking criteria via the module’s Moodle page (usually at the point the assessment is set.)

    If students find that they have not been provided with feedback on an assessment within an appropriate timeframe, they should approach the Module Leader or Programme Director for advice.


    19.6.2.UCL feedback turnaround policy

    Regular feedback is an essential part of every student’s learning. It is UCL policy that all students receive feedback on summative assessments within one calendar month of the submission deadline. This feedback may take the form of written feedback, individual discussions, group discussions, marker’s answers, model answers or other solutions (although students should note that UCL is generally unable to return examination scripts or comments on the same.) Students writing dissertations or research projects should also expect to receive feedback on a draft on at least one occasion.

    If, for whatever reason, a department/ division cannot ensure that the one calendar month deadline is met then they will tell students when the feedback will be provided - it is expected that the extra time needed should not exceed one week. Where feedback is not provided within the timescale, students should bring the matter to the attention of their Departmental Tutor or Head of Department.

    Further information:


    19.7.Examinations

    Information on written examinations and a link to the UCL Examination Guide for Candidates on the Examinations and Awards website (Centrally Provided.)

    19.7.1.Examination conduct

    Students must ensure that they are aware of the regulations governing written examinations detailed in the UCL Examination Guide for Candidates on the Examinations and Awards website. Students should pay particular attention to the regulations around examination irregularities. Students who are suspected of any form of cheating or of breaching the Examination Regulations will be investigated under UCL’s Examination Irregularities and Plagiarism procedures.


    19.7.2.Intercollegiate examinations

    UCL students taking examinations at other colleges as part of the University of London’s Intercollegiate Scheme must abide by the regulations of the college they are attending. Similarly, students from other colleges taking examinations at UCL are subject to UCL’s regulations for examinations.


    19.8.Coursework

    Information on coursework submissions, clear information about where and how to submit work, including details of any electronic submission methods and the technical support available.

    19.8.1.About coursework

    Coursework covers a broad range of assessment methods, including for example: written reports, essays, technical questions, programming tasks, application development, lab and in-class tests, online MCQs, presentations, practical and demonstrations.

    Most modules have one or more coursework-based assessments. Some courseworks comprise multiple tasks; for example, a coursework might include a written report, a practical demonstration, and a presentation. The composition of coursework assessments, including how any tasks are weighted, any specific instructions, and how feedback will be provided, will be specified via the module’s Moodle page.

    At the point each coursework (or task) is set, specific information on when and how to submit the required work will also be published.


    19.8.2.Submission procedure

    The procedure for coursework submission is set by the home department for each module. Computer Science modules are prefixed with the code ‘COMP’, and for these modules coursework is submitted either in digitally or in hard-copy.

    The deadline for both digital and hard-copy submission is 12:00 (noon) on the day of submission (unless otherwise specified). Where submission requires both digital and hard copy, both must be received by the deadline.

    • Digital submission: the work must be uploaded and submitted to the assessment submission point on the module’s Moodle page
    • Hard copy submission: a coursework coversheet must be completed, signed and attached to the work, which should then be handed in to the Computer Science Departmental Office.

    Students who undertake modules owned by other departments should ensure they familiarise themselves and comply with the submission procedures prescribed by those departments.


    19.8.3.Support for coursework submission

    If a student has difficulties understanding any aspect of the coursework, they should consult the member of staff who was responsible for setting it in the first instance.

    Technical support for submission via Moodle is provided by the Information Service Division (ISD) Help Desk via email, telephone or in person. The Help Desk is available Monday to Friday between 08:30 and 17:30.

    Students can also seek advice from the Programme Administrator for their programme, who can advise on the submission procedure and help resolve any common problems students may face.

    It is ultimately a student’s own responsibility to ensure their work is submitted on time. Students are expected to plan their time sensibly, and take appropriate precautions to back-up and safeguard their work. In most cases, computer failures, virus infections or similar will not be regarded as sufficient excuse for late submission.


    19.8.4.Coursework late submission penalties

    Planning, time-management and the meeting of deadlines are part of the personal and professional skills expected of all graduates. For this reason, UCL expects students to submit all coursework by the published deadline date and time, after which penalties will be applied.

    If a student experiences something which prevents them from meeting a deadline that is sudden, unexpected, and significantly disruptive and beyond their control, they should submit an Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Form. If the request is accepted, the student may be granted an extension. If the deadline has already passed, the late submission may be condoned i.e. there will be no penalty for submitting late.

