Quality Manual

Policy on penalties for late submission of assessed work

This page contains the University's policy on penalties for the late submission of assessed work. Its content is applicable to staff and students across all of the UK, China and Malaysia campuses.

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Essential information

Includes: standard deadline for submission of coursework; deduction of marks upon expiry

The standard deadline for submission of coursework on all campuses should be 15:00 local time.

A deduction of 5% off the actual mark achieved shall be imposed upon expiry of the deadline, and an additional 5% per subsequent 24 hour period (weekends and University closure days do not count as days where a 5% is to be imposed).



Includes: university procedure for coursework submitted late; penalty for late submission; extensions when a student is likely to miss a deadline; assessment regulations

The University follows the following procedure when coursework is submitted late: 

1.   When coursework (including essays, laboratory reports, projects, performance or other similar activities) is to constitute part of the whole of the assessment for a module, students should be told in writing at the start of the module the deadline by which the coursework is to be submitted and the penalty for late submission. Deadlines should be set taking account of student workload, and must avoid the revision period. (In certain cases, deadlines during the examination period may be acceptable.)

2.   If coursework is submitted late without sufficient cause, it should be marked in the normal way, and a penalty then applied. For the benefit of External Examiners and others, the original mark and the penalty should both be clearly indicated. The pre-penalty mark should be used as part of the School's feedback and moderation processes and the post-penalty mark should be used in any progression or award calculation. To minimise disputes about timing or submission, coursework should be date-stamped and receipted in some way.

3.   The standard University penalty for late submission should be 5% absolute standard University scale per day,1 until the mark reaches zero.

1 A deduction of 5% off the actual mark achieved shall be imposed upon expiry of the deadline, and an additional 5% per subsequent 24 hour period (weekends and University closure days do not count as days where a 5% is to be imposed).

For example, an original mark of 67% would be successively reduced to 62%, 57%, 52%, 47% etc. It is understood that, exceptionally, there may be academic grounds for different penalties to apply, with the approval of the Head of School, for example, when solutions are to be discussed on a particular date, so that work submitted after this date is essentially worthless.

4.   The standard penalties are intended to be very easy to understand, to be sufficiently severe to discourage deliberate late submission (bargaining the penalty against potential improvements to the work), but to encourage late submission in preference to no submission. Any different penalties should, if possible have the same intentions.

5.   A student who is likely to miss a deadline should discuss the situation as early as possible with his or her personal tutor and with the member of staff responsible for the coursework. Extensions to deadlines should not be allowed lightly in fairness to those students who do manage to complete their assignments in good time; but it is inevitable that students taking particular combinations of modules will sometimes find themselves seriously disadvantaged in comparison with others on the same course because of an unfortunate conjunction of deadlines, and the staff responsible should use their best endeavours to ensure that such cases are resolved.

6.   Questions of 'sufficient cause' should if possible be resolved between the student, personal tutor and staff responsible. Schools should develop procedures to ensure consistency of treatment. If such resolution proves impossible, then the procedures laid down under the Assessment Regulations should be followed, mutatis mutandis.

For more information about the assessment regulations, please consult the following:

Assessment regulations

If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please contact:

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This content was last modified on 08 April 2022

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