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.
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
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:
- 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.]
- 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.]
- 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
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
- 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
- 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
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
Advice Centre and Student Support.
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.
Disability Discrimination Act 2005
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.