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Examinations and Examiners

1. University Examinations

A complete list of University examinations are recorded in the First Schedule to these regulations.

The following regulations apply to examinations shown in Section B of the First Schedule.

The following regulations shall not apply to examinations shown in Section A of the First Schedule.

2. Responsibility for Organising Examinations

The examinations listed in the First Schedule to these Regulations shall be organised centrally by Exams and Awards in so far as these examinations involve formal written examination, including computer- assisted assessment (CAA) tests. Other examinations are organised by those Faculties which require them. The Curriculum and Timetabling Team will provide dates for practical examinations held by the Centre for Language Study.

Exam Timetabling Policy 

The University Exam Timetabling Policy is to offer wherever possible, a clash free, change free schedule to students within General Academic Regulations, Examinations and Examiners. 

Student Experience is affected by subsequent changes once the assessment timetable has been published online, therefore every effort is made to build an effective and robust schedule in the first instance. Changes are only made where absolutely necessary i.e. to overcome a space/location issue, to offer inclusivity for students with additional exam or off campus requirements or to ensure suitable staff coverage (academic or invigilator)

Every effort is made to achieve a timetable which meets the following order of priorities which are designed to support marking & assessment processes and student experience.

First priority: candidates shall have no more than 3 consecutive examinations followed by a break. ‘Consecutive’ means morning/afternoon/morning or afternoon/morning/afternoon.  

Second priority: examinations to be taken by undergraduate finalists or taught postgraduate students will be timetabled to optimise the schedule on the basis of maximising time for marking and marks processing prior to marks exchange deadlines.

Third priority: examination papers combinations which must be either concurrent or sequential will be timetabled accordingly.

Fourth priority: examinations which, for whatever reason, need to be scheduled on specific dates/times (scheduling requests).  

Whenever it may be necessary for a candidate to take an examination paper in Southampton in other than an examination room organised by Exams and Awards, or at a different time from centrally organised examinations, the Associate Dean (Education) or their nominee must detail a member of the academic staff to deliver the question paper, collect the script and make such other arrangements including invigilation as may be necessary.

A candidate required to take referrals or to repeat as an external student, either during the supplementary examination period (August-September) or as an external student in the Semester 1 and Semester 2 examinations, may opt to sit those examinations off-campus subject to approval from their Associate Dean (Education) or their nominee and payment of an administration fee (see 'Fees, Charges and Expenses, All Students, paragraphs 9/10'). These examinations must take place at a British Council venue unless there are exceptional circumstances. The candidate will also be required to sign a University confidentiality agreement. Students in normal attendance at the University will not usually be allowed to take Semester 1 or Semester 2 examinations anywhere other than at the University of Southampton campuses.

3. Preparation and Printing of Examination Papers

Each Faculty is required to advise which exams are required for each exam period, via Banner, by a specified deadline advised each year by the Head of Exams & Awards. Faculties must also provide the team with the name and telephone number of the Author of each paper.

Examinations that are administered electronically using the University's central CAA service will be delivered according to the CAA Policy and Procedures documents published by iSolutions.

For Semester 1, Semester 2 and pre-sessional exams, Faculties must provide the following: 
For those exam papers that are printed and batched by the Exams & Awards Team:  
camera-ready copies of exam paper, hand-outs and diagrams. These must be submitted by the deadline published annually by the Head of Exams & Awards.

For those papers not ready by the aforementioned deadline, Faculties must print and batch exam papers and hand deliver to the Examinations Office 10 working days before the exam period starts.

Faculties will be responsible for any reprints that may be required clearly marking them with a version number and hand delivering them to the Exams & Awards Team.
When multiple-choice question papers form part of an examination paper, they shall be set out on a separate sheet.

For supplementary exams Faculties must provide printed and batched exam papers as per instructions published by the Head of Exams & Awards.

For all University examinations in Section B of the First Schedule except for papers that use objective items, a printed copy and an electronic copy (in Word or PDF format where available) of every printed examination rubric shall be deposited by Faculties at the University Library. Spare copies will be returned to Faculties at the end of the examination period on request.

Papers that use objective items (eg: multiple-choice questions), including CAA tests, will not be made available as specified above unless this is specifically requested by the School. Faculties shall keep copies of the questions for record purposes; all other unused copies shall be destroyed.

Deans are responsible for ensuring that the law relating to copyright is complied with in the production of examination papers and associated material.

For the purpose of this regulation `printing' includes reproduction by lithography or photocopier.

4. Student Entry for Supplementary Examinations

A candidate taking a supplementary examination is liable for a re-examination fee, and may be liable for an administration fee, as set out in the Fees Regulations.

5. Academic Standing

Whenever any candidate for an examination has not satisfied programme requirements or other requirements laid down in the Regulations for Examinations and Examiners, the Associate Dean (Education), or their nominee, shall notify the Examinations Office that this candidate's script may not be marked.

