QMU Examination Regulations
This Section refers to all summative examinations that form part of a student’s assessment for an award or for determining progression. These regulations do not refer to class tests or other formative assessments.
Academic Co-Ordination of Examination Papers
Deans of School/Heads of Division are responsible for the academic co-ordination of examination papers required for those modules owned by that School/Division.
2.2 Heads of Division/Programme Leaders need to ensure, through internal moderation, that examination papers:
a) follow the curriculum
b) attempt to assess the approved module aims and learning outcomes
c) are of an appropriate standard
d) are sufficiently well documented to be sent to External Examiners
Production of Examination Papers
At the start of each semester, Schools/Divisions advise the Registry Examinations Officer and the School Office of the examinations to be scheduled in the diet of examinations for that semester, as well as providing the examination papers (both first and retrieval diet) required for those examinations. A record form will be issued for each examination paper at this time; the form will be used as a sign off sheet and will provide further details about the administration of the examination.
The finalised examination paper - that is the examination paper that has been checked and signed off by the paper setter and Head of Division (and External Examiners) - should be forwarded to the Registry Examinations Officer electronically along with the completed and signed paper record form. All finalised examination papers must be submitted to the Registry Examinations Officer at least three weeks before the start of the diet of examinations.
The Registry Examinations Officer will attach the front sheet (containing name of Division, the Programme(s) accessing the module, the level, the paper title, the module code, the confirmed date and time of the exam, the exam rubric and the name(s) of the paper setter(s) as detailed on the paper record form) to the examination paper. Once completed, the paper will be sent to the Print Room
If a Programme Team is unable to carry out this procedure for all examinations, according to 3.2 above, they should consult the Registry Examinations Officer regarding the appropriate steps to follow.
The Registry Examinations Officer will then collate the examination packs for each examination.
At the end of each session, the Registry Examinations Officer will forward examination papers to the Library for record.
Responsibilities of the Head of Division/Programme Leader it Relation to Examinations
Divisions/Programme Teams may nominate a member of staff to be the official contact for matters relating to examinations. Accountability for examinations however remains with the Head of Division/Programme Leader to ensure that the following points are actioned:
- co-ordination of examination arrangements for the Programme/Division, in consultation with the Registry Examinations Officer and the Programme/Subject team;
- ensuring, in consultation with the Registry Examinations Officer, that students are informed of the assessment periods for both first and second diets and of their requirement to attend;
- co-ordinating the production of examination papers for their Programme and their submission to the Registry Examinations Officer, in accordance with the examination schedule and the procedure specified in Section 3 above;
- co-ordinating secure arrangements for the draft examination papers to be moderated by internal examiners and, where appropriate, External Examiners;
- co-ordinating arrangements for paper setters to proof read typed draft papers;
- in consultation with the Head of Division/Programme Leader, provision of invigilators for examinations from the Programme Team/Division, as required by the Registry Examinations Officer;
- arrangements for paper setters to be present during the five minute reading time(where allocated) to address any queries raised by candidates;
- ensuring that completed examination books are accounted for, are marked and are available for moderation until the Board of Examiner
Responsibilities of the Registry Examination Officer
In co-ordinating the conduct of examinations within the University, the Registry Examinations Officer has the following responsibilities:
- ensuring, in consultation with School Office/Examination Co-ordinators, that students are informed of the assessment periods for both first and second diets and of their requirement to attend;
- producing the full diet of examinations timetable, in consultation with School Office/Examination Co-ordinators;
- requesting examination papers from the Examination Co-ordinators, in accordance with the examination timetable;
- co-ordinating the production of finalised examination papers;
- ensuring the security of all examination papers, prior to the examination being held;
- ensuring that the final draft of an examination paper is approved by the appropriate Head of Division before it is printed;
- liaising with School Office/Examination Co-ordinators to ensure that the appropriate
- number of invigilators are provided;
- liaising with the Examination Co-ordinators to ensure that paper setters are present during the five minutes reading time (where allocated) to address any queries raised by candidates;
- ensuring the provision of written instructions to invigilators and to candidates;
- ensuring, in consultation with the appropriate member of the Estates and Facilities department, that examinations rooms have adequately spaced seating, that any material likely to be of assistance to candidates is removed and that a clock is provided;
- ensuring that the Registry Examinations Officer or other members of Registry are
- available to be contacted at all times during the main diets of examinations;
- ensuring that a Senior Invigilator’s Report is completed and signed by the Senior Invigilator for each examination;
- ensuring that all examination materials, including completed and unused answer books, are returned to Registry by the Senior Invigilator, for storage and distribution to markers. Where completed answer books are collected by the marker directly from the examination room, the relevant section of the Senior Invigilator’s Report should also be completed and signed by the marker.
