University of Essex Home Page

Skip to main contentAcademic Section Home Page

University of Essex Home Page

 

Guidelines for students making a request to the Late Submissions Committee for marks instatement

  1. What is the University’s policy on the late submission of coursework?

  2. What does the University define as “extenuating circumstances for late submission of coursework”?

  3. How does the University deal with extenuating circumstances for late submission of coursework?

  4. How should I plan my work during term-time?

  5. What circumstances are NOT taken into account?

  6. How do I inform the Department?

  7. How much information do I need to include?

  8. What documentary evidence do I need to provide?

  9. False Claims

  10. Data Protection Act 1998  

  11. Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Extenuating circumstances are divided into two types: (1) those which affect a student’s ability to submit coursework by the deadline (late submission), and (2) those affecting a student’s performance in coursework or exams, or circumstances affecting a student’s ability to submit their coursework at all and/or circumstances which cause a student to absent themselves from an exam.

These notes cover extenuating circumstances relating to late submission.

Forms

Late Submission of Coursework Form

Late Submission of Coursework Form for students in the Department of Biological Sciences

A   What is the University’s policy on the late submission of coursework?

The University operates a uniform Course Deadline policy on late submission of coursework for undergraduates: each piece of coursework must be submitted by the deadline published by the department in order to gain a mark. Work which is submitted after the deadline will be given a mark of zero. Students should familiarise themselves with the primary submission method of each department that you are taking a module with, departments require you to submit your coursework via the OCS and submit a watermarked hardcopy of your essay as the primary submission method to which the deadline applies.

This policy has 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.

It is at the discretion of the department to comment on work submitted later than the deadline, for formative feedback only (that is, no formal marks will be awarded).

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 (extenuating circumstances). The University has put in place policies for dealing with such extenuating circumstances. This guidance note describes the policies which are relevant for those unexpected circumstances which would prevent you from submitting your completed work at a deadline. These notes do not cover longer term problems affecting your performance throughout the year or those concerning exam performance or absence. If you encounter such difficulties please consult the separate guidance notes on Extenuating Circumstances.

[top of page]

B  What does the University define as “extenuating circumstances for late submission of coursework”?

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 extenuating circumstances immediately around the time of the deadline, which prevent you from submitting your work by the deadline, you should submit your late work along with a Late Submission of Coursework Form to your Department within 7 days (including weekends and/or bank holidays) of the deadline date.  Your Late Submission of Coursework Form will then be considered by the department's Late Submissions Committee.

When a piece of work constitutes 100% of assessment for the course (eg a project or 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.

C   How does the University deal with extenuating circumstances for late submission of coursework?

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 (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.

It is important to note that you use this form to request instatement of your marks on the basis of extenuating circumstances which directly prevented you from handing in your work by the deadline.

If you have experienced significant (longer term) extenuating circumstances that prevent you from submitting your work either by the deadline or within seven days of the deadline, you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form for the Board of Examiners to consider 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;

Students studying at the Colchester Campus should submit their Extenuating Circumstances Form to the Registry (6.116) by the published deadline.  Students at the Southend Campus should submit their Extenuating Circumstances Form to the Student Administration Office on the Second Floor by the published deadline.  Students studying at the Loughton Campus (E15 Acting School) should submit their Extenuating Circumstances Form to the Academic Administrator by the published deadline.

Further information about extenuating circumstances claims can be found using the link at the bottom of this page.

D  How should I plan my 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 Students’ Union Advice Centre and Student Support.

[top of page]

E   What circumstances are 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 deadline:

  • 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 one’s employment which could have been anticipated.

  • Financial constraints, as these are commonly experienced by students.

  • Misreading/confusing the coursework deadline.

  • Oversleeping on the day of the deadline.

  • Transport problems (e.g. 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!

top of page]

F   How do I inform the Department?

(i)  Coursework

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 an Late Submission of Coursework Form detailing those circumstances. Late coursework will be accepted up to seven days 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, constituting 100% of assessment for the module, has the status of an examination (eg a project or 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 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.

If you have been unable to submit your work either by the deadline of 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 was affected, you should instead consult the Extenuating Circumstances Guidance notes and complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form.

(ii)  In-class tests/practical assignment/presentations

If you have been unable 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.

 

G   How much information do I need to include on my 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.

[top of page]

H   What documentary evidence do I 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 provided.

a)  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.

b)  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.

I   False Claims

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.

J   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.  

K   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 the Student Support Office.

Extenuating Circumstances Claims

Extenuating circumstances are formally defined as “circumstances beyond the student’s control which cause the student to perform less well in his or her coursework or examinations than he or she might otherwise have been expected to do (on the basis of other work).  In general, extenuating circumstances will be of a medical or personal nature affecting the student for any significant period of time and/or during the examination period.” 

It is important to realise that only the most serious extenuating circumstances will have any significant impact on your overall performance, particularly when degree classifications are being considered as these are based on at least 2 years’ work.  Therefore the Board of Examiners is unlikely to take any action unless it believes that the extenuating circumstances have had a material effect.  A Board of Examiners can only make judgements about the impact of extenuating circumstances in light of evidence of your academic ability demonstrated in non-affected work.  If you believe that you have experienced extenuating circumstances that have affected your ability to performance to your usual standard, or caused you to absent yourself from an exam, or caused a prolonged period of absence from tuition, you should read the guidance on Extenuating Circumstances claims.

Extenuating Circumstances Guidance for all Undergraduate Students

Extenuating Circumstances Form for all Undergraduate Students

[top of page]
 

University of Essex Home Page
offices | students | contact information | links and FAQs | search and site map | home