This page is to support students in understanding the emergency University Regulations and Safet Net regulations for the academic year 19/20.
Extenuating Circumstances | Safety Net | Academic Appeals | Compensation | Trailing Credits
You can find the University regulations for this academic year and FAQs here: University's Safety Net and Emergency Regulations page.
You can find Wellbeing support under the "Wellbeing" tap on the USSU website.
For any questions regarding the regulations on this page, please email ussu.advice@Surrey.ac.uk with a breif explanation of your case.
For information relating to extenuating circumstances, not covering the 19/20 academic year: https://www.ussu.co.uk/supportz/academicappeal/extenuatingcircumstances
Due to the current situation with Covid-19, the University have agreed that at this exceptional time, the University will agree to requests for extenuating circumstances without evidence, for the remainder of the 19/20 academic year, so long as you have valid grounds to apply for ECs and as long as you apply for your ECs within 5 working days after your deadline/exam.
To be eligible for self-certification (no evidence needed) you should also ensure that you submit your request for an EC before the deadline or assessment date, or within 5 working days after the deadline or assessment date. Requests after this time will require evidence to demonstrate what your ECs were and why you were unable to apply at the time.
You can apply for an EC with evidene up until the exam board have met, after which time you will need to apply for an academic appeal (see below)
Students who have successful ECs in semester two will still be protected by the safety net
How to apply
You need to submit an application for Extenuating Circumstances via the official application form on Surrey Self-Serve. Click on "modules" and then "extenuating circumstances". You do not need to provide evidence for the remainder of the 19/20 academic year, this includes August assessments. You will need to apply for ECs under "Self-certified", otherwise you may be requested to provide evidence later. Your statement should say:
- What grounds you are applying under
- How this has impacted you and your ability to study/prepare/do you assessment
- What you want the outcome to be: deferral to August or extension on coursework/dissertation
ECs usually take up to 10 working days to be approved, but will be automatically approved by the University so long as the reason for your EC is consistent with the approved grounds and you submit your EC request before your deadline or assessment or in the 5 working days after.
If your request for extenuating circumstances is after the 5 working days after your deadline/assessment date then you must provide evidence to the University and explain why you were unable to submit the request for an EC at the time.
Grounds for Recognition of Extenuating Circumstances for 19/20 academic year
The following are considered as valid grounds for extenuating circumstances for this academic year only:
- Bereavement through the death of a relative or significant other
- For yourself, or someone within your care (child, parent, partner etc), who experience:
- Short term illness
- Long term chronic health condition suddenly worsening
- Flare up of a chronic health problem
- For part time or distance learning students, an increase in workload beyond your control
- Other exceptional circumstances that have or will have in the future, affected the student's ability to meet a deadline or to attend an exam.
- This may include technical issues that arise as a result of working from home. Such as, lack of internet access or not having the right IT equipment
- Other logistical concerns due to Covid-19 preventing you from being able to complete your assessments
Safety Net Policy
The University's "Safety Net" or "No Detriment Policy" is in place to protect students from the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Here are some basic principles:
- This is applicable for all students with some exceptions
- The safety net means that for the academic year 19/20, you can not receive a grade less than your semester one level average
- This does not include previous academic years and is only applicable for your 19/20 academic year. So, your safety net grade is the grade you achieved in your first semester results and will be applied to the academic year 19/20 only.
- You can improve your 'safety net' grade by actively engaging in your semester two assessments
- You must take part in all of your semester two assessments in order for the safety net to be applied
- Safety net is only applied if you pass all modules, so you will still need to pass all semester two assessments, and achieve at least the pass mark.
We would strongly advise that the safety net policy not be used in replacement of extenuating circumstances as there may be implications if you fail the module. If you are experiencing adverse effects of the Covid-19 outbreak, are unwell (mentally or physically) or have other circumstances that may prevent you from doing your best we would suggest you consider ECs. We can advise you on this process if you would like.
If you are a final year student, the safety net policy will only apply to your final year studies and your safety net grade for 19/20 will be what you achieved in first semester. Your second year result will then be combined with your final year average to give you your degree classification.
If you have EC'd a semester one assessment then it is likely that either:
1) your safety net will be applied based on the credits you did achieve in semester 1, assuming you achieved over 30 credits.
