Every module is assessed and most of them are assessed through two assignments. There is more information about Assessment under each qualification section below.

Assignments are found in each Module Introduction. The Module Convenor’s name and contact details are also provided. Assignment deadlines will be sent by the Student Administrators. The length and format of assignments differ, and are indicated in the assignment instructions. All assignments should be typed on a word-processor.


Submitting Assignments
We recognise that it may sometimes be difficult to submit assignments on time, owing to heavy workloads and family responsibilities. However, in the interest of fairness to other students, the staff’s marking schedules and the integrity of the marking process, you must adhere to deadlines as far as possible.

• Assignments must be emailed by the due date. You should receive an acknowledgement from the Student Administrators that your assignment has been received. If you don’t, please check with them.
• Please always keep a copy of your assignment.
• E-mailed assignments should include an Assignment Cover Sheet at the front. You will see a copy in section 8.4 and an electronic copy is on your USB flash drive.
• Make sure you include your student number.

Address for assignments - all students please take note:

Send email assignments to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guidelines for Presenting Assignments

Our Student Administrators deal with large volumes of e-mails daily. Please follow these guidelines taking the necessary care to label your assignments correctly. Unnecessary variations waste time for everybody, including yourself. When sending in your assignments, follow these important guidelines:

● Type assignments in 1.5 line-spacing using 12pt Times New Roman. Protocols must be in 1.5 spacing. Mini-theses must be in double spacing.
● Use A4 paper and leave normal margins for the lecturer’s comments.
● Always put your name on every file you send.
● Always number the pages.
● When submitting your assignment by e-mail, include the fully completed Assignment Cover Sheet as the first page of your assignment file, and not as a separate file. If you separate them, your assignment will not be identifiable, unless the Administrators do so for you.
● When submitting your assignment by e-mail, you must title the file as follows:
Please take note!!!
o Your name (Surname, initial), e.g. Mambwe R
o Module abbreviation (see below for Core modules), e.g. PHC II
o Assignment number, e.g. 1 or 2 and Draft or Final
o The year, i.e. 2018 e.g. Mambwe R, PHC II Asn 1 Final 2018; Mambwe R, PHC II Asn 1 Draft 2018.


Population Health and Development: A Primary Health Care Approach I PHD I Population Health and Development: A Primary Health Care Approach II PHD II
Descriptive Epidemiology


Measuring Health and Disease II


Health Promotion for Public Health I


Health Promotion for Public Health II


Management Strategies for the Public Health Services I MSI Management Strategies for the Public Health Services II MSII
Introducing Public Health


Public Health Research


Monitoring & Evaluation for Health


Quantitative Research Methods


Monitoring & Evaluation for Health and Development Programmes


Qualitative Research Methods


For MPH Electives, please abbreviate titles so that they are easy to recognise at a glance, e.g. <QRM> for Qualitative Research Methods; <QnRM> for Quantitative; <Using Info> for Using Information for Effective Management.


Poor file labelling adds so much time to the Administrators’ workload; they will return poorly labelled Assignments to you for re-titling.

Draft Assignments
As you are studying at a distance, lecturers will provide feedback on a Draft of your assignment. In your assignment deadline schedule we have given due dates for Draft Assignments; no late drafts are considered. Allow 14 days for your lecturer to return your drafts. If you experience delays in getting feedback, please inform the Student Administrators.

It is not necessary to send the whole assignment as a draft – it can be work in progress; this way you can check your understanding of the assignment requirements, try out difficult parts of the assignment, and ask questions.

Extensions on the Submission Date
Aim to submit all assignments by the due date. Extensions may only be granted under special circumstances if negotiated timeously through the Student Administrators, not the lecturers. If you are granted an extension you will get an extension of no longer than one week. No extensions will be given for Draft Assignments.

Consequences of Late Submission
Late submission of assignments has consequences for you and the staff of the SOPH including:
● You will start your next assignment late, affecting the time you have for it, and potentially the quality of your work.
● Lecturers’ time and marking schedules are disrupted.
● SOPH will be unable to submit assignment results timeously: this could mean you having to repeat the module and pay fees twice.


Final assignments will be returned within three to four weeks of the hand-in date. SOPH’s lecturers are committed to trying to return assignments on time. If you experience long delays in getting feedback, please inform the Student Administrators.

Assignment feedback is a teaching tool. The feedback you receive will vary, and you may get more detailed feedback on Core modules than Electives. Some staff will comment electronically, while others prefer to write on the hard copy assignment which will then be scanned and e-mailed to you.

Engaging with this feedback is one of the ways for you to learn in distance education. If you do not understand the feedback, you are urged to contact your lecturer. And of course, if you receive feedback on a draft assignment and do not use it in the final assignment, you can expect this to be reflected in your final mark.


Plagiarism or using other peoples’ ideas, words and work without acknowledgement is a worldwide problem and one which we take very seriously. At higher education level, you are expected to make use of the work of others – in particular, experts – in substantiating and developing your own arguments. However, when you use someone else’s ideas and words, you are expected to indicate this by citing the source correctly. This practice is not the end goal of academic writing, it is simply the most basic convention, which demonstrates the evidence upon which you are
building your argument. Ignoring the convention is very naïve, and shows ignorance of the whole scientific enterprise. Please note that:

a) We expect you to reference other peoples’ work every time – whether it is their words, or just their ideas.
b) We expect you to reference accurately.
c) We expect you to reference consistently, i.e. in the same manner, using the same style, throughout your assignment.

