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Academic Advice Guide

Monday 18-01-2021 - 15:52

Woman lying on her bed studying. At the top and centre of the image is the 'Just Ask' logo

On Friday 15 January, The University of Bristol announced a mitigations package in response to calls from Bristol SU that students needed more academic support to account for the challenges faced in studying for a degree during the pandemic.

 

Feeling confused? Want to know how you can access this support?

We’re here to break it down for you, and make sure you’re able to make the most out of this assessment period.

 

If you still need further advice, please contact the Bristol SU Just Ask advice service.

 

Click below to jump to each section

Extenuating Circumstances

Exam and Assessment Deferrals – Self-certification

Coursework Extensions 

Alternative Exam Arrangements

Altered Exam Start Times

Wellbeing Tips

Managing Stress

 

Extenuating Circumstances

What does this mean?

If your studies have been severely affected by COVID-19, or indeed by anything else, you may consider submitting extenuating circumstances to the university. These are then assessed by the university and will be taken into consideration by Exam Boards. As part of this new mitigation package, you no longer need to provide supporting evidence when submitting Extenuating Circumstances for Covid-19 related issues. 

 

How do I access this support?

You still have to complete an extenuating circumstances form. This is an online form available from your school. You are not required to submit supporting evidence for EC submissions related to COVID-19 but if you have evidence then we would definitely encourage you to submit it anyway. If your submission is not related to COVID-19 you are still required to submit evidence if you can but the University will take a more flexible approach to this as they are aware that it may be more difficult to obtain right now. You should explain on the form what has happened and specifically how it has affected you and your studies. Make sure you include on the form all the units that might have been affected. 

You can access more information about Extenuating Circumstances on the university website.  

 

Exam and Assessment Deferrals – Self-certification

What does this mean?

You can now self-certify to defer your exams and your timed assessments. You will then be expected to take the missed assessment(s) in the resit period in August 2021. You are encouraged to use self-certification cautiously, given the unknowns of the rest of this year. You should be aware that this will delay graduation for Undergraduate students and may delay progression for all students if you fail the assessment in August or are unable to take it. 

 

How do I access this support?

You can only self-certify before you have opened the assessment / before the assessment start date. If you become unable to complete your assessment during the 24 hours or seven days, you should submit extenuating circumstances instead. To self-certify to delay your assessments contact your School Office before the assessment starts and fill in a self-certification form which is available from your school. You do not need to provide supporting evidence. 

You can access more information about self-certification on the university website

 

Coursework Extensions

What does this mean?

If you feel your current circumstances mean that you need more time to complete your coursework, you can request a guaranteed one-week extension from the university. This is only available for coursework, and does not apply to exams or timed assessments.  

 

How do I access this support?

You will need to complete a coursework extension request form which you can access from your school. You do not need to provide supporting evidence, but you do need to submit your request form to the school before the coursework submission deadline set by the school. If you can’t submit your work or the request form before the deadline you should submit extenuating circumstances instead. 

You can access more information about coursework extensions on the university website

 

Alternative Exam Arrangements

What does this mean?

If you already have Alternative Exam Arrangements (AEAs) you will automatically have nine days, rather than seven to complete your timed assignments. 

 

How do I access this support?

You don’t need to do anything! The extra two days is automatically being applied to all students with AEAs.  

You can find out more information about AEAs on the university website

 

Altered Exam Start Times

What does this mean?

Exams at The University of Bristol all start at 9.45 am British time unless you have been otherwise notified. If you are unable to make this start time due to being in a different time zone, caring responsibilities, or difficulty accessing a suitable space to work, you can begin your exam at 3.45pm British time.

 

How do I access this support?

You need to speak to your school before the exam date, and let them know that you will be sitting the exam at the later time.

You can find out more information about exam start times on the university website

 

Wellbeing Tips

 

We’ve put together a simple Instagram guide to managing your wellbeing during assessments. 

  1. Unplug – doom scrolling on social media won’t help you revise, and it won’t make you feel more relaxed. Consider putting time limits on your social media usage; this will help you clear your head, and give you more time to be doing something else, like cooking a meal, revising, or socialising with house mates. 
  2. Get Fresh Air – Open a window, go for a walk around the block, visit a park... Anything you can do to get outside, or get moving will help you feel refreshed and ready to start your next revision session! 
  3. Hydrate – It is easy to forget the basics when you’re busy and stressed. Make sure you’re drinking enough water (and not just caffeine!) to keep yourself healthy and alert this exam season. 

Check out our Instagram guide for tips #4, #5, and #6! 

 

Managing Stress

 

The University of Bristol Student Wellbeing Service is running a workshop on 20 January on Managing Stress. Find out more here

 

If you still need further advice, please contact the Bristol SU Just Ask advice service

 

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