No Detriment FAQs - Phase 2

Update: 12 January 2021

We know the news of the new national restrictions is creating valid concerns for many of you as to how you will be able to achieve your best marks under the circumstances. It is important to us that you have every chance to fulfil your potential and are not unfairly disadvantaged. This same thinking was at the heart of our push for the original No Detriment policy last year, and we have also worked towards ensuring a second phase of the policy for the current academic year.  

Currently, under the second phase called generic mitigation you are entitled to: 

  • Blanket mitigating circumstances for all students – you do not need to apply for this 

  • Uncapped reattempts for any assessments you do not pass the first time around  

  • If you do not submit, you will be given an automatic deferral 

  • Relaxation of previous evidence requirement for extension requests 

During the autumn term, we were acutely aware of the ongoing concern of some students receiving low pass marks that you do not feel is representative of your past performance. We consistently raised this with the University and were consulted in developing a solution to this.  

Under this new system (through a mitigating circumstances application): 

  • You will now be able to reattempt a passed assessment, if approved, and keep the higher mark  

  • Where possible you should submit documentary evidence, but it will be flexible 

  • No advance notice needed – you should wait until after you receive your results to apply and need to submit your mitigating circumstances application within 14 days of receiving your results 

  • Further details about these regulations will be shared shortly through an all-student email 

We know you may still have worries about your academic performance. If you would like to discuss any of this further, please do not hesitate to reach out to your SSGT (Student Support Guidance Tutor) or BSU Support Team -


Updated: 2 November

Academic appeal: a formal request you can submit to the University to ask them to reconsider a decision they have made in relation to degree classification, progression or a module mark, among other areas. If you are thinking about appealing, BSU Support Service can assist you by offering advice and guidance:

Academic misconduct: a serious assessment offence. Some examples include collusion, plagiarism and cheating on an examination. Some outcomes of this procedure are a mark of zero for the piece of work or entire module, a deferral or referral.

Capped: you will be capped at the pass mark, even if you achieve a higher score.

Deferral: a further attempt at an assessment or a new assessment in place of the original one, which is NOT capped at the pass mark.

Extension to deadline: a process that enables you to request a revised deadline, either beforehand or retrospectively, up to two weeks after the deadline has passed. If you experience an unexpected issue that you believe can be rectified quickly so that you are eventually able to submit your work, you can apply for an extension through your course leader and you do not need to provide any supporting evidence.

Generic mitigation: one of the components of the no detriment policy, which grants you deferrals and extensions, without supporting evidence. All students will receive this, even if their course is governed by a regulatory body which prevents performance benchmarking.

Late submission: a penalty is applied to work that is submitted after the deadline set and where an extension request has not been submitted. To avoid this, you must request an extension through your course leader, as detailed above.

Mitigating circumstances: This procedure is normally reserved for unforeseen general personal issues that negatively impact on your ability to study, submit an assessment or complete an examination. Students will usually apply for this where they are experiencing a longer-term difficulty and an extension is not sufficient. However, as a result of COVID-19, the no detriment policy is providing mitigation to all students, without them having to apply for it or provide supporting evidence, as is normally the case.

If you submitted a mitigation circumstances form before COVID-19, you will have been required to provide evidence from an independent source, including a doctor or counsellor, and your application would have been considered by the relevant board under the normal procedures. If during COVID-19 you have experienced an issue outside the remit of coronavirus, generic mitigation will provide you with the full range of options available, which is why you do not need to submit an application, but if you have concerns, please get in touch with the BSU Support Service:

No detriment: a new policy in response to COVID-19, which has suspended the University’s General Examination and Assessment Regulations for Taught Courses (GEAR) and will now govern degree award and progression decisions. It consists of 2 components: 1) generic mitigation and 2) individual performance benchmarking. It applies to assessments submitted after March 5.

Non-attempt: non-submission of assessment work.

Progression: an exam board decision on whether you can proceed to the next stage of your course. Where you have been told you are unable to progress to the next level, you may be asked to repeat modules the following year or leave the University.

Pass mark: 40% for an undergraduate assessment or 50% for a postgraduate assessment.

Performance benchmark: the second component of no detriment that is defined as your individual achievement, which your upcoming marks are benchmarked against. This will take the form of a weighted average of your semester 1 marks if you have accumulated 40 credits or more during that period OR as a combination of your average from semester 1, in addition to your year average from the previous year, where you have not accumulated 40 credits in your first semester.

Referral: a further attempt at an assessment or a new assessment in place of it, which IS capped at the pass mark.

Stage of study: the year or level you are currently enrolled on as part of your course. For instance, if you are a second-year undergraduate student, you would be on level 5.

Uncapped:you will be awarded a mark within the full range of marks available (i.e. 0 – 100).

Weighted average: your performance benchmark will be reflected as a weighted average of all the assessments you have completed up to March 5. Therefore, the marks you obtain are going to contribute to your benchmark proportionatelyto their credit value.

The impact on students from Covid-19 has caused the university to temporarily change some of its policies to make sure that students are not academically disadvantaged when attempting their assessments during the pandemic.

This means, the University realises that this has been a really difficult time for all students, both personally and academically, and they want to give you the best chance of succeeding so that you do not miss out on being able to achieve your potential.

The No Detriment policy will continue for semester two, but now only includes generic mitigation. It does not include Individual Performance Benchmarking (IPB) – see below:


  • Generic mitigation: If you fail a module you will be given another attempt at it. If it was your first attempt, your next attempt will remain your first attempt. This also means your mark will be uncapped. If you are already on your second or third attempt, the mark will be capped at the pass mark.
  • Performance benchmarking will not be continued except for particular courses, cohorts and students where it has not yet been applied. The university will publicise which courses etc. come into this category by October 2nd 2020.

