University of Tampere’s Regulations on the Assessment of Studies

These regulations enter into force on 1 January 2017.

Regulations on the Assessment of Studies in pdf-format

NB: This is an unofficial translation. In the event of any discrepancies between the Finnish and English versions, the original Finnish version shall prevail.

University of Tampere’s Regulations on the Assessment of Studies

The Board of the University of Tampere hereby approves these regulations on 4 November 2016 under paragraph 8 of section 14(2) and section 28 of the Universities Act (558/2009).

CHAPTER 1: General provisions

Section 1: Assessment of study attainments at the University of Tampere

Coursework, examinations and theses completed at the University of Tampere are assessed in accordance with these regulations.

The assessment criteria for coursework, examinations and theses are public.

Section 2: Purpose of assessment

The purpose of assessing coursework, examinations and theses is to collect information on the achievement of learning outcomes.

For students, assessment provides guidelines and support in planning their studies and evaluating learning processes. Assessment also reflects the results of instruction and curriculum design, thus supporting the planning and continuous development of instruction and studying at the University. Moreover, assessment enables the staff to monitor the progress of students’ studies.

Where possible, learning must also be assessed in class and during the completion of coursework, etc. In such cases, the assessment may focus on learning processes in addition to the achievement of the set learning outcomes.

Assessment can target the performance of a group of students instead of an individual when the set learning outcome, teaching method used or another justified reason so necessitates.

Section 3: Right to complete and participate in courses

Credits may be awarded only for students who have enrolled as present and hold an appropriate right to study at the University of Tampere.

A student may complete only course units that are included in his/her right to study.

Section 4: Confirmation of identity

A student taking an exam, practical test, etc. must prove his/her identity upon request.

If a student is unable to prove his/her identity, the assessment may be failed.

Section 5: Scope of application

These regulations are applied to course units included in the curricula.

These regulations may also be applied to continuing education, made-to-order education, entrance examinations and other forms of assessment related to student admissions, as well as to national specialist examinations for specialising doctors and dentists, assessment of the student’s current competence level and to the processes of recognising and accrediting prior learning.

These regulations apply to the independent institutes as appropriate.

CHAPTER 2: Mode of assessment

Section 6: Assessment of class-based and independent studies

Students can complete course units by attending classes or by studying independently. Assessment focuses on the component specified in the curriculum (end-of-class exam, practical test, etc.). In addition, assessment may focus on the learning processes referred to in section 2(3).

Section 7: Mode of assessment

Students’ work is assessed using reliable methods that evaluate the achievement of the set learning outcomes and the development of learning processes from various points of view. The student’s performance in a single course unit may be assessed using several complementary methods.

Where justified, exceptions to the mode of assessment described in the curriculum may be made by a mutual agreement between the student and the instructor responsible for the course unit in question.

Alternative modes of assessment may be used in place of the one described in the curriculum if a student has been diagnosed with a learning disability that requires so.

CHAPTER 3: Examiner and language of the assessed component; assignments given at the assessment

Section 8: Examiner of the assessed component

The component to be assessed is examined by an appointed instructor to whom the faculty has assigned this task. The instructor may assign a student attending his/her class to conduct a peer assessment of another student’s work, a part thereof, or of the learning process when such a method promotes the achievement of the learning outcomes set for the course unit in question. The instructor decides whether to pass or fail the student’s work and determines the possible grade.

If the instructor is prevented from attending to his/her duties or is disqualified, the relevant dean of a faculty, director of an independent institute or person responsible for the degree programme in question appoints another person to conduct the assessment, i.e. an instructor or other competent person with sufficient knowledge of the learning outcomes and content of the course unit.

Section 9: Language of the assessed component

Students have the right to use Finnish in written and oral coursework, examinations, etc., unless another language is required in the curriculum. Otherwise the right to use a language other than Finnish in the work to be assessed is decided by the dean of the relevant faculty or the director of the independent institute in question.

In accordance with sections 6 and 10 of the Government Decree on University Degrees and Specialist Education, maturity essays are written in Finnish or Swedish when a student has been educated in Finnish or Swedish. When a student has been educated in a language other than Finnish or Swedish, the maturity essay is written in English, Finnish or in the primary language of instruction in the degree programme in question.

Section 10: Assignments given at the assessment

In an examination or other assessment, assignments given to students must be designed to correspond to the learning outcomes, requirement level and workload of the degree, study module or course unit in question as specified in the curriculum; in addition, the assignments should promote the achievement of the learning outcomes. Students must be provided with the opportunity to reasonably complete the assignments within the time allowed.

