Assignment Policy

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Policy Overview

1.0) This policy governs the institute’s internal assessment mechanisms. 

2.0) Written and group assignments would be given to students for the purpose of internal assessment. The marks and /or grades awarded would constitute a student’s academic record at the institution.

3.0) The number and the nature of the assignments to be given to students per academic year would be determined by the Academic Committee responsible for marking/awarding of grades and dealing with appeals.

4.0) The completion of all assignments is mandatory.

5.0) All assignments must be submitted in the format prescribed for students.

6.1) All assignments must be submitted on time. The Academic Committee has the discretion to accept or reject late submissions after considering the reasons outlined by the student for the late submission. If it is rejected, a grade of 0% would be awarded. If accepted, the Academic Committee reserves the right to award a reduced grade. Students who submit assignments late must submit detailed reasons. Students should bear in mind, however, that the Institution has a very strict policy regarding the late submission.

6.2) Students have the option can make an Extenuating Circumstances application before the submission deadline. A successful application gives the students a seven (7) day extension. If the EC is not deemed to be valid, a reduced grade or a grade of 0% may be awarded per the discretion of the Academic Committee. (See detailed regulations of extenuating claims below).7.0)Any assignment not submitted would receive a failing grade of 0%.

8.1) Students have the option to have their grades reviewed. Students would be required to complete an assignment review form (available at the office).

8.2) Once submitted, the academic committee would decide on the merit of the application. If the committee, in its discretion, considers the application worthy, the script would be resubmitted for remarking by another marker.

8.3) The application costs $25.00.

8.4) Should the grade be improved, the fee would be refunded.

8.5) Students should bear in mind that upon remarking the script, the grade can increase or decreased.


Regulations governing student claims of extenuating circumstances affecting formal assessment/examination with effect from 1 September 2010

(a) Statement of Institution Principles

(b) Definition and nature of extenuating circumstances

(c) Evidence in support of claims of extenuating circumstances

(d) Procedures for dealing with claims of extenuating circumstances

  • The fundamental principle underlying the work of the Institute of Law and Academic Studies (ILAS) is that grades conferred by the Institution should be consistent and comparable in standard with awards granted and conferred throughout higher education in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Caribbean. The Institution has a duty to maintain the standard of its grading, so that employers, professional bodies, other educational institutions, and outside agencies can have confidence in the level of achievement that those graded and other awards represent.
  • At the same time, the Institution has a duty to each individual student to ensure that assessments are conducted fairly and that each student has the opportunity to demonstrate her/his true level of academic performance.
  • Recognizing that students may sometimes suffer a serious illness or other problems that are outside their control and which may prevent them from showing their real level of performance, the Institution has a system whereby students who have been affected by such problems can put forward extenuating claims for consideration.
  • It is important that students understand what kinds of circumstances could be treated as extenuating circumstances, and that problems arising from their own negligence or inability to organize their time, will not be considered.
  • Most students experience a certain amount of stress during periods of formal assessment. It is expected that individuals studying in higher education will develop the ability to deal with this and to produce satisfactory work whilst meeting deadlines. “Examination stress” or stress in a practice placement, shall not in and of itself be considered as an extenuating circumstance.
  • Students should also know that even if their extenuating circumstances are deemed acceptable and relevant to the assessment they have failed, or not submitted, this does not excuse them from completing the formal assessment. They will still have to demonstrate that they have achieved the required learning outcomes in order to pass that stage of their program or qualify for the final award at a point in time when the extenuating circumstances no longer affect the student‟s performance. Nor will extenuating circumstances claim necessarily affect the academic judgment of the Academic Committee.
  • Claims for extenuating circumstances should be made at the time of the unforeseen circumstances and not retrospectively.
  • All work that is handed in after the official submission deadline, established by the Academic Committee, will be graded as 0% unless accompanied by an extenuating circumstances form, which is subsequently accepted as valid.
  • Claims relating to the submission of coursework/continuous assessment should be made before the assessment is due. This includes work affected by extenuation which is handed in by submission deadlines AND also works submitted within 10 working days of the submission deadline.
  • Claims relating to examinations. If a student is sick on the day of an examination then the student must phone into a relevant officer for approval before the examination takes place. This approval will be subject to submission to the School as soon as possible of written evidence from a medical practitioner. It is possible for a student to opt to submit for assessment by the original date, even if the extenuation has been approved. However, if the assessment is passed then the grade will stand. The approved extenuation will only be applied if a course has been failed.
  • Claims relating to multiple assessments/examinations affected, which can be covered by the same extenuating circumstance should be detailed on a single Pro-forma.
  • Schools shall not have separate policies relating to extensions and differing penalties for late submission of work.

