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Assessment Handbook

Undergraduate modules

This handbook is available online at www.open.ac.uk/students

updated February 2011

This document has been produced by the Student Services Communications Team of The Open University. While we have done everything possible to ensure accuracy, the information in this publication may change in the light of altered regulations or policy or because of financial or other constraints. We may record our phone calls with you to make sure that we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help us improve our services through staff training.

The Open University Student Services The Open University is incorporated by Royal Charter (RC 000391), an exempt charity in England and Wales and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 038302).

Contents
SECTION 1 Introduction 1.1 Types of assessment 1.2 Your StudentHome pages 1.3 At the end of the module 1.4 Additional needs 1.5 Abbreviations SECTION 2 Assignments 2.1 To pass the module or programme 2.2 Continuous assessment 2.3 Assignment scores 2.4 Preparing assignments 2.5 Submitting TMAs 2.6 Marking TMAs 2.7 Submitting CMAs 2.8 Marking CMAs 2.9 Substitution 2.10 Special circumstances affecting continuous assessment 2.11 Posting assignments on websites SECTION 3 Examined work 3.1 Examinable components 3.2 Examination arrangements 3.3 Absence from examinations 3.4 Special circumstances affecting examined work SECTION 4 Module results 4.1 Assessment strategies 4.2 Determining results 4.3 Examination and Assessment Boards 4.4 Your result 4.5 Result grades 4.6 Getting your result 4.7 Resits and resubmissions 4.8 Viva voce examinations 4.9 Queries 4.10 Formal appeals 4.11 Aegrotat credit SECTION 5 Professional programmes 5.1 Pre-registration nursing programme 5.2 Degree in Social Work 5.3 Foundation Degree in Early Years APPENDIX 1 Plagiarism APPENDIX 2 Submitting assignments online 4 5 5 5 5 6 6 7 8 9 12 14 16 16 20 21 21 22 23 24 25 25 25 26 27 28 29 30 30 31 31 31 31 32 33 34

Examination periods
The examination periods for 2011 are: 36 May 2011 1316 June 2011 1019 October 2011 Refer to your module calendar to find out the appropriate examination period for your module. If you are studying outside the UK please see Section 3.2.

Section 1 Introduction
This Assessment Handbook is for you to use during your module or programme of study. It outlines the Universitys policy relating to the different elements of assessment you may have to complete for your module or programme and explains the outcomes and/or module result you will receive at the end of each module. You'll find our formal Code of practice for student assessment (along with our other student regulations and formal policies) on our website at www.open.ac.uk/our-student-policies or in the Conditions of registration booklet sent to you when you registered. This Handbook tells you the general rules and regulations for completing and submitting your work and explains the result grades we use, while module or programme-specific information such as your Module Guide, Study Calendar and Assignment Booklet will tell you about the individual elements of assessment in your module. Most modules have assessment throughout the module rather than just at the end. You should check your Module Guide, Study Calendar and Assignment Booklet for details. Remember that assessment during the module often aims at consolidating what you have learned, improving your understanding of the subject and your skills as a student. Sections 1 to 4 of this handbook address assessment in relation to individual modules while Section 5 addresses assessment across and within a professional programme of study (for example, the Pre-Registration Nursing programme, the Social Work degree and foundation degrees). All students should read sections 1 to 4, but if you are studying as part of a professional programme, you should also read Section 5. You may also find it helpful to look at our assessment website (www.open.ac.uk/assessment) where you'll find more information about assessment, for example, a glossary of some of the phrases and terms used in assessment, a selection of forms and information sheets and even a short movie about a typical OU examination. The site also includes assessment-related questions and answers as well as some links to other useful websites.

1.1 Types of assessment


The University has some standard types of assessment that we may use in your module: assignments, oral or practical assessments, projects, examinations, dissertations and portfolios. There are many others, but these are the most common. Most modules usually contain at least two types of assessment: assignments completed during the module known as continuous assessment (see Section 2), and an examination or project at the end (see Section 3). Assessment methods are always being developed and refined within each academic subject, so if the assessment used in your module is not included in this Handbook, you should read all your module information very carefully.

1.2 Your StudentHome pages


We strongly advise you to make sure that you are able to sign on to StudentHome www.open.ac.uk/students at the start of your module (using the user name and password we sent you when we confirmed your registration). If you have any problems signing in, youll find some instructions on the screen to help you or you can contact our Computing Helpdesk (email ou-computing-helpdesk@open.ac.uk). As well as a wealth of valuable study resources, you should be able to quickly access:

your assignment scores for your current module your examination date and time, and how to ask for an examination at a nonestablished centre outside the UK. (These are centres we dont use regularly for examinations, but which we may use if necessary.) your examination centre address results for previous modules the result of your current module, once it is available your module website the online version of this assessment handbook information about our modules and qualifications and much more...

1.3 At the end of the module


You will receive a module result letter giving you the outcome for your module. Your result will also be displayed in the modules page of StudentHome. If your module contributes to a qualification, you will receive a qualification result when you have completed the required study.

1.4 Additional needs


Further information for students with additional needs can be found in the booklet Meeting your needs, which is available from your regional or national centre.

1.5 Abbreviations
CMA E39 Computer-marked assignment The form used for telling the Examination and Assessment Board about anything that may have adversely affected your performance in the examination The form used for telling the Examination and Assessment Board about anything that may have adversely affected your performance in your end-ofmodule assessment (on a Certificate language module) The form used for telling the Examination and Assessment Board about anything that may have adversely affected your performance in your end-ofmodule assessment (on a non-examined module) End-of-module assessment End-of-module assessment submitting using the Universitys electronic submission system

E39L

E39P

EMA eEMA

ET3 eTMA eTMA F10 OAS OCAS OES PA39 PT3 PT39

Cover sheet for submitting an EMA (project or equivalent) Tutor-marked assignment submitted using the Universitys electronic submission system Tutor-marked assignment submitted using the Universitys electronic submission system Form for delayed placements Overall assessment score Overall continuous assessment score Overall examinable component score Form used for work-based learning modules for telling us about practicerelated issues Cover sheet for submissions of TMAs, and for your tutors marks and comments The form used for telling the Examination and Assessment Board about anything that may have adversely affected your performance during your module work The form used for telling the Examination and Assessment Board about anything that may have adversely affected your performance at residential school, on a residential school module (identified by the inclusion of XR in the module code) Tutor-marked assignment

RS39

TMA

Section 2 Assignments
Open University modules usually have two assessment components: continuous assessment (discussed in this section) and an examinable component (explained in Section 3, Examined work).

2.1 To pass the module or programme


To pass the module, or to achieve a particular grade of pass, you must achieve the minimum scores on both the continuous assessment and the examinable component as set by the Examination and Assessment Board for your module. Your result is not determined by an averaging of the two components. See Section 4, Module results, for an explanation of how results are determined. To achieve a programme award you will need to successfully complete all the compulsory modules and appropriate optional modules as indicated in the programme description on our website at www.open.ac.uk/study On some programmes you will also have to meet other pre-requisites, such as a minimum number of hours spent in the workplace, or clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau. Youll find more information about programme assessment in Section 5 of this handbook.

2.2 Continuous assessment


Your continuous assessment is made up of tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and possibly computer-marked assignments (CMAs or iCMAs the i standing for interactive). TMAs are usually essay or short-answer questions, although some 6

modules also require extended essays, dissertations or projects or oral assignments submitted on tape. CMAs and iCMAs are made up of a series of questions and you choose the answers from a given selection. You must submit your assignments by the cut-off dates given in the Study Calendar for your module unless you have been granted an extension before the cut-off date. Formative and summative assignments Formative assignments are set for teaching purposes only and the scores you get for them dont count towards your module result. However, most of your assignments will be summative, and the scores for these assignments are combined to make up your overall continuous assessment score. Keeping your assignments You should keep a copy of each assignment you submit along with proof of posting (see Sending in your TMAs in Section 2.5), as things sometimes go astray in the post. If you submit electronically you must wait until you get the on-screen receipt to be sure that it has been accepted by the system. You should make a note of the receipt number as proof of your successful submission. We cant accept any responsibility for assignments that dont reach your tutor or the appropriate office by the due date. Most students keep their marked assignments until the end of the module or programme, largely because theyre an invaluable aid to revision. We strongly advise you to keep your marked assignments, along with your proof of posting or submission, until you have your module or programme result.

2.3 Assignment scores


Calculating continuous assessment scores Individual assignments may be weighted to reflect their relative importance. In working out your module result, the assignment score your tutor gives is multiplied by the assignment weighting to produce the score that will count towards your continuous assessment. Youll be given a zero score for any summative assignment you dont submit, unless your module allows substitution (explained in Section 2.9, Substitution). Your module may have a threshold for one or more of the elements of continuous assessment. This is a minimum score on that element that you must reach in order to pass the module. The assessment strategy for each module, which will include all the information of this kind, is explained in module materials and confirmed in the Study Calendar for your module.

On the majority of modules your performance in all forms of assessment is recorded and reported back to you in line with the following numerical University Scale. Table 1 The University Scale Band A B C D E F G University Scale score 85100 7084 5569 4054 3039 1529 014 Performance standard Pass 1 Pass 2 Pass 3 Pass 4 Bare fail Fail Bad fail

Some modules use other scales for marking individual assignments, and those will be explained in your assignment material, but the overall score for an assignment will be recorded and reported using the University Scale.

