What is it?
S-coding is a type of adjustment that essentially says that you were dealing with something difficult when you were doing that assessment, and your result may not fully represent your true academic skill, compared to if you’d been experiencing better/easier circumstances. You can read more about the full S-coding policy on the University website.
How it works
You can only S-code modules 3000 level and above, as they count toward your degree classification (the grade you get at the end of your course).
You can S-code modules you have passed and failed, including results where you would not be allowed to re-assess (including 0X grades). You cannot S-code modules that have been coded a C due to academic misconduct.
You can only S-code up to 25% of UG credits at 3000 + level. For PGT students, you can only S-code up to 50% of your credits, and you cannot S-code your PGT dissertation.
- You can S-code modules at 1000 and 2000 level when your degree is calculated using an overall GPA (grade point average) from your whole degree (e.g. the Joint Degree Programme with the College of William & Mary).
- Credits from the study abroad part of a WIYA programme cannot be S-coded
You will only be able to S-code if most of the work for your module has been affected by extenuating circumstances, and where other adjustments haven’t been able to make up for the difficulties you’ve experienced. These adjustments may include:
- Coursework extensions
- Exemptions from some assessment components
- Deferred assessments
- Alternative assessments
When it comes to exams, you’ll likely only get to S-code if you could not have requested a deferral in advance (such as if your circumstances only occurred very recently, and applying for S-coding earlier was not an option).
When you apply to S-code, you need to explain if you are seeking to S-code for your other modules that semester. If you are only S-coding for some of your modules that semester, you will need to give good evidence for why you are only S-coding for some of your modules, rather than all of them. Some reasons might be:
- You’d completed different amounts of assessment in your modules before your difficulties happened
- Your assessments were affected in different ways or to different extents by your circumstances
- Adjustments in some modules were more effective than in other modules
- The subject of some modules were related to the difficulties you are S-coding about
You must show strong evidence of these extenuating circumstances, as this evidence is what the decision to grant S-coding requests is based on.
This is where you submit a request after all your module grades have been released, or after you’ve had all your marks back.
You’re very unlikely to be able to S-code at this point, and would need very exceptional circumstances. You’ll also need to explain why it was impossible for your School to know about your circumstances before you found out your module grade.
You can only S-code up to 3 months after your module result has come out, and you cannot S-code after you’ve graduated. For undergraduates, only the AVP Dean (Learning and Teaching) can grant a retrospective S-coding request. For postgraduates, only the AVP Provost can grant a retrospective S-coding request.
Applying for S-coding
The HelpHub and/or Student Services can help you to make your S-coding request, but we cannot apply for the S-coding on your behalf.
Submit this form via email to the Director of Teaching for the School(s) your modules come from. Submit it as soon as you can before your results come out.
You can look at our S-coding application form guidance and our example S-coding application form to help you prepare. You can also reach out to the HelpHub (helphub@) and we can review you form before you submit it to the DoT(s).
If you are making a retrospective request and you’re already on track to graduate, your graduation will be postponed till the decision about your S-coding has been made. You must inform Registry and the Graduation Office about this when you request to S-code.
Submitted before your grades come out
Your request will be reviewed by a School S-coding Committee, which includes at least the Director of Teaching, 2+ academic staff, and a member of staff to take notes.
The S-coding Committee will look at your evidence and circumstances, and come to a decision about whether you should be able to S-code or not. If your evidence is particularly sensitive, you can request that it is only shared with the Director of Teaching.
Once the Committee have made their decision about whether to allow you to S-code or not, their decision is final. Please note that in cases where the S-coding credit limits would be exceeded (see ‘How it works’ section above), the AVP Dean/AVP Provost will have the final decision.
Once you submit your request, you will receive the outcome in an email, 5 working days after the S-coding Committee have made their decision.
Your request will be reviewed by the AVP Dean/AVP Provost. They will look at your evidence and circumstances, and come to a decision about whether you should be able to S-code or not. If your evidence is particularly sensitive, you can request that it is only shared with AVP Dean/Provost when your request is retrospective.
The AVP Dean/AVP Provost makes the final decision on requests when retrospective requests are upheld, or the S-coding limits would be exceeded.
Once you submit your request, you will receive the outcome in an email, 5 working days after the AVP Dean/AVP Provost have made their decision.
You can only appeal an S-coding decision on the grounds of irregular application of academic rules that has impacted on the decision. Please see our Academic Appeals guide for more information.
If you feel that your S-coding request was not handled appropriately, you can make a complaint through the Complaints Handling Procedure. Please see our Complaints Handling Procedure guide for more information.