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Category General Regulations
Type Regulation
Approved by Senate, 30 April 2014
Date Regulation Took Effect 
Last approved revision 
Sponsor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)
Responsible officer 


1. Title, Approval and Commencement and Revocation

1.1 These regulations are the Examinations and Assessment Regulations 2014.

1.2 These regulations were approved by the Senate of the University at its meeting of 30 April 2014 pursuant to clause 4.1 of the Academic Statute 2011.

1.3 These regulations apply, and the former Examinations Regulations are revoked, with effect from 1 May 2014.

2. Internal Assessment and Terms Requirements

2.1 The final grade for most papers (not including dissertations, theses, or other research exercises) incorporates the results for formal examinations conducted under the authority of the Senate at the end of the teaching period concerned (final examinations). Additionally, or alternatively, some or all of the final grade may be based on results for essays, assignments, laboratory or other practical work, and tests (sometimes known as terms tests) conducted by individual departments and schools (internal assessment).

2.2 Some programmes and papers require that students gain terms (i.e. fulfil certain specified conditions such as completing oral, written or practical work) before they may sit final examinations. Terms are gained by completing established requirements such as attending classes or completing oral, written or practical work. Students must familiarise themselves with any terms requirements for any programmes or papers for which they are enrolled.

3. Final Examination Only Enrolment

3.1 A student, who has failed to pass a paper, subsequently may apply for Final Examination Only enrolment and the following shall apply:

  1. Application for Final Examination Only enrolment must be made on the prescribed form, available from the University's website or AskOtago, to the Head of Department concerned by 10 January for summer school papers, 1 March for full year and first semester papers, and 31 July for second semester papers. A fee will be charged if an application is approved. Approval is at the discretion of the Head of Department and will only be given to students who have performed to a satisfactory standard.
  2. If the application is approved, the student is permitted to have internal assessment results and terms carried over in the paper and to sit the final examination again without attending any part of the course.
  3. This concession is not required to be available in all papers and, where available, may be granted only once in a particular paper.
  4. The examination must be attempted at the end of the semester or full year in which a paper is offered next, except that it may be attempted earlier if the paper concerned is offered in a summer school.
  5. A student who has been granted Final Examination Only enrolment in a paper may cancel the enrolment for that paper until 1 February for a summer school paper or 10 May for a first semester paper or 10 September for a second semester or full year paper. Later cancellations will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances.
  6. Final Examination Only candidates are not entitled to attend any lectures, laboratories, or tutorials, or receive assistance from academic staff, or have access to electronic holdings of course material, or receive printed course material.
  7. Final Examination Only enrolments are not taken into account in any consideration of a student's status as a full-time or part-time student.

4. Examinations and Assessment

4.1 Candidates are required to sit examinations at times and places which shall be determined by the Senate.

4.2 The examinations shall be carried out in such manner as the Senate may prescribe. Candidates shall be subject to these regulations and to the Examination Rules and any other supplementary regulations prescribed and promulgated by the Senate from time to time.

4.3 No candidate shall communicate with an examiner in regard to an examination either in the examination script or otherwise before the official release of confirmed final results, except through the Director, Student Experience.

5. Special Consideration in Final Examinations

5.1 At all University final examinations, other than Special Examinations, a student:

  1. who has been prevented from taking any final examination through illness or other circumstances beyond his or her control; or
  2. who considers that performance in any final examination has been seriously impaired by illness or other exceptional circumstances beyond his or her control at the time of, or in the 14-day period immediately prior to the examination,may apply for special consideration.

5.2 Candidates seeking special consideration for all programmes in Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Radiation Therapy, or in papers for Health Sciences postgraduate programmes other than papers with no clinical content which have been specifically excluded by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences), should apply to the relevant Department, School or Faculty Office.