2.1 Extenuating circumstances are normally defined as circumstances that are unexpected, significantly disruptive, and beyond a student’s control, and which may have affected his/her academic performance.

2.2 A student might wish to claim that extenuating circumstances have contributed materially or significantly to poor performance in any formally assessed work, absence from examination or other assessment events, or failure in an examination or other assessed work. Prior consultation with the Vice- Principal is advisable. A student might wish to claim that extenuating circumstances have contributed to a failure to submit work within published deadlines.

2.3 It is the responsibility of any students with a long-term condition or problem which may affect her/his study and assessment, to seek advice as early as possible and use the support services available through the Institution, to ensure that they can study and undergo formal assessment in the way which meets their special needs but still allows them to demonstrate their real academic ability. Prior consultation with the Vice-Principal is also advisable.

2.4 When submitting claims for extenuation a student will need to demonstrate that the circumstances claimed had affected her/him at the time of a formal assessment or in the period immediately leading up to an assessment. A long term condition or problem will not be treated as extenuating circumstances in relation to failure in assessment unless it can be shown that the condition or problem was exacerbated by circumstances occurring during or close to the assessment period.

2.5 Valid extenuating circumstances would normally fall into the categories:

  • Illness or serious accident at the time of an assessment or in the period leading up to a formal assessment;
  • Severe emotional or mental stress at the time of an assessment or immediately before an assessment, for example through bereavement, social, matrimonial or family problems, the experience of assault, robbery or other traumatic events, eviction/homelessness in unavoidable circumstances, unavoidable involvement in legal proceedings;
  • Other factors totally outside the student’s control; e.g. for part-time students, unforeseen and essential work commitments; for students undertaking practice-based assignments, unforeseen decisions taken by the company or practice which prevent them from completing their assignment; (in both these circumstances a letter from the employer must be supplied). IT problems are the responsibility of the University such as total system failure over a prolonged period.

2.6 It is expected that students will take reasonable steps to avoid foreseeable problems, such as loss of computer records (by backing up work regularly) or transport disruption (by planning alternative routes where possible)

3.1 Claims of extenuating circumstances must be submitted on the Institution’s pro forma and must be supported by relevant objective evidence. Evidence must be in the form of an original document (not a photocopy) written and signed by an appropriate third party, giving details of the circumstances with dates and if possible stating how the student’s assessment has been affected. The third-party should be a person who knows the student in a professional capacity and can give a first-hand account of the circumstances. Letters from family members are not normally acceptable, nor from fellow students (unless such corroboration is the only relevant evidence). Submissions of extenuating circumstances will not be valid without independent evidence. The Academic Committee will deem claims to be invalid or request evidence before further consideration.

3.2 It is recognized that the submission of such evidence may be related to sensitive and distressing circumstances. Students seeking guidance can do so through the Students Council. Confidentiality will be preserved. If the particular circumstances are so severe that the student would not want the information to be seen by anyone, then the Counsellor can write to the Academic Committee on behalf of the student outlining the circumstances and their findings following consultation over a period of time. The Counsellor will need to see any documentary evidence supplied by the student in order to be able to confirm that the facts have been verified.

