Home > Staff and students > Staff > Teaching at LSE > Handbook for departmental tutors and academic advisers > Section 3. Academic progress decisions and procedures > 3.12 Students who fail to meet the School progression rules: Student Progress Panel (SPP)


3.12 Students who fail to meet the School progression rules: Student Progress Panel (SPP)

From July 2013 the Student Progress Panel has been renamed the Repeat Teaching Panel. This is to better reflect that the majority of applications received by the Panel are for repeat teaching. The Panel is chaired by an established member of academic staff and also includes the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The Student Services Centre Advice Manager, who is the Panel Secretary, and the SSC Advice Team deal with all Panel administration and any queries should be directed to them at ssc.repeatteaching@lse.ac.uk| rather than by contacting panel members directly. There is additional information online at lse.ac.uk/repeatteaching|

Students who fail to meet the progression requirements, or are not awarded their degree, have the following options if they have not exhausted their attempts at the examinations:

  • Re-sit the examinations the following year as an unregistered student without repeat teaching.
  • Apply for repeat teaching in some or all of the failed courses.
  • Apply to exceptionally proceed to their next year of study, despite not meeting the progression rules for their degree. In this case, the student would be re-sitting the two, or more, failed papers alongside their second or third year papers. As the workload involved would be considerable this option is rarely granted.

Students who fail to meet the progression requirements will receive an email from the Advice Team when their results are released in July. They will be advised to contact their department for advice and will normally come to see their DT before the application deadline at the beginning of August.

Students who either do not wish to make an application or have their request declined are then entered for the examinations as private unregistered candidates in the bext session. As unregistered students they do not receive tuition and are not eligible for a student visa or funding from Student Finance England.

The Panel meets over the summer from July – September. Depending on the nature of the application DTs are either asked to decide the outcome of the request or to make a recommendation to the Panel. DTs will rely on the AAs to update student information on LSE for You and provide any relevant additional information. As these processes happen over the summer months when staff are involved in their own research and could be away from the School, this liaison may need forward planning.

Those who apply to progression or repeat teaching have to make an application to the Panel and provide appropriate supporting documentation. The application forms can be downloaded from www.lse.ac.uk/repeatteaching| and the student then completes the statement of application section before forwarding it to their DT to add their recomendation. The DT will then send the application with their recommendation to ssc.repeatteaching@lse.ac.uk|

Repeat teaching applications from students who have not applied to the Panel previously, and were not barred from examinations, can be approved by the DT without the Panel needing to ratify this decision. The DT must still forward the application to ssc.repeatteaching@lse.ac.uk| so that the outcome email can be issued and the student record updated. All other applications will need to be considered by the Panel.

Any application must clearly explain why they underperformed in their exams and why they consider they are applying for the most suitable option. The application should cite any mitigating circumstances such as a medical condition or bereavement. Wherever possible the student should provide supporting documentation such as an ISSA and medical certificate.

If a student wishes to apply for repeat teaching, they need to explain why they did not fully benefit from the teaching in the previous sessions and how they expect this to change in the future. Progression is rarely approved and the Panel would normally expect to see evidence that the student had completed all teaching and that some unexpected circumstance (such as a medical emergency) affected their performance in the failed paper(s).

The Panel have analysed the outcomes for students allowed to progress, and it is rare that even the most dedicated student does particularly well. Several fail again the next year or bring down their overall mark profile to the extent that it affects their degree class.

In a limited number of cases the Panel may be able to offer financial assistance through the Janetta Futerman Fund. Students can also be referred to the Financial Support Office and the Students’ Union for additional funding. The Panel can also recommend prioritisation for accommodation in an LSE Hall of Residence.

Case study

A student fails two courses and passes two courses with marks of around 40 per cent. He explains that last year he found it hard to settle at LSE, that he had financial difficulties and that he promises to do much better next year. He feels that he can cope easily with the two extra papers as he was only a few per cent off the pass mark in both. He says he got heavily involved with student societies and was on his Halls committee which took up a lot of his time. He also found the examination period problematic, as he did not feel that he managed his time well and became very stressed.

The DT reviews the student's class reports, which show 60 per cent attendance and average course work marks, with some missing assignments. The DT decides that the student has not fully benefited from the teaching and feels that to allow him to progress would not help him. Without the basic first year knowledge he would struggle in the second year. The DT notes that there is no immediate reason for the two failures (such as a medical problem) and that the other pass marks are low. The DT also notes that the student failed to cope with four papers this year and that to ask him to carry two into the second year would be very risky. The student also thinks that it would be easy to cope with the workload and that he can pass them without further teaching, which is unrealistic.

The DT instead supports repeat teaching, refers the student to the Teaching and Learning Centre for study advice and asks the AA to monitor his attendance. The DT then asks the SPP to request proof that the student has cut down on outside activities and puts him in touch with the Financial Support Office and the Students' Union Advice & Support Service for assistance with repeat funding.


Case study

A student on one of the joint degrees 'and Economics' fails both quantitative papers in his first year but passes the qualitative papers with lower or upper second marks. The student applies to the SPP for progression. It is clear from the class reports, adviser's comments and student's own submission that he is struggling with the quantitative component. After discussion with the SPP the application for progression is refused but repeat teaching is agreed on the condition that the student transfers to the single honours degree.