2.4 Preparing assignments


Your assignments serve two main purposes. They help you to learn and they enable the University to judge the standard youve achieved. The preparatory work you do for an assignment and the process of writing it should help you to concentrate on particular aspects of the module and to consolidate what youve learned so far. The nature of assignments will obviously vary from module to module. Most module teams offer advice and suggestions in the assignment notes about the scope of the question and whats expected of you. We expect that youll want to draw on a wide range of sources as you prepare your assignments. As well as learning from the module materials and set books, youll benefit from wider reading and from discussion with others who are interested in the same subjects. Should you discuss your assignments with other students? Although some students find that they work best on their own, many learn a great deal from discussing aspects of the module with others. The opinions and insights that you form while discussing a question are no less valuable than those you form while reading books or listening to lectures. We assure you that theres nothing wrong in discussing assignment questions with fellow students, or other people, before you begin your work. But when you sit down to write your assignment you are expected to work alone and not to use other peoples work (in its entirety or in part) as if it is your own. Plagiarism and cheating Youll find some advice about plagiarism in Appendix 1 to this Handbook. Please note that we are currently using plagiarism detection software. You should note that it is a disciplinary offence to sell, distribute or advertise for sale or distribution, student assignments whether or not the assignments include tutor comments or marks.

Confidentiality of assignments All information you give in assignments is regarded as confidential to you, your tutor or practice assessor, and the University, and wont be divulged to anyone outside the University. However, some programmes have additional confidentiality guidelines which you will be told about in the assignment book for your module and if you are working towards the Open University Social Work degree, you should look at the data protection information in Section 5.2 of this handbook. In your assignments and elsewhere in your module you may be encouraged to apply the module content to your own work. This sometimes means that you may need to give information about and occasionally to pass judgement on the company or organisation for which you might work. The University treats such information with complete confidentiality. Tutors may use it only for purposes directly connected with the teaching of the module, and may not divulge it for any other purpose during or after their service with the University. Processing personal data as part of your studies Students arent usually expected to process personal data as part of their Open University studies, but if you do need to do so (perhaps for the purposes of a project) you must obtain the agreement of your tutor or supervisor that the processing is necessary and immediately inform the Data Protection Coordinator. The address is at the end of this Handbook. The Data Protection Coordinator will advise you about the requirements and implications of the Data Protection Act, including the security arrangements appropriate to your set of personal data. The Data Protection Coordinator will also be responsible for dealing with subject-access requests related to personal data you hold.

2.5 Submitting TMAs


There are two different methods of submitting TMAs, either on paper, or online via a link on your StudentHome page. Your module materials will tell you which of these methods you should use, or whether you can choose which to use. For some modules the nature of the TMAs means that it isnt possible to submit online for all of the TMAs, so you may find that you use paper for some TMAs and submit others online. If your TMA is not received by the cut off date, it will not be marked and you will not get a score for it unless you have already had an extension to the cut off date agreed. For the last TMA on your module, your tutor cannot agree an extension beyond the first day of the month in which the module ends. If you are submitting your assignment online, you should ensure that you submit well before midday (UK local time) on the cut off date in case you experience technical problems, and ideally at least three days before the cut off date. However, there is a 12hour grace period so any TMAs received by midnight on the cut-off date will still be accepted. If you are submitting on paper, you should allow at least three days for delivery and ensure you obtain proof of posting. Dont use any form of delivery which requires a signature, and do ensure that you put sufficient postage on the envelope. If you have difficulties submitting your assignment online using the link on your StudentHome page, you can submit by email directly to the University (not to your tutor). However, submission via StudentHome is always preferable because it guides you through the process and receipt by the system is quicker. For more detailed information about submitting assignments online, see Appendix 2. 9

Submitting TMAs online You should note that you can only submit one file for each TMA (if you submit a second file it will overwrite the first one). This may mean that you need to zip files together. You must ensure that your submission contains all of your TMA, that you are submitting the correct version of your TMA, and that it is in the right file format. If you submit a wrong file, or an unreadable file, you will not be allowed to submit another version. Unless your module materials tell you otherwise, your file must be no bigger than 5MB in size. If it exceeds this size, you will not be able to submit it. You can either zip the file to reduce its size, or reduce the size by, for example, converting image files to a different format. The cut-off date given in your Study Calendar is the last date by which each assignment should arrive. We strongly advise you not to leave submission of your TMAs until the last minute, and preferably to submit at least three days before the cut-off date. You should keep a copy of each assignment you submit, and also keep the submission receipt that will be sent to you when your TMA has reached the eTMA system. Remember that electronic submission is not immediate and it is your responsibility to make sure that your TMA arrives at the University on or before the cut-off date. You must make sure that your assignment is submitted, and arrives, before midday (UK local time) on the cut-off date. This means starting the submission process well before that time. However, there is a 12-hour grace period so any TMAs received by midnight on the cutoff date will still be accepted. Submitting TMAs by email You should not send your TMA by email directly to your tutor. If you have problems accessing StudentHome or with the link to submit from StudentHome, you can email your assignment to the University. Your submission must follow all of the guidelines for eTMAs relating file size, being free of viruses, and only submitting one file. Address your email to etma@open.ac.uk, then attach your eTMA file. Dont copy your email to anyone except yourself you may need to do this if your email system doesnt automatically save a copy of sent mail. In the subject line put your personal identifier, your module code and your TMA number. Each of these should be separated by single spaces, commas or slashes. Dont put anything else in the subject line or your email will be rejected. The subject line should look something like this: A1234567/A111/01 Dont put anything else in the email because it will not be read. You should also make sure that there is no formatting or signature in the email. You will receive an acknowledgement email from the system when the eTMA has been accepted. This can take up to twelve hours. You can only be sure that your submission has been received if you receive an acknowledgement. Do not resubmit your eTMA unless you get an error message that tells you why your submission has failed. The error message comes in the form of an email from a different address, so dont reply to this email in resending your eTMA. The error message will clarify why your TMA has not been accepted, you should correct the error and try again. You may need to check that you have typed your personal identifier and module code correctly check the format of the subject line you have typed with the format shown above. Submitting TMAs on paper If you are submitting your TMAs on paper, use A4 paper and leave wide margins, about two centimetres, on both sides for your tutors comments. Put your name, personal identifier, module code and assignment number at the top of every sheet.

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TMA forms (PT3s) TMA forms are only needed for paper TMAs. Youll receive one TMA form (PT3) to send in with your TMA. When your marked TMA is returned to you, another TMA form will be enclosed for your next TMA. You must attach a TMA form to each tutor-marked assignment that you submit on paper. If you need an additional form, go to contact us on StudentHome to request one. Check your form very carefully and fully. Above all, make sure that youve completed Section 1 by entering your personal identifier, assignment number and module code, and that these are all correct. You must also sign the form to confirm that you are submitting your own work (see the Appendix on plagiarism). Errors or omissions in completing the form will cause considerable delay in recording your assignment score. Be sure that your address is written clearly and fully, and that it is clear on all copies of the form, so that your assignment can be posted back to you. Sending in your paper TMAs Send your TMAs direct to your tutor unless told otherwise in your module materials. The cut-off date given in the Study Calendar for your module is the last date by which the TMA should arrive. Its to your advantage and ours that you submit assignments by the cut-off date. It will help you to keep up to date with the module, and its also important that you dont get an unfair advantage by taking more time over your work, or from seeing other peoples marked assignments. You are strongly advised to:
Post your TMAs in time to reach your tutor by the cut-off date. Check the postage is sufficient obtain proof of posting and keep a copy of the assignment.

use first-class post (not recorded delivery or registered post (as your tutor may not be in to receive it) make sure that the postage on the envelope is sufficient (tutors are not obliged to collect or pay for TMAs with insufficient postage), allow at least three days for delivery where possible obtain proof of posting (available free from post offices in the UK) keep a copy of each assignment you submit.

Partly completed TMAs Unless youre told otherwise, you must send in all parts of an assignment together. A part-assignment sent as a second instalment will not be marked. Your tutor will return it to you with a note to say that it cant be accepted. If you have difficulty in completing all the parts of an assignment on time, you should ask your tutor, before the cut-off date, for permission to submit the whole assignment late. You must check your assignment before sending, either on paper or electronically, as if it turns out that you have sent the wrong file, or an earlier draft, or just missed something out, you will not be allowed to resubmit. Early submission of TMAs The Assignment Handling Office normally returns marked assignments to students within twenty four hours. If you submit your TMA early, however, your tutor will not send it to the Assignment Handling Office until after the cut-off date. Late submission of TMAs Illness or some other good reason may leave you unable to submit a TMA to arrive by the cut-off date. Please remember that late submission is not a right; you must obtain permission in advance. For some assignments late submission is not permitted at all.

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If there are good reasons why you cant meet a TMA cut-off date, take the appropriate action as explained in the following list.