6. Responsibility of Members of Academic Staff during the Examination Period

The nominee(s) of the Associate Dean (Education) must be available during the whole of the examination period in case of queries and must inform the Examinations Office of all relevant telephone numbers for this purpose. The nominee(s) must remain available until each day's examinations have been concluded, including those held on Saturdays. The nominee(s) of the Associate Dean (Education) must obtain names and telephone numbers of all paper authors and ensure that authors can be easily and quickly contacted when their papers are being sat, including papers scheduled for Saturdays.

Where the nominee of the Associate Dean (Education) is, exceptionally, unavailable for all or part of an examination period, a deputy should be nominated to cover the period of absence.

Where a paper author is, exceptionally, uncontactable while their paper is being sat a suitably qualified member of academic staff should be identified to deputise for them.

7. Conduct of Examinations Organised Centrally

The Exams & Awards Team will appoint exam invigilators for each examination room and issue instructions to them.

The nominee(s) of the Associate Dean (Education) must refer any students with additional examination requirements to Student Disability and Inclusion for screening and review. Student Disability and Inclusion will provide up-to-date information via Banner of any specific arrangement to be made for the student. No special arrangements will be made unless the nominee of the Associate Dean (Education) and the Exams & Awards Team is so informed by the given deadline of end of University Teaching week 10 for arrangements for the Semester 1 examinations, and end of University teaching week 22 for Semester 2 examination arrangements. Teaching weeks are as laid down in the University Almanac.

Before they can access their examination timetable online, candidates are asked to certify that they have read the Instructions to Candidates which explain the conduct required of candidates in the examination room as well as detailing more general instructions for before, during and after an examination.
Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. Reference to current approved models are held on the exams website:

Candidates may use dictionaries only if the rubric allows. Such dictionaries must be Word to Word translation dictionaries only and contain no written or pictorial definitions. A candidate's tutor, at his/her discretion, may issue a letter permitting the use of a specified dictionary in special circumstances. The candidate is responsible for showing this letter to the invigilator(s) in each exam.

Normally no candidate will be permitted to enter the examination room more than half an hour after an examination has begun (fifteen minutes in the case of a CAA test) or to leave the room during the first half hour (fifteen minutes in the case of a CAA test), or the last fifteen minutes of the time allowed for the examination.

If it appears that a candidate, through circumstances beyond their control, deserves extra time in which to complete a paper, such extra time may be allowed only at the discretion of the Associate Dean (Education) or their nominee, or the Head of Exams & Awards who will arrange for invigilation during the extra time.

Any candidate using or attempting to use unfair means to gain advantage in an examination, or any candidate suspected of cheating, will be required by the invigilator to hand in all their written work and to resume writing in a new examination answer book. A full report will be submitted to the Dean via the faculty Administration and Assessment team. This course of action will also be taken if such an incident occurs during a CAA exam.

A candidate who the invigilator believes to be guilty of any other form of misbehaviour may be asked by the invigilator to leave the room at once. The scripts of any such candidate will be sent to the Dean via the faculty Administration and Assessment team with a full report of the incident of suspected cheating or other form of misbehaviour, which will also be sent to the Academic Registrar.

8. Distribution of Scripts of Examinations Organised Centrally

Scripts may be collected by the examiner or by a person authorised by the Faculty Academic Registrar/Head of Taught Programme Administration, Associate Dean (Education) or his/her nominee(s), either from the examination room or the Exams Office. (In the event of industrial action, examination scripts cannot be collected from the examination room.) All scripts of a single examination paper must be collected by one person, including papers sat by students with additional examination requirements. The person collecting scripts shall count the number of scripts in the examination envelope and sign a receipt showing the number of scripts collected. During the main examination period scripts will be available during office hours (or later by prior arrangement). In the case of CAA tests that are administered centrally with iSolutions, candidates' answers are sent to a central database electronically and the results are collected electronically by the Faculty.

9. Retention of Examination Scripts

This regulation shall apply to the examinations listed in the First Schedule other than sessional examinations:

  • a) The Faculty must ensure that, subject to (b) below, all written work, including examination scripts, essays, laboratory books, etc., submitted for examination shall be kept for at least 28 days after the programme ends and the award to which it contributes is made. The results of centrally-run CAA tests should be retained by the Faculty in the same way.
  • b) The Faculty may permit the return of any work other than examination scripts to candidates, provided that the nominee of the Associate Dean (Education) is satisfied that the material is required to assist in further studies or employment, and provided that the candidates concerned accept responsibility for ensuring that, in case of need, it remains available to the University as required above.

10. Examination Records

Detailed records of candidates' performance in examinations shall be kept by Faculties for a minimum of ten years. Faculties shall report to the Senate the names of all candidates who successfully complete an examination leading directly to a University qualification, and of those candidates recommended to be awarded a qualification without having completed the examination. Faculties must report to Senate any recommendation for termination of course following failure of an examination. To facilitate successful certification of awards, Faculties shall update the Banner record to reflect the results of final examinations as soon as these are known.

