Assessment Preparation

Assessment procedures

Each unit of the programme will be formally assessed. Each unit is assessed individually; please see the individual unit handbook for information on this. Students must be successful in the assessment, whether theoretical, clinical/practical or OSCE, to be awarded a pass for the unit.

All students are permitted two attempts at any summative assessment. Please note that all second attempts can only be awarded a maximum of 40 for undergraduate programmes and 50 for postgraduate programmes using the marking scales. However, feedback will be provided in the band in which the grade would have been awarded as well as the maximum permitted grade awarded along with information and advice on your academic progress.

Please see  for the university principles of feedback.

For students undertaking our part-time CPD units

Please note: that all students seeking academic credit will be registered against a Certificate, Diploma or Degree programme. You will have five years to complete a full degree programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are 2 years each when registered on a part-time basis. The start date is the date you register for your first unit. If you are unsure about this please contact your programme leader/ coordinator.

Assessment Calendar

A copy of the module assessment calendar is available on the MOLE course and the individual handbook so that you can see the dates of submission, moderation and publication of results for all assessed work.

Formatting Assignments

The are no strict formatting requirements but we recommend the following guidelines:

  • Assignments submitted to Turnitin should be one of the following file formats:
  • MS Word (.doc/.docx), WordPerfect (.wpd), PostScript (.eps), Portable Document Format (.pdf), HTML, Rich text (.rtf), Plain text (.txt), and PowerPoint (.ppt, .ppt, .ppsx, .pps)
  • Pages should be numbered at the foot of the page
  • At the top of each page your Student Registration Number should be included
  • Do not put your name on the assessment as work is marked anonymously.
  • The font used should not be smaller than 11 pt
  • Line spacing should be set at 1.5 lines
  • Referencing should follow the Harvard system as described by the University
  • A word count should be provided on the cover sheet.

A library tutorial about referencing is also available at:

Anonymous Marking

It is University policy that assignments are marked anonymously, if this is appropriate. Please therefore ensure that the front page of your assignment does not include your name or personal tutor’s name. Use only your University of Sheffield student Registration number to identify yourself.

Submitting assessed work

The majority of your assessed work will need to be submitted electronically via MOLE.  Guidance on how to do this can be found in every assessment folder within your MOLE course, alternatively you can find this information on this website  You should read this guidance carefully before submitting work.

Incorrect/Incomplete Submissions

In order to enable students to submit the correct assessment to Turnitin the School will:

  1. Ensure that correct module and programme codes are clearly given on the students MOLE site (Mod & programme Leads to check).
  2. Submission instructions will be clearly indicated on MOLE and visible when students are about to submit electronically. A 'check list' is available for students to use prior to their submission and a warning that Turnitin only accepts 1 document etc.
For Students who do submit the wrong/incomplete assessment:
  • Wrong submissions submitted prior to Turnitin deadline are not a problem as the student can submit the correct copy which then over-rides the first.
  • Wrong submissions close to the deadline means that a correct copy will not be accepted if the deadline has passed.
A: These students will have the submitted assessment marked and moderated and realise the consequences accordingly.
B: Students who realise their mistake, will be referred to Tracey Pacan as Assessment officer and sent an extenuating circumstances form and the board will make a decision depending on individual circumstances.
Such decisions will range from...
  • No mitigation given
  • Late penalties given
  • No penalty
The student’s submitted work will be marked and moderated as usual whilst the student is going through the mitigation process.

Please note: that confidentiality issues are covered under a separate procedure.
Assessment FAQ's

You can view a list of Frequently Asked Questions here 

Late Submissions

Professionally Accredited Programmes

The work will be retained and marked as a second attempt and awarded a basic pass grade (40% or 50% as relevant to the level of study).

Non-professionally accredited units
Late submission will result in a deduction of 5% of the total mark awarded for each full day after the submission date and runs from 1500 -1500 hours.

