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Frequently asked questions

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Some of our students' frequently asked questions can be found below.

Attendance and absence

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, 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 exceptional circumstances in relation to your learning and assessment.

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.

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 Exceptional Circumstances.  If in doubt, check with your Personal Tutor, the Money & Guidance Advisors at and the Students' Union Advice Team or your partner provider support team.

What is Blackboard?

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. 

How is my work assessed?

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. More general information can be found on our Assessments page.

What should I do if I have any problems?

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 Money & 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.

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

What if I fail an assessment task?

If you have failed an assessment task you need to speak with the module tutor to get feedback on your result.  Please read the Academic Regulations which will tell you what is going to happen next, but if you have any questions then please contact our Money & Guidance Advisors at

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

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 exceptional circumstances.

If you are studying either on campus, by distance learning or at one of our UK partnership organisations you can access the exceptional circumstances application on the e:Vision Staffs 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 personal tutor, the Student Connect Team, Students' Union Advice Team, or a Money & Guidance Advisor who are there to provide specialist information, as well as confidential, impartial advice.

Please refer to the Exceptional Circumstances section of your Course Handbook or see the relevant section in our Academic Award Regulations.

Progression to the next stage of your course

In order for you to continue onto the next stage of your course, you will be required to pass the necessary number of credits for each level of your study.  Please refer to the Academic Award Regulations for detailed information.

If you are studying on an accelerated course, please refer to your Course Handbook for information on how you will progress through your course.

How do I work out which Classification I will receive?

You need to achieve all of the credits for your Award.  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, please refer to the Academic Award Regulations for further information on determining your degree classification.