All courses are assessed through examinations and/or coursework and/or presentations in order to ensure that the learning objectives set out at the beginning of the course have been achieved.
Students are allowed three attempts to pass a module (the first time and another two reassessments in case of failure). In the case of a reassessment, students have to pay a fee as stipulated by the Academy at that point in time.
If a student fails to pass a module three times, they may be withdrawn from the programme. The pass mark is 50% unless otherwise advised by the tutor or Coordinator of Studies at the beginning of the course. Students need to pass each of the coursework and/or examination and/or presentation to achieve the certificate of accomplishment. If a student fails (even after reassessments), then a certificate of attendance will be provided.
The below grading criteria is made available to all students at the start of their training programme. This system is used to ensure that the Academy follows a fair and consistent process for all coursework handed in by each student.
|80% and above
|Work of distinguished quality which demonstrates synthesis, originality and insight with no significant weaknesses. Written in good English and sources thoroughly cited.
|Work of distinguished quality which demonstrates synthesis and clear signs of originality and insight. Less ambitious in scope than a higher grade, sources accurately cited.
|Clear evidence of independent enquiry and critical judgement in selecting, ordering and analysing arguments. Sources adequately cited.
|Evidence of the student’s ability to structure and organise thinking and to support arguments. However, may be rather descriptive with uncritical coverage of debates and issues. Sources adequately cited.
|Work which shows recognition of the issues involved and an attempt to analyse them in relation to the content. Some attempt to cite sources.
|May be repetitious, consisting of a string of weak assertions / opinions which may not relate to each other. A performance which falls marginally below the standard required for the award of achievement.
|Less than 35%
|Little or no understanding of the subject. A performance which falls clearly below the standard required for the award of achievement.
6.1.1 Presentation of coursework
All coursework handed in by students should be free of spelling, typographical and other technical errors. Students are encouraged to use an appropriate spell-check programme and by proofreading the final draft closely, possibly even by someone else. Headings and captions in diagrams and tables must be fully self-explanatory. All diagrams and tables must have their sources clearly cited at the foot of the diagram or table.
6.1.2 Coursework submission
Students need to submit their coursework electronically via email to the tutor copying in the Coordinator of Studies (firstname.lastname@example.org) or, most preferably, on the platform. All coursework will be submitted in a word document for the tutor to be able to insert feedback. PDF or other formats will not be accepted and / or corrected. Moreover, any coursework submitted after the deadline agreed upon during the course will be marked as late and capped at the pass mark as a penalty for late submission unless it is clearly a case of force majeure. Coursework submitted after 3 weeks of the deadline will not be corrected and the student will fail the module.
Coursework for all training programmes will be marked within 28 days. This time does not include holiday periods when the Academy is on shut down. Students will receive their coursework mark and feedback by means of an email and/or uploaded on the platform.
6.1.4 Word limit
Each programme and module has its coursework and word limit. It is therefore advised that students keep to the word limits provided for each assignment and / or assessment, as going over or under the word limit (normally more than 10%) will be penalised.
Please note that the cover or title page, table or figures, references or any appendices do not count towards the word limit.
The word limit reflects the level of detail required. This means that if the assignment is too long, students have either taken too many words to explain their point or have given too many detailed examples. If the assignment is too short, either there is more to the answer than they have written or the assignment has not gone into enough detail to reply to the question.
Students are required to declare the word count when submitting their work and there are penalties for non-compliance. Students should check with their respective trainer, if they have questions about word counts and penalties. Please note that trainers are not required to mark past their word count and if they exceed the word limit, their mark will be assessed on all the information available within the word limit. This enables equality and fair treatment amongst all students, giving them the same opportunity in expressing their ideas and thoughts.
The following are some recommendations to students:
If the assignment is too long:
- Don’t try to remove single words from the assignment. It is unlikely to reduce the assignment’s length significantly, but it may confuse the argument. Instead, one must aim to remove or condense whole sections of the assignment;
- Students should not include something just because it is a fact, or just because it is included in their course materials. Include something only if it is relevant to the argument;
- Students must be direct. State one’s point rather than writing many paragraphs to ‘lead up’ to it;
- Go back to the Which sections relate to the point and which are secondary?
- Go back to the plan. Which paragraphs fit in the overall structure? Which paragraphs overlap and can be combined?
