Coronavirus / Supporting your Academic Success (SYAS) update
The temporary “Supporting your Academic Success” (SYAS) system has now been replaced by a new Extenuating Circumstances (EC) Policy for the 2020/21 academic year.
You can read the new Student Hub guidance here, and the new policy in full can be found here.
The below advice does not apply to Postgraduate Research students. For further advice please contact your Supervisor or complete a Case Form with us if you need further advice.
BPTC/BVS/LPC students should also refer to information provided by the Law School (such as your Programme Handbook) for specific information on the extenuating circumstances process, and you can complete a Case Form with us if you need further advice.
What are Extenuating Circumstances?
Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) are circumstances or situations which are:
- Outside of your control
- Have had a direct and substantial impact on your assessments or results.
The impact can include your ability to study prior to the assessment, your ability to submit coursework, sit an exam, or otherwise perform well in your assessment.
The EC policy allows you to request an extension to deadlines, undertake an uncapped resit (if you’re already uncapped), or take a further attempt at the assessment.
How can Union Advice help me with my EC claim?
Our Union Advice service is independent from the University and we can:
- Explain the EC process.
- Advise if your situation may be considered an EC, or fall under another procedure.
- Advise on how to complete the EC form.
- Provide feedback on your EC form.
- Advise on the evidence required.
- Provide ongoing advice throughout the EC process.
For advice and support on this new process please complete a Case Form with us.
Types of Extenuating Circumstances claims
Students can submit three types of EC claim:
- Extenuating Circumstances with Self-Certification on medical grounds: Claims to be accepted on the completion of a Self-Certification Form (on short-term medical grounds only). This is a self-declaration process, and if you meet the criteria, you can submit a claim without providing any supporting evidence.
- Extenuating Circumstances with evidence: Claims to be accepted on provision of acceptable documentary evidence.
- Extenuating Circumstances without evidence: Claims to be accepted on the basis of convincing explanation, as part of your submission, as to the reason(s) why the relevant evidence to support the extenuating circumstances request cannot be provided. City recognises that due to the current pandemic evidence will not always be easily obtainable.
Which type of claim is best for me?
This depends on your circumstances. Generally:
Suffering from an illness lasting no longer than 7 days
The illness coincided with (and affected) your assessment
Where the short illness is not part of an existing longstanding or chronic health condition
This could be issues like:
- Stomach bugs
- Flu-like illnesses
- Stress and anxiety
- Debilitating period pains
- Severe dental pain
- Headaches and migraines
This cannot be:
- Minor ailments that didn’t affect your assessment
- Temporary self-inflicted conditions like hangovers.
- Longstanding or chronic illness or health condition (see “With evidence”)
Circumstances which are be unforeseen and outside of your control.
Circumstances that have a direct and substantial impact on your assessments.
You can claim for illnesses that have lasted more than 7 days.
This could be for:
- Acute illness or injury on the day of or during an assessment
- Illnesses that last for more than seven days, where you’ve seen a medical professional. This includes mental health conditions.
- Extended illness which stops you from studying, writing or revising
- Where long term health conditions worsen and affect your ability to study
- Death or serious illness of a close relative or family friend
- Significant domestic and/or personal problems
- Court attendance (e.g. Jury Service) where a deferral has been refused
- Unforeseen major transport difficulties
- Being a victim of, or witness to, a crime
EC isn’t usually accepted for:
- Making a mistake about the deadline or your assessment
- Poor planning or time management
- Foreseeable, minor travel difficulty
- Personal computer/other IT device failure where precautionary measures have not been taken
- Lack of IT equipment – City expects you to communicate this so they can help.
- Religious observance – you must communicate with your department in advance about these issues.
Can be claimed for the same reasons as “with evidence”, but you aren’t able to produce evidence.
You must provide a valid reason as to why evidence can’t be provided.
This is only to be used rarely. You should only use this if you cannot obtain any evidence.
Please note not being able to obtain evidence for Covid-19 reasons is an understandable reason. For example, you may not be able to get a GP appointment due to Covid-19 making appointments scarce.
You can read more about evidence below.
You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Student Flowchart and table within the Policy to help you understand which option is best. These can be found as Appendix 1 and 2 toward the bottom of the full EC Policy, here.
If you aren’t sure you should reach out to us for advice by completing a Case Form.
What’s the outcome of making an EC claim?
The two most common outcomes are the same regardless of the type of claim you make. You will normally be given a choice about the outcome:
1. An extension to your deadline. The amount of time depends on your School, but this is typically 14 days for ordinary coursework or 21 days for dissertation/final project. You should seek advice from your Course Officer about the local arrangements for extensions.
