Policies & Guidelines

Important: This is essential information for all SAM students and is to be read in conjunction with your course outline.

On this page is essential information for all SAM students. We encourage you to read it through and regularly check your UNSW Z Mail and MyUNSW to ensure you are familiar with the latest UNSW student guidelines and policies. All UNSW wide policies may also be found here.

SAM’s expectations of students

  • Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes (including lectures, tutorials, and seminars) to be regarded as having fulfilled the requirements of the course.
  • Communication with staff and other students, by letter, phone, email, or in discussion, should be conducted with courtesy, consideration and discretion.
  • The School expects students to read their course outline carefully, to know the name of the tutor and course coordinator, to know the name and number of the course they are doing and to locate the School office (Robert Webster Building, room 312)
  • Essays and other assessments must be handed in on time properly presented and free of any plagiarism.
  • The School expects students to be on time for lectures and tutorials, to sit quietly during lecture, to stay for the entire duration of both tutorials and lectures, and to bring assigned texts to tutorials.

Assessment extensions

1. A student enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course taught by Arts and Social Sciences may apply for an extension of time to complete an assessed task by using special consideration. This applies to tasks undertaken in class or submitted through the Learning Management System (LMS) for example, Moodle. You can apply for consideration for the affected assessments through your student profile in myUNSW. For more information, see special consideration.

2. These guidelines apply to all assessed tasks regardless of whether or not a grade is awarded, except any task specifically identified by the Course Authority (the academic in charge of the course) in the course outline or LMS as not available for extension requests.

3. If a student is granted an extension, failure to comply will result in a late penalty. The late penalty will be invoked one minute past the approved extension time. For more information on late penalties please see the relevant section of this page.  

Assessment review

1. These guidelines apply to all students enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate courses taught by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

2. These guidelines apply to all assessed tasks.

Seeking informal clarification

  • There is no automatic right to have an assessment reviewed, the Faculty reserves the right to make such judgements.

  • In the first instance a student should seek an informal clarification, this should normally be done within two working days of the return of the assessed work.

Completing a Review of Results application form

  • If the student is not satisfied with the informal process, they should complete the UNSW Review of Results (RoR) application form.

  • A RoR application must be lodged within 15 working days of receiving the result of the assessment task.

  • A clean copy and a copy of the marked work with all feedback must be submitted with the RoR application. N.B. a clean copy refers to a copy of the task that has been de-identified. The deidentification process should remove all references to your student ID and name.

  • The student must provide a written explanation of why they believe the work requires review. The written explanation must include the stated criteria for the assessment task indicating the exact area(s) where the assessment of their work differs from what they have received.

  • The Course Authority has the option to not recommend if they deem the grounds are insufficient.

  • The Course Authority will make their decision within three working days of receiving the request.

  • If the Courses Authority approves the review, the student will submit the Review of Results application form to Student Central. An administration fee applies.

Head of School

  • If the Course Authority does not recommend the review but the student believes that the mark/grade does not reflect their performance, the student may forward the RoR application form to the Head of School or their delegated representative.

  • The Head of School (HoS) will make their decision within three working days of receiving the application.

  • If the HoS approves the review, the student will submit the application to Student Central.

Faculty Assessment Review Group

  • If the HoS does not approve the review, they will notify the Chair of the Faculty Assessment Review Group (FARG).

  • The FARG can either endorse or overturn the decision of the HoS.

  • The FARG will make a decision within one week of receiving advice from the HoS.

Late assessment penalties

1. These guidelines apply to all students enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate courses taught by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

2. These guidelines apply to all assessed tasks in a course without an approved extension or special consideration.

3. These guidelines do not apply to any form of test or examination or other assessed activities undertaken within class contact hours.

4. An assessed task is deemed late if it is submitted after the specified time and date as set out in the course Learning Management System (LMS).

5. The late penalty is the loss of 5% of the total possible marks for the task for each day or part thereof the work is late. Lateness will include weekends and public holidays. This does not apply to a task that is assessed but no mark is awarded.

