Assessments: If Things Go Wrong

Occasionally, you may find that there will be times when things don't always go to plan. This page tells you what can happen if you fail a module and also how to apply for Extenuating Circumstances or make an appeal.

If you fail a module

If you fail one or more items of assessment on a module, you may be permitted to re-sit those assessments. Alternatively, you may be required to repeat that module with attendance, in which case you will be required to pay the repeat fee for that module. In some cases, failure of a large number of assessments may result in a requirement for you to withdraw. For more information about this, please contact the UCB Registry (Room 629, Summer Row), while the Finance and Information Support Unit (First Floor, Summer Row) will have details about any relevant charges.

The number of modules in which you may be permitted to be reassessed varies according to the programme that you are on, and what level of study you are at. If, after one or more re-sit/repeat attempts, you have not successfully completed the assessment for more than the maximum permissible number of modules, then you may be required to ‘repeat the year with attendance’ (see below). In this case you would not have to repeat the whole year of your programme, but only those modules which you had not successfully completed.

Repeating a year of study

If you are required to repeat all or part of a year of your programme, your entitlement to tuition fees support may be affected. If you are in this position, you should seek advice from the Finance Office. Another good source of information on all student finance matters is the Government's Student Finance website.

Extenuating Circumstances

During a period of study, students may encounter significant personal difficulties that adversely affect their ability to study or complete assessments and/or examinations. These personal difficulties are referred to as 'Extenuating Cicrumstances'. Extenuating Circumstances may occur at any point in the academic year and may affect any form of assessment including coursework and examinations and may result in absence from teaching.

Extenuating Circumstances are events that are considered exceptional, unforeseen and that significantly disrupt a student's academic performance. They may include (but are not limited to):

• Significant or serious illness, accident or injury;

• The recent death or serious illness of a close family member or dependant;

• Family crisis or emergency affecting the student;

• Absence covered by Paternity Leave and Jury Service (deferral of which has been denied by the Court);

• Exceptional and unforeseen financial hardship.

The Extenuating Circumstances Form can be obtained from the UCB Portal and, once completed, it must be presented to the Registry within 10 working days of the original deadline of the affected assignment or date of the examination, alongside appropriate evidence. Alternatively, the documentary evidence can be emailed to Registry on For guidance on the appropriate evidence, please click here. You should familiarise yourself with the Code of Practice on Extenuating Circumstances so that you understand the process clearly, before completing the form.

The result of your Extenuating Circumstances application will be updated on the UCB Portal after a decision has been made.

Assessment Appeals

If you are unhappy with the outcomes of an assessment and/or if there are extenuating circumstances that you believe affected your academic performance and, for good reason, were not submitted to the Examination Board, then you should refer to the Assessment Appeals Procedure. For other complaints of a service-related nature, then the Student Complaints Procedure is the most appropriate way to resolve your concern.

For more information about the best way to make a complaint or appeal and which procedure may be more appropriate, you may refer to either the Registry, Student Services or the Guild of Students for advice. A key principle is to identify what you are seeking as an outcome to your complaint; if you are seeking a reconsideration of a outcome for a particular assessment then this Assessment Appeals Procedure should be used.

The definition of an assessment (or academic) appeal for the purposes of the Assessment Appeals Procedure is:

"A request for a review of a decision of an academic body charged with making decisions on student progress, assessment and awards (2014 QAA)."

The Assessment Appeals Procedure is available to all students enrolled at UCB and also applies for up to six months after you have left UCB.

Fitness to Practise and Physical and Mental Fitness of Trainee Teachers

The UCB Fitness to Practise regulations apply to specific programmes. These are designed to ensure that the expectations of standards laid down by professional bodies are maintained and vulnerable groups in society are protected. Students on programmes subject to these requirements will have been made aware of the policy at a number of points and are to make themselves familiar with the relevant professional requirements laid out in the Code of Practice they must sign. More details are available from the Registry on the 6th floor of the Summer Row building.

Teachers and those training to become teachers need a high standard of physical and mental fitness to enter or remain in the teaching profession: teaching is a demanding career and teachers have a duty of care towards pupils. The health and education, safety and welfare of pupils must be taken into account in deciding on an individual’s fitness to teach. Initial Teaching Providers are required by The Department for Education to assess the physical and mental fitness of entrants to teachers training. We will ensure that all entrants to the PGCE Early Years have the physical and mental fitness to teach based on the advice of our Occupational Health Advisor. Further details are available from the Admissions Unit (0121 232 4106).