11. Publication of Examination Results

Module marks release for Semester 1, Semester 2 and after the supplementary exam period are normally released via Banner Self Service and emails to individual students. Faculties are required to provide details of excluded programmes by a deadline determined by the Head of Student Records. For all other marks release, Faculties are responsible for informing candidates of examination results, subject to confirmation by Senate in the case of results leading directly to a University qualification. Faculties shall report the results of the September supplementary examinations to the Academic Registrar not later than the Monday of the penultimate week of the vacation.

First Schedule

12. Section A

All examinations for the degrees of Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Surgery and Master of Philosophy.

13. Section B

The following examinations for other Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates:

All examinations for module courses in the Faculty

The examinations for the University Certificate

All examinations for Foundation Years 

The examinations for the degrees of:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Engineering
  • Bachelor of Laws
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Bachelor of Midwifery
  • Bachelor of Natural Sciences
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nursing (Dual Field)
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in the Social Sciences
  • Bachelor of Specialist Nursing Practice
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Arts (Education)
  • Master of Biochemistry
  • Master of Biomedical Sciences
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Chemistry
  • Master of Computing
  • Master of Ecology
  • Master of Economics
  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Environmental Science
  • Master of Languages
  • Master of Laws
  • Master of Mathematics
  • Master of Medical Sciences
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Neuroscience
  • Master of Natural Sciences 
  • Master of Nursing
  • Master of Physics
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science (Education)
  • Master of Science (Social Sciences)
  • Master of Research

The examinations for the Certificate of Higher Education and Diploma of Higher Education of the University of Southampton.

All examinations for the degrees of Integrated Master of Science degrees.

The examinations for the Postgraduate Diploma of the University of Southampton and related Postgraduate Certificates.

The examination for taught modules that form part of a postgraduate research degree.

The examination for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

14. Board of Examiners

University Examinations whether taken at one time or in sections and whether involving formal written examination, oral examination, the submission of written assignments or any other prescribed form of assessment shall be the general responsibility of Boards of Examiners.

Subject to the authority of the Faculty concerned (or other authorised body) and of the Senate, each Board of Examiners shall be jointly responsible for setting and marking any formal written assessments together with oral and practical examinations as appropriate.

The Boards of Examiners shall consist of at least the following members and such other members as may be required by Regulations:

  • a) Doctor of Design, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Letters, Doctor of Music, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Science in the Social Sciences, Doctor of Laws, Master of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine
    For each candidate three examiners, of whom two shall be external examiners.
  • b) Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Philosophy
    For each candidate two examiners, of whom one shall be an external examiner.
  • c) Other Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates
    For each programme of study two examiners in every subject or group of subjects, of whom one shall be an external examiner.

The external examiners appointed under paragraph 2c. above shall satisfy themselves as to the standard of the examinations and of the marking and assessment in each subject or group of subjects for which they were appointed. They shall not be required to mark individual scripts, but they shall if they so desire have access to all such scripts and to all essays, laboratory books or other written work contributing to the result of the examination for the purpose of moderation to verify that marking standards are appropriate. They shall satisfy themselves about the general arrangements for the assessment of oral and practical work contributing to the result of the examination, but they will not be expected to participate personally in the assessment of such work.

External examiners shall be appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty concerned. No external examiner appointed under paragraph 2c. above shall hold office for more than four years consecutively, except that in exceptional circumstances, such as to ensure continuity of external examiner cover for a programme of study which is closing, an extension of one further year may be approved.

Professors and those who hold posts of professorial equivalence, Associate Professors, Readers, Senior Lecturers, Lecturers and other teachers of the University or of the affiliated institution concerned who have contributed to modules and programmes of study will be deemed internal examiners for that module or programme and shall normally be expected to attend the relevant Board of Examiners.

The examiners shall not be required to accept the examination scripts or other work of any candidate who has not:

  • a) satisfied the requirements laid down in Ordinances and Regulations or been exempted from any such requirements by the Senate on the recommendation of the Faculty concerned (or other authorised body); or
  • b) paid the academic fees prescribed.

Except in the case of degrees awarded solely on the basis of research, the Board of Examiners shall make recommendations for the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates and where appropriate recommendations for the re-examination of unsuccessful candidates. The recommendations of the Board of Examiners shall be communicated to the Faculty concerned. In the case of recommendations for the award of degrees, diplomas and certificates the Faculty shall produce a Recommendation for Awards list which shall be signed by the Chair of the relevant Faculty Education and Student Experience Committee and forwarded for approval by the Senate. In the case of degrees awarded solely on the basis of research the Faculty concerned (or other authorised body) shall prepare a Recommendations for Awards list which shall be signed by the Faculty Director of the Graduate School and the Chair of the Faculty Education and Student Experience Committee and forwarded for approval by the Senate.

University examinations shall be as specified in these Regulations.


Reviewed/updated in July 2015

Reviewed in June 2016; no changes made

Reviewed in May 2017 and approved by Senate on 21 June 2017

Reviewed in May 2019 and approved by Senate on 19 June 2019

Reviewed in November 2022 and approve by Senate on 19 December 2022 – revisions made to the 
examinations scheduling process detailed in section 2.

Reviewed in August 2023; text previously within the University Ordinances now included; approved by Senate August 2023

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