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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.

The policy

The following 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. A new Procedure for Extensions is also available, setting out the procedures for considering students’ requests for extensions to their coursework or other written assessments:

All documents updated for implementation from the start of the 2023/24 academic year.

Changes for 2023-24 academic year

During 2022/23, a review of the Policy on Mitigating Circumstances and the Mitigating Circumstances Procedures was carried out, with a view to updating the documents, including building in some of the recent temporary arrangements put in place since the start of the Covid pandemic and clarifying standardised processes which have been identified as good practice during recent Student Experience Programme (SEP) development work.

Working across the functional teams, and under the direction of SEP, a number of Professional Services (PS) groups reviewed Mitigating Circumstances processes, with a view to developing standard practice that align with the following principles:

  • Students as our focus
  • Single PS team
  • Excellent service provision
  • Simplicity, consistency and agility

Within this, particular attention was given to

  • improving turnaround time of applications;
  • streamlining activity and reducing opportunities for subjective judgement wherever possible;
  • ensuring that the management of mitigating circumstances involves partnership working between PS and academic colleagues;
  • striving to ease the burden of administrative tasks assigned to academic colleagues whilst maintaining academic rigour and oversight of decision-making relating to assessment and progression of our students.

The key changes from the current policy and procedures are:

  • Extension requests being separated out from other Requests for Mitigation and routinely considered for approval by PS colleagues;
  • All other Requests for Mitigation being triaged and considered by PS colleagues in the first instance, enabling them to make decisions to accept or reject requests.  Some requests may need to be discussed with relevant academic colleagues as necessary before final decisions are made.
  • Academic Programme leads/programme teams in Schools will determine their own clear parameters for each course unit against which requests for mitigation will be considered, including details of cases/situations where PS colleagues will refer requests to academic colleagues.

The updated policy and procedure documents are linked to above, ready for implementation from the start of the 2023/24 academic year.

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);


Extension requests

For 2023/24, a new, separate Procedure for Extensions is being implemented, to enable a more streamlined process and swifter consideration of requests for extensions.

Any arrangements that individual students have for automatic extensions through DASS will remain in place.

Supporting documents

For staff:

For students: