UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL
FACULTY OF ARTS
Year of Entry 2009/10
This handbook should be read in conjunction with your departmental handbook,
the University Rules and Regulations for Students and
the University Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and Official Record
Faculty Office 5
Academic Matters 5
Further Information 5
1. Studying Arts at Bristol
1.1 Introduction 6
1.2 Research and Training 6
1.3 Independent Learning and Contact Hours 6
1.4 Knowledge and Skills 7
2. You and Your Degree
2.1 Credits and Attendance 9
2.2 Open Units 10
2.3 Progress 10
2.4 Leave of Absence 11
2.5 Serious Problems and Suspension of Studies 11
2.6 Transfers and Withdrawals 12
2.7 Paid Work 12
2.8 Additional Programme Costs 12
3.1 Introduction 14
3.2 Methods, Quantity, Weighting 14
3.3 Feedback and Marking Criteria 14
3.4 Academic Conventions and Plagiarism 15
3.5 Duplication of Material 15
3.6 Essay Submission 16
3.7 University Examination Regulations 17
3.8 Special Arrangements 17
3.9 Degree Classification 17
4. Support and Facilities
4.1 Tutorial System 18
4.2 Study Abroad and Placements 18
4.3 Disabled and International Students 19
4.4 Skills 19
4.5 Faculty Writing Fellows 19
4.6 Computers 21
4.7 Email 21
4.8 Library Services 21
4.9 Studentinfo – Choose, Change, Check your Personal Information 21
4.10 Language Learning 21
4.11 Printing and Photocopying 22
5. Discipline, Appeals and Grievances
5.1 Discipline 23
5.2 Appeals 23
5.3 Grievances 23
6. The Faculty of Arts
6.1 About the Faculty 25
6.2 Key Faculty Staff 25
6.3 The Main Faculty Committees and Student Representation 25
Appendix 1: Faculty Marking Criteria 27
Appendix 2: Faculty Guidelines on Degree Classification 30
Appendix 3: Faculty Education Strategy 32
Appendix 4: Library Services for Students 38
The information in this Handbook relates to the academic year 2009/10 and does not commit the University in respect
of subsequent years. Although the information given in this Handbook is correct at 1 September 2009 amendments
may be made from time to time without notice.
First and foremost, welcome to the Arts Faculty. We hope that you will enjoy your time
here, and fully benefit from everything that Bristol has to offer. Our aim is to give all our
students a world-class university arts education, informed at every level by the values of
rational enquiry and critical engagement with the world. We aim to provide you with the
teaching, the support and the facilities to realise your potential, both intellectually and
personally, and to develop independence of mind and a life-long commitment to learning.
In Bristol, Faculties are the intermediate level of academic organisation, standing
between the University and individual schools and departments. Most students complete
their courses quite happily with only the vaguest awareness of the Faculty’s existence.
Almost everything that directly affects your studies — lectures, seminars, assessment,
marking, tutorial support — is organised by your department and your school, and they
should always be your first point of contact for information or advice; normally, either
your Personal Tutor or your School Office. However, the Faculty has overall
responsibility for the quality of teaching and the assessment and progress of students; it
sets many of the rules and guidelines for undergraduate programmes in Arts, and is
responsible for implementing University rules and guidelines. It also provides services
for Arts students, and pursues collective strategies (including its Education Strategy) for
enhancing facilities and educational provision. In other words, while you may not have
direct contact with the Arts Faculty or its officers while you are here, it does play an
important part in shaping your degree programme.
The aim of this handbook is to provide you with generic information and guidance
relevant to all students in the Faculty; your school and department will give you
information about subject-specific matters. Here you will find information about the
Faculty and how it works; guidance on study skills and details of where you can find
further information and training opportunities; details of regulations on essay submission,
the award of credit, marking and degree classification; information about student
representation, the tutorial system, disciplinary procedures and what to do if you have
problems or complaints that can’t be resolved locally. The aim is to provide an
accessible introduction to how things work; full details (for example, the complete
University Examination Regulations) can be found on the web, if you should ever need to
consult them, but you should read through this Handbook at least once as you start your
studies. In some cases — for example, the University’s rules on plagiarism — ignorance
of the regulations may have serious consequences for your entire degree, so it’s best to
familiarise yourself with key points at the very beginning. Particularly important points
are highlighted like this in the text.
One final introductory point: one of our main aims is for you to become a confident,
independent learner, but we don’t expect this to happen instantly — we don’t follow a
‘sink or swim’ policy. If you have any questions or concerns, of any kind whatsoever, talk
to somebody. Your personal tutor has the specific task of worrying about your welfare,
but you can ask any other member of staff; if they don’t know the answer, they will be
able to point you in the right direction. If you don’t talk to us, however, we can’t help.
Undergraduate Education Director
Information on dates of terms (when you need to be in residence in Bristol), teaching
blocks, bank holidays and so forth can be found at www.bristol.ac.uk/university/dates.
You should normally contact your Personal Tutor with any queries or concerns, or, if he
or she is not available, someone else in the department or in the School Office. It is
always best to keep your department informed, even if they can’t help directly with your
The University Student Help website, at www.bristol.ac.uk/studenthelp/, gives answers to
frequently asked questions on a wide range of welfare issues, as well as links to support
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you should contact the Student Funding
Office; see their website, www.bristol.ac.uk/studentfunding/, for further information and
Your School Office may refer you to a member of staff in the Faculty Office:
Faculty Executive Administrator: Loretta McLaughlin
email: Loretta.McLaughlin@bristol.ac.uk or telephone 0117 3317877
Undergraduate Coordinator: Zoë Lodge
email: email@example.com or tel: 0117 95 45982
Assistant Undergraduate Coordinator: Greg Wilson
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 0117 331 8406
The Faculty Office is located in the basement of 3-5 Woodland Road. Term-time office
hours are 9am – 5pm. Vacation office hours are: 9am - 1pm and 2pm – 5pm
If you have a query or concern about your degree programme which you have not been
able to resolve with your department or School, or if you wish to appeal against a
disciplinary or progress decision, you should normally contact the Undergraduate
Education Director, Dr Vanda Zajko, by e-mail: V.Zajko@bristol.ac.uk
The Rules and Regulations that apply to all students can be found on the University
webpage at www.bris.ac.uk/secretary/studentrulesregs/
The Faculty’s Standing Orders, which cover areas such as assessment and student
discipline, can be found at www.bris.ac.uk/arts/organisation/standing_orders.html.
www.bris.ac.uk/currentstudents/, the ‘current students’ section of the University
webpage, includes links to a wide range of information and guidance.
The Students Union webpage, www.ubu.org.uk, gives information not only about the
Union and its activities but also about life as a student in Bristol.
1. STUDYING ARTS AT BRISTOL
For most of our students, the main experience of education up to this point has been
school (even if, in some cases, that was twenty or more years ago). Studying at
university is very different. This may seem obvious — many students choose to go to
university precisely because it’s not the same as school — but even if you’ve been
expecting it to be different, you may still find that it’s not exactly what you expected. It’s
not just a matter of what you’ll be studying — learning about new subjects,
understanding more familiar subjects in much greater depth and looking at them from
different perspectives — but also of how you’ll be studying, and the context within which
you’ll be working.
1.2 Research and Teaching
Bristol is what is known as a ‘research-intensive’ university. This certainly doesn’t mean
that staff are only interested in their research and so regard students as a nuisance.
Rather, it means that virtually everyone who teaches you, from professors and other
senior academics to research fellows and postgraduate students, is involved at the
cutting edge of their subject, and this has an impact on both how and what you’re taught.
We aim to introduce you to the most exciting developments in your discipline, and to give
you experience of the process of research; especially in your final year, you will spend
much of your time in small seminar groups discussing the latest perspectives on the
subject with acknowledged experts. Our programmes are designed to train you in the
intellectual and technical skills required for research in the arts and humanities; not
because we want to turn all our students into academics, but because these skills will
enable you to understand and appreciate your subject fully — and because the ability to
research and analyse problems can always be transferred to other contexts, and so is
essential training for whatever you choose to do when you leave university.
The fact that optional units are generally built around the research interests and
expertise of staff means that they change regularly and are kept current. This does
mean that you can’t count on being able to study a specific topic, if no-one in the
department specialises in that field, but most of our programmes offer the opportunity to
develop a research project, on a subject of your own choice, normally in the final year.
Members of staff do regularly go on research leave for a term, a year or even longer, so
there is always a risk that you won’t be taught by a particular individual every year or that
you won’t keep the same Personal Tutor for the whole of your time in Bristol. The
positive aspect of this is that it offers the opportunity to be taught by a wider range of
people, including young researchers whose work has not yet been published. Most
importantly, success in research brings in funding to the University and the Faculty to
improve facilities, employ more staff and so improve the student experience.
In short, we do not regard research and teaching as being in conflict with one another:
our research activities inform our teaching, our teaching influences our research, and the
integration of the two makes Bristol an exciting and distinctive place to study.
1.3 Independent Learning and Contact Hours
The most striking difference between school and university, especially in Arts subjects, is
that you have far fewer timetabled classes here, and apparently acres of free time. If you
have friends studying science or engineering, they will either be horrified or deeply
envious (or both) that you may have only six or eight hours of classes per week.
Student workloads in the Arts Faculty are calculated on the basis of an average of 40
hours per week over the 30 weeks of the academic year. 10 credits therefore represents
roughly 100 hours of student work. Part of this workload is made up of lectures, classes
and other formal contact time, typically around 6-8 hours per week during each Teaching
Block; it will be more for those studying languages or practice-based subjects, and tends
to be less in the later years of the programme as students are expected to be doing more
independent work. The bulk of the workload is made up of preparation for class
(normally around 3-4 hours per contact hour) and work on assessment tasks (e.g.
researching and writing coursework, revising for exams).
