What is an assignment?
Assignments are student work which are
marked and contribute towards the achievement of the module.
Assignments usually mean work which is coursework, although an
examination may also be expected as part of the module
Assignments can be undertaken through a range of methods: essay,
laboratory report, poster, oral presentation, research report,
blog, artwork and portfolio.
What kind of assessments can I expect
from my modules?
Most assessments are either referred to as
coursework or exams, however, the University permits a wide variety
of assessment types, and the nature of your assessments will depend
on the module you are studying.
Other types of assessment can include: exhibitions, performances,
in-class tests, field work and many others.
How do I find out what the assessments
(exams, coursework etc) are in every module I am taking?
Details of all assessments should be made
available at the start of teaching on each module that you are
taking. This information should make it clear what type of
assessment you will be required to take and, in the case of
coursework, how it should be submitted.
These details can be found in online sources or in module
What is coursework?
Coursework is a piece of work that you would
normally complete outside of the class room, for example an essay,
a poster or a piece of group work. You should check your module
information for exact details of the coursework you are required to
Coursework is undertaken throughout the delivery of the module and
can be formative or summative.
What is a dissertation?
A dissertation is an assignment where the
student undertakes independent research on a topic with specific
support by a tutor.
Usually the dissertation is undertaken in the final year of
undergraduate and Masters programmes, and results in a thesis being
What is an essay?
An essay is a written piece of work which
may analyse, critique, review and/or discuss a specific topic. The
arguments within the essay will be informed by texts, peer-reviewed
sources and appropriate e-resources.
What is an examination?
An examination or exam is a piece of work produced under
controlled conditions. It is usually scheduled for a specific time
and date, and usually has a time limit. Exams can include essays,
performances or other forms of work. You should check your module
information for exact details of the exam.
Exams are usually summative assessments which may include
multiple choice questions, short answers, computer-based questions
What is a final project?
Final projects are usually independent
research projects undertaken in the final year of undergraduate or
postgraduate study. A supervisor will provide guidance and
technical experts may help in practical work skills.
The project usually results in a report or thesis/dissertation
What is a portfolio?
A portfolio is an assignment which is
usually a collection of related work undertaken over a length of
time which may include reflective written work, professional body
requirements eg competency achievement/sign off or reviews of
Portfolios can form part of personal development activities through
an award and can be paper or online based.
What is a primary source exercise?
A primary source is a first-hand testimony
or evidence, thus exercises using primary sources would analyse and
evaluate the sources for usefulness.
What is a professional practice
Professional practice is undertaken mainly
within vocational awards and may take place in a practice setting
eg within a hospital or school.
Mentors within practice will support the achievement of specific
skills and tasks, and so the undertaking of these can be
written up in a report as an assignment.
What is a reflective diary?
Reflection enhances deeper learning and a
reflective diary collates a student’s personal learning journey
through feelings, thoughts and lessons learnt, sometimes resulting
in change of practice.
What is a survey?
Surveys can be undertaken as an assignment
or as part of a report or project. Surveys can involve
environmental fieldwork or be part of a societal or psychology
research work. Surveys require the gathering of a range of data,
either quantitative or qualitative.
Module leaders are responsible for providing you with details of
If you have not received details of your coursework within 14
days of the publication of your results, you must contact your
Administration Team (SAT) immediately.
Our Assessment Cycle Guidance
for students film will help you find out more about the
Assessment Cycle Policy and the University's assessment
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