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Unfortunately; there are occasions when circumstances beyond your control and unforeseen can impact on daily life. To support our students in these situations it may be appropriate to consider applying for consideration of what could be 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. Everyday occurrences such as colds or known conditions such as hay fever will not qualify unless the effects are unusually severe. Preventable situations such as printer, IT or travel issues will not be deemed to be valid.

A claim for extenuating circumstances may relate to the full module, or part of the module.

To submit an extenuating circumstances claim will need to fully complete a Extenuating Circumstances Claim Form 2018 to 2019, including module codes and submission dates and collect your evidence.

There are a number of ways in which you can submit your form;

  • You can email your claim form and scanned copies of all your evidence to Assessment@Cumbria.ac.uk.
  • Hard copies of the EC form can be collected from your local Programme Administration office. The EC form should be completed in full and returned with appropriate evidence in a sealed EC envelope to your local Programme Administration team or directly to  the Assessment and Awards Team. 

The contents of the EC claim will only be viewed by the Extenuating Circumstances Panel. The details you provide on the EC envelope will ensure the claim is presented at the appropriate meeting. Further information on the Extenuating Circumstances Panel can be found here.

FAQs

  • When do I need to submit my Extenuating Circumstances claim?

    EC claims should 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 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must be timely i.e. not too far in advance as any documentary evidence you submit in support of your claim risks being out of date by the time of the submission date or your circumstances may no longer apply.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.

  • 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 and submit supporting documentary, independent evidence with your claim. 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 

    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.

  • What constitutes 'documentary evidence'?

    The following are examples of documents that may be considered as evidence:

    • Medical certificate
    • Hospital/doctor’s letter
    • Solicitor’s letter
    • Death Certificate

    Documentary evidence must be independently verifiable and therefore letters from family members or friends will not be accepted.  Students must keep their Personal Tutor informed of any adverse personal circumstances. Where circumstances are of a nature that verifiable evidence is not available and your course tutor or personal tutor is aware of your situation they may provide a letter of support as evidence on your behalf. Newspaper articles, copies of internet pages or photographs (of any nature) will not be considered as verified evidence unless such documents directly link you to the circumstances/news stories being discussed.

    Where medical evidence is supplied it must 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.

    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.

  • What happens to my claim in the Assessment Board?

    To ensure confidentiality EC claims are considered by a panel prior to the Module Assessment Board (MAB).

    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.

    You can view some scenarios here which should help to make this clear.

  • 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.

    Staff at your local Programme Administration (PAd) office or the Assessment and Awards team will be able to provide further help and information.

    If your situation is of a sensitive nature and you wish to speak to a member of the PAd or the Assessment and Awards Team in private, please inform them of this so that they can make suitable arrangements to speak to you.

    You can also speak to your Personal Tutor or Programme Leader to seek advice before submitting ECs.

    Staff within the Students’ Union will also be able to provide advice and assistance.

  • Extenuating Circumstances - Case Studies

    You may find these case studies of Extenuating Circumstances useful.