3.3 Acceptable evidence to be submitted with an extenuation claim would include:

  • A medical certificate issued at the time of the illness, specifying the nature of the illness and the dates affected. To be accepted, the medical certificate must be specific and confirm that this is the doctor’s own diagnosis. It is not sufficient for the doctor to write a letter stating that the student saw her/him and claimed to be suffering from stress etc; a letter from an independent counselor or psychiatrist;
  • A letter from the Students Council;
  • A written statement from the student’s personal tutor,
  • An attorney’s letter indicating the nature and dates of legal proceedings; summons to attend court; a report from a police officer;
  • Letter from a transport official confirming serious and unforeseen disruption to transport;
  • Death certificate (e.g. of a close relative).

3.4 Claims of extenuating circumstances without independent evidence will not be considered unless the circumstances are exceptional.

4.1 Procedures, including the role of an invigilator, to be followed if a student falls ill during an examination are detailed in the Assessment Information for Candidates.

4.2 Claims of extenuating circumstances must be submitted on the Institution’s pro forma, with independent evidence as described above. Copies can be obtained from the office and the Students Council. For receipt purposes, the student number and program, and date of submission should be recorded on an envelope and marked ‘extenuating circumstances‘.

4.3 Claims must be handed in or sent by Registered Mail to the administrative office.  A receipt will be issued. Where claims are submitted by Registered Mail a stamped self-addressed envelope must be provided so that a receipt can be issued. No complaint relating to extenuating circumstances can be considered without a receipt.



Extenuating Circumstances are circumstances which

  • Impair your performance in assessment or reassessment, or
  • Prevent you from attending for assessment or reassessment, or
  • Prevent you from submitting assessed or reassessed work by the scheduled date

Such circumstances rarely occur and would normally be

  • Unforeseeable – in that, you could have no prior knowledge of the event concerned, and
  • Unpreventable – in that, you could do nothing reasonably in your power to prevent such an event, and
  • Expected to have a serious impact on performance

Students are expected to make reasonable plans to take into account circumstances even those which, on occasion, may have been unforeseeable and unpreventable.

For example, students commonly taking a route to the campus which experiences severe traffic delays would be expected to leave earlier or plan to take an alternative route on the morning of an examination. Another example would be a carer for a dependent who on occasion has not attended college because the dependent developed a minor illness. The student would have been expected to make contingency plans for alternative care just in case this happened on the day of an examination. The onus is on students to manage their life so that these types of

occurrences can be handled if they arise.

What is meant by a serious impact on performance?

Many things may have an impact on performance – a poor night’s sleep, a minor illness (such as a cough or cold), a minor injury, financial worries, etc. These will often impact on performance but would not be expected to have a serious impact and so would not be accepted as extenuating circumstances.

  • Minor illnesses – even if covered by medical certificates. As stated above these may have some impact but not a serious impact and so would not be regarded as extenuating circumstances.
  • Computer failure of your equipment or storage media. Students are expected to take proper precautions and make backup copies of data that are accessible (not in a friend’s house which becomes inaccessible). There are always other computers to work on.
  • Inadequate planning, organization, or time management. This includes the late submission of coursework – late is late whether it is by 1 minute, 1 hour, or one day. All work that is handed in after the official submission deadline, established by the course co-ordinator, will be graded as 0% unless exceptional circumstances apply and extenuation submitted is deemed valid.
  • Computer failure of University equipment or storage media (where failure is less than a continuous 24 hours). Network failures do happen and work should be planned to be finished before „the last minute‟. For instance, students relying on finishing work within 24 hours of a deadline (e.g. printing your work off) are opening themselves up to this risk. This could have prevented this by better planning.
  • Transport problems. Students need to plan for this possibility.
  • Moving house. This is predictable.
  • Holidays. This is predictable.
  • Wedding preparations
  • Sporting commitments – exceptions might be made if a student was representing their country/University.
  • Misreading of assessment timetables.
  • Family, work, social, financial, or other general problems. This is a large list but covers the sorts of things normally dealt with in everyday life and would not be regarded as extenuating circumstances.
  • Employment commitments limiting the time available for study (although greater flexibility may be applicable to part-time students in full-time employment)
  • The pressure of other academic work e.g. other coursework due around the same time.

N.B. These examples are not definitive and are intended only as a guide.