9. Submission of Written Work

9.1. Date and time stipulated

The published regulations and/or course handbook should stipulate when work must be submitted. The submissions desk in the Examination Schools is closed over the weekend and after 5pm, and thus, late submissions made on the following Monday will be three days late and those made the following morning will be at least 16 hours late. Divisions have therefore agreed that all subjects should work towards having deadlines at noon rather than 5pm and on days other than Friday, with changes made to regulations as appropriate. In addition, this allows boards of examiners to impose academic penalties, as specified in the relevant examination conventions, for work handed in on the day of the deadline but after the time of the deadline without further reference to the Proctors (see also 9.4 below). In order to avoid problems when the date falls on a bank holiday or Easter, it is also desirable to avoid selecting Mondays or Easter closure days for submission dates when regulations are drafted. 

Where deadlines are not specified in the regulations but refer to course handbooks, a copy of all such handbooks must be available on the relevant central University student webpage. As a minimum, handbooks should be available to anyone in the University:



9.2. Instructions for submissions

Instructions for submitting work should be provided in course handbooks. Chairs must ensure that the date and time specified are correct under the current regulations. Where deadlines have been published elsewhere, and contradict those in the regulations, the deadline published in the regulations will take precedence.

The Examination Schools serve as the central point for submission of hard-copies of summative assessments. The Examinations and Assessments team has well-established procedures and is responsible for the recording of late submissions. The Examination and Assessments Team also monitors all online summative assessments submitted via WebLearn. Any late or missing submissions are notified to the Chair of Examiners, the student and their college. The Proctors must give permission for work to be submitted for examination other than in the Examination Schools or via WebLearn. The method to be used should normally be specified in Special Subject Regulations in the Examination Regulations.  Examiners must not accept work sent to them or departments (e.g. electronically) outside the specified submission arrangements. Alternative submission arrangements (e.g. Moodle) are only allowed where permission has been granted (for example in the Department of Continuing Education). Both hard-copy and WebLearn submission of the same assessment is not permitted. The submission of an electronic copy of a summative assessment (e.g. on a USB stick) is permitted in addition to a hard-copy when required for plagiarism detection but both must be submitted at the same time and the requirement specified in Special Subject Regulations in the Examination Regulations. In this scenario, the hard-copy of the assessment remains the definitive copy of the submission.  

If faculties or departments wish to consider the possibility of making changes to allow for online submissions, they should refer to Annex M: Use of WebLearn for assessment submissions. Candidates must be instructed to write their candidate number, examination title and subject matter on the envelope containing their written work; they must not write their name or college. Similarly, the written work itself should carry only the candidate’s number and neither name nor college.

Candidates should also submit a signed declaration that the written work is their own and has not previously been submitted in its entirety or in part for examination at Oxford or elsewhere. This declaration should be in a sealed envelope placed inside the envelope used to hand in the written work. Standard forms should be available from the department (or the department’s website) for this purpose. The form of declaration recommended by Education Committee can be downloaded from the Oxford Students website www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills.

Candidates should be clearly instructed to present their work on time in the Examination Schools. If they are unable to present their written work by the stipulated time, they should contact their Senior Tutor. In no circumstances should chairs enter into separate negotiation with candidates or their colleges about revised submission times. All requests for extension of the submission date for written work must be handled by the Proctors. Failure to obtain permission for late submission can lead to an academic penalty (see 9.4 below), and possibly failure in the examination.

Candidates who have been diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty should attach a 2D form to the front of each copy of their assignment. Separate instructions are provided to candidates submitting their work online. The form must remain with the assignment at all times, including archiving.

9.3. Collection and distribution

The chair is responsible for arranging the collection of written work and its distribution to examiners or assessors. In an examination with many candidates the chair will need to arrange for assistance with this.  

Staff in the Examinations and Assessments team will verify whether all candidates have presented the required work, liaising with the chair or administrator as necessary. Any non-submissions will be reported by the Head of Examinations and Assessments to the Chair, candidate's college and to the candidate themselves.

If the chair comes into possession of work that was not handed in at the appointed time and place, the matter should be referred to the Proctors.

9.4. Late presentation of written work for examination

If a candidate is unable to present work required for examination by the stipulated date and time, the college must make an application to the Proctors for permission for the candidate to remain in the examination. Neither college nor candidate is permitted to approach the examiners directly to request an extension of time and candidates must not be offered extensions informally by tutors, supervisors, or departmental staff.  Applications, where possible, should be made in good time to avoid additional stress and confusion if a response has not been received before the deadline.