Rubric of Examination Papers
The rubric on the front sheet of each examination paper will provide, in standard format, the following details:
a) name of institution
b) home Division
c) Programme(s) using this examination paper
d) level at which assessed
e) module / subject title
f) module / subject code
g) examination title (if different from module / subject title)
h) academic session
i) date of examination
j) duration of examination (and indication of allocation of reading time)
k) instructions to candidates
l) clear instructions as to the allocation of questions per answer book
m) paper setter
Conduct of Examination
Examinations are conducted according to the published diet of examinations timetable. The confirmed timetable will be published for each diet of examinations at least three weeks before the start of the diet and displayed on the University website.
An examination pack, containing the appropriate examination papers, script books and other materials, as well as a list of candidates eligible to take the examination, will be prepared by the Registry Examinations Officer, for collection by the Senior Invigilator thirty minutes before the start of the examination.
The procedure for the invigilation of examinations is detailed in Section 9 below.
The responsibilities of candidates undertaking examinations offered by Queen Margaret University are detailed in Section 10 below
Arrangement of Examination out with the University
Except in cases of extreme difficulty, students are required to be available for every diet of examinations, including retrieval examinations. The following procedure is applicable to all students and all diets of examination. Requests for special arrangement of examinations outwith the University should be considered only if exceptional circumstances apply. Senate has agreed that being an international student (broadly defined to include an EU citizen domiciled at distance from the UK) may be considered as an exceptional circumstance.
The procedure for special arrangement of examinations to be held outwith the University is as follows:
Any request for an examination outwith the University requires to have the written approval of both the Programme Leader and the Head of Division/Dean of School:
- Approved requests for examinations outwith the University should be forwarded in writing to the Registry Examinations Officer, who shall make all subsequent arrangements. The Registry Examinations Officer should normally be informed of any approved requests for special arrangements at the earliest opportunity and no less than six weeks before the relevant diet of examinations is due to take place.
- Students are asked to nominate a local centre willing to undertake the examination and to conform to the University’s examination procedures and regulations, but this has to be confirmed as suitable by the Registry Examinations Officer. In addition, the Registry Examinations Officer will act as the official contact point for arrangements with the local centre and with the student.
- Any examinations organised at a designated local centre should normally take place at the same date and time (GMT) as the same examination at the University. Where this is not possible, and there is a possibility of contact between students, Registry may require the relevant paper setter to set an alternative examination paper.
- The Registry Examinations Officer will notify the student of all finalised arrangements in writing at least ten days before the scheduled date of the examination(s) in question.
- There will be an administration charge made by the University (currently set at £75) which will normally be payable by the student. This is intended to cover the costs of the arrangements. Where Programme requirements (such as placements) necessitate such arrangements, this charge will be waived. In addition, the local centre may make a further charge to cover any incurred costs, for which the student may be liable.
Further advice regarding the arrangement of examinations outwith the University is available from the Registry Examinations Officer.
Invigilators are responsible for the proper conduct of examinations in accordance with the instructions given below.
For each examination venue, there will be one Senior Invigilator for the first 30 candidates and one further invigilator will normally be appointed for each additional 30 candidates thereafter. Registry staff will be available in the vicinity of the examination to provide assistance throughout the duration of the examination.
Preparations before examinations
The Senior Invigilator is responsible for collecting the examination pack, containing all examination materials including a list of candidates eligible to take the examination, from Registry at least 30 minutes before the start of the examination.
All invigilators should be present in the examination room at least 20 minutes before the start of the examination.
The required number of answer books, the question papers, scrap paper and any other required examination material should be laid out on each desk before candidates are allowed to enter the room. Question papers should be laid face upwards.
The Announcements to Students (detailed in Paragraph 9.5 below) should always be read out prior to the commencement of each examination.
Paper setters should be present during reading time to address any queries raised by candidates, but should not attempt to interpret the examination paper for candidates. Note: Any response to a query should be announced to all the candidates.
Reading time (where allocated, normally 5 minutes) is additional to the total time for an examination, and examination conditions operate from the start of reading time. Candidates must not commence writing in the answer books during reading time, but may be permitted to write on the scrap paper provided or the question paper itself (unless required to answer on the question paper).
Admission to the examination
Candidates should normally be admitted to the examination room 15 minutes before the start of the examination.
Candidates must produce their matriculation card on admission to the examination room. In addition, candidates must complete and sign the signature sheet and/or an attendance slip, as deemed appropriate by the Senior Invigilator. Where candidates are asked to sign attendance slips, the invigilators are asked to ensure that all slips are checked against the signature sheet, to indicate attendance.
