Guidance on Assignment Submission

This guidance relates to the preparation of all documents except the thesis

In this guide

General Guidance on submissions

All written coursework for the programme needs to be submitted only online via the University's Moodle virtual learning environment. This page provides a guide letting you know how to prepare and make your submissions, and tells you what happens once they are submitted.

Submitting on time

The standard deadlines for the submission of each assignment in the current academic year can be found in the programme's annual plan. These deadlines will apply to you unless your deadline has been changed as the result of an approved extension or a development agreement. The deadline will always be at 9.30am on the day identified.

It is very important to submit work before your deadline for each assignment. The deadline policy is strict and there are severe penalties for submitting work late. After a deadline has passed you can still submit work on Moodle for another 72 hours, but anything submitted will have ten marks deducted (for trainees in 2017 cohort and earlier) or will result in a concern being raised (for trainees in the 2018 cohort onwards). It is not possible to submit work more than 72 hours after a deadline, and if work is not submitted then a fail mark will be given. More details on the consequences of late submission and the criteria for and process of applying for extensions can be found in the programme's deadline policies.

Making a complete submission

For your submission to be accepted, all the required elements need to be included. It is your responsibility to make sure your submission is complete. Until a complete submission is made it isn't counted, and programme staff only check whether submissions are complete after the deadline for submission has passed. This means that if you don't make a complete submission first time around, you are likely to be penalised for lateness.

Here are details of what a submission for each assignment must include to be considered complete:

Assignments for 2018 cohort onwards - this information is provisional and may be subject to change

Self- Assessment Exercise written report (SAE)

  • A title page including word count & trainee number
  • An initial self-appraisal
  • A report on the outcome of the self-assessment process
  • An appendix containing details of the formative evaluative exercises engaged in, including raw results and related documents

Thesis Preparation Assignment (TPA)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number, title of the TPA
  • The main body of the literature review (4,500 words)
  • A completed thesis proposal (1,500 words)
  • The TPA proposal form

Placement Assignments 1, 2 & 3 (PA)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number and assignment title
  • The report
  • Completed clinical recording submission form
  • 30 minute (minimum) video or audio clip securely uploaded to the trainee's BOX folder
  • Confirmation of appropriate consent being obtained must be separately submitted by the relevant placement supervisor

Service Evaluation Project (SEP)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number, title of the SEP
  • The report
  • The SEP proposal form
  • The TPA proposal form
  • Documentary confirmation from the relevant NHS R&D department that the project can be conducted as a service evaluation
  • Any relevant protocols, participant information shseets or other materials either used during the conduct of the project or submitted to the R&D department to gain approval
  • Confirmation from the University that the project meets the required ethical standards

Pre-2018 assignments

Professional Issues Assignment (PIA)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number and PIA title
  • The assignment
  • Completed Professional Issues suitability form

Placement Presentation and Report Initial Reports (PPR1IRa, PPR1IRb, PPR2IRa, PPR2IRb) - only for trainees who commenced training prior to 2015

  • Title page including title, word count, PPR number and assignment title
  • The Report
Please note that your supervisor must also email the programme with a form providing confirmation that you have obtained appropriate consent for the initial report with the title you have submitted before you will be allowed to give your PPR presentation.

Placement Presentation & Report main report (PPR1 & PPR2) - only for trainees who commenced training prior to 2015

  • Title page including word count, unique PPR trainee number and PPR title
  • PPR main report

Direct Assessment of Clinical Skills - Standardised Role Play Simulation (DACS-SRPS)

  • No submission requirements - trainee has to be present for the assessment process

Direct Assessment of Clinical Skills - Placement Portfolio (DACS-PP)

Assessment & Action Plan (AAP1-4)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number and AAP title
  • The AAP report
Please note that your supervisor must also email the programme with a form providing confirmation that you have obtained appropriate consent for the AAP. Without this form trainee work will not be sent out for marking.