If the assessed component is an exam, persons in charge of the exam arrangements must specifically ensure that all students are treated equally by not letting any candidate see the exam questions beforehand. As a general rule, exam questions and assignments become public information after the exam.

CHAPTER 4: Retaking assessments and rescheduling the date of assessment

Section 11: Retaking assessments

Students are allowed to retake an examination or redo another assessed component regardless of the assessment result, unless otherwise provided below.

If the mode of assessment is other than an exam, students must be informed of the ways to improve their grade no later than upon assessment.

In the case of an exam based on lectures, students must be allowed at least one opportunity to retake the exam. A faculty council or the director of an independent institute may restrict the number of times a student may retake a passed exam based on lectures, unless a higher grade is required to continue studies. If classes are held in the first (I), second (II) or third (III) period, the exam may be retaken during the following period. If, however, classes are held in the fourth (IV) period, the retake must be arranged within a reasonable time of the end of the fourth period.

Students must be notified of the exam and retake dates in good time.

A thesis that has been assessed and approved cannot be resubmitted. A study module that has been assigned an average grade and entered into the student register cannot be reassessed either, unless otherwise decided by the relevant faculty.

A retake opportunity need not be arranged for in-class assessments of coursework and learning processes, with the exception of exams based on lectures.

Section 12: Prevailing grade

If a student completes the same course unit more than once, the highest grade prevails. However, if the workload of the course unit has increased, the grade assigned for this more extensive course unit prevails.

Section 13: Rescheduling the date of assessment

The date of assessment may be rescheduled for a compelling reason only. Students pursuing the course unit in question must be notified of the new date effectively and in good time.

CHAPTER 5: Provisions on exams based on lectures

Section 14: Exam based on lectures

The instructor decides on the date of an exam or other assessment based on lectures of the course units in his/her responsibility. Students attending the course must be notified of these dates in good time. The instructor also sees to the invigilation of the exams based on lectures in his/her responsibility.

As a general rule, an exam based on lectures is arranged in the same period as the classes of that course unit.

Section 15: Registering for exams based on lectures

Students need not register for exams based on lectures.

However, registration may be required on justified grounds. The instructor must notify the students of the registration procedure well in advance.

CHAPTER 6: Provisions on general examinations

Section 16: General examinations

General examinations are assessment sessions where students in principle take or retake exams based on lectures or independent study. General examinations are also arranged as electronic exams.

Section 17: General examination dates

Information on general examinations is published as part of the teaching schedules.

The dates of the general examinations for each academic year are decided by the deans of the faculties, directors of the independent institutes or the persons responsible for the degree programmes, with the exception of electronic exams; the date of an electronic examination will be determined by the instructor responsible for the exam in question.

A sufficient number of general examination sessions must be provided for the students. Examination dates must allow students to smoothly progress in their studies in accordance with the curriculum and within the target time.

Section 18: Registering for a general examination

Students register for a general examination either electronically or in another secure manner determined by the faculties or independent institutes no less than seven (7) days before the examination, unless otherwise provided in the curriculum or agreed upon with the instructor. When a general examination is arranged between 1 June and 31 August, students may be required to register earlier than stated above.

If a student misses the registration deadline or the registration is incomplete or erroneous, the instructor responsible for the course unit decides whether to accept the registration or not.
Section 19: Missing or discarding a general examination

If a student fails to arrive for a general examination of a given course unit twice without giving prior notice, or discards the same course examination twice, he/she must contact the instructor responsible for that course unit before registering for a new general examination of the course unit in question.

Section 20: Arranging exam invigilation

General examinations are invigilated assessment sessions. A general examination session is assigned a chief invigilator and further invigilators as needed.

Invigilators are appointed primarily from among the instructors of those degree programmes or disciplines that are arranging the general examinations in question. The appointed instructors must be informed of the invigilators’ responsibilities.

Students taking an examination are assigned seats in the examination hall so that they can work without distractions but not see other candidates’ exam answers.

Section 21: Duration of a general examination

The duration of a general examination is confirmed at the same time as the date of the examination. Where possible, the duration of the examination is determined on the basis of the level and number of components assessed in the exam.

A student may be allowed extra time to complete the exam if he/she has been diagnosed with a learning difficulty requiring so.

Students may not leave the examination hall during the first twenty minutes of the examination period. If a student is late for not more than twenty minutes of the start of the examination, he/she is still allowed to participate in the exam.

Section 22: Equipment and materials allowed or required in a general examination

If the use of equipment or materials other than writing instruments is allowed or required in a general examination, students and invigilators must be notified of this in advance.

