Undergraduate Teaching 2023-24

Rearranging coursework & obtaining extensions: general rules

Rearranging coursework & obtaining extensions: general rules

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Although we expect students to attend all lab sessions and respect coursework deadlines, we understand there may be reasons why this may not always be possible. In such cases, students may be allowed to rearrange timetabled lab sessions or request deadline extensions for coursework submission. This document sets out the department’s approach to this subject as agreed by the Faculty Board.

This policy has been updated as of the 10th July 2023 to align with the new University Policy on coursework extensions.


  1. All timetabled coursework activities are compulsory parts of the course.
  2. Marks are not awarded for activities not completed.
  3. Students may obtain deadline extensions to coursework of up to 7 days on a self-declaration basis using an online form. No tutorial support, SSD or medical evidence is required and no reason need be given.
  4. Students may also request re-arrangement of timetabled lab activities. Due to limited resources and lab capacity the department has to limit the grounds on which a student can request the re-arrangement of a scheduled lab activity. These are set out below.
  5. The sum of all days on which re-arrangement of lab activities is approved on grounds of illness and aggregate days of extension to coursework is limited to 28 days.
  6. Students unhappy with a departmental decision may apply to the EAMC in respect of marks for missed sessions or penalties for late submission.
  7. Students are expected to pro-actively re-schedule missed timetabled coursework activities. The Teaching Office will approve requests and notify coursework leaders. Student experiencing issues with re-arranging a coursework activitiy should contact the Teaching Office.
  8. Deadline extension for coursework submissions:
    1. Applications must be made within two weeks of the original deadline.
    2. Extensions may not be possible, or only be possible for a limited period of time, close to the end of a term or the academic year due to the timing of examiners meeting. Further details are provided below.
  9. Extensions longer than 7 days must be applied for via EAMC. Individual requests cannot be combined to obtain an extension longer than 7 days.
  10. Where the 28 day limit is exceeded:
    1. Further extension requests need to be made via EAMC.
    2. Further re-arrangement requests would need to be made to the Director of Undergraduate Education and would require College support.

Explanatory Notes

  • Multiple extension requests under this policy cannot be combined to extend a deadline for any individual piece of work by more than 7 days.
  • If a student obtains an extension approval for a period longer than 7 days by misrepresenting the coursework deadline to the teaching office when requesting the extension lateness penalties will be applied.
  • The 28 day limit for the total of extensions available via the department policy applies to the sum of coursework extensions and days on which timetabled lab-sessions have been re-arranged on the basis of self-declared illness. A student reaching this limit in an academic year would need to apply for further extensions via the EAMC process
  • The department policy is intended to reduce paperwork and complexity by removing the need for simple and straightforward issues to be submitted to the EAMC. It is not intended to deal with complex matters. The limits above are intended to ensure that complex situations are given appropriate and full consideration.
  • Decisions under this policy are normally made by the Director of Undergraduate Education acting on behalf of the department. On request decisions can be reviewed by the Deputy Head (Teaching). As stated in the policy, students remain free to approach the EAMC if a deadline extension is not approved by the department.
  • Approvals will be copied to the student's tutor.


Acceptable reasons for seeking re-arrangement of timetabled coursework activities (not deadline extensions)

Procedure for re-arrangement

Where one of the grounds below applies the student should complete the online form. If the request is accepted the Teaching Office will then contact the relevant lab leader and student approving the request for rearrangement. The student should then discuss re-arrangement with the lab leader. If re-arrangement is not approved or not possible and the activity is missed the student will not be awarded the marks for the missed activity. The student will need to consult with their tutor regarding the possibility of an application to the EAMC in such cases.


The department will accept self-certification of illness as a reason to re-arrange a practical session . This should be declared using the online form promptly on return to study. Re-arrangement on the grounds of illness will only be possible where self-certification has been completed. The number of days on which coursework may be extended or lab sessions may be re-arranged on a self-declaration basis is limited to 28. "Illness" includes medical appointments.

Compassionate or religious grounds

Students will, wherever practicable, be allowed to rearrange timetabled coursework activities on compassionate or religious grounds . Such re-arrangements must be made in advance. Retrosepctive requests will not be accepted.

Examples of compassionate grounds includes attendance at a funeral of a close family member or a family or medical emergency. Attendance at a family event, such as a family holiday, wedding or graduation would not be considered compassionate grounds. Applications to rearrange timetabled coursework activities for religious observance that usually occurs over a restricted period (e.g. Eid al-Fitr, Shavuot, Pesach, Shivaratri, Vaisakhi) will be considered. Where observance extends over a significant period of time (e.g. Ramadan), and where it is normally expected that daily activities (including teaching) will continue as normal, applications would not be considered. Rearrangements for the purpose of holy visits, pilgrimages etc. cannot be approved.


When applying for jobs, work placements or sponsorship, students may be invited for interview on days that conflict with coursework activities. Students should in the first instance seek to rearrange the interview rather than the coursework. If this proves impossible, then the student should try to rearrange the coursework. Such re-arrangements must be made in advance. Retrosepctive requests will not be accepted.

Sporting commitments

Coursework may not be rearranged to accommodate College sporting commitments or College or University training sessions. Students will, wherever practicable, be allowed to seek to rearrange coursework that conflicts with University sporting fixtures. Such re-arrangements must be made in advance. Retrosepctive requests will not be accepted.

Last updated on 07/03/2024 12:57