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ULaw apologises after ‘calculation error’ meant some BPTC students received incorrect mark

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EXCLUSIVE: Bar results pulled and subsequently republished following blunder

The University of Law (ULaw) has issued an apology after some of its Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) students received incorrect average marks.

On Monday, aspiring barristers at ULaw’s Bloomsbury branch received an email informing them that there was a problem with the “weighted average mark” (the average score achieved across all ten BPTC modules) obtained by some students.

Citing a calculation issue, ULaw administration staff moved to assure BPTC-ers that the incorrect scores — which had already been published online — did “not affect the marks for individual subjects” or “change pass or fail results”.

Email received by ULaw’s BPTC students at Bloomsbury on Monday

Confirming that the marking issue has now been resolved, a spokesperson for ULaw yesterday told Legal Cheek:

Due to an error in the calculations for the weighted average, some of the BPTC results published last week showed an incorrect average mark. We contacted students to advise them of the issue yesterday, and have republished results today [Tuesday] at 10.30am with corrected average marks.

Stressing once again that the error “did not affect the marks for individual subjects”, the spokesperson continued:

We apologise to our students for this situation, and for the uncertainty and concern it has caused whilst we investigated the issue.

Several students who reached out to Legal Cheek following the incident expressed fears that overall BPTC grade achieved (‘competent’, ‘very competent’ or ‘outstanding’) could, in theory, change as a result of a higher or lower weighted average mark.

One individual — wishing to remain anonymous and whose weighted average dropped by 3% as a result of the recalculation — told us that these small mistakes “can make all the difference”, especially for students sat on a grade boundary.

When Legal Cheek asked the university for more information about the number of results that have been changed, we were told that it had nothing further to add.

BPTC results have been a hot topic of late. We revealed earlier this month that the Bar Standards Board (BSB) had told law schools to hold off releasing the results of its ethics exam after it spotted “a small number of clerical errors” in the marks.

Having completed further checks on all 1,589 exam papers, the BSB — responsible for the content and marking of the two-hour compulsory exam — eventually gave providers the green light to release the marks, some four days later. The regulator revealed that no students had marks deducted, however 26 did see their scores upped — six moving from a ‘fail’ to a ‘pass’.

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