SVC Meeting 2

On Monday 7th December, the SELLL UG Student Voice Committee met for their second meeting of the year. They talked about:

  • Assessments
  • The 2019/20 Safety Net
  • Student Support
  • Ideas for Semester 2 Enrichment Week

Read the minutes to keep up to date, and make sure to get in touch with your reps if you would like to feed into any of these conversations.

SELLL UG Fortnightly News 4

Monday 14th December 2020 to Christmas

Welcome to the Fourth Edition of our SELLL UG News, for a fortnightly round up compiled by Caroline Ede, with contributions from Professional Services (PS) colleagues in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.  

Some new items below for this edition and important dates for your diary.  Plus, our regular wellbeing, IT and assessment support, if needed, has now moved to the end of the newsletter.

Merry Christmas from the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics


Dates for your diary!
Last day of online teaching before Christmas

Friday 18th December 2020

School Office Christmas Closure
Monday 21st December 2020 – Friday 1st January 2021. Reopening Monday 4th January 2021.

Return to Studies for Semester 1
w/c Monday 11th January 2021

End of Semester 1 Assignment Hand-in Date
Thursday 14th January 2021

Deadline date for submitting PECs
The deadline date for submitting PECs to guarantee a response in time for hand-in is Monday 11th January 2021 by 12 noon. Please remember to upload your accompanying evidence.

Buffer / Enrichment Week
w/c Monday 18th January 2021.


What does a PEC for Board of Examiners’ consideration mean?
Submitting a PEC for Board of Examiners’ consideration is different to submitting a PEC for extensions.  We’ve put together some FAQs to help answer your questions so please read at your leisure.

A Post on Time Management
One of our Student Bloggers, Hattie, has just written a blog post all about time management.  Here is what she also had to say:

With many of us students now heading back home for Christmas (covid-safely, of course!), I wanted to share some time-management tips that have helped me study remotely for the past month or so.  There are also some links to downloadable and printable time management resources at the end of the blog.

Christmas in Newcastle!
Newcastle University will provide a programme of support over the Christmas Holidays if you are unable to return home.  Click on this link for more information including Health & Wellbeing Support over the holidays. 

This link gives information on applying for a festive hamper if you are staying in Newcastle (you must complete the festive hamper application form on the link) and activities on offer.

NUSU Festive Events
NUSU are running lots of festive events that students can take part in and feel Christmassy and less isolated, and click on this link which is different to the last newsletter.

Online Chat – Tuesday 10-12 & Thursday 2-4pm
Just a reminder that if you need a quick response to a question, you can use our twice weekly online chat service for an instant reply.  Further details are included in the Wellbeing and Support section including an example of where to find online chat.  It will say ‘chat with us’ when we are online and ‘contact us’ when we are not.  We also offer extra sessions during submission deadlines in January.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2021

From the Professional Services Staff in the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics.

Continue reading “SELLL UG Fortnightly News 4”

Board of Examiners PEC Questions

When submitting a PEC, students can opt for ‘Board of Examiners (BoE) consideration’. But what does this mean? We’ve put together some FAQs to help answer your questions.

Students in the Percy Building Long Gallery
Students studying in the Percy Building Long Gallery.

What does a PEC for Board of Examiners’ consideration mean?

If a student has had personal and extenuating circumstances and wishes to inform the Board of Examiners’, they can submit a PEC form via S3P requesting the adjustment “BoE consideration”.  You will need to provide accompanying evidence to support your case.  Your case will be discussed anonymously at the next PEC Committee meeting, usually February to discuss Semester 1 cases, June to discuss Semester 2 cases and September to discuss any resits/deferrals.  The Committee will decide whether to “support” or “not support” your case.    The decision is then passed to the Board of Examiners who will use this information when considering a profile of marks.   The decision is passed to the Board of Examiners anonymously, only the decision and a unique ID will be visible.

NOTE: Sometimes the PEC Committee might decide to “not support” the application.  This does not mean that they don’t believe the student or that the student has not been affected by their circumstances.  It might mean that the PEC Committee can see that they have already received reasonable extensions for these assignments, and feel that they have been adequately compensated. 

What happens at the Exam Board meeting?

The Exam Board meet to discuss marks and whether (a) you should progress to the next stage or (b) if you are in your final year, what degree classification you are entitled to.  The Exam Board will see that the student has a decision of “PEC BoE supported” or “PEC BoE not supported”.  The reason for your PEC is never disclosed to the Exam Board – only that the decision is either “supported” or “not supported”.   If you have clearly passed the Stage you will move onto the next Stage.  However, if you are a borderline case, the Exam Board will take into consideration your decision from the PEC Committee and look at your overall marks.  The Exam Board may use their discretion to progress you to the next stage. 

