Types of assessment
As has been argued already, the type of assessment chosen should be related to learning outcomes and governed by decisions about its purpose, validity and relevance. In addition, as it is probably true to say that every assessment method will place some students at a disadvantage to some extent, a range of types of assessment is desirable to hopefully reduce the element of disadvantage suffered by any particular student. Types of assessment to choose from include:
An answer to a question in the form of continuous, connected prose. The object of the essay should be to test the ability to discuss, evaluate, analyse, summarise and criticise. Two dangers with essays are that they are easy to plagiarise, and that undue weight is often given to factors such as style, handwriting and grammar.
A learning task undertaken by the student allowing them to cover a fixed section of the curriculum predominantly through independent study. Different methods of presenting the results can be used dependent on the nature of the task - a report (oral or written), a newspaper or magazine article, a taped 'radio programme, a video, a poster, a research bid, a book review, a contribution to a debate, etc. It is vital to be clear in the assessment criteria how important the medium is compared with the message, so if it is a video how important is the quality of the lighting, the style of the editing, etc. compared with the content that is covered. If aspects of the medium are important then time must be given in the course for these to be taught.
An extended investigation carried out by an individual student into a topic agreed on by student and assessor. In many ways similar to an assignment, the main difference is the onus on the student to choose the particular focus and/or medium of presentation. As with any assessment where the product will vary significantly from student to student it is vital that the criteria are sufficiently well written to be fair when applied to different undertakings and results.
Group project or assignment
Where either an assignment or project is undertaken collectively by groups of students working collaboratively. This has the pragmatic advantage of potentially reducing the tutor's assessment workload and the educational advantage of helping to develop the students' teamworking skills. There are also some forms of product such as collaborative performance that can by definition only be achieved in a group. The major assessment problem is how to identify each individual's role and contribution and to reward it fairly. Solutions (none of which is problem free) tend to include combinations of: an individual component which can be individually assessed, tutor observation, and involving the students in some self and/or peer assessment as the ones in the best position to judge.
Written presentation of results of an investigation or piece of research, normally taking the form of an extended essay being less rigorous in its style and layout requirements than a thesis. The content reflects the findings of the investigation. This has similar assessment problems to an individual project.
This can take a variety of different forms. The most common factors are that it is done under comparatively short, timed conditions and usually under observed conditions which ensures it is the student's own work (although there are examples of exams where students take the questions away). Major criticisms are that because of the comparatively short time allowed answers may inevitably be superficial and/or not all the learning outcomes may be assessed. They may also encourage the rote learning of potential model answers. This can be avoided if the focus of the tasks set is on the application of what has been learnt, presenting the student with a previously unseen context or scenario or set of data which they have to 'do' something with. Some of the most common variations of exams are:
- 'seen' where the questions to be answered are given at a pre-specified date beforehand. The intention is to reduce the need for 'question-spotting', to reduce the anxiety, and to increase the emphasis on learning.
- 'open-book' during the exam students have access to specified texts and/or their notes. the intention is to reduce the emphasis on memorising facts, to reduce anxiety and allows more demanding questions to be set.
- 'unseen' arguably makes the student revise the whole syllabus because anything may appear on the paper (although in practice may do the opposite as the student may 'question-spot' and gamble on certain topics coming up.
- 'MCQ' objective tests asking multiple choice questions (MCQ) where the student simply selects from a bank of potential answers. Easy to mark (can be done by a machine or even administered on a computer) and can ensure students revise the complete syllabus but arguably difficult, if not impossible, to assess higher order skills. Writing good questions is however very difficult. If you can find an appropriate US textbook there will probably be a bank of questions which come with it on disk.
Possibly used in conjunction with any of the above methods, this involves the student having to answer questions orally. In a comparatively short space of time it is possible to ascertain both what the student knows and the depth of this understanding (and possibly the amount they contributed to a group project and the nature of that contribution).
In many cases, when it comes to practical outcomes, the only sensible way of really assessing whether an outcome has been learnt is through watching the student actually perform it - whether 'it' is literally a performance, as in the performing arts, or a nursing student taking a patient's bloodpressure. Because in such cases the assessed "product" is transient, for purposes of moderation and external validation you may need to find ways of recording the event (audio or video). Such recordings can also play a vital role in giving the student feedback.
