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Academic Regulations prior to Sept 2023

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What do Staffs do?

Types of courses we offer

Staffs Uni offers a wide range of qualifications from short, flexible learning courses to doctoral degrees. For a full list of everything we offer, and how long it will take to complete you visit our University Courses page.

Terms and words we use

Words can be confusing, but we’ve listed some key words in our Glossary to explain what these mean.

Joining the University

How will we handle your application?

Joining a university is a big decision, your choice needs to be right for you and we need to make sure that, with our support, you can succeed.

We aim to make the process of joining the University as fair, open and as simple as possible. Details on how we will consider your application can be read in our Admission Policy (policy prior to September 2023).

If we make you an offer you a place on a course, we will ask you to accept our Terms and Conditions.

Recognising your experience or study

Sometimes your work experience or previous learning is relevant to your course and could replace learning that you might otherwise have to repeat. You can read more about this in our Recognition of Prior Experience and Learning Policy.

What if I have a disability or ongoing health condition?

If you have a disability you may wish to speak to the Course Leader and the Accessibility team, or provider alternative, before starting the course.

Some courses have practice learning experiences, in a range of settings, and we will need to ensure that you are able to meet the requirements of your course. For some courses you will need to complete an Occupational Health Assessment before you start.

Check entry requirements for your course.

If we are unable to make reasonable adjustments for you to succeed on a course, we may be able to offer you an alternative.

What am I signing up for?

To become a student, you need to complete your enrolment fully. If you are a full-time undergraduate student, this means that in your first year you will complete online enrolment and meet face to face with an enrolment officer at Welcome.

International students will need to meet an enrolment officer every year.

After you complete enrolment, you are a registered student and you will need to pay your tuition fees, for example, through the Student Loans Company. If you are studying on a postgraduate course, or any part-time course, you will need to arrange payment of tuition fees before you can complete enrolment.

If you are studying with a partner provider, the arrangements for enrolment and payment of fees will be set out by the partner provider.

How will I study my course?

When you become a student, you will study with us on either a full or part-time basis.

Full-time students need to study over 90 credits in one academic year, which is normally delivered over two semesters, for example September to June. If you are a full-time student studying on a course delivered over three semesters, for example, September to August, you need to study over 120 credits in the year. These courses are often known as accelerated courses because you will study more credits over fewer years. Professionally accredited courses may differ.

If you are studying any fewer credits than the credits above, you will be a part-time student.

Your Course Handbook will make it clear whether you are studying a course which is delivered on a part-time, full-time or accelerated basis.

Your Course Handbook will also explain whether you will study your course at a Staffordshire University campus, the campus of one of our partners, or online. Online courses are known as Distance Learning courses. Sometimes students will study on a course that is delivered mainly online but with some on campus activities or assessments. These are called Blended Learning courses.

How do I choose a module?

There are some modules that are essential to gain an award. These are called Core modules. Some courses offer Optional modules which make up the remaining learning required. You will be able to choose from the optional modules available on your course in the first year at enrolment, and for the following stages, during the module selection period. You will be informed about this by your Course Team.

Becoming Proud to be Staffs

Be a good member of our community and respect others

Being a proud member of the Staffordshire University community means engaging with your studies and supporting others to do so. As a student you are entitled to respect and as part of the University community, we expect you to respect and be tolerant of others in our community including other students, staff and the public. This means listening to others, celebrating the diversity of our community and following the University policies, regulations and the law.

You can read about what the University expects of you and what you can expect from the University in our Student Manifesto

Above all we want you to be proud of your yourself, proud of your University and proud to be Staffs.

Good academic conduct

You should be proud to study and proud of your work. Your achievement should be yours, and you should be clear about where your ideas and arguments are from.

There are no short-cuts to success and you will only change and grow your thinking and understanding through your own efforts.

Live our values

We want you to aim high and not to settle for just good enough.

We want you to develop a passion for learning that changes your understanding and outlook. You will get the most out of your course by engaging with all of the activities that we have to offer.
Being at University means learning for yourself and this skill will stay with you in your working life, benefitting you and others around you.

