Law students express “deep dissatisfaction” with exam paper in mass complaint

Students claim the paper “is not an accurate representation” of their academic abilities

Serious concerns have been raised by third year law students following their European Union Law examination.

An open letter has been addressed to the York Law School from students, who have criticised the “approach of questions.”

Image: Matt Cornock

Image: Matt Cornock

A draft of the letter, which can be seen in full below, has expressed: “deep and underserved dissatisfaction about the way in which the European Law Examination was conducted,” and according to an anonymous source, has been signed by 100 students, over two thirds of the year group.

The exam is worth 60 per cent of a 20 credit module and accounts for 10 per cent of total marks for third year.

The students also said in the letter: “we do not feel that we were able to demonstrate and apply the knowledge that we have gained from EU law over the last academic year, and this paper is not an accurate representation of our academic abilities.”

They continued: “We are unsure why the EU deal and the EU referendum later this year have been included in this examination,” and added, “They do not form part of our syllabus.”

Image: James Hall

Image: James Hall

Professor Caroline Hunter, Head of York Law School, in response to the letter said: “There have been a large number of complaints concerning the EU Law paper that you have recently taken.  We want to put your minds at rest.

“The paper was set in the proper way and scrutinised by an external examiner.  If, when scripts are marked, there is a statistically significant departure from the distribution of marks seen in previous years in EU Law examinations, we will take care to see whether the marks should be normalised.

“We will also ask the external examiner to take extra care in seeing that the marks are fair and, taken as a whole, broadly in line with previous years’ distributions of marks. We understand you concerns, and we will be taking great care to ensure that the marking and moderation of the EU Law exam is fair.”

When asked by Nouse to provide further information, Professor Hunter said: “I have nothing to add to the message that was sent to all the 3rd years of Thursday last week, from myself and Richard Nolan the Chair of the Board of Examiners in Law.”

The University of York’s Law School was ranked the tenth best in the UK for 2016 by the Guardian Newspaper’s university guide and admits a maximum of 150 undergraduate students per year.

An anonymous source said that a formal complaint regarding the content of the examination is being considered.


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