Students receive routine feedback on any work that they have submitted. Feedback will give you advice that will guide you in improving your learning and future performance. Feedback opportunities vary from school to school but can include individual face-to-face discussion, written commentaries on work or electronic feedback, for example through MMS or Moodle.

See also feedback on exam performance.

Coursework Feedback Timescales

Feedback will normally be returned to students within 14 days of submission for sub-honours modules and 21 days for honours and MSc modules. This timescale includes weekends, but not student holidays.

Occasionally it will not be possible to meet this target, due to large class sizes, the nature of the coursework, or unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, students will be informed as soon as possible.

In some cases formative feedback may be returned before summative feedback on a given piece of work, in order to reduce the delay, or to encourage students to engage with understanding the comments and learning from them.

Mark Descriptors

Formative feedback comprises comments on submitted work, in order to help students understand the strengths and weaknesses of their work, and to give advice on how to improve future work. Summative feedback (a mark) gives an assessment of the overall quality of submitted work on the common reporting scale, contributing to the final module grade.

General Mark Descriptors

The following general mark descriptors are intended to help students understand the levels of achievement required for various bands of coursework marks on the common reporting scale. These descriptors are for guidance only and are not definitive. Alternative descriptors may be published for a particular piece of coursework, in which case they override these descriptors.

Mark Band Descriptor Standard
0 No material submitted.
1-3 Little evidence of any attempt to complete the work. Severe Fail
4-6 Little evidence of any acceptable attempt to complete the work, with no substantial relevant material submitted. Fail
7 Evidence of an acceptable attempt at the work, with major problems. Pass Module
8-10 Evidence of a reasonable attempt addressing some of the requirements. Pass Module; Honours: 3rd Class; MSc: Pass
11-13 Evidence of a competent attempt addressing most requirements. Pass Module; Honours: II.2 Class; MSc: Pass
14-16 Evidence of a good attempt meeting nearly all requirements successfully. Honours: II.1 Class; MSc: Merit
17-18 Evidence of an excellent attempt with no significant defects. Honours: 1st Class; MSc: Distinction
19-20 Evidence of exceptional achievement. As above

Example Coursework Descriptors

The following table gives example descriptions of coursework submissions falling into the various bands.

Mark Band Examples
1-3
  • A coding practical report showing little grasp of the issues, with no code.
  • A submission for a coding practical containing code with serious problems, and no report.
  • An essay containing almost nothing of any academic value, showing confusion and misunderstanding about the subject.
4-6
  • A coding practical report showing little grasp of the issues, together with acceptable code for part of the problem, but which has serious problems such as not compiling or running.
  • An essay containing some more or less pertinent material, but failing even to be a competent summary of the basic points from relevant lectures.
7
  • A coding practical containing code representing a significant part of a solution, but with serious problems, together with a report describing the problems and the attempts made at a solution.
  • A design practical addressing a bare minimum of the basic requirements, but lacking clarity and showing poor formatting.
  • An essay coherently repeating basic factual points from lectures, but demonstrating little understanding, further reading, research, or organisation of the material into a coherent presentation or argument.
  • An essay demonstrating some understanding, research or organisation of the material, but with poor quality English.
8-10
  • A coding practical containing code achieving some of the required functionality, adequately documented or reported.
  • A design practical addressing some of the basic requirements, with adequate formatting.
  • An essay showing some knowledge and understanding of the material from the reading list, organised into a competent presentation, but with serious deficiencies and suggesting a limited grasp of the underlying principles.
11-13
  • A coding practical containing code achieving most of the required functionality and of acceptable standard, together with a report describing clearly what was done, with good style.
  • A coding practical containing code achieving all of the required functionality but poor in terms of style, readability and robustness, together with a report adding little value to the code.
  • A modelling practical capturing the main features of what is to be modeled.
  • An essay showing clear grasp of most of the material on the reading list and organising it effectively to address the question asked, showing some insight into the underlying issues; with clear and appropriate structure; in clear, precise and grammatical English; together with a properly formatted bibliography.
14-16
  • A coding practical containing clear and well-structured code achieving almost all required functionality, together with a clear report showing a good level of understanding.
  • A design practical achieving almost all the basic requirements and some of the additional requirements, with a clear and well formatted report.
  • An essay showing comprehensive grasp of the subject matter and the underlying principles, independent research, intelligent analysis, clear expression and coherent argument; with clear and appropriate structure; in clear, precise and grammatical English; together with a properly formatted bibliography.
17-18
  • A coding practical containing clear, well-designed code achieving full required functionality, including any extension elements, written in good style, together with a clear and well-written report showing real insight into the subject matter.
  • An essay showing appropriately targeted research and reading going well beyond the reading list provided, with excellent writing style, clarity of thought and presentation of argument.
19-20
  • A coding practical containing code achieving all specified functionality plus appropriate exceptional features, with unusual clarity of design and implementation, together with an outstandingly well-written report showing evidence of extensive background reading, a full knowledge of the subject and insight into the problem.
  • A design practical achieving all basic and additional requirements, with appropriate exceptional features, showing unusual clarity, exceptional engagement with the spirit of the practical, and significant insight into the problem.
  • A truly exceptional essay showing broad knowledge, deep understanding, independent assessment and original analysis.

It is not feasible to list all possible combinations of factors. The mark for a piece of work may be reduced or increased by other attributes not listed here (such as poor citation practice, in particular).

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Last Published: 19 Sep 2018.