These amendments to the university regulations will be in effect from September 26th until February 7th 2021.

The University have applied generic mitigation in recognition of the fact that students will have experienced disruption due to COIVD-19. This means students will automatically have “mitigating circumstances” applied and exam boards will make appropriate decisions about progression, grades and awards in light of this.

Mitigating circumstances is the procedure to be used by students whose ability to study has been negatively impacted by their personal circumstances. Ordinarily, this requires completing a form and submitting evidence. Under the “No Detriment” policy, this will not be necessary for any work submitted between September 26th and February 7th 2021.

This means everyone will automatically be granted a ‘deferral’ if they fail a module at first attempt or a ‘referral’ if they fail their second or third attempt. You will be allowed to retake the assessment, (normally) during the summer period. If you fail at your first attempt, you will be granted a further attempt, as if it were a first attempt, without being capped at the pass mark. If you are already on your second or third attempt, the mark will be capped at the pass mark, however your attempt ‘score’ will remain the same.

Generic mitigation covers students who:

  1. Are absent from an assessment
  2. Do not submit (non-submission) or fail to submit assessed work
  3. Fail a module

You will not be required to submit an individual claim and there is no requirement to submit evidence for generic mitigation as this will be automatically applied.

Please be aware that mitigation does not increase in your marks or grades (uplift), nor does it mean you are not required to pass the module or assessment.


Only students who did not receive an IPB during the academic year 2019/20, will be receive one now. You will have received notification from your school office if this is you. Your IPB will be applied at the end of the following stage of study. This means you will be notified once you have achieved 40 credits or more during 2020/21.

Your course leader will be able to assist you in estimating your benchmark, but you mustn't rely on this. You should await the confirmed results of the exam board.

Yes. Assessments need to be passed during a ‘stage of study’ or ‘level of study’ (during an academic year) in order to progress to the next level or receive an award.

If you are unsuccessful in your first attempt of your assessment, you will be given a ‘deferral’, meaning you can normally retry the assessment during the summer re-sit assessment period. This will still be considered your first attempt and won’t be capped at the pass mark.

If you fail the summer re-sit attempt, then you will be given a further chance at the assessment. This further assessment will be considered the next numbered attempt, e.g. first attempt during semester one failed, summer re-sit failed, summer re-sit attempt will be considered your second attempt. Your second and third attempt will be capped at the minimum pass mark.

First years may be able to use the ‘In Year Module Retrieval’ (IYMR) process. You should speak to your course leader about this and whether it applies to you.

If you attempt count is already 2 or 3, your mark will remain capped. Your next attempt will remain the same attempt number if your assessment was taken before February 7th 2021 as it is covered by the extension to generic mitigation.

Please do not worry. There are several options available. As part of the generic mitigation, you will be granted another opportunity to submit work if you are unable to complete your assessment. Please refer to “What is Generic Mitigation?” in these FAQ’s.

If you are unable to complete referral or deferral work during either Semester two or the summer re-sit period, you should apply for further mitigation using the normal mitigating circumstances process.

The university recognise that for some of you, particularly those with caring responsibilities and student parents, these provisions may not be enough to ensure you can successfully complete your assessments. If you are experiencing difficulties and would like to discuss this further, we encourage you to reach out to your SSGT for bespoke advice and guidance or to BSU Support Service.

You still need to do your best to submit your work on time to prevent a delay in decisions relating to progression and degree award conferment. An extension request will prevent you from being penalised for late submission of work, so we encourage you to apply for one.

If you know in advance that you cannot submit on time. Please request an extension from your course leader to avoid a late penalty. You may need to provide any evidence to support your request.

If you don’t know in advance, or don’t apply for an extension in time. It is preferable that you submit this request before the deadline, otherwise you will incur a ‘late penalty’. Your school can tell you more about this.

If you cannot submit any work, you will be covered by generic mitigation and will be given another opportunity to submit work during the normal re-sit period.

Considering the challenges caused by Covid-19, the university has committed a significant amount of money into helping student get on line. You may be able to borrow equipment from your school or apply for financial assistance.

You don’t need to. The no detriment policy has been extended so it applies to the provisions that would normally be granted for an individual mitigating circumstances claim.

If you still believe that your individual circumstances are not met, for instance, if your learning support plan (LSP) adjustments have been affected and you wish to complain, please contact BSU Support Service at

No, the Universities regulations do not allow you to do this, unless you have been given a ‘deferral’.

Yes, appropriate adjustments will be made if you are eligible, i.e. you have an LSP. If you don’t have one but believe you should, contact the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Team at To discuss your requirements.

If you are experiencing any challenges in relation to a specific provision of your LSP, please contact the University’s Disability and Dyslexia Team at Learning Support Coordinators are available for a 1:1 appointment via Microsoft Teams to further assist you.

The no detriment policy is aimed at trying to relieve some of the pressure, however, there will still be students who want to get some additional support and advice. We are still very much here for you.

You should contact your Student Support and Guidance Tutor in the first instance. You can also contact your Personal Tutor.

If you still need advice, please get in touch with our BSU Support team via email at They are available for a 1:1 appointment via Microsoft Teams to further assist you.

Yes, for all postgraduate taught degrees. However, it does not apply to postgraduate research students. For further information on doctoral research degrees, please see these FAQs and get in touch with the Doctoral College Team if you require any further information.

In short, no, although in all allegations of misconduct you should seek independent advice from BSU’s Support team. You can get in touch with them via email at They are available for a 1:1 appointment by appointment via Microsoft Teams to further assist you.