UG Handbook - Penalties

Knowing how to manage your time, write succinctly and provide a complete and comprehensive piece of work to a strict deadline are skills you will develop at university. In the interests of fairness, transparency and to be equitable we have strict rules around deadlines and the quality or quantity of work submitted, and have clear penalties where these rules are not followed.

All work submitted late, without an approved extension of Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment, will have a percentage of the available marks deducted for each day (or part of each day) that the work is late, up to a total of five days, including weekends and bank holidays, e.g. if work is awarded a mark of 65 out of 100, and the work is up to one day late, the final mark is 55.

After five days, the work is marked at zero. The penalty cannot result in a mark less than zero.



1 hour5% of available marks deducted from actual mark

1 day

10% of available marks deducted from actual mark

2 days

20% of available marks deducted from actual mark

3 days

30% of available marks deducted from actual mark

4 days

40% of available marks deducted from actual mark

5 days

50% of available marks deducted from actual mark

Over 5 daysWorked marked at zero

Word Limits

All assessment materials that are subject to a word-limit should include a statement as to the number of words included in the final submission. If you exceed the word limit, you will be subject to a penalty of 10% of the available marks (irrespective of the number of words by which the word limit is exceeded). If you falsely claim the word-count of an assessment to be under the limit when it is in fact above the limit is a form of Academic Misconduct (deception) and can lead to even more severe penalties.

For most pieces of coursework, including essays, practical reports, literature surveys or projects, the word count should cover all text except the following which are not counted: Title, Appendices, Reference List, Contents section and the main body of figures and tables. Figure legends and table titles are included in the word count while the actual contents of figures or tables are not. The citations within the main body of the text are also included in the word count.

Failure to submit

If you, with no approved claim of Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment, fail to submit an assessment by the deadline after five days or fail to attend an examination, a mark of zero will be awarded. You may be given the opportunity for reassessment.  However, the zero will be used to calculate your degree classification, and if the examination or assessment missed is already a resit or re-assessment to redeem an initial failure, no further re-assessment opportunities will be available without proof of exceptional circumstances.

If you are struggling to meet deadlines, submit a piece of work or will miss an exam due to personal circumstances you will need to inform the University as soon as possible and apply for Exceptional Circumstances affecting Assessment.

To contact the Student Documentation maintainers please email (use your University of York email address).