UG and PGT Coursework Extensions (with the exception of PGT Project and Dissertation Modules)

Guidance on the process for coursework extensions for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught modules, with the exception of postgraduate project and dissertation modules, for which a separate process applies.

Purpose of coursework extension process and interaction with mitigating circumstances process

  1. The purpose of the coursework extension process is to provide for situations where exceptional and unforeseeable circumstances beyond a student’s control prevent them from submitting coursework by the submission deadline, and where a relatively short period of additional time (normally up to 48 hours) will be sufficient to address the problem.
  2. Where 48 hours of additional time is insufficient to address the problem, the Mitigating Circumstances process should normally be used.
  3. In most situations, students are advised to submit either an extension request or a Mitigating Circumstances claim and not both. However, there may be instances where a student initially seeks (and is granted) an extension, but then realises that the extension did not fully address the circumstances affecting them. In such a case, the student may submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim notwithstanding that they have already been granted an extension. (The student should still submit as much of their coursework as they can prior to the extended deadline in order to avoid being awarded a zero mark for non-submission in the event of no action being taken in relation to their Mitigating Circumstances claim). When considering the Mitigating Circumstances claim, the Mitigating Circumstances Panel will take into account the granting of the extension, and may decide that the extension was sufficient to address the circumstances. Alternatively, the Mitigating Circumstances Panel may decide that the extension did not fully address the circumstances described in the Mitigating Circumstances claim, and may therefore decide to take action in accordance with paragraphs 12.1-12.4 of Regulation XVII. 
  4. Where the circumstances mean that an extension of slightly longer than 48 hours might make the difference between the problem being fully addressed by an extension or the student needing to submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim, students are encouraged to submit an extension request as soon as possible and explain in as much detail as they can why they believe a slightly longer extension is the best solution to the challenge they are facing. Such longer extensions will only be granted exceptionally with the approval of the School Associate Dean (Teaching) and, where a longer extension is not granted, students may be advised to submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim. 
  5. The coursework extension process does not preclude bespoke adjustments in relation to a disability being negotiated by individual students on a case by case basis, with the involvement of Student Well-Being and Inclusivity (SWAI) and the student’s School.
  6. To be eligible for an extension the coursework assignment must be a piece of work submitted online or in hard-copy such as a problem sheet, essay, or lab report.  Extensions are not normally available for work marked in labs, class tests, CAA tests, presentations and other assessments which are undertaken at a specific time and location, and/or which are assessed face to face.  If you are unsure about whether your coursework is eligible for an extension please contact the relevant module leader for clarification.

Process

  1. Students who think they may need a coursework extension should consult with their School at at the earliest opportunity.
  2. Students wishing to request a coursework extension must do so in writing, to the Associate Dean (Teaching) responsible for the module, via their School Administrator, using the form below, detailing the exceptional circumstances they wish to be considered.
  3. Coursework extension requests should be supported by relevant documentary evidence if it is available. However, we recognise that it might not always be possible to provide supporting evidence - in which case we advise sttudents to submit their request without it. Students should give their evidence directly to their School Administrator with, or as soon as possible after submitting, their form. Students should not delay submitting their form if they are waiting for evidence from a third party. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that any supporting evidence is given to their School in good time.
  4. Students may submit an extension request at any point up to the original submission deadline and will normally be informed of the outcome of their request within 2 working days of receipt of the full request, including supporting evidence.
    • Students who submit an extension request fewer than 2 working days before the original submission deadline, and who are not informed of the outcome by the original deadline should submit as much of their coursework as they can prior to the original deadline in order to avoid being awarded a zero mark for non-submission in the event of their request being rejected.
    • Where an extension is granted, any initial submission made by the student prior to the original deadline date will be superseded for all purposes by the student’s subsequent submission made prior to the extended deadline.
  5. Where an extension is granted in relation to a coursework deadline on a Thursday or Friday, the student will be expected to submit the work electronically (according to School guidance) prior to the expiry of the agreed extension (even though this will be at the weekend). It follows that submission deadlines for coursework which is not capable of being submitted electronically should not be set by Schools/Departments on Thursdays or Fridays.
  6. Decisions on coursework extension requests will be made by the Associate Dean (Teaching) responsible for the module (or nominee). In practice it is anticipated that decision-making on extension requests will be formally overseen and periodically reviewed by AD(T)s but delegated to School administration teams. Schools will be expected to ensure they have a robust process for reaching decisions on extension requests. Extensions shall be granted only where exceptional circumstances beyond the student’s control prevent submission of the coursework on time.
  7. Only one extension, for a fixed period of normally up to 48 hours from the original deadline date, may be granted in respect of each coursework assignment.
  8. Any coursework not submitted by the due date (plus any agreed extension) will be marked at zero. Students who fail to submit coursework by the submission date (plus any agreed extension) due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control should submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim. A zero mark for late submission may only be amended if a mitigating circumstances claim is upheld.
  9. Where the circumstances mean that an extension of slightly longer than 48 hours might make the difference between the problem being fully addressed by an extension or the student needing to submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim, students are encouraged to submit an extension request as soon as possible and explain in as much detail as they can why they believe a slightly longer extension is the best solution to the challenge they are facing. Such longer extensions will only be granted exceptionally with the approval of the School Associate Dean (Teaching) and, where a longer extension is not granted, students may be advised to submit a Mitigating Circumstances claim.

Additional Notes on the Consideration of Extension Requests

  1. When deciding whether to grant a coursework extension, the AD(T) (or nominee) will be guided by the principles set out in the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook. However, the standard required, both in terms of the extent and seriousness of the circumstances and the supporting evidence is at a slightly lower level, recognising that the possible outcomes of a successful Mitigating Circumstances claim are more far-ranging than the granting of an extension request.
  2. In general, students must recognise that in the normal course of life they will experience occasional illness and other problems or events that coincide with coursework submission deadlines. Such circumstances are part of the everyday frustrations of life, must be managed, and do not necessarily provide grounds for a coursework extension. Further, students are expected to take responsibility for their own personal organisation, including managing their learning, coursework assignments and revision, in a way which anticipates that events will not always run smoothly.
  3. It is not possible to list all the circumstances in which it will be appropriate to grant a coursework extension, but requests which are supported by relevant evidence, and which relate to a seriousor significantmedical condition or illness; exceptionalpersonal or travel circumstances beyond the student’s control; or for part-time students only, paid employment where exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated will normally be supported. Conversely, extension requests submitted without supporting evidence; arising from poor time management or personal organisation; or referring to circumstances within the student’s control, to minor ailments, or for full time students, to paid employment, will not normally be supported. (See also section 2 of the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook).
  4. The principles in section 4 of the Mitigating Circumstances section of the Student Handbook should be taken into account in determining whether appropriate supporting evidence has been provided.
  5. Coursework extension requests relating to a long-term illness or disability will normally need to be supported with evidence from the University’s Counselling and Disabilities Service.
  6. Any student suspected of submitting a fraudulent coursework extension request and/or falsifying or fabricating supporting evidence may be charged with a disciplinary offence under University Ordinance XVII (Conduct and Discipline of Students).