Self and peer assessment
There is strong evidence that involving students in the assessment process can have very definite educational benefits. Not so much a type of assessment like those already listed, this is something which can be done in conjunction with any type of assessment. The important aspect is that it involves the student in trying to apply the assessment criteria for themselves. This might include: a marking exercise on 'fictitious' or previous years' student work; the completion of a self-assessment sheet to be handed in with their work; 'marking' a peer's work and giving them feedback (which they can then possibly redraft before submission to the tutor); or really marking other students' work (i.e. allocating marks which actually count in some way) - a seminar presentation, for example, or a written product using a model answer. The evidence is that through trying to apply criteria, or mark using a model answer, the student gains much greater insight in to what is actually being required and subsequently their own work improves in the light of this. An additional benefit is that it may enable the students to be set more learning activities on which they will receive feedback which otherwise would not be
What do I need to do to be awarded the BSc degree?
To be awarded the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting you must:
- be registered with Oxford Brookes University ie have opted in to the BSc degree scheme and hold a suitable English language qualification before passing any of the three ACCA Fundamentals papers, F7, F8 and F9
- successfully complete all nine Fundamentals level papers
- complete the ACCA Ethics and Professional Skills module
- complete and pass the Oxford Brookes University Research and Analysis Project.
To submit the Research and Analysis Project in the May and November submission periods, please refer to RAP submission dates
The degree must be completed within 10 years of the earliest date of your first examination pass or the date of your first ACCA exemption being granted otherwise your eligibility will be withdrawn.
Log on to myACCA, to find out if you have opted in to the degree scheme and whether you are eligible to do so.
Find further information about the Oxford Brookes University BSc degree.
Why am I not eligible for the Oxford Brookes degree programme?
If you are not eligible for the degree programme, then it will be for one of the following reasons:
You enrolled with ACCA before the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting degree was introduced.
- When the degree programme was introduced in 2000/2001, all eligible registered students were asked to opt into the degree scheme by November 2001. Any student who did not do so would have been automatically withdrawn.
- If you registered with ACCA prior to November 2001, have yet to complete Papers F7 toF9 and are within 10 years of the earliest date of your first examination pass or the date of your first ACCA exemption being granted’, please contact ACCA Connect to opt into the degree programme.
You ticked the box on your ACCA registration form stating you did not wish to join the Oxford Brookes University degree programme.
- If you are yet to complete Papers F7, F8 and F9, you may opt back in to the BSc degree by contacting ACCA Connect.
- If you have already passed any of Papers F7, F8 or F9, then unfortunately it is now too late to opt back into the degree programme.
- If you hold exemptions for any of Papers F7 to F9, then you may contact ACCA Connect to forfeit these in order to remain eligible. Once you have forfeited your exemption, you cannot reverse this decision.
- If you are exempt from any paper from F1-F9 based on a qualification more than 10 years old, you would be required to forfeit all of the exemptions in order to opt in to the degree programme.
You do not hold a suitable English language qualification.
- If you successfully completed Paper F4 on or before June 2014 this will be acceptable proof.
- If you have not completed Paper F4 by June 2014, then please download the Recognised English Language Qualifications PDF (144KB) to learn about alternative ways you can demonstrate your English proficiency.
You enrolled with ACCA over 10 years ago.
- The BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting degree has a 10-year deadline starting from a student's first examination pass or the date of first ACCA exemption being granted. If this has expired in your case, we regret that you are no longer eligible to complete the degree with us.
If you wish to enquire about your eligibility to complete the BSc degree, please contact ACCA Connect. Please include your ACCA student registration number in any correspondence.
Can I apply for Oxford Brookes after I have registered?
Students can opt in to the Oxford Brookes BSc degree after they have registered. However, they must do so before attempting papers F7, F8 and F9 and hold a recognised English language qualification.
How will I be able to work out my Oxford Brookes degree classification?
The BSc degree classification will be based on both:
- the ACCA average mark determined from the exam marks in the Fundamentals Skills papers (F4–F9)
- the grade achieved for the Research and Analysis Project.
The ACCA average mark will be calculated by taking the numerical average of the marks achieved in the Fundamentals Skills papers (F4–F9) that you have sat and passed.
Where the calculated average mark is not a whole number, the calculated average will be rounded up or down accordingly. If you have been given an exemption from any of the three papers F4–F6, no mark is available and so will not be included in the calculation of the ACCA average mark.
The class of degree for each combination of ACCA average mark and Research and Analysis Project grade is shown below.
Class of Degree
|ACCA average mark||First||Upper Second||Lower Second||Third|
|68 or more||A, B, C||-||-||-|
|60-65||-||A, B, C||-||-|
|54-57||-||-||A, B, C||-|
|50-52||-||-||-||A, B, C|
Last updated: 31 Oct 2017