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In common with general design education practice, the main assessment of design progress is by means of project-work (some of it group project-work), usually complemented by a relatively short written report.

Assessment will take into account:

  • the extent to which a student has contributed original ideas to the projects
  • the creative ability displayed
  • the depth and breadth of coursework understanding revealed
  • the extent to which the intention of the project has been revealed
  • skills in visual, written and verbal communication of the project ideas

Criteria for the assessment of group work vary, and will sometimes be based on the overall product of a group, sometimes more on individual contribution. Assessment of project work, in particular, may require students to engage with techniques of self assessment and peer assessment. Criteria for assessment are further elaborated in each course description and in the marking scheme. In all cases the limitations and potential of the available resources will be taken into account. The importance of written reports is not to be minimised. There will also be longer assessed essays in certain courses. In our own courses, there are no traditional written examination sessions, but these may arise in courses provided by others.

Note that, in accordance with Appendix 1 of the Code of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes, any form of plagiarism will be treated as a very serious disciplinary issue. See also the University regulations at, and on plagiarism the useful student guidance offered via the links on the page at (see especially the link to the document at

Submission of written work will normally require at least two hard copies, plus a digital version. All other work must be submitted digitally, either on SD card or similar media, via our own or the University’s online submission systems, or by transfer to an appropriate hard disc, according to instructions from the course organiser. Written copies and memory cards or media are to be submitted to the ECA Postgraduate Office.

All submissions will be given a mark which remains provisional until ratified by the Board of Examiners, which meets in May/June to decide on course marks and progression to the project stage, and again for Final Project assessment in September/October. The Board of Examiners includes an External Examiner, whose role is to assure standards of assessment and to provide a further source of advice on the Programme. Students are usually invited to an informal meeting with the External Examiner in May/June (see the Programme Calendar).

The External Examiner for this Programme is Prof Andre Brown (from the University of Liverpool). **Students must NOT make direct contact with the External Examiner.**

The University has a procedure for academic appeals, which can be found in section 10.3 of the Code of Practice for Taught Postgraduate Programmes