Attendance rules


Attendance and participation

What you must do

The department rules about what to do if you miss a seminar are below. Here is the bottom line:

If you miss a seminar, or, preferably, are going to miss a seminar, text me or email me. If the reason involves illness, you must fill in a university self-certification form (which you can get here), hand it in at the office, and email or text me to say that you have done so.

Until you have done this, your absence is an unexplained absence. There are penalties (see below) for unexplained absences.

The small print

The University expects you to make a valid attempt at each year of your programme: if you do not do this you may fail the year and be barred from moving into the next year. In effect, this would mean the termination of your programme. (You can read the University regulations on Debarring from Assessment and Due Diligence at

(If you think there is a very good reason that excuses your failure to make a valid attempt you must make an official application for special consideration under the Mitigations procedure: see the separate advice on ‘Circumstances Affecting Academic Performance’ in the ‘Assessment’ section of this handbook).

Making a valid attempt entails, as a minimum:

registering for the full number of credits required for each year of your programme;
preparing for and attending the teaching sessions for the modules for which you are registered (see below for more details on what the English Department expects in this regard);
giving in required and classified work, at the very latest by the final cut-off date for submission of all work set each year by the University (but any work given in after the deadline set for the particular module by the Department will, of course, incur lateness penalties as set out in the School of Humanities Undergraduate Handbook);
attending formal examinations and making a genuine attempt to answer the questions set (i.e. leaving a blank or otherwise inappropriate script does not count).

With regard to attendance, the English Department expects you to attend all the lectures and seminars for each module you take, and to do the advance preparation for each lecture and seminar that is set by tutors and / or laid out in the online documentation for the module. Apart from the risk of being asked to leave the University, absence, lateness or inadequate preparation may cause problems later if you want staff in the Department to write references for you.

A register will be taken at seminars and any other small-group teaching. If you have to miss a session, you must give your tutor a signed and dated written explanation. (Note that it is yourresponsibility to take the initiative to find out what you should prepare for the next session: absence from a previous session is not an acceptable excuse for failure to read the material for the next seminar, or to complete any written work that has been set.) If the explanation for your absence involves illness, you must use the University form provided and make sure that it is properly dated; and if the illness continues, you must ask your doctor to provide certification (see for detailed guidance and downloadable forms). It is your responsibility to find out exactly what the University regulations about illness are, and to make sure that you follow them carefully. If you are having long-term health or similar problems, you should discuss them with one of the Welfare Tutors in the Department and / or notify your Director of Studies.

If the Department writes to you to raise concerns about your attendance or participation, it is vital to act at once to put matters right, and to go to see any member of staff who has asked you to meet them. Failure to do so may endanger your progress and lead to the termination of your programme.



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