This is not a cost-cutting measure intended to give staff more time for research (the
figures are comparable with arts subjects at other universities), but reflects a different
approach to teaching and learning, with much more emphasis on working and thinking
independently. In general, classes are intended to give you the basic framework of
understanding so that you can effectively direct your own reading and research, as well
as presenting new ideas and giving an opportunity for discussion and asking questions.
They are not intended to tell you everything you need to know (and so ‘effective note-
taking’ does not mean writing down everything the lecturer says — quite the opposite).
There is sometimes discussion in the media of the idea that students are ‘consumers’
who expect ‘value for money’ — in other words, apparently, more scheduled classes.
One response to this suggestion is that what really makes a difference to effective
learning is not the number of contact hours per se but their nature. We could easily
double the number of classes per week, by teaching you in larger groups and reducing
the number of optional units, but we think it’s more important to give you a decent choice
of options and to make sure that a significant proportion of teaching, especially in the
later years of the course, takes place in small seminar groups rather than in big lecture
halls. Quality rather than quantity of contact time, one might say.
Another response is to say that a university isn’t like a supermarket, where you pick your
degree off a shelf because you’ve paid for it; it’s more like a gym or a health club, where
the university provides the training and the facilities but it’s your responsibility to make
the best use of them. If you skip all the preparatory reading for class, or try to get by with
only the minimum amount of reading, or question-spot for exams rather than developing
a proper understanding of the subject, or refuse to engage in discussion and debate,
there’s a serious risk that you’ll still be intellectually flabby and unfit at the end...
The positive side of having fewer scheduled classes is that you have far more freedom to
develop your own approach to the subject, pursuing the aspects that particularly interest
you, rather than having to stick rigidly to a prescribed reading list and a set curriculum.
You can also arrange your work in a pattern that suits you, if you find that you work best
first thing in the morning or late at night. One of the most important skills you need to
develop at an early stage at university is how to organise your own learning, making
effective use of the time and resources that are available. It is perfectly possible to keep
certain times free for sport, or to reduce your commitments to a minimum for a week so
that you can appear in a play, or make time for any other activity — provided that you
make up the time somewhere else, and still meet your deadlines. Another ‘skill for life’…
1.4 Knowledge and Skills
Of course, if you’re used to a more directed approach at school, adjusting to this new
freedom isn’t always easy at first. We don’t expect everyone to become completely
independent straight away; we aim to strike a balance, giving first-years much more
guidance and a clearer framework (while still expecting you to start taking responsibility
for your own learning) so that you’re fully prepared to participate in specialised, seminar-
based units and to develop your own research projects in later years. Most importantly,
advice is always available from your lecturers or your Personal Tutor, whether you’re
unsure how to approach a topic or are having problems in organising your time; just ask.
Each programme has specified ‘learning outcomes’, the knowledge and skills that all
students should acquire if they complete the course successfully. These are above all
discipline-specific — we aim to train you to be a good historian, a good Germanist, a
good philosopher or whatever — but in most cases they are also easily transferable to
other contexts, and thus highly marketable. Full details are available in the relevant
Programme Specification (see www.bristol.ac.uk/tsu/pspec/prog_specs/). In very
general terms, programmes in the Faculty focus on skills of analysis and argument; you
don’t get much credit in essays simply for providing information or a narrative account..
Depending on how you were taught at A-level, this may represent more or less of a
change of approach. Markers generally take it for granted that you should either know
the basic facts of a subject or know where to look them up; what we’re interested in is
whether you understand the topic, identify key issues, evaluate relevant evidence,
analyse critically the contributions of other scholars and so forth — in other words, how
you make use of the information to develop a scholarly argument. It is, as much as
anything, a matter of attitude and approach, of becoming a proper researcher.
2. YOU AND YOUR DEGREE
2.1 Credit and Attendance
In order to be considered for the award of a degree, you normally need to accumulate
360 credit points (480 for programmes involving a study-abroad year) by successfully
completing a series of units, normally 120 credits’ worth per year. Your department will
give you full information about which units are mandatory and which are optional for your
degree; if you are following a single-honours programme, you are also entitled to take a
certain number of ‘Open Units’ (see 2.2 below).
Credit points are awarded for each unit on the basis of the following criteria [and will
normally be withheld for failure to meet these criteria]:
completion of all required work, whether for formative or summative purposes, on
time and to the specified length
achievement of a satisfactory standard (normally a mark of 40 or above) in the
summative assessment for the unit
attendance at any classes, seminars or tutorials, and/or participation in any
activities, which are identified in the unit documentation as a pre-requisite for the
award of credit.
completion of any other tasks or activities that are identified in the unit
documentation as pre-requisites for the award of credit.
The decision on whether a student has reached satisfactory standard in a unit is normally
based on the overall unit assessment mark. In certain units, however, it is a requirement
to pass all the separate components of the assessment in order to obtain credit; this will
be specified in the unit documentation.
The decision on the award of credit points is taken by the relevant Board of Examiners,
which makes a recommendation to the Faculty as to the appropriate remedy for any
Attendance and sickness
You are required to attend all lectures and other classes related to your units. If you are
unable to do so because of illness or other good cause, it is your responsibility to inform
the lecturer and to make up any work missed. Where attendance at a particular class is
a requirement for credit, absence without good cause will normally result in the loss of
credits for the entire unit; see section 5.1.
If you are ill for more than five working days in succession, you should obtain a
medical certificate from a GP and submit this to the School Office, as well as
informing the relevant lecturers and making up any work missed. If an on-going
medical condition or personal circumstances are making regular attendance at
classes difficult, you should contact your personal tutor to discuss the situation
and should also submit relevant medical evidence to the School Office.
Students should consider carefully the implications of attending a summative
examination if they feel that their illness will significantly affect their performance. They
are recommended to seek the advice of their faculty or department / school.
Students who are ill but still decide to attend any summative exam must complete a self-
certification form and present it, by hand, to a Departmental representative PRIOR to the
summative examination, in order for the potential impact of the illness on the
performance of the student to be determined by the relevant Board of Examiners.
If a student is absent from any summative exam due to illness then the following will
apply: Within the 24 hours prior to the examinationStudents must attend an appointment
with the Doctor PRIOR to the summative examination and inform the department of their
non-attendance. Students who are ill during an examination should report it to the
invigilator and then make an appointment to see a Doctor.
Attendance and discipline
Student attendance at lectures is monitored for pastoral rather than disciplinary
purposes, except where attendance is a requirement for the award of credit for a
particular unit. If a student’s absences are giving cause for concern, s/he will be asked
to make an appointment with his/her personal tutor. Students who fail to respond, or
whose attendance continues to give cause for concern, will be reported to the School
Office and the Deputy Head (T&L) for further investigation and action under 5.1.
Lecturers have the right to exclude students from their classes if their presence is or
might be disruptive; for example, if a student’s persistent absences mean that he/she is
unable to play a proper role in a seminar group.
You should keep in mind that the Faculty has the power to require students whose
performance is judged unsatisfactory to withdraw from their programme of study.
2.2 Open Units
Students taking single-honours programmes are able to broaden their studies by taking
units outside their home department, up to a maximum of 40 credit points in total during
the programme. Your department will tell you in which year(s) of the programme you can
exercise this option, and you should always consult with your Personal Tutor about your
choice of Open Units.
Information about the Open Units on offer in other departments, including those in other
faculties, is available at www.bris.ac.uk/tsu/units/openunits.html. You should note that
most departments run Open Units on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and reserve the
right not to accept students from other departments on their units. You may not be able
to opt for Open Units that are taught outside the normal Teaching Block, and if there is a
timetable clash then units that are mandatory for your programme must always take
Progress from one year of study to the next requires the formal consent of the Faculty
Board; it is always subject to satisfactory performance in assessment and obtaining the
requisite number of credit points. In other words, if your performance is not considered
satisfactory, you may not be allowed to continue your studies in Bristol.
If you fail a unit or a compulsory element within a unit, you will be required to undergo re-
assessment. You should note that re-sit examinations are held in early September, and
so you should not make any travel or other commitments for September until you
are certain that you will not be required to sit an exam or until you have been
informed of the exact dates of resits. If you fail a number of units (more than 40
credits’ worth in total) and this is not explained by documented illness you will not be
allowed to continue with your degree or be offered the opportunity to resit. First-year
students may, if the School makes this recommendation to the Faculty, be allowed to
repeat their first year.
If you are denied credit points for a unit, you will be required to make these up in a
manner determined by the Faculty Progress Committee on the basis of a School
recommendation: by retaking the unit, by taking an additional unit or by completing
additional work. If you were denied credits because of the non-submission of required
work, you will normally be required to submit both the original exercise and additional
penalty work. If you are denied credits for a number of different units (more than 40
credits’ worth in total) you will not be allowed to continue with your degree.
2.4 Leave of Absence
Students are required to remain in residence in Bristol until the last day of each term.
Leave of absence in order to attend a hospital appointment or on compassionate
grounds should if possible be obtained in advance from your Personal Tutor or School
Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning; if he or she is not available, you should inform
your School Office that you have to leave Bristol.
Leave of absence other than for medical or compassionate reasons — for example, to
undertake a work placement or acquire other experience related to career development
— must be applied for, at least one week in advance, from the Deputy Head of Teaching
and Learning in your School. In considering applications for leave of absence, the
student’s record of attendance and academic progress will be taken into account. Leave
of absence will not normally be granted for more than two weeks in any academic year.
