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Assessment and Feedback

Your guide to assessment and feedback in the Department of Media and Communications

 Students should contact Media.Assessment@lse.ac.uk with any queries


Assessment and feedback deadlines

Formative assessment deadlines

You should check the deadline of your formative assessment with your seminar leader. Feedback on formative tasks will normally be returned to students within three term weeks of the submission deadline, where students submit their work on time.

Summative assessment deadlines

Below is a table which lists of the summative assessment deadlines for MSc courses in the Department of Media and Communications in the academic year 2021/22. The table also lists the deadlines by which students should expect to receive feedback, if they submit their work by the pubished deadline.

All feedback deadlines comply with the LSE Academic Code

Course

Assessment

Weighting

Submission deadline

Feedback deadline

MC401

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC402

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC403

Essay (3500 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC404

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC408

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC409

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC411

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC416

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC418

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC419

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC420

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC421

Take-home exam (24hrs)

100%

Summer Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

17 June 2022

MC422

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC423

Case study

20%

In-class

In-class

Essay (3000 words)

80%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC424

Take-home exam (24hrs)

100%

Summer Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

17 June 2022

MC425

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC426

Essay (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC427

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC429

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC430

Essay/Project (3000 words)

100%

17 January 2022 at 12noon

18 February 2022

MC431

Essay (3000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC432

Project (5000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC435

Presentation

20%

In-class

In-class

Essay (3000 words)

80%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC437

Essay (4000 words)

100%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC438

Assignment

20%

In-class

In-class

Essay (2000 words)

80%

03 May 2022 at 12noon

03 June 2022

MC4M1

Exam (2hrs)

20%

January Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

25 February 2022

Essay (3000 words)

80%

05 May 2022 at 12noon

10 June 2022

MC4M2

Continuous assessment

3%

In-class

In-class

Exam (2hrs)

17%

January Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

18 February 2022

Exam (2hrs)

14%

Summer Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

August 2022

Essay (5000 words)

66%

05 May 2022 at 12noon

10 June 2022

MC4M7

Continuous assessment

4%

In-class

In-class

Exam (2hrs)

16%

Summer Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

August 2022

Essay (3000 words)

80%

05 May 2022 at 12noon

10 June 2022

MC4M8

Continuous assessment

3%

In-class

In-class

Exam (2hrs)

17%

Summer Exam Period (check Exam Timetable)

31 August 2022

Exam (2hrs)

14%

Summer Exam Period (check exam timetable)

31 August 2022

Essay (5000 words)

66%

05 May 2022 at 12noon

10 June 2022

MC499

Dissertation (10,000-12,000 words)

100%

18 August 2022 at 12noon

30 September 2022

Coursework submission

Formative submission instructions

  • Formative coursework must be submitted online via Moodle coursework, refer to your seminar teacher for whether you must also submit a hard copy during your seminar. If so, formative assignment essays should be printed on A4 or American letter paper, using a clearly legible font of at least 12pt, with 3 cm/1inch margins, and 1.5 line spacing.
  • Coursework must be typed in a clearly legible font with a font size of at least 12. Line spacing should be set to 1.5 or 2.0; margins should be set to at least 3cm. Tables and figures must be numbered and given a title and a source. All pages must be numbered.
  • Upload an electronic copy of your essay to the assessment section of Moodle. You must name the file as follows: MC4XX_Name. For example, MC408_JennyJones.
  • A standard submission sheet (Formative Coursework Coversheet, available on Moodle) must be attached as the first page of the formative assessment.

