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Assessment FAQs

Your assessment queries explained

We know that the assessment period can be a stressful time, so we've put together an easy read guide to answer any questions you may have.

  • Assessment Fairness Principles

At MDX we want to make sure all students have a fair assessment. So we’ve put together the following principles to make sure this happens.


  • Assessment is an important part of your learning process.
  • Formative assessment informs and supports your learning process and are embedded in every module.
  • All assessments are appropriately matched to learning outcomes.
  • Summative assessments measure your attainment using criteria against learning outcomes at the appropriate level (e.g. Undergraduate, Postgraduate).
  • Assessments are authentic and relate to real-world activities as far as possible.
  • Assessments are checked by External Examiners who provide informative comment and recommendations to make sure you've been marked fairly.

Consistency and Clarity

  • Clear and consistent assessment criteria underpin every assessment.
  • Assessment information and requirements are clear, accessible and transparent.
  • Assessment feedback is given in good time and will let you know how to improve.
  • Assessments are clearly described in the module narrative.
  • Assessment practices follow what has been published.
  • The nature of the assessment process, the assessment criteria, and the way in which feedback is given is made clear to you at the start of each module.
  • Formative assessment support development and achievement in summative assessment(s).
  • You receive prompt, useful and clear feedback on their performance according to the University Code of Assessment Practice.


  • Assessment design and practice is consistent with University’s Equality and Diversity Policy and Codes of Practice (HRPS8), where you can find specifically code of practice 7: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment, which has been designed considering the Learning and Quality Enhancement Handbook Guidance 3vii  Equality Diversity and Inclusion within the curriculum.
  • Assessment design militates against plagiarism.
  • Assessments are designed to be inclusive and appropriate to the diversity of students.
  • Module learning outcomes are aligned to appropriate and inclusive methods of assessment allowing students equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning against those learning outcomes.
  • Working with the Disability, Dyslexia and Support Service, reasonable adjustments are made for students with disability and/or dyslexia accordingly.
  • Assessment loads are fair across modules, guided by an assessment tariff table for the discipline.
  • There is an appropriate balance of assessment designed for summative and formative purposes.
  • All assessment will be marked anonymously in accordance to the University’s Academic Policy Statement APS29: Anonymous Marking Assessment Policy, where practical, appropriate and possible.
  • Assessment practice and grading are aligned to criteria, and not norm-referenced
  • Summative assessment, where appropriate, is verified by the relevant programme external examiner to ensure these assessments are at the appropriate level (standard) and are achievable.
  • All assessments are first marked, and subject to an internal moderation process or second marking procedure which require checking the accuracy of grades against the marking criteria.
  • Programme external examiner(s) are required to confirm evidence of internal moderation, check that the marking in all modules at level 5 and above (and at level 4 in some programmes) is accurate and appropriate, consistent with other universities and higher education institutions, and fair to all students.
  • All grades are ratified at assessment boards.

Ethical and sustainable

  • Assessment considers the task, students and staff as impactful actors in the wider society and world.
  • Assessment is designed to consider a diversity of social viewpoints and values.


  • Assessment is designed so that it is a value experience for both students and staff.
  • Assessment schemes are designed to ensure that assessment load is manageable for staff and students.
  • Programme assessment strategies are designed to offer students a range of methods by which they can demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes.
  • Assessment schedules are designed to avoid bunching of assessment.
  • How can I find out key dates throughout the year?

Many of the key dates (e.g. university coursework deadline, exam period, grade results, progression, classification) that you require are available on UniHub.

These are found in the Academic Calendar and will include the dates we publish your grades, progression decisions and your overall classification/academic standing if you are a finalist.

For coursework hand-in dates, please check your module handbook on your mylearning pages via Unihub, alternatively you can contact the module leader for confirmation.

Exam dates are published at set times during the year and these can be found on the dedicated exam pages where you'll also find extensive FAQs on exams.

  • What do I do when I cannot submit my assessment or sit my exam?

If you are unable to submit your assessment by the given deadline or sit your exam, due to illness or other reasons beyond your control, you will need to submit a request for a short extension or deferral via the online extenuating circumstances form. Individual coursework (only) can be submitted up to 5 calendar days late without making a request for ECs, but the component grade for this assessment will be capped at 16 (minimum pass). Please be aware that late submission and deferrals could cause assessment bunching and deferring beyond the start of the next year/stage of your programme (when you would be due to start new modules) may affect your ability to progress to the next stage/year of your programme.

If you don't meet your attendance requirements this will override the deferral process (you may receive an X grade). In some cases when an X is awarded you may have to register and pay for the module again, you will need to contact the Progression and Support Team if you wish to discuss this further.