2) OR your safety net grade will be applied once the ECd assessment(s) has been taken. So, you wont find out what your safety net grade is until you have retaken this assessment (usually in the late summer assessment period).
It may be the case that both of the above will apply and you will have "two" safety nets - one based on the 30 credits you achieved in semester 1 and another after your reassessments.
Unfortunately, we are not in a position to be able to work out your "safety net" grade for you but have provided guidance below. We would suggest that if you are unable to work it out, would like assurance or need support working it out, that you email your faculty hive.Your "Safety net" grade is the grade you received in semester 1. Integrated masters programmes may vary
- Bachelors degree with honors: Weighted at 35:65 - Level 5 (35), Level 6 (65)
- Bachelors degree for Veterinary medicine and science: Weighted at 10:15:40:45 - Level 5 (10), Level 6 (15), Level 7, year 4 (40), Level 7, year 5 (45)
All semester two assessmnets will be protected by the safety net, including those assessments that are taken as a first or second attempt in August
This information is new and specific information for those wishing to submit an academic appeal for the year 19/20.
For those wishing to appeal semester 1 results, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All first and second attempt assignments (for semester two) in August will be protected by the safety net.
How to appeal
You have 10 working days to submit an academic appeal from the date you were notified of the result you are appealing, and this time period does not include weekends.
If you received your results on the 9th July, your deadline to appeal is the 23rd July
If you received your results on the 23rd July, your deadline to appeal is the 6th August
In order to appeal, you will need to submit an online appeal form which is available on Surrey Self-Service, or by accessing the link on the OSCAR website. There is also more information here regarding the online process. There is also a video going through the online form which can be found here.
Appeals are processed by OSCAR (Office of Student Complaints, Appeals & Regulations). You will receive an automated email when your appeal is received, and you will be assigned a Case Handler who will communicate with you directly around 3-4 weeks after your appeal is received. Your Case Handler will then inform you of the outcome of your appeal; your appeal will either be upheld, partially upheld, or dismissed.
If you are concerned that you will not be able to gather all your evidence, or have your statement ready, before your 10 working days are up, then you will need to submit your appeal form within the 10 working days via student self-serve and send through your evidence and completed statement at a later date directly to email@example.com.
When deciding if you have a case for an appeal, you will need to consider the main elements of an appeal:
- your grounds for appeal,
- your supporting evidence and statement,
- and your desired outcome.
Grounds for Appeal
In order to have a successful appeal, you will need to demonstrate that you have valid grounds for appeal. When you complete your online appeal form, you will be required to select one or more of the accepted grounds for appeal, supported by independent evidence:
- that staff or bodies have failed to follow regulations and/or procedures, or have failed to follow them with due care
- that staff or bodies have shown bias or prejudice towards the student in the way they have made the relevant academic decision
- that the student's performance was affected by extenuating circumstances that they could not report at the time for valid reasons
- that the student’s performance was affected by extenuating circumstances that were reported at the time and relevant new evidence has since become available which has not been taken into account in making the relevant academic decision
Due to the University exceptionally allowing students to self-certify ECs this year, if you are applying on the grounds of Extenuating circumstances, then you will need valid reasons to demonstrate that you were unable to apply for ECs at the time. Unfortunatly, not knowing you could EC isnt considered as valid.
Evidence and Statement
In order to have a successful appeal, you will also need to provide independent supporting evidence and a statement which support your case. When you submit your online appeal form, you will be required to attach your relevant evidence and include your statement.
As previously mentioned: If you are concerned that you will not be able to gather all your evidence, or have your statement ready, before your 10 working days are up, then you will need to submit your appeal form within the 10 working days via student self-serve and send through your evidence at a later date directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The evidence that you will need to provide will depend on the grounds for appeal that you feel is relevant for your case. However, it's important that you do provide independent evidence to support your appeal - an appeal made without valid independent evidence is very unlikely to be upheld.
You will also need to write a clear and concise statement which outlines your situation, your grounds for appeal, and your desired outcome. You should include any information that you think will help OSCAR make their decision on your appeal. We suggest your statement includes:
Introduction: What you wish to do (appeal what assessment, what module), on what grounds (as above) and what outcome you are seeking.
