Mitigating Circumstances Guidance

Mitigating circumstances is the umbrella term used by the University of Leeds for the process by which students can seek mitigation for the impact on their ability to complete assessments.

Postgraduate Researchers please skip to Taking time out of your Research

Mitigating circumstances are normally exceptional, short term, unforeseen and unpreventable events that may have a significantly disruptive effect on your ability to revise for and take assessments. They are events that happen over and above the course of everyday life, and normally outside your control – for example, illness, or serious personal circumstances such as bereavement. If you experience circumstances that affect your ability to complete assessments, then you can make an application for mitigation.

Mitigating circumstances does not normally include ongoing circumstances, things that are a part of everyday life, or things that might reasonably have been planned for (or avoided.) General pressures of work, periods of high workload, and conflicting deadlines are all a normal part of University life, and you are expected to manage these things with appropriate preparation and planning.   

Deciding if you need mitigating circumstances

You may feel behind on your work or experiencing challenges getting started or having the confidence to create the piece of work or get ready for your examination.  This would be more of an ‘ongoing situation’ or ‘something you may expect’ rather than mitigating circumstances.

Here are some things you can try, in order to get ahead of and manage your workload: 

  • Be Prepared: Take note of deadlines from the start of the year/semester. Most coursework deadlines are published from the start of teaching, via the online module information in Minerva or the module and programme catalogues, and the examination period for each semester is also set ahead of the start of every year. You can use all of this information to plan and manage your time from an early stage. 
  • Academic and Study Support: Make use of the many resources and facilities available at the University. Skills@Library offer a whole host of assessment preparation and academic skills resources, and these are available to all students.
  • Don’t forget that the university offers study spaces including computer clusters for you to use, and some of these clusters are open 24 hours, so can be used entirely at your convenience. This can be particularly useful for students who might not have space or equipment to use at home, experience issues with their personal computers, or know that where they live might not be the best place to concentrate. 
  • Wellbeing support with study stress: There is a range of resources available, too, via the Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service, which may help you through some of the work-related issues you may be facing: such as this Exam Stress resource from Student Minds; resources on Perfectionism and Procrastination; and the time management method The Pomodoro Technique. 
  • Look after yourself. Don’t forget that your lifestyle, and how well you are looking after yourself, can play a critical role in how you deal with day-to-day pressures and getting your work done. 

You and Assessments gives guidance and help on managing your workload,assessment stress and includes resources and facilities available that can help you prepare for the academic demands you have, especially if you have other things going on in your life.There are also Study Spaces available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which may be helpful for you to find a quiet space to focus on your studies. Where to Study on Campus has all the information you need.

Or you may be experiencing circumstances that are affecting your ability to complete assessments or is seriously disruption your studies.

If this is the case, there are two routes of mitigation available: ‘Extensions to Coursework Deadlines’ and ‘Additional Consideration’.

Please see the Mitigating Circumstances Guidance for full details, including how to apply for an extension to a coursework deadline or additional consideration.

Students with disabilities or long-term health conditions

If you are disabled, or you have a long-term health condition (12 months or more) that impacts on your day to day activities, you should register with Disability Services who will advise further on support and reasonable adjustments to your study and assessment. Disability includes Specific Learning Difficulties (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia), as well as diagnosed mental health conditions. You can find out more about Disability Services and how to register on the Setting up your support webpage.

How should I apply for mitigating circumstances? 

You can apply for Mitigating Circumstances (for either a coursework extension or additional consideration) by completing the online application form.

Who should I contact if I need help or support?

We encourage you to contact the Student Support team in your parent school at any time if you need help or support. Please see the list of email addresses:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Leeds University Business School

Faculty of Social Sciences

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Faculty of Environment

Faculty of Medicine and Health

Cross Institutional