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Mitigating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustment

Please consult the central regulations relating to mitigating circumstances and reasonable adjustment for the University: this is the authoritative guide that over-rides any other information you may find elsewhere:

Each student in our department is given a personal tutor from the academic staff. See the Personal TutorLink opens in a new window page for more details of when and how you will meet with your personal tutor, and what you can expect from these meetings as well as what is expected of you. The information below will help to guide you should you need additional support, but please do liaise with your personal tutor in the first instance if you have any queries.

You can download a PDF of the University's Mitigating Circumstances Policy

Reasonable Adjustment

  • University policy on Reasonable Adjustment
    • The Equality Act 2010 requires the University to make reasonable adjustments where a candidate who is disabled (within the meaning of the Act), would be at a SUBSTANTIAL DISADVANTAGE in comparison to someone who is not disabled.
    • ‘Substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ and a disability is defined as ‘a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term negative effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
    • Students who have long term chronic conditions or disabilities and who believe they are entitled to reasonable adjustments should in the first instance contact Wellbeing Support Services and request an appointment to discuss their support requirements:
    • A reasonable adjustment may be unique to the individual and could include special examination arrangements, adjusted deadlines but also alternative methods of assessments.
    • Any reasonable adjustments made are evidence based; students are required to supply appropriate and recent medical evidence, or, in the case of a specific learning difference such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, a full diagnostic assessment. The type of appropriate evidence required can be discussed with Wellbeing Support Services.
    • Once a student has met with Wellbeing Support Services, the adviser will contact the student's department and the Examinations Office (with their permission) to recommend any specific adjustments.
    • Reasonable adjustment recommendations for examinations must be made before the annual deadlines as set out by the Examinations Office on the Disability Services website. Recommendations that are made AFTER these deadlines will be handled under the Mitigating Circumstance Policy.
    • Recommendations to apply reasonable adjustments may include for the student to be able to complete assessments via alternative assessment methods; bearing in mind that academic or professional standards in relation to core competencies and assessed criteria still need to be met.
    • A significant deterioration of a chronic condition or disability already reported and covered by reasonable adjustments, is classed as a mitigating circumstance. In this case, students should apply via the Mitigating Circumstances route below.
    • If you have an official recommendation from Disabilities that reasonable adjustment for your condition includes considering Flexible Deadlines for essays you should discuss a plan for your deadlines for the term ahead with your Personal Tutor as soon as possible, and your Personal Tutor will email the plan agreed by you both to DUGS for consideration. We will expect you to factor in the self-certification policy into your requests (see below). Once this has been accepted by DUGS, your deadlines will be updated on Tabula. Any further changes to your deadlines can then only be granted via a Mitigating Circumstances application or a period of self-certification.

Mitigating Circumstances

Situations that the student could not have predicted and had no control over (e.g. serious illness, death of someone close, being the victim of crime, family difficulties and financial hardship); situations with negative impact on the student’s ability to undertake assessments/examinations which are independently evidenced in a timely fashion; (e.g. doctor’s note during illness showing duration and level of negative impact); situations that are acute or short term, the timing of which are relevant to the impact on study (normally within three weeks of the relevant assessment event deadline). Mitigating Circumstances must be submitted to your Department using the University’s Mitigating Circumstances Portal as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the student to report mitigating circumstances at the earliest possible opportunity + to acquire evidence in support of their statement.

Continuing students, please note the following changes for 2022/23:

The Covid-19 mitigation package allowed claims to be accepted where it was not possible to obtain evidence due to lockdown conditions. For 22/23 onwards, the relaxed evidence requirements have now been removed and all mitigating circumstances claims are now expected to be supported with independent evidence. If you are experiencing circumstances that affect your performance or ability to complete assessments, please make sure that you seek appropriate support and ask them to provide evidence for your claim.

The following circumstances are not eligible:

  • Circumstances within your control (e.g. uploading an incorrect file in an online examination, misreading examination timetable).
  • Problems caused by you being in a study location that has not been approved by the department (e.g. taking an examination in a different time zone, lack of access to resources). The normal study location for most courses is the University of Warwick campus and you should not plan to be elsewhere during term term unless your department approves due to other circumstances.

Mitigating Circumstances applications can take two forms:

1) Requests for short-term extensions to deadlines due to an exceptional unforeseen circumstance: to ensure the equity of treatment of all students in obtaining a short extension for submission of assessed work when minor illness, family emergency, caring responsibilities or other personal circumstances [NOT for poor time management] necessitate a request for an extension for eligible assessed work.

