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For general information about the University's response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/students.  This page provides supplementary information relating specifically to assessment arrangements for MPhil students in the Faculty of Music during Easter Term 2021.

Agreed Assessment Mitigations in 2021: MPhil Music

(circulated: 10 March 2021)

The University Framework (full document available here)

The University ‘safety net’ includes:

  • Measures to ensure ‘cohort equity’ with the distribution of results between Pass and Distinction for the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 cohorts. See below for details as to how this will operate. (NB: The University has expressly excluded cohort equity with 2019/20.)
  • Provision for students to include an ‘Impact Statement’ with submitted coursework to indicate how its preparation has been affected by Covid. Students can download the Impact Statement form here: https://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/your-course/examinations/mitigation. Again, see below for further details.

The University has discounted the following: dropping the examination of particular papers; changing the weighting of coursework components; basing marks on supervisors’ reports.

Within the Music Faculty

In addition to the ‘safety net’ proposed by the University, the Faculty of Music proposes the following mitigations for the postgraduate assessment period, starting with the Lent Term deadlines for coursework. As announced to MPhil students on 26 January 2021, a fortnight has been added to the original deadlines for the submission of both coursework and dissertations/composition
portfolios, with the extra time to be regarded as an ‘automatic extension if needed’:

New deadlines including ‘automatic extensions if needed’

  • Submission of Essay 2 – 2 April 2021
  • Submission of Essay 3; Submission of Composition 2 – 9 April 2021
  • Submission of hard and electronic copies of final dissertations or portfolios – 9 July 2021

For these ‘automatic extensions’ no evidence of medical or other mitigating circumstances is required.

In addition, the MPhil presentations originally due to take place on 30 April and 7 May will be pushed back to 7 May and 21 May respectively. Further details of these presentations will be circulated in due course.

In accordance with the guidelines on p. 36 of the Graduate Handbook, any further requests for extensions beyond the normal submission date should be made well in advance of the actual date, and directed to both the Senior Internal Examiner () and the Director of Graduate Education (until 26 April; from 26 April). The same applies to requests to defer the final submission beyond 9 July. Such extensions will be granted only in very exceptional circumstances, for example, in the case of serious illness or bereavement.

In recognition that some students will have had difficulty accessing resources for dissertations and portfolios, substantial changes to dissertation/portfolio titles and abstracts will be automatically permitted with approval (by email) from your supervisor. In order to ensure appropriate examiners are in place, students should send their new titles/abstracts to the Director of Graduate Education as soon as possible and by no later than 5 pm on Friday 26 March. They should also ask their supervisors to confirm their approval by emailing the as well.

Students may choose to include an impact statement (see above for relevant URL) with their coursework, dissertation and/or portfolios detailing how the successive lockdowns have been detrimental to their research through, for example, limiting their access to study materials and key texts. Statements  should not reference personal circumstances or mental health issues, but should refer only to the impact of lockdown on their ability to source relevant materials. Examiners will be asked to take account of the impact of disruption on access to study materials and key texts or available data when assessing the work in question.

Examination Board ‘cohort equity’ procedures

The MPhil Examination Board will be supplied with figures showing the percentage achievement in each band (i.e. Pass and Distinction) for cohorts in 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, as well as the overall ‘historic’ average during these three years. If, after initial results are calculated, cohort achievement is lower than the historic average from 2016/17 to 2018/19, the Board will apply ‘cohort equity’ procedures to ensure that the distribution of results for 2020/21 is no less favourable than the average distribution for cohorts graduating from 2017 to 2019. This will involve identifying the fairest place to draw the line between Pass and Distinction bands, paying particular attention to the averages gained by candidates. No student’s marks or band will be lowered as part of this process, nor will any marks be increased.