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Semesterisation

Semesterisation

What is semesterisation and when was it introduced at Bath Spa?

In simple terms, a semester-based system (semesterisation) is one where modules can be wholly taught and assessed in a single teaching period.

The University year was split into three terms with all final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year. From September 2018, we introduced a semester-based system and split the academic year into two semesters (or teaching blocks) with formal assessment boards and publication of your results at the end of each semester.

Why did the University make this change?

We put the student experience at the heart of everything we do, and an important part of this is ensuring we continue to enhance the quality of our students’ learning experiences.

We also wanted students to have more choice over their modules and allow them the opportunity to experience a greater variety of subjects across the University.

The review of undergraduate courses and modules has allowed us to see where there are opportunities to introduce new modules and make more modules available to students. It also gives you greater flexibility to change your modules during the year.

Benefits to students

At a glance the benefits to you are:

  • Better support - both you and members of staff gain better knowledge of your progress at the end of each semester. This allows you to make adjustments and be given additional support if needed.
  • Balanced distribution of student workload and assessments throughout the academic year.
  • Reduced pressure on you with a split assessment period, so your results will be based on your performance throughout the year.
  • Greater flexibility in programme design to increase your choice of modules and help you to achieve learning and teaching goals.
  • More opportunities for international exchange by aligning ourselves to the majority of international universities that have semesters, rather than terms. This means more opportunities to work with international students and broaden your perspectives and networks.

Who does it affect?

If you're a full-time undergraduate students starting or continuing your final year of study (level 6) in September 2018

You'll continue your studies following the same structure you do currently – three terms across the year with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year. To ensure consistency for you as you enter your final year of undergraduate studies, you won't follow the new undergraduate semesterised calendar.

If you're a full-time undergraduate student due to start or continue your first or second year of study (level 4 and 5) in September 2018

For the remainder of the academic year (2017/18) you continued your studies following the preceding structure – three terms across the year with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year.

The remainder of your course from September 2018 will consist of two semesters per year with formal assessment at the end of each semester.

If you're a part-time undergraduate student due to start or continue your final year of study (level 6) during the 2017/18 academic year

You'll continue your studies in both 2017/18 and 2018/19 following the same structure you do currently – three terms across the year with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year.

If you're a part-time undergraduate student due to start or continue your first or second year of study (level 4 and 5) in September 2018

For the remainder of this academic year (2017/18) you continued your studies following the preceding structure – three terms across the year with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year.

The remainder of your course from September 2018 will consist of semesters with formal assessment at the end of each semester.

FAQ for current students

Do I have to do anything about this?

No. Please just be aware of the changes. More specific information about assessment regulations, timetables and modules will be made available in due course.

Who can I contact to ask some questions about this?

Please contact your course tutor if you have any questions.

I'm not sure if this affects me or not. How can I check?

Please contact your course tutor.

Where can I find the academic calendar for 2018/19?

The undergraduate academic calendar for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 is available on the Term Dates page.

I’m a postgraduate/PGCE student. Does this affect me?

No, postgraduate/PGCE courses will not be delivered in semesters. The postgraduate academic framework is being reviewed separately to this and further details of any changes will be made available in due course.

I’m due to be studying my final year (level 6) in 2018/19. Can I opt to move to semester for my final year?

No. To ensure consistency for you as you enter your final year of undergraduate study, whole year groups will follow the same pattern, so all final year (level 6) students will remain in three terms in 2018/19.

When will the assessment periods be?

This is shown on the undergraduate academic calendar for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 which is available on the Term Dates page.

Will there be resits after each assessment period?

Yes and this is shown on the academic calendar for 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 which is available on the Term Dates page.

What if I’m on a course with a placement year?

If you are currently on a placement year and will resume your final year (level 6) studies in September 2018, you will continue following the same structure you do currently – three terms across the year with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year.

If you are due to start a placement year in 2018/19, then when you return to complete your final year (level 6) studies in 2019/20, you will move to the new semesterised academic calendar.

I am retaking my first year (level 4) in 2017/18. Will this change affect me?

Yes. For the rest of this academic year (2017/18) you will continue studying across three terms with final assessment and marks awarded at the end of the year. However, from September 2018 your course will consist of semesters with formal assessment at the end of each semester.

How will moving to semesters affect how my degree is calculated?

If you are starting or continuing you first or second year of study (level 4 or 5) in September 2018 the final degree mark for your Honours degree will be calculated from the best 100 credits at level 5 and the best 100 credits at level 6  weighted at 30% for level 5 and 70% for level 6.

The final degree mark for a Foundation degree will be calculated from the best 100 credits at level 5.

I will be in my final year of study (level 6) in 2018/19 and therefore not moving to semesters - how will this affect how my degree is calculated?

For students in the College of Liberal Arts or Institute for Education

If you are starting or continuing your final year of study (level 6) in September 2018, the final degree mark for your Honours degree will be calculated from the best 100 credits at level 5 and the best 100 credits at level 6 weighted at 40% for level 5 and 60% for level 6 (current Undergraduate Modular Scheme regulations). If in doubt, please ask your course tutor.

For students in Bath School of Art and Design

If you are starting or continuing your final year of study (level 6) in September 2018, on a specialised award at Bath School of Art and Design, you Honours degree is calculated on all 120 credits at both levels. This weighting is 20% for level 5 and 80% for level 6 (current Art and Design regulations). If in doubt, please ask your course tutor.

Does this mean we only have a summer vacation?

No, the academic year will still include winter and spring vacations. 

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