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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. 

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.

Forms should be completed online and sent to note we cannot open shared files and so need to be sent as an attachment on an email.

The contents of any EC claim will only be viewed by the Extenuating Circumstances Panel. Further information about the EC Panel can be found in Appendix 3e of the University of Cumbria Academic Regulations.


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

    EC claims and supporting evidence should be submitted within 5 working days of the deadline for the assessment item affected by the EC's.

    Evidence supplied with your EC claim must coincide with the submission dates. 

  • 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.

    If you are having trouble filling in or sending the form, please email for advice

    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.

  • 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.


  • 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

    Students should keep their Personal Tutor informed of any adverse personal circumstances. Where circumstances are of a nature that make it difficult to obtain independent evidence and 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.

    Documentary evidence must be independently verifiable and therefore letters from family members or friends will not be accepted. 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. 

    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 Confirmation Board (MCB).

    The panel considers whether the circumstances are valid and the decision is reported at the MCB who recommend the next course of action to the University Progression and Award Board (UPAB).

    Decisions of the EC panel remain provisional until confirmed by the MCB and UPAB and you will not be notified of the outcome until the official release date of results following the UPAB.

  • 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 Confirmation Board (MCB) and University Progression and Award Board (UPAB).

    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 see some examples of the impact of EC claims and impact on assessment offered in accordance with the current regulations.

  • 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 in 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 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 and the discussion of possible extension dates.

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



  • Extenuating Circumstances - Case Studies

    You may find these EC Case studies for Students  useful.

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