18. Penalties

For academic misconduct

The University’s Assessment Regulations contain full details of the regulations and procedures to be followed in respect of academic misconduct, including plagiarism.

18.1   Information on what constitutes academic misconduct in respect of assessment (including clear definitions of plagiarism, collusion, cheating, impersonation and the use of inadmissible material) should be provided, or referenced by a web link, in faculty and/or school handbooks together with specific information about the consequences of such misconduct. It may be necessary for individual schools to develop additional guidance on what constitutes academic misconduct, to reflect the relevant academic discipline.

18.2   When recommending a penalty to a Board of Examiners, an appropriately constituted committee/panel will consider the offence and penalty independently of its potential impact on the student’s degree classification. Whether the penalty for offence in question should be reflected in the degree class to be awarded is the judgement of the board. In such cases, Boards of Examiners should take into account any effect on the degree classification that the penalty already has had.

For the late submission of summative coursework

18.3   Students must be made aware of the existence of penalties for not meeting submission deadlines in the relevant school or faculty handbook.

18.4   Coursework that is submitted after a deadline should be subject to the following penalty, unless an extension has been agreed by the School, prior to the deadline, or late submission is justified by reason of illness or other validated exceptional circumstance (see section 12): 

When applying a penalty for a late submission, a ‘day’ constitutes 24 hours from the submission deadline to the next day which is not a public holiday in England or University closure day (e.g. if a submission deadline is 15.00 on Monday, a ‘day’ constitutes the 24 hour period up to 15.00 on Tuesday).

18.5   Penalties are applied in the form of a mark reduction from the mark the student would have achieved.

18.6 For group coursework, it is the collective responsibility of the student group to ensure and confirm that the work is submitted before the deadline. Students involved in group work for assessment may also be required to individually provide evidence of their participation in and contribution to the work of the group. If group work is submitted late, the penalty applied to the marks of individual student(s) may be retracted where there is evidence that they have satisfactorily contributed to the group work in time for the work to be submitted by the deadline, as determined by the Unit Director of other member of academic staff.

For exceeding the size limit in summative coursework

18.7   Faculties’ policies for defining the size limit of summative coursework, by assessment type, and the penalty for exceeding the defined limit, for its taught programmes, should be in accordance with the following:

18.8   Whether specific forms of coursework are subject to a size limit, and if so:

18.9    Students must be informed in writing, at or before the date of issue of the coursework, the size limit and the penalty for exceeding the limit, if any, which shall accord with the approved unit specification. This information should also be provided on the cover sheet for the submission of the coursework.

18.10    The policy of the faculty that owns the unit will apply. It is important for students whose home programme is based in a different faculty are made fully aware that the policy applied in the submission of coursework for a unit may be different than the policy of their home faculty.

18.11   It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the work complies with the defined size limit prior to submission and to certify the size (word or page length or other defined limit) on the front cover sheet when submitting the work.

18.12   The student in question must be informed of the decision to apply the penalty for exceeding the defined size limit.


[1] The previous Faculty policy applies to practical sessions, pre- and post-lab assessments in the biomedical Schools in the Faculty of Life Sciences in the 2023/24 academic year (Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience).