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Late submission of coursework

You should familiarise yourself with the primary submission of coursework method of each department that you are taking a module with. Each piece of coursework must be submitted by the deadline published in order to gain a mark. However, there may be occasions when you are unable to undertake, complete or hand in a piece of coursework due to circumstances beyond your control. The University has put in place policies for dealing with such extenuating circumstances.

These guidance notes cover extenuating circumstances which affect your ability to submit coursework by the deadline. There are separate policies and guidance on extenuating circumstances concerning performance in coursework or exams, circumstances affecting ability to submit coursework at all and circumstances causing absence from an exam.

Policies

  • For undergraduate students

    There is a single policy across the University for the late submission of coursework. All coursework submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of zero unless satisfactory evidence is provided of extenuating circumstances that indicate you were unable to submit the work by the deadline. See the section below on the deadlines and process for submitting late work.

    No extensions will be granted in advance so you should familiarise yourself with the policy and arrangements for late submission of work.

    For work submitted after a mark of zero is awarded, marking is at the discretion of the department unless there are extenuating circumstances, which have been accepted by either the Late Submissions Committee or the Extenuating Circumstances Committee, and a model answer has not been circulated. Coursework may otherwise be marked for formative purposes (that is, no formal marks will be awarded).

    This policy had successfully operated in some departments for several years and it was the preferred policy of the Students’ Union – a major reason why the University adopted it. The policy is, in fact, designed to help you develop your study skills and, very importantly, to prevent you from suffering a work overload because, through no fault of your own, you are unable to complete a piece of coursework within the time given.

  • For taught postgraduate students

    Departmental policies on late submission are published in postgraduate student handbooks. Departments operate one of the following policies for the late submission of coursework on postgraduate and graduate programmes:

    1. All coursework submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of zero. The mark of zero shall stand unless the student submits satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances that indicate that the student was unable to submit the work prior to the deadline. [optional - departments who operate this policy may choose to include arrangements to approve extensions in advance of the deadline for submission.]
    2. All coursework submitted after the deadline is subject to a marks penalty of two marks for each 24-hour period (including weekends and public holidays) up to a maximum of seven days. Thereafter, work will receive a mark of zero. The marks penalty/mark of zero shall stand unless the student submits satisfactory evidence of extenuating circumstances that indicate that the student was unable to submit the work prior to the deadline. [optional - departments who operate this policy may choose to include arrangements to approve extensions in advance of the deadline for submission.]
    3. No late penalty. Students can request an extension in advance of the deadline for submission

    Dissertations are not counted as coursework and are therefore not covered by the policy on the late submission of coursework. Students can request an extension to submit their dissertation if they find that, due to extenuating circumstances, they will be unable to submit the dissertation by the published deadline.

    Extenuating circumstances claims for late submission for departments who operate a marks penalty (options 1 and 2 above) are dealt with as set out below.

  • Absence from in-class tests, practical assignment and presentations

    If you have been unable to attend a coursework test, such as a timed in-class test, a presentation or a practical class, you should inform your department as soon as possible.

    Some departments already have automatic reassessment procedures. Departments which do not have automatic reassessment procedures may be able to provide reassessment opportunities for this type of coursework. You would then have to submit a late submission of coursework form to the department to request that your mark be instated if you are given the chance to undertake reassessment, or to request that you be permitted another opportunity to undertake the assessment. Please seek further advice from your department.

Making a late submission request

  • Late submission of coursework affected by extenuating circumstances

    Extenuating circumstances in relation to the late submission of coursework are defined as the inability to submit work by the deadline due to circumstances beyond your control, of a medical, practical or personal nature which affects you in the period immediately preceding the time of the deadline. Genuine emergencies which could not reasonably have been expected will be accepted as extenuating.

    It is your responsibility to inform the department which offers the module with which the coursework is associated, at the earliest opportunity, of any circumstance which may affect your ability to meet a coursework deadline. If you miss your coursework deadline and believe that you have extenuating circumstances, then you should hand your work into that department as soon as possible after the deadline together with a late submission of coursework form detailing those circumstances.

    Late coursework will be accepted up to seven days, including weekends and/or bank holidays, after the relevant deadline for consideration by the relevant Late Submissions Committee, unless model answers have been released. It is at the discretion of the department to comment on work submitted later than this for formative feedback only (that is, no formal marks will be awarded).

    Remember, when a piece of work constitutes 100% of assessment for the module (eg a project or undergraduate dissertation), and you feel you have extenuating circumstances, submissions beyond seven days will be accepted for consideration by the relevant Late Submissions Committee. You will need to submit a late submission of coursework form and any documentation along with the piece of work.

    You must submit your form to the department that runs the module for which the claim for marks instatement is made. If the claim covers more than one piece of late coursework, you must submit the form to all relevant departments.

    Your department has a Late Submissions Committee which will normally meet at least twice during the year. It will deal with claims of extenuating circumstances for work which was not submitted by a deadline for reasons beyond your control. You make your claim by submitting a late submission of coursework form (.doc) (further information on this is given below), along with your coursework, within seven days of the deadline (provided model answers have not been released). The Late Submissions Committee will decide whether your work should be marked and whether that mark will count towards your formal assessment (which means the mark will be instated). The department will advise you of the outcome.

    Students on professional courses in the School of Health and Human Sciences should note that committes will meet more frequently. Please see the School of Health and Human Science's late submission information and to download a form.

    If you have been unable to submit your work within seven days of the deadline, or you have encountered serious problems during the period when the coursework was undertaken and you think your ability to perform as you believe you should not submit a Late Submission form, but instead consult the extenuating circumstances guidance notes and complete an extenuating circumstances form. See the next section on longer term extenuating circumstances.

