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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre SouthamptonUndergraduate study

Assessment methods and feedback mechanisms

One of the educational benefits of our modular system is that learning is assessed continuously through a wide range of methods including workshops, essays, presentations, projects and fieldwork, in addition to the conventional written examinations at the end of each semester.

This range of assessment methods means that your degree classification is not based solely on final year examination results. Our emphasis is perhaps somewhat different from the assessment methods you have become accustomed to during your A levels. Not every piece of work you will do as part of your degree is awarded marks that count towards your final degree classification.

We operate a system comprised of both summative assessment, for which you will be awarded marks that contribute towards your degree, and formative assessment, which differs in that you will receive a nominal mark and constructive feedback on work completed as an essential part of the degree, work which often establishes key concepts or will build up to a more substantial assessment, but does not provide marks that contribute towards your degree.

You will receive coursework and examination marks normally within three weeks, together with any relevant constructive criticism. In this way we aim to continuously improve your performance during your time with us.

While final degree classifications are based on your performance in courses taken during both your second and third (and fourth) years, greater importance is attached to your final year work and examination results. This is because we believe your final year performance best represents your ability and potential.

Most course modules include a significant coursework element that contributes to overall assessment. Some modules are evaluated wholly on the basis of coursework or an examination. Independent research or mapping projects also comprise a significant component of the marks on which your final degree classification is based. Thus, although formal written examinations are important, performance outside the examination room is a major consideration in determining your final degree classification.

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