6. Work submitted fourteen days after the due date will be marked and feedback provided but no mark will be recorded. If the work would have received a pass mark but for the lateness and the work is a compulsory course component a student will be deemed to have met that requirement. This does not apply to a task that is assessed but no mark is awarded.

7. Work submitted twenty-one days after the due date will not be accepted for marking or feedback and will receive no mark or grade. If the assessment task is a compulsory component of the course a student will automatically fail the course.

8. Assessed work that is capable of being submitted electronically should be submitted through the Turnitin portal.

9. For work delivered by mail the submission date is the date stamp on the package.

10. For work delivered in hard copy the School date stamping procedures will apply.

11. Where an extension has been granted the late penalties outlined above will apply from the revised due date.

12. When grading the assessed task the marker will note both the mark/grade the work would have received had it been submitted by the due date as well as the revised mark/grade due to the late penalty.


Attendance and Absence

These guidelines apply to all students enrolled in undergraduate or postgraduate courses taught by UNSW Arts and Social Sciences for either face-to-face (F2F), blended or online delivery.

The UNSW Policy on Class Attendance and Absence can be viewed at: https://student.unsw.edu.au/attendance

From time to time, the Course Authority may vary the attendance requirements for a course. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that they are familiar with the specific attendance requirements stipulated in the course outline for each course in which they are enrolled.


Students are expected to be regular and punctual in attendance at all classes in the courses in which they are enrolled. Students who seek to be excused from attendance [or for absence] must apply to the Course Authority in writing.

If a student is unable to attend all classes for a course due to timetable clashes, the student must complete the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences “Permitted Timetable Clash” form. A student unable to attend lectures in a course conducted by the School of Education can apply for “Permission to Participate in Lectures Online (PDF)”.

Absence from classes

A student who attends less than eighty per cent of the classes within a course may be refused final assessment and/ or awarded a final grade of UF (Unsatisfactory Fail).

Explanations of absences from classes or requests for permission to be absent from forthcoming classes should be addressed to the Course Authority in writing and, where applicable, should be accompanied by appropriate documentation (e.g. medical certificate). After submitting appropriate supporting documentation to the Course Authority to explain his/her absence, a student may be required to undertake supplementary class(s) or task(s) as prescribed by the Course Authority. If examinations or other forms of assessment have been missed, then the student should apply for Special Consideration.

In the case of absence due to illness or some other unavoidable cause students may be excused for non-attendance of classes for a period of not more than one month (i.e. 33%) or, on the recommendation of the Dean of the appropriate faculty, for a longer period.

Course Authorities must:

  • Identify in the course outline:
    • Classes subject to attendance requirements and classes not subject to attendance requirements (e.g. Turorials but not lectures, or tutorials and lectures)
    • The minimum attendance requirements (as a percentrage) and the indicative number of instances of absence from class (e.g. if the minimum attendance requirements is 80% of all tutorials then it should be indicated that students can miss no more than 2 tutorials);
  • The final assessment task.
  • Identify the final assessment task in the AIMS proposal;
  • Keep accurate records to facilitate the enforcement of the specified attendance requirements. To ensure adequate responses to student appeals and complaints, attendance records are to be centrally stored within each school and accessible (e.g. by the Deputy Head of School or Associate Dean (Education)) for a minimum of 6 years after the completion of the course.
  • Enforce the specified attendance requirements through the application of penalties where appropriate.

Special Notes

1. These guidelines may be varied for a student registered with the Student Equity and Disabilities Unit, or a student in the Elite Athletes and Performers program.

2.Where practical, a student’s attendance will be recorded. Individual course outlines/LMS will set out the conditions under which attendance will be measured.

3. A student who arrives more than 15 minutes late may be penalised for non-attendance. If such a penalty is imposed, the student must be informed verbally at the end of class and advised in writing within 24 hours.

4. If a student experiences illness, misadventure or other occurrence that makes absence from a class/activity unavoidable, or expects to be absent from a forthcoming class/activity, they should seek permission from the Course Authority, and where applicable, should be accompanied by an original or certified copy of a medical certificate or other form of appropriate evidence.