To enforce these expectations, you will be penalised for poor referencing, plagiarism, and cheating in your assignments.

Please consult the Academic Handbook for definitions and examples of these terms. Referencing is not a skill that anyone is born with. One simply needs to follow the guidelines.

8.3.1 Cheating – academic dishonesty and plagiarism

The University of the Western Cape Plagiarism Policy defines plagiarism as follows:

Plagiarism is (a) the appropriation of formulations, ideas or words from the work of another person without acknowledging the author(s) and the source; and (b) the appropriation of work from someone else’s assignment, thesis, test or research paper without acknowledging such other person and/or source
(University of the Western Cape, 2011: 1).

Using text from a book, journal, SOPH Module Guide, Internet, or any other document or someone else’s assignment, thesis, research paper or exam without acknowledging the author or source to obtain credit constitutes plagiarism.

Although it is difficult to draw the line between plagiarism and academic dishonesty, the latter involves the intention to deceive the reader. Both involve some or all of the following practices:

• Lifting a distinctive piece of text, a phrase, a sentence, paragraph or an idea from another’s work to use as your own, without indicating that it is quoted and without acknowledging the author or source.
● Using another author’s idea without acknowledgement, even if you have put it into your own words.
● Only slightly changing the text, citing the source, but NOT using quotation marks.
● Copying from another student’s assignment, examination script or mini- thesis.
● Collaborating with any person during an assignment without due authority.
Collaborating is taken to mean the actual execution of the assignment (and not discussions you may have had prior to starting the assignment).
● Substituting for another student or permitting any other person to substitute for you in writing an assignment, examination or mini-thesis.

Below we try to give further clarity.

8.3.2 Poor Referencing Practices

In contrast to plagiarism and academic dishonesty, poor referencing is not deceptive; it is simply sloppy. “Poor referencing” means that the way that you have presented the reference is not correct, e.g. a date is missing, the referencing is not consistent, but there is some attempt to show that this is not your idea or work.

Poor Referencing Practices include:

● Inaccurate punctuation in references;
● Mismatching text references and a Reference List;
● Spelling mistakes of names, titles, publishers, etc.;
● Incomplete references.
● Showing quotation marks without an accompanying citation.

On the next page are some examples of poor referencing practices and the consequences for students.

Penalties for Poor Referencing, Plagiarism or Academic Dishonesty

Students in Offence Penalty

Any year of study including 1st year

Academic dishonesty/cheating

The case will be referred to the UWC Proctor (Disciplinary Officer) and the student will be prosecuted at any time in their university career. The potential consequences are as follows:

  • A hearing mayresult, atthe Proctor’s
  • If found guilty, you may be suspended from study at UWC fora semester


  • You may forfeit marks for the assignmentr be required to rewrite
  • You may forfeit marks for that module,

resulting in your having to re-register for that module in the following year.

  • Yumay have towrite a letter y to the lecturer/s
  • Your academic record may be endorsed,

i.e. academic dishonesty will be noted on your transcript.

  • Your name would be published inthe UWC campus newspape
  • This could affectyour future references, and applications for burs
1st year of study with SOPH Semester 1 Poor referencing or plagiarism Lecturer returns the assignment to you for correction; marks are withheld until it is returned corrected. Marks are deducted according to assessment criteria.
1st year of study with SOPH. Semester 2 Poor referencing Lecturer returns the assignment to you for correction; marks are withheld until it is returned corrected. Marks are deducted according to assessment criteria.

Avoiding referencing penalties

In accordance with the University Policy on plagiarism, the School of Public Health has instituted various measures to help you, as a scholar in training, to acquire proper referencing competence.

To avoid penalties, wasting lecturer time and fees – through, for example, having to repeat a whole year – please familiarise yourself with proper referencing practice. There is a comprehensive guidance in the Academic Handbook Section 5.3. It is very important for the success of your studies that you master these rules and apply them without fail in your writing. Should you encounter a referencing situation that is not explained in the Academic Handbook, your lecturer will be happy to give you guidance, but please make sure you ask before you hand in your assignment.

Signing the “Declaration by student”

The Assignment Cover Sheet that you are required to send with your assignment, contains a declaration which we required you to have signed: this declaration makes the promise that your assignment is your own work, and that you have used the required referencing system; when you sign this declaration, you are claiming the above to be the truth, and thus accepting all the penalties outlined above.

Note: We will return to you any assignment submitted without your signature in the “Declaration by student” slot.


On the next page you will find an Assignment Cover Sheet, which you are expected to use as the first page of all your assignments, including drafts. An electronic copy can be found on the USB flash drive sent to you.

Do not send it as a separate file, but as the first page of your assignment. Sending it as a separate file defeats the purpose of labelling your assignment, and it wastes Administrator time to do this for you. Assignments without a Cover Sheet will be returned to you.

Copy the cover sheet on the next page and insert it into each of your MS Word assignments.

School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape
Robert Sobukwe Road, Bellville 7535, Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27-21 - 959 2809 | Fax: +27- 21 - 959 2872 | Email: