The information regarding what is included in the word count of an assessment can be found in section 13.3.2 of the SRF 2016-2017 on Assessment Practices, which contains the following:-
'Students will be given target word counts or equivalents for coursework assessments. The instructions for the assessment should make the consequences of exceeding or failing to reach the word count clear before the student undertakes the assessment. Word counts include footnotes, quotes and reference citations within the text of the work. The reference list, bibliography and appendices are excluded, as are captions for images, figures or tables.'
I hope that clarifies the situation, but please either email firstname.lastname@example.org or come to a Library drop in, held most afternoons from 2-4pm, for further guidance.
A link to the Assessment Practices section 13 of the SRF can be found here.