I am a Stage 3 student/in my final year. What does this mean for me?

The same as above, but this time they will consider what classification of award you should receive.  If it is clear that you are due to receive a First, 2:1, 2:2 etc, then that is what you will receive.  However, if you are borderline, the Exam Board will discuss whether or not you should go up into the next category of award.  The Board follows university examination regulations, considers individual marks across stage 2 and 3 and whether or not you have a PEC rating for supported or not supported, for these stages.   The Exam Board will have met previously to discuss other disruption, across all Stages and all students.  Once everything has been taken into consideration, they may use their discretion to award a higher degree classification.

I have had previous extensions. Can I also request BoE consideration on the same assignment?

In extraordinary circumstances, the PEC Committee would look at your case and may decide to support it.  It depends on the severity of your circumstances.  

I have really struggled with personal and extenuating circumstances this year, but managed to submit my work on time. Is it worth submitting a PEC requesting BoE consideration if I feel my work has been affected?

Yes, definitely.

If I submit a PEC for BoE consideration, does this mean my work will be marked favourably?

No. Your work will be marked the same as everyone else on your module. Marks cannot be changed. Markers do not know which students have submitted a PEC for BoE consideration.

What sort of things are considered? What are “personal extenuating circumstances”?

This can vary from student to student, it might be personal illness, whether physical or mental, hospital admission, close friend or family bereavement, family illness, etc.  Please see the Policy and Procedure and Guidance available on our website for further information. If you are not sure whether it will be accepted or not, please have a chat with your Personal Tutor, Senior Tutor or email   

For more information, check out the PowerPoint presentation that Aditi Nafde, the Chair of the Undergraduate Board of Examiners in SELLL has prepared.


Please remember if you are struggling at all, do get in touch.   There is lots of help available. 

Northern Bridge CDA Competition Success

CONGRATULATIONS to three of our colleagues, Prof Karen Corrigan, Dr Rosalind Haslett and Dr Fionnghuala Sweeney who have successfully secured PhD studentships through the recent Northern Bridge CDA competition!  Project titles are listed below:

Prof Karen Corrigan, Prof Joan Rahilly and National Museums, NI – ‘Eavesdropping on our past: Mapping the oral soundscape of Northern Irish English (NIE)’

Dr Rosalind Haslett and Open Clasp Theatre – ‘Developing new models to evaluate the impact of Open Clasp’s theatre for social change’

Dr Fionnghuala Sweeney and the National Library of Wales – ‘Native Ground: Moses Roper, Fugitive abolitionist; emancipatory activism, anti-slavery radicalism and Print Culture in Wales’

Full details on the application process and deadlines for these projects can be found here:

Job Opportunity – Lecturer in Linguistics

The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics wishes to appoint an outstanding scholar and teacher as a Lecturer in Linguistics. 

You will have a PhD, either in hand or near completion, in Linguistics, and have undergraduate teaching experience in linguistics. The ability to teach semantics/ pragmatics at undergraduate level and multilingualism at undergraduate and postgraduate levels is essential. 

For more information check out the Newcastle University Vacancies website.

For further inquiries please contact Dr Heike Pichler, Head of the Language/Linguistics Subject Area ( or Dr James Procter, Interim Head of School ( 

Welcome Professor Jo Robinson

In 2021 we will be welcoming Professor Jo Robinson as the new Head of School for Newcastle University School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.

Jo is coming to us from the University of Nottingham where she is currently Professor of Drama and Performance, and Head of Drama and Creative Writing in the School of English.

Congratulations Professor Robinson and we look forward to welcoming you in person, when we can!

SELLL UG Fortnightly News 3

Monday 30th November – Sunday 13th December 2020

Welcome to the Third Edition of our SELLL UG News, for a fortnightly round up compiled by Caroline Ede, with contributions from Professional Services (PS) colleagues in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics.  

Some new items below for this edition, and our regular wellbeing, IT and assessment support, if needed.

Decorative Image
Keep on top of all the SELLL News and Events.


Carers Passport – If you have caring responsibilities during your studies
Student Health and Wellbeing Teams recognise the specific needs and challenges student carers can face, including that you may not even be aware that you are a carer.  They will work with you and your academic School to create a Carers Passport, which may include adjustments to your academic commitments.  Click on this link for more information and/or email:

Mid Module Assignment Submission & Feedback
For those modules that have a mid-module assignment, submissions are well under way.  Your marks and feedback should be available within 20 days of the submission date.  For further information on submission dates, how to submit your work, etc. please click on this link

Girls Club Meeting (everyone welcome). Online Zoom
Tuesday 1st December 5pm-6pm
We are keeping the current theme girls club: on power and the text is the viral personal essay Buying Myself Back: When does a model own her image? by Emily Ratajkowski. If you haven’t attended a meeting before EVERYONE IS WELCOME! It is a really informal space for us all to get together, have a chat and spill the tea (or wine). And to clarify it is not a girl’s only reading group – everyone is welcome!  Any questions, comments or concerns please do email Tamsin at

Travel Window for students returning home between 3-9 December 2020
Once the period of national restrictions comes to an end on 2 December, the Government has advised that any student who wants to and is able to, will be able to return home during the student travel window which will run from 3-9 December and testing is available before travelling.  Online teaching will continue after this date until term ends on Friday 18 December.

The testing site will be managed in accordance with Government guidelines and will open from Tuesday 1 December.  It will be located in the Frederick Douglass Centre.  Emails have already been circulated with all the information.

Upcoming Events from the Newcastle University Students’ Union
If you haven’t already, check out the Upcoming Events through NUSU link including Festive Activities, sharing recipes, online exercise classes, Virtual Quiz Nights and more.  Click on each event for all the details and many are free!


A message from our Student Leadership Team.

For exciting content from your Student Bloggers (Hattie, Leanna and Quinn) and your Café Leaders (Raine and Anna) make sure to follow the School’s Instagram account @NCL_English, where you’ll find loads of tips on how to engage in the SELLL community, as well as information on upcoming Virtual Café events.  Why not also check out the Student Bloggers recent posts on The SELLL Careers Blog?  Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any internship opportunities or future posts. Did you know that the School has its own Twitter account too?  Follow @NCL_English to see what we’re tweeting!

Student Wellbeing & Support

In SELLL, student wellbeing and support is one of our top priorities. We’ve highlighted some of the key contacts, services and processes available:

Personal Tutor
Your Personal Tutor is your first point of contact for any issues you might be having.  If you need further help, they can recommend contacting the Senior Tutor or Student Wellbeing.

Senior Tutors
The senior tutors act as a second point of contact for you. They can also be contacted with queries about the personal tutor system or in the event of more complicated issues affecting your academic studies.
Stage 1 Senior TutorDr James Cummings
Stages 2 & 3 Senior Tutor: Professor Martha Young-Scholten

School Office Staff
The SELLL School Office is currently open Monday-Thursday 10am-2pm. Members of staff are also available to contact via email. Key contacts are listed below:

Online Chat for a quick response
If you have a question for the School Office and need a quick reply, you can log onto our twice weekly online chat service, through the Current Student section on the website. To access the chat, scroll down and click on the Contact Us icon on the right side.

Online chat is available every Tuesday 10-12 and every Thursday 2-4pm.

Absence Requests
If you are going to be absent for 3 consecutive days or more (Monday-Friday), please submit an absence request through S3P.

Personal Extenuating Circumstances
If you have difficulties completing your assignments or handing your work in on time because of personal extenuating circumstances, the most important thing you can do is tell the School about any problems you are having.  Please talk to your personal tutor or the appropriate senior tutor in the first instance.  PEC forms are submitted through S3P, and more information is available on our website.

Student Support Plans (SSPs)
If you need any extra help to support your studies, a Student Support Plan (SSP) can be drawn up for you with an advisor from Student Health and Wellbeing. You can contact Student Wellbeing in person, by phone, or an online form, and the link gives all the information.

Nightline is a confidential and anonymous listening and information service run by students for the benefit of students.  Contact them any night of term to talk about how you’re feeling or request information about other services.  In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, Nightline is currently only operating its instant messaging service with opening hours 8pm to 2am.

A new mental health support network has been launched called TalkCampus.  It’s a free to download app where you can talk with other students from around the world if you’re struggling and worried about your mental health.  Your student email address will give you free access, just download TalkCampus from this site or directly from the app stores.  Further information on how to set up TalkCampus can be found in this TalkCampus guide.

Further Information

Mid-module Assessment Help
Many SELLL modules are currently holding their mid-module assessments. Whether you’re preparing an essay, or would like to review a past feedback, the Royal Literary Fellows can help you to hone your writing skills and learn from feedback. If you’re interested in booking an appointment please email or   

Other resources to help you in your assessments include:

Student IT Guide
If you are struggling with any IT issues and need some helpful information, please click on a Quick Guide to Student IT services for all you need to know. And further information is available on this link for IT support services. You should have downloaded the mobile University App by now, but if you haven’t, this gives information on your Student Timetable, Personal Tutor, Library account and finding available PC’s on Campus, plus lots more.

And to sign off with a joke…
What’s the difference between a cat and a comma?
One has claws at the end of it’s paws. The other has a pause at the end of a clause.

We hope you enjoyed reading the SELLL news.
From the Professional Services Staff in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics