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Information for current students

Important information for all students taking papers in the Department of Media, Film and Communication.

  1. Internal Assessment Policy (including policy on deduction of marks for late work)
  2. Student email
  3. Class Representatives
  4. Library Services
  5. Academic Grievance Procedures
  6. General University Requirements
  7. Academic Integrity
  8. Disability Information and Support
  9. OUSA Advocacy/Student Support Centre
  10. SupportMäori Centre - Te Huka Mätauraka
  11. Kaiäwhina Mäori (Te Kete Aronui)
  12. Media, Film & Communication Department Kaiäwhina Mäori
  13. Pacific Island Students’ Support
  14. International student support

1. Internal Assessment Policy

Dates and due times for internal assessment are included in the course outline of each paper.

Except for in-class tests all internal assessment work must be placed in the assignment collection box located in the department foyer outside the elevators. (6th Floor Richardson Building). In addition, you may be required to submit your assignment electronically via Blackboard. Refer to your course outline to determine if this is required.

The submission of all work is recorded and forwarded to markers – do not hand work directly to lecturers or tutors.

All assignments must be typewritten unless otherwise stated. Unless specifically directed otherwise, use the Harvard citation style.

You must include a departmental cover sheet on your assignment with the following details:

  • Your full name
  • Paper Identification
  • Your Tutorial Group and your lecturer’s name
  • Your Student ID Number
  • Signed plagiarism declaration

Note: Cover sheets are available beside the collection box and on the MFCO-All Blackboard page and on the department website.

Deduction of marks for late work. All work handed in late will receive a penalty of 5 percent of the total marks available for the task, per day for each day that an assignment is overdue. A weekend counts as two days, incurring a 10 percent penalty. Any work handed in after 5 working days may not be accepted for marking, unless an extension has been granted (see below).

Students are responsible for retaining a copy of marked assignments until final results have been confirmed.

Assignments submitted electronically will NOT be accepted, unless you have made prior arrangements with your paper coordinator. IF the paper coordinator has given you permission to submit an assignment electronically, the assignment must be sent to the paper coordinator AND The office will confirm receipt of your email and attachments. If you do not receive confirmation that your email has been received, please contact the office at 479.3724.

Students are responsible for keeping hard/back up copies of all assignments submitted.

Application forms for extensions can be obtained from the department office or downloaded from the MFCO-All page on Blackboard or from the department website Deadlines are firm and extensions will be given only in exceptional circumstances. Extensions must be sought from the course coordinator/lecturer, and – except in the case of emergency – before the due date for the assignment. Extensions are unlikely to be granted unless the student is facing a documentable family crisis (in the case of a bereavement of a close friend or family member, a death notice will be required), an illness, or participating in a national or international sporting, cultural or academic event. A Health Declaration form is required in cases of illness (see below).

Heavy workload, computer crashes or printing problems do not constitute an excuse for failing to hand in assignments by the prescribed due date.

An extension cannot be given beyond the time allocated for the marking and return of all essays. No written work will be accepted after marked work has been returned to the class. No written work can be accepted after the end of the teaching semester.

Health Declaration Form
The university requires that work submitted late for medical reasons be accompanied by a Health Declaration for Special Consideration Application Form, found at

In general terms, the level of certification required will relate to the weighting placed on the piece of work in question. For example, should the assignment or internal assessment test count significantly towards the final result then Part B of the Health Declaration form will be required. On the other hand, if the weighting is minor, Part B of the form is not required, unless the Head of Department decides otherwise. (Note: as a guideline, an assignment or internal assessment component which counts for 20% of the final result would be considered to be significant whereas something counting for less than 10% is likely to be considered as minor).

If Part B is required, the form should be signed by a practitioner at the Student Health Centre or by your own general practitioner, and should specify the dates involved.

Collecting marked work
Assignments will be returned to students in lectures/tutorials for two weeks, after which time they will be distributed from the department office.


2. Student Email

Please use your student email address (eg in any email correspondence with your lecturer/tutor/the department. This is the address used for university emails and it is important that you check it regularly.

3. Class Representatives

The Class Rep System is a framework for effective feedback between staff and students. The class reps can communicate to staff concerns from the class. Please see your lecturer for information about becoming the class representative for this paper. For additional information go to the Class Reps link at OUSA.

4. Library Services

Learn how to use the Library and improve your research skills, refer:

MFCO Subject Guide for quality resources

Blackboard Study Smart tab for MFCO students:
MFCO_ALL_FYDNS_2014: A site for all MFCO students

For all general enquiries ask staff at a Library help desk or send an email to

For in-depth enquiries contact the Media, Film & Communication Librarian:

Subject Librarian – Alexander Ritchie
University of Otago Central Library, 65 Albany Street, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054
ph: 03 479 7827

5. Academic Grievance Procedures

If you have academic problems with your course you should talk to the tutor or lecturer concerned within a reasonable timeframe. If you are not satisfied with the result of that meeting you should put your concerns to the Head of Department. If you do not wish to approach the Head of Department directly you may do so through the student representative for this paper. See the University Calendar (Policies and Statutes) for more information.

