Submission and Late Submission of Assessments

School Guidelines on Submission and Late Submission of Assessments (Updated July 2014)

‘Assessment’ is here defined as any individual assignment which is required in order to complete the module - including essay, take-home exam, or any other single piece of coursework - that is worth more than 20% of the total module grade.


Guidelines on Word Count:

Where a word count has been specified in the instructions for that assignment, the student must adhere to it when completing the assignment. For all assignments other than dissertations, this word count should be inclusive of the assignment’s Works Cited section. The School admits a margin of plus 10%, above the required word count, as acceptable. (For example, an essay which should be 2,000 words long can come in at 2,200 words without adversely affecting a student’s grade.) The School’s revised assessment cover sheet includes a box where the required word count of the essay must be entered by the student, and another box where the actual word count is entered by them.

Note: the guidelines which follow are relevant only to assignments which are submitted on time or up to two weeks late; for assignments which are or will be more than two weeks late owing to difficult circumstances, please read the document “School Guidelines on Applying for Extenuating Circumstances” (School of English, Drama and Film).



  1. All assignments must be submitted in hard copy and electronic format.
  2. A hard copy of the assignment in question (coursework / essay / take-home exam) must be submitted to the School of English, Drama and Film office by the deadlines which have been decided in the School for each module and advertised to students.
  3. An electronic copy also must be uploaded by the advertised deadline.
  4. Always keep a back-up copy of your assignment. 


How to submit the hard copy of your assignment:

  1. All hard copies of assignments must have a signed cover-sheet attached to them, and the assignments must then be signed in to the School, as a record that this piece of work has been submitted.
  2. On your assessment cover sheet, you must enter the module co-ordinator’s name. For Level 1 and 2 modules, you must also include your tutor’s name: please ensure you have your tutor’s name to hand before coming to the School to submit the hard copy of your assignment.
  3. The School will accept hard copies of assignments submitted by post, only where a certificate of postage, postmarked by the assessment deadline, is presented to the module co-ordinator as soon as possible after that deadline, and by the end of the current semester’s examination period at the latest. A signed cover sheet (if not already included) should also be presented on that later occasion. Assignments submitted by post should clearly indicate on the title page, which module, module coordinator and tutor they are for, and should be addressed to The Administrator, Room J206, School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4. Remember: a signed hard copy as well as an electronic copy (where required) must be submitted on time (see below).


How to submit your assignment electronically:

  1. For all modules which use Safe Assign (that is, most modules offered in this School), you are required to submit an electronic copy of your assignment by the advertised deadline.
  2. Follow the instructions available on the Blackboard site of each module (usually under the Assignments tab), which tell you how to upload your assignment: assignments are uploaded through Blackboard.
  3. The School retains the right to enter a No Grade (NG) result for assignments when the electronic copy has not been uploaded, even where the hard copy has been submitted to the School on time.
  4. The electronic copy does not substitute for the signed hard copy of the assignment. The School reserves the right to enter an NG where the electronic copy has been uploaded, but the hard copy has not been submitted to the School office.
  5. See the School’s ‘Policy on Penalties for Incomplete Submission – Information for Students’ for further details. 


Penalties for late submission:

Following the procedures approved by the Academic Council in October 2005, the penalties for late submission of hard copies of assignments are as follows:

• 1 week late (from Day 1 after submission deadline, up to and to including Day 7, i.e, if an essay is submitted on a Tuesday, the week late should include the following Tuesday):

Penalty: Minus 2 grades: A+ → A-

• 2 weeks late (from Day 8 up to and to including Day 14)

Penalty: Minus 4 grades: A+ → B

• Assignments which are more than two weeks late cannot be graded unless Extenuating Circumstances have been approved by the BA Programme Board. For more information on the process of applying for Extenuating Circumstances in this situation, see the document “School Guidelines on Applying for Extenuating Circumstances (School of English, Drama and Film)” and UCD’s Student Guide to Extenuating Circumstances.

• Note: late submission is not permitted for take-home examinations (other than in situations of proven mitigating circumstances; you should contact your module co-ordinator immediately, normally by email, if you find yourself in such a situation).