Day(s) late Mark multiplied by Example: original mark was 60 Example: original mark was 50
1 0.95 57 47.5
2 0.90 54 45
3 0.85 51 42.5
4 0.80 48 40
5 0.75 45 37.5

The 5 full day deadline for late submission is absolute. Any coursework submitted after the 5 full day period will receive a 0 fts grade unless an extension for that work has been granted.


Individuals and institutions should not be named in assignments, neither should data be collected from patients, relatives or staff for assignments unless it is a requirement of the unit and appropriate approval has been granted.

Information that is not in the public domain, that identifies individuals or institutions or that is subject to copyright should not be included in appendices. Should this occur the work will be returned to the student and will require re-submitting with the identified information removed.

In the majority of cases, there is an expectation within the School that links between theory and clinical experience are clear within assessments. However, insufficient care may lead to breaches of confidentiality whereby institutions or individuals are identified, or could be identified from the information given. It is important to comply with the Caldicott Principles; Human Rights Act (1998); Data Protection Act (1998); Common Law Duty of Confidentiality; NMC CODE (2015).

  1. Submitted assessments must not include information that could identify individuals and/organisations. This instruction is given to students in class, in MOLE as part of the checklist prior to submission and in handbooks.
  2. Markers who note issues of confidentiality within a piece of work will inform the module/programme support or the assessments officer, who will contact the student (by both email and telephone) and ask them to address the issues and provide a ‘clean copy’ within 7 days.
  3. Students will be asked to attach a signed form stating that the only changes they have made to the work has been to remove issues of confidentiality.
  4. Markers will continue to mark the original piece of work: To ensure that the assessment process is not impeded and to ensure that no further alterations to the assessment are possible.
  5. The ‘clean copy’ will be highlighted as such and be the version sent to the external examiner.
  6. The assessment will incur a standard 10% grade penalty.
  7. Appeals can be made against the penalty if there are grounds to do so via the extenuating circumstances route by contacting the assessment’s officer.
Extenuating Circumstances, Extensions and Leave of Absence

If any student feels they have circumstances preventing them from completing assessed work and feel they need an extension or a leave of absence should formally request this in writing using the request form at the following

This should be sent to the assessments officer, Mrs Tracey Pacan,, 0114 2222 058 no later than 1 week before the submission date of the assessment. This will be considered by the pre-assessment board who will inform you of the outcome.

It is recommended that you discuss the reasons with your personal tutor or module/ programme lead, however the formal request should be submitted to the assessment officer only because request forms will only be accepted directly from the student. Arrangements made outside of this board would not be valid.

In addition, verbal agreements cannot be made between students and staff as these would not be regarded as valid by the examinations board.

If you are uncertain about this system, please contact Tracey Pacan, 0114 2222 058 who can explain what an extension and a leave of absence entails.

On the form you need to:

  • be specific about which module/programme you are studying
  • outline the reasons for the request
  • for health reasons, include medical certificates, Doctors letter, appointment letters etc.
  • for bereavement reasons, please include a death certificate, order of service
  • Failure to provide such evidence will prevent the board from making a decision.

Please note:

The following are not normally considered as extenuating circumstances:

  • Work related issues
  • Annual Leave
  • Concurrent assessments
  • Non-receipt of UCard
  • Computer problems.  You are advised to:
  • Back up work on disc
  • Email your assignment/work to your university account so that you can pick work up on the university system


Unfair means

Plagiarism is passing off others’ work as your own, whether intentionally or unintentionally, to your benefit. The University expects its graduates to have acquired certain attributes. (See the Sheffield Graduate) Many of these relate to good academic practice:

  • a critical, analytical and creative thinker
  • an independent learner and researcher
  • information literate and IT literate
  • a flexible team worker
  • an accomplished communicator
  • competent in applying their knowledge and skills
  • professional and adaptable.

Throughout your programme of studies at the University you will learn how to develop these skills and attributes. Your assessed work is the main way in which you demonstrate that you have acquired and can apply them. Using unfair means in the assessment process is dishonest and also means that you cannot demonstrate that you have acquired these essential academic skills and attributes.


