Making an extenuating circumstances claim

Claim procedure

The following guidelines and form are for extenuating circumstances requests for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.

To make an extenuating circumstances claim:

  1. Read the Extenuating Circumstances Policy (.pdf)
  2. Check the deadlines
  3. Complete the extenuating circumstances form (under the Education tab on MyEssex) and attach your evidence
  4. Seek advice from the Student Service Hub or SU Advice if necessary

Declaring your extenuating circumstances and what you need to include

Declaring your extenuating circumstance

It is your responsibility to declare your extenuating circumstances. You must do this by completing an extenuating circumstances form. This will be considered by an Extenuating Circumstances Committee who will then make recommendations to the Board of Examiners regarding the effect your circumstances have had on your performance (including non-submission of assessment).

Although you may have previously discussed your difficulties with staff, you still must formally submit an extenuating circumstances form to be considered; informal notifications will not be considered. You need to complete an extenuating circumstances form by the published deadline. We cannot guarantee that forms submitted after this date will be considered.

It is essential to formally declare any extenuating circumstances before the relevant deadline because you cannot subsequently appeal against any decision of the Board of Examiners on the grounds of extenuating circumstances if you could reasonably have been expected to declare them prior to the deadline. It is also your responsibility to explain fully the impact of extenuating circumstances on your work. If you do not sufficiently explain their impact then you cannot subsequently appeal and ask for additional information to be considered.

Information you need to include

You should include on the form details of specific assessments or online exams affected by your extenuating circumstances. Make sure you explain the impact these circumstances had on your performance. It is not the role of the Board of Examiners or Extenuating Circumstances Committees to try to work this out or to seek further information on your behalf. Make your submission clear and concise.

Remember that Extenuating Circumstances Committees and Boards of Examiners are trying to determine whether the circumstances are likely to have significantly affected your academic performance.

Deadlines and forms


The extenuating circumstances form is for all undergraduate, taught postgraduate and pre-sessional students:


You need to apply by the published deadline below. We cannot guarantee that forms submitted after this date will be considered.

It is essential to formally declare any extenuating circumstances by the deadline because you cannot subsequently appeal against any decision of the Board of Examiners on the grounds of extenuating circumstances if you could reasonably have been expected to declare them prior to the deadline.

Undergraduate students

Please ensure that you submit your claim before the relevant deadline shown below, 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.

Exam period  Deadline
Main summer exam period Monday 13 June 2022, 12pm

January exams (non-reassessment):

This only applies to the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering and the Department of Psychology. Students taking exams in other departments can submit forms up to the date of the main summer exam period deadline.

Monday 17 January 2022, 12pm
January reassessment, coursework and exams  Monday 17 January 2022, 12pm
September reassessment period Monday 12 September 2022, 12pm

Incoming Study Abroad students

 Exam period Deadline 

Autumn only incoming students

All other Study Abroad students follow the main undergraduate students' deadline above.

Monday 17 January 2022, 12pm

East 15 (Loughton and Southend) students

Exam period Deadline
Final years

Monday 20 June 2022, 12pm

Non-final years Monday 18 July 2022. 12pm

Edge Hotel School

Deadline: Monday 13 June 2022, 12pm

Reassessment: within seven days of the published assignment submission deadline.

Health and Social Care

Deadlines for the submission of extenuating circumstances forms have been set based on the date of the Board of Examiners meeting for each course/CPD module.

Please check the ‘Board of Examiners Dates & EC Deadlines’ document on the Health and Social Care Information for Current Students Moodle page for your courses’ extenuating circumstances deadline.

Postgraduate taught and research students

Postgraduate taught

Contact your department for information on the deadline for submitting your claim. 

Postgraduate research

Postgraduate Research students should follow the extenuating circumstances procedures for postgraduate research students. If you are enrolled on the first year of an Integrated PhD course, you should follow the procedure for postgraduate taught students. If you are registered on a Professional Doctorate course and your extenuating circumstances impacted a taught module, you should also follow the postgraduate taught students procedure.


Where you are able, it is in your interest to submit independent and reliable supporting evidence as part of your extenuating circumstances application. Supporting evidence should be relevant to the circumstances described in both nature and timeframe. Without supporting evidence, the Extenuating Circumstances Committee/Board of Examiners may not be able to take action on your claim.

