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Assessment Parameters

TEIs can design the forms of assessments for each module they offer with considerable freedom, within the parameters set out below, chosen according to our guidance on designing assessments. These assessment parameters govern the patterns of assessment that TEIs can set in both undergraduate and postgraduate modules. See our page on the types of assessment that are permitted in the Common Awards Framework for more guidance on how each assessment type can be used.  

Lengths and weightings of assessments  

In order to keep some comparability between modules – and between TEIs – we expect TEIs normally to adhere to the following rules about lengths and weightings. If you think there is good reason to offer a pattern of assessments that falls outside these rules, please contact the Common Awards Team. It may well still be possible. 

When designing a new module, or revising an existing one, use the tables below to work out the appropriate assessment lengths and weightings. 

The basic principle is that TEIs should pick assessments whose weightings add up to the credit-weighting of the module. Those weightings then also determine the proportion of the final module mark to which each assessment contributes. 

If, for instance, they are designing a 10-credit module, a TEI could pick one assessment type with a weighting of 6 (say, a 20-minute oral presentation) and another with a weighting of 4 (say, a 1,250-word reflective journal) – because 6 plus 4 equals 10. The oral presentation would be worth 60% (i.e., 6/10) of the modules marks, and the journal 40% (i.e., 4/10). 

We give ranges for duration or word length. TEIs should choose a specific length from the range, and set that as a limit for students. In the table below, for instance, we say that a 15–20 minute assessed conversation has a weighting of 6. If a TEI chose to include such an assessment in a particular module, they might ask specifically for a 20-minute assessed conversation. TEIs should record their choice in the relevant Module Overview Table, alongside details of the assessment type chosen. See our Curriculum Development and Making Changes to Assessment pages for more information.

The figures we give can be divided into multiple items, weighted according to their length – e.g., one 60-minute language test divided into two equally weighted 30-minute tests; a 2,500-word essay divided into one 2,000- and one 500-word piece, weighted 80/20. Please bear in mind, however, that a small number of larger assignments is normally less work for students (and markers) than a large number of smaller assignments. 

The University does not grant partial credit for partially completed modules. Although we give each type and size of assessment a weighting in the table below, that is only a tool to help TEIs put together assessment packages for each module. It does not mean that students who complete only some of the assessments for a given module will gain the partial credit due to just those assessments. Students who fail a particular component or set of components will either get all the credit for the module (if the overall module mark is still a pass) or none (if the overall module mark is a fail). So, in the 10-credit module described in the example above, a student who completed the oral presentation successfully but who failed the reflective journal, and whose resulting module mark was a fail, would not be granted 6 credits for the oral presentation. 

Undergraduate parameters 

*** For Practical Skills, see table below

Weighting 

Percentage of a 10-credit module 

Percentage of a 20-credit module 

Book review, Essay or other written assignment, Group project*, Literature review, Placement or visit report, Project*, Resource for others*, Verbatim, Written theological reflection 

Oral presentation, assessed conversation or oral assessed discussions (minutes) 

Reflective journal or written assessed conversation 

Written examination, short tests (minutes) 

ILP (Level 4) **** 

ILP (Level 5/6) **** 

Portfolio 

Dissertation 

40 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10–15,000 

12–15,000 

20 

 

100% 

4,000–5,000 

 

 

150–180 

4,000–5,000 

5,000–6,000 

5–7,000 

 

16 

 

80% 

3,000–4,000 

 

 

120–150 

 

 

 

 

12 

 

60% 

2,500–3,000 

30–40 

 

90–120 

 

 

 

 

10 

100% 

50% 

2,000–2,500 

20–30** 

2,500–3,000 

60–90 

2,500–3,000 

2,500–3,000 

 

 

8 

80% 

40% 

1,500–2,000 

15–20 

2,000–2,500 

60–90 

 

 

 

 

6 

60% 

30% 

1,000–1,500 

15–20 

1,500–2,000 

45–60 

 

 

 

 

4 

40% 

20% 

750–1,000 

10–15 

1,000–1,250 

20–30 

 

 

 

 

2 

20% 

10% 

500–750 

 

750–1,000 

15–20 

 

 

 

 

Postgraduate parameters 

*** For Practical Skills, see below

Weighting 

Percentage of a 20-credit module 

Book review, Essay or other written assignment, Group project*, Literature review, Placement or visit report, Project*, Resource for others*, Verbatim, Written theological reflection 

Oral presentation, assessed conversation or oral assessed discussions (minutes) 

Reflective journal or written assessed conversation 

Written examination, short tests 
(minutes) 

ILP**** 

Portfolio 

Dissertation 

60 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10–15,000 

12–15,000 

20 

100% 

5,000–6,000 

 

