Submission of Work for Assessment (Taught Programmes) - 2023/24


Submission of anonymised coursework for assessment, word limits and penalties, extensions and penalties for unauthorised late submission, provisional marks and feedback, and retention of coursework

*Summative coursework is defined as work that is taken into account by a Board of Examiners for the purposes of progression and/or for an award. Formative coursework is defined as work that is not taken into account by a Board of Examiners for the purposes of progression and/or for an award.

Submission of anonymised work for assessment

(1) All written coursework, project reports and dissertations submitted by undergraduate and taught postgraduate students for assessments that have a summative component should be identified by a unique identifer, such as a student's user name or registration number and not by their name. [1]

(2) Coursework which is entirely formative – i.e. is to help the development of a student and which does not count towards decisions regarding progression or the conferment of an award – need not be anonymised. In some circumstances, even though a piece of coursework is identified only by a student registration number, the first marker may know the identity of the student because of the nature of the assessment - e.g. because of the personalised form of teaching, or because a student has been given specific advice by a marker on a reassessment, and because supervisors will know the real identities of their project and dissertation students. It is also possible in these circumstances that a second marker may know the identity of the student. External examiners or moderators will not, however, be aware of the identity of the student.Please note that in the current academic year, late work submitted in Turnitin after the majority of work has been marked will be identified by student name (rather than student registration number) this is due to technical constraints of the system at this time. If a marker considers that a written assignment should not be anonymised, they should consult the appropriate Faculty Associate Dean (Learning, Teaching and Quality), who may discuss the circumstances with the Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education and Curriculum. Markers are reminded that they should not break trust with students by seeking to identify them from their registration number at the point of marking coursework.

[1] 'subject to what is possible due to technical system constraints' 

Word limits

(3) Information on the word limit of each item of coursework (whether formative or summative) shall be published to students. The word limit will be clearly stated in the title of the written assignment, project, report or dissertation. For example, an essay may have the title ‘Essay 1 (2500 words)’, where the number in brackets indicates the word limit. (There will be obvious exceptions, for example, where the assignment requires formulae or computer code rather than text).

(4) The word count for coursework, written assignments, projects, reports and dissertations shall include: Footnotes and endnotes, references (in the main text), tables and illustrations and if applicable the abstract, title page and contents page.  Any appendicised material and the bibliography or reference list shall be excluded from the word count.  Where it is agreed that bibliographic referencing will take the form of footnotes and/or endnotes this will not be included in the word count - any additional notes within the body of the text will be counted.

(5) Students should declare the word count of the text of their assignment on the coversheet (for an eVision or hard copy submission) or in the comments box (for a Blackboard submission).

(6) Markers who suspect an assignment is over the word limit should assign it an un-penalised mark, and return it to the Learning and Teaching Hub, flagged appropriately, for investigation and application of any resulting penalty.  Penalties will be applied if work exceeds the word limit, with a 10% tolerance allowance.

(7) Students are required to submit an electronic version of the originally-submitted work in a format which can be checked for word count (for example Word or Excel) when requested by Learning and Teaching Service staff to do so, when the marker has raised a suspicion that the student has exceeded the word count.

(8) Failure to submit an electronic version of the work for checking will result in the mark for the assignment being capped at the pass mark.

(9) Cases of intentional misrepresentation of the word count will result in the mark being capped at the pass mark.

(10) When an assignment is excessively over the word limit, the marker is obliged to read up to the limit but is not obliged to read beyond it. It is recommended that a 10% allowance is made in determining the cut-off point, which should be clearly identified on the script by the marker. The awarded mark will reflect the assignment content up to that cut-off point.  In addition, this awarded mark will have a 10 mark deduction penalty applied by Learning and Teaching Service staff. For Pass/Fail assignments where the word count is found to exceed the word limit plus 10%, the judgement on whether the grade is a pass or a fail should made only on the text up to the word limit plus 10%.

Penalties for exceeding the word limit

(11) The penalties for exceeding the word limit are:

Less than 10% over word limit

No Penalty

10% or more over the word limit

Deduction of 10 marks off original mark

Failure to provide an electronic copy when requested

Mark capped to the pass mark

Intentional misrepresentation of the word count on the coversheet

Mark capped to the pass mark


1. When the original mark is within 10 marks of the pass mark, the penalty will be capped at the pass mark

2. Original marks below the pass mark will not be penalised


There is a separate policy covering word limits in online exams


Arrangements for submission of work for assessment

(12) The method of submission for assignments will be published to students, for example through the Student Information System’s web interface, eVision.

(13) For the majority of assignments, students will submit their work electronically.  Where electronic submission is set up for a module assignment it will be the only method to submit the assignment; hard copies will not be accepted.

(14) For limited number of assessments, electronic submission is not appropriate, (for example because the work is an artefact of a circuit board) and the work should be submitted as advised by the Module Organiser. 

(15) The deadline for submission will be 15.00 on the specified date.

(16) The specified date for submitting work for assessment should be a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday and may not include student vacations.

(17) Students should be reminded, when work for assessment is set, that the deadline for a piece of work is the last possible time for the work to be submitted without penalty for late submission (in the absence of exceptional circumstances) and that time should be allowed for the submission process and for checking the quality of the submission. The earliest time for submission being one week ahead of the deadline.              

(18) Electronic submission will only be considered as ‘submitted’ on successful completion of the defined submission process. Failed submission attempts, or partial completion of the electronic process by the deadline will not be considered as ‘submitted’.

(19) In instances of a student submitting an electronic file for assessment that fails to comply with the published instructions, and the work cannot be marked as a result (e.g. the file type cannot be opened and read) then this work will be given a mark of zero. This recognises that a submission has been made by the deadline, but cannot be assessed.