Requests ahead of the due date

The procedure by which a candidate may request permission to submit a thesis or other exercise after the stipulated time, is found in the Examination Regulations, Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations, Part 14, cl. 14.3-14.12. The request must be made through the candidate’s college to the Proctors’ Office. Chairs and other examiners must never negotiate extensions of time directly with candidates or colleges. After consultation with the chair about significantly long extensions, the Proctors will normally give permission where the reason is illness or other urgent and reasonable cause.  In all cases, the applications will be considered on the basis of the evidence provided to support the additional time sought.

After the due date

From October 2017, examiners may mark work submitted up to fourteen days late after the notification of non-submission and release the mark. The examiners should impose an academic penalty according to the scale published in their examination conventions; the candidate will also have to pay an administrative fee. Candidates may apply to the Proctors, through their college, for the penalty and fee to be waived. The Proctors will only write to the examiners if a waiver is granted.

The examiners should not mark work submitted fifteen or more days late after the notification of non-submission, unless instructions have been received from the Proctors that the candidate has made a successful application for an extension.

Academic penalties

From October 2017, the following rules apply to candidates who fail to submit work for examination.

  • Examinations in which honours are not awarded or Honour Moderations in Classics: examiners should fail the candidate only in the assessment unit in question. If the assessment unit includes other assessment items (such as a written exam or group assignment) these should also be failed.

  • Examinations in which honours are awarded (except Honour Moderations in Classics): examiners should fail the candidate in the whole examination or Part of the examination.

Candidates may apply to the Proctors, through their college, for the missing submission to be excused and for an extended deadline. The Proctors will only write to the examiners if they grant such a request; if the examiners are in doubt about a particular candidate, the chair should contact the Proctors’ Office for confirmation.

See Examination Regulations, Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations, Part 14, www.admin.ox.ac.uk/examregs/2017-18/rftcoue-p14ls-n-snawfromexam

9.5. Other contraventions of regulations

9.5.1. Overlong theses

Under the regulations concerning the submission of theses or other exercises (Examination Regulations, Regulations for the Conduct of University Examinations, Part 16, cl. 16.6, www.admin.ox.ac.uk/examregs/2016-17/rftcoue-p16markandasse), examiners may impose an academic penalty where written work exceeds the length prescribed in the Regulations. If they agree to proceed with the examination of the work, they may reduce the mark for that item of work by up to one class (or its equivalent).

9.5.2. Unauthorised change of title or subject

Where a candidate submits a thesis or other exercise whose title or subject matter differs from that which was approved by the supervisory body concerned, the examiners may similarly reduce the mark by up to one class (or its equivalent) (ibid., Part 16, cl. 16.6(2), www.admin.ox.ac.uk/examregs/2016-17/rftcoue-p16markandasse).

9.5.3. Plagiarism

The Proctors’ regulations state that ‘No candidate shall plagiarise by presenting someone else’s work as their own, or by incorporating other people’s work or ideas into their own work without full acknowledgement. This includes: verbatim quotation, cutting and pasting from the internet, and paraphrasing without clear acknowledgement; collusion; inaccurate citation; failure to acknowledge assistance; use of material written by professional agencies or other persons; and autoplagiarism’ (Statutes and Regulations, Disciplinary Regulations for Candidates in Examinations, Proctors’ Regulations 1, cl. 4). ‘Auto-plagiarism’, i.e. re-use of work previously examined at Oxford or elsewhere, is forbidden unless such re-use is covered by Special Subject Regulations. If examiners or assessors have any concern about the content of a written exercise (or about similarities between several candidates’ work), they should report the matter to the chair. The chair will compile any evidence and decide whether the case is one to be dealt with by the Board (poor academic practice) or one to be referred to the Proctors. The types of cases to be dealt with as poor academic practice and the full plagiarism procedure are detailed in Annex G: The role of faculties and departments in preventing and dealing with plagiarism

Academic penalties for plagiarism or poor academic practice can only be imposed by the whole board of examiners. If examiners or assessors have concerns about an assessment, they should raise them with the Chair to deal with under Annex G:  The role of faculties and departments in preventing and dealing with plagiarism. Such concerns should not be followed up in a viva.  

Guidance on the role of faculties/departments in preventing plagiarism is provided in Annex G: The role of faculties and departments in preventing plagiarism. Boards of examiners may wish to use Turnitin as one tool in helping to identify potential cases of plagiarism. Points of guidance for this are also given in Annex G.