Who to contact if you have an issue with your assessment
Mitigating circumstances are any personal issues that you feel affect your academic work. These issues could include illness, bereavement, family crisis or pregnancy.
The University has published amendments to the Mitigating Circumstances Guidance to take into consideration the current circumstances of all students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details can be found on the website here.
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:
Phone: 0113 3801 422
Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service
The Student Counselling and Wellbeing service can provide a standard email to support a plea of mitigating circumstances. To be eligible for this, you must either be, or have been, attending appointments at the time of the circumstances you are seeking mitigation for. We are unable to provide statements retrospectively.
The Student Counselling Service is not able to provide psychological or medical assessments. Where medical evidence is needed, a letter from your GP or hospital consultant will be needed.
No information is given about a student without their consent.
If you have any questions about the Student Counselling and Wellbeing service policy on providing evidence on mitigating circumstances, please feel free to contact the Service and speak to the head of service or a core team member.
Student Counselling & Wellbeing Service policy on mitigating circumstances emails
The Student Counselling & Wellbeing Service Policy on providing Mitigating Circumstances emails
"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 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.