Undergraduate Safety Net Policy

What is the Safety Net policy?

The Safety Net policy is designed to ensure that you receive at least the degree classification that you were on track to achieve before the COVID-19 situation developed. It uses marks already achieved to calculate a 'benchmark' credit weighted average (CWA) year mark for the 2019/20 academic year.  If the final CWA for this year, determined once all assessments are complete, falls below the benchmark then we will use the benchmark CWA to calculate your degree classification.  For finalists, this will be done at the end of this academic year. For non-finalists, this will take place at the end of your degree.  

The design of the Safety Net means that if your results improve then you will receive the full benefit of the improvement, but if your remaining assessments do not go as well as you hoped because of disruption to your studies then you will not be disadvantaged.

Does the Safety Net policy apply to all programmes?

Whilst the policy will apply to most programmes, there will be some exceptions where external professional accreditations requirements apply. Examples of this include the Leicester Medical School and the School of Allied Health Professions.

How do I access the Safety Net policy?

To access the Safety Net policy in July 2020, you are required to take all your semester two assessments and achieve at minimum a pass for credit mark in each of these modules. Once this requirement is met, the Safety Net policy will be applied automatically. 

What is the purpose of the Benchmark?

The benchmark CWA generates a credit weighted average (CWA) for this academic year based on your achievements in all modules in semester one and, if necessary, from previous years of your degree.  Some programmes may also include additional year-long or semester two modules from this year where they were complete before the COVID-19 pandemic. The benchmark will only be used to set a minimum threshold for your CWA for this year.  Once all your remaining assessments for this year are complete, we will also calculate a CWA based on your results in the usual way. For the purposes of degree classification, we will use whichever CWA is higher.This is illustrated below:

Scenario 1: Calculated benchmark CWA = 67.86%
CWA for this year after all assessments complete = 72.12%
A CWA of 72.12% will be used in determining the classification of your degree.

Scenario 2: Calculated benchmark CWA = 68.56%
CWA for this year after all assessments complete = 64.12%
A CWA of 68.56% will be used in determining the classification of your degree.

The benchmark CWA will not be used to change any marks for assessments or modules and will only be used in the calculation of your final degree classification.  

Your benchmarked CWA will only be confirmed at the time of the summer exam boards and will not be provided before then. The examples given in Appendix 1 (Worked examples of of benchmark calculations PDF 613kb) show in principle how the benchmark will be calculated.

How will the Benchmark be calculated?

The section below outlines the general principles used to calculate a benchmark CWA.  However, there may be some variations for different degree programmes depending on factors such as accreditation and additional modules from this year that may have been included. These variations will be communicated to you by your programme team once they have been fully approved, which will happen in the days following the release of this update.

General Benchmark Calculation Principles for Undergraduate programmes

Benchmarks will be calculated for each individual student according to the principles described below, which will apply to all students on a particular degree programme.

For finalists: The benchmark CWA will be calculated using, wherever possible, at least 45 credits of completed modules from semester one of this academic year.  

If, for a particular programme, there are fewer than 45 credits of completed semester one modules then one or more of the following may be approved for use by programme teams to calculate benchmarks:

  • the CWA from previous years that contribute to the final classification;
  • marks from additional year-long or semester 2 modules in this year where all assessments were complete prior to the COVID-19 disruption;
  • where appropriate a benchmark may be calculated using only final year modules, even if there are fewer than 45 credits in total.

For non-finalists: The same general principles apply as for finalists, except the threshold for generating a benchmark CWA using completed semester one modules will be 30 credits, rather than 45.  

If, for a particular programme, there are fewer than 30 credits of completed modules then one or more of the following may be approved for use by programme teams to calculate benchmarks:

  • Your CWA from your previous academic year
  • Marks from additional year-long or semester 2 modules in this year where all assessments were complete prior to the COVID-19 disruption.

For more information please refer to: