Modified assessment practice

If you hold a Student (formerly Tier 4) visa, please be aware of the following if you are required to repeat any part of your course, or undertake referred coursework or examinations. It is important you read this information carefully as being in a repeat or referred situation may affect your Student visa and status in the UK.

Receiving and understanding your results

Please read the information on these webpages to help you understand what your transcript means and how you will receive your results.

Results guidance notes

Student visa sponsorship during a repeat or referral period

We will decide whether to issue you with a further CAS for a referral or repeat period on a case-by-case basis. In some cases, we may decide that another Student visa is not suitable or the best option for you. If this is the case, you will be advised by us on the options available to you at that time.

Please note that we will not issue you with a further CAS if you have a tuition fee debt or your engagement (attendance) has been poor unless there are exceptional reasons for this.

If the modules that you are required to repeat fall within one semester only, and do not run all year, the University is required to stop sponsoring you under the Student visa as you will have a period of 60 days or more with no academic engagement.

We will then advise that you leave the UK as you are not studying at that time, and are not being sponsored under a Student visa. We will issue you with a new CAS when you are required to resume studies, and you would need to apply for a new Student visa to return to the University and the UK.

If we have instructed you to leave the UK, it is very important that you do so by any deadline we advise. Failure to leave the UK whilst not studying may affect your immigration status in the UK, and the University’s decision to sponsor you under the Student visa again in the future.

Please note that if you are taking summer referrals the results from these referrals are not known until late August/early September. We will do our best to give you as much notice about your situation as possible, but you might have returned to Plymouth expecting to commence your next academic year when your results confirm that repeats are required in one semester only.

Therefore if you are unsure about what your results mean and how they will affect your visa, particularly if you have repeats in one semester only, it is important that you contact us as soon as possible after receiving your results.

We will advise you what your results mean for your visa as quickly as we can, particularly where they may affect your travel plans to return to the UK or other arrangements such as accommodation or placements.


If your transcript shows that you have been referred in some modules, this usually means that you will be required to retake examinations or resubmit coursework over the summer period.

Your existing Student visa might not cover you for any summer referrals so please contact us to discuss the options available to you, if you need to undertake the referrals in the UK. You may be able to submit some referred work from your home country.

Please note that referral tasks are at the element level, so passing one element of a module does not mean you have passed it all. Failure to undertake required referral work will waste your permitted attempt numbers and may affect your overall degree award or final degree mark.

It is very important therefore that you complete any referral work or examinations required, and submit coursework within the specified deadlines.

Please note that if you are taking summer referrals the results from these referrals are not known until late August/early September. We will do our best to give you as much notice about your situation as possible, but you should be aware that your situation might change depending on the outcome of your referrals.

Attempt numbers

The UKVI Student Visa Sponsor Guidance states that only in exceptional circumstances are students permitted to re-sit examinations or repeat any part of their course more than twice (this would mean that you have been permitted three attempts at any one module or exam).

The University would be required to justify this to UKVI so this will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances which can be evidenced, and where the UKVI Compliance team feel the circumstances are exceptional and can be justified.

Please see a guide to the University regulations on reassessment, referral, repeating modules and attempt numbers.

Please note that University regulations may differ to UKVI requirements, but if you require a Student visa for further studies here, the University must adhere to UKVI requirements. We will explain these requirements to you at the time.

Continued participation and engagement

The University will issue you with a further CAS to undertake referrals or repeats only where your continued participation is required and only if our sponsorship duties can be met during this period.

This means that we require your continued participation on the course and can monitor your engagement and attendance on your course. If you are required to repeat without attendance, for example you are repeating your dissertation, a project module or a piece of coursework, but have no taught classes, the UKVI Compliance team will make a decision on a case-by-case basis if we can sponsor you under the Student visa during this time, if you wish to remain in Plymouth.

This may depend on adequate monitoring arrangements being in place, for example supervisory meetings, and evidence of these being received regularly by the compliance team.

If your continued participation is not required within the next 60 days of the next academic period starting, for example, you are repeating in one semester only, the University is required to stop sponsoring you and instruct that you leave the UK. You may later return to the UK when your next academic engagement is required, using a new CAS to apply for a new Student visa.

If you have timetabled lectures and seminars in a repeat period, please do not assume these classes can be missed if you took them before. You must attend everything shown on your timetable. Failure to attend regularly will affect your Student visa and enrolment on your course.

Student visa time limit and extending your visa

Please also note that due to other factors affecting students with a Student visa such as the time limit and maintenance requirements, we strongly suggest you make every effort to pass everything at the first attempt, to ensure you are able to complete your degree at Plymouth successfully.

If you have transferred programme in the past, any visa extension may have to be applied for outside the UK due to UKVI regulations.
If you have any concerns about any of the above, please contact us. 

If you have not received your results, or would like further information about them, please see the links given above or contact your Faculty Student Support Office.

Information Sessions for Student visa holders

There will be some information sessions for repeating students with a Tier 4/Student visa in October 2019. Please try to attend these if you are a repeating student. Details will be circulated by email nearer the time.

University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) Students

If you are a UPIC student holding a Student visa, please note that whilst you are studying on the UPIC section of your course you are subject to UPIC academic regulations not those of the University. Once you progress to the University section of your degree programme, and/or if you are on an integrated stage, you will be subject to University academic regulations.

Eligibility for post study visas

There could be a negative impact on your eligibility for a post study visa if you need to do a repeat or refer.

The Graduate visa is a new post study work route for those who have completed a degree in the UK.

International students who successfully complete their degree within the original course time frame should be eligible, subject to various conditions, to apply for the Graduate visa.

However, if you do not successfully complete your degree within the original course timeframe, for example, if you have to repeat any part of your course, or undertake referred coursework or examinations, you may no longer be eligible for the Graduate visa.