If leave of absence is granted, it is your responsibility (i) to inform the tutors of all the
classes that you will be missing; (ii) to catch up on all work missed; (iii) to meet any
deadlines for the submission of work that fall within the period of absence. Departments
are under no obligation to offer extensions, arrange for resits or make any other special
arrangements for you. If you miss a class test because of approved absence, this will be
treated as if the absence was due to illness.
Leave of absence is not granted for holidays or family celebrations, and in no
circumstances other than for medical or compassionate reasons can it be granted
retrospectively. Unauthorised absence from Bristol during termtime will normally lead
to the initiation of disciplinary procedures.
2.5 Serious Problems and Suspension of Studies
If ongoing medical problems or personal circumstances are having a serious effect on
your work, you should always discuss this with your Personal Tutor, with another
member of the department or with your School Office. This is important for two reasons:
firstly, they will often be able to offer you advice on managing your workload, on possible
sources of help and on the options open to you if things do not improve, and secondly
the department will be able to take your difficulties into account when considering
absences from class, late submission of work, performance in assessment and the like.
Boards of Examiners and the Faculty Progress Committee do take medical and personal
circumstances into account when considering the progress of students or degree
classification, provided that they have been informed of them (with supporting
evidence, where relevant) in advance. University rules state that any such
circumstances which could have been raised before the meeting, but which, without valid
reason, were not raised, will not be considered in the event of an appeal. In other
words, it always best to keep your Department informed; this is not a mark of weakness
If you have persistent and serious health, financial or family problems, you may consider
applying for suspension of studies until such time as you are fit or able to resume them.
This is not an automatic right; initial permission to suspend studies must be obtained
from your School’s Deputy Head of Teaching & Learning and formally approved by the
Faculty, and you should always discuss the matter with your Personal Tutor first. If you
suspend studies you may have to repeat some units and/or assessment; suspension
normally has financial implications, and you should inform your LEA that you are doing
this. The Faculty Office is also required to inform your LEA and will do so as part of its
normal administrative procedures. Students should note that a return to study interview
may be required.
For further information on fees please visit the web link below:
2.6 Transfers and Withdrawals
If you wish to transfer from one honours programme to another you should first discuss
the request with your Deputy Head of Teaching & Learning. You should then seek the
permission of the Head of Education responsible for the programme into which you wish
to transfer. If permission is granted then you should obtain a transfer form from
www.bris.ac.uk/arts/current/under/forms.html and ensure it is fully completed before
sending it to the Faculty Office for processing.
Please note that if you receive LEA support, the Faculty Office will inform your LEA that
you have transferred programme.
If you are considering withdrawing from your degree programme, you should first discuss
the matter with your Personal Tutor or Programme Director. If you then decide to go
ahead with your withdrawal, you should complete a Withdrawal Form available on the
web at www.bris.ac.uk/arts/current/under/forms.html.
2.7 Paid Work
The University wishes to ensure that paid work does not adversely affect the academic
progress of its students, while understanding the need of most of you to work in order to
earn money. Our advice is therefore that, for full-time students, a maximum of fifteen
hours a week paid work would be reasonable over the course of the academic year.
This is only a general guideline; you will also need to take account of the nature of the
work, especially if it involves late hours. Work commitments are not accepted as a
valid excuse for missing classes or deadlines; if you are working as well as studying,
you need to be especially careful in managing your time and prioritising different
2.8 Additional Programme Costs
All students will need to purchase some materials associated with their programme
during their time at Bristol. Depending on what subject you are studying, expenses may
include basic stationery, photocopying and printing cards, musical instrument tuition,
computers and software and costs involved in fieldwork trips and other activities. You
will certainly be expected to buy books, and you will receive guidance from your
department on recommended purchases for your programme as a whole and for
individual units. National guidance on student finances assumes that students will spend
at least £300 per year on books and other study expenses; about £50 per 20-credit unit.
If your programme has particular expenses (e.g. for field-trips or other specialised
activities), whether these are compulsory or not, your Department will give you full
If you are experiencing financial difficulties in meeting essential programme expenses
you should contact the Student Funding Office at www.bris.ac.uk/studentfunding/ to see
what help may be available.
Full details of the Faculty’s rules on credits, attendance and the progress of students can
be found at www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/organisation/standing_orders.html
Assessment is a vital part of teaching and learning at university. That may seem a
blindingly obvious statement, since clearly your performance in assessment will
determine what class of degree you get at the end of your studies (and, at an earlier
stage, whether you’re allowed to progress from one year of study to the next). However,
assessment is about far more than just giving your performance a grade, and focusing
too much on marks can actually hinder your learning. Not all the assessment tasks you
are asked to complete will be ‘summative’ (that is, contributing to the degree
classification), but that doesn’t make them trivial or optional. The main purpose of much
assessment is to show you how to improve your performance in future, highlighting areas
where more work is needed but also identifying areas where you’re particularly strong. A
key skill that needs to be learnt early on is how to make effective use of feedback and
how to evaluate the quality of your own performance.
3.2 Methods, Quantity, Weighting
As noted above (1.3), a 10-credit unit is assumed to involve about 100 hours of input
from a notional ‘average student’, made up of classes and other contact hours, general
background reading, time spent preparing for classes and time spent preparing for
assessment tasks (research, revision etc.) and completing them. Different units with the
same credit-weighting may have quite different numbers of assessment tasks, but the
overall workload should be the same, and this should give you a general idea of how
much time you should spend on a particular task. If you are still unsure, you should
consult your lecturer or Personal Tutor for advice. You will be given information about
the weighting of different assessment tasks within a unit (for example, whether an essay
and exam count 50:50, 30:70 or whatever).
Assessment comes in many different forms; plenty of familiar coursework essays and
unseen exams (though not in all programmes), but also assessed presentations,
research projects, practical exercises, group work, performances... The aim is always to
assess whether you have achieved the ‘learning outcomes’ of the unit, and different
forms of assessment are best for different sorts of learning outcomes. An ability to
perform in a range of different contexts is a valuable skill in itself; even if, for example,
you hate speaking in public, being forced to make a class presentation really is good for
you and your cv (and obsessing about how this might affect your marks is unlikely to lead
to an improved performance). Conversely, however confident you may feel about your
essay-writing or exam technique, you should still pay close attention to the information
you’re given about the learning outcome of the unit and the programme; put simply, what
is expected of an essay at university level may be quite different from what you’ve been
used to at school or in other contexts.
3.3 Feedback and Marking Criteria
This is of course why feedback is so important; it doesn’t just grade your performance,
but aims to give you some idea of what is expected. Feedback comes in many different
forms; it’s most obvious when it appears as formal written comments on an essay or
other written exercise, but informal discussions with your lecturer or Personal Tutor can
be just as important in giving guidance on how you should approach your work. Your
Department, or in some cases your lecturer, will give you information about when you
can expect feedback (including the timetable for the return of work, and what happens if
for some reason it’s impossible for the work to be marked in the usual timeframe) and
whom you should contact if you have further questions.
All departments make use of ‘marking criteria’, either the generic Faculty criteria (see
Appendix 1) or criteria specific to the programme or to a particular form of assessment.
These criteria identify the main elements that are taken into account when marking a
piece of work (e.g. structure of argument, quality of expression), and describe the
qualities which would be expected for a piece of work to be assigned to a given class.
They serve as a guide to markers, but in particular as an aid to students in interpreting
the marks they have received.
The criteria apply to all work produced by students, regardless of whether they’re first-
year or final-year, but obviously we do expect final-year students to be considerably
more advanced than first-years. Your department should also provide you with a
statement of how students’ work is expected to improve as they progress, and how
markers’ use of the basic marking criteria may change according to the level of the unit.
3.4 Academic Conventions and Plagiarism
One of the key points about university work is that, especially in written exercises like
essays and research projects, you are expected to conform to the standard conventions
of academic publication in your discipline, in approach, style and format. As noted
above, the main thing your department is aiming to teach you is how to conduct yourself
as a proper researcher, in how you research a topic, how you develop your arguments
and how you present your findings; you will be given guidance on the particulars of
format and style, e.g. how to present your bibliography.
One of the key points to take on board is the need for the complete and consistent
acknowledgement of your sources. Plagiarism, which covers any case where someone
passes off someone else’s work as their own, is one of the most serious forms of
academic misconduct. The University regulation on this subject reads as follows:
Plagiarism is the unacknowledged inclusion in a student’s work of material derived
from the published or unpublished work of another. This constitutes plagiarism
whether it is intentional or unintentional. “Work” includes internet sources as well as
printed material. Examples include:
Quoting another’s work “word for word” without placing the phrase(s), sentence(s)
or paragraph(s) in quotation marks and providing a reference for the source.
Using statistics, tables, figures, formulae, data, diagrams, questionnaires, images,
musical notation, computer code, etc., created by others without acknowledging
and referencing the original source. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
Summarising, or paraphrasing the work or ideas of another without acknowledging
and referencing the original source. “Paraphrasing” means re-stating another
author’s ideas, meaning or information in a student’s own words.
Copying the work of another student, with or without that student’s agreement.
Collaborating with another student, even where the initial collaboration is
legitimate, e.g., joint project work, and then presenting the resulting work as one’s
own. If students are unclear about the extent of collaboration which is permitted in
joint work they should consult the relevant tutor.
Submitting, in whole or in part, work which has previously been submitted at the
University of Bristol or elsewhere, without fully referencing the earlier work. This
includes unacknowledged re-use of the student’s own submitted work.
