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Filling in your Extenuating Circumstances form

The University of Bristol's Extenuating Circumstances form can be downloaded here.

How to fill in the form

It is important that you give as much information as possible on the form to help the University to make the best decision. The same circumstances may affect different people in different ways, so it is important that you say clearly how your work has been affected.

It is also important that you state clearly when you had problems and which assessments or exams were affected by your circumstances. A good way of doing this can be to write a table of events with dates.

You need to show when and how your circumstances have impacted on your academic performance and be clear, concise and comprehensive in the information that you provide. 

Contact the Just Ask team if you would like some help filling in your extenuating circumstances form. 

Supporting evidence

Evidence should be provided along with your extenuating circumstances form so an informed judgement can be made about the impact. If your extenuating circumstances are health related you can provide a letter from your doctor, counsellor, psychiatrist or other health-care professional. It is important that you see a health specialist whilst you are ill, as retrospective diagnoses cannot be made. In the case of ongoing conditions, such as depression, you should obtain a medical note even if the condition has been affecting you for some time.

If you are unable to provide evidence it is still worth filling in and submitting an extenuating circumstances form. Explain why you are unable to provide evidence, or when it will be available if you're able to provide it later.

If you have been a victim of crime, include a crime reference number or police report.

Sensitive or distressing circumstances

Some circumstances can be particularly sensitive or distressing. 
You may be reluctant to disclose the details using the Extenuating Circumstances process. 

The University promises to treat such circumstances seriously, respectfully and in confidence. All evidence is considered in confidence by the Extenuating Circumstances Committee (ECC) - nobody else sees the evidence.

If you want the details to be even more private, contact your School or Faculty Office. Arrangements will be made for you to speak to the Faculty Education Director, or other faculty representative. If you request it, that can be someone who is of the same gender. That person can argue the extenuating circumstance on your behalf, confidentially and without divulging the details. They'll also be able to advise on the nature of any evidence that may be required or submitted.


Where it is inappropriate or impossible to provide evidence of illness, for example a migraine (any symptoms may have passed by the time you can get an appointment with a doctor), the University will accept a self-certificate to explain your absence from an exam. In this case the only solution offered is for you to take the assessment next time it is offered by your School, normally in August/September;

  • A self-certificate is only accepted for one-off absences from an exam due to illness.
  • A self-certification of absence from an exam only covers one day in the examination period. Remember to contact your school and complete a form for each day you are absent from an exam.