Guest post: A Guide to Late Submissions and Extenuating Circumstances from our Undergraduate Education Team.

Now that submission deadlines for coursework are fast approaching, Joshua Gauci from our Undergraduate Education Team, is here to remind you all of the late submission and extenuating circumstances process.

Please note that the University of Essex does not allow any extensions to coursework submission deadlines to be granted in advance, this is both for summative assignments and formative.

Please note that postgraduate taught students may be allowed an extension on their dissertation. For more details on postgraduate dissertation extensions, make sure you read your School of Law Postgraduate Taught Student Handbook.

What is a late submission?

If you are unable to submit your assignment on time you must fill in a late submission form, via your MyEssex account. This will need to be submitted within seven calendar days from the submission deadline, but you will still need to upload your assignment to FASER within the same period of time.

If you don’t submit a late submission form you will receive a mark of zero for your work and you will only receive feedback for formative purposes. A guide to the late submission’s policy can be found here.

What is an extenuating circumstance?

An extenuating circumstance is defined by the University as “circumstances beyond a student’s control which cause the student to perform less well in their coursework or examinations than they might otherwise have been expected to do”. An extenuating circumstance form can be filled in, via your MyEssex account.

The extenuating circumstances policy provides lots more information on the process, what to include in your claim, as well as the claims deadlines.

What details do I need to include in the form?

Please provide as much information as you can on your situation and the impact it has had on your work. Evidence will need to be submitted where possible, but don’t wait to submit the form until it is available; just keep us updated. This is because the committee won’t be aware of any of your circumstances and information in as much detail as possible will help them to reach a decision on your claim.

I’m still feeling unsure – where can I find help?

You can visit the Law Education Office in 5S.5.5 and ask to speak to Dan or Liz, or email them at

Alternatively, SU Advice offer guidance on extenuating circumstances procedures and can assist you through the process. You can book an appointment by emailing Make sure you attach any relevant documents to your email, or take them along when you visit.

What happens once I’ve submitted a form?

Once you have submitted either a late submission or extenuating circumstances claim, it will be sent to the School of Law to be considered at the next Extenuating Circumstances Committee. The purpose of this committee is to consider all claims made by students and decide whether or not a claim is valid in lines with the University’s policies and that it can go forward for consideration by the exam board. At this stage, it is not the role of the committee to implement any requested changes because this is the role of the exam board. You will receive a confirmation at this stage as to whether your claim has been accepted or rejected. However, the exam board will not meet until the summer, when requests are discussed.

When can I make an extenuating circumstances claim?

An extenuating circumstances claim can be made at any time during the academic year up to the deadline which is posted on the University’s website.

Do you have any tips for preventing late submissions?

  • Manage your workload – You may find during busier periods of the year that you have multiple deadlines in a relatively short period of time. Whilst the School of Law has worked hard to spread the submission dates across the year, it is likely that you may have more than one deadline during a week. It is important that you create a plan to organise your work in such a way so you meet all of your submission deadlines. If you require additional support planning your work load, why not speak to Bev Jackson in room 5S.5.21 who may be able to offer some tips.
  • Submit your coursework in plenty of time – Don’t leave it until the very last minute to upload and submit your work to FASER. You are more likely to make an error such as forgetting to attach a cover sheet or coming across an IT issue, which is never an acceptable reason to make a late submission. We recommend to student that they give themselves at least a 30 minute window for submitting their coursework, by uploading before 9.30am for a 10am deadline. This allows any issues to be resolved without going over the deadline, especially as many students realise that have made a mistake too late. For example, they may have submitted the incorrect version of their assignment, missed the word count off their cover sheet, or have forgotten to attach their cover sheet!
  • Upload what you have before the deadline – There is a chance that your late submission claim may not be accepted and in these cases you will receive a mark of zero. If you upload a version of your assignment prior to the deadline, that is not the final version, this can still be marked if your claim is rejected. But, please remember to upload your final version too and check that the correct file is uploaded.

If you’re looking for some more tips about writing and submitting assignments, head on over to our blog post called “How to make writing and submitting an assignment easier (and less stressful!)“. Also, if you’d like a refresher on how to use FASER before submitting your assignment, then read our beginner’s guide to FASER.

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