Coronavirus and the School of English and Drama – FAQs for Students

Last updated: Friday 3 April 2020 – 16:10


  1. Assessment changes: Please see below for our SED response to recent Assessment changes announced by the Principal.
  2. Grace Period: The 14-day ‘grace period’ now applies to alternative assessment arranged for ESH101 and ESH110. This means that you can submit your work up to 14 days late without the need for a Late Work application; this “grace period” applies to all assignments due in Semester 2 (i.e. those with deadlines from 16 February), the Exam Period and MA dissertations (due in August).
  3. Teaching, supervision and drop-in hours: All face-to-face teaching and student support in the School of English and Drama has taken place online and/or by phone since Friday 13 March and continues likes this until the end of the semester.
  4. Access to Buildings: The Library and Arts One (including Drama’s performance spaces) have been temporarily closed. PC labs have been closed for health and safety reasons. Please consult Queen Mary’s central information for updates.
  5. Access to University services: Services are available online, including The LibraryAdvice and Counselling, and the Dyslexia and Disability Service.

Frequently Asked Questions


Queen Mary remains committed to supporting students at this difficult time. Please refer to the University’s Advice and Counselling website or use the Big White Wall for online support. There is also information on what to do if you’re worried about coronavirus on Queen Mary’s dedicated web-pages and on the UK’s NHS website.


  1. What are the general principles behind our alternative arrangements?
  2. How will I be assessed?
  3. How will my year-average mark be calculated?
  4. Assessment rules

We understand that the current coronavirus situation can be a source of uncertainty and anxiety for students due to sit assessments. However, we want to reassure you that no student will be disadvantaged as a result of this situation: all final year students will receive an award and all continuing students will be permitted to progress (see below for details).

We’ve put together the following advice to help give you certainty during this time. Please carefully read the advice that relates to your degree type and situation.

If you have a query that’s not covered by the below guidance, please contact your Advisor, Supervisor, Student Support Officer, the Student Enquiry Centre, or the Academic Advice Centre at QMSU.

What are the general principles behind our alternative arrangements?

Our alternative arrangements were approved after careful consideration, looking at academic quality and standards to maintain the integrity of your awards, your experience as a student, the need for institutional consistency, and external expectations from the higher education sector. At the heart of our considerations was the central ‘no detriment’ principle: that no student should be delayed in their graduation or in progressing to the next level of study as a consequence of circumstances that have been beyond anyone’s control. The arrangements were approved on the delegated authority of the Senate, our highest-level academic committee.

How will I be assessed?

A mark must be generated for each module that you are taking. In some cases, the Module Organiser will have determined that you have already completed sufficient assessments for us to generate a module mark without any further assessments (discounting any elements yet to be completed). In other cases, the Module Organiser has reached the decision that we cannot fairly base a mark on the assessments that students have completed so far. In this case, an additional assessment will be required. This may be submission of a further item of coursework, but in many cases, this will be submission of an ‘alternative assessment’ online (see below). Your school/institute will be able to advise which is the case for each module.

Please read Queen Mary’s assessment guidelines in response to coronavirus.

Yes. We expect all students to complete their written assignments. You should submit this work to QMplus as normal.

Specific arrangements for alternative assessments (see below) will be made for any presentations (where  necessary), exams and practice-based assignments. Your teacher will be in touch, if they haven’t already, to arrange this in due course.

Update: Please see QMUL Assessment Changes Information (02/04/2020).

The School of English and Drama is committed to ensuring that no student is disadvantaged in their assessment outcomes as a consequence of the current pandemic and the transition to online teaching. Members of staff in the School have been instructed to mark your work on the basis of the teaching you have received and the resources that you’ve been able to access, and asked to adjust their expectations as necessary.

In advance of the Subject Examination Boards in English and Drama that confirm your final marks for the year, the School will take extra measures as described in Queen Mary’s assessment guidelines in response to coronavirus to review student achievement and progression in order to ensure that all students are being treated equally and sympathetically.

How will my year-average mark be calculated?

Each module you take has a credit value. At the end of the year an average mark is generated, using the credit values to weight the mark. For 2019/20, in accordance with the Queen Mary approach to ensuring ‘no detriment’, the 30 credits with the lowest marks (or 15 credits, for Postgraduate Certificate awards – which are 60 credit awards – only) will not count towards the calculation of the average mark for the 2019/20 year. Your adjusted year average will then be used in turn to generate the mark used for your classification at the end of your studies. (Please note that if your lowest marks are the result of an assessment offence penalty those marks will not be excluded, and the next lowest 30 credits will be excluded instead.)

