UCL Philosophy
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Coursework Penalties & Extenuating Circumstances

Lateness penalties for Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Taught) essays:

There are very severe penalties for late submission of work, and as a result it is almost always better to submit incomplete work than take the penalty. The main penalties are that you lose 5% for submitting work one day late, a further 10% for submitting in the next six calendar days.A mark of zero will be recorded for coursework submitted more than seven calendar days. Providing the coursework is submitted before the end of the first week of term 3, but had not been submitted within seven days of the deadline for the submission of the coursework, it will be recorded as zero but the assessment would be considered to be complete.

Extenuating Circumstances

UCL has an Extenuating Circumstances Policy: www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/c4/extenuating-circumstances/sum  which is intended to ensure that students are not unfairly disadvantaged by unexpected circumstances beyond their control which may affect performance in assessment.

Note: The Extenuating Circumstances Policy applies only to short-term, unexpected circumstances. Long-term, chronic conditions and disabilities are covered by UCL’s Support to Study Policy and Fitness to Study Procedure: www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/c1/support-fitness/support.  If you have a disability or medical condition that you feel might impact on your ability to perform in exams you can apply for special examination arrangements. See the Student Disability website [http://www.ucl.ac.uk/disability/special-examination-arrangements] for further information. The application form is available from Student Disability Services or from the UCL Examinations Office in Registry and Academic Services.

As a student, you are responsible for making known any circumstances which may affect your performance at assessment in good time for them to be considered by the appropriate body. If not, you will be considered as declaring yourself fit to sit the assessment concerned. 

You must notify your own department, no matter which department teaches the module(s) concerned, using the Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Form:


You should attach appropriate supporting evidence. All Extenuating Circumstances forms for Philosophy Department students should be submitted to:, contact Cassilda Alcobia-Murphy in the Departmental Office, first floor, 19 Gordon Square (c.alcobia-murphy@ucl.ac.uk). 

The same form should be used to apply for all forms of mitigation for short-term unexpected circumstances, including short extensions to coursework deadlines of up to one week, special assessment arrangements such as extra time in examinations, or other forms of mitigation, including longer extensions,  or deferral of an examination to a later date.

Further information is available in the Guidance for Students: www.ucl.ac.uk/srs/academic-manual/documents/annexes/chapter-4-annexes/annex-4-2-2-ec-guidance-for-students.

Penalties for over-length coursework, including dissertations:

Assessed work should not exceed the prescribed word count. 

For work that exceeds the upper word limit by 10% or more, a mark of zero will be recorded.

For work that exceeds the upper word limit by less than 10% the mark will be reduced by ten percentage marks; but the penalised mark will not be reduced below the pass mark, assuming the work merited a pass.


Reuse of material

Any paper submitted by you is presumed to be original work that has not previously been submitted for another course. You should therefore, as a rule, avoid writing on topics that you have written on previously. If you consider that there is good reason for you to revisit a topic, or to overlap with previously submitted work, then you must consult, and obtain prior written approval from the course tutor. If permission is granted, the onus will nevertheless remain on you to avoid mere duplication.

Minimum Length

Please note there is no automatic penalty for under-length essays providing there is sufficient suitable content.

Page last modified on 21 sep 15 14:21