A group of law students were left flummoxed on the first day of University examinations after invigilators gave out the wrong exam paper, sparking rumours that the entire year would be forced to resit the exam.
The group of second year students studying the Land Law module were mistakenly given an exam paper that was intended for returning students who had studied the module during a previous academic year. Invigilators were soon notified of the error.
Four students later contacted the Law School claiming that the blunder had negatively affected their performance in the exam, which was worth 100% of the module.
In an e-mail to students, Professor Gavin Phillipson, Deputy Head of Durham Law School, said:
“This was not a mistake made by the Law School but we are of course very sorry that it happened; we have been in contact with the students concerned, are investigating whether the different paper might have caused them any disadvantage, and if so will put in place procedures to make sure that they are not prejudiced by this mistake in terms of their result on the module.”
“I can say categorically that there is absolutely no question of the whole year having to resit the exam – as apparently is being rumoured – or do any alternative form of assessment in this module.”
However, one second year Law student who preferred to remain anonymous said:
“Human error shouldn’t happen like this and the department didn’t get an email out to students quick enough to dispel the rumours that the whole year might have to resit the exam.”
This is the second administrative glitch faced by Law students this year as the Law School changed a summative essay question in February following the accidental publication of an outline answer for the original question.
Jocelyn Hutch, another second year Law student, said:
“I found it particularly concerning and annoying considering the mess ups that happened earlier in the year regarding summatives.
“The rumours couldn’t have come at a worse time with most of our exams still ahead of us.”
Photograph: Emma Werner