Extenuating circumstances

What are extenuating circumstances?

Students sometimes perform more poorly in assessments (whether examinations or other types of assessments) than their previous performance or achievements would have predicted.  Sometimes this poor performance can be attributed, or partially attributed, to particular circumstances beyond the control of the student.  These circumstances are described as ‘extenuating circumstances’ (formerly known as 'mitigating circumstances') if they are accepted as a valid explanation of the poorer than expected performance.  When a Board of Examiners accepts that there have been extenuating circumstances, it will usually not regard the student’s poorer than expected performance at its face value in making decisions about the student’s progress in studies or final degree classification.

Extenuating circumstances might include:

  • Illness affecting the student
  • Bereavement
  • Serious illness affecting a close family member
  • Unforeseeable or unpreventable events

Independent documentary evidence, such as medical certificates, must be provided in all cases to verify extenuating circumstances.

Student guidelines on how to report extenuating circumstances, how cases are considered, and what action might be taken should your circumstances be accepted can be found here.

The University's Policy on Extenuating Circumstances in Relation to Performance in Assessments and Examinations (which takes precedence over the above guidelines) can be found in Appendix M of the Code of Practice on Assessment.

The official form for submitting a claim for extenuating circumstances can be found here Extenuating Circumstances

You should contact your academic department in the first instance for advice on the Extenuating Circumstances Procedure.