Undergraduate Assessment Policy

All assessment tasks must be completed in order to pass a unit of study. If you do not complete all the stated assessment tasks, you will be awarded an Absent Fail. Oral presentations are included, where these are part of the assessment for a unit of study.

Written work must be typed, or legibly hand-written, with double-line spacing. Leave wide margins for markers' comments. You are strongly advised to keep a copy of your work for your own records.

A cover sheet must be completed and attached to all written work. This must be submitted in the open noticeboard area of the John Woolley Building, by 5.00 p.m. on the due date. It may on no account be put under lecturers' or tutors' doors. The Centre does not accept written work by fax or e-mail. The Centre may accept written work by registered mail, by prior arrangement with the Unit of Study Co-Ordinator.

Written work handed in late, without approved extension, will be penalised by 2 marks per day overdue.

Grades

The Centre for Medieval Studies uses the following marking system :

  • 85-100 High Distinction : work of an exceptional standard
  • 75-84 Distinction : work of a superior standard
  • 65-74 Credit : competent work
  • 50-64 Pass : satisfactory work

Marks for individual assessments should be regarded as 'raw' marks, as there may be a need for adjustments when final results are returned to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Queries about marks for individual assessments should be directed to the co-ordinator of the unit of study, and after that, if necessary, to the Undergraduate Co-Ordinator, Associate Professor John Pryor. Enquiries about final results in a unit of study should be directed to him.

Grade Interpretation Guide

(a) Essays

This Guide indicates broadly the qualitative judgements implied by the various grades which may be awarded. A more precise evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of individual essays will be provided in markers' comments. These comments will take account of the different standards likely to be achieved by Junior and Senior students and, among Senior students, by second and third year students.

85%+ (High Distinction)

The work

  • demonstrates a deep and intelligent understanding of, and individual engagement with, material;
  • presents a very close analysis of focal texts or issues;
  • addresses a specific issue and successfully develops an independent critical or theoretical argument;
  • indicates awareness of complexities and qualifications in argumentation;
  • demonstrates careful thought about the critical, historical, and/or theoretical, context of the texts or issues;
  • provides evidence of wide-ranging reading;
  • is properly referenced and well presented.

The writing is characterized by creativity, clarity, and independent insight. A High Distinction is distinguished from a Distinction by the work's demonstration of awareness of subtleties, nuances, qualifications, and a possible other case. Work which is awarded a mark of over 90% in Senior level units of study will often contain some publishable or potentially publishable elements.

75-84% (Distinction)

The work

  • demonstrates an intelligent understanding of, and individual engagement with, material;
  • analyzes focal texts or issues appositely;
  • addresses an issue and presents a well-argued and coherent case;
  • demonstrates careful thought about the critical, historical, and/or theoretical, context of the texts or issues;
  • provides evidence of reading beyond what is strictly required for the task;
  • is properly referenced and well presented.

The writing is characterized by individuality, clarity, and independent insight. A Distinction is distinguished from a High Credit chiefly by the quality of theoretical understanding and the range of intellectual enquiry it demonstrates.

70-74% (High Credit)

The work

  • provides evidence of independent reading and thinking about focal texts or issues and their contexts;
  • shows some clear understanding of relevant critical and theoretical considerations and of the conceptual issues raised by a unit of study;
  • uses close critical analysis;
  • indicates an intelligent attempt at a critical or theoretical argument;
  • is clearly and effectively written;
  • is well referenced.

A High Credit is distinguished from a Low Credit chiefly by the extent of independent discussion of focal texts or issues, and by some obvious attempt to interpret the outcome of close analysis.

65-69% (Low Credit)

The work

  • shows some understanding of relevant critical and theoretical considerations and of the conceptual issues raised by a unit of study;
  • demonstrates some independent reading and thinking about focal texts or issues and their contexts;
  • uses close critical analysis;
  • attempts a critical or theoretical argument;
  • is clearly and effectively written;
  • is adequately referenced.

A Low Credit is distinguished from a High Pass by the extent of independent discussion of focal texts or issues, the clarity of the writing, and the extent to which it attempts a more general critical and/or theoretical argument.

58-64% (High Pass)

The work

  • gives some evidence of ability to attempt an independent argument and to structure material coherently;
  • demonstrates a genuine attempt at independent reading and thinking about focal texts or issues though the essay may contain some oversimplification or superficiality;
  • generally avoids paraphrase or unsubstantiated assertion;
  • may sometimes present quotation for illustrative purposes merely, but does also present the outcome of some critical analysis;
  • is adequately expressed;
  • is adequately referenced.

50-57% (Pass)

The work

  • provides clear evidence of having read and thought about focal texts or issues;
  • attempts a coherent argument though there may be ellipses in argumentation;
  • uses some close critical analysis;
  • tends to use quotation for illustrative purposes only;
  • is adequately expressed though there may be some weaknesses in this area; and may
  • paraphrase fairly extensively;
  • tend towards generality in answering a question;
  • present simplistic comment or unsubstantiated assertions;
  • contain some referencing errors.

Below 50% (Fail)

Work may fail for any of the following reasons:

  • no evidence of having read the prescribed material closely;
  • sloppy, inconsistent, presentation;
  • preponderance of paraphrase, mere plot summary or listing of superficial characteristics;
  • excessive use of quotation for illustrative purposes only, without any attempt at analysis;
  • excessive level of generality in answering a question;
  • inappropriate or obscure expression;
  • incoherent general structure;
  • inadequate referencing;
  • late submission of work without extension.

(b) Examinations

Elegance of argument is expected in essays but not necessarily in examinations, where what is looked for is a demonstration of accumulated knowledge and that students have worked throughout a course and have achieved a firm grasp of the issues addressed.