Non Submission Of Courseworks

Prepare properly and help avoid panic and penalties

Make sure you know exactly when your assignments are due to be handed in and plan your work so that you can meet the submission deadlines. Consult your student handbook or speak to your module tutor or course administrator if you are unsure of a coursework deadline and submission procedures.

Give yourself as much time as possible to complete each assignment so you can complete it to the best of your ability and you don't have to rush or worry about incurring late submission penalties. Avoid leaving completing an assignment to the last minute/hour/day just in case unexpected problems occur.

Missed submission deadlines

If you hand in your work late, without a good reason for doing so, your mark will be reduced in line with the University’s penalties scheme for late submission of coursework. See Senate Regulation 7.91 to 7.96.

If, however, life has conspired against you to prevent you from meeting an assignment deadline don’t despair. The University recognises that students may suffer from a sudden illness or other serious or significant event that is unforeseen and/or unpreventable and which adversely affects their ability to complete an assessment; in such cases the University’s mitigating circumstances regulations and procedures may be applied.  You’ll need to complete a Mitigating Circumstances Form and submit it with supporting evidence to your department.

Visit our mitigating circumstances page for further details.

A possible outcome, if it is accepted that mitigating circumstances apply, is for late submission penalties to be waived for the assignment that has been affected. Other options, such as the setting of a revised submission deadline, may also be applied if the Mitigating Circumstances Panel considers it is appropriate.

The University's regulations about the late submission of coursework are found in Senate Regulation 7: governing the Assessment of Taught Programmes (PDF). See regulations 7.91 to 7.96 for full details

Penalties for late submission

Senate Regulation
7.95 – 7.96:
In cases where there are no accepted mitigating circumstances, late submission of coursework shall lead automatically to the imposition of a penalty. Penalties shall be applied as soon as the deadline is reached. The University’s penalty scheme is as follows:
  1. a deduction of 10% of the maximum mark available from the actual mark achieved by the student shall be imposed upon expiry of the deadline;
  2. a further deduction of 5% of the maximum mark available from the actual mark achieved by the student shall then be imposed on each of the next subsequent working days;
  3. the subsequent 24 hour periods described under (b) above shall apply from the expiry of the initial deadline.  For example, where a deadline is 14:00 on Wednesday, a 10% penalty shall be deducted at 14:01 on Wednesday, and a subsequent 5% shall be deducted at 14:01 on Thursday;
  4. under (a) and (b) above penalties shall be applied until the pass mark for the assessment has been reached (40% for undergraduate work and 50% for postgraduate work), after which point no further penalties shall be applied unless the work is deemed to be a non-submission (see (e) and (f) below);
  5. for undergraduate programmes: any piece of work submitted 11 or more working days after the expiry of the deadline will not be marked but will be assigned a mark of zero and deemed to be a non submission;
  6. for postgraduate programmes: any piece of work submitted 9 or more working days after the expiry of the deadline will not be marked but will be assigned a mark of zero and deemed to be a non submission;
  7. ‘available marks’ in this context means the maximum marks available for the piece of work (for example, 100 would be the available mark in a percentage marking scheme);
  8. ‘working day’ in this context means a period of twenty four hours or part thereof from Monday to Friday inclusive, excluding public holidays and University closure days.
Where required for practical reasons the range and timing of penalties for the non-completion of certain forms of assessment such as presentations may be determined by departments in the light of local circumstances, but should be applied according to agreed procedures.  In cases where the turnaround time for marking is less than ten days, departments are also authorised to introduce appropriate variations to the scheme set out above.

I'm teaching a course where coursework is submitted online. Recently, an important group project assignment was due. The students are required to submit a project report, which contains a link to a video produced by the students, usually uploaded onto a site such as YouTube, Google Drive or Dropbox. We had announced that for every day that an assignment is late, students will lose 10% of their score for that assignment.

As you might have predicted, there were several student groups who submitted their assignments late. The problem is that some of these students have sent me e-mails begging me not to impose the penalty for late submission. They gave reasons such as:

  • The original PDF file which we submitted was corrupted, so after the deadline, we had to submit the PDF again
  • There were some technical problems with the original video link, such that it is not possible for the video to be viewed at that link, so we had to upload a new video and are now sending you the new link
  • The project was due at 9 PM, and we submitted it at 9 PM (see our screenshot!) but the system marked it as late

Initially, I told them that they will be penalized as specified in the policy, in order to be fair to the students who did submit their work on time. However, the students continued to say that I should be more considerate or fair.

In my mind, I want to say to these students, "Stop wasting my time arguing for marks!" But this doesn't seem to be the right way for me to respond to the students. How should I respond to these students who keep on asking me not to penalize them when the penalty is deserved?

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