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Update from the Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies to staff

15 February 2021

Dear colleagues,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I am writing with information about assessments at the end of Semester Two.

Having considered the possible trajectories of the public health situation and the recent experience of its volatility, Council has approved (10th Feb 2021) a proposal that all undergraduate Semester Two assessments will be held online. (with the exception of some clinical or practical assessments that must take place in person).

The current academic year calendar designates two weeks for Semester Two assessments, from Monday 10th May to Saturday 22nd May. As for Semester One this year and Semester Two last year, real-time and take-home examinations will be scheduled within those two weeks and a third week (starting Monday 24th May) will be used for submission of final assignments (i.e., essays or other work that replaces a final examination). The use of this additional week has been an important means to reduce stress on students under the challenging conditions of the crisis.

Assessments that have been deferred from Semester One (as a first attempt) will also be held in the third week of the assessment session, overlapping with the period for submission of semester two final assignments (Mon 24th – Sat 29th May). Students who do not pass this attempt will have an opportunity for a second attempt, if necessary, in the reassessment session at the end of the summer. This scheduling will mean a one-week extension to the dates of return of marks and courts of examiners but no disruption to the subsequent academic year calendar.

We are very grateful to staff for enabling this schedule of assessments. It does have an impact on research time over the summer, but we have done everything we can to minimise this.

Mitigation measures for Semester Two assessments. The measures put in place for Semester One assessments were in response to the extreme and sudden deterioration in public health conditions over the Christmas period. Given the restrictions now in place and the roll-out of the vaccination campaign, we do not envisage that similar emergency measures will be needed for the Second Semester assessment session. However, we will monitor the situation closely and make a final decision on this matter closer to the date of the assessment period.

With very best wishes to you all for the rest of the semester,

Kevin Mitchell

Senior Lecturer/Dean of Undergraduate Studies