Unfortunately; there are occasions when unforeseen circumstances beyond your control can impact on study, assessment and daily life. In these situations it may be appropriate to consider applying for these to be considered as Extenuating Circumstances.
Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) is a phrase which is used to describe serious and exceptional factors outside your control which adversely affected your performance during your study. These factors may have prevented you from attending examinations or other timed assessments or caused you to miss assessment submission deadlines.
Examples of extenuating circumstances are illness, accidents or serious family problems.
Covid-19 - Special arrangements to support you
Longer extensions to deadlines are available through your programme team
A wider range of circumstances, including problems with IT and circumstances at home, are now eligible for consideration if they have a negative impact on your study and assessment
Students do not need to provide independent evidence of the circumstances they are claiming; you may self-certify in the current emergency
For consideration of circumstances in relation to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on your studies, in the first instance, you are encouraged to contact your tutor to discuss the possibility of arranging extensions for your submissions. During the current emergency, tutors can consider granting longer extensions to support you in completing your work. If you will not be able to meet the deadlines (even with extensions) or you feel that the standard of your work has suffered from circumstances beyond your control, then please complete the ECs form in accordance with the Extenuating Circumstances guidance on this page.
Due to the current unprecedented circumstances, consideration will be given to a wider range of adverse situations not normally considered under the EC procedure. This may include, ill health of yourself or close family members, bereavement, limited or unreliable IT access, home circumstances or caring responsibilities making study difficult, anxiety, and involvement with Key Worker roles as defined by the Government. This list is not exhaustive.
It is understood that evidence may not always be available, and may be more difficult to obtain. If you have evidence, you are welcome to submit it, but it is not essential. Please use the form to give as much information as you can of the circumstances and their impact on you.
A claim for extenuating circumstances may relate to the full module, or part of the module
To submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim you will need to complete an Extenuating Circumstances Claim Form, including module codes and submission dates, and giving as much information as possible about the circumstances and their impact on you. This information is held confidentially.
Currently due to the Government’s instructions, our campuses are closed and staff are working remotely. Therefore, forms and documents must be scanned and sent by email to email@example.com. We are unable to access posted documents at this time. If you cannot complete the form electronically or scan it, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for support with submitting the form.
The contents of the EC claim will only be viewed by the Extenuating Circumstances Panel.Further information on the Extenuating Circumstances Panel can be found here.
When do I need to submit my Extenuating Circumstances claim?
EC claims should normally be submitted within 5 working days of the last assessment (i.e. last assessment submission date or final examination) for the module for which ECs are being claimed. If you are submitting the form more than 5 working days after the last assessment, please include information on the form to tell us why you could not send it sooner.
If you wish to submit your claim before the submission date, it must be timely i.e. not too far in advance as any documentary evidence you submit (and we accept that during the COVID-19 emergency medical and other evidence may not be accessible) in support of your claim risks being out of date by the time of the submission date. Additionally, your circumstances may no longer apply.
My tutor knows about my extenuating circumstances. Do I still need to submit the form?
Yes. The panel can only consider claims that have been submitted on a fully completed EC form.
This is to preserve confidentiality in the process, and to ensure we get your information reliably if your tutor is not at work throughout.
In exceptional cases, if you are incapacitated (either due to a physical or mental illness) and therefore not able to complete the EC form yourself, the form may be completed on your behalf by a member of staff (e.g. Personal Tutor, Programme Leader). However, it is your responsibility to contact the member of staff and ask them to do this for you, the panel will need to see evidence that you have asked the member of staff to complete this form for you
Due to the current unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 emergency, consideration will be given to a wider range of adverse situations not normally considered under the EC procedure. This may include, ill health of yourself or close family members, bereavement, limited or unreliable IT access, home circumstances or caring responsibilities making study difficult, anxiety, and involvement with Key Worker roles as defined by the Government. This list is not exhaustive.
What happens if I don't fill in the form in full or don't provide documentary evidence?