The University provides a space in which you can explore your understanding of the world and develop new ideas and skills. To do this, you need to be ready to challenge yourself and express your opinion.

The next big idea could be yours.

We want you to achieve the best result you can. This will mean stretching and challenging you and we will support you to meet this challenge.

Assessment First Time on Time

If you want to be the best you can, and kick-start your career at the earliest opportunity, you need to complete your course on time. This means succeeding in your assessment.

To get better marks and improve your final award you need to submit and pass all work on time, first time, by the deadlines set.

Accepting and Learning from Feedback

It’s a degree and it’s not meant to be easy. We will be giving you academic feedback on how to improve. This may seem challenging, but it is what you need to grow and improve.

Feedback will come in different forms and from different people, including students. You may receive verbal feedback in day to day classes, as well as written feedback. It is up to you to take this feedback and learn from it. If you don’t understand what is being said, you should talk to your Module Leader.

How do I know I'm doing well?

Passing a module

We recognise that stepping up to your higher education course may be difficult.

To succeed you must attempt all module assessments, on time, aiming to pass first time. To pass the module you must achieve an average mark of 40% on undergraduate and 50% on postgraduate modules. This means that you don’t have to pass all assessment tasks, but you must attempt all of them. There are various calculations involved in how to pass a module.

For some courses, modules are recorded as pass or fail and you will not get a numerical mark.

Other courses are subject to rules set by external agencies, for example professional bodies, and these courses are run using their rules, rather than the standard University ones above. You will be told if this applies to you.

Progressing to the next stage of your course

Undergraduate Students

To progress to the next stage, you will need to achieve at least 90 credits. But you will need to pass the outstanding credit before you can progress again to a further stage.

Postgraduate Students

For Postgraduate students, all credits are considered to be at the same stage. Therefore, normally there are no rules about how you progress through your course. Please refer to your Course Handbook.

Achieving your award

You need to achieve all of the credits required for your university course. We will also give you a classification for your award.

For Honours Degrees

Your classification will be worked out based on your level 5 and level 6 modules. We will look at all your level 5 and 6 work, and remove your lowest module mark, up to a maximum of 30 credits.

Once your lowest mark is removed, we will calculate the average mark at each level. Your level 6 average will count for 70% and your level 5 average will count for 30% of your degree.

If you joined Staffordshire University part way through level 5 or on level 6 and have not studied at least 60 level 5 credits, we will work out your classification based on your level 6 modules only. We will remove your lowest module mark, up to a maximum of 30 credits.

For Foundation Degrees Diplomas and HND Courses

Your classification will be worked out based on your level 4 and level 5 modules. We will look at all of your level 4 and 5 work, and remove your lowest module mark, up to a maximum of 30 credits.

Once your lowest mark is removed, we will calculate the average mark at each level. Your level 5 average will count for 70% and your level 4 average will count for 30% of your award.

For Certificates of Higher Education and HNCs

Your classification will be worked out based on your average mark across all modules. We will remove your lowest module mark, up to a maximum of 30 credits.

For Integrated Masters Courses

Your classification will be worked out based on your level 6 and level 7 modules. We will look at all of your level 6 and 7 work, and remove your lowest module mark, up to a maximum of 30 credits.

Once your lowest mark is removed, we will calculate the average mark at each level. Your level 7 average will count for 70% and your level 6 average will count for 30% of your award.

For Postgraduate Courses

Your classification will be worked out based on your average mark across all modules.

Raising Classifications

The University will raise your classification if your overall average score is within 2% of the higher classification. For undergraduate courses this is 48%, 58% or 68%. For postgraduate courses this is 58% or 68%.


You have achieved 60 credits at the higher classification in your final stage.

What if things don't go to plan?

Getting help

Research shows that students who stay on track and complete their course on time, with their original course group are more likely to succeed. Sometimes things happen which are un-planned, and you need a little extra help.

We have support for you and your Personal Tutor can direct you to the most suitable person to help.

What happens if you can’t complete your assessment on time?

If you feel that you can’t submit your assessment on time, you should speak to your Personal Tutor who will help you to work out how you can hand-in on time.

