Academic issues

Classes

Most open studies classes are held once-a-week for two hours over 10 or 20 weeks. To get the most out of each class, try to set aside some time every week, two to three hours on average for the duration of the course, to look over the topics covered during class meetings, to attempt exercises suggested by your tutor or to complete assignments for assessment.

Attendance

As well as satisfactory completion of assignments, regular attendance is required for students to gain academic credit.

A minimum of 70% attendance is expected (for a 22 week class such as a language class, this means attending at least 16 out of 22 class meetings).

If absence or late arrival is anticipated, please notify your tutor. If you complete assignments for your class(es) satisfactorily but are unable to attend 70% of class meetings, by keeping the tutor informed, a record of 'justified absence' can be recorded. This will not normally prevent you from gaining academic credit for the class.

We appreciate that people can have many demands on their time. If you have difficulties in attending the class regularly, or in completing the coursework by the due date, wherever possible consult your class tutor or speak to the Community Engagement Manager.

Assessment

Open Studies classes are normally assessed by coursework. The nature and pattern of assessment of each class is outlined in the class descriptor. Students who are apprehensive at the thought of attempting assignments should note that the coursework and exercises are set to take into account the interests and abilities of your class group.

Written assignments are used extensively in Humanities classes, while there are practical assessments in classes from the Applied Arts programme. In the majority of Language Studies classes assessment involves coursework and an end-of-class written exercise.

For each exercise or task, the assessment criteria and the timescale for completing the assignment will be explained by the tutor, with the emphasis on completion of coursework without major time constraints. If other commitments prevent completion of the assessments by the last class meeting, you can consult the tutor about alternative arrangements. It may be possible to submit work during the week following the last class meeting.

Students must attempt and submit all coursework relating to the class in order to be considered for the award of academic credit.

Language class assessment

If you're undertaking the 22-week language class but are unable to attend the end-of-class assessment - but still wish to submit it - you should contact Linda Anderson on +44 (0) 141 548 4389 or by email at l.a.anderson@strath.ac.uk to make an arrangement to complete it under exam conditions at the centre. This must be done within two weeks of the last class meeting.

Handing in coursework

Coursework is normally handed to tutors during class. However, if this is problematic it may be forwarded to the tutor via the Centre for Lifelong Learning. Please ensure that the envelope is clearly marked with your name, class and tutor's name and send it FAO Linda Anderson. It's advisable to always keep a copy of your assessments.

Marking schemes

When you hand in work, the tutor will return it with helpful comments within a reasonable period of time. The feedback will help you to assess your progress as the class unfolds. Work which is handed in during the course of the class will be marked on a two-point scale using the following letter grades:

  • S - satisfies the criteria set
  • U - doesn't satisfy the criteria set

Re-assessment

If your first attempt at a particular assessed assignment or exercise does not satisfy the criteria set, then the tutor will provide you with sufficient feedback on your performance to allow a re-attempt at the same or a similar exercise during the same academic session. The normal periods for first resubmission or reassessment within the same academic session are as follows:

  • classes with 10 weekly class meetings have up to four weeks after the last class meeting
  • classes with 16-20 weekly class meetings have up to six weeks after the last class meeting

If a second attempt at reassessment does not satisfy the criteria set, the student may take the class again, if they wish, on payment of the class fee.

Results

End-of-class results are confirmed in writing after they have been agreed by the Open Studies Class Board, which normally meets in February, April and early August.  

If you have passed the class and been recommended for the award of credit, you can expect to receive notification of your result by email (or by post for those without an email address) from the Centre for Lifelong Learning 2-4 weeks after the relevant Class Board meeting.

There are Examination Boards in May and August to confer Open Studies awards. When you accumulate 30 University of Strathclyde credits you become eligible for the award of Open Studies Certificate, and a Certificate of Higher Education is awarded on completion of 120 credits. Certificates will be awarded automatically and you will receive the parchment approximately 12 weeks after the relevant Examination Board.

If you change address, please inform the Centre for Lifelong Learning General Office (or update your profile on MyCLL) as soon as possible as it is vital that our records remain up to date.

Please note: Students can only be awarded credit for the same class once, even if you successfully repeat the class assessment in subsequent sessions.

Assessment history

To help you keep a record of your progress when you have completed a number of classes you can contact us to request an Open Studies Assessment History.

Appeals

If you wish to appeal against a result, an appeal may be made on any of the following grounds:

  • that there were procedural irregularities in the conduct of the examination of the assessment
  • that there were medical, personal or other circumstances affecting the student's performance of which the examiners were not aware when the decision was taken
  • that there was inadequate assessment, prejudice or bias on the part of one or more of the examiners or assessors

Any such appeal must be supported by documentary evidence and should be submitted in writing to the Community Engagement Manager who will forward the documentation to the appropriate authority.