What happened: Clearly explain what happened. Add exact dates if you know them, and reference your evidence throughout your statement. You will need evidence to demonstrate these circumstances
For ECs: After explaining what happened, and what your ECs are, you will then need to explain (in just as much detail) what your valid reasons are for not reporting at the time). You will need evidence to demonstrate these valid reasons.
When you submit your online appeal form, you will also need to state your desired outcome. Your desired outcome will depend on your grounds for appeal, but if your appeal is upheld, OSCAR will instruct the team who made the academic decision you are appealing to amend this decision. This could lead to a remark of your work, another assessment, or a review of the process which led to the decision originally.
If you have read through this information and feel that you do have valid grounds for appeal, these are the next steps you will need to take:
- Read the Regulations for Academic Appeals (attached)
- Gather together your supporting evidence
- Prepare a statement explaining your grounds and your requested outcome
- Fill in your form within your 10 working day deadline (this total does not include weekends)
Compensation is a University progress through which you can achieve credits in a module for which you have not achieved the pass mark, if you meet the eligibility criteria, through achieving the pass mark in other modules for your level of study AND if your level average is high enough.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the University are widening the criteria for compensation, to allow more students to progress and achieve, in light of the challenging circumstances. If you are eligible for compensation then you should be informed in your results letter by your Faculty Assessments Team.
If this is after a first attempt, you will most likely need to confirm that you opt not to retake the module and receive compensation, so it is important to read that outcome letter closely to see what your Assessments team requires of you. If you accept compensation, you will not be required to resit the module at a later date, and you will receive the credits for that module, with the marks you have achieved being used in your final degree classification. If you do not accept compensation, you will be given a re-assessment for the relevant units of assessment, and the re-assessments will be capped at the pass mark.
If this is after a second attempt, you should automatically receive compensation if you are eligible, either using the reassessment grade or your original first grade in the calculation, whichever is higher. It is important to read that outcome letter closely to see what your Assessments team has told you about your eligibility for compensation. If you are given compensation following a second attempt, you will receive the credits for that module, with the marks you have achieved being used in your final degree classification.
For the academic year 19/20, due to the Covid-19 outbreak:
- Level 3 students can compensate up to 15 credits, with the exception of core modules
- Level 4-7 students can compensate up to 30 credits, with the exception of core modules
To meet the criteria for compensation, you must:
- Be compensating a maximum of either 15 credits at Level 3, or 30 credits at Levels 4-7
- Be compensating a module which is not a core module (e.g. you can compensate compulsory and optional modules, but not a core module)
- Have a mark on the relevant module(s) overall that is higher than 30%
- Have an overall weighted level aggregate from all your module marks of at least 45% (this is not rounded up). This can be as a result of actual grades achieved or, your safety net grade.
- For Vet students or PGT students, your module mark should be higher than 40% and your weighted level aggregate should be at least 55%. The 55% can be as a result of actual grades achieved or, your safety net grade.
- You must have attempted all assessments for the module at least once.
There may be other factors which could affect your eligibility for compensation, so we'd advise that you speak with your assessments teams if you have any specific questions. Similarly, if you have any questions about your eligibility for compensation, you can let us know and we may be able to support.
Students at Level 3, 4 and 5 are allowed to carry over 15 credits into their next academic year when they have outstanding credits to take, either as a result of a failure or a successful EC in the summer assessment period. This will allow students to progress onto their next year of study and reduce pressure on students during these difficult times. Visit: www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/students
This is something not usually offered to students but is exceptional for the academic year 19/20 given the Covid-19 outbreak.
Students who trail credits will be reassessed in the academic year 20/21. This is not offered to final year students.
In exceptional circumstances, the University will allow students to trail up to 60 credits (usually FHMS students). If you would like to discuss your personal case and to see if you are eligible, then we would suggest you email your assessments team to discuss with them or, email us back and we may be able to support you.
Whilst final years aren't able to trail credits (as there is no year to trail into) they are protected under the provision to repeat assessment. This means that final years can exceptionally have a third and fourth attempt at 15 credits but, if these are subsequently failed, students will be liable for the tuition fees for the whole module. We suggest final years contact their assessments teams.