Help and Advice

Information, advice and representation on university procedures including appeals, cheating and resits.

This guide is mainly for undergraduate students.

Students on courses leading to professional registration, such as medics, dentists, teachers, social workers and health professionals; and taught postgraduates, have slightly different rules about re-sits and should clarify these with their School or contact the Advice Centre.

The word 'assessment' in this Guide refers to exams, assessed essays and coursework, and assessed projects and practical work which count towards your final degree.

Re-sits: the Basics

Basic rules about re-sitting assessments are as follows:

  • Students who started their course prior to academic year 2016/17 are usually allowed 3 attempts to pass an assessment: the first attempt, a second attempt in August, and a final attempt as an external student the following academic year. Students who started their course from academic year 2016/17 onwards will usually be allowed 2 attempts to pass an exam, the first attempt and then a second and final attempt in August.
  • Final year students are only allowed to re-sit if the assessment will make the difference between gaining an Honours and an Ordinary degree. Finalists may be eligible to re-sit failed modules in August.
  • You can only re-sit assessments you have failed.
  • You can only gain a minimum pass mark for a re-sit, which is usually 40 (or 50 for taught postgraduates).
  • There is a charge of £2 per credit, and an administration fee of £50 for re-sitting an assessment.
  • You must register to re-sit an assessment by a deadline, which is published at Taught Student Administration's Results and Re-assessments page. Otherwise you must pay an extra administration fee.
  • If you are ill or have other problems which affect an assessment, you may be allowed an additional or 'first' attempt.
  • Taught postgraduates and some students (for example medics) are usually only allowed 2 attempts at assessments, and the minimum pass mark is normally 50.       

Do I need to re-sit?

In order to progress to the next level of your course, or to graduate, you usually need to pass certain compulsory modules. You also need to achieve a minimum number of credits:

  • You would normally be expected to pass 360 credits for an Honours Degree; 120 in each year.
  • You can gain an Honours Degree with a minimum of 300 credits. At least 100 must be gained in each year.
  • An Ordinary Degree is awarded to students who pass between 240 and 300 credits. 160 credits must be passed in 2nd and 3rd year, with at least 60 of these in third year.

If you fail a compulsory module you will normally have to re-sit and pass it to progress to the next year of your course. If you fail an elective, you may be able to progress without it, but you will do so with fewer credits.

It is advisable to re-sit any failed assessments so that you pass as many credits as possible. If you fail any more assessments in your next year, you may risk finishing without enough credits to graduate with an Honours degree. Having less credits will also mean that your degree classification is lower.

You can only re-sit assessments you have failed. You cannot re-sit to improve your mark in an assessment you have passed, or to improve your final degree classification. Final year students can only re-sit assessments if they need the credits to gain an Honours Degree.

What if I fail a re-sit?

If you fail a re-sit in August, then you need to confirm whether the module is compulsory or not. If you have failed a compulsory module, you will have to re-sit it the next time it is offered, i.e. in January or May of the next academic year. This means that you will become an external student.

If you fail an elective re-sit, you can progress onto the next year of your course, provided you have enough credits. You may be able to take your final attempt alongside your other exams next year. You should speak to your School to see whether this is possible.

Re-sitting as an external student

As an external student you are only expected to attend University to re-sit the exam(s) you have failed. You would not usually attend any classes. You would not be given a student card, or normally have access to the library or computers. Sometimes access to the library and computer facilities can be arranged through your School; you should discuss this with them.

You must register as an external student by the deadline published on Taught Student Administration's Results and Re-assessments page.  If you do not register the University will assume you have withdrawn.

External students do not pay tuition fees (but will be charged the usual re-sit fees). They are not entitled to a student loan, but as they are still classed as students cannot claim welfare benefits. You should seek advice from the Advice Centre about financial support if you become an external student, and contact the International Student Office about your visa if you are an international student.

Special Circumstances

If any of the assessments you failed were affected by health or other problems, you must inform your School at the first chance you get. See LUU's Guide on Mitigating Circumstances for advice about this. If your School agrees that your problems have affected your performance, they may take action to help you, which would usually include either:

  • Allowing you to re-sit the affected assessment(s) as a 'first attempt', which means you can achieve full marks instead of a minimum pass mark;
  • Allowing you an exceptional extra attempt at an assessment if your problems mean you have failed the final attempt;
  • Allowing you to repeat all or part of the failed year as an internal student; which means that you would be expected to attend classes and pay tuition fees (you should check whether financial support is available).
  • If you inform your School of any problems before or during assessments, the Exam Board may take these into account when finalising your marks.

We make every effort to ensure information on these pages is accurate and up to date, however policies, procedures and regulations are subject to change. We therefore cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or inconvenience suffered as a result of using our pages. Read the full disclaimer.

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