CHAPTER 7: Academic fraud and causing a disturbance at an assessment or in class

Section 23: Academic fraud

Academic fraud is strictly prohibited. Fraudulent acts and disregard of good academic practices are offences against the University regulations and the rules, values and norms of the scientific community.

In these regulations, fraud refers to misleading the scientific community or a decision-maker.

The following acts constitute academic fraud:

 Acquiring information needed in the exam by bringing materials or devices to the examination hall without specifically being advised to do so by the instructor responsible for the exam, by looking at another student’s exam papers or by otherwise gaining information from another candidate, or by contacting someone outside the examination hall; assisting another candidate by giving him/her one’s own exam answer or information that helps the other to write his/her answer during the examination;
presenting someone else’s text, picture, figure, table, software or other similar presentation, or a part thereof, as one’s own work; and
giving one’s coursework or thesis or a part thereof to another student when it is evident that he/she will present it as his/her own work or as a part thereof.

The Rector has decided on further guidelines for good scientific practice in studies and on the procedures to be taken in cases of suspected fraud.

Section 24: Procedure in the case of detected fraud and consequences of fraud

When a student has been found guilty of an academic offence, the provisions of section 45 of the Universities Act on disciplinary actions and the Rector’s decision on procedures in cases of suspected fraud are applied.

A student’s study attainment is failed if he/she is found guilty of fraud or gross negligence of good study practices in completing that work.

When a student is suspected of academic fraud, the suspicion must be specified and brought to the student's attention. The suspicion and details pertaining to it must be documented and the matter must be brought in writing to the attention of the dean of the faculty or director of the independent institute in question.

If a student commits an academic offence at an examination, the invigilator orders him/her to leave the examination hall. The instructor must notify the dean of the faculty or the director of the independent institute in question of the matter in writing.

If a student who has been proven to have fraudulently pursued studies is again suspected of fraud, the matter must be reported in writing to the Rector for a decision.

Fraud or gross negligence may result in additional disciplinary actions under section 45 of the Universities Act (558/2009).

Section 25: Causing a disturbance at an assessment or in class

It is prohibited to cause a disturbance at an examination or other assessment or in class. Disturbance refers to actions that deliberately aim to disturb other students' concentration and performance.

Section 26: Procedure in case of causing a disturbance

If a student causes disturbance at an examination or other assessment and continues to do so even after being asked to stop, the invigilator may order him/her to leave the assessment session.

When a student is removed from an examination or other assessment session due to disturbing, the instructor must notify the dean of the faculty or director of the independent institute in question of the matter in writing.

In addition, the provisions of section 45 of the Universities Act on disciplinary actions are applied.

CHAPTER 8: Approving and grading student’s work

Section 27: Assessment criteria

The assessment of student’s work is based on the learning outcomes determined in the curriculum and teaching schedule, as well as on course-specific criteria.

Students are entitled to information on the application of the assessment criteria to their assessed work. Students must be scheduled an opportunity to see the assessed work without delay. It must be ensured that students have the opportunity to receive feedback on their assessed work.

Section 28: Grading scale

Completed course units, study modules and theses included in a Bachelor’s or Master's degree are assessed on a pass/fail basis. A passed course is awarded a grade, unless there is a justified reason for not doing so.

Grades are given on a five-point scale. The grades are:

1 (= sufficient), 2 (= satisfactory), 3 (= good), 4 (= very good) and 5 (= excellent).

To be awarded a pass grade (PASS or 1), students must demonstrate skills that enable them to continue studies on their degree programme in accordance with the curriculum. The learning outcomes determined in the curricula describe skills that apply to grade 4 (very good).

In accordance with sections 9 and 15 of the Government Decree on University Degrees (794/2004), a thesis included in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is regarded as a study attainment equivalent to other course units, and the grade awarded for such thesis is taken into account in the same way as other grades when determining the average grade for intermediate or advanced studies.

CHAPTER 9: Publication of results

Section 29: Publication of results

The results of the assessments referred to in these regulations are public information.

As a rule, assessment results must be published within three weeks of the date on which the work to be assessed is submitted or due. For a special reason, the dean of the faculty or director of the independent institute in question may grant an exception to the time limit, provided that this exception does not cause unreasonable harm to any student. Exceptions to the normal publication date of the assessment results must be announced upon assessment within three weeks.

The results of assessments held during the period from 1 June to 31 August may be published later than within the time determined in section 29(2) above.

