What help is available if my assessments are impacted by circumstances outside my control?
During your studies at the University of Liverpool, you may experience circumstances outside your control which impact on your ability to complete assessments. We encourage you to contact your School Department’s Learning and Teaching Support Officer (LTSO) or wellbeing team, or to make use of our other support services.
In addition to these support services, we also have the following processes in place to help you:
- If you feel like your performance on an already submitted assessment has been impacted – applying for Extenuating Circumstances may allow you to resit and/or retake part or all of your relevant modules and associated exams/assessments and/or have your degree classification reviewed. Speak to your local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in your School to clarify what your outcomes may be.
- If you are unable to submit your coursework by the deadline – Exemption from late penalties may prevent you from having marks deducted from your work.
If you feel that both Extenuating Circumstances and Exemption from late penalties have impacted your studies, you may be able to apply for both processes separately. Speak to your local LTSO, wellbeing team, or other support staff in your school to find out more.
If you are unsure which approach to follow you should contact your Student Experience Team as soon as possible to discuss who can provide you with relevant support and guidance.
What are Extenuating Circumstances?
Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) are circumstances or situations which are:
- Outside of your control
- Likely to substantially impact your ability to:
- study prior to an assessment, exam and/or practical
- sit your exams and/or submit coursework
Extenuating Circumstances can include but are not limited to:
- the death of a family member or loved one
- issues with your physical or mental health
- serious medical problems
Extenuating Circumstances do not include:
- Errors with your computer close to a submission deadline
- Sleeping in and missing the start of an exam
This is not an exhaustive list. For more information, read the University’s policy on extenuating circumstances in relation to performance in assessments and examinations.
How do I apply for Extenuating Circumstances?
If you feel your performance has been impacted by Extenuating Circumstances, you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances application as soon as possible, providing relevant evidence and supporting documentation where appropriate, as described in our Extenuating Circumstances policy
What if I cannot get evidence in time?
You can submit your Extenuating Circumstances claim and supply evidence at a later date. Speak to your School’s LTSO or wellbeing team to find out your deadline for submitting evidence.
What happens if my Extenuating Circumstances are approved?
If approved, the Board of Examiners will take your Extenuating Circumstances into consideration, and you may:
- be able to resit and/or retake part or all of your relevant modules and associated exams/assessments. Any re-sit marks will be uncapped
- have the Board of Examiners consider the fact that your performance in the module was affected by Extenuating Circumstances when determining your degree classification at the end of your final year
Please note: final year students may be required to reject their given classification in order to resit if their Extenuating Circumstances are upheld. Speak to your local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in your school to find out more.
When will I find out if my application has been approved?
Each department/school will initially consider requests at an Extenuating Circumstances committee, followed by the Board of Examiners. Dates of these meetings vary by department/school, but you will be told the outcome of your request after the Board of Examiners via email.
What is Exemption from Late Penalties?
Coursework submitted after an agreed submission deadline will be subject to ‘late penalties’. Typically, this means that 5% of the total marks available will be deducted for each day (or part of the day) after the deadline, up to a maximum of five days. If your application for exemption from late penalties is accepted you will not have marks deducted for late submission up to your school’s agreed timeframe. Speak to your local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in your school to find out more.
For more information, read the University’s policy on Extenuating Circumstances in relation to performance in assessments and examinations.
How do I apply for Exemption from Late Penalties?
Before completing the application form you should check with your school/department the process you should follow.
If advised to complete the paper-based application form, a copy can be found here Exemption from Late Penalties Application Form .
When should I apply for Exemption from Late Penalties?
If you are submitting coursework late due to unforeseen medical or exceptional circumstances, you should submit an Exemption from Late Penalties application at the same time as you submit your late coursework. In most circumstances, your application should be supported by appropriate independent evidence, such as a doctor’s letter or record of online consultations, and police or insurance reports.
For the academic session 2023/24, you will be able to request Exemption from Late Penalties without supporting evidence on two occasions (an occasion relates to a single submission or assessment) across the academic year. If you require any further ELP’s you will need to provide supporting evidence in line with current procedure.
Where you are requesting ELP’s on a ‘self-certification’ basis (i.e. without evidence) you will still need to formally request this by submitting an Exemption from Late Penalties Application Form and provide details of the unforeseen circumstances that have impacted your submission.
You will need to submit your ELP request on a ‘self-certification’ basis (without supporting evidence) at the same time as the late coursework, or at the earliest opportunity thereafter.
The latest you can apply for an ELP is:
- After the feedback release date
2. Two weeks after the original submission date
3. The end of the Semester
If you have any questions about the ELP application process, please speak to your local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in your school to find out more
Extenuating Circumstances or Exemption from Late Penalties – which is right for me?
Student A fell ill a few days before their coursework submission date. Although they were able to submit their work by the deadline, they were unable to dedicate the time to the coursework they would have otherwise and feel that the quality of the work suffered as a result.
In this scenario, Student A could apply for Extenuating Circumstances. Student A faced unforeseen circumstances outside of their control which impacted their ability to complete their coursework. Student A could apply for Extenuating Circumstances and provide a doctor’s note as appropriate independent evidence of their illness.
Student B was due to submit a piece of coursework, but break-in at their home resulted in their laptop being stolen. By the time the student was able to submit their coursework, the submission deadline had passed.
In this scenario, an unforeseen event outside of their control has caused Student B to submit their work late, which in turn will cause a late penalty to be applied to their mark. Student B could apply for Exemption from Late Penalties using a police crime report as appropriate independent evidence.
Student C has experienced the death of a family member. As a result of this, Student C was unable to complete their coursework by the submission deadline and the content of their coursework suffered.
In this scenario, Student C could potentially apply for both Extenuating Circumstances and Exemption from Late Penalties (depending on their school/department) as an unforeseen event outside of their control has caused a late submission as well as impacting upon their work. Student C should consult with their local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in their school to find out more
Student D was due to sit an exam but they forgot to set their alarm and overslept, missing the exam.
In this scenario, neither Extenuating Circumstances nor Exemption from Late Penalties apply.
You have the right to appeal the Extenuating Circumstances Committee and/or a Board of Examiners decision but only on the following grounds:
Those extenuating circumstances were divulged but:
- There was a procedural error in the decision taken by an Extenuating Circumstances Committee or Board of Examiners when considering the circumstances; or
- You have new or additional material evidence, which, for a valid reason, you were unable to provide at the time of submitting the extenuating circumstances claim.
In addition, if you are at the end of your programme of studies and you consider that there are extenuating circumstances which for good reason you could not have submitted at the time, you may submit an appeal under Section two of the assessment appeals procedure, but this will normally be limited to extenuating circumstances affecting your final year of study only.
If your ELP application is not approved you may be able to apply for Extenuating Circumstances, and should discuss this with your local LTSO, wellbeing team or other support staff in your school to find out more.
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