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PR21 Essays

* Please read this all very carefully and save as a source of reference you can come back to. I hope it will prove helpful to all of you. Please note the corrected date below of 7th December for the essay deadline.

Dear PR21 Students,

I hope you are all well. In terms of your forthcoming essays (titles here), a few very important points of which I would like to make you all aware.

Submission Date and Time

Submissions for the first PR21 assessed essay should now be open and the deadline is Wednesday 7th December at 2pm. All essays are submitted electronically through Tabula (no hard copies required). You can find the link to Tabula to submit your essay and the submission instructions at this link.

Please ensure you read the instructions carefully and are fully aware of what you need to do well in advance of the deadline so that there is no risk of you submitting late

Some Differences With Summative Essays

As these are assessed/summative essays that may contribute towards your final module mark (unlike your formative essays in IP and WP etc), some of the rules and procedures are a little different, so it is important to be fully aware. EG: the strict rules on word limits and penalties for late submission when it comes to assessed essays etc.

The lecture I delivered in week 5, term 1 on essay writing (slides and MP3 on the module website) should prove helpful, along with the PAIS marking criteria (available here). Also, do please look at the PAIS undergraduate handbook essay guide. Taken together these should act as a useful source of reference that should answer most of your questions. We would be grateful if you could look carefully through these resources before seeking further advice.

Seeking advice

Please do direct queries on your essays to your seminar tutor (email/advice and feedback hours etc) in the first instance. They will be very happy to help. I would not recommend seeking advice from other students on social media etc as it could mean you are not always being provided with the right advice. If you are unclear about anything I have said in a lecture, I am very happy for you to pop by in one of my advice and feedback hours.

Your seminar tutor can look at a plan of up to 1 side of A4 - but only once. Unfortunately, we are not able to comment on essay drafts. This is so we achieve the right balance of giving high quality advice and feedback, being fair to all students, and promoting the skills required for independent learning and research at University level. Of course, your seminar tutors are subsequently able to provide further clarifications on points of detail.

Anonymous Marking

As assessed essays are anonymously marked (to ensure the marking process is fair and robust) please do not write your name on them anywhere. Instead, provide your University ID. Please write the word count somewhere obvious on the essay - e.g. at the beginning or the end. As they are anonymously marked by random allocation to ensure a fair process, they may not necessarily be marked by your seminar tutor.


With assessed essays, your module tutors and I are unable to approve any essay extensions. Any requests for essay extensions should be submitted, at least 24 hours in advance, through Tabula according to the process outlined in the UG handbook at this link. Please note they are only given with very good reason - e.g. illness, severe personal circumstances, and evidence will be required. Full information is available at the link above. In many cases it will be helpful to discuss with your personal tutor, especially if there are welfare/personal difficulties impacting on your studies. They can write a statement of support if necessary.

An Important Clarification in Terms of Late Essays

Given they are assessed essays, you do not need to send late essays as an email attachment to your seminar tutor. You only need to submit through Tabula. To send them to your seminar tutor may undermine the principles of anonymous marking.


We aim to return marks and feedback within 20 working days. 20 working days will fall on 13 Jan 2017. You can see how the University defines the working days feedback policy and what days are included and not included at this link. Essentially it does not include weekends, bank holidays and university statutory or customory days.

I hope that all helps. And remember - on the whole, students do really well on this module! Good luck!

Best wishes


Dr Justin Greaves

Module Director, PR21