- Remove sections that are over-explained, over-specifying a point, or a repetition of a previous point, or write off-topic.
- Remove multiple examples where one or two are sufficient. If the assignment is too short:
- Explain the argument fully: Every argument in one’s head and plan must be on the Are there gaps in the argument? Does each point logically follow the last one, or are there points that are overlooked?
- Look for the ‘hidden’ answer: what theories does the student think the marker expects? How does this relate to the materials from lectures and course material? Use the course information in the answer to the assignment question;
- Are there complications or contradictions in the argument or in the research? Explain them and explore them;
- Define any special terminology that was used that a general reader would not be familiar with;
- Illustrate with more examples and/or quotations;
- Contextualise and explain the quotations How do they relate to the argument?
References are scholarly acknowledgements of work referred to or quoted. Failure to reference works used or quoted is plagiarism as mentioned in other sections of this handbook. Proper citation of sources is an essential part of the presentation of academic work. There are several acceptable methods of referencing material. Examples include the Harvard system and the Numeric system, however, they must be consistent with one style throughout the assignment and / or assessment. Should students require assistance with referencing, they should speak with the Coordinator of Studies or the trainer of the training programme.
Some training programmes are assessed through examinations. The way of assessment is presented to students during the registration process. The date of the examination will be communicated to all students by the trainer and/or the Coordinator of Studies and then re- confirmed via email and/or web portal. This is to ensure that the date is suitable for all students attending the programme and that they all have the same amount of time to prepare for their examination.
During the examination time, all students must follow the instructions of the invigilator carefully. Students may not communicate with anyone apart from the invigilator during the duration of the examination. If a student is in breach of this regulation, it will be treated as an assessment offense. Such offenses include, but are not limited to:
- Having books, notes or scrap papers on the desk without permission;
- Being in possession of instruments, mobile phones, mobile devices or other technology that allows communication with others inside and outside the room;
- Disturbing other students during the examination
When exams are handwritten, it is the responsibility of the students to make their scripts legible. In case a script is illegible the examiners may refuse to mark the script and award a mark of zero (0).
During the tuition process, tutors spend a considerable amount of time giving advice about assessments as well as marking and providing feedback on the work submitted. Feedback is provided to ensure that the learning objectives and outcomes are aligned. It is also an important aspect of helping all students to improve their academic and work performance. The feedback process is an ongoing one and all students have the opportunity to discuss any coursework with their tutor for guidance before they submit it. This will enable students to be more confident with their work and focus their studies on the learning objectives.
Students can also use the marking criteria already mentioned as a form of checklist for their work before submission.
Feedback provides all students with insight into their strengths and weaknesses of their work, guiding them on the areas they need to improve.
Mitigating circumstances are defined as unforeseen, unpreventable circumstances that significantly disrupt a student’s performance in assessment. This should not be confused with long term issues such as medical conditions, for which the Academy can make adjustments before assessment.
A mitigating circumstances claim should be submitted if valid detrimental circumstances result in:
- the late or non-submission of assessment;
- non-attendance at examination(s);
- poor performance in
For a mitigating circumstances claim to be considered the student must produce independent documentary evidence. If for any reason a student is unable to provide supporting evidence by the deadline, the claim will not be considered until they are able to do so. Supporting evidence is required to show that the circumstances:
- have detrimentally affected the student’s performance or will do so, with respect to the above;
- were unforeseen;
- were out of the student’s control and could not have been prevented;
- relate directly to the timing of the assessment
Decisions relating to mitigating circumstances claims are taken by the Board of Examiners. Where mitigating circumstances are accepted, and it is agreed that these circumstances were sufficiently severe to have affected the student’s performance in assessment, the normal response will be to offer them another opportunity for assessment without penalty, at the next available opportunity. This means that the student will have an opportunity to resubmit the coursework within a stipulated time and it will be marked according to its merit.
All coursework and exams are assessed by the tutor of the training programme and then reviewed by the Director of Studies and/or Coordinator of Studies, who will approve the grade or otherwise. In such case where a disagreement arises, the board of examiners, which constitutes of the Head of Academy, the trainer/s, Director of Studies and Coordinator of Studies is assembled to discuss the grade until a unanimous decision is reached.