Have you read the Macquarie University Assessment Policy?

It is important that staff are aware of the University's Assessment Policy to ensure adherence to the rules, processes and standards that determine how students are assessed. This will help to promote consistency, transparency and accountability in assessment design and administration. If clarification about assessment policy is required, a member of the Arts Learning and Teaching Team can provide advice and guidance.

Policy Status

The current policy is in effect from 1 July 2021.

Assessment Principles

There are 5 principles of assessment which can be read in more detail in Section 2 of the Assessment Policy


  1. Assessment is shared, authentic, transparent and equitable
  2. Assessment is reliable, and assures learning
  3. Assessment design promotes academic integrity
  4. Assessment is standards-based
  5. Assessment is designed to enable a course-based approach

Key Policy Elements

The table below summarises some of the more pertinent requirements in the Assessment Policy Procedures.

Parts Highlight

Clear Instructions

Assessments must be scaffolded, regularly renewed and reviewed, and must include a clear description of what students need to do to meet associated learning outcomes. To ensure clarity in assessment expectations and marking criteria, all assessment tasks must be accompanied by a rubric. Timelines must be included, informing students of important milestones and deadlines. Methods of submission (eg. Turnitin) must also be clearly indicated and explained so that students know how they are to hand in their work. 

Inclusivity and Reasonable Adjustments

Assessments must also be designed so that they are inclusive and easily accessible to all students. The same also applies to resources provided to students to assist in completing their assessment. We highly recommend checking assessment design elements against the TELAS framework. Students may make requests for reasonable adjustments, in accordance with the Student Disability Support Policy.

Hurdle Assessments

Hurdle assessments can only be employed if they align to unit or course learning outcomes. They must be clearly described in the Unit Guide and students informed of the fact that failure to pass a hurdle assessment means they will fail the unit. Staff must also prepare an appropriate supplementary assessment task in the event a student is unable to complete a hurdle assessment. 


Updated Policy

All students and staff must be aware of the University's Academic Integrity Policy, particularly in light of changes to the Policy (and likely more changes to come in 2022).

Academic Integrity Module

In addition to the current Academic Integrity Module that all commencing students are required to take, an advanced Academic Integrity Module for staff will be deployed from Session 2 of 2021, and will provide practical training for staff to improve awareness and skill in managing academic integrity and detecting potential breaches. 


All text-based, graded assessments are required to be checked using the Turnitin. However, some assessments (eg. forum discussions, blog posts, etc.) do not need to be checked using Turnitin if such assessments constitute formative learning activities that call for student participation and discussion. These aspects must be conveyed to students in the assessment descriptions and rubrics. 


Units that contain group or team-based activities requiring between students collaboration must include this aspect in the learning outcomes. A maximum of 30% of the total unit mark can be assessed as group work. 70% of the total marks in a unit must be attributable to a student's individual performance in the unit.



All assessments must be aligned to the appropriate Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level and/or to related professional accreditation requirements.

Constructive Alignment

Assessments must clearly specify learning outcomes and provide an explanation to students in the assessment description as to how students will achieve specific learning outcomes and achieve relevant skills by completing the assessment. outcomes. For units that are part of larger courses, staff should consider how individual units relate to other units and how they contribute to course learning outcomes. 


Moderation of assessment design and marking should be undertaken at all stages in an assessment life cycle and should include feedback from an academic who is not currently teaching the unit. An explanation of how assessments are moderated should be provided so that the mechanisms for moderation are understood by both students and staff involved in a unit.


Constructive feedback is an integral component of a well-designed unit and assessments. Feedback on assessment performance in a given task (eg. provided informally, formally, to an individual or group) must be provided to students prior to the due date of the subsequent task. Where a student receives grades and no mark for an assessment, feedback must be provided to the student to help them understand their performance within the range for the grade.





Unit guides must be approved and published within iTeach at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the teaching period. Information in unit guides is auto-populated from the MQCMS. Only assessment due dates can be edited in unit guides. Late changes to unit guides can be made, but will need to be approved by relevant unit/course authorities, and then submitted via the MQCMS.

Staff assigned to units will have access to a unit preparation flowchart (generally provided via email from the Faculty). The flowchart will contain information on all relevant unit preparation processes and deadlines.

Unit guide requirements for MQCMS purposes are detailed here. 


Late submissions will only be permitted when specified in the unit guide. Such specifications must include penalties to be applied to late submissions.

The Faculty policy in relation to late assessment submissions is as follows: 
Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (of the total possible mark) will be applied each day a written assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a mark of ‘0’ (zero) will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11.55pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical issue. This late penalty will apply to written reports and recordings only. Late submission of time sensitive tasks (such as tests/exams, performance assessments/presentations, scheduled practical assessments/labs will be addressed by the unit convenor in a Special consideration application.


There are specific procedures for examinations that are set and supported by the MQ Examinations Office.

Staff are not required to set an examination if it is not considered the most valid form of assessment for a unit. 'Take-home' examinations are considered to be assessment tasks in the unit guide and will not appear in the final examination timetable. Where an exam is listed in the unit guide, it will be invigilated and conducted on the University campus unless circumstances prevent this.

Unit Convenors must follow processes and timelines set by the Examinations Office for submission of Final Examination papers. These processes will be communicated at least two weeks before the applicable deadline.