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

UPDATE 25/05/21:

Extensions: Coursework Papers

Requests relating to coursework papers (portfolio, dissertation) should be made to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr Barrett, at least 24 hours in advance of the submission deadline
Requests should be copied to the Undergraduate Administrator ( and include a supporting statement from your Director of Studies. 
If it has not been possible to contact your Director of Studies in advance, please copy them into the email requesting an extension.

Extensions: Takeaway Papers

  1. Requests relating to takeaway papers should be made to the Director of Undergraduate Studies (Dr Barrett, at least 24 hours in advance of the submission deadline
    Requests should be copied to the Undergraduate Administrator ( and include a supporting statement from your Director of Studies. 
    If it has not been possible to contact your Director of Studies in advance, please copy them into the email requesting an extension.
  2. An account of the grounds for the request should be included in the email – typical grounds for an extension might include serious personal injury or illness, bereavement, or other grave cause.

UPDATE 30/04/21: 

The central Student Guide to Examinations can be found here. Please note that this guide applies to centrally run examinations and will therefore only apply to the Part IA Paper 6 Aural Skills examination and the Part IB Paper 7 Notation examination within the Faculty of Music.

Penalties for takeaway papers will follow the standard set out in the Classification criteria, although penalties will not be applied to work submitted up to ten minutes after the deadline.

Requests for clarification or correction to papers may be submitted up to two hours after the release of the paper. Any corrections or clarifications from the Faculty will be emailed to the relevant cohort three hours after the release of the paper.

UPDATE 09/03/21:

Applications for extensions to takeaway papers should be made using the same process as for coursework extensions. The extension given will be 24 hours. The only exceptions to this process will be Part IA Paper 6A Aural Skills and Part IB Paper 7 Notation; these will be run centrally and therefore any students requiring extra time or other arrangements will need their college to amend or submit an Exam Access Arrangement application via CamSIS in the normal way. Further information on this can be found here

Agreed Assessment Mitigations, 2021 (Music, Undergraduate)

(circulated: 25 February 2021)

The University Framework

The University ‘safety net’ includes:

  • Measures to ensure cohort equity with the 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 class distribution. (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. In addition, Impact Statements in Music will be extended to students preparing practical courses in all three years, so that any shortfalls can be explained and aspects of preparation that have been affected can be given less than normal weight in the marking. Students can download the Impact Statement form here for practical examinations and here for written coursework.
  • Automatic progression to the subsequent year of study for first- and second-year Tripos students who take the full assessment.

The University has discounted the following: dropping examination of particular papers; changing the weighting of coursework components; basing marks on supervision 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 undergraduate assessment period, starting with the Lent Term deadlines for coursework.

Exam Chairs: Part IA Dr Stefano Castelvecchi; Part IB Dr Martin Ennis; Part II Prof. Susan Rankin

  • Individual extensions of up to two weeks for coursework submissions (portfolio, dissertation) to be applied for to Juliet Margerison, Undergraduate Administrator (), with support (email) from your DoS. No medical evidence is required. The published deadlines will remain the same. Applications for extensions relating to Easter Term deadlines should be sent in two weeks at most before the deadline.
  • In recognition that some students will have had difficulty accessing resources for dissertations and portfolios, substantial changes to dissertation titles and abstracts will be automatically permitted with approval (by email) from your DoS. In order to ensure appropriate examiners are in place, students should send their new titles/abstracts to their Exam Chair as soon as possible and no later than 5pm on Friday 19 March. Later requests for substantial changes will require authorization from the relevant Exam Chair. Please send these to in the first instance. Minor changes to titles and abstracts may be approved by your DoS up to the point of submission.
  • Classification of degrees will be based on the five best papers; however, all papers and marks will be listed on student transcripts.
  • Course convenors have already been advised that they should look to find ways of streamlining preparatory work for examinations.
  • Workloads for individual papers will not be reduced. However, students are welcome to work to the lower end of word-limit ranges published in the Handbook. For notation-based coursework, examiners will prioritise quality over rigid adherence to published time limits. Expectations for recitals will remain unchanged.
  • All assessments currently envisaged as in-person assessments will have a ‘remote’ version which students can access if they are unable to attend in person, for example if they have not been able to return to Cambridge, they are shielding or they are required to self-isolate. Arrangements for ‘remote’ assessment of in-person exams will be published by the end of term. Students cannot choose between in-person and remote assessment unless they are shielding. If students feel they are significantly disadvantaged by a sudden change in assessment method that is beyond their control (e.g. a performer required to self-isolate shortly before a scheduled recital), they should appeal via the EAMC in the normal way.

Change of default assessment mode

  • IA.5/6 – Aural Skills will be assessed by a 90-minute online exam. This replaces a 1 hour in-person exam.
  • II.7.ii – Choral Performance will be assessed by a 30-35 minute in person test. This slightly amends the original description of a 30-minute in person test.
  • On account of its focus on foundational knowledge and ‘right or wrong’ accuracy, Part IB Paper 7 Notation will move to a format that approximates more closely to a standard unseen examination, with a window of 6 hours for online submission of answers.

‘Plan B’ arrangements for moving in-person assessments online where necessary

In place for:

  • IA.1 - Music & Musicology Today (Performance option)
  • IB.4 - Introduction to Performance Studies (Performance element)
  • IA.5/6 – Practical Skills
  • IB.8 - Keyboard Skills
  • II.4 - Advanced Performance
  • II.8.i and II.8.ii - Advanced Skills (Keyboard; Choral Performance)

Exam Board procedures

Exam Boards will be supplied with figures showing the percentage achievement in each class for cohorts graduating in 2017-2019, and the overall ‘historic’ average.

In order to guard against grade inflation while allowing maximum sensitivity to the circumstances of individual students taking a diverse range of courses, Exam Boards will work with overall averages based on each candidate’s best 5 papers (out of 6). Classification criteria have been amended so that required mark profiles take account of these changes and the new exceptional criteria can be found here.

If, after initial classification, cohort achievement is lower than the historical average from 2016/17 to 2018/19, the Exam Board will apply ‘cohort equity’ procedures. No marks will be changed. In order to identify the fairest place to draw the line between classes, Exam Boards will pay particular attention to the 5-paper averages gained by candidates. The result will ensure that the distribution of classes for 2020/21 is no less favourable than the average class distribution for cohorts graduating in 2017-2019.

No student’s marks or class will be lowered as part of either process.