Extenuating Circumstances - Self Help Guide

Are your circumstances affecting your ability to study and complete your assessments? Thinking about submitting an EC form?

Here are the key things to know.


  1. Criteria. The University consider extenuating circumstances to be:
    • Unforeseen,
    • Out of your control and
    • Which can be shown to have a direct and substantial impact on your assessment(s)
    • You must demonstrate how your circumstances meet all three points above and provide relevant evidence to support your claim.
    • Think carefully about whether your circumstances are likely to meet the criteria. The University has produced guidance on what may be accepted and the evidence required. It can be found on their website here.
  2. Deadline. For most programmes, your EC form must be submitted no later than within 7 days from the date of the affected assessment(s) or the last assessment affected if there is a number of them in the same assessment period. Evidence can be submitted latter via Course officers but the EC form must be submitted on time. If unsure ask your Course Officer or School.
  3. Talk to someone. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Talk to someone whether your Course officer or tutor if you are experiencing any difficulties. They can provide information and direct you to available support in the University if necessary. Our Union Advice Service can advise throughout the process of completing an EC form.
  4. Evidence. Evidence is essential for demonstrating how your circumstances meet the EC criteria. The evidence must be from an independent 3rd party (not a friend or family member) that includes a reference to a date or time period relevant to your exam date or coursework deadline. If you don’t have evidence you should explain why but without evidence your EC form is unlikely to be accepted because the University don’t usually accept your word as evidence. Ask our Union Advice Service If you’re unsure about your evidence.
  5. Think about what you need and ask for it. List all of the assessments that will be affected because the EC Panel will only consider the assessments you put on the form. Be clear about what your asking for. Do you wish to defer an assessment, be able to submit late or make the University aware that your studies and/or performance have been significantly affected? Also mention anything you think the University should be aware of such that might affect your ability to retake anything or progress into the next year etc.
  6. Outcomes. Think realistically about the possible outcomes. You will not be given extra marks you have not earned academically. The most likely outcome is to be offered a replacement opportunity to complete the assessment at a later date. List your preferred outcomes and mention anything you think the University should be aware of such that might affect your ability to retake anything or progress into the next year etc.
  7. Waiting for the outcome. Uncertainty can be stressful but you will only know if your EC form has been accepted once the EC Panel have met. This is sometimes after the assessment in question. So it’s important to check whether you are likely to meet the EC criteria. If you can demonstrate you meet the EC criteria with evidence, you should submit an EC form and contact your Course Officer about whether you intend to try to complete the assessment or not. Your Course Officer can also tell you when you are likely to receive an outcome.