Buying or commissioning an essay or other piece of work and presenting it as a
Most cases of plagiarism identified in the Faculty result from careless note-taking and/or
inadequate referencing (often when using material from the Internet), rather than from a
deliberate attempt at gaining advantage. However, even this sort of ‘poor academic
practice’ is still treated as a serious matter, and is likely to lead to a mark penalty or a
requirement to resubmit the work. If the plagiarism is more extensive, the possible
penalties include receiving no marks for the piece of work, no marks for the entire unit, a
lower class of degree or even, in the most serious cases, exclusion from the award of
any degree. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not fall under any
suspicion of plagiarism, by ensuring that all your sources are properly referenced
and that you do not make illegitimate use of the ideas or work of other students.
General guidance on referencing and footnoting, along with practice exercises, can be
found via www.bris.ac.uk/arts/skills/self.html. Full details of the University’s rules on
plagiarism can be found in the University Examination Regulations,
3.5 Duplication of Material
You are not allowed to receive two marks for what is effectively the same piece of work,
whether within the same unit or in different units; this constitutes ‘self-plagiarism’ and will
be penalised as such. Depending on their judgement of the extent and seriousness of
the offence, the examiners may reduce the mark for an essay containing duplicated
material by one or two classes, they may award it a pass mark only or they may give it a
It will often be acceptable, and even desirable, to draw on material from your earlier work
in the unit or in other units, provided that it is relevant and fully incorporated into your
answer to the question. This is clearly distinct from an attempt at reproducing that earlier
work in more or less the same form. It is standard practice in the Faculty to scrutinise
assessment tasks, to try to reduce the possibility of overlap to a minimum; nevertheless,
it is also your responsibility to be sensible in your choice of questions and in your
approach to them, and not to waste your revision time memorising old essays.
3.6 Essay Submission
Your School will give you information about deadlines and the procedure for submitting
assessed work. All work must be submitted by the specified deadline, unless an
extension has been obtained in advance from the School Office. Extensions are not
granted automatically, and you are strongly advised to organise your work so that you
always have a few days’ grace before the submission date in case something should go
Retrospective extensions are not normally granted without a valid reason why application
was not made earlier. Computer problems are not considered as an acceptable excuse
for late submission, and Information Services should not be approached to endorse
requests for extensions. The Student Health Service will issue a medical certificate only
if you have been ill for more than five working days. If you are granted an extension, a
new submission date will be set; you will be penalised if you miss this second deadline,
unless you have applied for a further extension by submitting evidence of continuing
medical problems. In this case we would assume that the illness must have been of
more than five days’ duration, and so would normally expect to receive a proper medical
certificate before an extension would be granted.
All work submitted late without an agreed extension will be penalised as follows:
(i) All work, other than that covered by (ii) and (iii) below: if submitted after the deadline
but within one week, loss of 10 marks (one whole class). Work submitted after this
period will receive a mark of 0, but must still be submitted, and be of a satisfactory
standard, in order to receive credit points for the unit. You will be informed of the date by
which the work must be submitted in order for credit points to be awarded.
(ii) In units where work is submitted on a weekly or fortnightly basis (for example,
language exercises), late submission is not permitted: work which is not submitted by the
time and date specified will receive a mark of 0. Credit points will be withheld for the unit
if you submit less than 80% of required work on time (e.g. fewer than 4 out of 5
fortnightly exercises, fewer than 10 out of 12 weekly exercises). If you are unable to
submit an exercise on time due to illness or other problems, you should inform your
Department before the deadline; if your explanation is accepted, at the end of the unit a
mark will be awarded based on the marks for the other work submitted for that unit
(iii) In units where the work does not contribute to the final assessment mark of the unit,
you will normally be required to complete an additional piece of work, of similar length.
You will be informed of the date for the submission of both the original piece of work and
the penalty piece, which must both be of a satisfactory standard, in order for credit points
to be awarded.
3.7 University Examination Regulations
The full text of these regulations, which apply to all students, can be found at
www.bris.ac.uk/secretary/studentrulesregs/examregs.html. Your attention is particularly
drawn to section 2.1, which states that failure to attend an examination without
reasonable cause may result in the award of no marks for that examination. It is
the responsibility of the student to be aware of the details of the examination
Assessment practices in Arts are regulated by the Faculty Assessment and Examination
Guidelines (www.bris.ac.uk/arts/organisation/standing_orders.html), along with the
University’s Assessment Guidelines (www.bris.ac.uk/tsu/lta/assessment/assguide.html)
and Modularistion Guidelines (www.bris.ac.uk/tsu/lta/mod/).
3.8 Special Arrangements
If you suffer from a disability such as dyslexia or a physical condition, you may be
entitled to extra time or other special provision in examinations. It is your responsibility
to ensure that your School Office is aware of your needs in this respect, and to
complete a Special Arrangements form each year by the published deadline (this is
organised and publicised by the Examinations Office, and all students will receive an e-
mail reminder). If you do not return this form, without valid reason, by the deadline, it
may not be possible to accommodate your needs. Obviously, if your condition occurs
after the deadline (for example, if you break your arm), arrangements will be made; you
should inform your School Office as soon as possible.
3.9 Degree Classification
The full version of the Faculty’s Degree Classification Guidelines can be found in
Appendix 2. The principle is that the Board of Examiners consider both the mathematical
average of marks from all units contributing to the final classification and the distribution
of marks across different classes. In other words, it is possible to get a first-class degree
with an average of 68% if you have a sufficient number of first-class marks. This
acknowledges the fact that it is quite difficult in Arts to get an average over 70.
4 SUPPORT AND FACILITIES
4.1 Tutorial system
Your Personal Tutor is your key point of contact in your School, and main source of
support and advice, especially in your first year at university. His or her role is to ensure
that you receive adequate academic guidance on all aspects of your studies and full
pastoral support if you have any difficulties, whether by offering you direct advice or by
helping you to access appropriate services elsewhere in Bristol. If you have a query that
relates directly to a unit, it’s probably best to discuss it with the relevant lecturer if
possible, but for every other sort of question, concern or worry, you should contact your
Tutor in the first instance. To repeat what has already been said several times: if you
don’t talk to us, we can’t help you. If you’re having problems, don’t suffer in silence; we
would much rather know, and be able to help address the issue.
You should be told the name of your personal tutor as soon as you arrive in Bristol, and
should make an appointment to see him or her as soon as possible (usually there will be
a sign-up list on their office door, with slots for the end of Introductory Week and/or early
in Week 1). Thereafter you should expect to see your tutor at least once every Teaching
Block; often, for a mid-year progress meeting at the end of TB1 and a post-exams tutorial
before the end of the summer term. It is your responsibility to get in touch with your
Tutor if you want an additional meeting; there will usually be a list of times when they are
available to see students posted on the office door, and if you can’t manage those times
you should e-mail them to arrange an alternative.
It is University policy that every student should have at least two people whom they can
contact for advice. If your Personal Tutor is unavailable, or you don’t feel able to discuss
a particular issue with him/her, you should feel free to contact an appropriate person
from the Department or the School; for example, depending on the nature of your
concern, one of your lecturers, someone in the School Office or the Deputy Head of
School in charge of Teaching & Learning, who has overall responsibility for the pastoral
care of students in the School.
University guidelines on the personal tutoring system can be found at
4.2 Study abroad and placements
If your programme includes a mandatory study-abroad year, you will receive full details
about this from your Department. Some Departments also allow students to study in
universities outside Europe, either for a year or half a year, with work undertaken
counting towards their Bristol degree. If you are interested in studying abroad, you
should in the first instance consult your Personal Tutor. Information on the Erasmus
exchange programme, Leonardo work placements and study abroad in general is
available from the University’s International Office; www.bris.ac.uk/internationalcentre/.
You should be aware that you may be required to pay tuition fees during the year
abroad, depending on whether you choose to work or to participate in an approved
While abroad, you will be required to remain in regular contact with your School. Before
you go abroad, you will need to agree with your School what activities and/or courses
you will be pursuing; you should not make any changes to the agreed activities without
first consulting your School and obtaining permission.
Students who are studying abroad or attending field courses abroad are reminded of the
need to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover towards the costs of medical
treatment should this become necessary. The University has no liability for these costs,
which can be substantial, nor does it accept responsibility for arranging insurance cover.
Advice on suitable policies can be obtained from the Students Union.
4.3 Disabled and International Students
Your Personal Tutor is your main point of contact and source of advice, but there are
additional sources of support, as we recognise that you may have particular needs in
adjusting to life at university. If you have any queries, you should normally contact your
The Access Unit for Deaf and Disabled Students offers a range of services to assist
students with a registered disability: see www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/AccessUnit/.
International students with concerns should contact the International Centre; see
Specific information for incoming Erasmus students can be found below:-
As discussed earlier, the key skills and knowledge that will enable you to succeed on
your programme are discipline-specific; these will be the main focus of discussions with
your lecturers (for different units) and your Personal Tutor (for your general academic
progress). However, you will also need a range of more generic, ‘transferable’ skills, and
there are several different sources of advice and training.
The ArtsSkills resource on the Faculty website, at www.bris.ac.uk/arts/skills/, provides a
range of guidance on skills and PDP (personal development planning) and self-help
exercises on writing skills, referencing techniques and the like. We’re always looking to
develop this resource further, so if you have ideas for areas where more training and
guidance would be useful, let us know.
The University Careers Service offers guidance and training, focused on employability
skills but more generally relevant; see www.bris.ac.uk/careers/skills/index.asp. It also
offers career-orientated workshops, practice interviews and personal guidance.