    In the first instance, students are encouraged to speak with their Programme Administrator (based in MPEB 5.22) if they need advice on the Extenuating Circumstances procedure. Completed applications for Extenuating Circumstances along with supporting evidence should be submitted via email to: cs.ec@ucl.ac.uk.

    More detailed information on Extenuating Circumstances is given in Section 20: Extenuating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustments.

    Further information:


    19.9.Absence from assessment

    Information about absence from assessment and the consequences of this (Centrally Provided.)

    Any student who is absent from an assessment will receive a mark of zero unless they obtain authorisation for the absence and formally defer their assessment to a later date by submitting a request for Extenuating Circumstances. Absences from assessment need to meet the criteria for Extenuating Circumstances and be supported by appropriate evidence. If Extenuating Circumstances are not approved, the mark of zero will stand and, for Modules at Level 4 (First), Level 5 (Intermediate) and Level 6 (Advanced), the module will also be incomplete.

    In line with UCL’s obligations for students studying under a visa, Tier 4 students must also obtain authorisation for any absence from teaching or assessment activities under the Authorised Absence procedures.


    19.10.Coursework word counts and penalties

    Information about word counts and penalties.

    Assignment briefs will include clear instructions about word counts, the inclusion of footnotes, diagrams, images, tables, figures and bibliographies etc. Students are expected to adhere to the requirements for each assessment. Students exceeding these parameters may receive a reduction in marks.

    For project work the department typically specifies maximum page counts rather than word counts, due to the wide variety of kinds of projects. The instructions for each summative assessment will be published to the relevant module’s Moodle page at the point the assessment is set. This will include any specific parameters and, where relevant, any consequences for exceeding them.


    19.11.Consequences of failure

    Information on the consequences of failure, including reassessment, referral and substitution of failed modules (Centrally Provided.)

    19.11.1.Reassessment

    The Programme Scheme of Award describes the modules which students must complete and pass in order to achieve their degree. Where a student fails to meet these requirements at the first attempt, and there are no Extenuating Circumstances (www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/c4/extenuating-circumstances) material to that failure, they may be reassessed on one more occasion only, unless they have been awarded a degree, are eligible for the award of a degree, or have been excluded from UCL on the grounds of academic insufficiency or as a result of misconduct. Students who have passed a module are not permitted to resit or repeat that module.

    Students who fail in up to and including 60 taught credits will be required to undertake reassessment in the Late Summer Assessment Period. Students who fail more than 60 credits will be required to Repeat the module/ s, with tuition, in the following academic year.

    There are separate provisions for students who fail due to Extenuating Circumstances (www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/extenuating-circumstances) - the Extenuating Circumstances Panel will determine the nature and timing of the Deferral, which may be offered with or without tuition/ attendance

    Resitting a module

    A resit is a second attempt at an assessment in the Late Summer Assessment Period (or equivalent), without any additional teaching/ tuition and with marks capped at the pass mark for that module (i.e. at 40 for modules at Levels 4, 5 and 6, and at 50 for those at Level 7.)

    Students resitting a module will resit the failed assessments only. Where a student fails a resit assessment, the higher mark of the first and second attempts will be recorded.

    Resitting students will be reassessed on the same syllabus as their first attempt. The method of assessment will usually be the same (for example, a failed examination will be reassessed by examination), however in some circumstances the Board of Examiners may approve an alternative method of assessment.

    Resits for taught modules must take place within or before the Late Summer Assessment Period.

    Further information:

    Repeating a module

    A repeat is a second attempt at a failed module in the next academic year, with teaching/ tuition and fees payable, and with marks capped at the pass mark for that module (i.e. at 40 for modules at Levels 4, 5 and 6, and at 50 for those Level 7.)

    Students repeating a module will be reassessed in all its assessments. They must attend and engaged in classes, and must meet UCL’s minimum attendance requirements.

    Repeating students will follow the syllabus and take the assessments for the new academic year (i.e. in which the repeat takes place), which may be different if the programme or module has changed between years of study.

    Further information:

    Reassessment of a Masters final project/ dissertation

    Students who fail a Masters dissertation/ research project will normally resit by 31 January (30 April for January-start programmes.) Exceptionally, the Board of Examiners may decide that the extent of failure is such that the student needs to Repeat the dissertation with tuition and fees.


