About extenuating circumstances


The following guidelines are for extenuating circumstances requests for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students. There is separate information for postgraduate research students.

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances beyond your control which have had an impact on your assessed work. Extenuating circumstances can fall into the following categories:

  • circumstances which cause you to perform less well in the assessment
  • circumstances which cause you to miss an assessment event (eg. an exam) or not to submit an assessment

Late submission of coursework or online examinations

The University has a specific policy and guidance on late submission of coursework and online examinations for:

  • circumstances where you are unable to submit coursework by the deadline or to attend a summative assessment event
  • circumstances which mean you need extra time to submit a dissertation (taught postgraduate students only)

Circumstances where you are unable to submit your online examination by the deadline.

Undergraduate claim submission deadline

Please ensure that you submit your claim before the relevant deadline even in the event that you are still awaiting evidence, so that your claim can be considered. It is important that you press submit on your claim. If you are still awaiting evidence, please note this in your claim, the type of evidence expected, and when your evidence is likely to be ready for upload.

If you are submitting your claim after the deadline – please contact your department to see whether it is too late to be considered.


In general, extenuating circumstances will be of a medical or personal nature affecting you for any significant period of time and/or on the day of the assessment event, or immediately preceding the time of the deadline.

It is important to realise that only the most serious extenuating circumstances will have any significant impact on your overall performance, particularly when degree classifications are being considered. Therefore, the Board of Examiners is unlikely to take any action unless it is believed that the extenuating circumstances have had a material effect.

Judgements can only be made about the impact of extenuating circumstances in light of the evidence of your academic ability demonstrated in non-affected work. Judgement cannot be made about your potential to have gained a higher mark if there is no evidence in the rest of your performance to support this. Unless it appears that the extenuating circumstances have had a material effect on your results, it is unlikely any action will be taken. You should therefore consider carefully before submitting a form (see also how extenuating circumstances claims are assessed).

What's not a claim

It is not possible to list every circumstance that would not be accepted or taken into account. However, some of the more obvious examples are listed below:

  • general pressure of work is not taken to be circumstances beyond your control, as you are expected to plan your work schedule. This includes claims related to increased workloads due to trailing failed modules from 2020-21. This is because you had an opportunity to undertake reassessment prior to continuing to your next year
  • a short-term problem or illness which has occurred during the year and which is not deemed to have had an overall effect on your performance
  • personal disruptions or events which could have been anticipated; such as holidays, weddings, changing address or employment, religious holidays or festivals which are usually known in advance
  • excessive demands on time or pressure of one’s employment, which could have been anticipated
  • financial constraints commonly experienced by students
  • missing an online examination because you misread the timetable or overslept
  • having more than one deadline on the same day or on consecutive days (unless you were already suffering from illness or injury)
  • problems with the teaching timetable where you have not taken the necessary action to ensure that appropriate module choices are made
  • where extenuating circumstances have affected you throughout your time at University, making it difficult to determine what your marks might have been like otherwise. In such cases, it is unlikely that any action will be taken
  • where you have chosen to undertake reassessment without attendance or to trail failed modules (without attendance) from 2020-21, extenuating circumstances claims regarding prior disruption to your learning caused by the pandemic will not be considered.  This is because you had the opportunity to repeat your failed modules with attendance but have chosen not to

Next steps

Find out what you need to do to make a claim and when the deadlines are:

Making a claim  Deadlines and forms
Student Services Hub
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub or SU Advice who will be happy to assist you.