Examinations by hcj


									School of Pharmacy

Protocols relating to Examiners' Meetings of the School
of Pharmacy

2004-2005 session

Undergraduate (non-final year candidates) School of Pharmacy
Examination Board

According to appropriate School of Pharmacy Supplementary Regulations and
University Regulations for first (Honours) Degrees,
        To determine:
      which students progress automatically to the next stage of their course;
      which students must be reassessed for the first time in some modules;
      which students have failed to progress following a first reassessment;
        To consider whether there are special, documented, medical or other
      circumstances affecting any student who has failed to attend an examination or
      to gain sufficient marks to progress. In such cases the School of Pharmacy
      Examination Board may make an appropriate recommendation to the Science
      and Engineering Assessment Committee that the student concerned be allowed
      to proceed to the next stage of the course notwithstanding regulations, or be
      allowed a discretionary second reassessment attempt, or be treated in some
      other exceptional way;
        In the case of students who are required to undertake reassessment, to
      make a recommendation to Science and Engineering Assessment Committee
      about the timing of the reassessment using the guidance of University
      Regulation 18 (i.e. either in September or in the next academic year, with or
      without residence), and the nature of the re-assessment;
        To determine which students the School Board wishes to recommend to the
      Science and Engineering Assessment Committee for formal approval of a
      discretionary pass under University Regulation 16(b);
        In the case of students who, following reassessment, have failed to progress
      to consider whether there are circumstances which warrant the application of
      Supplementary Regulations or University Regulation 17, which allows
      "discretionary progression", and to refer appropriate cases to the Science and
      Engineering Assessment Committee for consideration and possible approval;
        In the case of students who, following reassessment, have failed to progress
      and whose course is to be terminated, to make a recommendation of
      termination for discussion by the Science and Engineering Assessment
      Committee.     The School of Pharmacy Examination Board should consider
      whether the student is eligible for transfer to the BSc (Pharmaceutical
      Sciences) degree course and should recommend appropriate candidates to the
      Science and Engineering Assessment Committee for formal approval; and

  To receive:
        documents relating to the disclosure of marks and the counselling of
Undergraduate (final          year    candidates)       School      of   Pharmacy
Examination Board

     To recommend to the Science and Engineering Assessment Committee for
      formal approval, successful candidates for the award of first degrees;
     To make recommendations to the Academic Board (or equivalent) regarding the
      conditions for final year candidates who have failed to satisfy the requirements
      to obtain a degree to be reassessed for an Honours degree;
     The School of Pharmacy Examinations Board is also responsible for confirming
      marks in School modules taken by students who are following courses of study
      in other Schools.

Duties of School of Pharmacy External Examiners

  The duties of the External Examiners include:
   reviewing and approving draft examination papers, and setting questions if so
   having access to all scripts, and other forms of assessment, and moderating a
     sample of all first class undergraduate scripts, borderline and failed scripts;
   conducting where appropriate oral and viva voce examinations for students
     taking final examinations, with at least one Internal Examiner;
   reviewing the marking and classification to determine if they are of an
     appropriate standard
   recommending that the marks of assessments are changed in cases where they
     reassess a piece of work or an examination;
   attending the School of Pharmacy Examinations Board at which the final
     assessment is made of candidates;
   being satisfied that School of Pharmacy procedures for marking and
     classification are observed;
   being influential in cases of disagreement over marking and classification,
     when the External Examiner's views carry particular weight (it should be
     emphasised that no one External Examiner‟s opinion can be predominant);
   providing an annual written report;
   providing a final summary report at the end of the appointment.

Introduction: Three mechanisms for classifying degrees

Three methods for classifying undergraduate degrees have been approved by the
Undergraduate Studies Committee for use in the University of Nottingham.

One (“arithmetic mean”) satisfies the need of those Schools which have traditionally
found no difficulty in using the entire range of marks in the percentage scale and is
used by the Pharmacy School to assist in the determination of degree classification.

The other two (“ordinal scale” and “thresholds”) have been developed in recognition of the problems of
classifying degrees, particularly first class honours, where marking conventions effectively discount the use of
marks at both ends of the percentile range. This means that very good and very poor performance may be
under- and over-stated respectively, or marks at the outer ends of the student‟s run of marks, perhaps awarded
by other Schools, may have a disproportionate arithmetic impact on the classification of subject performance.
The “ordinal scale” model deals with those subjects where a literal rather than numeric grade has traditionally
been assigned to a unit of assessment, and where any literal grade (e.g. “C”) represents numeric marks (in this
case 55).


For the purposes of classifying degrees, marks will be rounded at the stages detailed
below for each individual Model. For the purposes of progression, overall average
marks will be rounded to the nearest integer so that marks of 29.5, 39.5 and 49.5 will
be rounded to 30, 40 and 50 respectively.


