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Formatting Guidance

What are the Department’s assignment formatting requirements?

The key formatting requirements are.

  • Assignments must be double line spaced.
  • A readable font and font size should be used eg Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial, size 12.
  • Pages should have a minimum margin of 2.5 cm.
  • Pages should be numbered consecutively and be inclusive of appendices.
  • You should add your student exam number to the header of the document so it appears on every page.
  • For a small number of non-anonymous submissions (eg posters or presentation supporting documentation) you should add your name and not your exam number – you will be advised on your VLE site and assessment guidelines if the assignment is to be submitted with your name. Never record your name and student exam number in the same document.
  • Assignments must follow the Harvard referencing style.

Hard copy assignment submission guidance

  • Only a small number of assignments are still accepted for submission in hard copy - check your VLE site or the assessment schedule for information.
  • Hard copy assignment submissions must be printed single sided.
  • Two copies of your assignment must be submitted.

Electronic assignment submission guidance

  • Your assignment should be submitted as a single document with a cover sheet as the first page. If you have difficulties adding appendices to your assignment document you can add a comment in the box provided as part of the electronic submission process to alert the Student Assessment Office (eg this is document 1 of 2 for this assignment). This should only be done in exceptional circumstances.
  • The assignment should be submitted in either MS Word or PDF format. Guidance on this will be provided on the VLE site for the module or in the assessment guideline.
  • If other assessment types are permitted, eg for recordings, then separate guidance will be provided on the VLE site for that module.

Dissertation submission guidance

  • Students submitting their dissertations and independent study modules are required to submit an electronic copy (in a single file) to the VLE. Nursing students submitting their Service Improvement Projects and Midwifery students submitting their dissertations are asked to submit an electronic copy to the VLE only.

Word count - what is included?

The assessment guideline will state what the word limit is for each assignment.

  • Assignments will be marked up to the word limit (plus 10%) and marking will cease once the word limit is exceeded.
  • Everything in the main body of the text (ie introduction, method, results, discussion and conclusion) apart from tables and figures is included in the word limit.
  • Everything before (ie abstract, acknowledgements, contents etc) and after the main text (ie references, appendices etc) is not included in the word limit.

Audio submission technical guidance (PDF , 354kb)

When to submit

The submission dates for all assessments are published before the commencement of each programme or module. These dates are published in the assessment schedule on the student intranet.

The deadline for submissions is normally 4.30pm on the published date (or by the approved individual submission extension date). This deadline is strictly enforced and submission after this point will incur a late penalty in line with University policy, any exceptions to this are on the assessment schedule

Can I submit an assignment if I am on leave of absence?

Generally students cannot submit assignments whilst on leave of absence. However, occasionally you may be required to submit and pass assessments during your leave of absence in order to pass progression requirements to return to your next stage. You will be advised of the arrangements before you go on leave of absence. 

Can I submit an assignment if I am certified as ill on the day of submission?

If you are ill on the day of submission you can submit an assessment. If you choose to do this but you want your illness to be considered as a factor, you must also submit an exceptional circumstances claim. Retrospective late mitigation claims are not normally accepted. 

How to submit

Electronic submission

Most summative assessments are now submitted electronically through the VLE site for the module. This is a very simple process and guidance notes are available.

Submitting Audio Recordings for Pre-recorded Assessments

During COVID the department has requested for some modules to submit pre-recorded presentations and vivas. The VLE is only able to handle uploads of 30MB and therefore for audio recordings the module leader may suggest submitting these through the student Deposit Service. ‘Deposit’ can handle the upload of much larger files. 

Instructions on using the Deposit Service (PDF , 360kb)

Exceptions for electronic submission

Due to the format of some assessments some other modules across the Department are still submitted in hard copy. See the Hard copy submission section below.

Hard copy submission

Due to the format of some assessments a small number are still submitted in hard copy eg interview recordings, some large portfolios etc. If the assignment needs to be submitted in hard copy this would normally be indicated on the assessment schedule. 

How many copies do I submit?

Students are normally required to submit two copies of all assessment work that is submitted in hard copy (with the exception of some portfolios).

All copies must have a completed academic face sheet attached. Academic face sheets are available to collect from the seating area outside the Student Information Service office. It is advisable to collect these in advance of your submission and complete them prior to arrival at the Department.

Where do I submit hard copy assignments to?

Hard copy assignments are submitted to the Student Services office on the ground floor of the Seebohm Rowntree Building.

Posting your submission

If posting your hard copy assignments you must obtain a Certificate of Proof of Posting and keep this safe until the work has been marked. If your assignment does not arrive by the deadline you will incur a late submission penalty. To avoid the late submission penalty you will need to appeal through the exceptional circumstances process. You would need to provide the Certificate of Proof of Posting as evidence that you had mailed your work in good time for it to be received by the submission deadline.  The mailing address is:

Student Information, Guidance and Help Team,  Area 1, Seebohm Rowntree Building, Department of Health Sciences,  University of York,  York. YO10 5DD

Can I get someone else to submit my hard copy assignment?