In circumstances where you could not have planned for what has happened, you may be able to claim for Exceptional Circumstances to be taken into account.

If you have no Exceptional Circumstances and you do not submit you will fail the assessment. If you submit within one week of the hand-in deadline we will mark your work as late, meaning the maximum mark you can achieve is the basic pass mark and this will count as your first attempt.

What if I fail my first submission of an assessment task?

If you have attempted your assessment and have still achieved an average module mark of 40% undergraduate, or 50% postgraduate, you will still have passed your module. Please see Other Things for exceptions.

If you are in your first semester of study at the University, you will be able to re-work your assessment task and re-attempt it as if for the first time. This applies to levels 3 and 4 only.

If you did not attempt or did not get an average pass mark for the module, you will be given a deadline to submit a new assessment task to complete the module. This is called a re-sit. If you pass, you will be given a basic pass mark. Late submissions will not be accepted.

In addition, if you are studying on the final stage of an undergraduate course, you may be given one further opportunity to pass your assessment task, by re-attempting your work. However, the Award Board may feel it is in your best interest to retake the whole year.

What if I fail a module?

You will only be considered to have failed a module, if you have not passed following your first sit and re-sit opportunities.

If you are studying on an undergraduate course and you have narrowly missed passing the module (35%-39%) and you have done well in your other modules, the Award Board may offer you condonement. Please see the “What is module condonement?” section in this policy.

If the Award Board can’t offer you condonement, it will consider whether you can study the failed module(s) again, providing you have passed at least 60 credits at the same stage. If you have not achieved 60 credits, the Award Board will consider whether you can re-study the stage in full or that you have failed the course.

If you are studying on a postgraduate taught course, we can’t offer you condonement. This means that the Award Board will decide what restudy opportunities are available to you. This decision will be made in your best educational interest.

What is module condonement?

If you are studying on an undergraduate course and have passed 90 credits at your stage, the Award Board will award the remaining 30 credits to you, providing you have achieved a module mark over 35%, although your mark will stay the same.

Condonement is only offered when you are ready to progress to the next stage of your award.
Condonement cannot be applied to modules on the final stage of an Honours Degree or at any stage of a Postgraduate award.

If you are studying on a professional award, please see the Other Things section in this policy.

What happens if I can’t progress to the next stage of my course?

Depending on how many credits you have achieved, the Award Board will confirm your progression to the next stage of your course while you retake the module.


If you don’t have enough credit to progress to the next stage, the Award Board will decide if you need to retake modules or repeat the whole year again. In some cases, where the Award Board considers that it is not in your best educational interest to proceed, it may decide that you have failed your course.

The Award Board will make one of the below decisions:

If you have achieved 60 credits or more:

You can have another chance to pass the failed modules by repeating them next year. You will be a part time student during this period. Your failed module scores will be wiped clean and you will start them afresh.

If you have achieved less than 60 credits:

The Award Board will discuss your engagement and your ability to succeed on your course and will make one of the below decisions:

a) You can repeat your stage of study in full. All prior marks and credits achieved will be wiped clean and you will start your stage afresh. You can only repeat a stage of study once.

b) You are withdrawn from your course because you have failed because in the Award Board’s academic judgement, you have not engaged or demonstrated your ability to succeed.

What happens if I don’t get enough credit for my award?

We hope that with our support you will be able to achieve your intended award. However, if you don’t achieve all of the credit you need for your award, you may be entitled to an exit award, providing you have met the required outcomes.

If you are not entitled to an exit award you will receive official documentation recognising the credit you have achieved.

Changing my course or optional module

It is important that you are fully committed to your studies. However, if you feel that your current course, or an optional module is not for you, it is important that you take advice from your Personal Tutor as soon as possible and before making a decision. If you still feel that the course or optional module is not right for you, you may be able to change it.

We will do all we can to help you do this within the first three weeks of teaching. It is not expected that you will change after this period.

If you do decide to change your course or optional module, you will need to make sure that the course /module you are transferring to has places and is able to accept you.

Moving somewhere else or leaving the course

We want you to succeed with us. However, if you want to move somewhere else, for example, because your personal circumstances have changed, we understand and will support you to do this through our Refund and Compensation Policy.

