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Durham University

Welcome to Durham University's Common Awards website

Retaining Assessed Work

Retention of Assessed Work

(Learning and Teaching Handbook, 6.1.4)

Consult this policy for information on:

  • Retention requirements
  • Data Protection Act
  • Retention of work in online plagiarism detection systems

Please note that this guidance is intended to be read by TEIs alongside the full University guidance on this policy, as set out in the Learning and Teaching Handbook 6.1 (Assessment Policies). The additional information below provides further clarification on the policy in the context of the Common Awards programmes.

TEIs must retain student work as follows:

1. To provide evidence in case of an appeal:

a) All examination scripts, along with mark proforma and feedback sheets, for all years of study should be retained for one year after the student has graduated.

b) All summatively assessed course work, along with mark proforma and feedback sheets, for all years of study should be retained for one year after the student has graduated (please see the Learning and Teaching Handbook, 6.1.4 for examples of minor items which are exemptions). If this is not possible and the master copy has to be returned to the student, it should be initialled by the marker on each page and the student advised that in the case of an appeal or call of the work they must return this original initialled copy.

2. For quality assurance purposes, expectations are that:

a) A sample of summative and formative work from each level of study should be retained for each module for the academic year prior to Periodic External Review (PER) or other external quality reviews. The following information should also be retained, as it may be required by the PER team: question papers; mark sheets; marking coversheet; feedback sheets; any information about the module.

b) Marking coversheets or feedback sheets used should also be retained for the same period as the work to which they refer.

c) Where students have studied part-time, or have taken a year out of residence, their work should be stored separately from the rest of the cohort until a year after that student has graduated.

3. To be in line with the Data Protection Act, expectations are that:

a) Work that is no longer required for the purpose for which it is retained should be destroyed; retention beyond this time could contravene the Data Protection Act.

b) Each TEI should make their policy on the retention of student work available to students via their student handbooks, website, or other equivalent mechanisms.

Retention of work for longer periods of time:

4. TEIs are entitled to retain work for a longer period of time but must make explicit the reasons for doing so in order to comply with the Data Protection Act; the work should be destroyed when the purpose has been fulfilled. See the Learning and Teaching Handbook, 6.1.4 (para. 6) for examples of where work can be retained.

5. Retention of work in online plagiarism detection systems:

6. Any student work may be uploaded to an online plagiarism detection system (such as Turnitin), at the discretion of individual TEIs. Work must remain in the plagiarism detection system for five years after submission, after which it should be removed from the system and destroyed.