Writing your NEA is an imprtant step and you will need to follow our guidelines carefully to get the best possible mark.

Before you start

Before you start your coursework please read the introduction to your course materials and the lessons relating to coursework/NEA. You cannot submit your final NEA for marking unless your tutor has already seen at least 4 Tutor-marked assignments, a plan and a draft, but this does not mean that you cannot start work on your NEA before you have done 4 TMAs or that you have to wait until you come to the NEA section in the course.

Your NEA has to be your own work and your tutor has to follow very strict rules over how much help they can give you.

Please read the “Instructions for Candidates; non-examination assessments” on the JCQ website (JCQ is the body which sets the rules for all exam boards, including AQA).

There is also a much longer document on the JCQ website called “Instructions for conducting non-examination assessments” which you might want to look at to see the rules that Oxford Home Schooling and your tutor have to abide by.

Choosing your topic

Your tutor will advise you and try to guide you towards the topics/titles which have the best chance of success, but you have the final choice and if you wish to be more independent then your tutor will still help as much as they can. Be aware that the title and the outline planning of your project is where your tutor will be able to give you the most help and guidance. Once you have started writing then the amount of help they can give you is very limited. Please also note that a discussion on the telephone, even if you have to take notes, is likely to be much more useful than trying to email. You may submit a plan of your project, one draft and then the final version to your tutor and nothing else.

If you are doing History A level and you wish to use a different title from the one that we have chosen then please discuss this with your tutor. The 15th November is the latest date that you can submit a different title for approval by AQA.


We do not have a formal deadline for submitting either a plan or your draft as students all work at different rates. However, please be very aware that the final and absolutely non-negotiable date for receiving your coursework is March 15th. We cannot and will not accept any work after this date, please do not assume that there are any circumstances in which we can relax this deadline. Do not work to the AQA deadlines, these are different for a reason.

You should, therefore, work back from this date and allow yourself time to submit a plan and a draft to give yourself the best chance of doing well.

Assessment Objectives and other help

The AQA website has a lot of information on what will be needed to gain the best marks in your NEA, these are called “assessment objectives”. They are available for each individual subject and you need to make yourself very familiar with them. There is also a great deal of other information by subject which you will find useful. Do not ignore it, discuss it with your tutor and please try to follow any suggestions made by your tutor, they will know what gets the best marks.

However always bear in mind that your tutor cannot specifically tell you what to write or how to write it, they can only give guidelines which you should try to follow.

If they give you more than “general” advice this has to be taken into account and marks will be lost.


Your tutor is not allowed to authenticate your final work unless they have seen at least 4 Tutor-marked assignments, a plan and a draft. This is to ensure that they can see that the work has your style and is of your standard. After receiving your final work the tutor will need to have a detailed discussion with you about your ideas, concepts and sources.

Your work will be tested for plagiarism and if any is found your work will be rejected and you will get no marks.

Submission of final NEA;

You will be required to send both an electronic and a paper version of your final project to your tutor by the 15th March. No handwritten coursework will be accepted.

The paper version must also have a Candidate Record Form, signed and attached.

Please put your name, centre and candidate number on every page. Tie the pages together with string or a treasury tag, do not use plastic binders or staples.

We will not accept or mark your NEA without all of the above being received by your tutor on or before the 15th March. No extensions will be allowed.

Marking your NEA

Your paper will go through three distinct phases

Prime Marking – Your tutor will mark your final coursework.

Internal Moderation – The Prime mark will be checked and compared to the marking of other Oxford Open Learning tutors by the Head of Department to ensure that all our tutors are marking at the same level. This is so we can be sure your Prime Mark was neither too severe nor too generous.

After Internal moderation you will be advised of your mark by our exams office. If you believe that you have been unfairly marked then you have one week to challenge the process that was followed to determine your mark. You cannot dispute the mark itself only the method by which the work was marked. Your challenge will be considered by an independent assessor and AQA will be informed if any irregularities are uncovered.

External Moderation – The entirety of Oxford Open Learning’s marking will then be scrutinised by an AQA moderator and compared to that of other centres.  Your mark may be changed at this stage.  We have no control over this part of the process.