5. Reserve members of the Australian Defence Force who require absences of more than two weeks due to full-time service may be provided an exemption. The student may also be permitted to discontinue enrolment without academic or financial penalty.

6. If a Course Authority rejects a student’s request for absence from a class or activity the student must be advised in writing of the grounds for the rejection.

7. A Course Authority may excuse a student from classes or activities for up to one month. However, they may assign additional and/or alternative tasks to ensure compliance.

8. A Course Authority considering the granting of absence must be satisfied a student will still be able to meet the course’s learning outcomes and/or volume of learning.

9. A student who has submitted the appropriate documentation but attends less than 66% of the classes/activities will be asked by the Course Authority to apply to discontinue the course without failure rather than be awarded a final grade of UF. The final decision as to whether a student can be withdrawn without fail is made by Student Administration and Records.

Formal examinations

Information about examination dates, location and procedures at UNSW. For more information, see formal examinations.

Graduate attributes

UNSW Graduate Capabilities - desired learning outcomes for all UNSW students. For more information, see graduate attributes.

Plagiarism and academic integrity

Plagiarism: Essential Information for Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone elseʼs thoughts or work as your own. It can take many forms, from not having appropriate academic referencing to deliberate cheating. UNSW groups plagiarism into the following categories:∗

  • Copying: using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This also applies to images, art and design projects, as well as presentations where someone presents anotherʼs ideas or words without credit.
  • Inappropriate paraphrasing: changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases anotherʼs ideas or words without credit. It also applies to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without referencing and a studentʼs own analysis to bring the material together.
  • Collusion: working with others but passing off the work as a personʼs individual work. Collusion also includes providing your work to another student before the due date, paying another person to perform an academic task, stealing or acquiring another personʼs academic work and copying it, offering to complete another personʼs work or seeking payment for completing academic work.
  • Duplication: submitting your own work, in whole or in part, where it has previously been prepared or submitted for another assessment or course at UNSW or another University.

∗ These categories are adapted from Oxford Brookes University (UK) Plagiarism Information Skills, Oxford Brookes University Library Skills Resource http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/skill/plagiarism.html

Where can I find more information?

In many cases plagiarism is the result of inexperience about academic conventions. The University has resources and information to assist you to avoid plagiarism. The first place you can look is the section about referencing and plagiarism in each Course Guide, as this will also include information specific to the discipline the course is from. There are also other sources of assistance at UNSW:

How can the learning centre help me?

The Learning Centre assists students with understanding academic integrity and how to not plagiarise. Information is available on the website: www.lc.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism. The Learning Centre also hold workshops and can help students one-on-one.

How can ELISE help me?

ELISE (Enabling Library & Information Skills for Everyone) is an online tutorial to help you understand how to find and use information for your assignments or research. It will help you to search databases, how to identify good quality information and how to write assignments. It will also help you understand plagiarism and how to avoid it. All undergraduate students have to review the ELISE tutorial in their first semester and complete the quiz, but any student can review it to improve their knowledge: subjectguides.library.unsw.edu.au/elise

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a checking database, which reviews your work and compares it to an international collection of books, journals, Internet pages and other studentʼs assignments. The database checks referencing and whether you have copied something from another student, resource, or off the Internet. Sometimes students submit their work into Turnitin when they hand it in, but academics can also use it to check a studentʼs work when they are marking it. You can find out more about Turnitin here: http://teaching.unsw.edu.au/turnitin

What if Plagiarism is found in my work?

If plagiarism is found in your work when you are in first year, your lecturer will offer you assistance to improve your academic skills. They may ask you to look at some online resources, attend the Learning Centre, or sometimes resubmit your work with the problem fixed. However more serious instances in first year, such as stealing another studentʼs work or paying someone to do your work, may be investigated under the Student Misconduct Procedures. Repeated plagiarism (even in first year), plagiarism after first year, or serious instances, may also be investigated under the Student Misconduct Procedures. The penalties under the procedures can include a reduction in marks, failing a course or for the most serious matters (like plagiarism in a honours thesis) even suspension from the university. The Student Misconduct Procedures are available here www.unsw.edu.au/studentmisconductprocedures.pdf (PDF)

Examples of plagiarism

Using the Internet appropriately a first year student handed in an assignment where she had copied from a website. Her lecturer realised she didnʼt understand you have to reference websites in the same way you reference books and journal articles. The lecturer explained how to reference and sent her to a workshop at the Learning Centre to help her improve her skills.

