Coursework and exams

Top tips for coursework:

  • Consult your Course Handbook for information about how and when your assignments should be submitted. Pay particular attention to the deadlines and plan ahead in case of last minute problems. 
  • Keep back ups of your work in case of technical problems. You could upload it to the cloud, email it to yourself or keep a copy on a memory stick.
  • Ensure that you submit the right file and check that you have included all images and appendices. Once submitted, work can only be withdrawn, replaced or supplemented in exceptional circumstances, even if the deadline has not yet passed. Use a clear naming convention for your draft and final versions.
  • Remember online submission is a two-step process. Work uploaded but left in ‘draft’ is not submitted and your assignment will be considered late once the deadline passes.
  • Ensure online submissions are within the limits specified – guidance is available.  
  • Check you can access the online submission site well in advance of the deadline. Also check you can access the site from the computer that you plan to use for the submission.
  • The Department provides online ‘self-help’ and 1-2-1 assistance via e-mail and telephone from TALL IT Help.
  • If you have any doubts about referencing, check with your tutor/Course Director and read the University guidance.
  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to submit assignments directly to your tutors or to the Course Director - doing so can compromise the integrity of the assessment process.
  • If you rely on someone else to submit your work on your behalf, you remain responsible for ensuring that the deadline is met and that the correct file is submitted.

Word counts

Full information on word counts, and what should be included and excluded, will be available in your Course Handbook or VLE.

Submission of assignments online

If your course uses the online submission system, you can access the login page here.

If you have not used the online submission system before, please review the information on the online support site for instructions.

Process for submitting hard copy assignments

If your assignment is required to be submitted in hard copy, please note the following:

  • All assignments must be accompanied by a completed 'Declaration of Authorship' form, and submitted for the attention of the Course Administrator. If you are submitting work in person, please do so to the main Reception desk at Rewley House, where you will be issued with a receipt.
  • If posting work, please allow adequate time for delivery and send to the following address: Course Administrator for [insert course], Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, 1 Wellington Square, Oxford, OX1 2JA.
  • Unless specifically instructed to do otherwise, any hard copy submission should be typed, stapled and on A4 paper. Please avoid submitting work in ring binders or similar as this makes it difficult to post out for marking and to return to you.
  • You should ensure that you submit the correct number of copies.
  • Please note that deadlines for submission of assignments relate to the date and time that the work should be received; if you are posting work you should ensure that you do so allowing enough time for it to arrive on or before the stated deadline.

Printing and binding of dissertations

The University Print Studio can print, bind and deliver your dissertation or final project.
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 270029
Email: printstudio@admin.ox.ac.uk
Please note that whilst the Print Studio will deliver on your behalf (either to Rewley House or Examination Schools), ultimately you remain responsible for meeting your deadline.

Exams

If you are required to sit an exam as part of your course, further details will be provided in your Course Handbook.

Most examinations are of 2 or 3 hours' duration, and unless you have a medical condition which prevents you from doing so, you are expected to handwrite your answers. If you are unused to writing for such a stretch of time, it is strongly recommended that, as part of your preparation, you practice doing so and ensure that your handwriting is legible. If the examiners deem a script to be illegible, then a transcription will be required. Transcriptions take place under examination conditions, usually within a week or so of the examination being sat and costs are charged to the student.

More information is on the University's Sitting your examinations webpage.

If you have any special requirements for your examination, medical or otherwise, you should inform your Course Administrator (matriculated students should inform their college). Such requests require formal approval from the University - this can take some time, so it is important that any such request is made as early as possible. More information is on the University's Alternative examination arrangements webpage.

Past examination papers are available either via the Rewley House Library or, for undergraduates, via Weblearn. However, you should check with your Course Director which papers are most relevant for revision purposes. 

Marking and moderation

You will receive marks and feedback on your assignments as you progress throughout the course. All marks are provisional until they are formally agreed by the Board of Examiners at the end of the academic year.