Once the External Examiner has moderated the marks for individual modules, the
agreed algorithm is used to determine the final composite mark. If this falls within a
borderline as defined above, further consideration may be given by the examiners,
using any relevant additional evidence (e.g. a viva voce examination)1, to determine if
the classification may be raised. The final mark will not be changed 2, but the
transcript will record that the class has been raised according to agreed procedure.
The process must be transparent, such that a candidate may confirm his/her
classification by reference to the transcript and the published classification algorithm.

  The Pharmacy School may consider candidates in a variety of ways, as is deemed appropriate.
  External Examiners will be allowed to alter marks of assessments where they re-mark a piece of work or
examination. In other words, the fruitless and misleading practice of “finding” extra marks at the final
examiners‟ meeting is not acceptable.
“Arithmetic mean” model

1. Unit marks3 are numeric
2. Module mark is calculated from unit marks and rounded to a numeric integer
3. Weighted numerical average of Part I/II/III marks is calculated following
   established conventions set out in Pharmacy School Supplementary degree
4. Marks are rounded (see “Rounding” below)
5. Weighted numerical average is translated into degree classification according to
   Table 1

        Table 1

        I        =           70%+
        IIi      =           60% - 69%
        IIii     =           50% - 59%
        III      =           40% - 49%


The University convention on rounding of numeric marks is as follows:

Marks should be rounded at 2 stages only:

      (a)      when two or more unit marks are computed (using a weighting formula),
               the result should be rounded into a single integer module mark;
      (b)      when the overall Part I/II/III mark has been computed, it should be
               rounded into a single overall integer mark, before a degree classification is

Rounding means that any mark of x.5 and decimal fractions above, becomes the next
highest integer e.g. 69.5 is rounded to 70, 59.5 to 60, and so on. Decimal fractions
below x.5 are rounded to the next lowest integer e.g. 69.4 is rounded to 69.


Following the rounding convention set out above, overall marks of 39.5, 49.5, 59.5,
and 69.5 will be rounded to 40, 50, 60 & 70 respectively.

Only the following rounded marks will be regarded as “borderline”:

39      Borderline    III
49      Borderline    IIii
59      Borderline    IIi
68      Borderline    I

  By “unit mark” we mean the mark awarded for an individual piece of assessed work, which goes towards the
computation of a module mark using a weighting formula.


Summary of Regulations
The student must accumulate 120 credits before proceeding to the next year. These
credits are obtained by pass marks in written examinations and in coursework. This is
achieved by passing all theory and practical modules with a mark of 40% or greater
(exceptionally in „Sterile Products Dispensing‟ (Part I) and „Dispensing' (Part II) the
pass mark is 70% and in „Law' (Part II) the pass mark is 60%). It does not
necessarily follow that marks below 40% prevent progression. Compensation is
allowed for failures in certain modules (see below).

A pass mark must be obtained in all practical modules or practical components of
composite modules; compensation is not permitted. Failure in these modules may
mean a repeat of the whole year.

Compensation rules
These rules come into operation if the overall weighted average from all modules
(excluding practicals) is greater than 40% and there are no more than 20 credits of fai led
modules in both semesters. Module marks in the band 35-39% may be compensated.
For a composite practical and theory module a practical mark may compensate a theory
mark of not less than 35%. However, if the composite module mark remains below 40%,
normal compensation rules apply.

The 50% rule is normally applied in cases where there is 10 credits or less of failure
but no mark below 30%. This requires a weighted average in „theory' of 50% or
greater (Part I excluding Sterile Products Dispensing; Part II excluding Law and

With more than 20 credits of failure („hard‟ and „soft‟) (theory and practical), i.e.
marks of less than 40%, all modules with fails must be re-assessed. In the case of
practicals a repeat year may be necessary. Exceptionally in Part I and Part II special
provisions relate to failure in Sterile Products Dispensing, Dispensing and Law.

Resit Examinations marks
In resit examinations the better of the original and resit marks is used to determine
progression. The original mark stands for the purposes of „carry-over' (Part I and Part

Extenuating circumstances
An Extenuating Circumstances Form should be completed when a student has
attempted an assessment but wishes to claim that there were extenuating
circumstances that affected their performance in the assessment. Any claims for
extenuating circumstances on medical grounds must be accompanied by a medical
certificate or letter from the Health Centre, or an appropriate medical adviser. It is
VERY IMPORTANT that students should submit claims for extenuating circumstances
promptly. The latest acceptable date is 7 days after the scheduled completion date of
the last component of assessment for a module. In addition to the form, students may
supply letters of their own to explain their circumstances, and should be encouraged
to provide as much information as they wish if they think it will benefit their case.