Summative submission instructions

  • Summative coursework must be submitted online via Moodle (hard copy submission is not required).
  • You must submit to course pages on Moodle by 12:00 (midday UK time) on submission day. Any work submitted after this day/time without an extension will be recorded as a late submission.
  • Coursework must be typed in a clearly legible font with a font size of at least 12. Line spacing should be set to 1.5 or 2.0; margins should be set to at least 3cm. Tables and figures must be numbered and given a title and a source. All pages must be numbered.
  • You must submit your coursework as a single PDF file which includes a coversheet, your essay, a bibliography and any appendices. You must name the file as: MC4XX_CANDIDATE NUMBER. e.g. if your candidate number is 12345, you would name the MC408 electronic file as MC408_12345. Check carefully that you are uploading the correct file, which must be the final version of your essay.
  • Your name and student number must not appear on the assignment. Use only your 5-digit candidate number, not your 9-digit student ID number. Incorrectly named files can cause delays in the marking and feedback process.
  • Your essay must include the Title/Name of the essay (usually the same as the essay question) and the date of submission.
  • You are not permitted to alter your Moodle submission after the deadline of 12:00 (midday UK time). Any attempt to do so will be counted as a late submission and a penalty will apply.
  • Coursework must contain complete and correct referencing and bibliographies - see the 'Plagiarism' section below for more details.

Word count

When writing summative assignments, you must adhere to the stated word limit.

A 10% margin of error on word length is acceptable unless specific course assignment guidelines state otherwise. Where the word count of an essay is considerably over or under the limit this will be taken into consideration during the marking process. For all summative coursework, including the dissertation, the word count will include the entire text (including abstracts, footnotes or endnotes). Tables of Content (including lists of figures and tables), Acknowledgements, Dedications, Appendices and Bibliographies are not included in the word count.

The word count must be recorded on the summative assessment coversheet, which you must attach to the first page of your submission.

Plagiarism and assessment misconduct

Plesae refer to the Department's MSc Handbook section on "Avoiding plagiarism/academic dishonesty" (page 31).

Find advice on citing and referencing at LSE and discover some tools to help you here.

Assessment Criteria

General information

The Department of Media and Communications is committed to transparency and clarity in its assessment criteria. The general assessment criteria are intended as broad guides to the kinds of qualities that examiners will be looking for in written work. The Department will apply the same general criteria for the different kinds of written and oral assessment although, in the case of unseen written examinations, the restricted time will also be taken into account.

Our aim is to encourage and support students to develop a sophisticated knowledge of the subject, the capacity for independent and critical judgment, and the ability to express ideas with clarity. Our expectation is that students will go beyond lecture materials and use the reading lists and other library resources as a basis for an exploration of an area, there are no model answers associated with a given mark.

Assessment is not carried out according to a checklist, but in an integrated way that assesses the piece of work as a whole and allows for deficits in one aspect to be compensated for by strengths in another aspect. Since all written and oral presentation examinations are time-limited and coursework essays are restricted in length, you must decide which theories and findings are important for your argument. Thus, an important skill to develop is determining what to omit. Appropriate omissions will depend on the argument that you wish to present.

There are no “model answers” against which your written work will be assessed, which is why we do not provide "model essays" written by former students. There are many different ways of successfully approaching a question and answers employing widely differing arguments may be equally successful. The appropriateness or relevance of your use of material from published and unpublished sources is judged according to its relevance to the argument you are presenting; not relative to a model answer.

The types of essay or presentation topics and examination questions posed require original thinking and/or synthesis across areas of the media and communications. There may be a core of important material but there are usually several acceptable ways of framing that material and of introducing relevant arguments. Students must decide which theories and findings are important for their own argument.

General assessment criteria for coursework and examinations

In the assessment of an essay and the writing of feedback to students, the examiners look for evidence of work that is responsive to the following three criteria:

Argumentation and Understanding

Analysis

Organisation

Your argument

Your critical appraisal

The structure of your assignment

Your reading and research

Your application of argument

Your presentation and writing

Your understanding of key concepts

Your use of sources and evidence

Your citation and bibliography

Written and oral assignments will be assessed based on the above criteria, including presentation structure and presentation style. The same assessment scheme broadly applies to the assessment of unseen examination essays, with appropriate allowances for the limited time available and unavailability of cited work.

Assessment scheme for assignments

Marks are numerical 0-100. All students taking MC courses will receive a provisional letter grade, e.g. Bad Fail (BF), Fail (F), Pass (P), Merit (M), Distinction (D), by the published feedback deadline.

