Mitigating Circumstances Guidance

Mitigating circumstances are normally exceptional, short term, unforeseen and unpreventable events that may have a significantly disruptive effect on your ability to take assessments.  These events are over and above the course of everyday life, and normally outside of your control, and may affect your ability to complete coursework or other assessments and, revise for and attend on-campus assessments.

This only applies to taught assessments.

Mitigating Circumstances Guidance 2020-2021 (Word) is available to clarify the different types of adverse events considered by the University to be mitigating circumstances.  The guidance notes also set out the mitigating circumstances process in detail.   

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Students with Disabilities

If you are disabled, or you have a long-term 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 web page.  If you are a disabled student and you experience mitigating circumstances unrelated to your disability you should apply through this procedure.

If you have requested reasonable adjustments and find that they have not been effective or have not been put in place in time (particularly at the start of the year), you can also submit an application for mitigating circumstances where your assessments have been affected.  It is accepted that sometimes it will take time to get the right support in place, and you should feel able to bring this to the attention of your school when it has affected your performance.  You will be required to provide evidence to support such claims.  You should contact Disability Services for advice and further support.

How should I apply for mitigating circumstances? 

Your School is responsible for assessing the evidence and making a decision.  You must complete the Mitigating Circumstances form (Word) and follow the instructions in Section 7 of the form, for information on how to submit it.

Extensions to coursework

For the academic year 2020/2021, if you need an extension for submission of your in-course assessment due to a medical condition, for all students schools will consider extension requests for submission of in-course assessments for all students (up to a maximum of 14 calendar days) in one assessment period without the need to provide medical evidence.  One assessment period is defined as one continuous 4-week period.

All taught undergraduate and postgraduate students should complete the Request for an Extension of up to 14 days for submission of an in-course Assessment form (Word) to submit a request for extensions.  Students should refer to Section 5 of the form for instructions regarding submitting.

For those students with long-term health conditions where Disability Services has indicated that extension to deadlines is an agreed adjustment, students will be able to self-certify where asking for an extension up to a maximum of 14 calendar days in any assessment period.

Students should be mindful of the impact of extensions on other study deadlines and need to be aware that extensions may mean that results may be delayed.  Your School will let you know if this is likely to be the case.

All other extension requests

All other requests require evidence.

For all other assessments and requests for consideration

You will need to make an application for individual mitigating circumstances in line with the University Mitigating Circumstances Guidance using the Mitigating Circumstances form.
If you wish to make an application for mitigating circumstances, it is very important that you make an application to your School within 5 working days of the assessment taken, or by the deadline given by your School if different.
Retrospective consideration of individual applications will not normally be considered.  You also need to provide evidence to support your application.  Where your case is serious enough that you are unable to sit assessments, we expect you to be able to provide independent evidence of your position.  We will howeever provide additional time for you to send us evidence. 

If you do not sit your assessments and you do not make an application for mitigation

We expect you to contact your Parent School to let us know what is happening.  If you do not submit an assessment and do not apply for mitigation you may be withdrawn from your studies.
If you are unable to contact your Parent School at any stage, it is important that you get in touch with your Parent School again as soon as possible.
In extreme cases, where there is evidence to show that there were circumstances beyond your control which prevented you from contacting your Parent School, a retrospective application for mitigating circumstances may be considered.

Where to obtain evidence

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. They are unable to provide statements retrospectively.

The Student Counselling and Wellbeing Service are 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 them and speak to the Head of Service or a member of the team.  Contact details can be found on the Helpful Support Contacts web page.