Tutors should be available to offer advice when a student considers that an
Extenuating Circumstances form should be completed. In most cases this will involve
no more than referring the student to the Course Director, or arranging for Tutor and
student to consult with the Course Director. If the tutor is unavailable then his/her
nominated stand-in should act.

The School Examinations Officer will bring claims for extenuating circumstances to the
attention of Examination and/or Faculty Boards. If information is of a confidential
nature, the details will not be discussed at these meetings.

Prior to the Internal Examiners’ meeting tutors should:
    Check examination marks for each of their tutees and if there appears to be an
       unexpected difference between mark and anticipated performance, seek
       clarification from the relevant Module convenor.
    Check that marks have been correctly carried forward from examinations in
       previous years. Please remember that the only relevant marks are those
       obtained at the first sittings of examinations.  Bear in mind that some
       examinations held in September (or other agreed times) may have been
       deemed as “sitting for the first time”.

The Internal Examiners’ Meeting
    All staff should attend this meeting since the tutor is the intermediary between
      the student and the Board. In the case of authorised absence, a deputy must
      have been adequately briefed; it is unacceptable and a failure of duty to tutees
      if this does not occur.
    Any relevant information relating to student (tutee) performance may be
      raised. The Course Director will note such information as the Board considers
      appropriate for use at the External and Internal Examiners meeting.

The External and Internal Examiners’ Meeting:
    At this meeting opinions (e.g. the outcomes of viva voce examinations, and
      other matters which have been specifically referred to them) are expressed
      about individual students by the External Examiners. The Course Director will
      relay the agreed information from the Internal Examiners‟ Meeting.
    A tutor‟s duty is confined to giving factual information only. It is inappropriate
      for opinions which cannot be substantiated to be expressed (e.g. “a student has
      worked hard for three years and deserves a 2 i”).

        The School is no longer able to publish first, second and third year progression
         lists because of provisions in the 1998 Data protection Act. Examination marks
         are provided to students in the form of a printed transcript following the joint
         Examiners‟ Meeting. Students should then arrange to discuss results with their
         tutor on the same day. Because this day is within term no provision, as an act
         of the School, is made to provide results by any other method. Students should
         not be referred to the Course Director for reasons other than failure of modules.

        Results will be sent to students who have provided the School with a stamped
         addressed envelope. Transcripts will be sent to those students as soon as is
         reasonably possible but could be up to several weeks after the release of

        There is communication via the Student Portal to those students requiring
         reassessment of module(s). This is handled by the University Registry and not
         the School.

Discussion of results with tutees
It is custom and practice of the School of Pharmacy for tutors to discuss examination
results with their tutees on the morning following the Examiners‟ Meeting. All tutors
should make themselves available for this duty in normal working hours during this
day. In arranging with another member of staff to hold these discussions, the
increased burden imposed on a colleague should be appreciated. It is unacceptable
for tutees to be left in limbo.

Points and notes concerning the Data Protection Act

1.       We must ensure that marks are delivered to the correct candidate.

2.       No marks of a given student may be revealed to a fellow student (except with
         the written consent of the former). Refer the request to the Course Director.

3.       No marks must be revealed to any third person, e.g. prospective employer,
         without written authority of the student. Again such requests should be
         referred to the Course Director.

4.       Under the provisions of the Act any student can ask for (and receive, within 40
         days, presumably after payment of an appropriate fee) any information held
         concerning her or him on any School computer. Such requests in principle
         must be made through the University's Data Protection Officer: however the
         information is only held by the School.

5.       Examiners should be aware that any comments on examinations scripts which
         are not noted on the script itself, and which are not destroyed at the end of the
         marking process, may have to be made available to the candidate at his or her
         request. (i.e. examination scripts are exempt from the disclosure requirements
         in the Act, but not other sorted material relating to the marking process).

At the end of each academic session, prizes are awarded to outstanding students on
the course. The recipients are usually determined by examination performance unless
otherwise stated.

School of Pharmacy Prizes

MPharm IV

      Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Science Committee Award
      Best student in years 2, 3 and 4

      AstraZeneca R&D Award
      Best overall performance in year 4

      Co-op Pharmacy Prize
      Best performance in project study 1 and 2

      Lloyds Pharmacy Pharmacy Practice Prize
      Best student in Pharmacy Practice in years 2, 3 and 4

      J&J MSD Prize
      Best student in clinical pharmacy/pharmacy practice in year 4

MPharm III

      The William Lee Prize
      Best student in Law and Dispensing

      Aventis Best Practice Prize
      Best student in year 3

MPharm II

      Pfizer Prize in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
      Best student in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

      Royal Pharmaceutical Society (Nottingham & District Branch)
      Best overall performance in year 2

MPharm I

      AstraZeneca R&D Prize
      Best student in year

      Overseas Student Prizes
      Best performance by overseas students (2)

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