  • Longer term extenuating circumstances or non-submission of work

    Extenuating circumstances in relation to the late submission of coursework are formally defined as the inability to submit work by the deadline (or to attend the in-class test/presentation) due to circumstances beyond the student's control, of a medical, practical or personal nature which affects the student for the period immediately preceding the time of the deadline. Genuine emergencies and circumstances which could not reasonably have been expected will be accepted as extenuating.

    If you have experienced significant (longer term) extenuating circumstances that prevent you from submitting your work at all, or within seven days of the deadline, you should submit an extenuating circumstances form for the Board of Examiners to consider when it meets at the end of the year, which should clearly explain how your extenuating circumstances affected your ability to submit your work.

    Work submitted beyond seven days of the deadline will be marked for formative feedback only (provided model answers have not been released). However, if your extenuating circumstances claim is accepted by the Board and deemed to have affected your ability to submit your work, the Board has the power to instate your formative mark if it concludes that this is the best way to deal with your claim. You should decide whether it is in your best interests to continue to work on the late coursework or whether to submit an extenuating circumstances claim for the non-submission of your work and let the Board of Examiners decide how to handle your claim. Other methods which the Board could employ include:

    • amending the assessment of a module by changing the weighting of particular units that contribute to the overall course assessment
    • discounting particular modules, or pieces of work from the assessment of the year or the programme of study
    • allowing a reassessment attempt to be treated as a first sit, often for uncapped marks where capping applies

  • Circumstances not taken into account

    You should note that extenuating circumstances claims for marks instatement will only be considered in cases where you were unable to hand coursework in or attend coursework tests/presentations due to a circumstance or event that could not reasonably have been anticipated.

    The following are examples of circumstances which are not considered to be relevant for the instatement of marks due to failure to meet a deadline:

    • minor ailments and illnesses on the day of coursework submission, such as colds, coughs, sprains, headache)
    • personal disruptions or events which could have been anticipated, such as holidays, weddings, changing address or employment, religious holidays or festivals which are usually known in advance
    • study-related circumstances, such as computer failure, printing problems, unavailability of books, photocopying problems, as these problems should be factored into the organisation of your work load (in cases where there are serious failures of relevant computing resources, the department may schedule a general change in the deadline for all students affected)
    • general pressure of work is not taken to be circumstances beyond your control, as you are expected to plan your work schedule
    • excessive demands on time or pressure of employment which could have been anticipated
    • financial constraints, as these are commonly experienced by students
    • misreading/confusing the coursework deadline
    • oversleeping on the day of the deadline
    • transport problems, such as car breaking down or delayed public transport

    It is not appropriate, nor possible, to list all of the potential extenuating circumstances that a student may encounter which would be accepted by the Late Submissions Committee. The list above should give you an indication of the types of circumstance that are not accepted by the Committee.

    The message is… don’t leave handing in your work until the last possible day!

  • What to include on your late submission of coursework form

    You should include on the form details of the specific piece(s) of coursework affected by the circumstances that prevented timely submission of the work. Make sure you explain the impact these circumstances had on your ability to submit your coursework by the deadline. It is not the role of the Late Submissions Committee to try to work this out or to seek further information on your behalf.

    Make your submission clear and concise. Late Submissions Committees are trying to determine whether the circumstances have significantly and legitimately affected your ability to submit work by the deadline.

  • Documentary evidence you need to provide

    This will depend on the type of problems that you have experienced. Whilst documentary evidence is not always required, nor possible to obtain, the Late Submissions Committee reserves the right to reject cases where evidence is not provided.

    Circumstances of a non-medical nature

    You should, if possible, submit appropriate third party evidence to support your claim. We realise that in some cases it may be difficult to do this, and Committees may accept claims which are not accompanied by documentary evidence. However, lack of third party evidence may weaken your claim. It is up to you to get this evidence, as the University will not seek it on your behalf. The University reserves the right to check on the validity of the document(s) you submit by contacting the third party directly.

    Circumstances of a medical nature

    In the case of circumstances of a medical nature, please note that medical certification is not always necessary for this form of extenuating circumstances claim, and the Health Centre, and indeed most doctors, will not issue medical certificates either for short-term or minor illnesses or during the year for single items of coursework. The Late Submissions Committee is concerned with evidence of the inability to complete and/or submit your work, rather than the nature and degree of the medical condition.

  • Planning your work during term-time

    You have a responsibility to manage your own working schedules throughout the term. In order to avoid problems with deadlines it is important that you realise that a deadline is a time by which work is to be completed and handed in. You should always aim to submit work prior to the deadline as this will ensure that you should never have any problems with a late submission. A simple tactic is to set your own deadline, perhaps several days in advance of the last possible date for submission, and to organise your work around that.

    If you have difficulty in managing your workload, you can seek advice from a number of sources, including the advising support system in your department, the Students’ Union Advice Centre and Student Support.

  • False claims

    You should note that submitting a false claim or false documentation is a serious matter and would be regarded as an attempt to gain unfair advantage. This would be an academic offence and would be dealt with under the Academic Offences Procedures. The University reserves the right to check on the validity of the document(s) you submit by contacting the third party directly.

  • Data Protection Act 1998

    By submitting an extenuating circumstances form you are agreeing to the University holding this personal data for the purposes of processing your claim. The University will hold this data in accordance with its notification under the 1998 Data Protection Act.

  • Equality Act 2010

    If you are providing information about your disability on your Late Submission of Coursework Form or your Extenuating Circumstances Form, please note that this does not count as disclosure to the University as these forms are intended for use only by the Late Submissions Committee or the Board of Examiners. We strongly urge you to disclose any persistent medical condition, specific learning difficulty or disability to Student Support.