If you decide not to submit the assignment at all, warn your tutor, before the cut-off date, not to expect it from you. If you want permission to submit the assignment late, explain your reasons to your tutor before the cut-off date. Late submission will be allowed only if your tutor agrees that you have a genuine reason, that its in your interest to submit late rather than get on with current work, and that its still acceptable to record a score for your work. An extension of more than seven days will be authorised only in exceptional circumstances, and your tutor will not agree to an extension of more than twenty-one days. If you want to submit an assignment more than twenty-one days late, you must obtain permission through Learner Support in your regional or national centre, having first discussed the situation with your tutor.

Occasionally, when its too late to record a score that can contribute to your continuous assessment score, your tutor may still think it useful for your assignment to be marked so that you have the benefit of teaching comments. Permission to submit a TMA more than seven days after the cut-off date will not usually be granted for more than two TMAs in a 60-credit module or one TMA in a 30-credit (or shorter) module. The final TMA So that scores can be recorded and documentation prepared at the end of each module, no extension to the cut-off date will normally be allowed for a modules final assignment. In exceptional circumstances, and depending on the last cut-off date, an extension may be possible, though discretion for permitting it is much more limited than for other TMAs. If you think that your circumstances are exceptional, ask your tutor as soon as possible whether an extension can be granted. Any extensions to a final TMA cannot be given beyond the absolute cut-off dates given below. The absolute cut-off dates for final assignments for modules ending in each of these months are: Module ends January April June July October Absolute cut-off date for extensions 1 January 1 April 1 June 1 July 1 October

If the final TMA cut-off date for your module falls a few days beyond the dates above, no extension can be granted in any circumstances.

2.6 Marking TMAs


TMAs submitted online If you have submitted your TMA online, you will receive an email to your preferred email address to let you know when it has been marked and is available for you to collect. When you download your eTMA, you will also have a separate Assessment Summary (PT3) file which will contain your tutors overall comments on the TMA. Your tutor will have added comments to your eTMA as well. You may need to change the settings on

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your word processing program in order to see these comments. You are likely to get your eTMA back more quickly than if you are submitting paper TMAs. TMAs submitted on paper Your tutor will write comments on your script and on the accompanying TMA form (PT3) and send both script and form to Walton Hall. Your score is then recorded on the computer file, and your script and one copy of the TMA form (PT3) are returned to you. All this can take up to three weeks from the time you post your assignment. Your marked TMA When you get your work back you should check the scores awarded and read your tutors comments carefully, taking note (for future assignments) of what seem to be your strengths and weaknesses. There may be comments that you dont understand, or dont agree with. Your tutor will be ready to discuss these with you. Monitoring Assignments marked by module tutors are monitored to ensure a reasonable uniformity of marking standards and an adequate level of teaching comments. Throughout the year some of the assignments marked by each tutor are checked by the module team. If you are submitting online this doesnt cause any delay in returning your marked TMA. However, if you submit on paper and your assignment is selected for monitoring, it will need to be photocopied to be checked by the module team, and its return may be delayed by up to two days. The Assignment Handling Office (contact details are at the end of this Handbook) will be able to tell you if this has happened. If you need your tutors comments on it to enable you to begin your next TMA, ask your tutor to send a copy of them direct to you. These photocopies are treated as confidential and are destroyed at the end of each year. Late return of marked TMAs Your tutor is expected to mark and return your TMA within 14 days of the cut off date. If you have submitted it online, once your tutor has marked it, you will receive an email telling you that it is available to collect. If you have submitted your TMA on paper, your tutor will send it to the Assignment Handling Office for processing and it will be returned to you within 48 hours of receipt, so you should expect to receive it back within three weeks of the cut off date. If you have not received your marked assignment by this time, you should first of all contact your tutor. If you receive no response from your tutor, you should contact your regional or national centre and speak to Learner Support. Queries and appeals against TMA scores If you want to query the score awarded for a TMA, you must return the assignment to your tutor, stating the grounds on which youre querying the score, within twenty-eight days of the date the tutor sent it to Walton Hall. That date is shown on the TMA form (PT3). If you dont do this, the assignment cant be sent on appeal for re-marking. The query should always be sent to the tutor who marked the assignment, not to the regional or national centre, the Assignments Section, module team chair or anyone else.
To query your TMA score, return your marked TMA to your tutor, with your reasons, within 28 days of the date entered by your tutor on the PT3.

If youre not satisfied with your tutors response, you have the right to appeal. You should forward the assignment to the Complaints and Appeals Office (address at the end of this Handbook), together with the related correspondence from your tutor, the grounds for your appeal and any other relevant information, to arrive within twenty-eight days of the date of notification of your module tutors decision. The Complaints and Appeals Office

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will acknowledge receipt of your documents within three days of their arrival, telling you which delegate authority of the University has been asked to reply direct to you. Dont assume that a query or the subsequent appeal will result in an increase to your original score. Scores often remain unchanged, and they can be reduced. You may not resubmit a revised assignment to try to improve the score. Querying the final TMA score If you want to query the score for your modules final TMA, you must raise the matter with your tutor within fourteen days of the Assignment Handling Office date shown on your TMA form (PT3). If youre not satisfied with your tutors response to your query about your final TMA, send your assignment, grounds for appeal and related correspondence to the Complaints and Appeals Office within fourteen days of the date of notification of your tutors decision. This is to make sure that all scores are processed in time for module results to be awarded. If your module does not have an examinable component and your final TMA has been marked by someone other than your tutor, to appeal against the score you should send your appeal directly to the Complaints and Appeals Office with a letter outlining the grounds for your appeal. You must do this within fourteen days of the return of your assignment. Modules without tutors A small number of modules do not allocate personal tutors, but provide support through study advisers or online conferencing. If you are studying this type of module and you want to query a TMA score, you should forward the assignment to the Complaints and Appeals Office (address at the end of this handbook), together with: a note saying that your module does not provide a personal tutor; the grounds for your appeal; and any other relevant information; to arrive within twenty eight days of the date of notification of your TMA score. The Complaints and Appeals Office will acknowledge receipt of your documents within three days of their arrival, telling you which delegate authority of the University has been asked to reply direct to you. Keeping copies of your TMAs You are advised to keep a copy of your TMAs until after you receive your module result. If you have submitted your TMAs online, these will be available to you to download until 30 days after your module has finished. At this point, your access to your TMAs will be removed. Therefore, you should ensure that you download them before the end of the 30-day period. You should also consider backing up your files in case of PC failure or file corruption. As the system is regularly cleared down due to the volume of submissions, University policy does not permit the retrieval of TMAs on your behalf.

2.7 Submitting CMAs


It is important to remember that a CMA must be your own work just as a TMA must be (see the Appendix on plagiarism at the end of this Handbook). Your module may require you to submit CMAs using a CMA form, or give you the option of completing the CMA online (referred to as eCMAs). Some modules use interactive CMAs (referred to as iCMAs). You should read your module materials carefully to make sure you know which type of CMAs are used by your module. eCMAs If you submit your CMA online, you must make sure you have completed it by midday (UK local time) on the cut-off date given in your Study Calendar. However, there is a 12hour grace period so any CMAs received up to midnight on the cut-off date will still be accepted but we strongly recommend that you do not leave electronic submission of your

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CMA to the last minute as network traffic may be heavy and may delay receipt of your work by the University. We also recommend that you keep all submission receipts. iCMAs You access iCMAs for your module through a link on your module website. iCMAs can be set up in a number of different ways and will either give feedback after you answer each question or provide feedback for all questions after the cut-off date. Some iCMAs let you have more than one attempt at a question but give you a lower score for second and subsequent attempts. Most iCMAs will not give you a score on completion but you will be given your score and feedback on the iCMA after the closing date. You must make sure you have completed your iCMA before midday (UK local time) on the cut off date, and that you have clicked the submit button. If you dont do this, you risk your iCMA not being accepted by the University. However, there is a 12-hour grace period so any iCMAs received up to midnight on the cut-off date will still be accepted. You will not be given exactly the same questions as other students or as your tutor, so if you want to query a point with your tutor remember to make a note of the question you were asked. CMA forms Before the first computer-marked assignment is due youll receive a supply of CMA forms and envelopes that must be used when answering and submitting the assignments if you are submitting on paper. The form has two parts, with instructions telling you how to fill in each. Complete both parts as instructed, using an HB pencil. Follow the printed instructions carefully for each question. Be sure to draw a firm horizontal line through the character in a cell, without going outside the boundary. If you want to change an entry, pencil in the coloured part of the cell. If you damage the surface of the form, start afresh with a new form. Dont skip a question if you cant answer it, leave its answer cells blank and pencil through the ? cell. Before sending in your CMA form, check carefully that:

you havent made an error in transferring your answers from the assignment booklet to the CMA form; youve completed all of Part 1 of the form correctly by writing your name, assignment number etc. in the left-hand box, and that youve correctly recorded your personal identifier and assignment number by pencilling through the cells in the other two sections in Part 1. Errors there will make the document reader reject your form, causing delay in recording your assignment score and sending it to you.