(20) The student is responsible for checking the quality of the electronic submission. Students should check that the correct file has been uploaded and resolve any issues with corruption in transit. Where any work submitted has been corrupted in transit, to the extent that the final submission cannot be assessed, the work will be given a mark of zero.

(21) Work may be submitted up to 20 days after the published deadline. The method of submission will be the same as for pre-deadline submission. Late submission in the absence of acceptable exceptional circumstances will be subject to a penalty as set out below.

Confirmation of submission

(22) Submission confirmation details will be published to students (through the Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard)) at the point of uploading, for electronic submissions.

Extensions for late submission of work for assessment

(23) Each Semester, submission and return deadlines should be published to students, for example through eVision.

(24) Students who have a valid reason for needing an extension should refer to  the Exceptional  Circumstances Regulations

Penalties for unauthorised late submission of work for assessment

(25) The penalties for late submission of numerically marked work for assessment in the absence of acceptable exceptional circumstances are:


Work submitted

Marks deducted

Up to and including 24 hours late.
Work submitted no more than 24 hours after 15:00 on the due date

3 marks deducted or mark capped at pass mark, whichever is higher.

Up to and including 48 hours late.
Work submitted more than 24 hours after 15:00 on the due date but no more than 48 hours after 15:00 on the due date.

10 marks deducted or mark capped at pass mark, whichever is higher.




More than 48 hours late.
Work submitted more than 48 hours after 15:00 on the due date but before day 20 after the due date.

All marks deducted and a mark of zero is recorded, but feedback from the marker is provided.

After 20 days.

Work is not marked, feedback is not provided, and a mark of zero is recorded.


Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays will be taken into account for the purposes of calculation of marks deducted.


  • The penalties assume the work will have a maximum of 100 possible marks. The penalties should be adjusted pro-rata for any other (numerical) marking scheme.

(26) Late submission of pass/fail marked work for assessment in the absence of acceptable exceptional circumstances will be awarded a fail mark.

(27) All submitted work for assessment up to 20 working days after the published deadline will be marked normally and a non-penalised mark recorded in Blackboard. The Learning and Teaching Service staff will deduct any penalty for late submission where there are no accepted exceptional circumstances and record this in the student records system (viewable in eVision).  Any work submitted for assessment more than 20 working days after the published deadline (where there are no exceptional circumstances and where an extension has not been approved) will not be marked and will receive an automatic mark of zero / fail. This will apply to work submitted beyond an approved extension date, if the submission date is more than 20 working days after the published deadline.

(28) The Academic Appeals Procedure may be used where a request for an extension to a deadline has been denied. However penalties are not open to appeal.

(29) The unauthorised late submission of work or exceeding the word limit are the only circumstances in which marks may be deducted from the merit mark. Where plagiarism or collusion is detected an adjusted mark may be awarded in accordance with the Plagiarism and Collusion Policy. Where a student does not achieve an intended learning or assessment outcome the marks awarded or withheld will reflect this. Negative marking is not permitted.

Provisional marks and feedback

(30) Marks for summative coursework remain provisional and possibly subject to change until confirmed by the relevant Board of Examiners.

(31) Feedback on assessed work will cover essays, reports, exercises, presentations, performance and practice placements. It will take account of the learning outcomes of the assignment and the relevant marking criteria.

(32) Students will be given advice on the academic support available to them in the event of feedback indicating areas for improvement and enhancement.

(33) Feedback in the form of basic statistics (e.g. average marks and standard deviations) will be made available to student cohorts, where appropriate, so that students may gauge their performance against that of their peers (no individual will be identified).

(34) The deadline for return of feedback and provisional marks on larger pieces of work, notably essays, will where possible be set sufficiently in advance of the deadline for handing in a further piece of work of the same kind to ensure students can benefit appropriately from the feedback.

(35) The University is committed to returning feedback and provisional marks on summative coursework to students who submitted by the deadline as soon as possible, ideally within 15 working days and certainly no later than 20 working days after the published deadline for submission. Normally this is the return of the marked coursework. Provisional marks will also be published on the students’ eVision pages.

(36) It is recognised that illness or other unforeseen circumstances may delay turnaround time beyond the 20 working days deadline: where this occurs students affected by the delay should be informed.

(37) Because of their nature, Dissertations, Placement Reports, Projects, and Portfolios at undergraduate and at Master’s level, are normally returned within 30 working days.

(38) The conditions set out in the Re-Marking Policy should be referenced by students considering making a request for an assessment to be re-marked.

(39) Where a student has been given an extension to submit coursework after the deadline, feedback and provisional marks will normally be provided to that individual within 20 working days of the new submission date. Where an  approved extension to the deadline exceeds the published deadline for  feedback and provisional marks, a module organiser or teacher who has set the original piece of work will set an alternative assignment (consistent with the learning outcomes  for the original piece of work) as appropriate, so as not to compromise a fair assessment opportunity.

(40) Students are expected to retain a copy of all their summative coursework in all years of their course in case this needs to be recalled for scrutiny by Boards of Examiners as part of their decision-making processes for progression to the next Stage and/or degree classification and for moderation purposes with regard to academic standards of awards.

Return and retention of coursework

(41) The method of return of coursework will be published to students.  All feedback will be available electronically via Blackboard. 

(42) Electronic copies of students’ work will be kept on systems such as Blackboard for the duration of their study on the course plus an additional year before disposal or as specified by the Office for Students.

(43) For postgraduate students where a copy of the dissertation or research project is deposited in the School the title page shall include the candidate’s name, the title of the dissertation, the name of the degree for which the dissertation is submitted and the date of submission.  It should include the following words: “This copy of the dissertation has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with the author and that use of any information derived there-from must be in accordance with current UK Copyright Law. In addition, any quotation or extract must include full attribution.