The Student Development Unit, based within the Students Union, offers a range of free
services and skills workshops: www.ubu.org.uk/training/sdu
The Student Skills Directory allows you to search for and book a place on skills courses
in the University: www.bris.ac.uk/studentskills/skills_resources/.
The Information Services website provides information about IT-related courses and a
range of self-help material: www.bris.ac.uk/is/.
4.5 Faculty Writing Fellow
This year we are joined by Julian Evans and Jenny Pausacker. Julian and Jenny will be
in the Faculty two days a week during termtime, available for one-to-one consultation
with anyone who wants to develop their writing skills. This is NOT about remedial
English or support for non-native speakers; even the most fluent writers can benefit from
advice on their writing, and this is intended for anyone and everyone who wants to be
able to put across their ideas and arguments as effectively as possible. The service is
completely confidential; your work will not be marked or discussed with any member of
staff, but you will benefit from expert advice on structuring arguments, writing concise
and compelling prose, editing and proof-reading and any other aspect of writing that you
wish to discuss.
You can book a consultation with Julian or Jenny by e-mail (email@example.com),
by phone (92 88878) or by calling round to room 2.71 in 21 Woodland Road.
You are not required to purchase a computer for your studies; however, many students
do choose to do so, and it is generally a requirement for assessed essays and other
written work to be word-processed. Information on purchasing a computer can be found
at www.bris.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/homeusers/resnet/, which also provides
information on the ResNet service that allows students in university residences to access
the University network from their rooms.
There are a number of computer centres available around the University precinct, some
of which are open on a 24-hour basis; full details of these facilities can be found at
Information Services (IS) provides IT and library services and support for teaching and
learning, research and administration across the University. IS is located across two
sites in Tyndall Avenue: the Computing Service and the Arts and Social Sciences
Library. Information about library and computing services, locations, self-help materials
and documentation and ‘MyBristol’, the University information portal, is available at:
Extensive use is made of the Internet within the University of Bristol - in providing
information and for communication via email. This includes important notices, for
example relating to examination arrangements. Messages from the University will be
sent to your University of Bristol email account. You are responsible for checking
your emails on a regular basis.
If you decide to redirect mail from your University e-mail address to another account, you
are expected to do so to an account that will give a reasonable level of service.
Instructions on re-direction of email are available on the web at:
Please note: any appeal against an academic decision which is based on the argument
that you did not receive distributed by electronic means is unlikely to succeed if you have
elected to have your email redirected.
4.8 Library Services
Library services and resources are provided by Information Services. You should visit the
website at: www.bris.ac.uk/is/info/students.html to find out what is available and see also
Appendix 4 on page of 36 of this handbook: Library Services for Students.
4.9 Studentinfo – Choose, Change, Check your Personal Information
You are responsible for ensuring that your personal information, including current
address and contact details, is kept up to date. You should either ensure that the Faculty
Office is kept informed of any changes, or update your personal information yourself
using ‘Student Info’ at www.bris.ac.uk/undergraduates/#choose
In this section of the ‘Current Students’ area of the University webpage you can also
check which units you have been registered for and which exams you have been
timetabled to take; if you find any errors, contact your School Office as soon as possible.
4.10 Language Learning
Facilities for independent study of languages are available in the Language Centre. The
facilities consist of a Reading Room, an Audio-Visual Room and a Computer Room. The
Reading Room offers books, cassettes and videos at all levels in a range of languages.
There is also a quiet study area with newspapers and magazines in several languages.
The AV Room offers cassette players for students to listen to cassettes and record
themselves, and Satellite TV, offering many European channels. In the Computer Room
students are able to develop their skills, working with the latest interactive multimedia
language packages, and using the Internet allows access to authentic language through
specially selected links relevant to the courses on offer.
In addition to the facilities, a full-time language adviser is available to offer guidance in
the choice of materials, study methods and technical support.
The self-access facilities are open Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and are
located in the basement of the Language Centre, 30/32 Tyndall’s Park Road.
4.11 Printing and Photocopying
Photocopying facilities are available in the Arts & Social Sciences Library. Printing
facilities are available in the Library, at the Computer Centre and in most computer
laboratories. Prices start at 5p per page. Information on locations and charges at
5. DISCIPLINE, APPEALS AND GRIEVANCES
Full details of the rights and responsibilities of students, and the various regulations
governing your existence at Bristol, can be found on the webpage of the University
Secretary’s Office, www.bris.ac.uk/secretary/studentrulesregs/. Your attention is
particularly drawn to the Student Agreement, which you signed at registration.
The power to discipline a student on academic matters is vested in the Board of the
Faculty, which delegates the day-to-day monitoring of student progress to individual
Schools. Most cases are dealt with locally and informally; the Faculty becomes involved
only in serious cases of misconduct or unsatisfactory performance, and the University is
involved only in the most serious disciplinary offences.
If a student’s performance is judged to be unsatisfactory in the course of the year, for
example as a result of failure to submit required work, failure to attend classes which are
a requirement for credit, or failure to respond to letters from the personal tutor, he or she
will be given a formal warning by the School. If performance does not improve, he or she
may be reported to the Faculty by the School and required to withdraw from the
programme of study.
If you wish to appeal against a requirement to withdraw or the imposition of any other
sanctions related to your academic progress, or if you wish to appeal against the
decision of a Board of Examiners, you should in the first instance discuss this with your
Personal Tutor or another member of the department. You may then be referred to the
School Deputy Head of Teaching & Learning.
If the issue remains unresolved, you should make an appointment to discuss the matter
with the Undergraduate Education Director, Dr Vanda Zajko (V.Zajko@bris.ac.uk), who
deals with matters relating to student progress, the assessment process and teaching
and learning issues on behalf of the Faculty.
If the problem remains unresolved after your meeting with the Undergraduate Education
Director , you have the right to initiate a formal appeal by writing to the Student
Complaints Officer, c/o the Secretary’s Office; tel. 928 8904; student-
firstname.lastname@example.org. Full details of the relevant procedures can be found at
www.bris.ac.uk/secretary/grievances/. You should note two important points:
Formal notice of an appeal should be made within 21 days of the publication of
the decision of the Board of Examiners or the Progress Committee.
In considering appeals against the decision of a Board of Examiners, those
hearing the appeal will not attempt to re-examine the student, nor to appraise the
professional judgement of the examiners, but will consider whether the decision of
the board of examiners was fair and whether all relevant factors were taken into
If you have a complaint or grievance about any aspect of University life, you should raise
it with an appropriate person at the earliest possible opportunity, as complaints that are
dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively.
The table on the next page shows a suggested route for complaints, depending on the
issue at stake; you are recommended to approach someone from those listed 1 first,
then someone from among those listed 2, and so forth. If informal procedures fail to
resolve the problem, you may bring a formal complaint by writing to the Student
Complaints Officer, c/o Secretary’s Office (email@example.com). Full details
of the procedures are at at www.bris.ac.uk/secretary/grievances/.
Person to whom approach may be Type of complaint
Academic Accommodation Other
Personal tutor 1 2 1
Supervisor 1 1
Deputy Head Teaching & Learning 2
Undergraduate Dean of Faculty 3
Graduate Dean of Faculty 3
Dean of Faculty 4
Sabbatical Officers 2 2 2
Students’ Union student adviser 3 3 2
Student representatives 2 2
International Students’ Advisory 2 2 2
Service (international students only)
Chaplain 3 3 3
Warden (of Hall of Residence) 1
Senior Resident (of Student House) 1
Accommodation Office 2
Faculty officers 3
Director of Student Services 4 4
Other senior administrative officer 4
Student Complaints Officer & 5 5 5
Council through University Secretary 6 6 6
6. THE FACULTY OF ARTS
6.1 About the Faculty
The Faculty of Arts consists of fourteen departments organised into three Schools, Arts
(Archaeology & Anthropology, Drama, History of Art, Music and Philosophy), Humanities
(Classics & Ancient History, English, Historical Studies and Theology & Religious
Studies) and Modern Languages (French, German, Hispanic, Portuguese & Latin
American Studies, Italian and Russian). It is run by a Faculty Board, consisting of all of
the members of academic staff with representatives of different support services (student
representatives attend, but don’t have voting rights), and by a Dean exercising executive
powers on behalf of the Faculty. There are a number of other Faculty Officers, with
responsibility for different areas of activity (Undergraduate Education Director, Graduate
Education Director, Research Director, and Chair of the Faculty Quality Assurance
Team), and a Faculty Office that contains the Faculty Manager, the Head of Academic
Administration and other administrative staff.
Subject to the overriding authority of Senate, the supreme academic body of the
University, the Faculty is responsible for approving curricula, recommending changes to
ordinances and regulations, determining the progress of students, appointing examiners,
regulating the conduct of examinations and assessment of students, approving the
award of prizes, dealing with any matters referred to it by Senate and bringing to the
attention of the University any matters of concern in the Faculty.
6.2 Key Faculty Staff
Dean of the Faculty of Arts: Professor Charles Martindale
Undergraduate Education Director Dr Vanda Zajko
Graduate Education Director: Dr James Clark
Head of Academic Administration: Ms Christine Hall
6.3 The Main Faculty Committees, and Student Representation
Faculty Planning and Resources Committee (FPRC) The key advisory group to the
Dean on strategy and finance, consisting of the Faculty Officers, the Heads of School
and key administrative personnel as well as representatives from the Finance and
Personnel Offices. No student representatives.
