The process for submitting an extenuating circumstances claim is changing soon. This page will be updated with the information on how to submit a claim very shortly.
Please note: If you are a final year student and submit a University Level Extenuating Circumstances in Semester 2, you will not be able to attend a graduation ceremony that summer as your record will be incomplete at the Semester 2 Exam Board.
Students due to resit exams in July are expected to make themselves available during the exam period. Failure to attend an examination will mean the module appears as a fail on your student record and may affect your progression to the next level of study.
What is an Extenuating Circumstance?
The Extenuating Circumstances Policy states:
“Extenuating circumstances are defined as serious unforeseen, unpreventable circumstances that significantly disrupt a student’s ability to undertake assessment.”
What is the difference between ‘Programme Level’ and ‘University Level’ Extenuating Circumstances claims?
Programme Level EC claims are requests for extension of submission deadline. These EC claims are for short term situations which require a short delay to the submission of coursework of no more than 10 working days after the original deadline.
University Level EC claims are for longer term situations which will affect main examination periods and/or a delay to the submission of coursework of more than 10 working days.
I have already submitted my coursework/sat an exam but had extenuating circumstances at the time. Can I submit a retrospective EC claim?
The University will not accept your EC claim if you have completed the assessment in question since this contradicts the 'fit to sit' section of the EC Policy. By submitting coursework/attending an exam you are declaring yourself fit to undertake the assessment or exam. Therefore, no concurrent or subsequent claim for extenuating circumstances relating to the assessment will be accepted.
What types of supporting evidence may be accepted with my EC claim?
All claims must be substantiated by third party, independent written documentary evidence. It is your responsibility as the student to submit all supporting evidence for your EC claim. The decision made on an EC claim solely depends on the information provided on the form and the supporting evidence attached.
Evidence must be relevant, legible and in English. Evidence obtained overseas in another language must be accompanied by a certified translation.
The types of supporting evidence required will depend on your extenuating circumstances. Please refer to the list outlining some of the different types of evidence accepted:
- dated medical certificate/letter from a registered medical practitioner / University Disability Advisor/ Counsellor
- Family Illness
- dated medical certificate / letter from certified medical adviser (e.g. family doctor).
- bank Statements (from the past 3 months)
- copy of death certificate
- Acute Personal/Emotional Circumstances
- letter from Student Wellbeing/Counselling Service.
Please note: the authenticity of the documentation submitted is checked. If there are any fraudulent submissions you will be reported and investigated under the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
My evidence is regarding a close family member who has a different family name to me. Will I be required to demonstrate my relationship to this person?
Yes – if your claim relates to the illness or death of a relative, whose name is different from your own, you must provide a birth certificate / marriage certificate / letter from health professional which clarifies your relationship to the person whose illness / death has given rise to your claim for Extenuating Circumstances.
May I submit a letter of support from my tutor / lecturer or another individual as evidence for my EC claim?
No, this will not normally be acceptable as evidence. You must provide independent third party evidence to support the unforeseen circumstances for which you are claiming for.
What happens if I cannot submit the evidence in time – should I still submit my claim?
Yes. If supporting evidence is submitted at a later date, your claim may be re-considered by the Chair of the panel. If the Chair judges that evidence could have been reasonably expected to be submitted on time the Chair will reject your claim.
What can be considered grounds for Extenuating Circumstances?
Please refer to the list displaying a non-exhaustive list of examples where circumstances may be considered as Extenuating Circumstances:
- significant Illness (i.e accident/injury)
- death or serious illness of a close family member or depdendant
- family crisis directly affecting the student
- absence caused by maternity/paternity/adoption leave
- absence caused by jury service
- financial hardship
- unavoidable Absence (i.e eviction)
- loss of Immigration status
- training camps and competition at National or International level
- other unforeseen circumstances.
Is there a deadline to submit EC claims by?
Yes. The Extenuating Circumstances submission deadlines are published at the beginning for the academic year across all Faculties and will be set for each assessment period or semester for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students.
I have submitted a late EC claim, will this be accepted?
