The Department provides a combination of different assessment methods within each programme. This approach ensures students develop the relevant knowledge and skills, and allows the Department to test their learning effectively.
Formative assessment develops the knowledge and skills that students come to LSE to acquire. Formative assessment is a compulsory part of every course and includes: class/seminar discussions and presentations; essays; problem sets; dissertation proposals and mock examinations. Formative assessment does not count towards the calculation of a student’s overall degree classification.
Summative assessment tests whether students have acquired the learning outcomes that are described above. This is achieved through a variety of methods including closed book and take-home examinations, presentations, coursework and dissertations. Summative assessment counts towards the calculation of a student’s overall degree classification.
A marking framework is used by markers for all summative and formative assessment. The relevant framework is included in each programme handbook and is also discussed in classes/seminars.
BSc programmes marking framework
MSc programmes marking framework
For the majority of courses, each piece of summative work is double-blind marked. The first and second internal examiners then agree the final internal mark. An External Examiner also receives a sample of scripts and other assessed material from the top, middle and bottom of the range in order to confirm that internal marking has been consistent and of an appropriate standard. This provides a third level of assessment scrutiny.
For a small number of courses (mainly those of a quantitative nature) a system of single-marking with moderation is used for summative work. Each script is marked by a first marker, and a selection of scripts is then ‘moderated’ by a second marker to ensure marking standards are consistent. If the moderator finds inconsistencies, scripts are re-marked. Scripts that are single-marked are also reviewed by the External Examiner as described above. Course Convenors will inform students if single marking with moderation applies to a particular course.
Extremely careful consideration is given to ensuring that appropriate methods of assessment are used on each individual course. Once reviewed and approved by the teaching cluster, the proposal is reviewed by the Departmental Teaching Committee. Once approved, final consideration is given by the School’s Undergraduate or Graduate Studies Sub-Committee.
The Department ensures that the School’s rules on plagiarism are clearly communicated to all students. Each programme handbook clearly sets out the Department’s policy on plagiarism, signposts students to the School’s guidance, and provides examples of what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it. There are additional sessions that cover plagiarism in SA349 and SA4C1.