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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Deadlines, Extensions and Penalties

Deadlines and Extensions

Coursework deadlines are published in individual course handbooks. If you cannot meet a given deadline you should seek an extension in advance of the deadline. Extensions must be requested via the school's online extension request form. The form can be found on the extensions page here.  Supporting evidence - such as a medical certificate - is usually required.  If you have any long-term learning issues (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia), you MUST contact the Disability Service  as soon as possible after your arrival in Edinburgh so that appropriate support and alternative assessments can be arranged.  It is not possible to take learning difficulties into account when giving extensions without a Learning Profile provided by the Disability Service.

Please note: Computer failures are not regarded as adequate justification for an extension. Therefore, where possible, students should always connect through the College server when uploading coursework. If you do experience difficulties with connectivity, be sure   to send an email to: You will need evidence of any network issues.

Always back up your work so that you have two independent up-to-date copies.

Penalties for Late Submission

If you submit your work late without arranging an extension in advance, a lateness penalty will be applied.  If you submit your work later than an agreed extended deadline, the lateness penalty will also apply. 

If you miss the submission deadline for any piece of assessed work, 5 marks will be deducted for each calendar day that work is late, up to a maximum of seven calendar days (35 marks).  After that, a mark of 0% (zero) will be given.  It is therefore in your interest always to plan ahead, and if there is any reason why you may need an extension, make sure you do so in advance of the deadline. Please note that a mark of zero may have very serious consequences for your degree, so it is always worth submitting work, even if late.

Penalties for Exceeding the Word Length

Your course handout will specify the word length of your assessments. All coursework submitted by students must state the word count on the front page.  All courses in the Graduate School have a standard penalty for going over the word length; if you are taking courses from other Schools, check with them what their penalties are.

If you go over the word length, 5% of the total marks given for that assignment will be deducted, regardless of how much you do so (whether it is by 5 words or by 500!). A Course Organiser may decide that any additional text (that is, text over the word length) will be excluded from the assignment when marked.

Word length includes footnotes and endnotes, appendices, tables and diagrams, but not bibliographies. Given that footnotes and endnotes are included, you may wish to use a short referencing system such as Harvard.

Note that the above applies to coursework.  The dissertation word length – and what is included in it – is specified in the dissertation handbook.

Academic Misconduct in Submission of Essays

Coursework submitted to the GSO will be regarded as the final version for marking. Where there is evidence that the wrong piece of work has been deliberately submitted to subvert hand-in deadlines - e.g. in a deliberately corrupted file - the matter may be treated as a case of misconduct and be referred to the School Academic Misconduct Officer. The maximum penalty can be a mark of 0% (zero) . Please note that a mark of zero may have very serious consequences for your degree.

Special Circumstances

Occasionally, a special circumstance such as illness, bereavement or another serious personal problem may have an adverse effect on your coursework.  You may then request, via your Programme Director, that such special circumstances are taken into consideration by the Examination Board when assessing your work. If you think you have a Special Circumstances case, you should discuss it with your Programme Director/Personal Tutor as soon as possible and certainly before the Examination Boards meet at the end of semester 2.

Edinburgh Students