The academic regulations outline that “normally, late submission of a claim for extenuating circumstances will not be accepted.” However, the University recognise that there may be situations where students are unable to submit an EC claim by the published deadline. This may be due to unforeseen occurrences (e.g. emergency in-patient hospital treatment). Depending on the circumstances your late EC claim may be accepted, provided you are able to present evidence justifying the reason for the late submission.
Can I obtain a medical certificate from my Doctor after I have recovered from my illness?
Each case will be considered on its individual merits, but a claim for Extenuating Circumstances may be rejected if the evidence has been obtained after the time at which you claim to have fallen ill, unless you can provide evidence as to why this delay was unavoidable.
Is it worth submitting Extenuating Circumstances for an assessment as an ‘insurance against failing’?
No. Once a claim is submitted it will be assessed. However, if you submit work or sit an exam after submitting a claim then that claim will become void, even if you fail that assessment due to the 'fit to sit' regulation within the Extenuating Circumstances policy.
What will happen if I do not submit my coursework, or submit it after the deadline?
You will receive a mark of zero for the assessment in question if you either fail to submit coursework or submit after the submission deadline. You will be given an opportunity to resit that assessment or exam during the next assessment period. However, if you pass the assessment, re-sit penalties will be applied as a cap to the pass mark (40% UG programmes and 50% PG programmes).
What happens if I submit late formative coursework?
Formative assessments are submitted to benefit from the feedback received. Submitting such work late is discourteous and disrupts the plans staff will have made in allocating time to provide the feedback.
Penalty for late submissions of formative coursework is forfeiting any right to feedback
In the case of late submission of formative work, it is entirely up to the member of staff to agree whether or not feedback may still be given.
What happens if I cannot submit my coursework on or by the deadline date because of delays with printing or transport problems?
It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that coursework is completed in a timely manner before the deadline set by the Programme. Missing a coursework deadline date due to circumstances on the day of submission will not normally be successful.
Students are advised to finish and submit coursework before the last available date (coursework deadline). If you choose to leave it to ‘the last minute’ you are choosing to put yourself at risk of non-submission through poor planning.
What if I submit my coursework on time by the deadline? Can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances in order to improve my marks?
The EC process is not made available for students to improve on the work handed in or for it to be reassessed.
If you hand your coursework in on time, it will be assessed and a mark awarded based on the quality of that work. You will not be able to apply for Extenuating Circumstances if you have already submitted your coursework.
Can I submit an EC claim for coursework?
Yes – however you cannot normally apply for Extenuating Circumstances for coursework you hand in on time. This also applies to partial submission of your coursework – so you cannot claim EC if you hand in a piece of unfinished work before the deadline.
Extenuating Circumstances cannot give you a higher mark or a chance to resubmit an improved piece of work.
If you are unable to submit your work because of situations you believe constitute Extenuating Circumstances then you should submit a claim as soon as possible.
Can an EC claim be submitted for group coursework?
Yes – an individual’s claim for Extenuating Circumstances can be considered for group coursework.
You should however bear in mind that members of the group are expected to work together to produce the group output – this is so even in the case of the absence of a member of the group.
Please note – each member of the group will have to submit their own Extenuating Circumstances claim and supply their own evidence. Group applications’ for Extenuating Circumstances will not be accepted.
Can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances for my dissertation or thesis?
It would be unusual for a student to need to apply for Extenuating Circumstances for a dissertation or thesis, since it is planned and written over an extended period of time.
If you do intend to apply for EC for your dissertation or thesis, you should supply evidence to show that you had been making satisfactory progress with the work before the extenuating circumstances occurred. (E.g. supervision records, or the feedback which your supervisor has given on your drafts).
What happens if I was not given adequate supervision for my project?
This would not be covered by Extenuating Circumstances but might give grounds for a Complaint which would be handled under the Student’s Complaints Procedure.
What happens if I was misinformed of the coursework deadline or examination date?
This would not be covered by Extenuating Circumstances. However, it might be grounds for an Academic Appeal on the basis of a procedural irregularity or it may be dealt with as a Complaint
Can I claim Extenuating Circumstances on the basis that I have a disability?
