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Natural Sciences Tripos


Policy on Coursework Extensions for the Natural Sciences Tripos

Last revised October 2023

Although we expect students to respect coursework deadlines, we understand there may be reasons why this may not always be possible. In such cases, students can self-certify for extensions to coursework submissions. This policy sets out the NST’s approach to extensions as agreed by the Natural Sciences Tripos Management Committee.

The following policy builds on the University’s Dissertation and Coursework extensions policy. It encompasses all NST courses and applies to all lab, coursework, dissertation and project submissions and will be reviewed annually. For the purpose of this policy, the types of work listed above will all be referred to as coursework.


Students can self-certify for extensions to coursework for up to a maximum of 7 days, once per piece of coursework, although the number of days will depend on the coursework. Extensions can be requested for any reason (medical or non-medical) and students are not required to provide evidence of their reasoning. However, students will be required to confirm that they have informed their Tutor of the extension. If departments have concerns about additional support needs or a student’s wellbeing resulting from a student self-certifying for numerous pieces of coursework, they may contact the student’s Tutor directly to notify them further.

Where a piece of coursework is linked with compulsory attendance at a lab session, students are unable to self-certify an extension. Students should contact the relevant department if they are unable to attend any compulsory lab sessions and this will either be rearranged, or marks disregarded.

Where coursework extensions are applied there are likely to be delays to feedback.

A note on self-certifying and workload:

Students are expected to submit each piece of coursework by the original deadlines, as outlined by departments. Self-certification should only be used where unforeseen circumstances mean a student cannot submit by this date, such as illness or injury, or where a student’s SSD states extensions as a reasonable adjustment.

Students are reminded that time management within the NST is important, and it can be easy to fall behind with work and deadlines. This policy should not be relied on to meet those deadlines as this simply pushes the workload to one week later. Please speak with your Director of Studies or Tutor if you are struggling to meet these deadlines.

Part IA and IB courses:

Students may self-certify for a coursework extension for up to 7 days from the original date of submission.

To self-certify and provide the evidence needed students should fill out this form.

Where possible, self-certification extensions should be submitted before the deadline. Where this is not possible, it should be made at the point of submission of the work at the latest.

Students are required to provide confirmation that they have informed their Tutor or DoS of their extension, this can be a copy of an email, uploaded to the form linked above.

If students require an extension of longer than 7 days, or a further extension after already self-certifying for 7 days, an application should be made via your Tutor or DoS directly to the department before the first 7-day self-certification extension expires, and the department may request further evidence to support a longer extension. In these circumstances, please contact the teaching office contact for the relevant department. A contact list is available here.

Part II and Part III courses:

The responsibility for examinations in each Part II or Part III subject of the Tripos devolved to the relevant Department that is responsible for teaching and subject. The Department will clearly communicate coursework extension rules and processes, in line with the University's Dissertation and Coursework extensions policy, via their course handbooks and Moodle sites.

Penalties for late submission:

You are required to self-certify prior to the original submission date (or at the point of submission at the very latest). Retrospective requests will not be accepted.

Where a student does not self-certify and does not submit their coursework by the original submission date, zero marks will be awarded.

Where a student has self-certified and does not submit their work by the revised submission date, zero marks will be awarded, unless a further extension has been granted by the department or EAMC (see below).

Where a student has applied for a further extension via the department (for Parts IA and IB) or EAMC (for Parts II and III) and does not submit their work by the agreed submission date, zero marks will be awarded.