  1. It is your responsibility to obtain evidence to support your claim and to ensure that it is submitted within the deadlines set by the University. All evidence should be submitted along with the relevant Extenuating Circumstances form.
  2. All evidence provided must align with or support the dates that you have outlined as part of your claim.
  3.  Evidence should be presented appropriately, please see our guidance on the types of evidence to provide (.pdf).
  4. For cases of a medical nature, the University has an agreement with the Health Centre on the Colchester Campus that their staff will use the medical evidence proforma. However, please note that other health centres and GPs may operate differently and may charge for supplying evidence.
  5. The University reserves the right to ask to see original copies of supporting evidence and/or check on the validity of the document(s) you submit.
  6. All supporting evidence must be provided in English. It is your responsibility to arrange for documents to be translated and to incur any costs associated if they are not written in English. Translation should be undertaken by an accredited translator, e.g. by a member of the Association of Translation Companies.
  7. The University appreciates that, in some situations, there may be legitimate reasons which make it impossible to provide documentary evidence. If this is the case, you should explain why in your application.


Documentary evidence you need to provide


The policy on Self-Certification for Extenuating Circumstances recognises that in the case of medical extenuating circumstances for minor illnesses or COVID-19, you may not need, or be able to seek, medical attention and therefore will be unable to provide supporting evidence. In such cases, you may self-certify on the following basis:

  • You are only able to self-certify on two separate occasions each year (the dates for the two separate occasions should not be sequential)
  • You are only able to self-certify for up to five days per claim
  • You may self-certify for any form of assessment (coursework or exam)
  • Self-certification should only cover illness for which medical help would not normally be sought

We ask that you do not upload supporting evidence which includes images that staff reviewing your claim may find distressing. We would normally only need to receive documentary evidence to support a claim. You can always write that further evidence is available if we wish to request it.

Additional information 

There is additional information that you need to consider:

False claims

You should note that submitting a false claim or false documentation is a serious matter and would be regarded as an attempt to gain unfair advantage. This would be a breach of student conduct and would be dealt with under the Code of Student Conduct. The University reserves the right to check on the validity of the document(s) you submit by contacting the third party directly.

Data Protection

The University is committed to a fair and confidential process for handling extenuating circumstances and recognises that this process may involve the disclosure and handling of sensitive personal information. Information will be processed in line with the UK General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018. For further details about how the University processes your personal data please see our Privacy Statement.

Equality Act 2010 and information for disabled students

If you find that you are unable to submit an electronic copy of the Extenuating Circumstances Form, you can contact your department or Student Services Hub to ask for the form to be emailed to you. The form should be submitted to your department and please note that you should still submit any relevant evidence alongside the form.

If you have any queries about a claim which has been rejected, please email the Assessment Team at or your department to request further information. You can also discuss this feedback with staff in the Student Services Hub if you believe that your individual needs have not been understood or adequately taken into account.

If you are providing information about your disability on your extenuating circumstances form, please note that this does not count as disclosure to the University as these forms are intended for use only by the Board of Examiners. We strongly urge you to disclose any persistent medical condition, specific learning difficulty or disability to the Student Services Hub.

Professional suitability and fitness to practice

Important - information about you that may affect professional suitability:

The University is committed to a fair and confidential process for handling extenuating circumstances and recognises that this process may involve the disclosure and handling of sensitive personal information.

All University students are required to comply with the University’s Code of Student Conduct Regulations and other regulations of the University regarding conduct. Students enrolled on courses where a practical professional placement is required have additional responsibilities placed upon them regarding their professional suitability. Failure to meet these responsibilities can lead to the Breach of Professional Conduct, Fitness to Practise and Termination of Training Procedure being invoked. You will have been informed when you registered as a student if your degree scheme is subject to this Procedure

Breaches of professional standards by students may involve a range of actions or omissions but may include:

  • actions that are harmful to service users, other members of the public or service provides
  • actions that are likely to constitute an unacceptable risk to students or others
  • failure to disclose information about previous matters relating to professional suitability prior to enrolment on the course
  • contravention of the relevant professional code of conduct
  • actions that are prejudicial to the development or standing of professional practice

In addition, for students studying law, the University has an obligation to report relevant information related to professional suitability to the Law Society.

Any information that is provided on any extenuating circumstances form that raises issues of professional suitability, whether it has been disclosed by you and about you or by another student on another form but relates to you will be disclosed as necessary to the relevant internal or external authorities. Information will only ever be disclosed on a need to know basis to ensure the University is able to comply with its obligations related to professional suitability. These authorities may include the Professional Practice and Conduct Committee, your employer if your registration as a student relates to Continuing Professional Development or any relevant Professional or Regulatory Body.

What happens next

Extenuating circumstances will normally be considered by a pre-board or small designated group within each department; the Extenuating Circumstances Committee. 

Find out more about how your extenuating circumstances are evaluated.

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.