If you have a disability which is affecting your studies you should contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service (within Student Wellbeing) for support.
If you have a long-standing condition then you will need to register with Student Wellbeing.
What is meant by a serious impact on performance?
Many things may have an impact on your performance – a poor night’s sleep, minor illness (e.g. cough / cold), a minor injury, financial concerns, etc. Whilst these may well affect your performance they would not be expected to have a serious impact and hence would not normally be acceptable as Extenuating Circumstances.
What is meant by the statement that I am expected to make reasonable plans to take into account commonly occurring circumstances even those which, on occasion, may have been unforeseeable and unpreventable?
For example, if you commonly take a route to University which experiences severe traffic delays on occasion, you would be expected to leave earlier or plan to take an alternative route on the morning of an examination. The important point is that it is up to you to prepare so that these types of occurrences can be handled if they arise.
Does an Extenuating Circumstances claim allow me to get a better grade/raise my mark(s)?
Extenuating Circumstance do not allow you to achieve better marks by improving and completing coursework past the deadline, nor does it enable you to get a better mark in the exam(s) for which you have been granted Extenuating Circumstances.
What a successful EC claim does allow is for a further attempt of the affected piece(s) of work without penalty – i.e. if you successfully pass the assessment your new mark for the attempt for which you were awarded Extenuating Circumstances will be given without being capped at the pass mark.
Can I withdraw an EC claim once submitted?
No, once submitted your claim will be assessed. It is a serious step to apply for Extenuating Circumstances and you should not apply unless you really believe you are justified in doing so.
I have submitted a Programme-level EC. What happens next?
Your Course Lead, or a member of staff as nominated by the Faculty will decide on the outcome of your EC claim. Each case will be considered on its merits and a judgement made as to whether the claim for EC is to be granted – solely on the basis of the form and the documentary evidence submitted.
You will be informed by your Programme via email of the decision on your application, usually within 5 working days.
Instances of remission of penalties for late submission will be recorded by the Programme Administrator.
Any student requiring more than two remissions in one year will be seen by the Course Lead and appropriate advice / suitable action will be taken.
Who reviews EC claims and makes a decision as to whether it is approved or rejected?
Programme Level EC claims are reviewed by either the Programme team or the relevant Faculty staff.
University Level EC claims should be emailed to email@example.com. These are then reviewed by the University Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Board for consideration. The Panel consists of the following members:
- Chair (Usually the Head of Registry Services or their nominee)
- Representative from each School
- Clerk to record the outcome and recommendations of the Panel.
What happens at the Extenuating Circumstances Sub Board meeting?
The Sub-Board establish the authenticity of the evidence supporting EC claims. Any fraudulent submission may render you liable to action being taken against you under the Student Disciplinary Procedure.
They also look at the validity of the documentary evidence presented to ensure it is appropriate and relates to the assessment in question and has been submitted by the required date.
The EC claims are reviewed and recommendations are made to the University Exam Board regarding whether or not individual claims should be accepted.
When will I know if my claim for EC has been approved?
You will be notified as soon as possible after the Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Committee meeting has taken place. The University aim to inform students on the outcome of their EC claim up to fifteen working days after the meeting. If for any reason it goes beyond the ten working day period you will be informed about the delay.
What happens if I am granted Extenuating Circumstances for an examination?
If your EC application for an exam is successful you will be offered a further attempt at the exam without penalty if that was your first submission point (i.e. your mark will not be capped at the pass mark).
For Level 4 and 5 students, the next opportunity to resit the exam will be in the July resit period.
For Level 6 students, the next opportunity to resit Semester 1 exams is in Semester 2 and Semester 2 exams in the July resit period.
I do not agree with the decision made on the outcome of my EC claim, what can I do?
If you feel that there has been a procedural irregularity with the way your EC claim has been handled and/or have been subjected to bias and prejudice then you are entitled to appeal the decision via the Academic Appeals procedure.
I submitted an EC claim which was approved as a result of my serious illness. I am now due to return, what do I need to do?
Before resuming your studies, you will need to provide an authorised note from a certified medical practitioner confirming your fitness to return to studies to Registry Services at the earliest opportunity available.