Assessment information and key dates for 2023/24
We wrote to all OCA students to confirm the schedule of undergraduate assessment events for the academic year 2023/24, and to clarify which policies and procedures will apply over the transition period from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) to The Open University. This email was sent out at 6:30pm BST on Friday 15 September 2023 to all students but does not apply to postgraduate, foundations or personal development students.
A reminder about institutional change
A reminder that in January 2024 OCA will no longer be affiliated with UCA. If you are aiming to graduate with an award from UCA as an OCA student, either a full degree or exit qualification (Certificate or Diploma of Higher Education), you need to be assessed at the Autumn 2023 assessment event. If you have not yet told OCA what you would like to do with your studies, please do so as soon as possible. For full details on the options available to you, please see our Frequently Asked Questions or email email@example.com. If you wish to remain with OCA and transfer to The Open University, please complete this declaration form.
What are the key dates for the undergraduate assessment events of the next academic year?
Autumn 2023 event
- Unit to be completed by - 9 October 2023
- For invitation to the event by - Midday 13 October 2023 (12pm BST)
- Deadline for submission to the event - Midday 27 October 2023 (12pm BST)
- Confirmation of assessment results - Week commencing 15 January 2024
Spring 2024 event
- Unit to be completed by - 19 January 2024
- For invitation to the event by - Midday 26 January 2024 (12pm GMT)
- Deadline for submission to the event - Midday 9 February 2024 (12pm GMT)
- Confirmation of assessment results - Week commencing 22 April 2024
Summer 2024 event
- Unit to be completed by - 19 April 2024
- For invitation to the event by - Midday 26 April 2024 (12pm BST)
- Deadline for submission to the event - Midday 10 May 2024 (12pm BST)
- Confirmation of assessment results - Week commencing 22 July 2024
How will undergraduate assessment events be run this year?
OCA policies and assessment practice is unchanged for the Autumn 2023 assessment event. This assessment event is the last to be run by UCA, and will feature all the policies and methods of assessment as before. If you are seeking to gain a qualification from UCA, either a full degree or an exit qualification (Certificate or Diploma of Higher Education), this assessment event is the last attempt to do so. The policies that apply to this event are:
- OCA Academic Regulatory Framework
- OCA Assessment Policy and Procedures
- OCA Extensions and Deferrals Policy
- Academic Misconduct Policy
- UCA's Academic Appeals Regulations
The other assessment events this academic year, in Spring and Summer 2024, will be run by The Open University. The changes to assessment are minimal, relating primarily to policy changes. For example, for these events the Academic Regulations of Subsidiary Institutions of The Open University will apply. The full list of policies applying for these events is:
- Academic Regulations of Subsidiary Institutions of The Open University
- Summative Assessment Policy
- Extenuating Circumstances Policy
- Academic Misconduct Policy
- Academic Appeals Policy and Procedure
The major change under The Open University is to degree award classifications. The Open University counts marks issued at Stages 2 (HE5) and 3 (HE6) towards the overall classification. This is changed from UCA which only counted marks at Stage 3 (HE6). For information on who this applies to please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions.
What is not changing is the Assessment Guidance and Learning Outcomes. What you will be assessed on remains unchanged, so please refer to the guidance for information on what, how, and when to submit.
Remember, you will be invited to and expected to submit for the assessment event that immediately follows your unit completion date. If you’re aiming for a particular assessment event, you will need to consider scheduling your studies to allow you to complete prior to the cut off point for your desired assessment event. If you have any exceptional circumstances preventing you from submitting to the event after your unit completion date, you will need to consult the relevant policies for your assessment event, and consider making an application to defer/postpone to the next assessment event.
As the academic year progresses, we will be seeking to update and clarify the guidance for assessment events, in line with these changes, in order to support students, tutors and staff. If at anytime you have questions about formal assessment, please contact the Assessment Team - firstname.lastname@example.org
How do the key dates for invitation and submission work?
The dates by which your unit needs to be complete inform which assessment event will be applicable to you. For example, if you were to complete your unit on 2 October 2023, you would be invited to submit for the Autumn 2023 assessment event. If you completed your unit on 11 October 2022, then you would be invited to submit for the Spring 2024 assessment event.
After the dates for unit completions, we will check for all students that have completed their unit and have not yet been assessed, create the spaces required to upload their submissions, and then invite them directly to do so by email. You can expect the email invitation by no later than the dates confirmed in the schedule. You will then have until the deadline for submission date to upload your work.
For example, if you are invited to the Autumn 2023 event, you can expect your invitation by no later than Midday 13 October 2023, and you will have until Midday 27 October 2023 to upload your submission. If you are invited to the Spring 2024 event, then you can expect your invitation no later than Midday 26 January 2024, and you would have until Midday 9 February 2024 to upload your submission.
What do I need to do to be invited to an assessment event?
Any student eligible to be invited to an assessment event needs to have completed their unit by the unit completion date for that event.
Completion of a unit is defined as submission of all assignments to the tutor for that unit, and receipt of the tutor’s feedback.
To ensure you are invited to the desired assessment event, you will need to agree to a schedule of assignment submission dates with your tutor ahead of the key dates for an assessment event. This will allow time for you to submit your work to them for feedback, and time for your tutor to respond with their feedback and have your unit recorded as complete.
For example, if you would like your unit to go to the Autumn 2023 event, you should be looking to submit your final assignment to your tutor by no later than 25 September 2023, which would allow your tutor two weeks of time to provide you with your final feedback and have the unit recorded as complete before the 9 October 2023. Should you complete your unit after a completion date, you will be eligible for invitation to the following assessment event.
What if I have been invited but cannot submit?
If you do not believe you can submit to your event, you will need to consult the relevant policies for your assessment event and apply for a deferral/postponement of the assessment event.
If you are invited to a specific assessment event and fail to submit any or all of the assessment requirements - and do not have an approved deferral/postponement - then you will receive a fail mark of 0% for failure to submit. In cases where this is the first failure to submit for a particular unit, you will be eligible to resubmit for a maximum capped pass mark of 40%. See the relevant policies for your assessment event for full details.
When will my summative mark and feedback be available?
The undergraduate exam boards are scheduled to take place three times a year to confirm your assessment results. We will look to provide marks and summative feedback by the following dates at the latest:
- Autumn 2023 results - 19 January 2024
- Spring 2024 results - 26 April 2024
- Summer 2024 results - 26 July 2024
Where can I find guidance on assessment?
Advice and guidance for assessment can be found in the Assessment Guidance resource here on OCA Learn. The resource is broken down into different sections:
- Introduction - This section holds an assessment questions forum where students can pose questions.
- Understanding assessment - This section provides information on how assessment works, along with the assessment criteria document, and a directory of learning outcomes and discipline specific guidance, for all OCA units.
- Assessment Schedule - This section confirms the key dates and deadlines for current and upcoming events.
- Preparing your submission - This section provides guidance and structured activities to help students prepare their submission, and links to WeAreOCA blog posts relating to digital assessment.
- Submitting your work - This section provides guidance on how to submit for assessment.
- Learning from assessment - This section holds a pre recorded webinar on interpreting assessment results, a survey for providing feedback on assessment, and information to help students understand their marksheets.
No fundamental changes to assessment requirements have been made for this academic year. Please access the assessment guidance resource to help you understand, prepare, submit, and reflect on assessment.
What if I have any queries?
If after reading the guidance you have any queries regarding assessment events, please contact the Assessment Team as soon as possible - email@example.com - and we will do our best to assist you.
We wish you all the best for your future assessments.
OCA Assessment Team