The following study guide is integral to all postgraduate courses in the School
of Nursing and aims to establish clear and common guidelines for students.
Study time guidance
Study related to a 15 point course usually equates to around 10 hours per week. It
is therefore an expectation that students will spend considerable time reading and
exploring course content and concepts in their own time. It is useful to remember
that the clinical practice environment is a rich learning context as students extend
clinical knowledge and skill, practice clinical skills and analyse and reflect on
If a course has designated class time it is an expectation that students will attend.
Preparation for class time is also expected so that students can make the most of
learning opportunities in class. Class time includes course content and encourages
discussion, debate, problem based learning and collaboration with colleagues.
A range of assessment procedures is used within courses to address theoretical and
practical components, such as assignments, examinations, case presentations, verbal
presentations and clinically based assessments.
Most courses are assessed totally by coursework. Course work may also include clinical
examinations. All components of course work, as identified in the course outline,
must be completed to pass the course. Students must ensure they are familiar with
the assessment requirements and grading procedures for individual courses.
By its nature postgraduate study should encourage students to think broadly and
critically about topics, concepts, issues including clinical practice, and thereby
extending their personal and professional knowledge base. Assessment processes will
encourage these skills and require students to critically analyse, debate or explore
topics in depth using literature and evidence to support and extend their arguments/practice/ideas.
Assessments may be written or verbal and for nurses it is often assignment writing
which they find the most difficult. Assignment writing is a skill that can be learned.
It is often developmental and comes with practice and more practice, and drafting
and redrafting. Grades often improve significantly as students progress through
courses and importantly this is often linked to students being able to think more
laterally and critically.
Assignments must be submitted in hard copy. Emailed assignments are not accepted.
Students must keep a computer copy of all assignments. Assignments should be presented as follows:
- fasten the pages together at the top left-hand corner with a staple
- leave a substantial left-hand margin (5 cm) for marker’s comments
- be completed on a word processor - 12 font A4 paper, single-sided, double-spaced
- be within 10% of word count requirements.
Each assignment must have a front sheet clearly marked with the following information:
- course number and title
- student ID number only; do not put your name on the assignment
- assignment/coursework number and title
- name of lecturer
- due date of assignment
- word count.
A template for the front sheet may be downloaded from the forms page or you may
print out this
Assignment cover sheet.
Assignments can be either:
- placed in the Postgraduate student assignment box in the School of Nursing, 4 th
floor, ECom House, 3 Ferncroft Street
- placed in the Nursing postgraduate student assignment box in the Student Centre,
Ground Floor, main Medical and Health Sciences Building.
- posted by 4 pm on the due date to:
School of Nursing
University of Auckland
Assignments will be date-stamped and passed on to the relevant lecturer.
The School of Nursing requires the APA (6th Edition) referencing format.
You can view the University's online guide at
All information used to support written work must be referenced. Appropriate sources
of information include::
- articles from national and international peer-reviewed journals
- Government publications and websites
- text books.
The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat,
and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a
student submits for grading must be the student’s own work, reflecting his or her
learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged
and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the world-wide web.
A student’s assessed work may be reviewed against electronic source material using
computerised detection mechanisms. Upon reasonable request, students may be required
to provide an electronic version of their work for computerised review.
Grading scale for assessments
Where possible the ‘generic grading criteria’ are used for grading course assessments.
These relate to verbal and written presentations. Students should become familiar
with these criteria.
Requests for extensions
A request for an extension must be made in writing to the Course Coordinator. Extension
request forms are available in hard copy, from the School of Nursing reception,
or by email through Course Coordinators. Course Coordinators must approve any
extensions. Extensions will be for one week only and only one extension per course is admissible
unless there are extenuating circumstances. All requests are held on the student’s
Penalty for late assignments
Where a student fails to meet assignment deadlines or abide by extension guidelines,
work submitted for marking may be penalised by one grade. Where work is submitted
after student work has been returned to the other class members, the normal practice
is that late assignments will not be accepted for marking.
Confidentiality of patients and staff
It is essential that the confidentiality of patients and their families is protected
at all times in all assessment items. Any feature with the potential for personal
identification must be deleted or changed prior to submission. Any work submitted
which fails to protect the identity of patients and their families will not be eligible
for a passing grade.
Students in difficulty
It is recognised that students have complex lives and at times have problems meeting
course requirements. If students are experiencing difficulties they are encouraged
to talk to their Course Coordinator as soon as possible. The Student Learning Centre
can also offer individual tuition to students.
Orientation to study for new students
Information on orientation days
Assignment writing workshop
Each semester, the School of Nursing, in conjunction with the Student Learning Centre (SLC), run assignment-writing workshops
for new students. Please phone ext 83059 for dates and venues.
There is an annual SLC fee ($10) which entitles students to SLC facilities and courses
such as those mentioned above.
Student Learning Centre
Please Note: Library orientation sessions have limited numbers. Places must be booked
through Lee-Anne Govender.
The nursing subject librarian