Mitigation

Mitigating circumstances are normally exceptional, short term, unforeseen and unpreventable events that may have a significantly disruptive effect on your ability to study. These events are over and above the course of everyday life, and normally outside of your control, and may affect your ability to attend lectures, prepare for seminars, complete coursework, revise for and attend examinations.

EXTENSION REQUEST

The MBChB programme may grant an extension to an assessment submission deadline or agree to additional placement time in the light of extenuating circumstances. Extensions will only be granted where the School considers the circumstances to be genuine and significant. Where an extension has been granted, the penalty for late submission will not apply, provided that you meet the extended deadline and provide the evidence the School has asked for.

If an extension is granted, an application for mitigating circumstances will not normally be considered for the same cause(s). This is because the extension already represents compensation. 
Typical reasons for granting an extension include personal illness that either prevents completion of the work by incapacity for a significant part of the study period or that prevents final completion and submission; adverse family circumstances; and serious illness or death of a close family member. The submission of evidence is at the discretion of the ICU manager and will be made clear at the time of the request.

To request an extension you must submit a completed extended submission request form to the ICU coordinator, in advance of any deadline. In all cases a formal explanation in writing of the reason for the request for an extension is required. Please be aware that copies of requests for a deferred submission are routinely passed on to the ICU academic lead and where appropriate may be discussed with your personal tutor. If you would prefer your deferral submission not to be seen by your personal tutor please discuss this directly with the academic lead. You can find an electronic copy of the extension request form here.

For further information please contact the ICU coordinator

MITIGATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you believe that your performance on an assessment has been affected by illness or other adverse circumstances, you must provide a mitigating circumstances application form with supporting evidence.

A copy of the form used to apply for Mitigating Circumstances is available here

How do I submit an application for mitigation?
Applications for mitigation must be submitted to the School of Medicine Learning and Teaching office, 7.09 Worsley Building, FTAO Matt Sewell. Submissions should be in person or by post, email submission are not permitted. 
A copy of the form used to apply for Mitigating Circumstances is available here
Without email confirmation from the Undergraduate Special Circumstances Committee (USCC) administrator the student’s mitigation application will not be considered complete. If the student hasn’t received email confirmation within 2 days of submission the student should contact the USCC administrator.

What is the Undergraduate Special Circumstances Committee (USCC)?
The USCC hears applications for mitigating circumstances submitted by School of Medicine undergraduate students. Normally, USCC sits separately to consider cases for MBChB students (USCC-MBChB) or Intercalating and Classified degree students (USCC-I&C).
USCC has an independent Chair. The deliberations of USCC are independent from all Committees and Boards of Examiners. This independence ensures that consideration of each claim is on the merit of the case presented. More details about the USCC can be found here

When do I need to submit my application?
Applications should normally be received before the date of the assessment. Providing results have not yet been released and/or presented to the exam board applications may also be accepted up to 5 working days after the date of assessment (usually this will equate to 7 calendar days including weekends but excluding bank holidays). Applications will not normally be accepted after the 5 University working day period has passed. 
Retrospective applications for mitigating circumstances from students who wait until they have received their provisional marks will not normally be accepted. Applications for mitigation are never accepted after results have been presented to the relevant meeting of the Undergraduate Board of Examiners (UBE). Students wishing to bring matters to the attention of the School after their marks have been confirmed will need to do so via the Academics Appeals Procedure.

What supporting evidence do I need to supply?
The following list aims to provide guidance on the types of evidence that we would normally expect to be provided to support an application for mitigating circumstances. This list should not be considered definitive, and Schools should always give reasonable consideration to other forms of documentary evidence obtained by a student in support of their application. 
Students should be aware that their School may request additional evidence to help to clarify a set of circumstances and all documentation supplied should be the originals unless otherwise stated by the School. Scanned documents may be provided in instances where time is a factor, but students MUST be prepared to present the original documents upon request at any stage of the application, including once an application has been approved.