Please download this PDF on ‘How to calculate an estimate degree Classification’

Assessment rules

The School of English and Drama provides the following guidance, which we hope you will find helpful in calculating your averages and degree classification. The School cannot confirm your calculations, which are estimates. Results are confirmed at the Examination Boards in July.

Please download this PDF on ‘How to calculate an estimate degree Classification’

Advice from the college:

Your final mark for classification will be derived using all your marks from your previous years of study, as well as the best 90 credits from your final year of study (which is year three for bachelor’s degrees, and year four for undergraduate master's programmes).

In some cases, students will already have passed 90 credits (eg, if a student has sat and passed modules adding up to 60 credits from Semester A and has a pass grade for a 30 credit research project module). In that case, your school or institute will advise you of your provisional grades and recommended award based on the 90 credits already passed. You would not then be obliged to complete the alternative assessments for the remaining 30 credits in Semester B modules. However, we strongly recommend that you take any remaining assessments available to you to give you the best chance that your 90 credits used to calculate your year average and overall degree mark are scored as highly as possible.

To be eligible for a foundation certificate or a graduate diploma, you must have completed modules to the value of 120 credits and passed at least 90 credits (including a minimum of 30 credits at the academic level appropriate to the award).
To be eligible for a bachelors degree, you need to have studied 360 credits, and to have passed a minimum of 270 credits in total with at least 30 credits passed at level 6. (These requirements may be higher for your award to be accredited by the relevant external, professional body). For an intercalated bachelors award, you must have completed 120 credits and passed a minimum 90 credits including at least 30 credits at level 6.

Remember: while it's mathematically possible for a student who passed 240 credits across years one and two to pass just 30 credits in their final year in order to receive a bachelors award, the low marks for the other, uncompleted, final year modules would have a severe negative impact on classification. This is why we encourage you to complete alternative assessments where you can, to give yourself the greatest number of opportunities for success.

To be eligible for an undergraduate masters degree, you need to have studied at least 480 credits, and to have passed a minimum 360 credits in total with at least 30 credits passed at level 7*.

If you're studying a PGT award, the standard regulations for award will apply, except that:

a) failed modules can be condoned from zero rather than 40.0 (where condoned failure is permitted), and

b) the mark on which your award is classified will be calculated excluding the weakest 30 credits-worth of marks (or for PgCert, 15 credits).

For part-time PGT students not due to graduate in 2020 but impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the principles described will be applied in your year of graduation. The external requirements of any relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) may mean that certain programmes are obliged to follow the original rules to qualify for accreditation.

There are no core modules in the School of English and Drama.

You are strongly encouraged to continue working on your assignments, make use of the 14-day ‘grace period’ and submit all your assignments. It is important to remember that any work that you complete is still useful to your learning. We will give feedback on any assignments that you submit to help you prepare for your next developmental year, further studies or professional life.

Information from the College:

All non-final year students (including students on an integrated with-foundation degree programme) will be permitted to progress, no matter the number of credits that you pass.

However, you'll be contacted by your school or institute to advise you if you have passed insufficient credits to receive an award, and you will be advised to resit assessments in the 'late summer' period. The exact timings for resits will be dependent on the duration of the current pandemic, but they won't be the first two weeks of August.

If you weren't on track to progress – for example, if you'd already failed more than 30 credits in the Semester A exams – staff in your school/institute will discuss your options with you individually. But if you nevertheless wish to continue, you will be entitled to do so.

As continuing students, when you complete your degree programme (ie, no earlier than the summer of 2021), your final marks will be calculated both including and excluding all marks from the academic year 2019-20. Consistent with the 'no detriment' principle, you'll receive the higher of those two marks: the final mark that includes 2019/20 and the final mark that excludes any contribution from this year.

For example:

  • For a bachelors student currently in year one, this means calculating your final mark based on a weighting of your year averages for Years 1, 2 and 3 in the ratios 1:3:6 and of 0:3:6, and taking the better of the two outcomes
  • For a bachelors student currently in year two, this would mean calculating your final mark based on a weighted average (for Years 1, 2 and 3 respectively) of 1:3:6 and of 1:0:6, and taking the better of the two outcomes
  • For students on undergraduate masters degrees, we would use the best outcome from 1:3:6:6 and 0:3:6:6 or 1:0:6:6 or 1:3:0:6, depending on which developmental year corresponds to the academic year 2019/20.