Faculty Teaching & Learning Committee (FTLC) Advises on teaching and learning
issues; works to implement the Faculty Education Strategy and to develop the quality of
education. Consists of the Education Directors, the Chair of FQAT, the Deputy Heads
(Teaching & Learning) from each of the Schools, key administrative personnel and if
possible three student representatives, two undergraduate and one postgraduate.
Faculty Quality Assurance Team (FQAT) A different sort of committee, the body with
responsibility for overseeing the quality of education across the Faculty; a Chair and two
other members, with support from the Head of Academic Administration and the
Education Director, who visit the Schools regularly. No student representation, but
always meets students as part of its visits.
Faculty Board The chief body of the Faculty; all academic members of staff are
members, along with representatives of the administrators and support services and
there are also representatives from the postgraduates and undergraduate students (one
from each department).
As well as being represented on Faculty bodies, one undergraduate and one
postgraduate from the Faculty attend Senate, the chief academic body of the University.
Student representatives are appointed in the course of the autumn term, so it isn’t
possible to give details here of whom you should contact if you wish to have a point
raised at one of these meetings. However, we hope to be able to post a list of names in
due course at www.bris.ac.uk/arts/current/under/represent.html.
The Faculty and its Departments, and the University generally, greatly value the
contribution which students make to the development of teaching and learning policies
and procedures and other aspects of University life; we want to hear your views. There
are many opportunities to join in discussions of how things are run here; you can put
yourself forward as a representative on Faculty Board or Faculty Teaching & Learning
Committee (in which case you’ll receive training from the Students Union on how to be
an effective representative), or join the Staff-Student Consultative Committee in your
Department or School. Full details of these opportunities will be advertised in the
autumn term: do consider it.
Appendix 1: FACULTY MARKING CRITERIA
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: detailed and accurate, showing the ability to select what
is most relevant from a broader range of knowledge. Of relevant secondary literature:
detailed and critical, showing evidence of reading widely outside the prescribed
bibliography. Of relevant theoretical and methodological issues: detailed and critical,
showing clear awareness of how they relate to the question. Of the wider context:
detailed and accurate, showing clear understanding of how the topic relates to the wider
context and showing the ability to draw on relevant material from other contexts to
develop the argument.
Approach: analytical, critical, sophisticated, engaging closely with the question and
showing appreciation of its wider implications. Structure: rigorously argued and logically
structured. Originality: extensive evidence of independent thought. Use of evidence: all
points supported with critically-evaluated evidence.
Clarity of expression: lucid, elegant, accurate. Spelling and grammar: no errors.
Technical vocabulary, where appropriate: accurate and sophisticated usage. Academic
conventions: exemplary citation and presentation of bibliography.
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: detailed and accurate, showing the ability to select what
is most relevant from a broader range of knowledge. Of relevant secondary literature:
detailed and critical, showing evidence of reading outside the prescribed bibliography.
Of relevant theoretical and methodological issues: detailed and critical, showing clear
awareness of how they relate to the question. Of the wider context: detailed and
accurate, showing clear understanding of how the topic relates to the wider context.
Approach: analytical, critical, sophisticated, engaging closely with the question and
showing appreciation of its wider implications. Structure: generally rigorously argued and
logically structured. Originality: evidence of independent thought. Use of evidence: most
points supported with critically-evaluated evidence.
Clarity of expression: clear, fluent, accurate. Spelling and grammar: no errors.
Technical vocabulary, where appropriate: accurate and often sophisticated usage.
Academic conventions: consistent citation and well presented bibliography.
UPPER SECOND (2.1) (60-69)
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: extensive and accurate. Of relevant secondary
literature: clear and generally critical knowledge of works on the set bibliography. Of
relevant theoretical and methodological issues: aware of underlying principles and
themes, though not always conscious of how they relate to the question. Of the wider
context: generally well-informed, though limited understanding of how the topic relates to
the wider context.
Approach: analytical, generally critical, quite sophisticated, engaging with the question
and showing appreciation of some of its wider implications. Structure: generally clearly
argued and sensibly structured. Originality: attempts to go beyond the ideas of the
secondary literature. Use of evidence: most points illustrated with evidence, generally
but not always critically evaluated.
Clarity of expression: clear, generally accurate. Spelling and grammar: no significant
errors. Technical vocabulary, where appropriate: accurate usage. Academic
conventions: fairly consistent citation, well presented bibliography.
LOWER SECOND (2.2) (50-59)
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: generally clear and accurate, though there may be some
errors and gaps. Of relevant secondary literature: generally clear though often uncritical
knowledge of key works on the set bibliography; some significant omissions. Of relevant
theoretical and methodological issues: limited awareness of underlying principles and
themes and limited understanding of how they relate to the question. Of the wider
context: some knowledge, though rarely used to any great effect.
Approach: some attempt at analysis and synthesis, but sometimes prone to excessive
narrative or description; rarely critical; may assert rather than argue; may not properly
engage with question. Structure: argument not always clear; structure may be heavily
influenced by the secondary literature rather than the requirements of the question.
Originality: little attempt to go beyond or criticise the secondary literature. Use of
evidence: frequent references to evidence and awareness of its importance, but rarely
Clarity of expression: conveys meaning, but sometimes clumsy. Spelling and grammar:
generally grammatical, but a few significant spelling errors. Technical vocabulary, where
appropriate: attempts use, not always with full understanding. Academic conventions:
has made a serious attempt at providing references, but with significant flaws in
coverage and/or presentation; well presented bibliography.
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: limited and patchy, with some significant errors. Of
relevant secondary literature: limited, uncritical and sometimes muddled knowledge of a
fairly narrow range of sources. Of relevant theoretical and methodological issues:
obvious ignorance of many relevant issues. Of the wider context: limited and patchy,
with some significant errors.
Approach: limited attempt at analysis or synthesis; excessive narrative or description;
tends to assert rather than argue; largely misses point of question. Structure: argument
underdeveloped; structure derivative, with little relation to question. Originality: ideas of
secondary literature presented uncritically. Use of evidence: a range of evidence
mentioned, but not critically evaluated and/or not properly integrated into the argument.
Clarity of expression: not always clear or easy to follow. Spelling and grammar:
generally grammatical, but frequent spelling errors. Technical vocabulary, where
appropriate: little and/or inaccurate usage. Academic conventions: limited but flawed
attempt at providing references (e.g. given only for direct quotations); well presented
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: very limited, with numerous significant errors and gaps.
Of relevant secondary literature: limited, uncritical and often muddled knowledge of a
very narrow range of sources. Of relevant theoretical and methodological issues:
obvious ignorance of relevant issues. Of the wider context: rudimentary.
Approach: little attempt at analysis or synthesis; little understanding of the question and
little attempt at addressing it. Structure: little attempt at argument; derivative and/or
illogical structure. Originality: follows a limited range of sources closely. Use of
evidence: some reference to evidence and some awareness of its importance, but not
evaluated or integrated into the argument.
Clarity of expression: often clumsy, difficult to follow and disjointed. Spelling and
grammar: frequent errors, though not affecting meaning. Technical vocabulary, where
appropriate: little and inaccurate usage. Academic conventions: few or no references.
FAIL (below 30)
Knowledge and Understanding
Of the subject being discussed: rudimentary and seriously flawed. Of relevant secondary
literature: limited, uncritical and garbled knowledge of a very narrow range of sources.
Of relevant theoretical and methodological issues: obvious ignorance of relevant issues.
Of the wider context: rudimentary at best.
Approach: no attempt at analysis or synthesis; fails to understand or address the
question. Structure: incoherent, illogical, derivative. Originality: wholly derivative of a
limited range of sources, in places verging on plagiarism. Use of evidence: little
reference to evidence.
Clarity of expression: clumsy, disjointed and often incoherent. Spelling and grammar:
frequent errors, sometimes obscuring meaning. Technical vocabulary, where
appropriate: no usage, or catastrophically misunderstood. Academic conventions: no
references, poorly presented bibliography.
Appendix 2: FACULTY GUIDELINES ON DEGREE CLASSIFICATION
1. The Board of Examiners will assess the class of degree to be awarded on the
basis of the student’s overall performance in units contributing to the final
assessment, considering the following:
(i) the mathematical average of the aggregate assessment marks from all units
contributing to the final classification, and the distribution of those marks across
different classes (see 2 below);
(ii) fail marks, if any (see 3 below)
(iii) evidence of medical or other circumstances that may have affected the student’s
(iv) for Single and Joint Honours degrees in the School of Modern Languages, the
marks for language units, including any fails (see 4 below);
Especially in cases that seem to be ‘borderline’ according to the criteria in 2, the Board
may also take into account the following:
(iv) the student’s performance in individual elements of units;
(v) the student’s performance in designated core units (for example, a final year
(vi) significant progression between Part I and Part II;
(vii) where relevant and not already contributing to the degree classification, marks
obtained for assessed work completed during a year abroad;
(viii) marks from other units that do not contribute to the final degree classification;
2. The following criteria establish a prima facie case for a student to be considered
for the specified class of degree. Note that these criteria assume that
classification will be based on 240 credits’ worth of units, equally weighted; they
will need to be modified for differential weighting or a different number of credits.
First class: 70+ average
66.5+ average and at least 120 credits at first class
150 credits or more at first class
2.1 60+ average
57+ average and at least 120 credits at 2.1 or better
150 credits or more at 2.1 or better
2.2 50+ average
47.5+ average and at least 120 credits at 2.2 or better
150 credits or more at 2.2 or better
3 40+ average and not more than 30 credits of fail marks
3. Fail Marks: this relates to fails in any units contributing to the final classification
with the exception of fails in language units in single- and joint-honours degrees in
the School of Modern Languages, which are dealt with below in 4:
Up to and including 30 credits’ worth of fails: no additional penalty.