This may affect your funding and unless it is within the first two weeks of the academic year, you will still be liable for some fees as outlined in our Credit Control Policy.

Break in studies

Taking a break is a significant decision. A break in study can’t be used to avoid assessment but should be used where your personal circumstances mean that you can no longer continue with your studies. Please refer to the policy on Exceptional Circumstances if your circumstances are affecting your assessment. You should speak to your Personal Tutor who will be able to advise you.

We believe that it is in your interest to complete your course within the expected time. Having a break in your studies would mean that you are no longer studying with the same group of people. Sometimes students who take a break, find it difficult to return and as a result leave the course.

As we are constantly trying to improve our offer, your course may have changed or not be available when you wish to return. Taking a break means that you will be ending the contract you entered at the start of your course.

There are a lot of things you need to think about if you want to take a break in studies. We can provide guidance and support to help you to decide if a break from studies is possible, and if it is the right thing for you. We will also support you during your break and your return to study.

A break in study should not be for any longer than one year and is for a minimum of one semester. Students studying on apprenticeship courses may take a shorter break, only where their employer confirms the requirement to do so, and we will treat these types of breaks in study differently. If this applies to you, please see your course handbook for more information.

Any break in your studies will still count towards the expected registration period for your course.

When you return, you will need to re-start any incomplete modules because any previous marks on these modules will be cancelled.

What if I need maternity or paternity leave?

Maternity and paternity leave is different from taking a break in studies and the rules on this are within the Student Pregnancy, Maternity, Adoption and Parental Leave Policy.

If you become pregnant while you are studying with us, you will need to tell the University what extra support you need during your pregnancy. You will also need to tell the University if you want to take maternity leave, and if so, for how long. Your Course Leader will work with you to identify the best point for you to start your maternity leave and your return to study.

If you need to take paternity leave you should work with your Course Leader to identify the best point for you to start your paternity leave and your return to study.

You will be asked to provide evidence to confirm that you are undertaking maternity or paternity leave. Once you are on maternity or paternity leave you will not be in-study.

The University will try to be as flexible as possible in understanding and supporting your needs.

What if I can’t engage with my studies?

If you don’t attend and engage with your course, you are less likely to be successful. You will need to discuss the reasons why you cannot engage with your studies with your Personal Tutor, we may be able to help you.

We recognise that sometimes there are things going on in your life which make it difficult for you to attend and engage. The University has a Home Student Attendance and Engagement Policy and a separate International Student ttendance and Engagement Policy. If your attendance or engagement isn’t what we would expect, we will follow these to try to help you to re-engage.

What if I can’t complete in time?

We expect you to complete your course on time. If you are full-time student, the length of your award can be found in our University Courses section. If you are a part-time student, the length of your course will be shown in your Course Handbook. Taking longer to complete your course may cost you more and delay your ambitions.

Whether you are a full-time student or a part-time student, the Award Board can give you one more year to complete your course, for example if you have taken a break in studies or repeated a year. This will take you to your maximum registration time.

We know that sometimes extraordinary circumstances can mean you are unable to complete within your maximum registration period. The Award Board can exceptionally offer you a further year in study.

We know that extended studies on a course mean that students can sometimes experience difficulties in supporting themselves financially, and also in paying for their course tuition fees. They also won’t be studying with their original cohort. This means that the Award Board will only offer this extra year in exceptional circumstances. Someone from your course team will discuss this with you, and you might also want to speak to our Support Services for advice before you make a decision. We will need you to confirm that you understand and have support in place before we can allow you to re-enrol with us. If the University does not feel you are able to support yourself, you will not be able to continue in study and so your registration with the University will be withdrawn.

In very exceptional circumstances we may be able to give you up to one further year. If the Award Board believes your circumstances are exceptional, they will make a referral to be considered by the University Award Board for Exceptions (UABE).

What if I can’t complete at all

You might be withdrawn or choose to withdraw from your studies. For example, because you have failed academically or because you haven’t engaged on your course.

