Mitigating circumstances and extension requests
If personal circumstances affect a student’s exams or assessments, or their attendance at teaching activities, they can make a request for mitigating circumstances. This includes extension requests relating to assessment deadlines.
Our policy and procedure documents explain when students can make a mitigating circumstances request, how these requests are assessed, and what mitigation may be applied if their request is approved:
Changes for 2022-23 academic year
Over the past three years, our students have had to deal with many impacts of the pandemic, including Covid restrictions and lockdowns. We introduced additional support with assessments for all our taught students through this period. From this year, we’re building some of those assessment commitments into our normal procedures for all students. We are also continuing to take some additional assessment measures for students in Covid-affected cohorts.
Changes to mitigating circumstances: We'll continue to accept mitigating circumstances requests for a wide variety of issues, and we'll accept a broader range of evidence for those requests.
- Letter from a GP - For 2022/23: We won't require a letter from a GP or healthcare provider for medical conditions. Instead, students can provide a variety of alternative evidence to support their request;
- Death certificates - We won’t require a death certificate as evidence in cases of bereavement. Instead, students can provide a variety of alternative evidence to support their request;
- IT issues - IT issues are still being accepted as a possible ground for mitigation. Guidance is available to assist Schools in identifying evidence that may be considered in IT-related mitigation cases. Information is provided for students on help with assessment issues (including IT matters), as well as general information on mitigating circumstances and extension requests.
- Long-term or recurring medical or mental health conditions
- Students who are registered with DASS will not normally have to provide medical evidence for mitigating circumstances requests that are related to their disability/ies.
- If they have a long-term or recurring medical or mental health condition that affects their studies, students should strongly consider registering with our Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). This will allow them to access a variety of support that is appropriate to their needs.
- Even if students are not registered with DASS, we will only ask for medical evidence once for mitigating circumstances relating to a long-term or recurring medical or mental health condition (unless there are accreditation or fitness-to-practice requirements);
During 2022/23, we plan to carry out a full review of the Policy on Mitigating Circumstances and the Mitigating Circumstances Procedures, with a view to updating these, including building in some of the recent temporary arrangements and clarifying standardised processes which have been identified as good practice during recent Student Experience Programme (SEP) development work.
Students should make any extension requests through the normal mitigating circumstances procedures in their School. Any arrangements that individual students have for automatic extensions through DASS will remain in place.
It is important that students receive timely notice of the outcome of their request. Requests received closer to the deadline are more likely to be handled through consideration of removal of late penalties, rather than as extension requests.
- Guidance: Dealing with disability-related requests for mitigation
- Mitigating circumstances policy and procedures: Inbound study abroad or exchange students
- Mitigating circumstances student guide: Explains what constitutes mitigating circumstances, how to apply, and how requests are assessed.
- Students’ Union mitigating circumstances advice
- Request for mitigation form: This is the standard University form, however, some Schools have their own versions or an online submission system so students should check their programme handbook or School intranet for full details of how to make a request in their area.
- Student self-certification policy and procedure
- Help with exam and assessment issues - online assessment support relating to IT issues
- Guidance on mitigating circumstances relating to IT issues
- Elite sport: elite sporting commitments has been added to the list of acceptable grounds for mitigating circumstances. Please also see Academic Flexibility Guidance Notes (Sport) for details of academic flexibility arrangements for students who are elite sportspersons.
Archived versions of the Policy and Procedures documents
- Policy on Mitigating Circumstances - June 2015 version, which was valid from September 2015 to end of August 2017
- Mitigating Circumstances Panels: Terms of Reference - valid from September 2015 to end of August 2017