40-50 credits’ worth of fails: reduce degree awarded by one class. If this brings
student below a 3rd, normally an Ordinary Degree may be awarded.
60 credits’ worth of fails: a prima facie case for a fail overall; the Board of
Examiners may exceptionally consider the award of an Ordinary Degree.
More than 60 credits’ worth of fails: normally a fail overall.
4. In the case of degrees in the School of Modern Languages, the class of degree
may normally be no more than one class above the average of the language
Fails in language units in these degrees are normally penalised more severely
than fails in other units, but may be compensated by the other language marks if
the overall average of the language units is 40 or more. Full details of the rules on
failure in language units agreed by the School of Modern Languages should be
included in documentation given to final year students on these degrees. These
rules are considered part of, and carry the same force as, the Faculty Assessment
5. It is important to note that these classification criteria establish a student’s right to
be considered for the specified class of degree, not their absolute right to that
class of degree. The Board of Examiners will consider the student’s overall
performance, as specified above in 1, before making a final decision. Likewise,
candidates who do not fully meet the criteria in 2 for a particular class of degree
may still be considered for that class if the Examiners feel that there are strong
arguments in their favour.
6. The Board of Examiners has a particularly important role in ensuring that students
on cross-faculty joint degrees, where those faculties have different guidelines for
degree classification, are not disadvantaged by being classified under one
scheme rather than another
7. In cases where the Board of Examiners bases its decision on broader
considerations than the basic criteria listed in 2, a note should be made in the
minutes of the meeting of the grounds on which the Board based its decision.
Appendix 3: FACULTY OF ARTS EDUCATION STRATEGY 2006-10
Introduction The high quality of teaching in the Faculty of Arts at both undergraduate
and postgraduate levels is vouched for by a range of evidence: student feedback and
student performance, internal and external quality assurance, and the comments of our
external examiners. One of the underlying themes of this strategy, therefore, is that we
are aiming to build on excellence, rather than aspiring to it or seeking to develop it ex
nihilo. We would not claim that every aspect of our activities currently qualifies as
‘excellent’ — there is always room for improvement — but our task here is above all to
sustain and safeguard existing excellence, not to embark on a radical change of
direction. We remain firmly committed to the values, and convinced of the value, of a
traditional research-led education in the arts and humanities. We firmly believe that the
traditional models of teaching and learning in our subjects, based above all on the
development of discipline-specific knowledge and competencies and on dialogue
between teachers and students, remain the foundation of the best education.
This is, however, by no means a strategy for complacency or conservatism: sustaining,
let alone developing, excellence in education over any period of time requires flexibility
and an acceptance of the need for change. Change may be needed to maintain the
quality and the distinctive character of our teaching in the face of new pressures, such as
the availability of resources, the burden of administration or the ever-changing regulatory
context of university and national guidelines. Change may be needed to respond to new
developments and directions in research, to new ideas of what constitutes a world-class
university education, and to the changing expectations and circumstances of our
students. Part of our understanding of what constitutes a world-class university arts
education is that it is engaged with and responsive to a changing world. We will best
safeguard the core values of our programmes by anticipating the need for change and
taking charge of our own destiny, rather than constantly having to catch up with and
submit to developments that are driven by forces beyond our control.
Aims Our aim is to give all our students a world-class university arts education,
informed at every level by the values of rational enquiry and critical engagement with the
world. We aim to provide our students with the teaching, the support and the facilities to
realise their own potential, both intellectually and personally, and to develop
independence of mind and a life-long commitment to learning. We aim to ensure that our
research and teaching activities continue to be fully integrated with one another, and to
achieve excellence in both research and teaching.
Principles This strategy draws upon various University strategies: the Education
Strategy (ES), the Widening Participation Strategy (WP), the ‘Engaged University’
Strategy (EU) and the new E-Learning Strategy (EL). It aims to show, in a single
integrated document, how we will be working towards the overall objectives of each of
these strategies, taking into account local circumstances such as the availability of
resources and the particular nature of our programmes. Just as importantly, this strategy
aims to identify our own priorities, to guide schools and subject areas in reviewing and
developing the education they offer, and to guide faculty officers in their interactions with
other faculties and the University.
The strategy is organised around the ten elements which we believe are essential for a
world-class university arts education:
1. Highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds, with the potential to excel on
2. Highly skilled and motivated staff at the cutting edge of their subjects.
3. Intellectually challenging programmes informed by research at all levels.
4. Programmes that develop students’ capacity and appetite for critical enquiry,
informed debate and independence of mind.
5. Programmes that are responsive to the changing needs of individual students.
6. Programmes that are engaged with and responsive to a changing world.
7. An appropriate mix of teaching, learning and assessment methods.
8. High-class facilities and learning resources, above all the library.
9. Programmes that are financially sustainable and efficiently delivered.
10. A sense of community and common endeavour between staff and students.
Objectives and Action Plan
Objective 1: To continue to recruit highly motivated students from diverse
backgrounds, who have the intellectual potential to excel on our programmes.
1.1 The Faculty affirms its commitment to a fair, rigorous and transparent admissions
process, and to the goals of the University Widening Participation Strategy. The
centralisation of the admissions process will relieve departments of much of the burden
of administration and ensure greater consistency of treatment for applicants.
Performance in this area will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Faculty Teaching &
Learning Committee and by Faculty Board. (WP; ES 15)
1.2 We will review the scope for expanding undergraduate recruitment in areas that are
not bound by the accommodation guarantee or by limits on student numbers — for
example, part-time degrees, lifelong learning and short-term courses such as the new
intercalated Medical Humanities programme — and for developing more such
programmes. We will continue discussions with the University about the possibility of the
accommodation guarantee being relaxed, allowing us us to recruit a greater number of
highly-qualified students and use the additional resource to enhance the student learning
experience. (ES 19, 34)
1.3 We will review the Faculty’s ‘engagement’ activities, in different schools and at
faculty level, and the different routes we offer into higher education. This will include a
review of all programmes to ensure that, where feasible, they are genuinely accessible to
part-time students. (EU; ES 15, 17)
1.4 We will seek to expand postgraduate numbers, both taught and research. We will
continue to gather information on the reasons why potential students choose to go
elsewhere, and to identify possible responses. We will review existing MA courses to
identify possible economies of scale and opportunities for collaboration and sharing units
between programmes, and will seek to identify opportunities for developing new
programmes, including collaboration with other faculties and institutions. (ES 11, 12, 18)
1.5 We will review Faculty and departmental webpages, to ensure that potential
applicants can easily find all the information they require and are clearly directed to
appropriate contacts for any further enquiries.
Objective 2: To continue to recruit highly skilled and motivated staff at the cutting
edge of their subjects and with the ability to communicate their research and
enthuse their students.
2.1 We will continue to require candidates for academic posts to demonstrate their
competence in and commitment to teaching and learning, both undergraduate and
postgraduate, as well as their potential for excellence in research. (ES 1)
2.2 We will continue to provide opportunities for senior research postgraduates to
participate in the teaching programme, both to assist their own professional development
and to enhance the learning experience of students, and will review whether faculty
guidelines are needed to help programme directors manage this. We will ensure that all
postgraduate teachers are properly trained, mentored and supported. (ES 33)
2.3 The Faculty expects that all full-time academic staff, excepting those on research
leave, will undertake some form of teaching-related professional development at least
once a year; for example, attendance at training courses, Subject Centre events or
teaching-related conferences, or participation in faculty teaching & learning seminars.
This will be promoted through the annual staff review process. Schools and departments
will be encouraged to develop further opportunities for subject-specific training and
discussion of teaching issues; a portion of the Education Director’s budget will be set
aside to help fund such activities. (ES 3)
2.4 We will continue to develop faculty-specific training opportunities, for experienced
staff as well as new lecturers and postgraduates, to supplement the generic courses
provided by the University. We will regularly review training needs within the Faculty,
both to inform our own provision and to make the providers of training at University level
aware of what courses would be useful to us. (ES 3, 9)
2.5 The Education Director will use a portion of the central resources for ‘Developing
Professional Standards’ to support attendance at teaching-related conferences and
courses outside the University, and will co-ordinate information on such events.
2.6 A regular Faculty Teaching & Learning Seminar will be established to provide an
opportunity for informal discussion of issues and experiences, as well as helping to
prepare colleagues for taking on education-related leadership roles such as Head of
Education or Deputy Head (T&L).
Objective 3: To offer intellectually challenging programmes that are informed by
research at all levels.
3.1 We re-affirm our belief that excellent research and teaching are inextricably
connected and mutually supportive, and our commitment to maintaining the close link
between them. (ES 33)
3.2 We will clearly communicate to students, in prospectuses and in student handbooks,
the particular benefits of studying in a research-intensive university.
3.3 We aim to ensure that the systems for approving new units and changes to
programmes are simple, straightforward and flexible, so that we can respond easily to
new initiatives and developments in research.
3.4 We will seek to promote flexibility in curriculum organisation to enable the sharing of
units between programmes, where this can enhance student choice without increasing
staff workloads. We will support the development where appropriate of inter-disciplinary
units, especially those linked to faculty research themes, and review the impediments to
setting up such units. We will encourage students to explore the existing opportunities
for studying units outside their main programme of study. (ES 22, 33)
3.5 We will seek to ensure greater co-ordination of research seminars across the faculty
as well as within schools, so that postgraduates with interdisciplinary interests are not
regularly forced to choose between different events.