In accordance with Queen Mary's approach to a 'no detriment' principle, the marks for the weakest credits from the year will be excluded in all cases; where the recalculated year average would still bring the final mark down, the whole year will be excluded from classification. Note that this only applies to undergraduate programmes, not part-time/multi-year postgraduate taught programmes.

Your Year Abroad does not count in the calculation of your degree classification (it’s a pass/fail element of your programme, which you only need to ‘pass’ in order to progress to your final year). All students in the School of English and Drama who are studying abroad for the 2019-20 academic year will receive a pass grade for the Year Abroad.

Will I still need to complete assessed presentations for my modules this semester?

You will be asked to complete any assessed individual presentations via telephone or video conferencing (e.g. Skype, FaceTime), or written alternative where this has been agreed with your teacher. Your teacher will be in touch to arrange this in due course.

In the case of any assessed group presentations, you will be set an individual alternative assignment directly relating to your presentation (e.g. written script or notes, powerpoint slides, podcast, video). Again, your teacher will be in touch with further details. You will need to make your submission online to QMplus (in the same way as a written assignment) and a dedicated submission point will be set up. The deadlines for these alternative assessments will be no less than two weeks after the date on which a group presentation was due to take place.


Will I still need to complete assessed practice-based assignments for my Drama modules?

Specific arrangements for alternative assessments will be made for each practice-based Drama module this semester, where practical projects had been scheduled between 16 March—9 April and in the Exam Period (May 2020). Your teacher will be in touch with further details as soon as possible.

Will I still need to take my examination in May for ESH101 Shakespeare and/or ESH110 Literatures in Time?

Queen Mary has cancelled in-person examinations this May/June, including for ESH101 Shakespeare and ESH110 Literatures in Time. However, you will still be expected to complete an alternative assessment for these modules, and details of the alternative arrangement to the in-person examination will be made available by your teachers as soon as possible.

I'm supposed to be collaborating with other students on a group assignment: what should I do?

All students collaborating on group assignments will asked to make an individual submission for that piece of assessment to QMplus. Where circumstances permit, you may continue to collaborate with others in your group, in person or remotely, depending on your personal circumstances. Where you are unable to continue collaborating, please inform the rest of your group and continue working independently on the assignment instead. Where a member of your group is no longer able to collaborate, please respect their decision and continue to work with the remaining members of your group. All members of a group may make identical written submissions to a group assignment when you are drawing on collective work. Please ask your teacher for further advice if you are uncertain.


My module has a participation grade. How will I be assessed?

Your mark for participation (where this applies to a module you are taking) will be generated on the basis of the teaching you have received. Your teachers will grade your participation sympathetically, especially in cases where you may have had absences or online access difficulties.

My dissertation is due in hardcopy and e-copy. Do I still need to submit a hardcopy?

No. Undergraduate and MA dissertations are now only due electronically via QMPlus by the original deadline (date and time).

How should I submit an assignment that was due in hardcopy only?

All assignments will now be submitted electronically via QMplus.  Your teacher will advise on any revisions to the assignment brief (e.g. submitting photographs of objects you have made rather than submitting the object itself).

Detailed information can be found on individual module areas on QMplus.

The Undergraduate Degree Examination Boards, which confirm awards, will be held on 24 July, and the Postgraduate Boards (for students who were expecting to complete in July) on 4 August. Students will be formally notified of outcomes a few days later. A small number of programmes, notably the MBBS and BDS clinical programmes, will have earlier degree board dates (as usual).

The School will contact students with information about Late Summer Resit assignments as soon after the June Subject Examination Period as possible.

Please continue to work on your assignments you are unable to submit by the final deadline of 1 June, as assignments in the Late Summer Resit Period will be the same. If alternative assessment is needed (e.g. for a presentation) you will be sent the updated rubric as soon as possible.

The deadline to submit assignments in the Late Summer Resit period is expected to be 12 noon 12 August 2020 (TBC).

General information from the college:

Examination boards will occur slightly later than usual, so notifications of the need to resit assessment will also be later. There will be more information on this soon, but we expect the reassessment period to be in late August. Academic schools and institutes are likely to use alternative assessment for those assessments, too, as we do not yet know whether we will be able to open to hold invigilated exams.

All students with resits from last year have been informed of the assignments they still need to submit and the revised submission deadline of 12 noon 1 June 2020.

There are designated Resit tutors within School. Please do contact them for help with your assignments.

For English assignments please contact Howard Finn -

For Drama assignments please contact Sarah Harper -

I need to submit my work after the existing deadline. Do I need to submit a Late Work application?

