Extenuating circumstances can be any circumstances outside your control that impact your performance in an assessment.
Some common examples of extenuating circumstances are:
Even if you are not sure if your situation falls under extenuating circumstances , you should apply, or you can seek further advice from the Student Advice Centre.
Further advice and guidance is provided below.
You need to submit a completed extenuating circumstances form to the admin staff in your department who will allocate it appropriately or your personal tutor.
If you are applying on the grounds of medical reasons and your GP is University Health service, you have to complete this extenuating circumstances form, which will also request evidence from the GP.
You should submit the extenuating circumstances form before the exam date if you can’t sit it / before the coursework due date.
If you have sat the exam/ submitted the coursework you should aim to submit it as soon as possible and definitely by the end of the exam period.
If your extenuating circumstances are based on a medical reason you need to see your GP before the exam day or assessment due day. At the very latest you must see them on the day the exam or assessment is due. This is so that they can verify your circumstances as accurate at the time of assessment as they will not be able to give retrospective medical evidence if you go to see them after the exam/assessment due date.
If you have been seeing a different GP, SAMHS or a different health professional they too can provide the medical evidence but they should know of your circumstances before the exam / assessment due date.
You need to submit extenuating circumstances as a safety net if things have affected you outside your control even if you think you may pass the assessment.
It can protect you from receiving a fail mark on your record, being penalised for late submission or non-submission of work or non-attendance at exam and give you extra time.
It could also prevent you from getting automatically withdrawn from the university if the module result causes you to have reached your maximum number of resit attempts.
For assessments/ exams that are marked as ‘Not assessed’, it will also save you having to pay for a resit and getting a capped mark.
It can also be used in cased on integrated masters course or year in industry courses where progression on the master’s year / industry depends on you achieving a certain average. If you were unable to achieve that average due to your extenuating circumstances but otherwise would have done so based on past performance, you can request the exam board to consider allowing you to progress despite not meeting the grade average.
If you have already submitted an extenuating circumstances form for a particular assessment but still have been unable to complete it due to your extenuating circumstances you need to submit another extenuating circumstances form and request for the work to be ‘Not Assessed’ so that it doesn’t go down as a fail mark or Not Completed, which also uses one of your sitting attempts.
There are no published deal dienes for extenuating circumstances form and each department will have their own so check with your department if you’re unsure. However, the general rule is that you aim to get the form into the department by the last day of the exam period or at least the first few days of the week after before the exam boards meet.
If you don’t submit extenuating circumstances, you could:
You should always try to include evidence with your extenuating circumstances form as this will reduce the possibility of it getting refused.
Medical - If your GP is the university Health Service you will be using the online extenuating circumstances form, and the GP will complete the section required for them to give medical evidence. If you have a different GP or health professional, you can use the Section 5 of the paper extenuating circumstances form and get a health professional/ GP to complete that.
Alternatively, you can get a letter from your GP, SAMHS or other healthcare professional. They must explain what your health issue is, how its affected you and how it impacted your studies and ability to complete the exam / assessment / why you need an extension etc.
Personal circumstances vary and sometimes are not always easy to evidence, often a supporting letter from someone in authority can help or even from family or friends who are aware of the situation. If you are unsure what to provide, please make an appointment with an adviser at the Student Advice Centre who can advise on your individual situation.
There is a possible choice of two extenuating circumstances forms:
Tips on completing the form:
If you have requested an extension you should expect a response in around a week and if you don’t you should chase it up with your debarment.
For the other options such as ‘Not Assessed’ and ‘No Penalty for Late Submission’, you will not find out whether the extenuating circumstances have been accepted until the exam / assessment results are released.
This can be very stressful especially in the case where you have requested to defer the exams, therefore it is important to include all appropriate evidence with the form. Sometimes your department may be able to tell you earlier if it has been accepted or not.
If the exam board has not accepted your extenuating circumstances, the only way this can be challenged is through Academic Appeal. However you will need to provide new evidence to support your circumstances, that you were not able to for a valid reason, submit at the time.
Further information on Academic Appeals can be found here.
The examination period can be challenging, you can find a wide range of exam information and advice to help you here.
Please note: The information given below is also applicable to other assessed pieces of work such as coursework.
Whether the circumstances have affected you in the lead up to the exam or during the exam, or affected your ability to sit it all, you need to submit an extenuating circumstances form. Please see our detailed guidance above of extenuating circumstances and extenuating circumstances forms above for more information.
For all Personal Circumstances and non University Health Service matters use this form.
For students who have consulted the University Health Service about the matter and will be obtaining medical evidence from them it is this form.
Useful Support Services to contact
If the issues have significantly impacted on your ability to prepare for the exams, you should complete an extenuating circumstances form. You need to complete this extenuating circumstances form if the issues affected your mental health and you have sought support from the University Health Service. if you sought support from CWAG, SAMHS, your home GP or a different healthcare professional, the form given above can be used.
Inform department straightaway and then submit an extenuating circumstances form (guidance given above). If it is anything linked to medical / health issues, you need to see a doctor straight away, unless you have been seeing them regularly about this issue if it is long term.
First inform your department by email and then submit an extenuating circumstances form. You will need to see the GP either before the exam or on the day if it is medical/ health related, as you will need medical evidence.
Complete extenuating circumstances form and submit to your department.
If you can, you should request a report from the invigilator at the time to confirm this happened. If you canno, then you should email your department / personal tutor and tell them what happened.Use these for evidence with your extenuating circumstances form.
You should then (and even in the absence of this), complete and submit an extenuating circumstances form.
If your GP is the university Health Service you will be using the online extenuating circumstances form, and the GP will complete the section required for them to give medical evidence. If you have a different GP or health professional, you can use the Section 5 of the paper extenuating circumstances form and get a health professional/ GP to complete that.
Contact the exams team on 0114 222 1288 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are already registered with DDSS (Disability & Dyslexia Support Service), you should have a learning support plan and any special arrangements should have already been made for you.
If you don’t have a learning support plan, you have a long term health condition or disability or SPLd, you should arrange an appointment with a DDSS adviser who should be able to assist with this.
Alternatively you can go and see a doctor at the University Health Service who will be able to make a referral for special arrangements.
You can also contact the Exams Team in the university for help and support with this.
Firstly, inform your department by email and then submit an extenuating circumstances form.
You will need to see the GP either before the exam (or submission date), or on the day if it is medical/ health related, as you will need medical evidence.
In the first instance you should speak to your tutor first, to see if any informal resolution can be reached.
If extenuating circumstances are involved, you need to declare them to your department, and ask if they can accept a late extenuating circumstances form if you haven’t already submitted one.
You cannot submit an appeal until results are officially published.
Further information on Academic Appeals can be found here.