Mitigating circumstances evidence

Mitigating circumstances are any personal issues that you feel affect your academic work. These issues could include illness, bereavement, family crisis or pregnancy. 

LUU Advice Centre 

If you need more advice, the Student Advice Centre in Leeds University Union provides information on their website about mitigating circumstances and representation or you can contact them:

Email: advice@luu.leeds.ac.uk
Phone: 0113 3801 290

Student Counselling Centre

The Student Counselling Centre can provide a standard email to support a plea of mitigating circumstances. To be eligible for this, you must either be, or have been, a client of the centre.

The Student Counselling Centre can't provide psychological or medical assessments. 

No information is given about a student without their consent. 

If you have any questions about the Student Counselling Centre's policy on providing evidence on mitigating circumstances, please feel free to contact the Centre and speak to the head of service or a core team member.

Student Counselling Centre policy on mitigating circumstances emails

The Student Counselling Centre Policy on providing Mitigating Circumstances emails

Mitigating Circumstances

"Mitigating circumstances are significantly disruptive or unexpected events which are beyond your control which might affect your academic performance.

Examples of disruptive events:

  • suffering a serious illness or injury;
  • an unexpected change in, or impact of, a disability;
  • the death or critical illness of a close family member;
  • a significant family crisis leading to acute stress; or,
  • absence arising from jury service, maternity, paternity or adoption leave.’’

 (Codes of Practice on Assessment:  2013/14)

"If illness or personal difficulties have intervened during a candidature and prevented a student from progressing their research, the student may be granted a suspension of registration for a period necessary to overcome the difficulties. Where such circumstances have had a significant and adverse effect on the progress of the research and extension of study may be granted." (Research Student Handbook)

Where appropriate, counsellors will provide emails in support of mitigating circumstances where those circumstances interfered with the students' ability to focus on academic work and where the students clearly endeavoured to manage with our help.

The following points contain information and guidelines about when we will provide this kind of email:

  • The counsellor needs to be confident that s/he is in a position to make a judgement that the issues that the client has brought to the counselling have seriously affected his or her ability to meet course requirements.
  • In order to make this kind of a judgement, the counsellor needs to have a clear awareness and understanding of the client's difficulties.
  • Generally, this means that the student has attended a therapeutic consultation process or a counselling contract.
  • Providing evidence of this kind for a client needs to come as a result of the counselling and not be the purpose of it.
  • Emails will only ever be provided at the student's request and with the student's permission.
  • The counsellor will provide a standard email which does not go into any specific details. Any mitigating circumstances letter sent by the SCC, will, however, state the number of sessions attended and the time period.
  • Even if a counsellor has seen a student for a therapeutic consultation and several counselling sessions, s/he may not feel that providing this kind of evidence is appropriate.
  • For postgraduate research students we provide letters confirming mitigating circumstances to support requests for suspension/extension of study.

Emails Confirming Attendance

In certain circumstances we may provide emails confirming your attendance here at the SCC.  However the provision of an email confirming attendance is not in itself, proof of a mitigating circumstance.  Please discuss this with your counsellor.

Emails Confirming Fitness to Study

We do not provide emails/letter confirming fitness to study. These letters can only be provided by a doctor.