School of Social and Political Science

Deadlines, extensions and penalties

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During your time as a student you will be required to submit assignments for assessment for your courses. Below you will find further details about this for postgraduate courses run by the School of Social and Political Science.

Deadlines and Extensions

Read our overview of the School's processes for assignment deadline and how this intersects with applying for an extension to an assignment deadline.

Deadlines

Coursework deadlines are published on the Course Learn site.

Please note all coursework is due at 23:59 (UK Time), and submitting later than this (even by seconds) without an extension may incur a penalty.

Seeking an extension

If you cannot meet a given deadline, you should seek an extension in advance of the deadline using the dedicated Extensions and Special Circumstances Service.

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 differences into account when giving extensions without an Adjustment Schedule provided by the Disability Service.

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 Student Support Officer, that such special circumstances are taken into consideration by the Board of Examiners when assessing your work.

If you think you have a Special Circumstances case, you should discuss it with your Student Support Officer, Programme Director, or Personal Tutor as soon as possible and well before the Board of Examiners meet at the end of each semester.

Computer failures

Computer failures are unlikely to be accepted reasons for coursework extensions. Therefore, where possible, you should always connect through the College server when uploading coursework.

If you do experience difficulties with connectivity, please email sps.support@ed.ac.uk. You will need evidence of any network issues.

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

 

Penalties

Penalties are applied to assignment marks in certain circumstances, detailed below.

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. Furthermore, all work must be submitted in the format recorded on ELMA and as per the emailed instructions. A 5 mark lateness penalty will be applied if you do not submit per the instructions. 

Submitted work must be in the requested format, usually .doc (a submission in .pdf would be incorrect). Work must be submitted for the correct course (submitting for the wrong course counts as an incorrect submission).

If a Course Administrator spots an incorrect submission, you will be notified and asked to resubmit the work in the correct format within the following 24 hours. If you fail to resubmit within this period, the standard 5 marks per calendar day lateness penalties will be applied.

Submitting late without an extension

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. 

Planning ahead

It is therefore in your interest to always 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 word count limit

Every written assignment has a maximum word count stated in the Course Handbook/Course Learn site.

The word count includes footnotes and endnotes (if any), in-text references, appendices, tables and diagrams, but not the bibliography, the cover page, the abstract and the table of contents.

If you go over the word count, you will receive a 5 mark penalty. These 5 marks will be deducted, regardless of how much you have exceeded the word count (whether it is by 5 words or by 500).

In exceptional circumstances, a Course Organiser may decide that, instead of a 5 mark penalty, any text beyond the word limit will be excluded from the assignment and be marked only on the text up to the word limit.

Given that footnotes and endnotes are included, you may wish to use a concise referencing style such as the Harvard System.

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

More about referencing on the Citethemright website (UoE login requried)

Penalties for academic misconduct in assignment submissions

Coursework submitted to the Graduate School Office (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 - for example 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.

 

Student category
Taught MSc