Academic Regulations – Revisions for 2015-16





At its May 2015 meeting, the Academic Board approved a revised set of academic regulations. A summary of the changes is set out below.


For the avoidance of doubt, the updated regulations will apply to all new and continuing students from the start of the 2015-16 academic year.




2.1 Taken together, the following policy documents and regulations comprise the regulatory framework that governs students’ academic experiences at the School:


Conditions of Registration – these set out the School’s non-academic expectations of students who register with the School, regardless of the nature of their studies.


General Academic Regulations – these set out the academic expectations and regulations which apply to all students.


Degree Regulations – these set out the specific requirements of particular groupings of programmes and supplement the General Academic Regulations.


Classification Schemes – these provide the rubric for determining the award to which a student may be entitled based on his/her marks.


These regulations were updated for two main reasons. Firstly, ongoing School-level initiatives required – to a greater or lesser extent – accommodation within the School's student-facing regulatory architecture; namely, the implementation of the new academic year structure and the new four-year PPE degree. Outcomes from a working group on feedback and the development of the new departmental Assessment and Feedback Statements also required a review of their fit with relevant School regulations.


Secondly, the need to ensure that School-level regulations supported these initiatives provided an opportunity for some 'regulatory spring cleaning', i.e. to make the regulations more efficient and to remove redundancies.


Summary of changes


Regulations on student conduct have been moved from within the Student Disciplinary Procedure to the Conditions of Registration.


Regulations relating to terminating registration have been moved from the General Academic Regulations to the Conditions of Registration.


‘Your Programme of Study’ sections for all taught programmes have been excised. These statements mainly duplicated elements of existing regulations. The equivalent document for research students was deleted some time ago as it was deemed obsolete. The elements from ‘Your Programme of Study’ which were not incorporated into any of the key sections listed in section 2.1 above have been moved as appropriate:


Fee level according to whether a student is classified as being Home/EU or overseas – moved to Conditions of Registration.


Financial support available to students in difficulty – this is guidance for students more appropriately delivered via the Financial Support Office and online, not as part of a regulatory document.


Visa conditions relating, primarily, to permission to work during studies – this is guidance for students more appropriately delivered via the International Student Immigration Service and online, not as part of a regulatory document. The requirement that students abide by the terms of their visas is already covered in the Conditions of Registration.


Statements on admissions have been moved from individual degree regulations to the General Academic Regulations.


Each set of degree regulations had the following areas of policy in common, so were moved to the General Academic Regulations:


Programme transfers and variations


The establishment and headline responsibility of Exam Boards


Eligibility to sit exams


Adjustments to assessment



Attendance at teaching activities and throughout exam periods



The School’s ‘fit to sit’ policy and exceptional circumstances process



Exam deferrals



Overseas exams



Special Exam Provision



Absence from exams



Late submission of coursework and penalties



Academic Appeals


The aim of pulling together all common regulations in to the General Academic Regulations was partly to reduce the potential problem of have differing versions of the same regulation appearing throughout School documents and partly to improve transparency to students.


Other points to note


Changes to the academic year – the regulations required little adaption in response to the new academic year structure. These mainly involved minor changes to the wording around when students could re-sit or re-attempt assessments, to ensure it remained clear that each assessment still ran only once per year; and also to require students to be present during the new Lent Term ‘Week 0’ (LT0) exam period, as necessary.


On the specific point of re-sits or deferred attempts under the new academic year structure: the revised regulations stipulate that if a student is required to re-sit an examination or attempt a deferred examination, the next opportunity to do so will normally be in the next academic year during the equivalent examination period as the original failed or deferred examination. The only exception to this regulation will be in the 2015-16 transitional year:



If a student fails or defers a Summer Term 2015 exam in one of the courses that from 2015-16 will be examined wholly in Lent Term ‘Week 0’ or will be examined differently for the new 2015 student intake, she/he will be expected to re-sit or make the deferred attempt in Lent Term ‘Week 0’ 2016.



If a student fails a Summer Term 2015 exam and the exam element of the 2015/16 course has been split between the ST and LT week 0 exam periods, s/he will sit one exam in Summer Term to reflect the previous timings.


Further details are available in the FAQs for students.


The way penalties are to be applied to the late submission of summative coursework were amended. Five marks out of 100 will continue to be deducted for each 24-hour period the work is submitted late. But submission deadlines will not be set on Fridays, and weekend days will not count as penalty days.


BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics – the Undergraduate Studies Sub-Committee and the School Board of Examiners have approved the programme and degree regulations and the classification scheme for this new programme. These have been incorporated into the Regulations for First Degrees and the agreed classification scheme has been set out in the proposed new format. The only changes made were those of presentation or formatting.


Classification Schemes – no substantive changes have been made to the classification of awards. The only changes drew common content together in the General Academic Regulations or added notes for clarification where current practice was not necessarily obvious from the wording of the Scheme. The basis by which students are classified were not changed.


Schedules of Responsibility – these have been updated to reflect the amended version of the degree regulations.

For any queries about the revised regulatory framework, please contact Hannah Bannister (Head of Student Services).

June 2015