Examination Board – Bath Spa University

Arrangements for Examination Boards operate within the framework of Academic Awards, Regulations and Processes, and of any programme-specific requirements established when the programme is approved.


  1. There should be a common Examination Board framework.
  2. Work and duties should not be duplicated at different stages of the examining process.
  3. The system should be as streamlined as is compatible with the maintenance of quality and standards.
  4. Decisions should be taken in the right forum.
  5. The compositions of all boards should be clearly determined.
  6. Decisions relating to assessed work where awards or credit ratings are determined should be made with proper involvement of external examiners.
  7. Externals examiners are not necessary (though they may be desirable) where progress and not awards are determined.

General structure

This generic model has two formal stages, the Sub-Board and the Examination Board ('Award Board').


An examination Sub-Board consists of all those with assessment responsibilities for the units/modules to be assessed, and the external examiner(s). In many cases, the internal membership of the Sub-Board will be a programme team, plus external examiner(s). The Head of School appoints the Chair of the Sub-Board: s/he should normally be the programme manager.

The Sub-Board establishes marks and grades in the units/modules for which it is responsible, and makes recommendations about a candidate's performance in the programme for which it is responsible. It also makes precise recommendations on the nature or work required in connection with any referred or deferred assessment. This information is passed via Student Services to the Examination Board.

It is the responsibility of the Chair of the Sub-Board:

  • to identify her/himself to Student Services
  • to liaise with the external examiner(s) for all units/modules for which the Sub-Board is responsible
  • to ensure that a full and accurate profile of marks is available for all units/modules for which the Sub-Board is responsible
  • to check that the list of marks put before the Examination Board is an accurate transcription
  • to ensure that precise and detailed recommendations on the work required in connection with any referred or deferred assessment (including titles for coursework) is available at the meeting of the Examination Board
  • to forward to Student Services any material relating to mitigating circumstances

The Sub-Board is not concerned with the overall performance of candidates, and should not adjust marks to compensate for performance elsewhere.

Further information


Unlike earlier stages, which are charged with examining performance in individual units, components, etc., the Examination Board is responsible for making judgements about the student's performance as a whole, considering mitigating circumstances, and making formal recommendations about awards, credits, and progression.

The above model applies when any award is to be made. If no award is to be made (ie at most Examination Boards below Level 5) the Examination Board need not include external examiners.


Assessed work will be double-marked on a sample basis. No assessed piece of work will be failed without reference to a second marker, unless the nature of the work makes this impossible.

Above Level 4, the external examiner will see all a 10% sample of all assessed work representative of each grade band (including firsts and fails). This should equate to not less than eight pieces of work. The full mark sheet should be sent to the external examiner with the sample.

The internal examiners should agree the final mark for a piece of work. The external examiner should not be used to adjudicate disputes.

Marks for all assessment items are submitted to the Student Services as percentages, in whole numbers, with no decimal points. Totals are calculated for each unit/module in Student Services using the validated weighting between the assessment items.

Mitigating circumstances

Neither marking tutors nor Sub-Boards may apply discretion in respect of mitigating circumstances; all work must be marked on academic merit alone. Mitigating circumstances are considered by the Mitigating Circumstances Subcommittee of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee (AQSC).

Requests for mitigating circumstances and supporting evidence should be logged via Apollo. The Mitigating Circumstances Sub-committee will consider requests for mitigating circumstances, which may be accepted or rejected.

The following procedure should take place when a case of plagiarism or cheating is suspected.

Academic misconduct

Whenever plagiarism or cheating is suspected the appropriate programme manager (or equivalent) should be notified. He/she should then make a written report, summarising the nature of the offence, and providing appropriate evidence, to the Registrar. The Registrar will write to the student, enclosing the report and a copy of the relevant regulations, and requiring a written response by a specified date. The Examination Board will consider both the written report and the student's response, when considering the case.

This procedure is not intended to prevent preliminary meetings between students and tutors. However at least two members of staff must be present at such meetings, and a written record made.

Further information regarding academic misconduct can be found in our Guidance for students.

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