Your claim may be deemed invalid if you fail to provide enough information or evidence for the panel to consider your case. It is essential that you include module codes, titles and submission dates on your form. You must also give a clear and concise explanation about how your circumstances have impacted on your study which has led to your claim for extenuating circumstances
Please note, you are enocouraged to provide evidence where available but it is accepted that during the COVID-19 emergency, medical and other evidence may not be accessible. You can submit your claim without evidence, on the basis that you are self-certifying.
What constitutes 'documentary evidence'?
During the COVID-19 emergency, students may submit a claim for ECs on the basis of self-certification, and therefore without additional evidence.
The following are examples of documents that may be considered as evidence if they are available:
Hospital / doctor's Letter
Students should keep their Personal Tutor informed of any adverse personal circumstances. Where circumstances are of a nature that your course tutor or personal tutor is aware of your situation they may provide a letter of support as evidence on your behalf.
Where medical evidence is supplied it should include dates, time frame and a medical opinion about the likely effect of illness on your ability to study for and/or submit for assessment. During the COVID-19 emergency, students are permitted to self-certify for illnesses rather than use the limited resources of the NHS for providing sick notes.
Any information submitted as part of an academic appeal and/or extenuating circumstances claim which subsequently is identified as fraudulent will be disregarded from the purpose of the EC/appeal. If you submit fraudulent information you may be referred for consideration under the Adjudication Procedure and/or Disciplinary Procedure or Fitness for Professional Practise Procedure
What happens if I don't make a valid claim?
If your ECs are deemed ‘not valid’ the original assessment result will be confirmed and if you are entitled to a reassessment opportunity this will proceed as normal.
The panel considers whether the circumstances are valid and the decision is reported at the MAB who recommend the next course of action to the University Assessment Board (UAB).
Decisions of the EC panel remain provisional until confirmed by the MAB and UAB and you will not be notified of the outcome until the official release date of results following the UAB.
When will I be informed of the outcome of my EC claim?
All Extenuating Circumstances decisions made by the panel must be approved by the Module Assessment Board (MAB) and University Assessment Board (UAB).
Once they have been confirmed by the Assessment Boards the EC decision will be displayed on your Statement of Results and in ICON along with your module result.
The recommendation will likely note: EC (Valid), followed by an assessment recommendation, or EC (Not valid).
In the case of a non valid claim no recommendation will be made if you have passed the module.
What will happen as a result of a valid claim?
If your claim for extenuating circumstances has been deemed valid, there are a number of likely outcomes:
If you have passed the module, you may be offered the opportunity to void the mark and take the assessment again as for the first time (this is called ‘deferred assessment’ and the mark will not be capped at 40% for undergraduate students or 50% for postgraduate students). Please note that even if the new mark is lower than the original mark, it will stand.
If you have passed the module and do not wish to take the assessment again you must contact the assessment team within 10 working days of receiving your results to accept the mark.
If you have failed the module and have a mark below 40% for undergraduate study or 50% for postgraduate study, the mark will be voided and you will be offered a deferred assessment.
Depending on your EC claim and the details competed in the EC form there may be some instances when you may receive a valid EC outcome for one element of assessment within a module but not another. In such cases, where both elements of assessment have been failed, it is standard practice for the earlier assessment attempt to be offered first as the outcome of this assessment may impact on the potential requirement for the remaining assessment to be undertaken.
Where can I find help and more information on ECs?
Further information on the University’s policies and procedures on Extenuating Circumstances can be found within the Academic Regulations.
Note that during the COVID-19 emergency, the University is operating with Emergency Academic Regulations and procedures. In relation to ECs, this means that a much wider range of circumstances can be considered as valid, and we will accept claims without documentary evident if it is inaccessible and students can also self-certify.
Also remember that we have amended the rules on Extensions to deadlines, so your tutor may be able to grant you extra time to complete your work: please speak to your Personal Tutor or Module Tutor if you think an extension might help in your current situation.
If your situation is of a sensitive nature and you wish to speak to a member of the Assessment and Awards Team in private, please inform them of this so that they can make suitable arrangements to speak to you.