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  1. Upcoming Deadlines and Dates
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Common Awards Webinar (available to view)
  3. Durham University Board of Examiners (Overarching)
  4. Conversion of Marks
  5. Annual Self Evaluation
  6. Durham IT accounts for new staff
  7. Staffing Updates
  8. Further Information

1. Upcoming Deadlines and Dates

4th August - Deadline: TEIs to submit Common Awards Management Committee membership lists and quoracy arrangements, as well as dates for upcoming CAMCs

4th August - Deadline: TEIs to submit T9 (Staffing List) for 2023/24 academic year

4th August - Deadline: TEIs to submit Common Awards policies (with changes for 2023/24 highlighted), to include the following:

  • Admissions
  • Accreditation of Prior Learning
  • Academic Progress
  • Academic Misconduct
  • Complaints and Appeals
  • Overlength work
  • Placements
  • Research Ethics (and misconduct)

25th August - Deadline: CIS new account request closes for staff starting at the beginning of the academic year

4thSeptember – DU Overarching Board of Examiners (Summer)


2. Artificial Intelligence and Common Awards Webinar (available to view)

How should TEIs respond to the advent of programmes like ChatGPT and other 'artificially intelligent' tools capable of generating text?

In this webinar (the video of which is now available at, we heard from Matt Wood and Malcolm Murray from the Durham Centre for Academic Development, who have been helping to develop the university's response to these questions. We covered everything from plagiarism detection, assessment design, and the possibilities that open up if we embrace this technology in certain ways.

3. Board of Examiners (Overarching)

In preparation for upcoming TEI Boards of Examiners meetings, please see below for the list of documentation/data reports required by the University following each Board:

  • confirmed module marks for completing students registered on Common Awards programmes (see our guidance on submitting module marks) within 48 hours - report V4 DU - Marks List - 48hr in Moodle;
  • Moodle marksheets for students recommended to the Overarching Board of Examiners within 48 hours;
  • outcomes of the scrutiny of SACs applications (see our guidance on SACs on the website for more information);
  • minutes of TEI Boards of Examiners within 2 weeks of the date of the meeting - please use the agenda and minutes templates Templates and Forms page.  

Confirmed module marks for continuing students (Moodle report V4 January marks ALL Boards) should be returned in January 2024, following all TEI Boards.

TEI Attendance – Durham Board of Examiners

TEIs are reminded that they are very welcome to send a representative from their TEI Board of Examiners (normally the Chair) to the meetings of the overarching Board. Up to three TEI BoE representatives may attend each board. This can be a good way for TEIs to discover more about how the overarching Board works, and to see how we handle decisions about their students.

The next meeting of the Board is due to be held online, on 4th September from 1pm – 4pm. Please contact the team if a representative from your TEI Board of Examiners wishes to attend this meeting.

4. Conversion of Marks

Ahead of the Board of Examiners, we would like to remind TEIs of the principles surrounding the conversion of marks.

Some assignments, like language tests, might produce quantitative scores. Those scores are not the marks for that assignment. In principle, they will always need to go through some process of conversion – where conversion involves making qualitative judgments about what is meant by different levels of achievement in a quantitatively scored test, and then translating those qualitative judgments into numerical marks in the normal way. 

Further information on Converting Test Scores into Marks is available on our website.

5. Annual Self Evaluation

Section A of the Annual Self Evaluation form has been updated by colleagues in the Ministry Development Team and is available on the Common Awards website. TEIs are advised that Question 9 has been reworded and an additional question to confirm permission to share Section A returns with Durham for the purpose of shared follow up conversations has been added.

6. Durham IT accounts for new staff

Information has been sent to TEI key contacts regarding how staff new to Common Awards, or those without an account, can apply for one.  New accounts will be activated from 1st September 2023 and not before this date.

Details of each TEI key contact can be found here Contact Details - Durham University

7. Staffing Updates

  • Professor Mike Higton will be on research leave for the entirety of 2023-24 and Professor Pete Ward will be providing cover. We look forward to welcoming Pete to the team in September 2023.
  • We are delighted to announce that Dr Emily Kempson will be joining the Common Awards team in September as Lecturer in Theology and Ministry, replacing Dr Frances Clemson. Emily holds degrees in theology, ministry, and religious studies from the University of Cambridge (PhD), the University of Oxford (MPhil), Yale University (MDiv and STM), and the University of Virginia (BA).Her current research is focused on developing her doctoral thesis into a monograph; it is a work of constructive theological retrieval which articulates a theology of truth grounded in the traditional Christian understanding of God as ‘Truth’, drawing primarily on Augustine and the Old Testament, and making constructive use of insights from cognitive linguistics. She also has abiding interests in theology and the visual arts and the propagation of healthy religious communities. Among her publications are the article “Anne Conway’s Exemplary Engagement with Origenist Thought”, which features in the journal Modern Theology (2021).  We look forward to welcoming Emily to the team. 
  • We are also very pleased to announce that two Postdoctoral Research Associates, Nina Kurlberg and Olabisi Obamakin have been appointed to start work within the Common Awards team from September 2023, for a period of three years. They will be working on the ‘Diversifying the Common Awards Curriculum’ project, funded by a grant from the Church of England’s racial justice fund. The project will be led by Prof Mike Higton, and the two Postdoctoral Researchers will be working with him, Dr Ken Farrimond, and TEI staff to diversify the range of materials available on the Common Awards Hub, to make those materials easier to find, and to explore the forms of pedagogy that will enable staff to make best use of such materials. We look forward to welcoming Nina and Olabisi to the team.
  • At the end of August we will sadly be saying goodbye to Dr Jo McKenzie whose contract is coming to an end. It’s been a pleasure working with Jo and we wish her all the best with the future. 
  • We will shortly be getting in touch with TEIs with ULO arrangements for 2023-24, in light of the new appointments and staff changes listed above.
  • Please note that the Common Awards team may be less responsive than usual during August whilst a number of staff members take annual leave.

8. Further Information

The full 2023/24 calendar is available here.

With thanks,

The Common Awards Team