Applications for Extension of the Assessment Deadline (Late Submission of Assessments within a two week period after the original deadline): apply to the module co-ordinator

  1. If your assignment will be or is already late due to illness, bereavement, personal difficulties or other circumstances outside your control (including ongoing circumstances), and the present date is either before the original deadline or still within the two-week period after that deadline, you should contact the module coordinator immediately to inform them of your situation and to apply for an extended assessment deadline.
  2. Applications for Extensions of the Assessment Deadline for individual modules can be made only to the module co-ordinator; a separate application must be made for each module concerned. These late submission applications, whereby the student seeks an extended deadline, can be made only up to a cut-off point of two weeks after the original deadline. The assignment in question must also have been submitted by this two-weeks post-deadline cut-off point. (Note: at the end of Semester One, this cut-off point of two weeks after the deadline may be brought forward to an earlier date, depending on how long a period is available between the original deadline and the date when UCD’s Belfield campus closes for Christmas. Where this curtailment of the two week window for extensions is necessary, the cut-off date for these extensions is set as the day before UCD closes).
  3. Students in genuine difficulty, whose assignments are or will be late after this window for assessment extensions, should apply for Extenuating Circumstances either to the BA Programme Board (see the document ‘Guidelines on Applying for Extenuating Circumstances (School of English, Drama and Film)’ for detailed information).
  4. Reasons not likely to be accepted as a basis for an assessment extension include: multiple assignments due in a short time; external work or voluntary service commitments; problems with your computer or other IT difficulties; leaving Dublin / the country; sporting or other recreational activities; minor (i.e., undocumented) illnesses; mis-reading or missing assessment information (including information on requirements for take-home examinations); weddings/debs/social events; election/campaigning commitments. Note: these examples are not definitive, and are intended only as a guide.
  5. You will normally be asked to provide evidence of the reason for your request for an extended deadline. Such evidence might include a medical certificate from a registered doctor or health professional, or a letter from a registered counsellor, a member of the Garda Síochana, or a UCD Student Support Professional (such as a Student Advisor, counsellor, chaplain or member of the UCD Access Centre or Disability Support Service). Normally, an original copy of this evidence must be seen in person by the module co-ordinator during his/her office hours, or at another appointed time. That original copy of the supporting evidence should be retained by the student after this meeting with the co-ordinator (as it may be required later by other co-ordinators, the School’s Assessment Officer, or the BA Programme Board); therefore, at this meeting to request an extension, the student should also provide photocopies of this evidence to be kept by the co-ordinator. Simply stapling such evidence to an essay, scanning the evidence as an email attachment, or sending the evidence to the module co-ordinator without a meeting will not suffice; nor will putting the evidence under the co-ordinator’s office door or into his/ her postbox. All assessment extensions must be formally applied for and granted (see below).
  6. You should complete an Application Form for Late Submission of Assessments, available in hard copy outside the School Office or on-line at Bring this form, along with your supporting evidence, to the module co-ordinator, either at his or her office hours or by appointment. The module co-ordinator will decide if an extension can be granted and for how long within the allowable two-week period after the original deadline. The module co-crdinator also signs the form, in order to confirm whether the extension has or has not been granted.
  7. You must attach this completed Application Form for Late Submission of Assessments to the front cover of your assignment, when you submit your assignment by the agreed new deadline within the two-week period after the original date of submission.
  8. Extensions must be applied for in person, usually before the deadline. However, in certain limited circumstances, the module co-ordinator may decide to give permission for an extension of the assessment deadline by email or telephone (note: if by telephone, you must speak to the module co-ordinator in person: a voice message from you will not suffice). Extensions by telephone should be confirmed through a follow-up meeting with or email from the co-ordinator: students are advised to email the co-ordinator requesting this confirmation. Extensions by email or telephone are normally conditional upon supporting evidence (see above), along with a completed Application Form for Late Submission of Assessments, being provided to the module co-ordinator at an agreed later date before the new deadline. Alternatively, with the permission of the module co-ordinator, a photocopy of that evidence and a completed application form may be attached to the assessment cover sheet when the assignment is submitted. In this latter situation - where an extension is agreed by email or telephone but there is no opportunity to personally see the module co-ordinator before the date of the new deadline in order to have the form signed - you should print out a copy of the email from the module co-ordinator confirming the extension, and attach it to your assessment cover sheet, along with the copy of the supporting evidence and the completed application form, when you submit the assignment to the School Office. In this case you must show the original copy of your supporting evidence to the module co-ordinator as soon as possible.
  9. Do not forget to upload the electronic copy of your assessment (where applicable), also by this new deadline.
  10. All consultations with a module co-ordinator (as with any application for extension/consideration) will be held in confidence. Remember: if your assessment will be or is already more than two weeks late owing to circumstances outside your control, and /or your work during the semester has been affected by these circumstances, you should apply for Extenuating Circumstances. You can apply for Extenuating Circumstances through the Arts, Celtic Studies and Human Sciences Programme Office, For detailed advice on applying for Extenuating Circumstances, see “School Guidelines on Applying for Extenuating Circumstances” (School of English, Drama and Film); for a Student Guide to UCD’s Extenuating Circumstances policy, see and scroll down to “E” for Extenuating Circumstances.

Note: these School guidelines are subject to revision in exceptional circumstances