Carefully fold the form inward, along the dotted line, put it in the envelope provided, and write your name and personal identifier on the flap of the envelope. Sending in your CMAs You should send your CMAs to the Assignments Section at Walton Hall, not to your tutor. Use the envelopes provided. The cut-off date given in the Study Calendar for your module is the last date by which your CMA must reach the Assignment Records Office. It will not be marked if it arrives after this date. No extensions are allowed for CMAs so please dont ask your tutor for an extension. Dont send in a CMA to arrive earlier than two weeks before the cut-off date, because (a) the computer wont be set up to mark it, and (b) there may be an amendment to the assignment published in a Stop Press notice.

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You are strongly advised to:

post your CMA at least three days before the cut-off date use first-class post

Post your CMAs at least three days before the cut-off date and obtain proof of posting.

where possible, obtain proof of posting (available free from post offices in the UK) keep a copy of your CMA.

If you are studying outside the UK, you should consider sending your CMA by registered post or include a statement of the date sent so that, if necessary, it can be checked against the postmark. For technical reasons we cant accept faxed CMAs for marking. Late submission or late receipt of CMAs CMAs that reach the University after the cut-off date will not be marked, both for technical reasons and because model answers or other information about the CMA may have already been sent out to other students. If you have proof that you sent it by first-class post before the cut-off date, or if you have your submission receipt showing that your eCMA was submitted before midnight (UK time), you should write to the Manager (Assignment Records), Assignment Records Office and ask for it to be marked. (The address is at the end of this Handbook.) Enclose your proof of posting keeping a copy for yourself. If we do not already hold your completed CMA, you will need to complete a new form containing your original responses.

2.8 Marking CMAs


If you submitted your CMA on paper, you will be sent a computer-generated feedback letter once it has been marked. For a summative assignment the letter will be produced after the cut-off date; for a formative assignment, it will be produced as soon as possible after the CMA reaches the University. You should receive it within ten days of the CMAs cut-off date. The letter will show the score recorded for you and a table giving the distribution of scores for all the students who submitted the assignment. At the discretion of the module team there may also be information about individual questions, such as how many correct, partially correct or incorrect answers you gave, and a table of correct responses for all questions, showing which you got wrong. If you submitted your CMA electronically, your score and feedback should be available on StudentHome (unless it forms part of the end-of-module assessment in which case feedback will be provided on paper only). For iCMAs any feedback is given on completion of each question. Non-receipt of CMA scores If you dont receive your CMA score within ten days of the cut-off date, or if you want to query your score, you should email the Manager (Assignment Records) at the Assignment Records Office or, if you prefer, you may write to or telephone the CMA Team (contact addresses and phone numbers can be found at the end of this Handbook). If you want to clarify any academic aspect of your CMA, ask your tutor.

2.9 Substitution
All your summative assignments are used for assessment, so you get credit for each one you submit and its in your interest to send in work for every assignment. But you may not be able to complete them all to your usual standard, perhaps because of illness or some other good reason. So as to partly compensate for a dip in assignment scores and to encourage you to attempt all the assignments, some modules allow your original score 16

for a set number (published in advance) of their summative assignments to be replaced (or substituted) by a higher score derived from your assessment scores throughout the module. Certain assignments that are considered especially important are not eligible for substitution. Not all modules allow substitution. Your Study Calendar will tell you whether your module allows it or not, and to which assignments it can apply. Substitution only takes place if its to your advantage and is applied automatically if your module allows it. Theres no need to ask to have scores substituted. How it works
Substitution involves up to three stages:

A check is made to see whether any of your assignment scores are eligible for
substitution. This is done by finding which substitutable assignments (if any) have a score lower than a representative score calculated from your scores across the assessment. If none of your assignment scores are lower than the representative score, there is no need to progress to stages and : substitution will not take place because it will not benefit you.

A decision is made on which of the assignments identified by the check in Stage 1 should
be substituted. It isnt always simply a case of picking the one(s) with the lowest score.

For each assignment chosen in Stage 2, the original score is replaced by a higher one
calculated from your scores across the assessment.

If you want to see how substitution affects your overall continuous assessment score (OCAS), you can use the Assessment Calculator (if its available for your module) on the modules page of your StudentHome site at www.open.ac.uk/students If you want to go through the detailed calculations for yourself, there are detailed worksheets on the Assessment Website at www.open.ac.uk/assessment to help you. The University has changed some of the details of how substitution operates. If your module started before February 2009, substitution will operate using the old method (see section A in the example below). If your module starts in February 2009 or at any point after this date, substitution will operate using the new method (see section B). The differences between the two methods are summarised in Table 2.

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Table 2 Differences between new and old substitution rule Rule for modules starting before Feb 2009 Representative score used for checking which assignments are eligible for substitution The Substitution score (S): the weighted average of your overall continuous assessment score (derived from your actual assignment scores*) and your overall examinable component score (OES).* The assignment with the lowest weighted score. S Rule for Feb 2009 onwards The preliminary overall continuous assessment score (P): your overall continuous assessment score derived from your actual assignment scores*.

Identification of which assignment(s) to substitute first Assignment score after substitution

The assignment that would give the largest increase in OCAS if substituted. The average of P and the original assignment score.

* Each of these scores is weighted in accordance with the modules assessment strategy as detailed in your Study Calendar or Module Guide.

Example Here, we show the effect of substitution under both old and new substitution rules for the same example. Our example is for a student on a module whose continuous assessment consists of eight tutor-marked assignments, all equally weighted, and whose examinable component is an examination. The examination and the continuous assessment carry equal weight. Substitution is allowed for two assignments excluding TMA 03. The weighted average of the students assignment scores is 61.25%. The score for the examination is 50%. Table 3 Scores before substitution
Preliminary overall continuous assessment score (%) Examination score (%) Substitution score (%)

TMA no. Max. mark Students scores

01 80

02 55

03 50

04 75

05 90

06 0

07 60

08 80 61.25 50 55.63

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100

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Section A: Modules with a start date prior to February 2009 Following the 3-stages described in the How it works section:

Here, the representative score (also known in this case as the substitution score S) is calculated from (61.25% + 50%) 2 = 55.63%. Comparing this score with all of the TMA scores shows that TMAs 02 & 06 are eligible for substitution (remembering that, although the score for TMA 03 is lower than the substitution score, this assignment is nonsubstitutable). Because two substitutions are allowed and only two assignments were identified in Stage 1, we dont need to make any decisions about which assignments to substitute. The substitution score replaces the score for TMA 06, which wasnt submitted, and TMA 02 which has the next lowest score.

Table 4 Scores after substitution (pre-Feb 2009 module start)


Final overall continuous assessment score (%) Examination score (%)

TMA no. Max. mark Revised scores

01 100 80

02 100 55.63*

03 50

04 75

05 100 90

06 100 55.63 *

07 100 60

08 100 80 69 50

100 100

*Substituted scores

The overall effect of substitution in this case is to raise the overall continuous assessment score from 61.25% to 69%. Section B: Modules with a start date of February 2009 or later Again, following the 3-stages described in the How it works section:

Here, the representative score is 61.25% (i.e. the overall continuous assessment score calculated from the original set of assignment scores). Comparing this score with all of the TMA scores shows that TMAs 02, 06 & 07 are eligible for substitution (again, remembering that TMA 03 is non-substitutable).

Unlike the situation in Section A, we now have three candidate assignments for substitution and have to decide which two to use. It turns out that substituting the same two TMAs (02 & 06) maximises the benefit to the students OCAS.
The original zero score for TMA 06 is replaced by 30.63 (= (61.25 + 0) 2) and the score for TMA 02 is replaced by 58.13 (= (61.25 + 55) 2).

Table 5 Scores after substitution (module starting Feb 2009 onwards)


Final overall continuous assessment score (%)

TMA no. Max. mark Revised scores

01 100 80

02 100 58.13*

03 50

04 75

05 100 90

06 100 30.63 *

07 100 60

08 100 80 65.47

100 100

*Substituted scores

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The overall effect of substitution in this case is to raise the overall continuous assessment score from 61.25% to 65%.

2.10 Special circumstances affecting continuous assessment


If any special circumstance has seriously affected your performance in continuous assessment (including residential school work if your module has any), you can ask for the Examination and Assessment Board to be told about it. This arrangement is intended to make Boards aware of matters of a serious nature that interfered with your ability to study over a total period of four weeks or more. The three main categories of special circumstance information are:

serious disruption of studies caused by the University (such as continual delay in receiving module materials, exceptionally late return of tutor-marked assignments) serious and prolonged illness (yourself or a member of your immediate family) serious disruption of personal life (such as bereavement).

The Examination and Assessment Board will use the information only to your benefit, usually if your result is borderline. Only limited weight can be given to it. Boards have generally given no weight to such circumstances as moving house, pressure of work, change of employment or normal pregnancies. So before you decide to go ahead, please consider carefully how far your special circumstances really have affected your performance in continuous assessment. To report special circumstances relating to continuous assessment Write to Learner Support at your regional or national centre asking for form PT39 and enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope, or download a form from our website at www.open.ac.uk/assessment. Its your responsibility to ask for the form, and you must submit it yourself. Forms sent in by tutors wont be accepted. Complete the form and return it to Learner Support at your regional or national centre not later than two weeks after the cut-off date for your modules last assignment (TMA or CMA, whichever is the later). Information received later than that will not be presented to the Examination and Assessment Board. If, exceptionally, you cant comply with this ruling, contact your Regional Director, giving your reasons. The information you put on form PT39 must be both brief and explicit. You should state clearly:
To inform the Examination and Assessment Board of matters that have affected your continuous assessment, complete form PT39 and send it to your regional or national centre no later than two weeks after your modules last assignment cutoff date.

the special circumstances you want to report when the circumstances occurred how long your studies were affected for which assignment scores you believe were adversely affected.

You should provide supporting documentary evidence (such as a medical certificate), and you must obtain proof of posting. If you have a disability or additional requirements If you think that your disability, specific learning difficulty or medical condition has seriously disadvantaged you in your continuous assessment, its in your own interest to ask for form PT39 and send it in. You should attach supporting documentary evidence, and you must obtain proof of posting. Information about your condition that youve given the University will not be brought to the attention of the Examination and Assessment Board unless you submit form PT39.

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2.11 Posting assignments on websites


Posting your own assignments and/or tutor comments on an Open University forum or on any other website is not allowed (unless you are required to do so as part of your assignment). Advertising assignments for sale is also not allowed (see section 2.4 on Plagiarism and cheating).

Section 3 Examined work 3.1 Examinable components


The examinable component may be an examination, it may be a piece of work such as a dissertation, a project or portfolio, or it may include both an examination and other work. It may be written or oral. Examinations The examinable component for most Open University modules consists of a hand-written examination, usually lasting three hours. The question paper will almost always be an unseen one, but youll receive a specimen paper with your module materials so that you can familiarise yourself with the appearance of the question paper, what youll be asked to do and the kind of questions youre likely to find. All Diploma language modules have both a written and an oral examination. For some modules you may be able to buy copies of past examination papers from the Open University Students Association (OUSA) (contact details are at the end of this Handbook). Other examined work If your module requires you to submit a piece of examined work in place Your tutor does not have the authority to allow a of or as well as an examination, it will have a published cut-off date by submission after the cut-off which it must reach the University. Its likely to be a project, a report, a date. portfolio or an end-of-module assessment (ECA). Youll be told the arrangements for submitting it, and a booklet of Information for Students Submitting Examinable Work will be sent to you about four to six weeks before your submission date. If your module requires you to submit your work electronically, you will instead receive an email reminding you of the cut-off date and giving you the weblink to the booklet. You should read the booklet carefully it tells you how to submit your work, what to do if special circumstances have affected it, and how to ask permission to submit late. You should note that your tutor does not have the authority to allow a submission after the cut-off date. Certificate language modules For most Certificate language modules the examinable component consists of a written end-of-module assessment (ECA01) and a speaking end-of-module assessment (ECA02). The speaking assessment usually takes place at a tutorial session towards the end of the module. Specific arrangements for each module are detailed in the booklet Information for Certificate Language Modules which will be sent to you about six weeks before your submission date. The examinable component of first level language modules consists of an end-of-module oral assessment at a tutorial session and a written end-of-module assignment. Most second and third level language modules have an oral as well as a written examination. To pass the module To pass the module, or to achieve a particular grade of pass, you must attain a particular score on both the examinable component and the continuous assessment. Your result is not determined by an averaging of the two components (see Section 2.1 and Section 4).

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3.2 Examination arrangements


Provisional dates Examination periods are shown at the beginning of this Handbook. Most examinations on undergraduate modules are held in October. However, some modules offer them at different times of the year. You will be told the period applicable to your module in your module materials, and you will be sent an examination timetable about three months before your examination, giving you its exact date. If youre going on holiday during the examination period we advise you not to make a firm booking until you get the examination timetable (about three months before the examination period). It isnt usually possible to arrange a deferred examination because of holiday commitments, but if youre holidaying in the United Kingdom you can ask to change the examination centre youve been allocated to. It may be possible to transfer to an established centre in Europe (depending on the size of the examination centre). Places About two months before the examination period youll receive the Examination arrangements booklet and your allocation to an examination centre. If you want to change to another centre you should write to your regional or national centre as soon as you receive the allocation letter. If youre changing your address, you must write and ask Learner Support at your regional or national centre immediately you know your new address.
To change your allocated examination centre, write to Learner Support at your regional or national centre as soon as you receive your allocation letter.

Its your responsibility to make sure that you attend the right session and the right centre. Misreading your allocation wont entitle you to another examination opportunity or to have extra time if you arrive late. Examinations outside the UK Examinations will usually be arranged in countries from which the University accepts registrations. The regional or national centres responsible for European schemes will tell you which cities have examination centres. If you have paid the UK fee but want to take your examination at a centre in continental Europe or the Republic of Ireland, an additional charge will be made. Please ask the regional or national centre in Newcastle upon Tyne or Belfast for more information. the UK, the Republic of Ireland and continental Europe if:
If you want to take an examination at a nonestablished centre outside the UK, please use the form sent to you with the You may also ask for an examination at a non-established centre outside Examination Timetable.

youre now living abroad and are continuing your OU studies, or you, or your partner, have been posted abroad by an employer. Well need confirmation of this from the employer.

If you want to take an examination at a non-established centre outside the UK, please use the form sent to you with the Examination Timetable. We will then do our best to arrange for a suitable organisation (such as the British Council) to conduct your examination on our behalf. Such arrangements arent always possible, and we cant guarantee that well be able to provide an examination at a centre outside the UK for you. You must ask for an examination at such a centre outside the UK in good time you will be told the deadline in the mailing containing the Timetable booklet referred to above. We cant deal with late requests because of the time it takes to make the arrangements. In exceptional circumstances, if youre posted abroad at very short notice and cant meet

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the date, you can apply to defer your examination to the next examination period. Youll need to provide documentary evidence to support your request. Even if youve taken such examinations before, you must make a fresh application for each examination period. There is a non-refundable fee for each such examination arranged, payable when you make the request. Merchant navy and HM forces If youre in the merchant navy or are a member (or a dependant of a member) of HM forces serving with a British military unit, the examination fee may be waived as long as the examination can be arranged through the Marine Society or at a British forces base. If youre ill or have additional requirements If youre ill at the time of the examination or you have additional requirements, it may be possible to take your examination at home or in hospital. If you have caring responsibilities (for example, breastfeeding a newborn baby) that make it difficult or impossible for you to take your examination at an examination centre, you may be able to take your examination at home. Please consult a student adviser at your regional or national centre to discuss whether or not alternative arrangements can be made for you. If your personal circumstances (such as a medical condition) prevent you from taking the examination in ordinary conditions, we may be able to adapt aspects of it to suit your needs. The Learner Support Team at your regional or national centre can give you a Meeting your examination needs booklet and a facility request form (FRF3) to complete and return. Examination rules About two months before the examination youll receive your examination allocation letter along with an Examination Arrangements booklet that explains how the examination will be conducted and tells you what materials youll need and what youll be allowed to take into the examination room. You must read both the general and the module examination rules carefully and be sure to abide by them. Youll need to bring some identification with you to the examination centre. This identification must include your photograph and your usual signature - for example, your passport, a new-style driving licence or a student card. You can ask OUSA for a student card if you don't already have one. (The contact details are at the end of this Handbook.) Examination scripts Like many UK universities, The Open University presents examination scripts to scriptmarkers anonymously. Candidates names are removed from the scripts, which are then identified throughout the marking process by a barcode. This doesnt apply to projects, dissertations or other kinds of examined work, which have different marking arrangements.

3.3 Absence from examinations


The Examination Arrangements booklet will tell you what to do if you cant attend your examination. If illness or some other special circumstance prevents you from attending an examination, you may be able to defer to the next examination period.

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3.4 Special circumstances affecting examined work


Special circumstances affecting examinations If you believe that your examination performance was affected by a serious matter that occurred during the examination or in the twenty-one days immediately before it, you can ask us to take that into account. You should report only circumstances of a serious nature, such as illness during the examination or bereavement in your immediate family close to the examination date. The information will be used only to your benefit, but the Examination and Assessment Board can give only limited weight to it. Reporting special circumstances You should complete and submit form E39, which is included in the Examination Arrangements booklet. You must do this yourself forms submitted by tutors or invigilators wont be accepted. Youll find advice about completing the E39 on the back of the form itself and in the Examination Arrangements booklet. Send two copies of the form and any continuation sheets to the University, to arrive not later than seven days after your examination.
To tell the University about matters that affected your examination performance, complete form E39 and send it, with documentary evidence, to arrive not later than seven days after your examination.

If serious circumstances (such as hospitalisation immediately after the examination) prevent you from submitting form E39 within the seven days, it may be accepted, at the Universitys discretion, until seven weeks after the last session in the examination period, as long as you provide evidence of the reasons for the delay. Information received later than that will not be presented to the Examination and Assessment Board. The information should be supported by evidence such as a medical certificate, otherwise it may not be considered. You must also keep proof of posting. If you have a disability or additional requirements If you think that extra time or other arrangements the University made for your examination havent adequately compensated for your disability, specific learning difficulty or medical condition, you should submit form E39. The Examination and Assessment Board will be informed of any special arrangements that have been made for you. Special circumstances affecting other examined work If your modules examinable component includes (or consists of) work other than an examination and some serious circumstance affected you in the three weeks before the cut-off date, you can ask us to take it into account. Youll find form E39P in the Information for Students Submitting Examinable Work booklet. Send it in to arrive no later than seven days after the cut-off date for submission of the final piece of work. You should attach supporting documentary evidence, and you must obtain proof of posting.
To tell the University about matters that affected the submission of examined work send form E39P or E39L (RS39 for residential school modules), with documentary evidence, to arrive no later than seven days after the cutoff date for your final piece of work.

If youre taking a Certificate language module and you want the University to know about special circumstances that affected the end-ofmodule assessments, youll need to submit form E39L. This form can be found in the Information for Students on Certificate Languages Modules booklet.

Form E39P or form E39L must be sent to arrive no later than seven days after the cut-off date for submission of the final piece of work. You should attach supporting documentary evidence and you must obtain proof of posting.

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Postponing submission of examined work In certain exceptional circumstances, if you cant meet the submission date for your work, you may be able either to extend the date by three weeks or to defer submission until the next presentation of the module. If you want permission to delay or defer your submission, you should ask the Learner Support Team at your regional or national centre for the Non-examined Modules Deferral Request Form or write to the Assessment Policy Office before the submission date and enclose third-party documentary evidence to support your application. (The address is at the end of this Handbook.)

Section 4 Module results 4.1 Assessment strategies


Open University modules usually have two assessment components continuous assessment, discussed in Section 2, Assignments, and an examinable component, explained in Section 3, Examined work. These two components make up your overall result.

4.2 Determining results


Modules with two components of assessment
To pass the module, you Your module result is determined from your performance in both continuous assessment and the examinable component. To guarantee a must pass both the continuous assessment and pass grade for the module you must pass both of these: when all the calculations have been done, you must achieve a score of at least 40 the examinable component. for your overall continuous assessment and at least 40 for your examinable component. You must also pass any threshold your module sets (see Thresholds in Section 4.4). Your result is not determined by an averaging of the two components.

Modules with one component of assessment Results are determined from the (weighted) average of all the summatively assessed work, at least one part of which will be available for scrutiny by the Examination and Assessment Board at their awarding meeting. Some modules may require a minimum score in excess of 40. If this applies to you it will be explained in your module-specific material. On some modules students who fail can be allowed to resubmit part of the assessment (usually the final assignment). To enable our systems to handle such modules, values for two components, OCAS and OES, are calculated for each student to allow us to check for eligibility to resubmit. While these values will be quoted when we issue module results, apart from this check, module results will be based on the overall weighted average score, as if the assessment only had one component. If no substitution has taken place, the preliminary and final overall continuous assessment scores will be the same.

4.3 Examination and Assessment Boards


Each module has an Examination and Assessment Board that is responsible for determining module results. The Boards use their academic judgement to decide whether or not each student has reached the standard required to qualify for credit for the module.

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Each Board comprises a chair (usually the chair of the module team), internal examiners (usually members of the module team) and at least one external examiner. External examiners are senior academics from outside the University, usually from another university or institute of higher education. The Board will have each students:

individual assignment scores overall continuous assessment score before and after substitution (explained in Section 2.9, Substitution) overall examinable component score, with individual question scores and project scores residential school attendance information, if the module has a school. all the examination scripts (or other examined work) information students have reported about special circumstances that affected their work various statistical analyses information about any special arrangements made for the examination.

The Board will also have:

Examination and Assessment Boards work within policy approved by Senate (our authority for academic matters), which sets the upper and lower boundaries for each grade (see Section 4.5, Result grades). Boards have limited discretion to set the lower boundary for each grade of pass below that shown in the tables. This is entirely a matter for the Board, within the policy approved by Senate, and will remain confidential to it.

4.4 Your result


Modules with two components of assessment Your two scores for continuous assessment and for examined work will place you in one of the result areas shown in the tables in Section 4.5. If youre close to a boundary or theres a large difference between your scores, Boards have some limited discretion to award a higher result. In making these discretionary decisions Boards will take into account the overall weighted average of your two scores and any special circumstances that youve reported. Whatever weighting your module gives to each assessment component, you must reach both the scores shown in Section 4.5 to guarantee a pass at each grade. Your result is not determined by an averaging of continuous assessment and examination scores. Modules with one component of assessment Your module result will be determined from the (weighted) average of all the summatively assessed work, as shown in Section 4.2. Special circumstances If your scores are lower than those shown for a grade in Section 4.5, Result grades, you might still be awarded the grade if youve given evidence of compelling special circumstances that significantly affected your performance (as explained in Sections 2.10, Special circumstances affecting continuous assessment and 3.4, Special circumstances affecting examined work). But the Board can give only limited weight to special circumstances and you shouldnt assume that your grade will be improved.
Your result is not determined by an averaging of continuous assessment and examination scores.

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Thresholds As well as the scores shown in Section 4.5, Result grades, some modules also require you to achieve a certain score (a threshold) for some element(s) of their assessment in order to achieve a pass. It is therefore possible to fail such modules even if your scores are above those shown on the table below. Your module material will tell you if thresholds apply to your module. Residential school attendance Some modules include satisfactory residential school participation among their requirements for a pass. The module material will tell you about this.

4.5 Result grades


Modules awarding distinction and pass The following modules award distinction and pass grades: AA100, B120, BYW120, BU130, BUXS130, BUYW130, DB123, K101, KYN101, KYP101, KYN107, K113, KYJ113, KYP113, KZW113, K114, KZL114, K115, KYE115, K116, L120, L130, L140, L185, L(ZX)192, L(ZX)193, L(ZX)194, L195,L196, L197, LB160, S104, S110, S130, T172, T173, U101. You are also required to reach other set scores for language modules (see Thresholds in Section 4.4). The following modules have only one assessment component (see Section 4.2) and award at distinction and pass: D171, KZL107, KZL114. Results for the following modules are determined as if they have only one assessment component (see Section 4.2) and award at distinction and pass: DD101, DD131, DD132, D172. Final overall Final overall score for continuous examinable assessment component score Pass 1 (distinction) 85 and 85 Pass 40 and 40 Fail, entitled to resit* 15 and 40
* If module rules allow. Some modules do not allow resits or resubmissions at all. Some require a threshold of 30 to be achieved on the overall examination score (OES). See your module material.

Modules where pass results are not graded The following modules award a pass grade only: B690, E100, E111, E115, E118, E123, E124, E131, E132, E218, M226, M253, SDK122, SK121, SK123, SK124, T121, T175, T191, T397, T398, TM227, U122, W100, W150. Final overall score for examinable component 40 and 15 and

Pass Fail, entitled to resubmit*

40 40

* If module rules allow; no residential school module (signified by XR in the module code) allows resits or resubmissions

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The following modules have only one assessment component (see Section 4.2), and pass results are not graded: B121, BXS121, B190, DD122, EZL123, EZL124, EZL131, EZL132, M150, MST121, MT127, MU120, TM190. Results for the following Level 1 modules are determined as if they have only one assessment component (see Section 4.2) and pass results are not graded: MU123, U116. Modules with four pass levels The following Level 1 modules award four pass levels: E112, EYP112, E113, SDK125. Most modules above Level 1 have four pass levels. Final overall score for examinable component 85 70 55 40 15 Final overall continuous assessment score 85 70 55 40 40

Pass 1 (distinction) Pass 2 Pass 3 Pass 4 Fail, entitled to resit*

and and and and and

* Some modules do not allow resits or resubmissions at all. Some require a threshold of 30 to be achieved on the overall examination score (OES). See your module material.

Modules in the law programme and the language programme require you to reach other set scores and to pass both parts of the examinable component: (see Thresholds in Section 4.4). The following modules above Level 1 have only one assessment component (see Section 4.2): AXR271, AXR272, AXR312, DXR222, DZX222, K316, K330, K331, K332, K333, K334, K335, K336, K337, K338, K339, K340, K341, KYK231, KYK232, KYK290, KYK295, M450, MYT450, TM227, TT280, TT281, TT282, TT380, TT381, TT382, TXR220.

4.6 Getting your result


Result letters are usually sent out as follows: Date module ends Results letters sent January March April July June August/September July September October December You should also be able to view your result in your module records on your personalised StudentHome website (see Section 1.2) so please make sure that you know your password at least two weeks before your results are due as you cant be issued with a new one over the phone. For most modules, as well as the module result itself, youll be given your final overall continuous assessment and examinable component scores where appropriate, and your substitution score if there is one (see Section 2.9).

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Performance profile Many modules provide an online 'performance profile' which is a summary of performance on each assessment 'task'. When your module result is released, if a performance profile is available for you there will be a link to it displayed immediately below your module result on your module record page. Clicking on this link will take you to the performance profile system. Normally, your performance profile will only be accessible for 56 days after your final module result has been released. So if you want to keep a copy, we suggest that you either print it off or save the web page. No results will be given by telephone. Pending results Occasionally a Board may not have enough evidence to reach a decision about the result. An assignment score or examination information delayed by script marking may be missing from your record, or the Board may want you to take a viva voce examination (see Section 4.8, Viva voce examinations). In these cases youll be given a pending result, and we will take urgent action to provide the Board with the information it needs so that your final result can be sent to you as soon as possible.

