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What Happens Next?

It's important to submit your form before the deadline or the University will not be able to consider your extenuating circumstances. The deadline is usually a few days after the end of each assessment period. This includes the August/September resit period. Your school office will send you email reminders.

A small committee called the Extenuating Circumstances Committee within your school will then classify the impact of your extenuating circumstances. They will decide on the duration of the impact (Acute or Chronic) and the severity of the impact (Mild, Moderate, Serious or Severe). So you will end up with two classifications:

Acute/Mild

Acute/Moderate

Acute/Serious

Acute/Severe

Chronic/Mild

Chronic/Moderate

Chronic/Serious

Chronic/Severe

 

Acute = a short term illness.

Chronic = an ongoing circumstance which is not a disability. If you have a disability your Disability Support Summary should cover this.

Mild = a circumstance that didn’t have much effect on assessment, such as a cold. Exam boards would not normally make any changes in this situation.

Moderate = a circumstance that would have had more of an effect on assessment, for example a more sustained illness.

Serious = a circumstance that would have had a significant effect on assessment, such as a major illness or incident.

Severe = a circumstance that would have had a major effect on assessment such as the death of a close family member, or emerging serious mental health concerns. 

The University has published guidelines on how extenuating circumstances are to be classified.

The committee considers each situation on its own merits. You should provide evidence if at all possible, as this will give your ECs more weight. If you’re unable to provide evidence, you should explain why on the form.

The classification, along with details of the unit(s) affected is then passed to the exam board. They won’t see the full details on the form you submitted, just the committee’s classification. You can find out how your ECs were classified by asking at your school office.

The school and faculty exam boards then consider your unit marks and your EC classification and decide what action (if any) is appropriate. The regulations specify what type of action is available to the exam board. Exam boards never change marks and only rarely allow further attempts at passed units.

If you've passed, the exam board does have the power to disregard that particular unit mark or marks from your final degree classification.

For failed units, exam boards can allow further attempts without penalty. If you have failed a unit with no ECs, or if your ECs were only classified as mild, you will have used up one of your attempts at that unit so your next attempt will be capped at the minimum pass mark.

What if I miss the deadline for submitting extenuating circumstances?

It’s possible for the University to consider late extenuating circumstances as part of an academic appeal. But you will need to show that you have a very good reason for not submitting your EC form at the correct time, as well as evidence of your ECs.

What if the exam board doesn't make any changes as a result of my extenuating circumstances?

If your extenuating circumstances have not been taken into account when you receive the final decision from the Faculty Board of Examiners, you may be able to appeal their decision.

What if I think my extenuating circumstances haven't been classified correctly?

You could raise this as part of an academic appeal, but you would have to have a good reason why you think that the University has made a mistake. If you have more evidence to provide, you should provide it.

If you would like further advice on this, get in touch with Just Ask.