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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


The Board of History and Philosophy of Science has agreed the following data retention policy for University examinations taken in:

  • Natural Sciences Tripos Parts II and III History and Philosophy of Science
  • All MPhil courses offered by the Department

Data relating to examinations in Natural Sciences Tripos Part IB History and Philosophy of Science comes under the auspices of the Committee of Management for the Natural Science Tripos.

Natural Sciences Tripos: Examinations data retention policies for Part IA and Part IB

Routinely available data

Data retained indefinitely for all courses and accessible through the Departmental Administrator:

The marks contained in the individual mark record are those that the HPS Board and/or Degree Committee have determined as being meaningful or helpful as indicators of examination performance.

Data available on request

Data retained for six months from publication of the class list and accessible through the senior examiners:

  • Agreed marks for each part of the course
  • Examiners' comments relating to procedural issues or other practical points

Inaccessible data

Examiners' comments relating to academic judgement and any other information that is not included in the mark book are destroyed immediately after the final examiners' meeting. This data is considered to be relatively meaningless as an indication of examination performance, given the moderation processes that are used in determining a class by examiners.

At the end of the retention period, data are either destroyed or anonymised and used for statistical analysis. Examination scripts are retained for six months following the publication of the classlist but are not released to students. Examiners and assessors are expressly instructed not to write comments on scripts.

Where data is kept, all academic judgements relating to the student(s) concerned will also be retained.

Archiving assessed work

Examples of the best coursework and dissertations from past students are kept in the Departmental library as a guide for future students. Students are also informed about standards by the Department's marking and classing criteria which they, together with supervisors and Directors of Studies, are advised to refer to.

Students are asked to sign a declaration giving permission for their work to be made available in the library. To protect intellectual property rights, archived coursework may not be copied or removed from the library.

Examples of anonymised scripts from each class and for each paper may occasionally be selected by the senior examiner at the end of the examining process to be used for training new examiners. Examiners are not allowed to take archived scripts out of the building or copy them.


In the case of a formal appeal or investigation into procedural or rubric infringements all data on the individual(s) concerned that is held at the time will be retained until the process is completed. Data on marks and individual coursework may also be retained in the case of intermitting students. This data will not be made available to students as standard.

Release of data under this policy does not constitute a subject access request under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018. Requests for access to all other personal data should be directed to the University Data Protection Officer ( Note that exam scripts are exempt from subject access requests.