Assessment is an extremely important aspect of our commitment to your education and training

We have policies and regulations around assessment to ensure that you are getting a fair and equitable treatment, and to ensure that the academic standard of your work is comparable to work produced by students at other institutions.

This ensures that your award (PgCert, PgDip, MA, DProf) is comparable to similar awards at other institutions, and reassures you and everybody else that you’ve met these standards if you pass our assessment.

Key dates

Resubmission date following July 2024 Exam Boards:

13 August 2024

*Or contact your course lead / administrator

Extenuating circumstances deadlines

(please see heading below for details about how to apply for ECs).

Frequently asked questions

How do I get a good mark?

Assessment criteria

The markers will mark your work against the Assessment Criteria, which will show whether you’ve met the Module Learning Outcomes. These can be found in your Course Handbook under each Module Descriptor.

Make sure you really take on board the criteria. If you’re unsure about any of the criterion, you should make sure you clarify these with your module lead or another member of your course team. 

Other important factors

As well as the Criteria, the following are also factored into the mark:

I can’t complete my assignment on time, what should I do? (Extenuating circumstances)

Part of Postgraduate study is managing your time and taking responsibility for your own learning. As with professional life, you are asked to meet deadlines so that everyone on your course has the same opportunity to complete the assignment, without unfairly advantaging or disadvantaging anyone. We post all assessment deadlines well in advance on your Moodle course pages so that you can plan.


From time to time you may encounter issues that prevent you from being able to meet your assignment deadline for reasons beyond your control, such as serious illness, an accident or the serious illness of a loved one. 

Extenuating circumstances (ECs) are there to help you in these situations.

Please note that extenuating circumstances only covers unforeseen circumstances. For students with chronic (long-term) disabilities and learning difficulties, please see our support section.

We have two levels of extenuation:

Extenuating lateness – University of Essex courses

This is for shorter ‘extensions’ to your assignment which can be put in place quickly. You can ask for up to 28 days’ extension, but you must submit the form within 7 calendar days of the assessment deadline.

  1. Complete this form and send it to academic quality by the assessment submission deadline, and no later than 7 calendar days after the submission deadline.
  2. It’s important to make sure that you explain why the circumstances have affected your ability to submit your assignment.
  3. You should provide evidence to support your claim.
  4. For full details, please see the Academic Procedure for Assessment and Marking (to the right of this page) paragraphs 6.7.7 to 6.7.22 for full details about the extenuating circumstances process and criteria.
  5. You should expect to hear the outcome in 10 working days. However, response times may be extended during busy periods. Students should work towards the deadline requested in the EC Lateness form whilst they are waiting to hear the outcome
  6. If you’re not happy with the outcome, you can still apply for full extenuating circumstances (see below).
Extenuating circumstances (ECs)

Please note that there is a cut-off date for submitting extenuating circumstances. Details can be found below.

If you need more than 28 days to complete your assignment, or if you submitted your essay and then something came to light that you weren’t aware of at the time, or if you’re outside the 7 day time-frame for Extenuating Lateness, you can apply for Extenuating Circumstances.

  1. For Essex-validated courses, please go to the Essex website for guidance on ECs. You may also download the EC form. Please note that you must aim to submit the Essex Extenuating Circumstance form a week before the coursework submission deadline OR in advance of the next upcoming exam board. For further details on EC submission deadlines, please contact your course administrator or Academic Quality.  
  2. For UEL-validated courses, please Complete this Extenuating Circumstances claim form
  3. If you’re not sure who validates the course, the University’s logo is on the front of your handbook. If you’re still not sure, please contact Academic Quality for advice and guidance.
  4. Submit to Academic Quality by the deadlines specified below.
  5. An Extenuating Circumstances panel will meet to consider the claims. They will make recommendations to the Exam Board or Assessment Board about whether to uphold or reject the claim.
  6. You will not hear the outcome of the EC until AFTER the exam board has sat, which is normally in July.
  7. If you’re not happy with the outcome, you can make an appeal. See below (if I’m not happy with my marks)

I need to get ethical approval for my assignment. What do I need to do?

If you are on a doctorate course, please see the PGR web pages

If you are on any other course, please see Tavistock Research Ethics Committee (TREC) on Moodle

What is plagiarism and how do I avoid it? (Referencing and plagiarism)

Plagiarism is when you don’t properly acknowledge or reference someone else’s ideas – whether or not they are published.

It is fine – and encouraged – to quote and paraphrase other people’s research, ideas and work, as long as you follow the academic conventions of proper referencing (it’s not enough to simply put quotation marks around this).

Assignments will be put through Turnitin (‘Turn-it-in”) which is a plagiarism checker, prior to marking, so that markers can see where you have used secondary sources and whether you have referenced it correctly.


The library offers extra-curricular study skills workshops which can help you with referencing as well as other useful academic writing skills. Your course team will arrange these sessions, so please talk to them if you haven’t had one. In addition, there are useful online study skills resources on Moodle to help you. 

You’ll have access to a draft Turnitin area on your course’s Online Assessment page in Moodle – you may submit your draft assignment through Turnitin to receive a report, so that you can add any referencing you might have missed, or amend references that you’ve not completed correctly.