Clinical Recording (CR)

  • Submission of encrypted memory stick to the admin office with 30minute recording for submission file indicated
  • Optionally, a written factual context statement of up to 300 words to accompany the recording

Clinical Recording Report (CRR)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number and CRR title
  • The report
Please note that your supervisor must also email the programme with a form providing confirmation that you have obtained appropriate consent for the CR and CRR. Without this form trainee work will not be sent out for marking.

Systematic Literature Review (SLR)

  • Title page including word count, trainee number, title of the SLR and name of intended journal
  • The main body of the review
  • The SLR proposal form
  • Dissemination strategy
  • Guidance on submission to the specific journal

Service-related research project (SRP)

The SRP should be submitted as two files. The first file must be in MS Word format and be double line spaced. The file should contain:

  • Title page including word count, trainee number, title of SRP
  • Main body of the SRP (including the dissemination strategy and ethical reflections)
The second file should contain:
  • Ethics materials, including protocol, ethics form(s), participant sheets etc.
  • Approval letters or emails from ethics committees and/or R&D committees

Further queries

If you have any further queries about the content of submissions, then please ask the relevant assignment coordinator. These are:

  • SLR: Ian Smith
  • SRP: Fiona Eccles
  • PIA: Richard Slinger
  • PPR & DACS: Emma Munks

Getting the right layout

General Presentation

The assignment font type is a matter of your personal choice but it should be easily legible. The programme's choice for its documents is Trebuchet. For ease of reading you will probably need at least 12 point font size. The text should be black on a white background. Use at least 1.5 line spacing.

The Title Page

The title page should include the following aspects:

  • Title - all submissions should have a title descriptive of the specific content (e.g. NOT just 'AAP1 initial report', but 'AAP1 Initial report regarding work with a staff team around a client with anxiety difficulties')
  • Trainee number (or PPR number) - your trainee number is provided by the programme, it is not your university ID number
  • Word count - this must be accurate and work will be returned to you if it is over the word limit (or if it claims to be over the limit), even by one word. Like completeness, we only check this after the deadline, so this is another way that you can end up being penalised for lateness. For assignments that have separate word limits for specific sections (SAE, TPA, PA, SLR, AAP, CRR) you must list the word count for each section here.
  • You might also wish to have a running head and some further detail (name of assignment, place of study) but this is not essential.

Making sure your file isn't too large

All assignments except the SRP should be submitted as a single file. The SRP should be submitted as two files (see above). It is important that you make sure all files that you submit are no larger than 10MB in size. You will not be able to submit a file over 20MB via Moodle as this is the maximum file size for the system. It is your responsibility to ensure your assignment is small enough to be submitted on time.

Below are some ways for reducing the size of your files and for merging multiple PDF and Word documents into one.

Scanning documents

Wherever possible we recommend that you use electronic documents to avoid the need to scan. If necessary, the multifunction printers in the Furness building can scan documents and email them to you. You can change resolution settings when scanning to obtain the smallest possible file size. However, smaller text may not be easily legible. If you have this problem, you should increase the darkness of scan while keeping the other settings.

Ensuring images in Microsoft Word are optimised

Images will significantly increase the file size of your document if they are not appropriately optimised. This is particularly the case where scanned documents are inserted as images. If you are using images, the following process will reduce their impact as much as possible.

  1. Click on a picture in your document
  2. On the Picture toolbar, click the Compress Pictures button (it's the one with arrows at all four corner)
  3. In the Compress Pictures dialog box, you are presented with options for the way Word handles your images. The target output for email (96ppi) will give the smallest file size
  4. To apply your changes to all the pictures in your document, click the button beside All pictures in document in the Apply to section

Saving as a PDF from Microsoft Word at minimum size

If you are outputting your Word document as a PDF so that you can merge it with other PDF documents for a submission, the following steps will tell Word to ensure the size is kept to a minimum.

