Extenuating circumstances

What are extenuating circumstances?

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances which:

  • affect your ability to attend or complete an assessment or a number of assessments;
  • are exceptional;
  • are outside of your control;
  • can be corroborated by independent evidence;
  • occurred during or shortly before the assessment in question;

If you wish to claim extenuating circumstances you should obtain a claim form from your faculty or school office. 

The form should be submitted to your faculty office accompanied by independent corroborating evidence. 

Examples of circumstances which would NOT normally be considered valid:

  • Your alarm clock did not go off
  • Your car broke down, your train/bus was delayed or cancelled or you had other public transport problems (unless you can demonstrate that you had allowed adequate time to compensate for such problems which might reasonably have been anticipated)
  • Child care problems which you could have anticipated
  • Accidents or illness affecting your relatives or friends (unless serious, or you are the sole carer)
  • Unspecified anxiety, mild depression or examination stress
  • Cough, cold, upper respiratory tract infection, sore throat, minor viral infection (unless the illness was at its peak at the time of your examination), end-of-module test or in-class test and the corroborating evidence refers to the impact on your performance
  • Financial problems (other than cases of exceptional hardship)
  • Holidays, house moves, family celebrations or other events where you either have control over the date or may choose not to participate
  • Computer problems, corrupt data, disk or printer failure or similar
  • Problems with postal delivery of work (unless recorded delivery or registered mail)
  • Time management problems (for example, meeting deadlines)
  • Appointments (legal, medical etc.) which could have been rearranged
  • Territorial Army commitments or similar (unless unavoidable)
  • Sporting or recreational commitments (unless you are representing the University in a national competition or representing your country in an international competition)
  • De-registration.

Examples of circumstances which MIGHT be considered valid:

  • Hospitalisation, including operations
  • Health problems
  • Personal or psychological problems for which you are undergoing counselling or have been referred to a counsellor or other qualified practitioner
  • Childbirth (including a partner in labour)
  • Bereavement causing significant impact/effect
  • If you’ve had a major accident or injury, acute ailment or conditions which coincide with an assessment deadline or an examination or test, or are sufficiently long-lasting to impact on a significant part of your term
  • Clinical depression or other mental health problem
  • Recent burglary/theft/serious car accident
  • Jury Service which you cannot defer
  • Representing the University at national level or your country at international level in a sporting event
  • If you are a part-time student in full-time employment and have exceptional pressure of work or permanent change of employment circumstances
  • Late diagnosis of, for example, dyslexia, resulting in no support or examination provision
  • Separation or divorce – your own relationship or parental (provided the facts and the effects are independently corroborated)
  • Unavailability of the student portal prior to the deadline for your assignment or examination where it has been confirmed by the module leader that this would have had a material effect on the preparation for an assessment. 

Further information including a copy of the extenuating circumstances can be found by downloading the document below:

Submission of information on extenuating circumstances 

Your extenuating circumstances claim should be submitted as soon as feasible.  

In the case of assessed coursework/major project/dissertation or equivalent, your extenuating circumstances claim should be submitted as soon as possible, and normally no later than ten working days after the deadline for the submission of your work. 

If you have extenuating circumstances claims with respect to any of your formal examinations then you need to submit them no later than the Monday after the end of the formal examination week.