NB you must be a current student with a current Moodle login to access this facility.

If you don’t correctly reference your work, this is classed as Plagiarism which is a type of academic offence or academic misconduct. 

Penalties – University of Essex

The Trust follows the University of Essex procedures regarding academic offences, including plagiarism, for students on courses that are validated by the University of Essex. In the case of the Trust, the head of department under part B of the procedure is either an associate dean or the dean of the Department of Education and Training at the Trust.

If a tutor or course administrator suspects a case of academic misconduct, they must contact the Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Unit in the first instance.

More information about academic offences and misconduct:

Academic offences procedures

University regulations

Penalties – University of East London

The Trust follows the University of East London procedures regarding academic offences, including plagiarism, for students on courses that are validated by the University of East London.

If a tutor or course administrator suspects a case of academic misconduct, they must contact the Academic Governance and Quality Assurance Unit in the first instance.

More information about academic offences and misconduct:

How do I present my assessment and how do I submit it? (Formatting and submission)

All assessments (unless explicitly stated otherwise) are submitted via Moodle. You can find the relevant assessment submission area by logging in and going to your course page on Moodle.

Normally, assignments should be in a ‘sans serif’ font (such as arial) 12pt size font, with 1.5 or double-spacing.

There is clear guidance on how to upload your assignment in the assessment submission area.

You must meet any requirements for your assignment stated in your course handbook under each module. Normally, word counts do not include references, footnotes or appendices but do include any other text within the main body of the assignment. Please see ‘referencing and plagiarism’ heading above for more information. 

Please note that you must do the following:

If you have technical difficulties with submitting your assignments please contact the Technology Enhanced Learning team

What feedback will I get and when should I get it?

For summative assignments (e.g. those that count towards your degree as opposed to Formative assessment which is for your personal development), you will normally receive an assessment feedback sheet.

The assessment criteria which is in the Course Handbook under the Module Descriptor is added to the form for each assignment. 

We always aim to get all feedback to you within four weeks of your deadline. Because we like to give detailed feedback, and because there may be more than one assignment to mark across all the year groups and modules on a course it may take longer, but when this is the case you should be emailed to keep you informed of any delays.

How do you mark my work? How do you make sure it’s fair?

Markers are allocated as who are suitably qualified to mark your work. If they are new, they will be second-marked to ensure you’re not getting disadvantaged.

We take all steps possible to anonymise your assignment so that markers don’t know whose work they are marking. Sometimes if you are in a small cohort your work may potentially be identified, which is one of the reasons why we have standard feedback sheets (see feedback above) and also verification, external examiners and exam boards.


A sample of work from each marker is reviewed by a verifier, whose job is to check that each marker is marking consistently, by completing this form. The markers will not know which assignments are being verified, and neither will you. They do not have the power to amend your mark, there is a process for if verifiers identify an issue. You can find out the full details in the Assessment and Marking Procedure on the right hand side of this page.

External examiners

External examiners are appointed to each course as someone who has no links with the Trust, who can comment on equivalence with other courses around the UK. They will review a sample of work to ensure they are satisfied that we’re not marking too leniently or too harshly. Again, they do not have the power to amend individual students’ marks, and there is a process for if external examiners identify an issue. You can find out the full details in the Academic Procedure for Assessment and Marking on the right hand side of this page.

What do exam boards do?

Exam boards are there to check on your progress and make any awards.

They check that due process has been followed (e.g. verifying and external examining) and consider what penalties or adjustments need to be made in relation to any extenuating circumstances and academic offences.

They ratify the marks that you were given on the basis of the above.

They follow particular rules to calculate your award/progression depending on the University Partner:

I’m not happy with my mark, what can I do? (Appeals)

We have robust systems in place to ensure fairness and equity in our assessment processes, but it is always possible to make mistakes.

Before the exam board has sat, you can, in certain circumstances, challenge the mark if it was not second-marked or verified. Please see the assessment policy (link down the side of this page) or contact Academic Quality for further information about this.

After the exam board has sat and you have received your ratified marks (see exam boards above), you can make an academic appeal

There are short timelines for you to do this, please check below for further information.

You cannot appeal against academic judgement if you disagree with the mark you have been given by your marker but have no evidence of an irregularity (mistake).

These appeal processes differ according to the University Partner. If you’re unsure which University Partner you’re with, please check the front of your course handbook which you can find on Moodle. If you’re not sure, please contact Academic Quality.

University of Essex

For students studying on University of Essex – validated programmes the Trust follows the Essex academic appeals process, including the application form. Please see this helpful process map for further guidance on the process of appealing.

For further advice and guidance, and to submit a claim, please email

University of East London

Please see our UEL partner’s information on the UEL Academic Appeals Process.

Please complete the appeals form found at the above link and for appeal submit to the Trust governance and quality assurance office (room 259, Tavistock Centre, 120 Belsize Lane, NW3 5BA or email with ‘Appeals’ as the subject line) using the form provided on the UEL website at the link above.

How do I bring my learning (academic credit) from another course into my new course (APL)?

If you want to bring some of your learning with you onto the course (via Accreditation of Prior Certificated or Experiential Learning (APL)) then please see here.

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