Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Mitigating Circumstances

Extenuating or mitigating circumstances are events which have had a detrimental effect on your study. Examples include illness; the severe illness or death of a close family member; a shocking or traumatic personal experience. In addition, abrupt changes in family circumstances might affect your ability to make academic progress.

It can be in your interest to ask for such circumstances to be considered in mitigation for poor performance. The University Advice for Students page (see Section 10) makes clear that, if an application for consideration of mitigating circumstances is accepted, marks will not be changed for assessed work or examinations.

Assessed Coursework

We do not allow self-certified extensions of deadlines for any coursework.

If the mitigating circumstances affect a particular piece of assessed coursework for a module you should contact the module leader directly as soon as possible after the problem arises. They will be best placed to decide what needs to be done. Please do not submit a notification via the Mit Circs portal in such cases.

For one-off issues, such as acute illness or major accidents, that affect substantial assessments, a deadline extension can be possible. In such cases you should contact the module leader in person so that the consequences for later assessments and examinations can be discussed, before any extension can be agreed.

Most pieces of assessed coursework (answers to examples sheets, computer tests, moodle tests, interim reports, lab notebooks, lab reports, programming assignments) are part of year-long or term-long series of assessments. Extending any of the intermediate, sometimes weekly, deadlines is not helpful. It would mean that you would be completing previous coursework when you should be working on the follow-up experiment or examples sheet, or preparing for the assessment for another module. Extensions to later coursework deadlines are also problematic as they reduce the time you would have to prepare for examinations.

Reporting Mitigating Circumstances

You can make a formal application for consideration of circumstances affecting many modules or an examination/collection of examinations. Before making an application, please read the University Policy and the Advice for Students. It is usually advisable to discuss with your personal tutor too. Mitigating circumstances applications are made through Tabula [> My Student Profile > Personal circumstances ].

You should note that long term chronic conditions and disabilities are dealt with using Reasonable Adjustments (RA).

If you are prevented from attending an examination paper, or any part of an examination, for medical reasons, you should submit the mitigating circumstances application with a doctor’s note confirming your inability to take or complete the exam at the prescribed time. You are strongly encouraged to do this as soon as possible after the missed examination. You must submit the required documentation no later than 3 working days* following the day of your last University examination.

All other cases of mitigating circumstances should be submitted no later than Thursday of week 37 (Term 3, week 8)*. This is 5 working days in advance of the Mitigating Circumstances Panel meetings in Physics, which are usually scheduled for Thursday of week 38.

The Mitigating Circumstances Panel for each year consist of usually all (but at least three) of: the Head of Department, the Senior Tutor, the Deputy Senior Tutor, the Director of Education, the Examination Secretary for the year in question and the Head of the Educational Support Services.

* For circumstances relating to September examinations, the deadline for applications is the last day of the Resit periodLink opens in a new window.