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Educational and Student Policy

 

This page is designed to answer common questions and help you navigate the site.  You may also find our Policy Index A-Z guide useful.  If you have further queries, or can't find what you're looking for, Officers in Educational and Student Policy would be happy to help; please contact us.

 

Q. How can I make changes to a course?

The form, content, and assessment of courses are governed by University Ordinances which are proposed by the Faculty Board or comparable body concerned and then approved by the General Board. Due Notice must be given to all parties about any changes to course delivery or assessment so that no candidate is disadvantaged. Regulations indicate how and when this should be done, usually by a Faculty Board Notice published in the Reporter.  Our pages on Notices and Regulations will help you identify what type of change is necessary and how to make it; you will also need to contact your liaison Officer in the team, who can help you with each stage of the process.  Deadlines will vary according to the type of change, and may be as early as 1-2 years in advance.

Q. What is a Form and Conduct Notice?

Form and Conduct Notices detail how modes of assessment change in relation to the same examination from the previous year, and are vital in ensuring students are able to revise appropriately.  Publication of Form and Conduct Notices is regulated by University Ordinances; more information can be found on our pages about Notice and Regulations

Q. How do I appoint Examiners?

In broad terms, the General Board formally appoints Examiners and Assessors for all undergraduate examinations leading to an award of the University. Examiners and Assessors for the University's postgraduate research awards are appointed by the relevant Degree Committee. Further details on who can be nominated for each of these roles, along with timelines for appointment, can be found on the Examination pages of the Student Registry website.

Q. If a combination of papers is not permitted in the Regulations, how can I allow a student to take it?

The General Board do not allow students to offer combinations not permitted in the regulations, except in very exceptional circumstances.  Our pages on Illegal combinations and incuria will outline what constitutes an exceptional case, and how to proceed.

Q. What feedback should students receive?

While standard practices vary by course, general guidance on University expectations is available on our pages about feedback to students.

Q. How does the University monitor its programmes?

There are several methods for quality assurance, at the local and University level.  More information on reporting and assurance mechanisms can be found on our pages about Quality Assurance.  The University also encourages participation in several national student surveys.

Q. How do College and University teaching mechanisms support each other?

The supervision system is central to the Cambridge education.  Further information about the role of both Faculties/Departments and Colleges is available on our pages about Co-ordination of University and College teaching.  

Q. What is the University’s long-term educational strategy?

The University produces a 3-year Learning and Teaching Strategy, outlining its goals and ambitions for the future of teaching at Cambridge. 

Q. Does the University use Turnitin?

The University encourages the use of Turnitin within Faculties and Departments as an educational tool as well as for examinations.  Policy on the usage of Turnitin and further information about plagiarism is available on the University’s Plagiarism pages

Q. What is the University’s standard marking scheme?

The University does not adhere to a single scheme for the Tripos examinations; instead, Faculties and Departments are responsible for creating, publishing, and maintaining a transparent scheme for marking and classing.  Master’s level courses do normally adhere to standard grading boundaries of a 60% pass mark and 75% for distinction, unless they have been granted special dispensation; however, courses may have individual weighting requirements.  Further details can be found in our policy on Marking standards and classing conventions.