Please be aware that extenuating circumstances cannot change your grade but may be considered when deciding on your progression or classification. If an assessment is submitted, it will override the deferral opportunity.

  • What is the 20 point scale?

To grade you on your assessment, Middlesex University uses a 20 point scale with 1 being the highest and 20 being the lowest. These grades have no absolute percentage mark equivalent. They indicate to students, the quality of their achievement in the assessment of the module.

See table B from Academic Regulations, Section E

Table B: The 20-point scale


Class of Honours Degree

Other Qualifications

























FAIL – MARGINAL Compensation allowed*

FAIL – MARGINAL Compensation allowed*


FAIL – Compensation allowed*

FAIL – Compensation allowed*


FAIL – Compensation not allowed

FAIL – Compensation not allowed


FAIL – Incorporating failure to participate in assessment necessary to achieve

all learning outcomes.

Compensation not allowed.

FAIL – Incorporating failure to participate in assessment necessary to achieve

all learning outcomes.

Compensation not allowed.

* compensation is granted only at the discretion of the Progression Board or School Assessment Board.

The following administrative grades are also used:

X Ineligible for assessment due to inadequate participation in the learning process but may be retaken with permission

I Incomplete with good reason. (May be assessed without penalty at the next available opportunity)

U Academic misconduct allegation being investigated

P Fail - Academic misconduct proven

Y Ungraded pass (No numerical value for classification of qualifications)

S Aegrotat

F Fail - no reassessment at the next opportunity allowed - continuous assessment within module

H Not assessed.

(Students not following Middlesex qualifications only).

Administrative grades may sometimes be added to a numerical grade either to indicate any additional action that needs to be taken by the student regarding further assessment or to confirm a decision taken by a first or second-tier Board:

C Compensated failure.

For the purposes of degree classification, a compensated grade counts as a 16.

  • I received a 'U' grade what does this mean?

The Assessment Board is concerned that you appear to have been academically dishonest in work submitted for assessment and therefore needs to investigate the situation. You will be written to via email, advising of the procedure and will be given opportunity to respond to the allegation.  You should read the relevant regulations. The grade will remain U until the investigation is complete.

  • I don't agree with my classification, what do I do?

You can make an appeal if you consider that an injustice has occurred in the assessment of your work or classification awarded, but in the first instance we would always advise that you discuss your concerns with your Module  Leader, Programme Leader, and/or Chair of the Board.

Appeals can take some time to be resolved, so it is important that you attempt to solve this informally and quickly in the first instance. There are full and extensive guidelines on the appeals process.

Please remember that if you choose to appeal that you must do so within 28 days of publication of either your grade or classification.

  • How do I work out my potential classification?

Your classification is worked out in accordance with our regulations. Please refer to Section E within the regulations for either the Undergraduate or Postgraduate guidance. Below are the tables within the regulations that demonstrate the required grade distribution for each classification.

Undergraduate | Table A: Classification by distribution of grades

The classification of your degree is not based on averages of grades but is based on the proportion of credit in each class in your Level 5 modules (usually 2nd year) and in your Level 6 modules (usually 3rd year) and Level 7 modules (usually 4th year)

In other words, to get a 1, 2:1 or 2:2 class of degree you must get 50% or more of graded credit at Level 5+ in that class. Your Level 3 and Level 4 grades are not considered for overall degree classification purposes.

Additional rules are there to help us decide a variety of different scenarios and these rules have been devised to favour students.



Class of qualification

3 Pass2.2 Pass2.1 Merit1st Distinction

1st/Distinction (1-4)



2.1/Merit or better (5-8)


2.2/Pass or better (9-16)


3/Pass or better (13-16)


 25% MAX25% MAX

Postgraduate | Table A: Classification by distribution of grades

For the award of Distinction or Merit, the dissertation must be in the class. Remaining graded credit must be distributed as in the table below:


Class of qualification




Distinction (1-4)



Merit or better (5-8)




Pass or better (9-16)



Where the percentage of graded credit falls below that indicated, the outcome is as included in regulation E4.2

  • When do I receive my Diploma supplement and certificate?

Once your classification has been published on myunihub, you will be sent written confirmation of your award via email and following this you will receive a link to your digital copy of your certificate and diploma supplement (this is normally within one month of publication).

Your hard copy certificate and diploma supplement will be sent within two months of the same publication date to the home or certificate address you have registered on MyUniHub. If you need to amend this address please contact Unihelp.

Further information can be found on our Diploma Supplements and Certificates page.

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