Objective 4: To offer programmes that develop students’ capacity and appetite for
critical enquiry, informed debate and independence of mind.
4.1 To ensure that contact time with academic staff is kept free for discipline-specific,
high-level activities, we will continue to develop the web-based ‘skills resource’ and other
e-learning facilities for ‘generic’ skills (grammar, referencing etc.). We will seek to
identify opportunities for developing subject-specific e-learning resources, to allow
students to practice basic skills and assess their own progress. (ES 24; EL)
4.2 We will develop a system of web-based Personal Development Planning,
customised for the particular needs of our students; this will be designed to help them
become independent and self-reflective learners, able to identify areas where they may
need further practice or training and to make best use of the feedback they receive on
their work. This will be integrated with the personal tutor system, to ensure that students
have an opportunity to receive guidance on their academic development. (ES 22, 27)
4.3 We will explore the possibility of developing a system of student-led training and
mentoring within the Faculty, to help new students benefit from the experiences of their
seniors and to integrate them fully into the scholarly community of the programme and
4.4 We will advertise the benefits of study abroad and other appropriate placements to
all students. We will review current impediments to this, including the administrative
burden on departments, and seek to identify possible solutions. We will ensure that
students on non-language programmes are encouraged to take advantage of the
opportunities for developing their language skills offered by the Language Centre, and
will explore the feasibility of allowing shorter periods of study abroad within all
programmes. (ES 8, 10, 21)
4.5 Heads of Education will regularly review the provision of different sorts of training in
their programmes, in professional, discipline-specific competencies as much as in
transferable skills, drawing on feedback from tutors, students, former students and
employers. We aim to ensure that our students have appropriate opportunities for
personal development, delivered in an appropriate manner. (ES 25)
Objective 5: To offer programmes that are responsive to the changing needs of
5.1 We will ensure that student feedback, including, with the appropriate caveats, the
results of the National Student Survey, continues to be taken into account in Annual
Programme Reviews and FQAT visits. We will review whether it is desirable to introduce
our own annual post-graduation survey of student experience, designed to elicit
feedback that is actually meaningful and useful. (ES 25, 26)
5.2 We will review all aspects of the support and training provided for research
postgraduate students in the light of the University’s new Code of Practice.
5.3 We aim to implement an integrated system of electronic timetabling, optimising our
use of resources while increasing the ability of the system to take account of individual
needs. (ES 33)
5.4 The review of ‘engagement’ and part-time study will include the scope for greater
flexibility in programme structures; for example, the ease of movement between full- and
part-time study as circumstances change. We will aim to ensure that lifelong learning
activities are as fully integrated as possible with ‘mainstream’ teaching and learning. (EU)
5.5 The review of ‘engagement’ will consider how we can best keep informed about
changes in school curricula, which will have an impact on the skills, knowledge and
expectations of incoming students. (EU)
Objective 6: To offer programmes that are engaged with and responsive to a
6.1 Each school will develop a programme of ‘engagement’ events intended to
communicate its research or other activities to the wider world and to introduce members
of the public to the world of higher education and research. The Faculty will publicise
such events through an annual brochure on ‘engagement activities’, which will also
advertise the opportunities for part-time degrees and lifelong learning. (EU)
See also actions 3.3, 5.3.
Objective 7: To make use of an appropriate mix of teaching, learning and
7.1 We re-affirm our commitment to ensuring that all students experience an appropriate
range of teaching, learning and assessment methods, focused above all on the
development of discipline-specific knowledge and competencies.
7.2 Small-group teaching, based around dialogue and debate, lies at the heart of an
education in the arts, and we will defend our current practices against any argument that
we should teach more ‘efficiently’ by dramatically increasing class sizes. At the same
time, we will communicate to students, especially in their first year, our belief that it is the
nature of contact hours rather than the simple number of them that determines the
quality of a university education.
7.3 We will review assessment and feedback practices in different programmes in the
light of the results of the University’s Assessment Review, to ensure that assessment is
fair, efficient and fit for purpose, and that students are helped to develop as learners. We
will, where appropriate, promote and support the development of new forms of
assessment practice, to help to develop student learning while limiting the burden of
assessment on academic staff. (ES 23)
Objective 8: To provide high-class facilities and learning resources.
8.1 The importance of high-class library facilities and holdings for both teaching and
research in the arts and humanities cannot be exaggerated. We will seek to play an
active and constructive role in the development of the Nucleus project, to ensure that it
delivers the maximum benefit for staff and students. (ES 31)
8.2 We will develop a Library strategy to help ensure efficient and effective book-buying,
maximising the impact of expenditure on the activities of research and teaching. Schools
and programmes will develop guidance for their students on how to make the most
effective use of available resources, and will seek to identify ways in which the demand
for key texts can be managed or more widely distributed. We will seek to identify ways of
supporting research postgraduates in making use of research facilities outside Bristol.
8.3 As well as taking forward the current projects to develop the Woodland Road
precinct (including the Modern Languages Multimedia centre) and new Drama facilities,
to bring all teaching space in the Faculty up to an acceptable standard and to refurbish
the Victoria Rooms, we will initiate proposals to improve the provision of computing
facilities, electronic resources and other new media in the Faculty, and to refurbish the
Graduate Centre as a properly-equipped resource for postgraduate research. (ES 28,
Objective 9: To ensure that our activities are financially sustainable and efficiently
9.1 We will review all programmes in the light of the fEC (full economic costing) tool
being developed by the University. It is clear that cost can never be the only criterion for
assessing the structure and/or viability of particular programmes, but we need this
information for successful planning and to ensure that our teaching activities across
schools represent a ‘balanced portfolio’. We will, as part of this process, review staff-
student ratios, average class sizes and overall staff workloads on different programmes
within the Faculty. (ES 2, 22, 32, 33)
9.2 The new faculty structure, with clear lines of communication between Heads of
Education, Deputy Heads (T&L) and Faculty Officers, will improve the speed and
efficiency of communication, consultation and strategic decision-making. (ES 4, 5)
9.3 We will review unit approval processes and other teaching-related administrative
activities, to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and implement the principle of ‘right-
placeism’ (that is to say, administration should where possible be carried out by
administrators) while ensuring that quality assurance procedures remain robust. (ES 33)
See also Action 5.2
Objective 10: To promote a sense of community and common endeavour between
staff and students.
10.1 We affirm our belief, and aim to communicate it through Faculty publications and
direct contact with students, that we are all engaged in the same activities of research,
discovery and debate, even if at different levels or in different ways.
10.2 We will review the systems of student representation and consultation at all levels
in the Faculty, to ensure that as far as possible students are fully engaged in the process
of reviewing and developing our educational provision. In particular, we will ensure that
part-time and life-long learning students are properly represented and included in
communications. (ES 25, 26)
10.3 We re-affirm our commitment to the Graduate Centre as a place providing both a
sense of community for graduates and a site of intellectual exchange, and will explore
ways in which its role can be developed further.
Appendix 4: Library Services for Students
Library services and resources are provided by Information Services.
There are 12 branch libraries covering different disciplines and members of the
University may use any of them. However, the collections in the Arts and Social Science
Library are of most relevance to members of the Arts Faculty. Details of the locations
and opening hours of all the branch libraries can be found at:
The Arts Faculty Librarian is Jez Conolly.. There are also three School Liaison Librarians
(Damien McManus: School of Modern Languages; Jez Conolly: School of Humanities;
Mary Jane Steer: School of Arts) and subject librarians who have responsibility for the
different subject areas within the Faculty. Their contact details are given under the
relevant subjects on the on the Library’s subject resources pages
There are many information resources available to Arts Faculty students, and Information
Services provides access to the most important ones via MetaLib: your information
The library catalogue: provides details of most of the printed books and journals,
and non-book materials in the library system. You can find where the item is
located and whether it is on loan, reserve items which are on loan, and renew
items which you have on loan.
Electronic journals and books: many journals and books are available in
electronic form. You can search via MetaLib for a specific electronic title, or
search for journals, articles or books on a specific topic and access them at any
time from any PC on the University campus. The best way to obtain access to
electronic resources from home is to use the “Off-site Proxy” service; details at:
http://www.bris.ac.uk/is/library/metalib/offcampus.html. However access to many
journals and databases off-campus is also available via your UoB username and
Databases: help you to search for research information, particularly journal
articles, in your subject area. You can track down the existence of such journal
articles through electronic bibliographic databases (such as the Arts and
Humanities Citation Index on Web of Science).
Borrowing from the libraries
Librarians work closely with the academic teaching staff to ensure that students have
access to materials on their reading lists.
Short loan collections are created in collaboration with the teaching staff and contain the
key texts that are recommended by your tutors. Items in these collections have restricted
loan periods, for example 3 hours or 1 day, in order to ensure that as many readers as
possible are able to use them.
Undergraduates may borrow up to 15 books and journals from any single branch library,
plus 10 items from other branches, while the limit for taught postgraduates is 25, plus 10
from other branches. Details about the loan period of individual items may be found on
the library catalogue and on the borrower label at the front of the item. Please help your
colleagues by returning books promptly, especially if they have been recalled by another
reader. If a book has not been recalled by another reader it may be renewed via ‘My
Account’ on the catalogue or by the telephone renewals service.
The AddLibS service supports users who have additional support requirements or
particular problems getting to and using our library service. For full details you should
consult the AddLibS web pages at http://www.bris.ac.uk/is/library/addlibs/
Subject Librarians offer training to help students make the best use of the library’s
facilities and resources, and gain necessary library and information literacy skills.
Students should contact the subject librarian responsible for their subject for further