6. General University Requirements

Students should familiarize themselves with the University’s requirements, particularly those regarding assessment and course of study requirements, and formal academic grievance procedures, contained in the University Calendar. The Calendar also contains a section on Policies and Statutes which ensures that members of the University community are able to work, learn, study and participate in the academic and social aspects of the University’s life in an atmosphere of safety and respect. The section contains information on what is acceptable conduct and what steps can be taken if there is a complaint.

7. Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means being honest in your studying and assessments. It is the basis for ethical decision-making and behaviour in an academic context. Academic integrity is informed by the values of honesty, trust, responsibility, fairness, respect and courage. Students are expected to be aware of, and act in accordance with, the University’s Academic Integrity Policy.

Academic Misconduct, such as plagiarism or cheating, is a breach of Academic Integrity and is taken very seriously by the University. Types of misconduct include plagiarism, copying, unauthorised collaboration, taking unauthorised material into a test or exam, impersonation, and assisting someone else’s misconduct. A more extensive list of the types of academic misconduct and associated processes and penalties is available in the University’s Student Academic Misconduct Procedures.

It is your responsibility to be aware of and use acceptable academic practices when completing your assessments. To access the information in the Academic Integrity Policy and learn more, please visit the University’s Academic Integrity website or ask at the Student Learning Centre or Library.

8. Disability Information and Support

The Department of Media, Film and Communication encourages students to seek support if they are having difficulty with their studies due to a disability, temporary or permanent impairment, injury, chronic illness or Deafness.

For further information:
Tel: 03 479 8235

9. OUSA Student Support Centre

OUSA’s Student Support Centre exists to make the student experience as trouble-free as possible. It is a free and confidential and services include financial support and advice, advocacy, queer support pastoral care, accommodation pastoral care, education quality support network and other pastoral care.

For further information:
Tel: 03 479 5448
5 Ethel Benjamin Place

10. Mäori Centre - Te Huka Mätauraka

Tënei rä te mihi atu ki a koe, otirä, ki a koutou katoa kua tae mai ki tënei wähanga o te ipurangi kimi körero ai mö ngä mahi e haria ana i Te Whare Wänanga o Otägo. Nö reira,nau mai, haere mai . Kia kaha mai ki te kimi i ngä whakamärama mö ngä akoranga e pïrangi ana koe. Ko tö mätou hiahia kei tö mätou nei Whare Wänanga ngä akoranga e hängai ana ki täu e hiahia ai.

The Mäori Centre is a support service for all students of iwi descent. The Centre aims to encourage Iwi Mäori to participate and succeed in tertiary education. The Centre offers support for academic, cultural and social needs from pre-enrolment through to graduation and operates from a kaupapa Mäori base (Mäori philosophy) and provides services such as:

  • Liaison
  • Recruitment/school visits
  • Student support groups
  • Welfare advice
  • Iwi/Community networks
  • Scholarships/Grants
  • Academic
  • Supplementary tutorials
  • All subjects/papers
  • Study skills
  • Exam preparation
  • Peer study groups Resources
  • Library books
  • Old examination papers
  • Lecture notes
  • TV, Video & OHP
  • Study & seminar rooms

The Mäori Centre will also give you the opportunity to meet other Mäori students and whanaunga studying at Otago.

11. Kaiäwhina Mäori (Te Kete Aronui) Mäori Student Support Officer (Division of Humanities)

Ana Rangi (Ngäti Porou, Ngäti Kahungunu, Whakatöhea, Ngäti Kuia, Ngäti Koata)
Tel: 03 479 8681
Office: Room 5C9
5th Floor, Arts Building, Albany Street

12. Media, Film & Communication Department Kaiäwhina Mäori Student Support

Dr Kevin Fisher
Tel: 03 479 8472
Office: Room 6C24, 6th Floor, Richardson Building, Albany Street

13. Pacific Islands Students’ Support Officer

Esmay Eteuati
Office: Room 5C9a, Fifth Floor, Arts Building.
Phone 479 9616

14. International Student Support

The Department of Media, Film and Communication encourages international students to seek support if they are having difficulties with their studies or meeting other challenges while they are a student at Otago.

The department’s contact is:
Dr Davinia Thornley
Tel: 03 479 4182
Office: Room 6C14, 6th Floor, Richardson Building, Albany Street

Students can also contact International Student Support:
Telephone: 479 8344
Location: Archway West Buildi