Only if your assignment is more than 14 days (or 336 hours) late. In light of the coronavirus pandemic (as well as the effects of the recent industrial action), the School of English and Drama will not apply Late Work Penalties to any assignment submitted within two weeks (14 days, or 336 hours) of the deadline. You therefore do not need to submit a Late Work Report application for any written assignment submitted less than two weeks late.

This 14-day “grace-period” applies to all assignments due in Semester 2 and during the Semester 2  Exam Period. In other words, all assignments with deadlines that fall between 16 February 2020 and 31 May 2020 – now including alternative examination assessments for ESH101 Shakespeare and ESH110 Literatures in Time, and MA dissertations (due in August), can be submitted up to two weeks late, without penalty .

I didn’t know about this change in policy and I’ve already submitted my assignment. Can I update it without penalty? 

Only in particular circumstances: You can replace your assignment on QMplus up to 14 days (or 336 hours) after the deadline without needing to submit a Late Work Report application. Please take care, though: any replacement submission you make more than 14 days after the deadline will mean that the assignment is considered late (even if you had originally made an on-time submission).

What do I do if I need to submit my work more than 14 days (or 336 hours) late?

If you submit an assignment more than 14 days after the deadline, you should follow the School’s existing processes relating to late work.  The latest date by which you can submit a late assignment that is due in Semester 2 or in the Exam Period is 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.

1 June at 12.00 noon is also the deadline to submit any Late Work Report applications for assignments due in Semester 2 or in the Exam Period.

I have outstanding assignments from Semester 1 for which I had ECs accepted in January 2020. Do I also get a “grace period”?

Yes. The deadline for you to submit your outstanding assignment is now 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.

I’m a student resitting out of attendance, or have a resit assignment from last year. Do I also get a “grace period”?

Yes. The final deadline for you to submit your resit assignment is now 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.

What do I do if I miss submitting an assignment or the ‘take-home exam’ altogether due to extenuating circumstances?

The core principle behind the extenuating circumstances policy is the 'fit to sit' rule. By taking an assessment (submitting an assignment or taking an exam), you declare yourself fit to take it; any claim for extenuating circumstances relating to that assessment will not be considered, and the assessment will be marked.

If you are not in a fit state to attemp t an assessment, you should not do so. You should submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim form explaining the circumstances that affected you, and if possible, support your claim with documented evidence .

The deadline to submit an End of Year Extenuating Circumstances claim is 1 June 2020 at 12:00 noon.







All academic Schools at Queen Mary are cancelling face-to-face teaching on their programmes from 5pm on Thursday 19 March.

In place of face-to-face provision, teaching and learning activities are being migrated online, principally via QMplus. In the School of English and Drama we took the decision to stop face-to-face teaching and migrate online from Friday 13 March.

This is in order to address multiple concerns about student and staff wellbeing, and to ensure a parity of experience for all students, including those who have been forced to absent themselves from class and/or return home due to the current pandemic.

Our joint honours partner Schools have made similar decisions, replacing face-to-face teaching with online teaching: the School of Languages, Linguistics and Film has cancelled all face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March and the School of History has cancelled all face-to-face teaching from Tuesday 17 March.

Our decision is supported by the Principal of Queen Mary, Professor Colin Bailey.

Face-to-face teaching and related meetings/supervisions in the School of English and Drama have been cancelled from Friday of Week 8 (13 March) until further notice for the 2019-20 academic year.

No student will be required to come onto the Mile End campus for face-to-face teaching in the School of English and Drama for the remainder of this semester (until Thursday 9 April) or for examinations or other assessments in May.

No, although the School of English and Drama has closed physically the School’s administrative team remain available to support you remotely during normal working hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-1pm and 2-5pm); please contact Your teachers and advisors are available remotely for you for online teaching, supervision and support.

No. We have been advised that the ArtsOne building has been temporarily closed to all but essential staff.


Academic staff have been asked to make the best possible arrangements for their modules in terms of providing online content, and to be available remotely for students in their classes during the normal timetabled teaching slots. These arrangements will necessarily vary, and you will need to watch out for specific announcements from your teachers about your lectures, seminars, and practice-based classes. In general we anticipate that online teaching materials will be available for you via QMplus for each class.

Please attend online classes at the scheduled UK time. If this isn’t possible (e.g. you’re asleep), please review the work and tasks for the assigned week at a convenient time, as close to the original class as possible.

Yes, as far as possible lecture content will be made available to you. Often this will mean reviewing a lecture from last year’s module via QReview, although sometimes teaching staff may post new video or audio content, or upload scripts. Copies of lecture slides and handouts will be uploaded to QMplus as normal.

