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Assessment: Penalties




University guidelines on proofreading of assessed/unasssessed work can be found here. It sets out expectations, acceptable practises and exceptions for students. The assessment cover sheet has been updated to reflect this policy and all students must confirm on this sheet if they have used the services of a proofreader to support their assignment.



Training in issues surrounding plagiarism and poor scholarly practice is offered in the first year via an Academic Writing workshops. Plagiarism is a serious offence and if proven leads to action under University Regulation 11B, 'Procedure to be Adopted in the Event of Suspected Cheating' (

Plagiarism takes a number of forms and the following are considered to fall under Regulation 11B:

  • Plagiarism. This includes copying without acknowledgement from a printed source; copying another student's work; reproducing a passage from another person's writing to which minor changes have been made, e.g. random alteration of words or phrases, omission or rearrangement of occasional sentences or phrases within the passage even if the source is identified in footnotes; unacknowledged quotation; disguised borrowing and near-copying.
  • Self Plagiarism. You may not copy work that you have already presented for a summative piece or dissertation in another piece of work; formative work, so long as it is your own, does not fall under this category.
  • Contract Cheating. You may not purchase or ask another person to complete assessed work or sit an exam in your place. Always acknowledge any third party assistance (beyond that of your tutor), for example with proof reading or providing references. If you are unclear whether any third party assistance is acceptable please discuss with your academic or personal tutor in advance of submitting the piece of work.
  • Collusion. If you allow another student to copy some or all of your work, even if you consider this is helping them, you may be considered to have cheated alongside the student who copied the work. Whilst the Department encourages students to work together and read each other’s work, all work submitted should be the student’s own.
  • Deliberate attempts to mask plagiarism. The Department may ask for work to be presented in other formats if it suspects students are deliberately trying to mask one of the forms of plagiarism identified above.

Students should always identify sources for specific information and, where appropriate, the ideas used in assessed work. It is bad academic practice for a student to fail to do so, just as it would be for an author writing a book or learned article. Poor, sloppy or negligent practice may not result in action under Regulation 11B but will receive lower marks in line with the marking and classification criteria. The Department uses plagiarism software or other appropriate mean to identify plagiarism in students' assessed and non-assessed work. This also highlights cases of self plagiarism.

Please note that the rules apply to all assessed work, including but not limited to essay plans, essays, exams, podcasts, blogs and other digital formats. If you are unsure, please consult with your module convenor prior to submission.



 The Department follows the University policy in invesitgating possible cases of plagiarism and poor academic practice. The full details may be found here.



Please familiarise yourself with the University policy on plagiarism, which is covered in the following links:

  • The updated Guidance for Dealing with Cheating in Assessed Work provides information for students on good academic writing and referencing; use of source matching software; formative assignments; procedure for investigating cases of suspected cheating and reporting of cheating cases.

If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism or poor academic practice, please discuss with your academic and personal tutors.



Deadlines for the submission of work are available on the module webpages and on Tabula. According to University rules, late submission of an assessed essay will, unless an extension has been granted in advance of the deadline*, result in a penalty deduction from your mark for the work of 5 marks per day. Weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and bank holidays are NOT included when calculating penalties for late submission. There is no upper limit to the total penalty for late submission. If, for medical or other compelling reasons, you require an extension on an assessed essay or dissertation please see the extension policy. If work (either assessed or non-assessed) is not submitted, the Head of Department may set extra penalty essays to be completed. First year students should note that they will not be permitted to progress if they have not submitted all their summative work (including all short essays).

* Extensions will not be granted for computer or technical problems, including accidental submission of the wrong file. Please ensure you leave enough time to download and check the file you have uploaded, and deal with potential last-minute problems, when you submit your assessment.



Essays and dissertations that are above the word limit will be deducted as follows:

  • 9,000 word dissertation: 1 mark off for each 100 words (or part thereof) over 9,000 words
  • 8,000 word (CAS year abroad) dissertation: 1 mark off for each 100 words (or part thereof) over 8,000 words
  • Any plan or essay up to 4,500 words: 1 mark off for each 50 words (or part thereof) over the specified limit

The word limits are strict upper limits, and marks will be deducted if the dissertation is over-length. The rule is that 1 mark is deducted for each 50 or 100 words (for short essays and dissertations respectively), or part thereof, over the limit. Footnotes, bibliography and possible appendices are not included in this word-count. The title page is not included in the word-count, but titles and subtitles in the text are. You do not need an abstract or content-list, but if you do include these, they are counted in the word-count.



Attendance at lectures and seminars is compulsory for all students taking a History Department module. Seminar attendance is monitored, and all absences, other than those for which there is a solid reason, backed by evidence (illness of five days or less can be self-certified, but illness of longer than five days requires a doctor’s note), will be reported to the Academic Office. Students who miss three or more seminars of a particular module will normally be required by the Head of Department to submit additional essays (usually a 2,000 word essay for every three missed seminars). Students who miss eight or more seminars in total across all of their modules may be required to withdraw from their course of study by the Academic Office.



For final year undergraduate students there are certain defined circumstances under which they are entitled to appeal if they have not been awarded a qualification or against the award of a particular degree class. Regulation 8.12 lists the following as the only grounds for appeal:

(a) the candidate is in possession of evidence relevant to his/her examination performance which was not available to the Board of Examiners when its decision was reached and can provide good reasons for not having made the Board of Examiners aware of this evidence;


(b) there appears to have procedural irregularities in the conduct of the examination process; or

(c) there appears to be evidence of prejudice or bias on the part of one or more of the examiners.

It must be stressed that appeals are unlikely to succeed under (a) unless there is a very good reason that the information was not made available to the Department in a more timely fashion via the completion of the Mitigating Circumstances form.

*No other decisions of Boards of Examiners are open to appeal*. Please note the appeal procedures may not be used to challenge the academic judgement of examiners, nor to dispute marks awarded in individual modules or pieces of work.

First year and intermediate year undergraduates have the right to appeal only against a decision that they be required to withdraw from their course of study, and then only if they are in possession of relevant evidence which was not available to the Board of Examiners when its decision was reached.

Further details can be found in the University Regulations and on the Examinations Office website.