Assessment and exams explained

All On-demand Learning courses that carry credits are assessed in some way.

Courses that do not carry credits are not formally assessed. But they may include assignments and quizzes to help you check your progress and understanding.

Types of assessment


Ongoing assessment throughout your course to help you and your tutor monitor your progress. These assessments do not count towards your final mark. Most of our courses feature some formative assessment.


Assessments that take place at the end of units or at the end of your course to evaluate your understanding of the materials you’ve studied. These assessments contribute to the final mark you receive for your course.

Assessment methods

Formative and summative assessments can be carried out in many ways, including:

  • essays
  • quizzes
  • online tests
  • group work
  • projects
  • your contribution to online discussions
  • final exams.


Some courses may involve formal exams that you have to attend in person at the end of your studies. This is more common with Engineering and some of our Law courses.

Where this is the case, we will always make this clear to you on the course page.

You can attend exams:

  • On campus at the University of Aberdeen.
  • At another university or exam centre that is closer to you.
  • At your local British Council Office.

We can help you find a convenient location to sit your exam, wherever you are in the world. You then make the arrangements and book the exam yourself.

Our staff will contact you 6-8 weeks prior to the exam to ask where you want to sit your exam, so we recommend exploring your options well before then.