Examinations and assessment guidelines

Examination board guidelines and assessment procedures (UG and PG) spring-autumn

Examination board guidelines and assessment procedures have been reviewed and updated for the operation of examination boards and publishing of assessment results, during spring and autumn 2020. Previous versions of these guidelines should be disregarded.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

All assessment and examination decisions taken in order to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 have been approved by the University Executive and the Senate and are detailed within the paper: ‘Procedures and Actions to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19: Examinations and Assessment’. Consequently, guidance documents have been produced for students, external examiners and examination boards as detailed below.

Guidance for students

All continuing and graduating students have been given access to a set of student guides which answer key questions and provide guidance on, for example, coursework completion, examinations and how decisions are to be made about Semester 2 courses. 

Guidance for external examiners

A guidance note for external examiners has been produced to help them undertake their role in the context of the University’s arrangements to mitigate the impact on COVID-19 on examination and assessment.

Guidance for examination boards

Exceptional arrangements are in place to manage Semester 2 assessments and the operation of examination boards. As a result, new guidance has been produced and existing guidance updated. Please refer to the ‘Recent Revisions to Policies and Procedures’ document for a summary of recent changes and introductions. All examination board guidelines and assessment procedures (UG and PGT) are listed below.

Document  Number Document Title
A Recent Revisions to Policies and Procedures   (new for Semester 2, 2019/20)

Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Examinations and Assessment: Arrangements that apply to UG and PGT Assessment Procedures   (new for Semester 2, 2019/20)


Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 on Examinations and Assessment: Guidance for Year 1 and Year 2 Progression Boards (new for Semester 2, 2019/20)


Undergraduate and Postgraduate Assessment Procedures


Decisions and Decision Codes


Guidelines on the Discretionary Award of Credits


Heriot-Watt University Assessment and Progression System (HAPS)


Guidelines on Complying with SCQF



Policy for Undergraduate Degree-Classification Borderline Cases

Policy for Postgraduate Taught Degree-Classification Borderline Cases


Guide to Medical Certificates under the HAP System


Policy on Mitigating Circumstances in Relation to Assessment


Policy on Withholding Awards due to Outstanding Debts: Implementation Procedures



Appeals Against Examiners' Recommendations of Award   (revised for Semester 2, 2019/20)

Appeals Process for Semester 2 (2019/20)  (new for Semester 2, 2019/20)


Managing Suspended Examination Boards


Briefing Session: Chairs of Examination Boards; Deans' Representatives



Guidelines for Deans, Associate Deans and Representatives

Deans' Report Proforma

14 Examination Paper Format Guidelines  (to follow)
15 Temporary Suspension of Studies Procedures (S2/S3, 2019/20)   (for Semesters 2+3, 2019/20)



Exam Board Minutes Template Yrs 1+2 (for Semester 2, 2019/20)

Exam Board Minutes Template Yrs 3, 4, 5, PGT   (for Semester 2, 2019/20)  (to follow)

Key information

Helen Crosby-Knox

Claire Russell

Lynn Boag