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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

2.4.1: General Guidance regarding Concessions


1. A concession is any request which falls outside what is permitted within the regulations of the University. Concessions fall into the following categories:

a. admissions concessions;

b. programme concessions;

c. residence concessions;

d. assessment concessions;

e. sporting concessions;

Please note that all requests to change degree programme and/or module should be done via the change of registration process (for which see Section 2.1.2).

2. Further details of the most common types of concession within these categories and details of the process to be followed in each case are provided in Sections 2.4.2 - 2.4.6;

3. Concessions are normally granted on one or more of the following grounds:

a. academic;

b. compassionate;

c. employment;

d. financial;

e. medical;

f. personal.

General Principles

4. No party involved in the concessions process should presume that a concession will be granted.

5. All those involved in the concessions procedure are responsible for ensuring that:

a. all applications are handled with speed and efficiency;

b. stringent efforts are made to keep colleges/societies and departments informed about matters relating to a student's entry or progress.

6. For guidance concerning medical evidence please refer to Section 6.2.6.

7. Once a concession has been approved, all parties who teach the student should be informed.

8. Where a student has been granted a concession to withdraw from a programme and enter Level 1 of a different programme of study they shall be eligible for the award of a Certificate or Diploma of Higher Education in respect of the credits they have gained from their first programme of study, provided that:

a. they have met the requirements for the relevant award specified in the University's core regulations;

b. credits gained in their initial programme are not being carried forward to their subsequent programme of study.

Initiation of a Concession

9. All students are eligible to apply for a concession, which must be made through either the student's department or college. Details of who should apply for specific concessions is set out in Appendices A2.08 to A2.32.

Consideration of a Concession and Determination of the outcome

10. For those concessions that require Faculty level approval, the concession and supporting evidence should be forwarded to either the Faculty Office (undergraduate) or Academic Support Office (taught postgraduate/research postgraduate) for consideration by the relevant Faculty Officer. Certain types of more straightforward concession do not require Faculty level approval and can be approved by the student's department (for example by the Director of Undergraduate or Director of Postgraduate Studies acting on behalf of the Board of Studies or Management Committee, or in the case of Admissions Concessions by the Departmental Admissions Tutor. Assessment concessions not requiring Faculty approval should be approved by the Board of Examiners. The level of approval required for each type of concession is set out in Appendices A2.08 to A2.32.

11. In determining the outcome, the individual responsible for considering the concession request should review the evidence provided, seeking any additional evidence or clarification as necessary.

Maintenance of the record and communication of outcome

12. With the exception of admission concessions, all concession requests should be entered on Banner using the Banner form SXACONC. For all successful concessions, once approval has been granted and a letter notifying the relevant people of the decision should be generated using the Banner form SXACNLT. The responsibility for recording concessions on Banner and notifying relevant people of the outcome is set out for each type of concession, under the heading 'Concession processed by', in Appendices A2.08 to A2.32.

13. Concession documentation should be retained for the period of time from the end of a student's relationship with the University plus 6 years, as specified in the University Records Retention Schedule (URRS). The body within the University which granted a concession is responsible for maintaining these records.

Guidance and Advice

15. General guidance and advice can be sought from the appropriate Faculty Office (undergraduate) or Faculty Support Team in the Academic Office (taught postgraduate/research postgraduate). The admissions section of SRAO can provide generic advice on admissions concessions; specific advice on English language requirements is available from the English Language Centre; and advice on international qualifications can be obtained from the International Office. The examinations section of Student Registry can provide advice on assessment concessions.

Annual Monitoring of Concessions

16. Faculty overview reports on concessions are prepared in Michaelmas term for consideration by the Faculty Education Committees in Epiphany term.

Decisions that can be Appealed

17. Students should normally use the University's Complaints Procedure to make complaints about a Concession decision. If a student is dissatisfied about a concession offered as the outcome of a Faculty Appeal, they may appeal to Senate Academic Appeals Committee as indicated in Section 8(a). Students who are dissatisfied with a concession offered as the outcome of a Senate Academic Appeals Committee appeal have the right to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator under 8(l) of these regulations, since this would be the University's final decision on their case.