Working together on a math assignment a group of Mathematics students worked together on an assignment when they had been told this was not allowed. All questions where the

students had worked together were given zero, and this lead to some student failing the assessment.

No referencing in an assessment A third year student submitted a major assessment that included material from a journal article published in Canada. When his essay was submitted into Turnitin, it let the academic know that the student didnʼt reference the material. The student was given zero for the essay, and because it was worth 50 per cent he failed the course.

Copying design work A final year design student used images of someone elseʼs designs in her work and he said the designs were his own. The matter was formally investigated by the Faculty and he was found to have committed academic misconduct and failed for the course.

Further information and assistance If you would like further information or assistance with avoiding plagiarism, you can contact the Learning Centre. The Learning Centre at The University of New South Wales has two locations:

Kensington Campus Learning Centre
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing, Chancellery Building (C22 – near Student Central)
PHONE: 9385 2060
EMAIL: learningcentre@unsw.edu.au
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Thursday: 9am - 5pm and Friday: 9am - 2.30pm
Information is available on the website: www.lc.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism

COFA Campus Learning Centre
EMAIL: cofalearningcentre@unsw.edu.au
PHONE: 9385 0739
Information is available on the website: www.lc.unsw.edu.au/plagiarism

Program leave and discontinuation

To ensure that you maintain standing in your Program you must formally apply for Program leave through your Student Profile in myUNSW. For more information, see program leave and discontinuation.

Special consideration (illness and misadventure)

Sickness, misadventure, or other circumstance beyond your control may prevent you from completing a course requirement or may significantly affect your performance in assessable work. In cases of illness or misadventure affecting a number of different courses, you may make formal application for Special Consideration. Should you choose to do so, you should apply as soon as practicable after the problem occurs and within three working days of the assessment due date. You can apply for consideration for the affected assessments through your Student Profile in myUNSW. For more information, see special consideration.

Special permission to withdraw from a course without penalty

To withdraw from a course after both the census date and the withdrawal without academic penalty date have passed, you need special permission. Applications to be made through your Student Profile in myUNSW. For more information, see special permission to withdraw from a course (PDF).

Student Code of Conduct

The overarching obligation of all students is to act in the best interests of the University community at all times. For more information, see student code of conduct.

Student Equity and Disabilities Unit

Students who have a disability that requires some adjustment in their learning and teaching environment are encouraged to discuss their study needs with the course convenor prior to, or at the commencement of the course, or with the Student Equity Officers (Disability) in the Student Equity and Diversity Unit (9385 4734). Issues to be discussed may include access to materials, signers or note-takers, the provision of services and additional exam and assessment arrangements. Early notification is essential to enable any necessary adjustments to be made. Information for students with disabilities is available at: SEADU.

Student Life and Learning

  • Safety and well-being – counselling, mental health, settling in, harassment
  • Personal issues – accommodation, money matters, legal advice

For more information, see student life and learning.

Essay writing support services

For information about how to write essays and document your references consult The Learning Centreʼs writing guides at https://student.unsw.edu.au/skills.

Referencing systems

There are two main referencing systems: the footnote/bibliography or ʻOxfordʼ referencing system - see https://student.unsw.edu.au/footnote-bibliography-or-oxford-referencing-system  and the ʻIn-Textʼ or ʻHarvardʼ referencing system – see https://student.unsw.edu.au/referencing.

Whichever system you choose, the golden rule is to be consistent! The UNSW Library offers many services to students seeking help with their essays and study skills. See http://info.library.unsw.edu.au/web/services/undergraduates.html

If you would like further assistance with your studies, and your essays in particular, please consult The Learning Centreʼs services on http://www.lc.unsw.edu.au

UNSW health and safety policies

The University's health and safety policies for students and staff. For more information, see UNSW health and safety policies (PDF).