Mitigating Circumstances

Students must submit their application any time up to, or until two weeks after the deadline of the assessment or the examination.
No. If you apply for Mitigating Circumstances and attempt the assessment, your application will become void. In attempting the assessment, you are suggesting that you are Fit to Sit. However, if you can prove that you were not of sound mind during the assessment, you may be able to complete a post-assessment Mitigating Circumstances application.
Students must fill out the form and send it to the Student Office with all their evidence attached. Fill the form
Any evidence that students submit must be legitimate and have timely relevance. Medical evidence, police evidence, or legal evidence is always the best, and it must be dated from the period at which the student is claiming to have been affected. Evidence cannot be backdated, and must show explicitly the ways in which the student was being affected. There is no room for interpretation with evidence – it must be clear.
You can self-certify for a period of illness of five working days or less through the mitigating circumstances process. This will allow a maximum extension of five working days in which students will be allowed to spend more time on their assignments. This process is only available for coursework.
The University defines ‘mitigating circumstances’ as: circumstances that are acute, severe, unforeseen and outside a student’s control, that occur immediately before or during the assessment period in question.
The Mitigating Circumstances process covers: Non-attendance at an exam, class test or presentation; and/or Non-submission of coursework.
The ‘assessment period in question’ relates to the period immediately leading up to the examination date/coursework deadline in question, including the actual examination date/coursework deadline.
It is impossible to provide a complete list, but the following examples would commonly be regarded by the University as ‘mitigating circumstances’ and if supported by appropriate evidence would be likely to lead to a successful claim: Bereavement – loss of close relative/significant other; Serious short term illness or accident, which in an employment context would have led to an absence on sick leave ; Deterioration of a long term physical health and / or mental health condition; Significant adverse personal/family circumstances; Other serious unforeseen factors, which have a significant impact on your ability to submit an assessment or sit an examination, class-test, presentation etc.
Generally, these are circumstances which could reasonably have been avoided, or where you could have made arrangements to address the problem or taken action to limit the impact of the circumstances, as these circumstances would be deemed to be within your control. Once again, it is impossible to provide a complete list, but here are some examples which are unlikely to be acceptable mitigating circumstances: A description of a medical condition without reasonable supporting evidence (medical or otherwise); Medical circumstances that occurred outside the relevant assessment period; A medical condition supported by ‘retrospective’/’post-dated’ medical evidence; e.g. a doctor’s note which states that you were seen after the illness occurred; If there is a reasonable case that your circumstances were foreseeable or preventable; Long term health condition for which you are already receiving adjustments via the University’s Disabilities and Dyslexia Service; Minor illness or ailment, which in a work situation would be unlikely to lead to absence from work; Holidays; Financial issues; Personal computer/printer problems (including with University computer / server / printing facilities); Poor practice e.g. no back up of electronic documents; Being unaware of the dates or times of submission deadlines or examination(s); Not being aware of the Mitigating Circumstances Procedure ; Poor time management.
If your circumstances are such that you cannot submit on the deadline day you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim for non-submission supported by appropriate independent evidence. Please do not leave your work to the last minute as you will be putting yourself at risk of non-submission through poor planning, which would not meet the criteria for mitigating circumstances.
No, lecturers cannot approve any extensions to coursework. If you cannot submit on the deadline day you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim supported by appropriate independent evidence.
This scenario is not within the scope of the Mitigating Circumstances procedure. You should instead consider submitting a complaint, which would be handled under the University’s Complaints Procedure. See here
As the Mitigating Circumstances Procedure is a retrospective process, your disability would not normally be covered by the Mitigating Circumstances Procedure unless there has been a deterioration of your condition(s). If you have a long-term, ongoing and/or persistent condition you should contact Student Services in order that the University can support you throughout your studies. If you have a disability/long-term medical condition requiring adjustments or you would like to discuss your eligibility for support, please contact the Disabilities and Dyslexia Service (DDS). Adjustments can be put in place throughout the year. If you are already registered with the DDS but your circumstances have changed, please contact the DDS as soon as possible to ensure that the correct adjustments are in place for you. Email: For further information, click here
Yes, if your assessment is a single piece of work prepared by a group, and all members of the group have agreed that the same circumstance(s) affected them, please include the names and student numbers of all the students involved. If your claim is accepted it will also be accepted for the other members of your group, but only if they are identified as part of your claim. If the mark for your group work is based solely upon your individual contribution, then you should submit an individual claim. It is impossible to detail every group work scenario, so if you are unsure please refer to the University’s website or email
You must apply using the Mitigating Circumstances Form, which can be obtained here. You should read the form carefully and fill in all the relevant boxes. You should also securely attach all evidence supporting your case when you submit it (even if you have previously submitted this documentation for an earlier claim). The completed form should be submitted to your Student Office. We advise that you keep a copy of the form and associated documentation.
Claims are considered by a panel of senior members of staff. Each individual claim is reviewed against the mitigating circumstances criteria and a decision is made, solely on the basis of the form and the documentary evidence submitted.
Mitigating circumstances can only be accepted on one occasion for any assessment component (exam, piece of coursework etc.) which forms part of the assessment for a module. If you have had mitigating circumstances accepted already for an assessment, you must submit the coursework or sit the exam at the next available opportunity. If you do not, a final mark of zero will be recorded for the assessment concerned. Any mitigating circumstances claim submitted in respect of such assessments will be deemed invalid.
Self-certification is approved automatically. It is not reviewed.
Students can self-certify twice per academic year, any further attempt to self-certify will be rejected and the student will be asked to apply for mitigating circumstances.



The relevant complaints handler, depending on what the complaint concerns, can be foundhere.
Procedural Defect appeal covers: The outcome of an assessment; A procedural defect/irregularity in the assessment process ; Bias or perception of bias; An error relating to the recording of marks; The requirements for awarding qualifications. A complaint must be done if it is in relation to anything other than those categories.
If a complaint is rejected at both stages, it must go to the OIA. For information about the OIA, go to their website.
Yes, but the University recommends that students do whatever they can to resolve the issue before submitting a formal complaint.
No, this will not happen. The University will be aware of any tensions possibly created and will be sensitive towards this.
A complaint must be filed within 3 months of the issue occurring.



You have 10 working days to submit an Appeal. This is from the day that you were notified of their grade (for Procedural Defect) or their termination, until 5pm, 10 days later. Check this out
Appeals can be sent directly to the Casework Office at, or can be handed in as a physical copy to the School Office, who will then pass it on.
The University recommends about 5 weeks, but often during busier periods, this can be significantly longer.
If it is within two weeks of the deadline, you can still submit the Appeal, but they will need to provide a significant reason and evidence as to why it is late. If it is later than two weeks, they will need to email the Casework Office to ask.
If an Appeal is unsuccessful at the first stage, the student will be given an opportunity to submit an Appeal Review.
If an Appeal Review is rejected, you will receive a Completion of Procedures letter. With this, you can either accept the penalty, or go to the OIA.
The OIA is the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education. They are a national, external organisation, which seeks to uphold the quality of all University procedures related to casework. If you have exhausted all internal procedures, you can approach the OIA with your case. The OIA will then look at the case, and either reject it, or make a recommendation to the University to re-open or re-assess the case.
You must approach the OIA within 12 months of receiving their Completion of Procedures letter. From here, you can expect to receive an outcome from the OIA within 3 months.