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26 March 2020

Coronavirus update: Exams, Assessments, Graduation

We are committed to supporting our students and staff as we continue to respond to global spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Strand Campus.

King's has today written to all students to update them on the arrangements for exams and assessments, first year undergraduate assessments and July graduation ceremonies.

Exams and assessment arrangements

Our intention is to proceed with the spring/summer assessment period for all students. We are committed to maintaining the quality of our students’ education and their degree from King’s, and feel it is important to provide opportunities for students to continue their studies and complete the academic year.

  • Extended assessment period

We will extend the main assessment period from five weeks to nine weeks. The main assessment period will now run from 27 April 2020 (as planned) to 26 June 2020. This allows us to spread assessments out if we need to; accommodate extensions where they are needed; and cater for student circumstances – and those of staff – in relation to illness, caring responsibilities, and other considerations. 

Assessment Boards will take place in mid-July, slightly later than originally planned. We will also continue with the third assessment period, which again will take place slightly later than normal, running between 24 August and 4 September.

  • Assessment formats

In many cases, assessments will be conducted in alternative formats to allow students to complete them remotely. These may include replacing unseen, timed exams with open-book exams, or alternative forms of coursework.

Students will receive further details shortly from us about the measures we are taking, and what to do if you are concerned or anxious about your assessments.

Faculties and departments are currently finalising details for the assessment period. Faculties will be in touch with our students with full details individual assessment arrangements, as all faculties work to different schedules and requirements, and there are some variations relating to assessment periods as well. Our intention is to have this information ready for you in the first week of April.

  • Undergraduate first year assessments

After careful deliberation, we have decided that for first year students’ grades from this year's assessments will not contribute towards their final degree classification and they will progress to their second year on a pass/fail basis.

We are committed to recognising students’ work and allowing them to demonstrate their performance and achievements. Assessments will still be marked, and students will still receive a grade for their work, which will appear alongside their other marks for this year on their transcripts. No student will be disadvantaged in their final degree classification by these measures. All transcripts for current students will carry a note to indicate that some assessments were conducted under exceptional circumstances associated with the pandemic.

July Graduation Ceremonies 

Yesterday King’s wrote to all final year students to advise them that after a great deal of careful consideration, we will be unable to deliver the graduation ceremonies planned for July. 

We want to reassure everyone that this is a delay rather than a cancellation, and we are exploring all options to hold graduation celebrations at a future date for graduates, their families and supporters.

It has been an extremely difficult decision to reach, but the safety of our community of students, staff and visitors must come first.

We appreciate that this will be extremely disappointing news for many. Degrees will not be affected and certificates will be sent to students directly at the normal time.

Supporting wellbeing 

King’s continues to offer support our students wellbeing and mental health with a range of resources available whilst working at a distance from others, at this time.  

Most of our buildings will now be closed in line with UK Government guidance. However, our staff are committed to ensuring that our students have access to all the services they need and we have the latest information and an updated list of how to access our student services remotely available on the website.

These are uncertain times and we recognise that individual circumstances will vary considerably. Working together, communicating with each other and drawing on collective support will enable us to navigate the challenges ahead as one, strong community.

We continue to encourage our staff and students to regularly check their KCL inbox and the coronavirus pages on our website for the latest updates, advice and answers to questions.