5-day extensions via self-certification:

University's Self-Certification PolicyLink opens in a new window 

  • If a student’s study has been affected due to minor illness, family emergency or caring responsibilities or other personal circumstances for no more than 5 consecutive working days they may request an automatic extension of 5 university working days on eligible assessed work using the Self-Certification procedure.
  • The number of Self-Certifications will normally be restricted to a maximum of two periods, (unless otherwise advised by University Wellbeing Support Services for students entitled to reasonable adjustments), in any academic year (including the reassessment period) with any one Self-Certification period not exceeding 5 consecutive university working days.
  • Students must submit a Self-Certification form electronically normally BEFORE the submission deadline of the eligible assessed work and no earlier than 5 university working days before the deadline

To apply for self-certification:

  • log onto your personal profile on Tabula
  • Click on the personal circumstances tab and choose 'Self-certifications'. Select the relevant assessment: see guide here.

If you require a longer extension, or have already had two periods of self-certification, you will need to submit a case for a specific extension on Tabula and will need to upload further supporting evidence (see below). This will be forwarded to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Suzanne Frey-Kupper and Senior Tutor, Emmanuela Bakola, for consideration.

2) Requests for the exam board to consider the impact on your studies of other circumstances, which are time limited, but have had a substantial effect on your studies - e.g. bereavement, serious illness, need for medical treatment.

How to apply for mitigating circumstances:

Click on the personal circumstances tab and choose 'mitigating circumstances'. There is a walk-through guide available. Link opens in a new windowEnter details of the essay and add the reasons for the self-certification in the 'notes' section.

The submission must be made at least one full working day before assessment deadline (this means by 12 noon on a Friday for a 12 noon deadline on Monday). You will receive a decision usually within one working day and within a maximum of 3 working days. A request for mitigation which is approved after the deadline has passed can include the waiving of lateness penalties. All extensions granted will be conditional on receipt of evidence. When an extension is granted, students must check that the extension is recorded on Tabula. Only in very exceptional circumstances will an extension be allowed beyond one week. Essays which are submitted on time, but where it is subsequently deemed that the circumstance would have qualified for an extension will be discussed at the Mitigating Circumstances Panel in June.

NB: Predictable problems with time management as a result of deadline bunching or other commitments, and social problems with housemates are not usually admissible. Problems with e.g. printers/computers, getting hold of books, bunching-up of essay-deadlines are not considered acceptable excuses. Nor is involvement in an extracurricular activity, whether sport, drama, or music.

Mitigating Circumstances relating to Exams:

If you experience any of the following:

- unforeseen short-term circumstances which are outside your control, or if there has been a significant deterioration in an already present chronic condition or disability, which might have a detrimental effect on your ability to sit an exam (including language exams through the year)

- unforeseen short-term circumstances which are outside your control, or if there has been a significant deterioration in an already present chronic condition or disability, which you wish to be considered as affecting multiple exams/ periods of time through the academic year (but which are not covered by reasonable adjustment recommendations),

- unforeseen short-term circumstances which are outside your control, or if there has been a significant deterioration in an already present chronic condition or disability, during the Summer Term

then you should act as follows:

Apply for Mitigating Circumstances through the Personal Circumstances Tab on your Tabula profile.

For guidance on how to complete your submission on the Mitigating Circumstances Portal click hereLink opens in a new window.

It is advisable to collect the support evidence when the issue first affects you, so that you keep a record of events at the time. You should give as much detail as possible on the assignments affected and can update your entries at a later stage. If, for example, you submit an assignment late without an extension, due to an exceptional event, you can put in an application for mitigating circumstances after the deadline (whereas self-certification should be done beforehand). In such circumstances, the essay will usually be penalised for lateness and the penalties considered by the Summer Mitigating Circumstances Panel (MCP).

The Mitigating Circumstances Panel meets in June to consider the evidence, and then make recommendations to the Exam Board on any necessary actions.

The deadline for submission of Mitigating Circumstances applications via Tabula for events which relate to either the examination period or to the whole year will be 12 noon Wednesday 12th June 2024.

If in doubt, please contact the Senior Tutor, Dr Emmanuela Bakola (e.bakola@warwick.ac.uk) OR the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Prof Suzanne Frey-Kupper (S.Frey-Kupper@warwick.ac.uk) / Prof Alison Cooley (A.Cooly@warwick.ac.uk) for term 3.

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Mitigating Circumstances Officers:

UGs: Donna Davies/Melanie Price
PGs: Susan Doughty

Mitigating Circumstances Panel membership:

Senior Tutor (Chair) – Emmanuela Bakola

Head of Department – David Fearn

Director of Undergraduate Studies – Suzanne Frey-Kupper / Alison Cooley (T3 onwards)

Exams Officer – Kevin Butcher

Director of Graduate Studies - Clare Rowan (for PGT panels only)

Mitigating Circumstances Officers – Donna Davies/Susan Doughty/Melanie Price