5.3 Students in all other programmes or papers should apply to the Student Administration.

5.4 The special consideration may consist of the following, except that the provisions in clauses (d) and (f) are not available for students enrolled in programmes identified in regulation 5.2:

  1. a decision that no action is justified or appropriate; or
  2. adjusting an examination mark; or
  3. granting a Special Examination in the paper concerned; or
  4. granting an Aegrotat Pass in the paper concerned, where the examiners certify that the candidate's performance and competence in the paper were sufficiently above the minimum standard required to pass the paper (normally taken as a C+ standard or better); or
  5. granting the choice of an adjusted examination mark or a Special Examination; or
  6. granting the choice of an Aegrotat Pass or a Special Examination.

5.5 Honours, distinction, or credit may not be awarded to a student who has received Aegrotat Passes in examinations for more than 30% of a programme, or for more than 30% of the final year's course in the case of a four-year degree programme.

5.6 A claim for special consideration must be made within five calendar days of the last final examination for which special consideration is being sought and must be supported by a Health Declaration or other appropriate evidence.

5.7 A student may not apply for special consideration after the date of the official release of confirmed final results.

5.8 These regulations should be read in conjunction with any relevant examination regulations set out for individual programmes.

6. Special Consideration for Internal Assessment

6.1 Students may seek special consideration in internal assessment by applying to the relevant Head of Department, by whom, or under whose authority, appropriate special consideration may be granted.

6.2 The extent of any special consideration allowed will reflect the weighting placed on the piece of work in question in determining the final overall result for the paper concerned. Where the assignment or internal assessment test counts significantly towards a final result, a formal Health Declaration will be required.

7. Examinations Missed through Preventable Circumstances

7.1 A student who is a finalist (i.e. enrolled for a course of study sufficient to complete a qualification in the semester or year concerned) or a postgraduate student, and who misses a final examination through genuine error, such as mistaking the time or date of the examination, may apply to sit a Special Examination.

7.2 Application must be made in writing to the Director, Student Experience, no more than five calendar days after the missed examination.

7.3 Each application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

7.4 Applications shall be considered by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Division in which the examination was held.

7.5 Each applicant shall have no more than one application approved under this provision during their programme of study.

8. Academic Misconduct

8.1 When a student is suspected of Academic Misconduct:

  1. in connection with an examination; or,
  2. through a breach of a rule dealing with the conduct of examinations; or,
  3. in the preparation or submission of any written, oral or other work, including work in electronic format which counts towards the attainment of a pass in any subject, or of any dissertation, thesis or other research exercise,
  4. the circumstances shall be considered in the manner provided by the Academic Statute 2011 and the University's Student Academic Misconduct Procedures.

8.2 All students have a responsibility to be aware of acceptable academic practice in relation to the use of material prepared by others, and for taking all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that no breach of academic integrity occurs.

9. Grades and Levels of Awards

9.1 When percentage marks are recorded for examinations or following the assessment of any thesis, dissertation, research essay, research project, or other course component, the following key shall be used for translating the marks into letter grades:

90-100 A+   75-79 B+   60-64 C+   40-49 Fail D  
85-89 A   70-74 B   55-59 C   below 40 Fail E  
80-84 A-   65-69 B-   50-54 C-  

9.2 In awarding a class of honours for a degree or credit or distinction for a degree or diploma, the average mark for the relevant course components shall be calculated and the following key shall be used to determine the standard of award of the qualification:

80-100        First Class Honours, or Distinction
70-79          Second Class Honours (Division I), or Credit
60-69          Second Class Honours (Division II)
50-59          Third Class Honours

In the case of the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, the award of overall passes with distinction in the second, third, fifth, and sixth year courses of the programme, the award of passes in individual disciplines in the sixth year with distinguished performance, and the award of the degrees with distinction shall be determined according to criteria approved by the Faculty of Medicine.

In the case of the degree of Master of Teaching and Learning, the award of the degree with distinction or with credit shall be determined according to criteria approved by the College of Education.

9.3 The University's official Grade Point Average (GPA) for external purposes is based on a 9-point scale with letter grades assigned numerical values.

