What are extenuating circumstances?
During the course of your degree programme you might be faced with problems that are outside your control and are negatively affecting your academic performance. Such problems are known as 'extenuating circumstances' and the University has a policy on this.
Students should submit an extenuating circumstance request if they feel that such problems have negatively affected, or will affect, their ability to complete coursework, to attend classes or to prepare for and/or sit their exams. You are strongly encouraged to discuss any circumstances that are affecting you with your personal or senior tutor or the lecturer responsible for your coursework/module.
The extenuating circumstances policy details what is and is not considered extenuating circumstances. Please review this or speak to your Student Support Coordinator if you are unsure.
Can I make an extenuating circumstances request?
Requests will be considered where:
- your performance or ability to work has been impaired by circumstances; and
- the circumstances were beyond your control; and
- your request is supported by appropriate evidence.
If you need medical evidence a Medical Confirmation Form completed by your GP may be acceptable. For students registered with the University Medical Practice please use the form on their website. For students registered with other GP practices please use this form.
If you have approved reasonable adjustments and these have not been put in place please do not submit an extenuating circumstance request. You must contact your School to ensure these are provided as recommended.
How do I make a request?
For UK-based undergraduate and postgraduate taught students, this short video will take you through the online process for submitting an extenuating circumstance request. You will need to do the following:
- Login to the RISIS Portal, here
- Open the ‘Actions’ tab, then select ‘Extenuating Circumstances' from the list.
- Please read the guidance and complete the online form, following the instructions provided
- The status/outcome of your request will be displayed on RISIS
What are the deadlines for submitting my extenuating circumstances form?
Students must normally submit an Extenuating Circumstances form before the deadline for submission of coursework. Separate deadlines apply to end of Part examinations which are centrally organised and to in-class tests administered locally by Schools/Departments. For end of Part examinations the specified dates which can be found on the Examinations, Student Records & Graduation Office website.
For in-class tests students must normally submit an Extenuating Circumstances form before the date of the in-class test and no later than five working days after the date of the test. Students who expect to be absent from an in-class test must inform the relevant lecturer and Support Centre in advance of the test, if possible.
Forms submitted after the relevant deadline will not normally be considered. If, however, students were not able to submit the form due to hospitalisation, incarceration or equivalent physical or mental incapacity, then a statement which details the reason for the lateness must be submitted in addition to the Extenuating Circumstances form. Statements must be substantiated with evidence and will follow the normal requirements for relevant evidence.
Still got questions about making a request?
Students can contact the following for advice and help:
- Your Student Support Coordinator or relevant support staff in ISLI/HBS
- Your Academic Tutor or the Senior Tutor of your School
- The Advice Service at RUSU (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 0118 378 4100
- For students on Greenlands-based programmes only - The Greenlands Examinations and Assessment Manager (email@example.com) or 01491 418728
The information which you provide on this form will be kept in strict confidence and will be restricted to those who are involved in deciding the action to be taken in the light of your circumstances. The decision on your request will be passed to those who need to know, but the detailed circumstances will remain confidential.
If you are uncomfortable with disclosing confidential information about your circumstances, please do discuss the matter with a member of staff (ideally your Personal Tutor) or a RUSU adviser.
Appeal of extenuating circumstances outcome
You have the right to appeal against a School-level or University Standing Committee on Special Cases decision in respect of an extenuating circumstances request.
Carefully review the eligible grounds for appeal detailed in the Extenuating circumstances outcome appeal form. You are strongly encouraged to seek advice from the RUSU Advisers in your Students’ Union. They are professional staff with knowledge and experience of the University’s procedures who can offer confidential, independent advice and support you throughout the process. You can find out how to contact a RUSU Adviser at www.rusu.co.uk/advice.
If you wish to pursue this option, please:
- Submit any appeal before the deadline for appeal. The deadline to appeal is within five working days from the date that the outcome of your extenuating circumstances request is made available to you. The only exception to this deadline is if you are notified of your outcome during the Summer term. In this circumstance, the deadline for you to appeal is whichever is later, either within five working days from the date the outcome of your extenuating circumstances request is made available to you, or the next working day following the final day of the relevant exam period. The dates for exam periods are published online.
- Download and complete the Extenuating circumstances outcome appeal form (word) or if you prefer, here is an appeal form (pdf) you can print off to complete by hand and return.
- Get any official documents or paperwork that you need to support your appeal
- Send the form and the documents the Student Appeals and Academic Misconduct Officer firstname.lastname@example.org before the deadline for appeal.
Deemed Not to have Sat (DNS)
If you have been offered DNS following your submission of an extenuating circumstances request you may be deciding whether accept DNS and sit examinations or submit other assessments in August or in the next academic year. Further information to help you with your decision is available here.