80–100: High Distinction: This is for outstanding work that achieves nearly all that could reasonably be expected of an MSc student, and will feature many if not all of the following characteristics: original argument, creative selection of sources, highly critical appraisal and analysis, excellent integration of theory and evidence, excellent expression, citation and bibliographic norms.

70–79: Distinction: This is for excellent work that achieves most of what could reasonably be expected of an MSc student, and will feature many of the following characteristics: original argument, creative selection of sources, highly critical appraisal and analysis, excellent integration of theory and evidence, excellent expression, citation and bibliographic norms.

60–69: Merit: This is for work of good quality with a well-defined focus. Such work will feature many if not all of the following characteristics: thoughtful argument, well-researched selection of sources, good critical appraisal, well integrated theory and evidence, good, clear expression, accurate citation and bibliography.

50–59: Pass: This is for work that reaches the overall standard required of a Master’s student and will feature many if not all of the following characteristics: standard argument and range of sources used, mainly fair synthesis of ideas, adequate presentation and flaws or gaps in citation and bibliography norms.

40–49: Fail: This is for work that does not reach the overall standard required of a Master’s student. It will feature many if not all of the following characteristics: weak argument, narrow range of sources used, descriptive account, poor presentation, inaccurate citation and gaps in bibliography.

0–39: Bad Fail (for MC courses only): This is for work that shows a basic lack of knowledge and ability. Such work will feature many if not all of the following characteristics: very weak argument, little use of even standard sources, descriptive, with large gaps, very poor presentation with flawed expression and extensive flaws in citation and bibliography.

Dissertation assessment criteria

Assessment criteria for the dissertation are broadly the same as for coursework– please see above. You can find details of the specific aspects of dissertation assessment in the Dissertation Guide on our Student Handbooks webpage.

Feedback

Throughout your MSc programme you will receive feedback in diverse forms and on a variety of aspects of the development of your understanding of the field of media and communications and on your performance.

Formative and summative assessment feedback

  • During the year you will receive written feedback on your formative and summative assessment assignments. This written feedback can then be discussed with your academic mentor, supervisor and the course teacher for the assessed course.
  • After the conclusion of the dissertation marking process, you will receive written feedback on your dissertation. You will receive brief written feedback on your examinations within the department.
  • Information on the timeframe of feedback can be found in Section 2 of the LSE Academic Code.

Other kinds of feedback you will receive during the year

  • You will receive oral feedback during seminars with your seminar teachers as you develop your ideas and participate in seminar activities.

  • You will work in small groups in your seminars, interacting with your peers, who give you feedback on how your learning is progressing.

  • You will receive face to face feedback from your academic mentor in Michaelmas Term and from your dissertation supervisor in Lent and Summer Term. This feedback may be about your overall learning and progression, on a specific aspect of your development, or on your performance in a specific assignment.

  • You will receive oral feedback on the development of your dissertation ideas from your Supervisor during Feedback and Advice hours and during group supervision sessions. Feedback and advice hours of other staff are also good opportunities to receive feedback on the development of your dissertation ideas.

  • You also will receive oral feedback from academic staff providing any extra-curricular activities you register for during the year, for example, on essay writing, citation practice or language skills. You will receive feedback from mentors if you choose to engage in internship activities facilitated by LSE and by the Department.

Extensions, Deferrals and Exceptional Circumstances

Extensions

The LSE Extension Policy allows you to request more time for a summative assessment if you experience exceptional circumstances which are sudden, unforeseen, outside of your control and proximate to an assessment.

You can request an extension here.

Deferral

The deferral process allows you to postpone an assessment to the next appropriate assessment opportunity.

See the Deferral webpage for further details.

Exceptional Circumstances

If you have submitted an assessment or sat an exam and you feel your performance has been affected by unforeseen circumstances that were outside of your control then you should submit Exceptional Circumstances (ECs). 

See the Exceptional Circumstances webpage for further details.