Student Guide: Frequently Asked Questions

Attendance and absence

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Attendance for all formal teaching is compulsory.  On some occasions, for instance illness, your absence may be unavoidable.  All absences must be notified to the relevant Tutor or Faculty/School Office immediately.  Please refer to your Course Handbook for contact details.

In the case of absence due to illness for a period of up to and including five working days, full-time students must complete a Self Certification Form (PDF, file size: 6.65KB)  and submit it to the Information Points.  Longer periods of absence due to illness will be covered by a sick note from your GP.  In this case you might need to claim extenuating circumstances (see below) in relation to your learning and assessment.  Your doctor's note will be a key piece of evidence required by the Extenuating Circumstances Panel considering your claim.

Please see section 3 of the General Regulations for Students (PDF, file size: 167.54KB) for further information.

The University needs to satisfy itself that you are engaged in your studies and will monitor your attendance at regular intervals.  This is a particular requirement for international students and applies equally to all students. Details of when and how this will be undertaken will be given to you at enrolment.  For further information please see our 'Attendance' section in our A2Z4U.

We recognise that there may be times when you are unable to complete work due to circumstances beyond your control.  If you find yourself in such a position you can make a claim for Extenuating Circumstances. If in doubt, check with the Information Points or the Students' Union.

What is Blackboard?

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Blackboard is an online 'Virtual Learning Environment' where you can explore, discuss and learn about your chosen subject.  You have direct access to your academic lecturers, the learning support staff and your student peers.  You can connect to Blackboard from any computer with internet access.  Blackboard information 

How is my work assessed?

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You may be assessed by a combination of coursework, examinations and your final dissertation (other awards will have practical assessments and Design Shows etc). Assessment varies from course to course and you may also have to keep portfolios and other documents. Your Course Handbook will explain how your particular award will be assessed, so make sure you understand what is required of you and when. To find a copy of your Course Handbook visit your School Welcome Pages.

What should I do if I have any problems?

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Don’t panic – and don’t wait until things get out of hand. Talk to your Personal Tutor as soon as you feel you need help. We are all partners in your learning and want to help you successfully complete your studies.

Assigned to you when you arrive, your Personal Tutor will be there throughout your time at Staffordshire University  (other than a possible change of tutorial responsibilities in year three depending on your award).

We want you to succeed on your chosen course of study and offer lots of ways to help you be successful. In fact, from the Personal Tutor who will be assigned to you soon after you arrive, to our Student Guidance Advisors who are there to provide specialist information, as well as confidential, impartial advice, we’ll do as much as possible to support you throughout your studies.

The A2Z4U guide is also a key source of information about the whole University

Log onto the e:VisionStaffs Portal where you will be guided through the on-line process.

What if I fail a module?

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If you have failed a module you need to speak with the module tutor to get feedback on your result. 

Provided you have engaged in your studies and completed all your assessments, you are allowed 2 attempts at any one module: ie. the original attempt and one retrieval opportunity.  Therefore, you must submit the first attempt of the assessment to be allowed a second attempt.  Please note that you should attempt all elements of assessment in all modules.

For full details please refer to the relevant section of your Course Handbook or see Regulations. The Progress Review and Award Boards will set the date by which you are required to retrieve the failed module.  You will receive notification of relevant dates from the Information Points when you are contacted about your results and any referral recommendations.

What if I am unable to meet the submission deadline for my coursework?

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We recognise that there may be times when you are unable to meet the submission deadline for your work due to circumstances beyond your control e.g. personal illness or personal difficulties.  If you find yourself in such a position you can make a claim for extenuating circumstances. 

If you are studying either on campus, by distance learning or at one of our UK partnership organisations you can access the extenuating circumstances application on the e:VisionStaffs Portal where you will be guided through the on-line process.

If you have any questions or experience difficulty in completing the form, please contact your subject tutor, the Information Points, the Students' Union Advice Centre or your Student Guidance Advisors who are there to provide specialist information, as well as confidential, impartial advice.

Please refer to the Extenuating Circumstances section of your Course Handbook or see relevant section in the regulations below;

Academic Award Regulations (PDF, file size: 464.02KB)

Progression to the next level of your Award

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In order for you to continue onto the next level of your award, you will be required to pass the necessary number of credits for each level of your study.

If a placement is a compulsory part of your award, you will normally be expected to pass the placement before you can progress onto the next level of your award.

If you are studying the fast-track route of an Honours Degree, please refer to your Course Handbook for specific progression requirements.

Please refer to the relevant section of your Course Handbook or see Regulations;

How do I work out which Classification I will receive?

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In order to be considered for a degree, the Award Board considers whether you have met the credit requirements for your award and will award you the appropriate classification.  In certain circumstances, the Award Board can award you a higher classification, depending upon your performance at level 6 modules. 

Please refer to your Course Handbook or Award Regulations for further information on determining your degree classification