    19.11.2.Postgraduate condonement

    Postgraduate condonement is the awarding of credit for an eligible taught module, which has been failed with a module mark 40-49, and for which any non-condonable assessments are passed.

    A maximum of 25% of the taught credits may be condoned (for example, 30 credits for a 180 credit MSc. The project/ dissertation module cannot be condoned. Programmes may specify other modules as being non-condonable in their Schemes of Award. Students must pass all non-condonable modules on their programme to progress or be eligible for an award.

    Taught postgraduate students who meet the condonement criteria (www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/c4/progression-award#9.5.2) will meet the Progression and Award Requirements and will not be permitted a further attempt.


    19.11.3.Capping of reassessment marks

    The marks for modules passed at the second attempt will be capped at the Pass Mark: 40% for modules at levels 4, 5 and 6 and 50% for modules at level 7. Students who defer their first attempt due to approved Extenuating Circumstances will not have their marks capped. Students deferring their second attempt (i.e. who have Extenuating Circumstances on a Resit or Repeat) will have their marks capped.


    19.11.4.Consequences of failure to meet award requirements

    Information on the consequences of failing to meet the programme’s award requirements and on interim awards, where permitted.

    Students who do not meet their programme’s requirements for award will not be recommended for that award. Those students who are not eligible for reassessment, for example where no further attempts are permitted, will be considered for an interim qualification. Where they meet the relevant course unit/ credit and learning outcomes, an interim award will be recommended. The title of an interim award may be different than the students’ original programme of study.

    A student who is unable to meet the requirements of a Study Abroad Year or Placement Year must be transferred to an equivalent degree with no Study Abroad or Placement requirement.

    If a student is not elligible for reassessment and does not meet the requirements for an interim award then no such award will be recommended and the student’s registration will be terminated.

    Interim qualifications for undergraduate programmes

    Programme Interim qualification Interim award Requirements
    • BSc Computer Science
    • MEng Computer Science
    CertHE Certificate of Higher Education in Computing
    DipHE Diploma of Higher Education in Computing
    MEng Computer Science Ordinary Degree BSc Computing
    MEng Mathematical Computation CertHE Certificate of Higher Education in Mathematics and Computing
    DipHE Diploma of Higher Education in Mathematics and Computing
    Ordinary Degree BSc Mathematical Computing

    Interim qualifications for taught postgraduate programmes

    Programme Interim qualification Interim award Requirements
    • MSc
    • MRes
    PG Cert Postgraduate Certificate
    PG Dip Postgraduate Diploma

    Further information:


    19.12.Academic integrity in Computer Science

    Information about academic integrity (plagiarism) in the discipline and where to seek advice on referencing.

    Academic integrity

    Academic integrity is the honest and responsible conduct of scholarly activity. At its heart are the principles that students submit work that is their own, expresses their own ideas, and attributes the work and ideas of others. It is a breach of academic integrity to commit plagiarism, to collude, to falsify data, and to breach examination conditions.

    Maintaining academic integrity in Computer Science

    Computer Science students will produce a wide range of assessed work throughout their programmes, for example including written reports, analyses, technical responses, algorithms, design, code and other software artefacts, in-class tests, examinations, presentations, group work, and practical demonstrations. Students will be advised by the assessment-setter of any rules relating to the conduct of the assessment and, where relevant, the appropriate style of referencing, and any instructions relating to the attribution of group work and for peer assessment.

    Students in Computer Science should be particularly aware of the risk of plagiarism through the reproduction of content from external sources (for example, programme code), the falsification of programme output, and the use of any external services for the purpose of producing code, software artefacts (including design elements), or other materials.

    UCL’s plagiarism policy (www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/guidelines/plagiarism) and the guidance published by Library Services (www.ucl.ac.uk/library/docs/guides/references-plagiarism) sets out in detail what constitutes plagiarism, what students should to avoid this in practice.

    If in doubt, students are strongly recommended to seek guidance from the relevant member of staff who can provide advice and guidance in relation to the assessments they set.

    Further information:


    19.13.Coursework referencing

    Information about accepted referencing methods.

    A student’s academic work will typically draw on information, concepts and ideas from a range of different sources, including for example: academic journals, books, standards, technical specifications, policy and law, and websites.

    Referencing is a method of citing the sources that have been used to inform the work in question. Accurate referencing is important to demonstrate how widely the student has researched their subject, to show the basis for their arguments and conclusions, and to avoid plagiarism.

    There are many different styles that can be used for referencing, with Harvard and Vancouver being amongst the most common at UCL. The style that should be used for each module or assessment will be informed by the relevant module tutor when the assessment is set. Examples of these styles will be provided via the module’s Moodle page.

    Further information:


    19.14.Plagiarism and Examination Irregularities procedures

    Information about UCL’s examination irregularities and plagiarism procedures (Centrally Provided.)

    UCL students are expected to be aware of and adhere to UCL’s referencing and examination requirements as a condition of their enrolment:

    • For examinations, the UCL Examination Guide for Candidates is published annually on the Examinations and Awards website. All candidates for written examinations must ensure they are familiar with the requirements for conduct in examinations set out in this guide.
    • For coursework submissions, students must ensure that they are familiar with the UCL Library Guide to References, Citations and Avoiding Plagiarism which provides detailed guidance about UCL’s referencing and citation requirements. Students should also ensure that they are familiar with the specific referencing requirements of their discipline.

    UCL will use plagiarism detection software to scan coursework for evidence of plagiarism against billions of sources worldwide (websites, journals etc. as well as work previously submitted to UCL and other universities.) Most departments will require students to submit work electronically via these systems and ask students to declare that submissions are the work of the student alone.

    Any student suspected of examination misconduct, plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, falsification or any other form of academic misconduct which is likely to give an unfair advantage to the candidate and/ or affect the security of assessment and/ or compromise the academic integrity of UCL will be investigated under the Examination Irregularities and Plagiarism procedures. If misconduct is found, students are likely to be failed for that assignment and/ or module. Serious or repeated offences may lead to failure of the whole year, suspension or even expulsion. A breach of copyright or intellectual property laws may also lead to legal action.

    Further information:


    19.15.Research ethics

    Information about research ethics, approvals process, code of conduct, etc. on the programme (where applicable.)

    All Computer Science students who undertake research, for example through their project/ dissertation, must consider the ethical implications of the work they intend to carry out and seek ethical approval for this.

    Research ethics ensures that the rights, dignity and best interests of all parties involved in, or affected by, a student’s research are protected. This often simply means gaining consent from informants and organisations, behaving with empathy in the field, and providing anonymity to people and places during and after the research phase.

    Students will receive guidance on research ethics from their Project Supervisor through their project/ dissertation module. Some degrees also cover research ethics through the taught part of the programme. Students who wish to undertake research through their taught modules, for example as part of an assessment, should seek guidance on any ethical implications from the relevant module tutor.

    Further information:


    19.16.Marking of assessments

    Information about marking, second-marking and moderation, and the release of provisional marks (Central and Local.)

    19.16.1.Marking, second-marking and moderation

    All work that is submitted for summative assessment is marked by a UCL Internal Examiner or Assistant Internal Examiner. All UCL programmes also include rigorous second-marking and internal moderation processes to ensure that marking is consistent and fair. Second-marking can take a number of different forms depending on the type of assessment, but the overall aim is to ensure that marking is as accurate as possible. Internal moderation also helps UCL to ensure that marking is equitable across different modules, pathways, options and electives.

    19.16.2.Provisional marks

    All marks are subject to change until verified by the programme’s Board of Examiners. Students should be aware that marks can and do change through the second marking and moderation process. The results released though the year, for example via the module’s Moodle Gradebook, are therefore unconfirmed provisional. Students’ marks are confirmed following verification by the programme’s Board of Examiners, the Faculty Board of Examiners, and are final once published via Portico by UCL Academic Services.

    Further information:


    19.17.External examining

    Information about External Examiners at UCL.

    External Examiners are senior academics or practitioners from other universities who help UCL to monitor the quality of the education we provide to our students. In particular, External Examiners scrutinise the assessment processes on each programme, helping UCL to ensure that all students have been treated fairly, that academic standards have been upheld and that the qualifications awarded are comparable with similar degrees at other UK universities.

    Each External Examiner submits an annual report. Faculties and departments are required to reflect on any recommendations and address any issues raised in a formal response. The report and response are discussed with Student Reps at the Staff-Student Consultative Committee, and are scrutinised by faculty, department and institution-level committees. Students can access their External Examiner’s report and departmental response via their Portico account or by contacting their Departmental Administrator in the first instance or Student and Registry Services directly (examiners@ucl.ac.uk.)

    Further information:


    Updated: 29-09-2017