You are advised to complete the plagiarism tutorial that is designed to help you use literature appropriately in academic work and avoid plagiarism occurring.
The library tutorial is also available at:

Assignment word limit

The word allowance for written assignments will be stated in the programme/module handbook and on the MOLE site. The School operates a +/- 10% rule which allows a degree of flexibility for each assignment. For example, a 3,000-word assessment could range from 2,700 – 3,300 and remain within the word limit.

  • Word count for written assessments include all words (from first to last) and only excludes the reference list and appendices.
  • Tables and charts should, under most circumstances, be placed in the appendix and NOT within the main body of an assignment.
  • There is no direct penalty for submitting under the assessment word allowance (after the -10% rule). The markers would award a grade that reflects the assignment, taking into account the number of issues raised, depth of analysis, organisation and presentation and expectations of the assignment.
  • For assignments submitted which are over the word limit (after the + 10% rule) then a penalty will be incurred for unfair means. 10% of the grade would be reduced for every 10% over the word allowance.
  • Therefore, over the word limit
  • 11% - 19% incurs a 10% reduction in marks.
  • 20% - 29% incurs a 20% reduction in marks.
  • 30%-39% incurs a 30% reduction in marks
  • 39%-40% incurs a 40% reduction in marks etc.
  • Students need to include their exact word count on the assignment front sheet.
Time Allowance for Presentations

The time allowed for an assessed presentation will be in the programme/module handbook and on MOLE. Timings will be strictly adhered to, although the School operates a +/- policy that is described below.

  • For presentations under the time allowance, there is no direct penalty. The marker(s) would award a grade that reflects the presentation, taking into account the number of issues raised, depth of analysis, organisation and presentation assessment expectations.
  • Marker(s) should give a formal indication when the student is nearing the end of their allocated time allowance e.g 3 or 2 or 1 minute remaining warning as appropriate (as decided prior to the start of the presentations).
  • Presentations have an allowance of 1 additional minute per 10 minutes presentation.
  • Once the allocated time for the presentation is reached, the marker stops the students from continuing. The marker assesses the presentation ‘as it stands’ and take into account the issues raised, depth of analysis, organisation and presentation assessment expectations.
Return of coursework requiring submission in hard form

Please note the following.

  • Students are expected to collect their own work any time after the date of publication. At this point they will be supplied with their assignment/portfolio and the mark sheet that will identify the grade, the feedback and the names/signatures of the marker/moderator - if students wish to have their assignments posted back to them, they should include a STAMPED ADDRESSED A4 ENVELOPE WITH POSTAGE suitable for at least 100g weight with any work submitted. If the postage is insufficient, only part of the assignment will be posted back e.g. covers will be discarded. Please note that portfolios may be heavier than this so should be weighed and sufficient postage provided.
  • Work that is not collected or paid to be posted back will be disposed of one month after the end of the course.
  • Assignments should always be handed in with soft covers. Please note that hard covers e.g. ring binders or lever arch files will not be posted back unless the postage is enough to cover this.
  • Assignment pages should not be put in individual plastic document wallets or inserts.
  • Students should always keep a copy of their work.
  • Original documents should not be included in portfolios (especially certificates), only photocopies.
Marking strategy

Assignments are initially marked by a member of the module teaching team using the marking criteria.  You can view our general Undergraduate marking criteria and our general Postgraduate marking criteria from these links or from the 'Downloads' link.  Please note: that some modules will utilise specific marking criteria which incorporate the standards identified in the generic marking criteria but also addresses the learning outcomes of each module. Students are encouraged to access the marking criteria when drafting assignment work

All fails and borderline assignments are internally moderated along with a 20% sample of the remaining work. Work is then sent to an external examiner whose role it is to comment on the quality of both the work and the marking. All ratified results are published approximately 6-8 weeks after the submission date. 

The submission date and published results dates will be given in programme/module handbooks and on your MOLE site.

Please contact us if you would like so see a list of our current external examiners for the School

Further clarification on this issue is contained within the University of Sheffield Ordinances and Regulations relating to programmes of study in all Faculties

Exams information

Visit the Exams Office website for information about exam rules and regulations, as well as helpful revision tips and do's and don't's.