In accordance with "Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) for Taught Programmes Regulation – Guidance for Students and Staff" document (available to download below), please note specifically extracted points 6.3.2 and 6.3.4 from appendix 1;


The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples that a university would commonly regard as extenuating circumstances that could have seriously affect performance and could not have been remedied in the time available;

  • Bereavement - death of a close relative/significant other (of a nature which, in an employment context, would have led to an absence in accordance with the compassionate leave regulations)

  • Serious short-term illness or accident (of a nature which, in an employment context, would have led to an absence on sick leave)

  • Evidence of a long term health condition worsening

  • Significant adverse personal/family circumstances

  • Other significant exceptional factors for which there is evidence of stress caused


The following is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances unlikely to be regarded as falling within the relevant definition and, where there is conflict with the above list, a decision will need to be made based on each case:

  • Alleged statement of a medical condition without reasonable evidence (medical or otherwise) to support it

  • Alleged medical circumstances outside the relevant assessment period of learning period  for which appropriate adjustments for extenuating circumstances have already been made

  • Alleged medical condition supported by 'retrospective' medical evidence - that is, evidence that is not (contemporaneous) in existence at the same time as the illness, eg; a doctors note which stated that the student was seen (after the illness occurred) and declared they have been ill previously

  • If there is a reasonable case that circumstances relied on were foreseeable or preventable

  • Minor illness or ailment, which in a work situation would be unlikely to lead to absence from work 

  • Holidays

  • Financial issues

  • Personal computer/printer problems

  • Poor practice eg; no back up of electronics

  • Claims that students were unaware of the dates or times of submissions or examination


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