If you are withdrawn by the University you won't be able to re-apply to study with us within 12 months of your date of withdrawal. This is to make sure that you have time to resolve the circumstances that led to your withdrawal. The University will want to see evidence of this before considering re admission to a University course.

You should talk to your academic mentor or course team if you have any questions about this.

Awards in Exceptional Circumstances

Aegrotat Award

If you are unable to complete your course, due to medical or exceptional circumstances, the University Award Board for Exceptions (UABE) will award you an unclassified Aegrotat award based on your achievement.

If you are studying on a professional award, please see the Other Things section in this policy.

Posthumous Award

The University Award Board for Exceptions (UABE) will consider recommendations from Award Boards for posthumous awards which may be classified and will be based on the student’s academic profile and circumstances.

What if I am told I have done something wrong?

We have set out our expectations under the Proud to be Staffs section of this policy. However, we also have procedures in place to deal with you fairly and consistently if it is suspected that your conduct has fallen short of these expectations.

Academic Conduct

By enrolling at the University, you have joined an academic community and you are expected and required to act honestly regarding the work you submit for assessment in your course as detailed in our Academic Conduct Procedure.

Student Conduct Procedure

We expect our students to treat others with respect, honesty, fairness and consideration, ensuring that we prevent harm to our university community, the public and our reputation. We treat allegations of behaviour which harms others very seriously and will take any necessary action within the Student Conduct Procedure. If you are on a professional course, see the Other Things section of this policy.

What if I feel the University is wrong?

What if I feel that the University is wrong in my assessment?

Appeals Procedure

You can appeal if you have evidence that the university has made a mistake in your assessment that has affected your results.

Because the university has procedures in place to ensure that your work is marked fairly, you cannot appeal on the grounds that your work has not been judged correctly. Please click here for the University Appeals Procedure.

What if the University does not meet my expectations?

Complaints Procedure

From time to time things don’t go according to plan and sometimes things don’t go right. When this happens, we need to know so that we can find out what went wrong, try to resolve the issue and stop it happening again. In the first instance, you will need to talk to someone to see if we can put the problem right. The Complaints and Appeals Procedure details what you need to do if we are unable to.

We hope that you are satisfied with all that the university provides. We work hard to meet your expectations and needs. However, we recognise that, occasionally, we may not meet our own expectations.

What if the Award Board needs to take special consideration of my circumstances

In some circumstances the Award Board will ask a University Award Board for Exceptions (UABE) to make a decision on its behalf. This is done to ensure that all special considerations are treated in the same way and are fair to all.

Other Things

What if I am a member of the armed forces and I am deployed?

We know how hard it can be to complete your course whilst you are on active duty. If you are unexpectedly deployed please inform your Course Leader and we may arrange for you to take a break in studies or support you in a different way. The Award Board may extend your maximum registration by one year. If you need longer than this, the University Award Board for Exceptions (UABE) will consider your circumstances.

What if I am studying on a course which is regulated by a professional body?

Some courses have special ‘rules’ that the University has to follow. You can check if you are on one of our courses which are regulated by a professional body. These apply to those courses that allow you to register with a professional or statutory body, a regulator or have an accreditation to say you have reached a standard. We need to follow these rules so that you can become a recognised professional, following success on your course.

Professional Behaviour

Some courses require you to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service application before starting on the course. This will tell us if you have received any cautions or convictions which may be relevant. If you are worried about something that happened in your past, you can talk this through with the Course Leader. If you are successful in gaining a place, we will hold a Suitability to see if you are able to join the course.

What if the University thinks I am not suitable to study on a professional course.

We expect our students to be professional at all times and we will expect you to follow your code of conduct and maintain professional standards. If you don’t meet this expectation, we may look into whether you are suitable for the course. This may be because of concerns about your behaviour or health issues. We call this Fitness to Practise.

I’m on a professional course. What if I don’t pass everything

Some professional courses require you to pass everything and you will be unable to progress to the next stage or receive your award, unless you have. For this reason, it is not possible to give you condonement. For courses leading to a registration with a professional or statutory body or regulator, we are unable to offer an Aegrotat award. Please see your Course Handbook for further guidance.