Sometimes your studies will be affected by unexpected events or illness. This could include bereavements, accidents, flares up of long-term health conditions, difficult family or personal circumstances or major household incidents such as fires or flooding. 

As a result, you may need more time to complete an assignment which is when we recommend applying for extenuating circumstances.


How do I apply?

You apply for extenuating circumstances via an online form. You will need to provide information on each assessment you are applying for and provide a detailed explanation of your circumstances and how they have prevented you from submitting or negatively impacted your performance during the assessment.

You will also need to provide evidence in support of your claim. This might be in the form of a doctor’s letter, hospital discharge papers, an eviction notice or a death certificate. Generally, anything which can support the circumstances you talk about in your application. Documents such as prescriptions or appointment letters will not be accepted by the University. We have written a guide for medical professionals writing support letters for extenuation claims.


When do I apply?

Generally, you should apply as soon as you realise that your ability to submit your work on time is being impacted, however we find that applications that are submitted too far in advance of submission deadlines are more likely to be rejected. Sending in the application around 2-3 weeks beforehand should be fine. You can also submit a claim after your deadline has passed.

In addition, you can still submit an extenuation claim up to a specific date each term/semester. The final deadline dates for 2020/21 will be announced shortly.


What does extenuation get me?

If your extenuation claim is accepted by the University, you will be allowed to submit your work up to seven days passed your initial deadline without being penalised. If you are unable to submit by this time, or you submit your assessment, but it fails, you will also be able to submit your assessment at your resit deadline and your mark will not be capped.

If you are submitting an application for your resit deadline you will also get an additional seven days if your claim is successful. If you fail at your resit, then you will likely be asked to repeat the module. If you have had extenuation granted on both your initial and resit submissions, then your repeat module will be uncapped.

Different situations can affect your claim for extenuating circumstances. Find out more below.

I am pregnant

Generally, pregnancy does not fall under the criteria for extenuating circumstances, as a pregnant student or expectant parent should have completed a Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Support Plan to minimise the impact of a student’s pregnancy on their studies. However, if you are suffering from a pregnancy-related illness which has impacted on your studies this could count as extenuation. You should say this in your application, along with how this has impacted on your studies. Your evidence should confirm that you have been experiencing this illness and not simply confirm that you are pregnant.

My extenuating circumstances are connected to a long-term illness or disability

On-going medical circumstances and disabilities are not normally considered for extenuation as the impact of those is often foreseeable and the University expects you to seek appropriate support from the Disability and Dyslexia Team (DDT). However, students in such situations can apply for extenuating circumstances if they can demonstrate that they have experienced a ‘flare-up’ of their condition or symptoms that has had a serious impact on their ability to do their work.

I want to apply for extenuation for my dissertation/thesis

The University consider it to be 'unusual' for a student to submit an extenuation for a dissertation or thesis. They say that this is because a dissertation/thesis is “planned and written over a long period of time”. If you do submit extenuation for a thesis or dissertation you must supply evidence from your supervisor showing that you were making “satisfactory progress” with the work before your circumstances occurred, and if it were not for the circumstances taking place you would have submitted on time. You could also submit examples of your feedback on drafts or supervision records to show you were on track until the circumstances occurred.

My extenuation claim has been rejected

If your claim has been rejected, please complete our contact form to let us know. We can get in contact with the Extenuation Panel to find out why exactly your claim was rejected. We can then provide advice on what you can do to strengthen or claim or what additional evidence you may need to provide in order to increase your chances of a successful claim. Please do not book an appointment with us as we will need to look at your form before we can provide you with advice.