Coursework and examinations
Assessment by coursework
Advice and tips on submitting coursework:
- Avoid a last minute rush: at the start of your course, check all submission deadlines in your course handbook and plan ahead.
- Our Online support site explains how to submit coursework online. This must be used where required for a course.
- Check well before the submission deadline that you can access the online submission site from the computer that you will be using.
- Back up and maintain a copy of your work in case of technical problems.
- Never attempt to submit assignments directly to your tutors or to the Course Director.
- Ensure that you submit the correct file version, together with any images and appendices that you are including. Once submitted, work can only be withdrawn, replaced or supplemented in exceptional circumstances, even if the deadline has not yet passed.
- Online submission is a two-step process, and work uploaded but left in ‘draft’ is not counted as submitted (your assignment will be deemed to be late if it is still in ‘draft’ after the deadline passes).
- Ensure that files submitted online meet requirements on file size, type, name etc (see How to submit an assignment).
- Seek online ‘self-help’, or assistance via e-mail and telephone from TALL IT Help.
- You may be liable to pay fees for late entry for examinations, late change of options, and for re-assessment—see Other charges.
Word count limits and referencing
- Refer to your course handbook or VLE (course portal) for information about word count limits, including what material (such as indices etc) should be counted or not.
- If you have any doubts or questions about referencing, check with your tutor/ Course Director and refer to the University guidance on Plagiarism.
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—see our Late Submission Policy.
Withdrawal and resubmission of work
Before the deadline
It is your responsibility to submit the correct document/file. However, as outlined on the Problems submitting work or attending an exam page, you may withdraw and resubmit work on one occasion before the submission deadline, without permission. In these circumstances, you should contact your Course Administrator without delay.
After the deadline:
You have up to 30 minutes after the deadline to review the work that you have submitted. If you have made a substantive error (e.g. wrong file, earlier draft, missing bibliography) you can send a replacement to your course administrator. This process should not be used to correct incidental errors e.g. typos, a missing reference, formatting etc.
Files received from 30 minutes onwards will not be accepted under any circumstances.
In cases where it is discovered that the submitted file is corrupt or cannot be accessed, your course admisnitrator will contact you to request the file be emailed to them, possibly in a new format. The emailed file must be received by the course administrator within 7 days.
Arrangements during 2021/22
If you are required to sit an examination as part of your course, further details will be provided in your Course Handbook. In 2021/22, some examinations may be sat “in person” and some held as an “open book” examination. Most examinations normally last for two or three hours, though extra time may be factored in for open-book examinations to allow for any unexpected IT difficulties. For "open book" examinations all candidates are expected to abide by the Univeristy's honour code for open-book online exams.
Preparing for handwritten examinations
For in-person examinations you are expected to handwrite your answers, unless you have a medical condition that prevents you from doing so. We recommend that you practice writing for a suitable period, making sure that your handwriting remains 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 itself, and any costs are charged to the student.) See Sitting your examinations for more information.
Alternative arrangements for examinations
If you have any special requirements for your examination, medical or otherwise, you should inform your Course Administrator (matriculated students should inform their college). Meeting such requests requires formal University approval, which can take some time, so it is important to submit your request as early as possible. See Alternative examination arrangements for more information.
Past examination papers
Past examination papers are available through either the Rewley House Continuing Education Library or, for undergraduates, on your course VLE (e.g. Moodle or Canvas). 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 (which is normally convened at the end of the academic year).
Assessment is moderated, which means that someone other than the marker of your work will review the spread of all marks awarded within a class or cohort, as well as a sample of the marked assignments, to ensure that the marking is both consistent and fair. Work that is 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 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.
Feedback from assessors (markers) will normally indicate what was good about your work, as well as where it was weaker, and how you can improve.
If you have questions about or are unhappy with the marking
You will probably receive a number of marks during the year, and these may vary as you learn new skills, or reach an element of the course in which you are more or less confident to some degree. This is normal - many students experience variations of marks within a body of assessed work.
If you have questions or concerns, or are dissatisfied with the marking process, you can raise this with the Director of Undergraduate Study or Director of Postgraduate Taught Study (as relevant) in the first instance. You should not approach the marker or Course Director, because students are not permitted to discuss marks with Examiners.
If, after this, you remain dissatisfied with the conduct of the process, you may consider appealing under the Academic appeals procedure, however, please be aware that you are not able to appeal on the grounds of academic judgement.
Failed assessment and resubmission
If you fail an item of assessment, you will be informed of the reassessment opportunities. These will vary according to the requirements of the course, and are detailed in your course conventions (available in your Course Handbook).
You can normally only resubmit a failed piece of work once, and failure at a second attempt will usually mean will fail the course outright. Occurrences are rare, but should this happen, then you can ask your Course Director for advice about possible options.