2. Deferring the assessment to the next opportunity. This means you will be given another chance, usually during the summer resit period.
- If the assessment claimed for was a first attempt your resit will be uncapped.
- If the assessment was already a capped second attempt (resit) you will remain capped but will be given another resit attempt.
- If the assessment was a second attempt (resit) which was uncapped by a previous EC claim, you will be given another resit attempt and it will remain uncapped.
If you submitted work or sat and exam but then submit EC, if the EC is accepted you may choose to defer your assessment to the next opportunity but you will lose the grade for the assessment. You will be given the choice whether to keep the old mark or proceed to a new attempt.
There are other outcomes depending on your circumstances. These will be up to the Assessment Board. If you feel the above options don’t apply or your case is more complex we’d recommend you seek advice by completing a Case Form.
How many EC claims can I make?
You can only make two self-certification claims in a given academic year, regardless of whether they are accepted or rejected.
You can only make one self-certification claim within a 28 day period.
If you’re uncertain what to do complete a Case Form with us and ask for advice.
Claims with evidence
As many are as are needed, so long as you can provide evidence.
Claims without evidence
As many as are needed but these are meant to be rare; you need to have a good reason for not being able to provide evidence.
How long do I have to make an EC claim?
You can make a self-certification claim up to 7 days before, or 7 days after, an assessment. This is so long as your illness coincides with your assessment/deadline date.
Caution! you can only make two self-certification claims in a given academic year. You can only make one self-certification claim within a 28 day period. If you’re uncertain what to do, complete a Case Form with us and ask for advice.
Claims with or without evidence
You must make a claim within 7 days of the deadline.
If you miss this deadline you should contact your Course Officer, or complete a Case Form with us and ask for advice.
What if I’ve missed the deadline to claim?
Please note that due to the current pandemic situation, students are still encouraged to submit claims late. You just need to explain why this is late and provide evidence for lateness if you can. Claims should be submitted before the Assessment Board publishes your final results. After that you may need to submit an appeal.
Complete a Case Form with us and ask for advice.
Accessing the EC form*
All types of EC claim need to be completed via e:Vision.
*Please note the EC submission process will be different for the following students:
- BPTC/BVS/LPC students should also refer to information provided by the Law School (such as your Programme Handbook) for specific information on the extenuating circumstances process, and you can complete a Case Form with us if you need further advice.
- Study Abroad students will need to contact their School Office for details on how to access and submit an EC form.
- Research students will need to contact their Supervisor and should refer to the Guide for Research Students and students appeal procedure.
- Validated Institution students will need to contact their own institution for details on how to access and submit an EC form.
Completing the EC form
For all claims, including self-certification
When filling in the EC form remember that you're trying to persuade the EC panel that your problems affected you during the assessment period, that they were not your fault and that you couldn't have expected them to happen.
Remember to list all the assessments you think might have been affected. You can claim EC even if you sat the exam or submitted work.
With evidence claims
You must also provide evidence to support your EC form and this must confirm any circumstances around the time of the assessment and how they affected you at the time and your ability to study if that was the case.
Therefore the evidence must include references to dates of when you were affected and for how long.
Evidence can include doctors' letters, counsellors' letters, letters from a solicitor or other appropriate professional letters. Evidence from friends and family won't usually be helpful. You can find a more complete list of suggested evidence toward the bottom of the EC Policy, Appendix 3.
The dates on the evidence are very important and must be relevant to dates of the assessments and ideally state when you were affected and for how long. A letter months or years old won't convince the EC Panel that your problems are affecting you now. Where possible, get new evidence and make sure that evidence states clearly the period of time you've been affected which should cover the assessment date in question.
You should try to submit your evidence at the same time but if this is not possible you must submit the EC form on time even without evidence. The form allows you to submit evidence later so long as you provide an estimated date as to when you will obtain it. You can provide the evidence to the School (via your Course Officer) once you obtain it.
If you have missed the deadline for submitting an EC form you will need to submit an appeal, but the rules for that are more strict than submitting an EC form. More information on appeals can be found here on our website.
When will I hear back about my claim?
You should hear back about your self-certification request within seven calendar days.
With or without evidence claims
You should hear back from the School no later than fourteen calendar days after the panel has reviewed your claim.
Panels are held regularly and you can ask your Course Officer when the next one will be.
My claim was rejected, what can I do?
You may be able to appeal. We would recommend you contact us for further advice by completing a Case Form here.
Further sources of support
The University has a range of support options open to you if health or personal problems are starting to affect your studies.
If you've got a disability or long-term health condition, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, pregnancy, depression or chronic illness, raise this with both your School and with the support services available at City.
You can read more about the different teams and sources of help and support here.