Your teachers will advise you about what will happen in particular online sessions. You might, for example, be asked to email questions, contribute to online forum discussions, work through preparation questions, complete research tasks, etc. Copies of classroom slides and handouts will be uploaded to QMplus as normal.

You should prepare for class in the usual way as far as possible by following existing (or updated) information on QMplus and/or in module packs. Look out for specific instructions from teaching staff, and take a look at this list of suggestions for how to prepare for online teaching and learning.

Download our advice document

In the first instance please contact your seminar/workshop leader or module convenor. They will be best placed to advise you what arrangements are in place for online learning on your module. Please be patient with your teachers as they adjust to this new way of working. You shouldn’t necessarily expect to find any additional online materials for the class until the date/time at which it is due to start.

The requirements for online learning in the School of English and Drama will be the same as your normal access to QMplus. However, if you do have concerns about your capacity to participate due to technical limitations, please get in touch for advice at If you do not have access to a computer due to financial hardship can apply for support through the Financial Assistance Fund. Please also advise your teachers of your concerns.

Queen Mary’s Library at Mile End and the University of London’s Senate House Library have been temporarily physically closed; please review their websites for up to date opening information. Both libraries offer online resources (e.g. journals, ebooks, databases) and you are strongly encouraged to make use of these resources, along with those on QMplus and other online sources, as appropriate (e.g. museums, galleries, artists, theatres etc.). Please be in touch with your teacher if you have concerns about access to resources.

Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.

You are not required to attend performances, exhibitions or undertake independent fieldwork in the UK set for your modules. Your teachers will advise of alternative learning activities and any assessment-related adjustments, where appropriate.

Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.

Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.

Please refer (as appropriate) to QMUL's "Advice about travel" FAQs and the guidance for PhD students from the Doctoral College. Students concerned about disruption to plans relating to international (or domestic) travel relating to their research are also encouraged to consult their supervisor(s), module convenor, MA Course Convenor and/or Director of Graduate Studies (in the case of PhD students), as appropriate.

Yes. All teaching staff are expected to retain their existing drop-in hours and to offer remote meetings via email, telephone, and/or video conferencing, advising of you of any changes to availability where necessary. Staff are expected to use the same mechanisms to offer dissertation supervision as normal. Please feel free to contact your advisor, teacher and/or dissertation supervisor to find out what arrangements they have made and to book a remote appointment.

Online renewal: You can renew your books online. Please consult The Library’s self-service webpage for details. If you experience any problems renewing, please contact

Loan periods: The Library is working to extend loan periods for items already on loan. Please check the Library website for updates.

Fines: All fines have been waived as of Monday 16 March, and no further fines will be incurred during the closure period.

Holds (reservations): These have ceased as of Wednesday 18 March.  See the Library website for information on access to resources (books) and further information on alternative ways to access resources during the closure period.

Please consult the Library website for more details of digital support and services.

No. PC labs have been closed for health and safety reasons. Please consult Queen Mary's central information for updates.

Yes. Please consult the FAQs on the Doctoral College webpage and contact your supervisor and/or Director of Graduate Studies by email for further details.

We expect the process to follow the timetable set out in the module directory.


Yes. You’re welcome to contact members of the team by email.


The University will provide guidance on this matter and you are advised to consult the centrally maintained FAQs for further information. It is not possible for the School of English and Drama to make its own decision about this issue.



No. Queen Mary has postponed summer graduation ceremonies, and will be communicating new dates as soon possible. Please consult Queen Mary’s graduation information and general FAQs for updates as they become available.


Please only travel in accordance with UK government guidelines; if you’re outside the UK, please consult local guidelines.

Please refer (as appropriate) to QMUL's "Advice about travel" FAQs and the guidance for PhD students from the Doctoral College. Students concerned about disruption to plans relating to international (or domestic) travel relating to their research are also encouraged to consult their supervisor(s), module convenor, MA Course Convenor and/or Director of Graduate Studies (in the case of PhD students), as appropriate.

This guidance has been compiled in order to provide students in the School of English and Drama with the best possible information available at the time of writing. Please remember that the institutional, national, and international contexts in light of the coronavirus pandemic are uncertain and changing, and it is likely that this will continue for some time. As a consequence, we will need to update this information from time to time. Any new decisions that are taken will always be with the best interests of students and staff firmly in view.

If you have a question for the School of English and Drama that is not addressed by this page, please email us on

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I am the Web and Marketing Administrator in the School of English and Drama. Amongst my various roles, I run the School's website ( and its Twitter feed (@QMULsed). I also manage the running of the School's Open Days and draft promotional materials.

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