You are strongly advised to submit your own work. It is possible for you to ask another student to submit your work, however, should he/she be late submitting your work you cannot then use the action of devolving submission responsibility to another person as grounds for mitigation for the late submission.

Administrators and academic staff (eg supervisors and module leaders) cannot be asked to submit assignments on behalf of students.

Late submission

All work submitted after the published submission deadline will incur a late submission penalty in accordance with the University’s late submission policy, unless you have submitted mitigating circumstances and have received an official extension from the Exceptional Circumstances Committee.

What are the penalties for late submission of assignments?

  • 5% is deducted for work that is up to one hour late.
  • Thereafter, 10% is deducted for each day (or part of each day) that the work is late.
  • The penalty will be applied up to a maximum number of five days after and including the submission deadline day.
  • Weekends and bank holidays will be included within the five days.
  • After five days the work will be marked at zero.
  • The penalty for submitting late for a pass/fail module is a fail.

It is important to note that assignments submitted one second after the deadline will count as late. For example if the submission deadline is 16:30, assignments submitted at 16:30:01 will be considered late and will incur a late penalty.   

What are the penalties for late submission of presentation documentation?

University late submission penalties apply for every day the documentation is submitted late up to 4.30pm the day before the presentation date (if the presentation dates span over more than one day, the night before the first day of presentation applies to all students as the absolute deadline). Providing students have submitted to this rule they will be permitted to present at their allocated time.

If documentation is not forthcoming prior to the absolute deadline (4.30pm day before) students will not be permitted to present. A mark of zero will apply and the student will be obligated to present at the resit date for a 2nd attempt. Students with exceptional circumstances to defer to the resit deadline will sit ‘as if for the first time’ on the resit date.

Students who submit blank documentation have 2 options:

1. They can present using blank document submitted (and risk losing marks associated with presentation documentation).


2. They can submit a different document but incur the late penalty in line with the guidelines.

SAO are not obligated to notify a student that they have submitted a blank document; however if they spot this upon download of the documentation (usually the day after submission) may notify students of their error in order for them to take action.

The deadline for submission of presentation documentation for assessed work is published on the assessment schedule. 


What happens if my computer or printer fails and I cannot submit my assignment?

Computer failure and printing problems are not accepted by the University as valid reasons for late submission. You are advised to make backup copies of all work and not to leave printing until the day of submission.

What happens if I accidentally submit the wrong file?

If this happens, you should submit the correct file as soon as possible. If you submit the correct file before the deadline, no penalty will be applied. If you submit the correct file after the deadline, a late submission penalty will be applied. The latest copy of your assessment that is received within five days from the assessment date is the copy that will be entered into the marking process. Copies received after five days from the assessment date (without an approved extension) will not be entered into the marking process. 

Hard copy submissions only: What should I do if there has been an unforeseen event on the day of submission? 

In the event of an emergency arising when a hard copy assignment is due for submission, students should contact the departmental Student Information, Guidance and Help Team by telephone immediately on 01904 321321 who will advise of the most appropriate action to be taken.

Depending on the nature of the emergency, you may be able to apply through the exceptional circumstances procedures for the late penalty to be waived. In this case you would need to provide supporting evidence for this to be considered.

What happens if I do not submit an assignment?

If you do not submit an assessment within five days of the submission date, and do not submit a valid claim for exceptional circumstances in relation to the assignment the following will apply.

  • This would be recorded as a first attempt failure due to non-submission.
  • You will be given a mark of zero for this attempt.
  • You will normally be given a re-assessment opportunity.
  • You should also refer to your student handbook regarding the implications of an 'outright failure mark' (ie a mark of zero) for your programme of study.

If you do not submit a ‘re-assessment attempt’ (eg where you have already failed the first attempt) within five days of the submission date, and do not submit a valid claim for exceptional circumstances in relation to the non-submission, the following will apply.

  • This would be recorded as a reassessment attempt failure due to non-submission.
  • You will be given a mark of zero for the re-assessment attempt, which will usually result in module failure.
  • You will not be permitted a further re-assessment opportunity.
  • This may in some cases result in failure of your programme of study. You should refer to your student handbook regarding the implications of this for your programme of study.

Extensions to deadlines

If you think that you will require an extension to your module submission deadline due to a exceptional circumstance refer to the exceptional circumstances policy guidance. A claim form can be downloaded from this page.

If you are requesting an extension you must submit your exceptional claim form no later than the submission deadline. You should submit your claim form by the deadline even if your evidence is not yet available.

If you think that you will require an extension to your programme, please discuss this with your supervisor at the earliest available opportunity. They will then advise you on the best course of action.