Student information & FAQsFormal Assessment Period

The University’s published plans for the preparation of the academic year 2021/22 confirm the resumption of on-campus learning, with some physical distancing measures remaining in place.

Blended learning will be implemented across all taught programmes. This will be reviewed in week 4 of the Semester and will be informed by the current Scottish Government guidance and the wider external environment. Aligned to this, the University’s Executive Team have approved the proposal for the Semester 1 Formal Assessment Period to progress on the basis of a blended format, with the format of formal assessment to be determined through the Faculties, based on the requirements of the Department/School and academic programme, level of study and any professional accreditation requirements.

The Semester 1 Formal Assessment Period will take place between 6–17 December 2021. Departments and Schools will provide information on the format and mode of assessment for your modules.

You will be expected to undertake your online assessments as scheduled by your Department/School. Where students have any concerns regarding assessments and their ability to participate in the assessment process, they should contact their Module Leader or Programme Director in order that appropriate arrangements can be made, in advance, to support participation.

In preparing you for your online assessment, your Department/School will provide information on whether you can access materials (known as ‘open book’ assessments). Most online assessments will be ‘open book’, which means students will be permitted to access some relevant materials, i.e. notes, textbooks, webpages etc. ‘Open book’ assessments require as much preparation as ‘closed-book’ assessments. Some assessments will be ‘closed book’, meaning that materials cannot be accessed for the duration of the online assessment, and this will be made clear to students in advance of the assessment taking place. You should ensure you are clear on the scope of the online assessment in relation to accessing materials, and, if necessary, seek clarification from your Module Leader or Programme Director ahead of the assessment taking place.

The University’s Study Skills Service can provide guidance for preparing for online exams and have resources available to help you prepare through their Myplace Study Skills site.

The University provides academic integrity resources which may also be helpful in preparation for resits.

Your Department/School will make it clear what equipment is required in order to undertake the online assessment. If you need additional support to access and/or operate particular equipment or resources, such as software, you should make your Department/School aware of this as early as possible.

Software packages are available to download free from the University.

MyPlace has technical guidance on preparing for online assessments and you should ensure you have taken the outlined steps to prepare for online assessments to reduce the likelihood of experiencing any technical challenges on the day of your assessment. Please read this guidance which will help you prepare for your online assessment. If you require further guidance, please contact your Module Leader or Programme Director.

Your Department/School will clearly set out its expectations for your online assessment, which could involve typed answers, but could also involve submissions which are handwritten or hand drawn. If you are unsure about your Department/School’s expectations for a particular assessment, you should ask your Module Leader to clarify the assessment requirements.

Your Department/School will make the submission procedure clear to you as they prepare you for the assessment. If you have concerns or questions you should check your MyPlace module and/or programme pages for further guidance and get in touch with your Department/School office if you are still unclear after this.

No, you can complete your online assessment from wherever you are based, as long as you are able to access the appropriate hardware (e.g. a computer) and software (e.g. internet access to MyPlace). The MyPlace Student Support site has technical guidance on preparing for online assessments and you should ensure you have taken the outlined steps to prepare for online assessments to reduce the likelihood of experiencing any technical challenges on the day of your assessment. If you are in a different time zone please be aware that published submission times referenced in any documents relating to the assessment will be given in UK time.

Departments/Schools may choose to schedule online assessments for specific times or within specific windows of time. Where this has been done, the times will be published well in advance and due consideration will have been given to the possibility that some students could be engaging in the assessment in other time zones. If you have concerns about this, you should speak directly with your Module Leader or Programme Director.

If the University has approved any additional requirements for you in relation to assessments, your Department/School will ensure that these are still provided wherever appropriate. You should discuss any concerns regarding individual arrangements with your Module Leader or Programme Director and seek support from the Disability & Wellbeing Service if required.

Your Department/School will provide you with information on who to contact and how to get in touch if you believe there is a problem with your assessment. You will also be told how the Department/School will communicate any confirmed issues back to you and any other students undertaking the assessment.

You should communicate these, at the time or as soon as possible, to your Module Leader and contact the IT Helpdesk for technical assistance. You will not be penalised if you are experiencing technical issues which cannot be mitigated within the timeframe of your online assessment, but it is essential that you communicate any challenges to your Module Leader.

Yes. You will have the same arrangements as those sitting the assessment for the first time.

We expect our students to act with integrity and avoid any practices or activities that might be considered as academic dishonesty, including, but not limited to: plagiarism; copying or colluding with other students; submitting someone else’s work; falsifying information; and duplication or resubmission of previously assessed work.

It is important to note that the University expects the same level of integrity to be demonstrated by students in relation to online assessments, as it does for assessments prior to the pandemic. For example, if students have been set a timed examination to complete on an individual basis, it will be unacceptable for students to collude to produce answers, in the same way that it would have been to do so in the examination hall.

The University has measures in place to ensure that the same quality standards for assessments are maintained for assessments delivered online. If the University has a concern about academic dishonesty in any assessment, it may invoke the Student Discipline Procedure. You can find more information on what constitutes Academic Dishonesty at the University here. The University provides academic integrity resources which may also be helpful in preparation for resits.


We understand this is a difficult time and that not all students will have easy access to quiet and distraction-free study spaces. The Library has individual study spaces, where you may be able to take, by agreement, your online assessment, however, it is important you speak to us if you are relying on use of University facilities to undertake an online assessment. If you anticipate a particular problem with this you should speak directly with your Module Leader or Programme Director to make them aware and to start, as early as possible, any discussions around mitigating this problem.

Students should use their own equipment, where possible. If you don’t have access to a suitable computer then you should speak to your Programme Director as soon as possible. The University is committed to supporting students and this can include access to hardware such as laptop computers.

If you are feeling isolated and unsupported, it’s important to reach out to your peers, friends, and family. You can also contact the University’s Disability & Wellbeing Service for support in these circumstances. The University’s Study Skills Service is also operating online and will be able to provide support and guidance on effective study strategies for learning online and online assessments. The Myplace Study Skills site has guidance and support, and appointments can be booked online or through emailing

We understand how challenging the pandemic and associated measures required by the Scottish Government is for our students and appreciate that your circumstances might be impacted in a variety of ways that you are unable to anticipate. If you are experiencing personal challenges, you should visit the University’s Personal Circumstances web page. If you are concerned about your personal circumstances affecting your studies or assessment, you should discuss your concerns with your Programme Director.