As a rule, a script of a thesis included in a Master’s and a doctoral degree must be examined for originality within a week of the date on which the student has submitted the text for originality check. When the thesis is complemented by a maturity essay, the thesis examiners must give their statement within four weeks of the writing of the maturity essay. When the abstract of a thesis is used in place of a separate maturity test, the thesis examiners must give their statement within three weeks of the date when the thesis was submitted for assessment. An exception to these time limits may be granted by the relevant dean only for a particularly compelling reason.

Section 30: Mode of publication

When publishing assessment results, the names and student numbers of the students who passed, as well as their possible grades, are announced. In the case of general examinations, the number of pass and fail grades is also published.

Students’ personal identity numbers may not be released in connection with the publication of results. Student numbers may not be published alongside the students’ names.

Assessment results must be accessible for a period of at least three weeks, unless otherwise required by a compelling reason.

Section 31: Publicity of coursework

Coursework components, with the exception of theses, are confidential documents. Student’s coursework may not be given or shown to a person who is not a member of the faculty staff, nor otherwise published without the consent of the student in question. Anonymised coursework may be used for instruction and research purposes as well as to develop instruction.

Notwithstanding subsection 1 above, a student’s work may be presented and distributed to other students participating in the same classes on a seminar-based course and where otherwise deemed necessary for learning.

Section 32: Publicity of theses

Theses are public documents, unless otherwise provided by the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (1999/621) or other legislation.

CHAPTER 10: Registering course units

Section 33: Obligation to register

An approved study attainment must be entered into the student register within three weeks of the date on which the student’s work was submitted or due.

Results of assessments held within the period from 1 June to 31 August may be registered later than within the time limit determined above.

Section 34: Information to be entered into the register

The entry of a completed course unit in the student register must include at least the name of the student, the name and code of the course, the type of studies, the number of credits, the possible grade (where possible), and the name of the person approving the course. The completion date of a course unit is the date on which the student submitted his/her work for assessment or the submission was due.

If the completed work consists of multiple assessed components, the completion date is the date on which the last component was completed.

If a completed course unit has been approved elsewhere than at the University of Tampere, this information must be included in the register entry.

CHAPTER 11: Assessment appeals

Section 35: Rectification of the assessment of a thesis or other assessed work and the rectification procedure

Rectification of the assessment of a thesis or other completed course unit and the rectification procedure are governed by sections 44 and 82 of the Universities Act (558/2009), sections 13 and 16 of the Regulations of the University of Tampere and by sections 26 and 27 of the University of Tampere’s Regulations on Degrees.

CHAPTER 12: Retaining records of completed course units

Section 36: Obligation to retain coursework and to dispose of data

The University must retain coursework and assignments relating to them for six months of the publication of the assessment results. After this time, the coursework must be destroyed.

Students have the right to obtain a copy of their coursework, etc. at their own cost.

Section 37: Obligation to retain theses

Theses included in a Bachelor’s degree are retained for a period of five years. Theses included in a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree are retained permanently.

Section 38: Obligation to retain assessment results

Assessment results must be retained by the relevant faculty or independent institute for ten years.

Archiving of student records is governed by the University’s archives formation plan.

CHAPTER 13: Other Provisions

Section 39: Special arrangements

If a student has a disability, a diagnosed learning difficulty or other acceptable impediment that prevents him/her from participating in an assessment session as specified in curriculum, or if he/she requires special assistance in registering for an exam, or in reading or completing the exam assignments, the assessment arrangements must be made as accessible to him/her as possible.

Section 40: Exceptions to the Regulations on the Assessment of Studies to the student’s advantage

Coursework, examinations and theses must be assessed so that the progress of studies is not hindered by, for instance, unnecessarily delaying the assessment.

Any ambiguity or negligence in the assessment arrangements, as well as any disturbances or hindrances not caused by the student, must be corrected so that they do not adversely affect the student’s studies.

If these regulations in some individual cases prevent the appropriate implementation of assessment or the fulfilment of students’ legal protection, an exception to these regulations may be made to the student’s benefit by a mutual agreement between the student and the instructor in question.

Section 41: Issuing rules of application

The Rector issues separate guidelines concerning electronic examinations. In addition, the Rector issues separate guidelines on theses.

The councils of faculties and directors of independent institutes issue rules regarding the application of these regulations as necessary.

Section 42: Entry into force

These regulations enter into force on 1 January 2016 and hereby replace the Regulations for Evaluation of Studies approved by the Board on 25 May 2015.

Preparatory measures may be undertaken to implement these Regulations before they enter into force.