Clearing 2021

Late submission of coursework

Changes due to COVID-19

Important information: As part of our No Detriment Policy we’ve streamlined our extenuating circumstances processes to support you during the pandemic.

Planning your workload 

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, SU Advice and your Student Services Hub.


We understand that in the pandemic you may be finding it difficult to meet deadlines. Please contact your department for support and guidance on what options may be possible.

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.


There is a single policy for the late submission of coursework (.pdf) for both undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes of study, which has been streamlined in line with our ‘No Detriment’ approach. The policy is designed to help you develop your study skills and, importantly, prevent you from suffering a work overload and not being able to complete a piece of coursework or alternative assessment within the time given.

The policy states that all assessments submitted after the deadline will receive a mark of zero, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstances

There may be times when you are unable to undertake, complete or hand in 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 extenuating circumstance claim.

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 online examination, and circumstances affecting your ability to submit coursework or online examination at all.

Types of extenuating circumstances

Extenuating 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 this year our departments will be considering all claims in light of the current pandemic and so will be able to apply more flexibility when considering individual claims.

Circumstances not taken into account

You should note that extenuating circumstances claims for marks instatement of work submitted after the 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. Please note that our departments will be considering claims in light of the current pandemic and so will be able to apply more flexibility when considering individual claims.

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 or online examination submission, 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
  • 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 extenuating 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.

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

Making a late submission request

Find out how to make a late submission request using the online extenuating circumstances form and the information you need to provide.

Disabled students 

If you have a disability which is preventing you from meeting published deadlines, please contact the Student Wellbeing and Inclusion Service in the Student Services Hub to discuss this issue in advance of your submission dates.

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.

However, you can request an extension for your postgraduate dissertation if you find that, due to extenuating circumstances, you will not be able to submit your 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

For students who are due to submit their dissertation for the first time in the 2021 summer vacation, you can request an informal extension from your Department or School of up to one term (up to and including the 14 January 2022 for most courses).

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.

Guidance for informal extensions for students due to submit their dissertation in the Autumn Term 2021 and beyond will be published in due course.

Formal extensions

You will need to submit a formal extension request if:

  • You are due to submit your dissertation for the first time in the 2021 summer vacation, but require a longer extension than one term.
  • 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 Deputy Dean (Education) for your Faculty.

Students are normally subject to a registration fee of £100 for each term that they are registered for as having a formal extension to their dissertation.

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, your results and marks will not be submitted to the Board of Examiners that would normally consider your dissertation, even if you end up submitting your dissertation earlier than you expected.

Instead, your results will be considered at the next available Board of Examiners, and your Department or School can let you know when this will be but you should note that it could delay your results by several months. 

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 Form, our No Detriment Policy will apply.

Student Services Hub
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.