Marking and assessment boycott – how marks, progression and graduation could be affected


June 13th, 2023

The University and College Union (UCU) is continuing its industrial action in the form of action short of a strike. We expect the majority of students to be unaffected by this action. However, some staff may be taking part in a marking boycott. The university will do everything we can to support students during this period, so that they can progress to their next year of study or graduate as planned. 

The following information outlines how students may be impacted, and the actions they may need to take. Depending on the year of study, the choices students make may have different impacts and deadlines will be different.  

Assessment results – released Tuesday 11 July

All undergraduate students will be able to access their marks from 10am on Tuesday 11 July via Blue Castle. We will email a notification to university email addresses once this information is live. The majority of students’ marks will be unaffected by the marking and assessment boycott, and marks and classification information will appear as normal.  

How will I know if my marks have been affected?

Where students are in the minority and one or more modules have been affected, it will be clearly indicated when marks have been calculated by the derived or part-for-whole methods in students’ Blue Castle profile. For more information on the derived and part-for-whole marking methods, read our FAQs and our contingency regulations 

What should I do next?  Finalists who are expecting to graduate this summer

Classification information will be released at the same time as marks on Tuesday 11 July at 10am. 

If marks have not been affected by the marking and assessment boycott, students will not need to do anything. They can attend graduation with their cohort as expected and collect their certificate at the ceremony.  

If some or all marks are indicated to be derived or part-for-whole and students are happy to accept them as final mark and degree classification, they do not need to do anything. They can attend graduation with their cohort as expected and collect their certificate at the ceremony.  

I am a finalist and I don’t want to accept my derived or part-for-whole mark

If some or all marks are indicated to be derived or part-for whole and students wish to wait until their work can be marked, they must complete the notification form on Blue Castle by 5pm on Friday 14 July. This form will be made live at the same time that marks are released. 

If students choose not to accept their derived or part-for-whole mark we will not be able to confirm their classification until their work is marked. It could go up or down from the classification originally given from their derived or part-for-whole marks.  

The form will go live once marks have been released. Students will not be able to complete the form until you have their marks.  

We are assuring students that they will be able to attend graduation in July with their cohort and course mates as expected. Whilst their certificate will not be available to collect, we will post this out as soon as their work has been marked and their classification is available. We will update students with this information as soon as we have it. Alternatively, students could decide to attend a later graduation ceremony, when their certificate is available.  

Some programmes or individual modules carry an extra professional accreditation element. This may mean there are additional standards or requirements around the assessment or marking process. It is possible that students affected by the boycott may have professional accreditation requirements which mean it is not possible to generate a derived or part-for-whole mark. We expect this scenario to only affect a small number of students – if any at all.  

In the unlikely event that a student’s school can’t determine whether they have met these requirements for their programme, they will contact that student directly via their university email to explain individual options regarding graduation.  

Students who are expecting to progress to their next year of study

Marks will be available on Blue Castle on Tuesday 11 July.  Progression information will follow on Tuesday 18 July, going live at 10am.  

If marks have not been affected by the marking and assessment boycott, students do not need to do anything and will progress in their studies as expected. If they have passed this stage of their programme they will progress and be invited to reregister in due course. If students need to take reassessment to progress they will be notified on Blue Castle. 

If some or all marks are indicated to be derived or part-for-whole and a student is happy to accept them as their final mark, they do not need to do anything. They will progress in their studies as expected. If they have passed this stage of their programme they will progress and be invited to re-register in due course. If students need to take reassessment to progress, they will be notified on Blue Castle.  

I am expecting to progress to my next year of study and I don’t want to accept my derived or part-for-whole mark

If some or all marks are indicated to be derived or part-for whole and students wish to wait until their work can be marked, they must complete the notification form on Blue Castle by 5pm on Friday 21 July. We will not be able to confirm their progression until their work is marked.  

The form will go live on Blue Castle once marks have been released. Students will not be able to complete the form until they have their progression information. 

If a student decides not to accept their derived or part-for-whole marks, this may mean that they will not have their marks in time to progress to their next year of study. They may not be able to re-register in September and may lose access to grant and loan funding.  

International students with visa requirements will need to consider how a delay in progressing to their next year of study will affect their visa and right to study in the UK.  

Some programmes or individual modules carry an extra professional accreditation element. This may mean there are additional standards or requirements around the assessment or marking process. It is possible that students affected by the boycott may have professional accreditation requirements which mean it is not possible to generate a derived or part-for-whole mark. We expect this scenario to only affect a small number of students – if any at all.  

In the unlikely event that a school can’t determine whether a student has met these requirements for their programme, they will contact the student directly via their university email to explain individual options regarding progressing to their next year of study.  

Students who we think may be affected by the boycott – even if the chance is small – will be contacted directly by their schools to outline the process relevant to them, and signposted to their local support contacts.  

Though the majority of students will be unaffected by the marking and assessment boycott, we know that some will be anxious about the process.

For more information, the university has also produced detailed FAQS. 

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