Extenuating Circumstances (ECs)

Some students face significant unplanned and unforeseen events in their personal life that occur after their course has started, which have a greater impact on their studies than can be solved by the use of an extension. If this applies to you, the University is ready to support you both with regard to your course and your personal wellbeing through a process called Extenuating Circumstances.

Extenuating Circumstances include situations where you have experienced:

Significant illness or injury

  • The death or critical/significant illness of a close family member/dependant
  • Family crisis or major financial problems leading to acute stress
  • Absence for jury service or maternity, paternity or adoption leave
  • A criminal act where you have been a victim such as assault, sexual assault or rape
  • In exceptional cases absences caused by work commitments will be considered


Extenuating Circumstances do not include:

  • holidays, moving house and events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected
  • assessments that are scheduled close together
  • misreading the timetable or misunderstanding the requirements for assessments
  • inadequate planning and time management
  • failure, loss or theft of a computer or printer that prevents submission of work on time. Students should back up work regularly and not leave completion so late that they cannot find another computer or printer
  • consequences of paid employment (except in some special cases for part-time students)
  • examination stress or panic attacks not diagnosed as illness
  • being unable to access the University’s computer network - in the case of debt



What is the deadline for submitting Extenuating Circumstances?

Although this may be a difficult time for you, it is in your best interest to apply as early as possible. You must apply no later than 3 working days after any examination or assessment submission date. Do not wait until you receive your assessment results to submit a claim.

What may happen if my Extenuating Circumstances are approved?

If your application for ECs is approved, you should not sit any examinations or hand in assessed work until you feel able to do so (or when any period of time away from study granted by the EC process expires).

You will be advised what you need to do regarding your assessments. For example:

  • you may be given an extended deadline
  • an assessment may be rescheduled to a later date
  • you may be advised to interrupt your studies for a period
  • you may be granted a reassessment
  • you may be given a different form of assessment


Your Academic Advisor, module or course tutor may be able to offer guidance or support or make you aware of where additional help is available. The Student Union may also be able to provide advice through the Advice Centre.

What happens if I have approved ECs and I still hand in work or sit an exam?

If you still hand in work or sit any exams, this will be considered as a first assessment attempt and your work will be marked. Although you may have passed, if you feel that you have not performed as well as normally because of the ECs, you have the right to submit an appeal within 2 weeks of receiving the result. Any re-attempt at an assessment granted upon appeal will be considered as a first sit, in that your mark will not be capped at a minimum, and the higher of the two grades achieved will be awarded.  Find out more about the Appeals process here.

What happens if my Extenuating Circumstances are rejected?

If your request is refused you must complete your assessments as normal.


Extenuating Circumstances submission process

Find out how to submit an application here