Late submission of coursework

Meeting your deadlines

Plan your workload

You'll be given a deadline by which work is to be completed and handed in. You should always aim to submit work before the deadline. This ensures 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. 

You should familiarise yourself with the primary submission methods for coursework and online examinations of each department that you are taking a module with. Each assessment must be submitted by the deadline published in order to gain a mark. If you are concerned that you cannot complete an assessment by the deadline you should contact your department before the deadline or consider making a late submission claim.

Get help  

If you have difficulty in managing your workload, you can seek advice from a number of sources, including from staff in your department including your personal tutor, SU Advice and your Student Services Hub.

Missing a deadline

It is your responsibility to inform your department of any circumstances affecting your ability to submit on  time. It is at the discretion of the department to comment on work submitted later than the deadlines for formative feedback only (ie. no formal marks will be awarded).

Please contact your department for support and advice if you are concerned about your deadlines.

Late submission policy

There is a single policy for the late submission of coursework and online examinations (.pdf) for both undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes of study.

The policy states that all assessments submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of zero, unless there are valid circumstances resulting in your late submission.

Reasons you can't meet a deadline 

There may be times when you are unable to undertake, complete or submit a piece of coursework or an online examination on time due to circumstances beyond your control. You can still submit work late if you have submitted a valid late submission claim alongside evidence of your circumstances.

These guidance notes cover circumstances which affect your ability to submit coursework or online examinations by the deadline.

There are separate policies and guidance on extenuating circumstances concerning performance in coursework or online examination and your ability to submit at all.

Reasons accepted

These circumstances are defined as the inability to submit work by the deadline due to reasons beyond your control. Accepted circumstances include:

  • medical reasons
  • practical reasons
  • reasons of a personal nature
  • genuine emergencies which could not reasonably have been expected

This is not an exhaustive list of ‘accepted’ circumstances and our departments will consider all claims.

Reasons not accepted

The following are examples of circumstances which are not normally 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, such as colds, coughs, sprains, headaches
  • 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
  • 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 commonly experienced by students
  • misreading/confusing the coursework or online examination 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 circumstances that a student may encounter which would be accepted by the Extenuating Circumstances Committee. The list above should give you an indication of the types of circumstance that are not normally accepted by the Committee.

You should note that extenuating circumstances claims for marks instatement of work submitted after the relevant Late Submission deadline can only be considered under the Extenuating Circumstances Policy. This covers cases where you were unable to complete an assessment by the original deadline/the relevant Late Submission deadline due to a circumstance or event that could not reasonably have been anticipated and includes coursework, submitting an online examination or attendance at a coursework test/presentation.


If you miss your coursework deadline and believe that you have circumstances which have affected your ability to submit on time, then you should submit an extenuating circumstances form within seven calendar days (including weekends and/or holidays) of the deadline explaining those circumstances and providing any relevant evidence. You should also submit your coursework so that it can be marked if your claim is accepted. 

Online examinations over 23 hours 59 minutes or take-home exams

If you miss submitting your online examination, which is over 23 hours 59 minutes in length, or your take-home exam by the deadline and believe that you have circumstances which have affected your ability to submit by the deadline, then you should submit an extenuating circumstances form within 24 hours detailing those circumstances and any relevant evidence. You also need to submit your work within 24 hours so that it can be marked if your claim is accepted.

Online examinations under 23 hours 59 minutes

If you miss submitting your online examination which is less than 23 hours 59 minutes in length by the deadline, this will be treated as a missed assessment, for which you will be given a 0. You will need to submit an extenuating circumstances claim if circumstances outside of your control prevented you from submitting on time. 

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 types of assessment, such as certain in-class tests, practical assignments or presentations, may not be covered by this policy. Where it is deemed impossible to accept a late submission request due to the nature of the assessment, this information will be available from the school/department (eg. in the module outline or departmental handbook). In such cases, a student who is unable to undertake the assessment by the deadline due to extenuating circumstances should submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim instead of Late Submission.

Postgraduate dissertations 

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

You can only request an extension before the current deadline for your dissertation and should speak to your supervisor as soon as you begin to have concerns about the deadline. 

Informal extensions

You can request an informal extension from your department or school of up to four weeks.

Please write to your Department explaining the reasons for needing an extension and when you hope to submit your dissertation by. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis and your Department or School will notify you of their decision.

There are no registration fees for an informal extension.

Formal extensions

You will need to submit a formal extension request if:

  • You require a longer extension than four weeks.
  • You have had a formal extension granted to you previously.
  • You have been given the opportunity to resubmit your dissertation by the Board of Examiners and need an extension to the resubmission deadline.

Formal extensions can be submitted via the online form. Requests are will be considered by your Department or School, and final approval is granted by the Faculty Dean.

When an extension is approved, a registration fee of £100 for each term is payable.

Due to the time that it takes for a formal extension to be considered for approval, we recommend submitting your request as soon as you can, and preferably no later than 14 calendar days (including weekends and bank holidays) ahead of the deadline. A request submitted after your deadline has passed will not normally be approved.

What to do if you have missed the deadline

If the deadline for your dissertation has already passed and you have not been able to submit your work, you may be eligible to submit an extenuating circumstances claim.

Dissertation marks and other results

If you are granted an extension, this date will be used to determine when your marks will be considered by Board of Examiners. If you submit your dissertation before the extended deadline, your results will still go to the next Board of Examiners based on the extension deadline given, not your submission date. 

Your Department or School can let you know when this will be but you should note that there could be a delay of several months between when you submit your dissertation and when your results are available.

What to include on your form

You should include on the extenuating circumstances form details of the specific piece(s) of coursework or online examination examinations that you are submitting late and describe 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 or online examination by the deadline.

Documentary evidence

Where you are able, it is in your interest to submit independent and reliable supporting evidence as part of your extenuating circumstances application. Supporting evidence should be relevant to the circumstances described in both nature and timeframe. Without supporting evidence, the Extenuating Circumstances Committee/Board of Examiners may not be able to take action on your claim.

See our guidance on documentary evidence.

Longer-term extenuating circumstances or non-submission of work

If you have experienced significant (longer term) extenuating circumstances that prevent you from either submitting your work at all, or submitting within the relevant late submission timeframe, you should  submit an extenuating circumstances form. You should clearly explain how your extenuating circumstances affected your ability to submit your work on the form.

Processing your application

Late submission requests for coursework will be accepted for consideration by the relevant departmental Extenuating Circumstances Committee in line with the deadlines stated above, unless model answers have been released. It is at the discretion of the department to comment on work submitted later than the applicable late submission deadline for formative feedback only (that is, no formal marks will be awarded).

Each department has an Extenuating Circumstances Committee which will normally meet at least twice during the year. The Committee will decide whether your work should be marked and whether that mark will count towards your formal assessment (i.e. no formal marks will be instated). The department will advise you of the outcome.

Further information

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Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub or SU Advice who will be happy to assist you.