  1. Click on the File tab and choose "Save As"
  2. Choose "PDF" from the "Save as type" dropdown menu
  3. Under the "Optimise for" option choose "Minimum Size (publishing online)"

Further reducing the size of PDF files

Once you have a PDF, you can further reduce its size by using Adobe Acrobat DC which is provided via the Cloudpaging player.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat DC
  2. Open the PDF file you want to reduce in size
  3. Click on the File menu and choose Save As -> Reduced Size PDF
  4. Choose to make the PDF compatible with Version 9 and save the file
  5. More advanced settings to reduce the file size further can be accessed in Acrobat Pro by choosing to save your file as an "Optimised PDF" from the "Save As" menu.

Combining multiple PDF files

If you have a number of PDF files which you need to combine into a single document, this can be done easily with Adobe Acrobat DC.

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat DC
  2. Click on the File menu and choose "Create"
  3. Choose "Combine Files into a Single PDF"
  4. Drag and drop the files you want to merge into the window (or use the add files button)
  5. Move them into the order you want them when merged and click on "Combine Files"

Combining multiple Microsoft Word files

If you have a number of Word documents which you wish to combine into a single document, this can be done easily within Word.

  1. Open the document you want to merge another into
  2. Place your cursor at the place to add the document
  3. Click on the Insert tab on the ribbon
  4. Click on the Object button in the "Text" group
  5. Choose "Text from File..." and select your Word document which contains the content to add

Uploading your submission to Moodle

Please name your file in the following format before uploading it:

[Trainee Number or PPR number]+[Assignment name]+[Month & Year]
(e.g. 17-01PIAFebruary2018.docx)

To make your electronic submission, you should log in to Moodle ( and click on the link for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology VLE section.

Under your intake heading (eg 2017 Intake) you will see the name of the assignment, which has a Turnitin icon next to it. After clicking on the assignment you are presented with the Summary page outlining the name of the assignment and the due date. To submit your assignment, you should now click on the tab towards the top left labelled "My Submissions".

Pick the appropriate assignment, and use the browse button to select the file to submit. You must tick to accept the declaration at the bottom of the form before clicking the Add Submission button.

If you have queries about the technical elements of the submission then please email Jen Whitfield (Programme Assistant - Academic).

Potential problems using software not controlled by Lancaster University / NHS

The Programme are aware that a variety of software bugs exist in common office programs, some of which have the potential to cause problems with assignments submitted via Moodle.

These problems can include the omission of spacing and other formatting requirements which can then adversely affect marks on specific competencies relating to written communication etc.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any software used, which is not controlled by Lancaster University or the NHS, is fully patched to minimise these difficulties. This would typically involve ensuring that all service packs and security updates available from the relevant software vendors are applied. Both Lancaster University and the NHS have an automated procedure in place to ensure that the latest update for centrally distributed software, such as Microsoft Office, is applied to all onsite machines.

All submissions to the programme should be checked by you prior to uploading to Moodle to ensure that the document is as expected. The responsibility for the quality of a submission lies with you and it is not possible to re-submit an assignment after the given deadline if it later appears that formatting changes have occurred.

After submission

Once submitted, the assignment will appear on the current page, showing it has been added to the system successfully. You can download the current assignment you have submitted by clicking on the download icon on the "My Submissions" page.

After we receive the submission, we will process it using Turnitin. This is an on-line software plagiarism detection programme which analyses each piece of work and checks to see whether parts of it can be found anywhere on the internet, in academic articles or other texts, or in any previously submitted coursework by other students from around the world . It produces a report for each piece of work, highlighting any parts that match anything found on the internet, and indicating where the original text can be found. More information is available in the programme's plagiarism policy.

Once assignments have been checked in this way, they are then sent out to be marked. Some are also then sent to have the marks moderated by the programme's external examiners. Finally, the marks are then ratified at the programme's next exam board, and you will be notified of your mark and sent feedback via email.

Specimen title page
Clinical Recording submission form