School of Mathematics, Tel: +44 (0) 1509 22 2861

Guidelines for using research students to help with the marking of coursework and class tests


Setting an examination

Format of examination papers

Marking an examination

Feedback on examinations

Setting and marking coursework

Issuing coursework information

Submission of coursework

Return of coursework

Feedback on coursework

Resit coursework

Setting and organising tests

Marking by research students



It is the School’s practice that research students may help with the marking of coursework and class tests in our A and B modules. This should provide a saving of time for academic staff and be a useful experience for the students as well as providing them with some additional income. However, the responsibility for the accuracy of the marking remains with the lecturer (or the responsible examiner) concerned.

When using research students for this purpose, the following guidelines should be applied.

  1.  A detailed marking scheme must be provided and used.

  2. The lecturer should initially mark about six scripts to ensure that the marking scheme is appropriate and to provide examples for the student.

  3. The lecturer should further mark some additional scripts in the presence of the student in order to explain how the marking scheme should be applied and how feedback should be given to the students.

  4. The lecturer should encourage the marker to come back with any questions that arise in the marking of the remaining scripts and should be available for this purpose.

  5. It is expected that the student should return the marked scripts within one week.

  6. Once the marking is completed, the lecturer should check its accuracy by looking in detail at some sample scripts. If necessary, the lecturer should correct the marking. Only when the Lecturer is satisfied with the accuracy of the assessment and feedback should the scripts be returned to the students.

For a set of scripts for a coursework or class test that is worth 5% or 10% of the assessment of a 10 credit module, the rate of pay to students should be based on 18 scripts per hour (5%) or 10 scripts per hour (10%).

Even if the research student takes more or less time than this to complete the marking, they will still be paid at the above rate. Generally, the lecturer should ensure that the marking of coursework with the above weighting should be achievable within this time scale.

For other types and weightings of coursework, the lecturer should determine the number of hours to be paid to the student beforehand.

If, while marking the first few scripts, the lecturer finds that the marking takes significantly longer than the time allocated above, the lecturer should discuss this with the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee before agreeing the total number of hours to be paid to the research student concerned. 

Back to:     Staff handbook    School of Mathematics