A couple of weeks ago I listened to a podcast from the BBC which amongst others featured the university’s Prof Alice Roberts. The topic being discussed was ‘Science’s Epic Fails’ and covered experiments that went wrong and publication bias of positive results amongst other things. The broad discussion around science being a series of failures from which we learn and progress got me thinking about failed modules and assessments on our degree programmes. If science itself can be seen as body of work that includes failures from which we learn, then why do we penalise failure in a module by capping the value of that module in a final degree classification if a student passes after reassessment? Is the learning that takes place from failure, reflection and going again any less valuable than that for a student who manages to achieve a ‘level’ the first time around? Might it actually give that students an additional set of skills? Do we just penalise it as this is what we do? – I’d hope that this can be different in the future.