Frequently asked questions about....academic problems
NB; depending on the year your course started, you will have different course regulations to follow. Please Click Here for more information.
help, i've failed a unit! What can i do?
The most important thing to remember is that this does not mean the end of your university career. For first and second years you will normally automatically have be allowed an opportunity to re-sit the failed assessment(s). Normally there will also be a 2nd re-sit opportunity (but only if you fully engage with the first re-sit i.e. attend the re-sit exam or re-submit the failed assignment).
Final year students normally also get two re-sit opportunities, but if you fail the first re-sit you will be unable to qualify for an honours degree.
Re-sit marks are capped at 40% for undergraduates and 50% for postgraduates.
If you are a postgraduate student there are further rules regarding failed units so please come and see us to discuss this further or visit postgraduate regulations.
For further advice on re-sits see our booklet - Academic Problems and Academic Appeals which can be downloaded from the website, or contact us at the Advice Centre.
When will i have to do my re-sits?
For most courses at MMU, results are normally sent out in June each year, after all examinations and assignments are submitted. It should be clear from your results letter if you have to do any re-sits. If you have to re-sit, you will normally be expected to do this as soon as possible with the re-sit period normally being during the summer holidays in August. However, if you have failed a lot of credits (more than 60), you will have to re-sit them during the next academic year.
If you do summer re-sits but fail the unit again, the University will decide if you have to attend that unit again the following year or repeat the unit without attendance. You should be aware that if you repeat without attendance you will not usually be able to get any Student Support funding for that year and you cannot apply for benefits such as Job Seekers. Many students struggle financially in this circumstance.
If you have any further queries about the above, please come and see us.
I've only failed one unit - do I have to wait until next year before I can continue on my course?
You should be able to re-sit one module over the summer re-sit period. If you do not pass it at that stage it is likely to mean you have to delay your course by a year whilst you re-do it. This is because the university expects you to pass all units before progressing onto the next stage of your studies.
What if exceptional circumstances have been affecting my ability to do my assessments?
If your results have not yet been issued, you may be able to submit details of anything that has affected your ability to do your assessments using the University’s Exceptional Factors procedures. You should contact your Student Information Point/Student Life Office to see if you are in time use the procedure. The Exceptional Factors Panels meet on set dates. You will need to ensure they have your completed form, with as much information as possible, by the relevant date.
You will need to include a detailed statement stating WHY and HOW your performance has been affected - and provide evidence.
If the Panel accepts that your performance was affected by Exceptional Factors then they will decide on what outcome to recommend, such as extra time for submission of coursework or being allowed to re-do the assessment “as if for the first time” – it all depends on the circumstances.
More information can be found in our Academic Problems booklet. If you are too late to submit Exceptional Factors then you may need to use the University’s academic appeals procedures – please see below.
The exceptional factors panel have already met. What can i do?
If you are too late to make a submission to the Exceptional Factors Panel, you may have to use the appeal procedures instead, once your results have been issued.
You will still have to do a statement and get evidence, such as a GP letter.
Importantly you will need to state why you did not submit details of the Exceptional Factors previously. You must submit your appeal from within 14 days from the date of your results letter. You must have very good reasons for them to accept an appeal later than 14 days.
For further reading see our Appeals booklet and MMU’s site on appeals.
Contact us at the Advice Centre if you would like guidance through the process.
I'm struggling with particular aspects of my course, what can I do?
There is a lot of support available to you depending on what exactly you're struggling with. If you are having problems grasping what you are being taught, you should speak to your unit leader for further guidance – they should be approachable and willing to answer further questions to help you try and get your head round the subject.
Alternatively, if you're struggling with academic skills like note taking, essay planning or referencing, contact your Faculty Student Support Officer.
If you are struggling due to dyslexia or another disability, the Learner Development Service should be able to help you.
If you are feeling stressed by all the work, the Counselling Service can help with one-on-one sessions and group workshops on stress busting and relaxation techniques. The Counselling service may also be able to help if you have other issues that are making things difficult for you, that may be outside of the university, but affecting you and your ability to study.
Finally if you are unsure of where to go, come and see us at The Advice Centre and hopefully we can point you in the right direction.
I’ve received a letter accusing me of plagiarism, will they kick me off my course?
Plagiarism has a few possible meanings and attracts different levels of penalties depending on the circumstances. MMU will consider whether it is your first offence, what year you are in and how much is plagiarised. You should contact us for an appointment and bring along all relevant paperwork, including the actual assignment in question and any evidence of plagiarism that your department has sent you. If you do not have any paperwork, go to your Student Information Point/Student Life Office and request a copy. We may also be able to attend and represent you at the meeting if we are given enough notice. For further reading on this subject please see www.mmu.ac.uk/academic/casqe/regulations/assessment/docs/appendix_5_plagiarism.pdf and our Academic Problems booklet.
I’m not happy with my course, can i change to something else?
This is a fairly common situation and so can be a straightforward process. You could try speaking to your Head of Department, as it might be that the course will improve.
Alternatively you can speak to your Faculty Student Support Officer, Careers and then Admissions to clarify how you apply for a new course.
However you should contact us to discuss the possible financial implications of a course change, especially if you have studied more than one year at University. We can be contacted at The Advice Centre. You may also want to try reading our Academic Problems booklet.
I’ve made a huge mistake, uni is not for me. how do i leave?
University is not for everyone. However, before you just leave us, have you considered the fact that you may be on the wrong course? You could see about transferring to a different course (see above). There may be other reasons why you want to leave, such as financial or personal reasons. Please come and speak to us as we may be able to help you to resolve these issues or we can look at other options such as taking time out of your studies (deferring). It’s best to come and talk to an adviser because there will be financial implications if you defer. If you do decide you really want to leave, then come along to the Advice Centre and speak to us. There are many issues that you may need to consider such as, future funding implications, accommodation, benefits.