Matriculation cards should be displayed on candidates’ desks throughout the examination.
Late admission of candidates
A candidate who arrives late should be admitted without question during the first half hour of an examination.
Admission after the first half hour may only be allowed with the prior permission of the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.
No extra time will normally be allowed to a candidate who arrives late for an examination session, unless there are accepted extenuating circumstances. This has to be agreed by the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.
Announcements to candidates before the start of the examination
The following announcements should be made to candidates before the start of the examination:
a) “Please display your matriculation card on your desk throughout the examination”.
b) “Only authorised materials should be retained on your desk during the examination. All other materials not specifically allowed in the rubric of the examination paper and all other belongings should be placed at the front of the room. The use of hand held personal technology including smart watches, personal organisers, electronic dictionaries and mobile phones is not permitted. Please ensure that all mobile telephones are switched off and retained in personal bags at the front of the examination room. The use of programmable calculators and those with text, symbolic or graphic capabilities is not permitted unless expressly authorised by the examiners, as stated on the front cover of the examination paper”.
c) “Please complete the front covers of the answer books before the start of the examination. You should ensure that you have completed and sealed the fold- down edge to maintain anonymity. You must also ensure that your name is not shown anywhere else on the examination answer book”.
d) “Please check that you have the correct question paper, and note the duration of the examination”.
e) “Please do not start writing in the answer books during reading time. You can, however, write on the question paper (unless you are required to answer on the paper) or the scrap paper provided during the reading time”.
f) “Any queries regarding the question paper should be raised during the reading time (i.e. the first 5 minutes) with the paper setter. The answer to any query will be announced to all candidates taking the examination”.
g) “Please do not leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination, other than for personal reasons. If you require to leave the room temporarily, you will be accompanied by an invigilator”.
h) “You will be informed of the time 30 minutes and 15 minutes before the end of the examination”.
i) “Once the examination has been completed, candidates must obey the Senior Invigilator’s instructions either to remain in their seats until answer books are collected or to leave books on desks”
j) “Where there are any students who have been allocated extra time, please leave the exam room at the end of the examination quickly and quietly to ensure minimum disruption to the remaining student(s)”.
Procedures in event of evacuation due to a fire alarm activation or other emergency
In the event of the fire alarms being activated and candidates for an exam being evacuated during an examination, the following action will be taken in line with QMU Fire Regulations:
Invigilators will act as temporary fire wardens responsible for the orderly evacuation of the examination room.
Without delaying the evacuation of the candidates unduly, the candidates will be:
a) instructed to stop writing;
b) informed that the examination has been suspended and that further instructions will be given on re-admittance to the examination room;
c) asked to check that her/his name is on at least one answer book;
d) instructed to evacuate the room, leaving question papers, answer books and personal belongings in the examination room
e) asked to proceed as a group to the nearest the assembly point.
The invigilator will be the last person to leave the examination room and will record the time of the fire alarm activation and evacuation of the examination room.
Invigilators will return to the examination room when authorised by the Security Wardens and will re-admit the candidates.
If the alarm is activated at a point up to two-thirds of the way into the published time provided for the examination, the examination will re-start, and the period the examination will be extended by the period of disruption.
If the alarm is activated at a point within the last third of the examination period, the examination will not be re-started. The examiners will take the extenuating circumstances into account in determining the performance of candidates.
The period of disruption is from the time the alarm sounds until candidates are re-seated in the examination room. Should the period of disruption extend beyond one hour, then the examination will be considered null and void, and rescheduled at a time to be notified by the Registry Examinations Officer.
On re-admittance to the examination venue, the Senior Invigilator will instruct candidates as to whether or not the examination will be re-started, or has been declared null and void
The Senior Invigilator will record the disruption on the Senior Invigilator Report so that the examiners can be advised to take this into account when assessing performance.
During the period of evacuation the Regulations for Examinations should be considered to be suspended until the examination is re-started or ended.
Procedures in the event of network disruption
In the unlikely event of network disruption that affects an examination completed on a computer, the University will put in place alternative arrangements for the examination. The precise nature of these arrangements will be determined on a case by case basis. In all cases, the priority will be not to disadvantage students.
In the event of network disruption, the examination will be handwritten, where possible and appropriate. Students with Individual Learning Plans who would normally use a computer to take an examination will be given the option of handwriting the examination. They will also be given extra time to complete the examination. Should this not be appropriate, attempts will be made to reschedule the examination.
Should a network disruption coincide with an examination on the HUB, the examination will be rescheduled.