A+ = 9.0   B+ = 6.0   C+ = 3.0   D = 0.0
A = 8.0   B = 5.0   C = 2.0   E = 0.0
A- = 7.0   B- = 4.0   C- = 1.0

9.4 A 'fail' result in a paper for which letter grades are assigned, or a 'disqualified' result in any paper, shall be assigned a numerical value of 0.

9.5  All other results shall be excluded from GPA calculations, including ungraded pass results, distinction and credit passes, fail results from papers for which letter grades are not assigned, 'completed', 'incomplete', 'absent' or 'withdrawn' results, zero-point papers, and credit granted on the basis of study completed elsewhere or the recognition of other prior learning (RPL credit).

9.6 In order to calculate the GPA, the numerical value of each grade is multiplied by the number of points for the paper. The multiplied figures are then summed and divided by the total number of points for all papers included in the calculation. GPAs are displayed to one decimal place on an academic record.

10. Failure to Comply with Regulations

10.1 Where a student has not complied with a University regulation in respect of a course or an examination (including a regulation relating to payment of course or examination fees), the Senate shall have power, having given the student reasonable opportunity of remedying the non-compliance:

  1. to decline to credit to the student's course any subject taken at the said examination; or
  2. to suspend, for such a time as it may think fit, the release to the student of the results of any examinations; or
  3. to withhold the recommendation by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor or Dean concerned for the conferring of the degree, or presentation of the diploma.

11. Recounts

11.1 Any candidate for a degree, diploma or other qualification may have the marks recounted in any paper or subject by making written application to the Director, Student Experience, within four weeks from the date of the official release of confirmed final results for the teaching period concerned.

11.2 Each application must be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

11.3 A recount of marks shall cover a careful re-check of the marks recorded by the examiner, and ensure that no answer or any portion of an answer, or work done during the teaching period which counts towards the final result, has been overlooked. Work is not re-marked.

12. Retention of Scripts

12.1 Examination scripts shall be retained by Departments for twelve weeks from the date of the official release of confirmed final results for that teaching period.

12.2 Within the period of the start of week 7 to the end of week 12 following the official release of confirmed final results a student may, after completing an application form available from the University Information Centre, collect the original of that student's script from the Department concerned. In cases where an examination script is collected by a student no consideration will be given to any subsequent issue arising from the marking of that script, nor the addition or compilation of the marks. (Note: Some examination answers involving problem solving and multiple choice questions will not be returned to students, but may be seen within the Department concerned by arrangement.) After the end of week 12, Departments may dispose of all unclaimed examination scripts.

12.3 Alternatively, a student may arrange through the Head of the appropriate Department to see that student's examination script for a particular examination in the presence of a member of the departmental staff within twelve weeks from the date of the official release of confirmed final results for the teaching period concerned.

12.4 A Distance Learning student who cannot reasonably visit the campus from which a paper is taught in order to view an examination script at the Department concerned may request a photocopy of the script by writing to the Director, Student Experience, within twelve weeks from the date of the official release of confirmed final results for the teaching period concerned.

13. Variations

13.1 In any case where it is shown to the satisfaction of the Vice-Chancellor that an alteration or amendment to a University regulation involving a change in a course of study, or in examination requirements, has caused hardship to a student, the Vice-Chancellor may make such provision as he or she shall think fit for the relief of such hardship.

13.2 In exceptional cases, the Vice-Chancellor may approve variations to the application of these regulations to ensure fairness to a student or students.

