Q. What are the penalties for being over or under the word count?
The University's Academic Regulations have a section on exceeding word limits (section 6 L) - which covers what is and is not counted as part of the word count. It also covers what the penalties are for going over the word count.
In short, should the work be over the word count, how far it goes is taken into consideration and brings the overall mark down. For those assignments which are pass/fail, going over the word count can result in a fail grade.