All assignments will be moderated, either internally, externally or both. This means that someone other than the marker of your work will review the spread of all marks awarded to the class and look at a sample of the marked assignments to ensure that the marking is both consistent and fair. Any work awarded a failing grade will be scrutinised by the External Examiner. You should not expect to be told if a particular piece of your work has been selected for moderation, but all students will usually have at least one piece of work moderated during the year. Occasionally a mark will be changed (either increased or decreased) during the moderation process and if this happens after you have received your work back you will be notified.

If you are unhappy with your mark

You will receive a number of marks during the year, and your marks may vary as you learn new skills or reach an element of the course that you are more or less confident in. Many students will experience a peak or trough in their marks.

It is almost inevitable that at some point during the course you will be disappointed with a mark that you receive. If this happens, read the feedback from your marker(s): this should tell you what was good about your work as well as where it was weaker and how you can improve. If you still have questions or concerns then you should raise these with your Course Director, not the marker, in the first instance. If the Course Director was the marker, the Course Administrator will be able to advise you with whom you may discuss the matter.

If you remain dissatisfied the Department operates an appeals procedure (see the Terms and Conditions section of the departmental website), but you should be aware that dissatisfaction with your grade is not, on its own, grounds for appeal - there is no right of appeal against the academic judgement of those marking your work.

Failure

If you fail an item of assessment, you will be informed of the reassessment opportunities. Your course conventions (available in your Course Handbook) will also detail whether or not you need to pass each and every assignment.

You can normally only resubmit a failed piece of work once, and failure at a second attempt usually means that you have failed the course overall. This is rare, but if it does happen your Course Director will be happy to speak to you and offer advice about what you might do next.

Late submission

If you submit work after the deadline, it will normally be subject to an academic penalty, as outlined in your course conventions (see your Course Handbook).

In exceptional circumstances, if you are not able to submit your work by the deadline, you may request permission to submit late.  Full details are available in the Late submission policy, available on the Terms and Conditions webpage.

For any late submission requests, please note:

  • Permission to submit late is granted in exceptional circumstances only, and should not be used to compensate for a lack of reasonable planning or other foreseeable demands on your time, or as an opportunity to take extra time to improve work. Remember to build in some contingency time to allow for any last minute problems.
  • The University cannot accept as reasons for lateness problems such as: delays in postage, reliance on third parties to deliver your work, travel problems, printing problems, or, for submission of work electronically, problems such as failure of your private email, computer (including virus infection), internet connection, connection to the submission portal (unless a system-wide error), or lost or stolen files. Ensure that you keep adequate physical and online backups and store them separately and securely.
  • You will be required to provide details of any mitigating circumstances, and may be asked to provide evidence.
  • In order to request permission to submit late, you need to locate the relevant assignment submission page on Moodle and then click on the 'Request permission to submit late' link.  Full instructions are available on the Moodle online support site. If your course does not operate using the Moodle online submission site, please contact your Course Administrator to request a form.
  • Requests will be acknowledged, and in most cases a decision will be made, within two working days. If you submit your request five or more days before the deadline, you can expect to receive a decision before the deadline. If you submit your request after this, you may not receive a decision until after the deadline. You should continue to work towards the original deadline until notified otherwise.
  • As outlined in the policy, once the deadline has passed, you cannot request permission to submit late unless you have submitted your work - and you must submit your work within 14 days of the deadline or else it will be marked as a Fail. If you submit your work within 14 days following the deadline, you have a maximum of 7 days after the submission date in which to submit a late submission request.
  • You are encouraged to notify the Course Director if you plan to make a request, but are not required to do so.
  • Requests for extensions to the submission deadline for Master's dissertations are handled by the University Proctors. Please contact your college for advice.

Fees

You may be liable to pay fees for late submission, late entry for examinations, late change of options, and for re-assessment.  Details are available on the University's Other charges webpage.