Students are expected to check the University’s Facebook page and Twitter feeds for updates in the event of network disruption. Should there be a need to identify an alternative room for an examination affected by network disruption, physical signage at reception will provide details of the location.
If any candidate is suspected of cheating or other misconduct, the following procedure should be followed:
a) The candidate’s examination answer book should be removed and endorsed by the invigilator as having been used prior to the incident.
b) Any unauthorised materials should be removed and attached to the candidate’s original examinations answer book.
c) The candidate should be issued with a fresh examination answer book and instructed to continue the examination.
d) The Registry Examinations Officer should be notified of any incident immediately after the examination has finished.
e) The Senior Invigilator’s Report should be clearly annotated.
End of the examination
The examination should be stopped punctually, and candidates should be advised either to remain in their seats until the answer books have been collected or to leave all relevant materials on their desks. Care should be taken to ensure that each candidate returns all relevant materials.
The Senior Invigilator should count the number of answer books collected and complete and sign the Senior Invigilator’s Report.
Answer books and all other materials should be returned to the Registry Examinations Officer, unless the marker collects the answer books directly. Where the marker collects the answer books directly from the examination room the Senior Invigilator should ensure that the marker completes and signs the relevant section of the Senior Invigilator’s Report.
Instructions to Candidates for Examinations
Candidates must ensure that they are aware of the published examinations timetable for both first and second diet examinations and their requirement to attend.
Candidates must notify any change of permanent address through the Student Portal. This is essential for mailing of assessment results (student academic transcript) and information about graduation.
Candidates must arrive at the examination venue at least 15 minutes before the published start time. The examination timetable (published on the Registry website) should be checked to confirm the location.
Candidates must complete and sign the signature sheet and/or an attendance slip, as directed by the Senior Invigilator.
A candidate who is unable to attend an examination because of illness, or another valid reason, must submit an extenuating circumstances form with relevant documentary evidence.
A candidate who requires provision of additional examination arrangements must inform their Programme Leader as soon as possible and normally not later than four weeks before the first examination.
Candidates are referred to the Programme Regulations for specific details relating to their Programme assessment procedures, and to the general Assessment Regulations.
Late admission of candidates
A candidate who arrives late will be admitted without question during the first half hour of an examination.
Admission after the first half hour may be allowed with the prior permission of the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.
No extra time will normally be allowed to a candidate who arrives late for an examination session, unless extenuating circumstances are accepted by the Senior Invigilator and the Registry Examinations Officer.
Conduct in the examination room
Candidates must retain only authorised materials on their desks during each examination. All other belongings should be placed either at the front or the back of the room. The use of hand held personal technology including smart watches, personal organisers, electronic dictionaries and mobile phones is not permitted. All mobile telephones must be switched off prior to entrance into the examination room and retained in candidates’ bags at the front of the examination room. The use of programmable calculators and those with text, symbolic or graphic capabilities is not permitted unless their use is expressly authorised by the examiners, as stated on the front cover of the examination paper.
Candidates are advised that they should complete the front cover(s) of examination answer book(s) before the start of the examination. Candidates should ensure that they have completed and sealed the fold-down edge to maintain anonymity. You must also ensure that your name is not shown anywhere else on the examination answer book.
Candidates should ensure that they have been issued with the correct question paper and note the duration of the examination.
Once the examination has started, communication or any other irregular practice is not allowed between candidates.
For the duration of reading time (where allocated this will normally last 5 minutes), candidates should not commence writing in the answer books, but may be permitted to write on the question paper (unless they are required to answer on this paper) or on scrap paper. The invigilator will instruct candidates when to commence writing in the answer books.
Questions on the content or presentation of the examination paper may only be asked during the specified reading time. The answer to any question asked will be repeated to all candidates taking the examination.
If a candidate wishes to attract the attention of the invigilator at any time during the examination s/he should do so by raising her/his hand.
No candidate should leave the examination room during the first 30 minutes or the last 15 minutes of the examination, other than for personal reasons. Any candidate wishing to leave the examination room temporarily must be accompanied by the invigilator.
Candidates will be reminded of the time 30 minutes and 15 minutes before the end of the examination.
A candidate who becomes ill during an examination must inform an invigilator who should record the details on the invigilators report. Candidates should submit an extenuating circumstances form as soon as possible thereafter.
End of the examination
Candidates must obey the Senior Invigilator’s instructions either to remain in their seats until answer books are collected or to leave books on desks.
All answer books and other relevant material to be submitted should be clearly marked with the candidate’s name.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that all relevant material for marking is submitted to the invigilator.