4.7 Resits and resubmissions


If your module allows resits or resubmissions not all modules do youll be offered only one opportunity to resit or resubmit. No resit examination or resubmission will be permitted more than twenty-four months after your modules starting date. Resits and resubmissions are not allowed if youve passed the module. Resitting examinations If you sit but fail the examination you may be permitted to resit it in the next examination period, provided that you have:

an overall examinable component score of at least 15 on the University Scale, an overall pass (a score of 40 or more on the University Scale) in continuous assessment, satisfied any module-specific thresholds, and satisfied any residential school requirements your module has.

A few modules have different rules about resitting, and youll be told in your module materials what those are. Resubmitting examined work If your module has no examination, you may be able to resubmit the examined work not all modules allow resubmission. If the examinable component includes both an examination and another piece of work and you fail either, you may be eligible to resit, but youll have to undertake both the examination and the other work again. On Certificate language modules you will be required to resubmit the written EMA (TMA04 on L(ZX)130, EMA01 on all other modules) and retake the speaking EMA, even if you scored 40 or more in one of these components at your first attempt. Registering for resits and resubmission If appropriate, youll receive an offer of registration and a registration agreement in a mailing sent shortly after your module result letter.

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Modules for which youre resitting examinations or resubmitting are counted towards the total number of credits (120) for which you may register in any one year.

4.8 Viva voce examinations


Viva voce examinations are offered at the discretion of the Examination and Assessment Board you cant ask to be given one. They enable the Board to obtain additional information so that it can reach a decision about a candidate who, for example, is on a borderline between two results. These examinations are conducted by a member of the Universitys academic staff. Although theyre usually oral, occasionally a candidate may be required to undertake some written work. Arrangements to do with the examination will be sent to you separately from your module result letter.

4.9 Queries
Since Examination and Assessment Boards are responsible, on behalf of the University Senate, for determining students results, their decisions are final. Theres no right of appeal to any other University body against the academic judgement of the Board. Careful checks are made at every stage of the award process to make sure that the Boards decisions rest on full and accurate information. Please read the information in this handbook about how module results are determined before you query your module result. Your module result page on StudentHome will include a link to frequently asked questions about module results and you can also access these from the question and answer section of our assessment website at: www.open.ac.uk/assessment If you have evidence that an error has been made in determining your result, you can query it by completing a module result query form and sending it, along with the appropriate evidence, to arrive within four weeks of the date of your result letter. Module result queries cant be dealt with by telephone. You can access a module result query form from your StudentHome page or at: http://www.open.ac.uk/assessment/documents/CRQ-Form.pdf University policies and procedures do not permit the following:
To query your module result, write to the Head of Examinations and Assessment within four weeks of the date of your result letter.

the return of scripts to students remarking/reconsideration of the examinable component or the continuous assessment of a module acceptance of late TMAs challenges against academic judgements an appeal made by another person on your behalf.

It is not possible to obtain more detailed information about your performance in the examinable component.

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4.10 Formal appeals


You can appeal your results if:

youve queried your result as explained in Section 4.9, Queries, and you can show that some part of the process leading to the issue of the result has not been carried out properly, or has been carried out relying on information that did not accord fully with the Universitys records at the time.

If theres evidence that your result was awarded improperly, your case will be considered by the Director, Students who has powers to consider the case for an appeal but not to change the module result. Only if the Director, Students upholds the appeal will the Examination and Assessment Board be asked to reconsider your result. To make an appeal If you feel you have grounds for appeal, write to the Complaints and Appeals Office within twenty-one days of the date of the reply to your original query, stating the grounds for your appeal.

4.11 Aegrotat credit


Exceptionally, if (for medical reasons) youre unable to complete your module, the University may consider awarding aegrotat credit under a code of practice approved by the Senate. Such exceptions are limited to students who are unable to continue their studies for medical reasons, are registered for the last module that would qualify them for a qualification, and have been assessed on at least part of the module.

Section 5 Professional programmes 5.1 Pre-registration Nursing Programme


To qualify for the Pre-registration Nursing degree, you need to successfully complete study at Level 1 before being allowed to progress to Levels 2 and 3. You must pass all the compulsory and required optional modules that contribute to your award. In addition, you will also need to meet the requirements laid down by the regulatory body for your profession (for example, a satisfactory check by the Criminal Records Bureau to demonstrate evidence of good character). Satisfactory completion of all the University and regulatory body requirements will result in the academic and professional qualification. You'll find detailed information about the requirements for the Pre-registration Nursing Programme on our website at www.open.ac.uk/study

5.2 Degree in Social Work


To qualify for the degree in Social Work in England or Wales, you should successfully complete study at Level 1 before progressing to Level 2 and there is normally no entry to Level 3 without successful completion at Levels 1 and 2. To qualify for the degree in Scotland you should successfully complete each of the four stages. You must pass all the compulsory and required optional modules that contribute to the qualification. In addition, you will also need to meet the requirements laid down by the regulatory body for your profession (for example, a satisfactory check by the Criminal Records Bureau to demonstrate evidence of good character).

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Satisfactory completion of all the University and regulatory body requirements will result in entry to the programme, and the additional completion of all academic and practice modules will result in the academic and professional qualification. You'll find detailed information about the requirements for the Social Work degree on our website at www.open.ac.uk/study Data protection If you are working towards the Open University Social Work degree, you should be aware that the data protection arrangements that apply to you are different from those that apply to other Open University students. The Open University Social Work degree is offered in partnership with Social Work agencies. Some agency staff will be part of the stakeholders group within the programme. In addition, all agencies sponsoring students are responsible for finding appropriate practice-learning opportunities, and for ensuring appropriate supervision for these. In these circumstances, it is not uncommon for assessment grades to become known to sponsoring agencies, as part of routine management and assessment procedures. The specific Council (Scottish Social Services Council, General Social Care Council, or Care Council for Wales) requires that approved programme providers collect information from individual students on its behalf, and that this information is then passed on to them as part of the process of registering students for the Social Work degree qualification. The programme provider retains a record of this information to use in quality assurance processes, and to monitor student progress across all the modules that contribute to the programme. Students registering for modules that form part of the Degree in Social Work qualification should be aware that this data protection statement is additional to the University's formal Data Protection Policy published on our website at www.open.ac.uk/our-studentpolicies, and that it contains information specific to the Social Work programme. The University has an obligation to supply whatever information the specific Councils require in order to ensure students are registered.

5.3 Foundation Degree in Early Years


To be awarded the Foundation Degree in Early Years, you must pass all the compulsory and required optional modules that contribute to the qualification as detailed in the qualification description for the foundation degree in our prospectus and on our website. In addition, you must ensure that you are working directly with children aged 0 to 8 for at least 5 hours a week throughout the time you are studying for the Foundation Degree as well as ensuring that you meet all the other pre-requisites for each module. You'll find detailed information about the compulsory requirements for individual modules and for the Foundation Degree in Early Years on our website at www.open.ac.uk/study

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Appendix 1

Plagiarism

What constitutes plagiarism or cheating?


If you submit an assignment that contains work that is not your own, without indicating this to the marker (acknowledging your sources), you are committing plagiarism and this is an offence. This might occur in an assignment when Using a choice phrase or sentence that you have come across. Copying word-for-word directly from a text. Paraphrasing the words from a text very closely. Using text downloaded from the internet. Borrowing statistics or assembled facts from another person or source. Copying or downloading figures, photographs, pictures or diagrams without acknowledging your sources. Copying from the notes or essays of a fellow student. Copying from your own notes, on a text, tutorial, video or lecture, that contain direct quotations. Although you are encouraged to show the results of your reading by referring to and quoting from works on your subject, copying from such sources without acknowledgement is deemed to be plagiarism and will not be accepted by the University. Such poor academic practice may occur due to inexperience. So you should study the Developing Good Academic Practices website http://learn.open.ac.uk/site/DGAP001. You should also read carefully all the module specific study advice that you receive in your mailings, especially statements concerning plagiarism and how to reference your sources. Where plagiarised material is included in assignments, tutors are likely to notice the shifts in style and may be aware of the source. Seek their advice on this early on in your study. The University also uses plagiarism detection software which it applies to electronic assignments as well as scanned or retyped assignments. The temptation to plagiarise may arise from lack of self-confidence or from a lack of understanding about the aims of the assessment and about what is required of you. Assignments provide a vehicle for assessing your performance during your module and contribute to your overall module result. However they also assist you in understanding your subject and aid your learning on the module. When you attempt to use the ideas and terms of the module independently you learn more thoroughly and develop your own writing style. You are likely to perform better in examinations if you have learned how to write your own answers to questions in assignments. By submitting work that is not your own you are denying yourself the benefit of this valuable learning strategy. Copying the work of others would be counter-productive to your goal of understanding the module work and to real achievement. Most students will not wish to take such a negative approach to studying, and the University does not tolerate it. You are encouraged to collaborate with others in studying, but submitted work copied from or written jointly with others is not acceptable, unless collaboration is required in the particular assignment. Therefore you will be asked to acknowledge a statement to confirm that all assessment work you have submitted is your own and that you have not cheated. Submitting work that has been done by someone else and persistent borrowing of other peoples work without citation are obvious instances of plagiarism and are regarded as cheating. Copying answers from social networking sites is cheating. Paying for work from other sources and submitting it as your own is also cheating. It is intellectually dishonest to cheat and thus give one student an unfair advantage over others. Passing on your assignments to others, with the knowledge that another student may plagiarise the

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assignment will also lead to a penalty. If a case of plagiarism is proven, this is a serious offence and the Open University disciplinary procedures will be followed, as described under the Student Regulations SA 1.6 and SD 7.2.

Appendix 2 Submitting assignments online


Online submission of TMAs is simple and quick, but you must ensure that you read each of the messages that appear on screen during the submission process. Dont assume that you know what they say because you have used the system before. Some of the messages are specific to that particular submission. If you dont read the messages you may be unaware of action that you need to take. you submit all of your work in one file. If you make more than one submission before the cut off date, and before your tutor has collected your TMA, each will overwrite the previous one so that the only one available for your tutor to collect will be the final version. So if your TMA consists of more than one file you must zip these together. You can use any compression software that creates a file with a .zip extension. How to zip your files together your file name is no more than 50 characters. You should put your module code and TMA number in your file name; this is an additional check that you are submitting the right file. you check that your submission is complete and you are submitting the right file and not a previous draft of your assignment. Save and close the file before submitting it. Once your tutor has returned your marked eTMA to the system, you will not be able to submit another version. You will not be allowed to resubmit a TMA even if you find that you originally submitted an incomplete or incorrect version. your file is 5MB or less, unless your module materials say that there is a large file size permitted for your module. If your file is larger than 5MB you can zip it to reduce the size. You can use any compression software that creates a file with a .zip extension. How to zip your file your submission is in an acceptable format. To be sure that your tutor and their monitor can read your submission you must make sure that your file is in a format readable by Microsoft Word unless your module materials stipulate a different type of file. This means that it must have a file extension of .doc, or .rtf. If your word processing software creates a file with a different extension (eg. .docx or .odt) you should use save as to save as either .doc or .rtf.
If you have already submitted an assignment and your tutor has downloaded it for marking, the system will warn you that your tutor has already collected it and you should contact your tutor. You can still submit the assignment and it will be recorded as another version on the system, but your tutor will normally mark the first version unless they have agreed to accept another one. The system will hold up to five submissions.

We strongly advise using the dummy eTMA (TMA00) to try out the eTMA system before you have to submit your first TMA. You can send your dummy eTMA at any time once you have access to the system. Unless your assignment book, or your tutor tell you to do something else, just put a few lines of text into a document and submit it as TMA00. Do tell your tutor that youre doing this so that they can put some comments in and return it to you. You should note that your tutor can collect and mark your eTMA at any point from the time you submit it. They dont have to wait until the cut-off date. Therefore you should be

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sure that the assignment you submit is your final version. If your module also has an eECA (end-of-module assessment), you may find you are advised that you can submit drafts to the system. This is because markers are not able to download eECAs until after the cut-off date. If you submit a TMA after the cut-off date, the system will accept it, but this doesnt mean that it will be marked or assessed. The system will warn you that the cut-off date has passed and you should contact your tutor to discuss the matter. If you have already arranged an extension with your tutor, you dont need to do anything further. You will have access to your TMAs on the system for up to 30 days after your module ends, so if you want to keep copies make sure you have downloaded them before this. The University cant provide you with copies at a later date so you may want to make sure that you also have back-up copies in case of technical problems.

Where to go for help


If you have technical problems submitting your assignments online you can contact the OU Computing Helpdesk. For some enquiries it may be necessary for the Helpdesk to refer you to other sources of expert help. For more complex queries, it may take more than one phone call to resolve the problem. The Helpdesk is open between 09:00 and 22:30 every day. When contacting the Helpdesk regarding a problem with online submission, please note exactly what you were trying to do, the time the problem happened and the exact error message including error codes (take a screen print of the error code if you can). You can contact the Helpdesk by email OU-computing-helpdesk@open.ac.uk, or telephone +44 (0)1908 653972, or by fax +44 (0)1908 652193 (mark for the attention of the OU Computing Helpdesk). If you have any other queries about online submission click here to check our FAQs on StudentHome, if your query isnt covered then you can use the contact us button to email your query.

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Addresses National and regional centres


The Open University in London (Region 01)
111 Hawley Crescent Camden Town LONDON NW1 8NP Phone +44(0)20 7485 6597 Email London@open.ac.uk Area covered Greater London

The Open University in the West Midlands (Region 04)


66 High Street Harborne BIRMINGHAM B17 9NB Phone. +44(0)121 426 1661 Email west-midlands@open.ac.uk Area covered Herefordshire, Shropshire, most of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire, British Forces Post Office (except Cyprus)

The Open University in the South (Region 02)


Foxcombe Hall Boars Hill OXFORD OX1 5HR Phone +44(0)1865 327000 Email south@open.ac.uk Area covered Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Channel Islands, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, part of Wiltshire (including Salisbury)

The Open University in the East Midlands (Region 05)


Clarendon Park Clumber Avenue Sherwood Rise NOTTINGHAM NG5 1AH Phone +44(0)115 962 5451 Email east-midlands@open.ac.uk Area covered Most of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, part of Staffordshire (Burton-on-Trent area)

The Open University in the South West (Region 03)


4 Portwall Lane BRISTOL BS1 6ND Phone. +44(0)117 929 9641 Email south-west@open.ac.uk Area covered Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Scilly Isles, most of Wiltshire (excluding Salisbury)

The Open University in the East of England (Region 06)


Cintra House 12 Hills Road CAMBRIDGE CB2 1PF Phone +44(0)1223 364721 Email east-of-england@open.ac.uk Area covered Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk

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The Open University in Yorkshire (Region 07)


2 Trevelyan Square Boar Lane LEEDS LS1 6ED Phone +44(0)113 244 4431 Email yorkshire@open.ac.uk Area covered North, South and East Riding of Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, British Forces Post Office (Cyprus)

The Open University in Wales (Region 10)


18 Custom House Street CARDIFF CF10 1AP Phone +44(0)29 2047 1019 Email Wales@open.ac.uk Contact with this office can be in either English or Welsh Gallwch gysylltu 'r swyddfa hon yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg Area covered Wales

The Open University in the North West (Region 08)


351 Altrincham Road Sharston MANCHESTER M22 4UN Phone +44(0)161 998 7272 Email north-west@open.ac.uk Area covered Cheshire, part of Derbyshire, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside

The Open University in Scotland (Region 11)


10 Drumsheugh Gardens EDINBURGH EH3 7QJ Phone +44(0)131 226 3851 Email Scotland@open.ac.uk Area covered Scotland

The Open University in Ireland (Region 12)


110 Victoria Street BELFAST BT1 4NL Phone+44( 0)28 9032 3722 Email Ireland@open.ac.uk Area covered Ireland

The Open University in the North (Region 09)


Abbots Hill Baltic Business Quarter GATESHEAD NE8 3DF Phone +44(0)191 477 6100 Email north@open.ac.uk For emails from Europe (not including the UK and the Republic of Ireland) please use Email Europe@open.ac.uk Area covered Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, Teesside, Tyne and Wear, European Union (except the Republic of Ireland) Switzerland

The Open University in the South East (Region 13)


St Jamess House 150 London Road EAST GRINSTEAD RH19 1HG Phone +44(0)1342 327821 Email south-east@open.ac.uk Area covered Kent, Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex

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Central offices and departments


The address for mail that is not directed to a particular office or department is: The Open University Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6AA Phone +44(0)1908 274066 Fax 01908 653744 Website www.open.ac.uk Evening advice line 0870 333 1444

Complaints and Appeals Office


The Open University PO Box 5155 Milton Keynes MK7 6YJ Phone +44(0)1908 659535 Email complaints-appeals@open.ac.uk

Data Protection Coordinator


The Open University PO Box 497 Milton Keynes MK7 6AT Email Data-Protection@open.ac.uk

Assignment Handling Office


The Open University PO Box 722 Milton Keynes MK7 6AP Phone +44(0)1908 653051 Email assignments@open.ac.uk

Examinations Office
The Open University PO Box 720 Milton Keynes MK7 6ZQ Phone +44(0)1908 858312 Email examinations@open.ac.uk

Assessment Policy Office


The Open University PO Box 83 Milton Keynes MK7 6BF Email apo@open.ac.uk

Disability Resources Team


The Open University Hammerwood Gate Kents Hill Milton Keynes MK7 6BR Phone +44(0)1908 653745 Email disabled-studentresources@open.ac.uk

Assignment Records Office


The Open University PO Box 723 Milton Keynes MK7 6ZR Phone +44(0)1908 653702 Email assignments@open.ac.uk

CMA Team
Phone +44(0)1908 653702

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Open University Students Association (OUSA)


The Open University PO Box 397 Walton Hall Milton Keynes MK7 6BE Phone +44(0)1908 652026 Fax 01908 654326 Email ousa@student.open.ac.uk Website www.open.ac.uk/ousa

Student Registration & Enquiry Service


The Open University PO Box 197 Milton Keynes MK7 6BJ Phone +44(0)845 300 60 90 Fax 01908 654914 Email General-enquiries@open.ac.uk

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SUP 025788 updated January 2011

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