14. Presentation of Theses

14.1 General Provisions

  1. It is the responsibility of candidates for degrees which require the submission of a thesis to provide copies of the thesis for examination and for permanent retention by the University as specified in these regulations.
  2. The degrees affected by these regulations are:
    1. Doctor of Philosophy
    2. doctorates in professional disciplines (Doctors of Business Administration, Clinical Dentistry, Education, Musical Arts)
    3. other doctoral degrees, commonly called higher doctorates (Doctor of Commerce, Dental Science, Laws, Literature, Medicine, Music, Science)
    4. Masters' degrees requiring a thesis
    5. Honours degrees requiring a thesis (Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences with Honours, Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours, Bachelor of Radiation Therapy with Honours).
  3. Except for candidates for higher doctorates, every candidate for a degree affected by these regulations must be enrolled for the degree concerned at the time the thesis is submitted for examination, unless special permission has been given by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor concerned or the Graduate Research Committee.
  4. For the purposes of these regulations, research portfolios for the degrees of Master of General Practice, Master of Primary Health Care, and Master of Travel Medicine are to be treated as theses.
  5. These regulations do not apply to dissertations, research essays, research projects, or similar works required for degrees and diplomas.

14.2 Provisions Applying to Theses

  1. Theses shall be in typescript on an A4 size page with a margin of not less than 30mm. The size of page may be varied only with the approval of the Head of Department concerned.
  2. Particulars of requirements of format, typing, citation, and digital submission are available on the University Library Thesis Information webpage.
  3. Every copy of a thesis submitted must include an abstract, not exceeding 500 words, in a form suitable for publication.
  4. In relevant cases, the thesis must state that the research was approved by the appropriate ethics committee and conducted in accordance with the University's Responsible Practice in Research – Code of Conduct and all necessary laboratory compliance permits.
  5. Resubmission of a thesis is not permitted except on the recommendation of the examiners.
  6. Where a thesis has been rejected the author is not precluded from being a candidate on a future occasion for the degree in which he or she has previously failed.

14.3 Submission of Theses for Examination

  1. Theses must be submitted in a digital format meeting all the requirements of these regulations.
  2. Where a degree requires submission of additional material separate to the main thesis for examination, such material must also be submitted in an appropriate digital format.
  3. Notwithstanding clauses 14.3(a) and (b), the Dean, Graduate Research School or nominee may approve the examination copy of the thesis and/or any accompanying material being submitted in a non-digital or alternative format where digitisation is not practically achievable.
  4. The digital submission of the thesis must be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate that confirms:
    1. the work was done by the candidate personally, or that the thesis contains co-authored work
    2. that the material has not previously been accepted in whole, or in part, for any other degree or diploma, and
    3. that the thesis has been checked and contains no plagiarism.

14.4 Submission of Finalised Theses

  1. The degree for which the thesis is required shall not be awarded until a final digital copy of the thesis, corrected if necessary, has been deposited in the University's online research repository.
  2. Where a degree requires final submission of additional material separate to the main thesis, such material must also be deposited in an appropriate digital format in the University's online research repository
  3. Notwithstanding clauses 14.4(a) and (b), the Dean, Graduate Research School may approve the final version of the thesis and/or any accompanying material being deposited in a non-digital or alternative format where digitisation is not practically achievable.
  4. The final approved version of the thesis must be accompanied by a declaration signed by the candidate and their primary supervisor (or Head of Department, on behalf of primary supervisor) that:
    1. specifies the level of access to the thesis
    2. confirms that the thesis provided is the final approved version, and
    3. confirms that the thesis and any additional material provided does not infringe copyright.
  5. Final approved versions of theses shall be made publicly available through the University's online research repository, subject to the following restrictions:
    1. in order to safeguard original content while material from the thesis is prepared for publication, a candidate, with the endorsement of their primary supervisor, may prevent public access to the full-text of their thesis via the research repository for up to six months after the date of deposit ('abstract-only access').
    2. if additional restrictions are needed, an embargo must be approved before submission of the finalised thesis. For a thesis for a Master's or Honours degree: in certain circumstances the Pro-Vice-Chancellor concerned may, after consultation with the Director, Research and Enterprise (where appropriate), approve restrictions on access via a thesis embargo. For a doctoral thesis: in certain circumstances the Dean of the Graduate Research School may, after consultation with the relevant Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and the Director, Research and Enterprise (where appropriate), approve restrictions on access via a thesis embargo.
    3. any time extensions to an embargoed thesis, or abstract-only access thesis, must be approved prior to the expiry of the embargo or abstract-only period.
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