Illness or accident of student (short-term)

Medical certificate signed by appropriately qualified medical practitioner, obtained whilst the illness or incident was affecting the student (including a copy of the Invigilator’s report in instances where a student is taken ill during an examination – these are sent directly to the parent school from the examinations office);

OR

Letter from doctor, giving dates affected by illness and containing a medical opinion on how the student would have been affected. 
NB: Medical notes which demonstrate that medical advice and treatment was sought at the time of, or soon after, a bout of illness, will carry more weight than a retrospective disclosure of illness weeks or months after the fact.

Illness of student (chronic/long-term)

For conditions which pre-date admission to the University, students will need to provide relevant medical evidence to demonstrate how and when the symptoms had become acute or had changed, and explain how this affected their ability to study or impaired their performance in assessments.

Illness of another person, usually a close family member (this can be either short-term or chronic illness)

Medical evidence relating to the illness (clearly indicating dates of illness). Students may also be required to provide evidence of their connection to the person who is ill (where that person is not a family member)

AND

Corroborating evidence to demonstrate the impact on the student (this will preferably come from a member of University staff /other relevant third party, which can include family members). Students will need to make clear why and how their ability to study was affected.

Bereavement

Evidence of bereavement which can be a letter from funeral director or minister conducting the service, Order of Service showing date, or other relevant documentation. A statement from a doctor or other qualified professional, or member of University staff (e.g. personal tutor) confirming the student had disclosed a bereavement, would also be accepted.

A death certificate would be accepted, but is not a requirement.

In the event a student suffers a bereavement during their degree, they are strongly encouraged to seek support from the School. The University Counselling Service is also available.

Other domestic disruption (family issues, financial or accommodation difficulties)

Statement must provide clear details, including dates which link to the assessment(s) affected. Must also provide evidence of how the student was affected and why this prevented them from completing the assessment(s) on time.

This could include corroborating statement from professional person, i.e. counsellor, employer, landlord/agent, University staff member (i.e. personal tutor, module leader, exam invigilator).

Absence arising from such things as jury service or maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Official correspondence relating to these events.

Victim of crime

Police Report – a crime number can be used as an interim measure, but students may be required to provide a copy of the police report as well.

For crimes which are of a personal nature, where students find it difficult to report the matter to the police, appropriate evidence can be provided from a medical professional, counsellor or other relevant person.

It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all evidence they wish to submit in support of their application. The University and its staff will not be able to obtain medical, or other, evidence on behalf of the student.

Does USCC hear all cases for mitigation? 
MBChB Students - No, in the MBChB programme mitigation is only considered when a student has failed a unit of assessment or when the assessment is not sat by a student (examples of units include IMS, CBS, I&P, C2C, C&M); this is because the MBChB programme is an unclassified degree.

Intercalating and Classified Students - Yes, all cases received from students studying for a School of Medicine Undergraduate Intercalated and Classified Programme are considered.

When will I be informed of the outcome of my application?
MBChB Students - MBChB Students who have failed a unit of assessment and have submitted mitigation will be written to after the appropriate UBEs decision has been made. The letter, signed by the Director of Student Progression, will inform the student of the UBE’s decision and also that of the USCC.

Intercalating and Classified Students - Intercalated and classified programme students who have submitted mitigation will be advised the outcome in writing by their Program Administrator.

Can I speak to someone about my application before I submit?
If you would like to speak to someone about this, please contact Matt Sewell in the Student Support office, Room 7.09, Level 7, Worsley Building. Matt can also be contacted on tel: 0113 343 1067 or email m.sewell@leeds.ac.uk

What can I do if my request for mitigation is rejected?
As with all decisions made within the School of Medicine, you can appeal to the Student Cases team in the Secretariat. The process is documented in your Taught Student Guide and on the Student Cases webpageIt is considered inappropriate for a student who is unhappy with the decision to contact the USCC. If you wish to discuss your options you may want to consider contacting your Personal Tutor, Academic Sub Dean or Programme Lead. 
Students who wish to appeal a decision made by USCC need to submit a formal appeal.

Where can I find further information?
A copy of the School of Medicine Assessment Guide is here