 

150–180 

5,000–7,000 

6–8,000 

 

16 

80% 

4,000–5,000 

 

 

120–150 

 

 

 

12 

60% 

3,000–4,000 

40–45 

3,000–4,000 

90–120 

 

 

 

10 

50% 

2,500–3,000 

30–40** 

2,500–3,000 

60–90 

2,500–3,000 

 

 

8 

40% 

2,000–2,500 

20–30 

2,000–2,500 

45–60 

 

 

 

6 

30% 

1,500–2,000 

15–25 

1,500–2,000 

45–60 

 

 

 

4 

20% 

750–1,000 

10–15 

1,000–1,250 

20–30 

 

 

 

2 

10% 

500–750 

 

750–1,000 

15–20 

 

 

 

Projects, Group Projects and Resources for Others. The ‘length’ of a project or a group project output or report is not necessarily measured in words. We give word lengths for written projects above, but where other kinds of elements are included, TEIs will need to make a reasonable estimate of how much work to ask for, in order to yield a broadly equivalent workload. The guidance in this document on oral presentations and practical skills may give some pointers towards appropriate equivalents. 

** Oral assessments. Instead of a 25–30-minute presentation, you can combine a shorter oral presentation with a with a written rationale/commentary, so that the two parts are assessed together and given a single mark, as follows: 

Undergraduate 

 

Postgraduate 

Weighting 

Oral presentation (mins) 

Rationale/commentary (words) 

 

Weighting 

Oral presentation (mins) 

Rationale/commentary (words) 

10 

20 

750–1,000 

 

10 

25 

750–1,000 

10 

15 

1,000–1,500 

 

10 

20 

1,000–1,500 

10 

10 

1,500–2,000 

 

10 

15 

1,500–2,000 

 

 

 

 

10 

10 

2,000–2,500 


Where a student is expected to follow their oral presentation with a further activity (e.g., the leading of a structured discussion) 
which will demand significant preparation beyond that involved in writing and delivering the presentation itself (i.e., something more than a typical Q&A session), the TEI should take that into account, and set a length for the presentation lower than those indicated here – using its own judgment to determine by how much. 

TEIs are at liberty to arrange group presentations under the ‘oral presentation’ rubric. Where they do so, they should seek to arrange them such that the expected workload for any individual student is roughly equivalent to that of a solo presentation of the appropriate length. 

*** Practical skills. For practical skills, TEIs will need to make a judgment call, about the amount of time they might take to prepare. As a rough guide: 

Weighting 

Preaching (mins) 

Teaching/learning session (mins) 

Leading worship (mins) 

Group facilitation (mins) 

Leading worship (mins) 

4 

10–15 

 

30–45 

30–45 

 

6 

 

30–45 

45–60 

45–60 

45–60 

We normally expect practical skills to be accompanied by some other form of assessment that allows a student to reflect on their preparation for and performance of that skill: an assessed conversation, oral presentation, written assignment, theological reflection, or reflective journal. 

**** Independent Learning Projects. TEIs can use the portfolio parameters in place of the 20-credit ILP parameters if the TEI intends for the ILP to take the form of a portfolio (a structured collection of pieces of work produced over a period of time) rather than being a single connected piece. 

Examples 

Examples for a 10-credit undergraduate module 

  • A 2,500-word independent learning project (100%) 
  • One 2,000-word written theological reflection (100%) 
  • A 2,000-word project (100%) 
  • A 20-minute assessed conversation (60%) and a 1,000-word group project (40%) 
  • A 1,500-word literature review (60%) and another 1,000-word written assignment (40%) 
  • A 1,500-word essay (60%) and 1,000-word written theological reflection (40%) 
  • A 20-minute oral presentation with 1,000-word commentary (100%) 
  • A 15-minute practical skill (preaching) (40%) with 750-word rationale (40%) and a 500-word theological reflection (20%) 

Examples for a 20-credit undergraduate module 

  • A 6,000-word portfolio 
  • A 2,500-word group project (50%) and a 30-minute assessed conversation (50%) 
  • A 4,000-word project (80%) plus a 1,000-word written theological reflection (20%)  
  • A 2,500-word essay (50%) plus a15-minue oral presentation with a 1,500-word commentary (50%) 
  • A 2,000-word literature review (50%) plus a 2,500 word resource for others (50%) 
  • A 2,500-word placement report (50%) plus a 30-minute practical skill (group facilitation) (20%) plus a 1,000-word written theological reflection (30%) 
  • A 2,000-word project (40%) plus a 2,000-word essay (40%) plus a 1,250-word reflective journal (20%)