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Mitigating Circumstances

Extenuating or mitigating circumstances are those events which have had a detrimental effect on your study. Such circumstances include illness, both physical and emotional; the severe illness or death of a close family member; a shocking or traumatic personal experience. In addition, sudden, unexpected changes in family circumstances might affect your ability to make academic progress as a consequence of their demonstrable emotional impact upon you, and may also be considered.

It can be in your interest to draw the department’s attention to them and ask for them to be considered in mitigation for poor performance. The FAQs page (see answer to the question "What happens next with my mitigating circumstances in department and at an exam board?") 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

If the mitigating circumstances affect a particular piece of work 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.

Please note that we do not allow self-certified extensions of deadlines for any coursework. Most pieces of assessed coursework (answers to examples sheets, computer 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. You would be completing previous coursework when you should be working on the follow-up experiment, examples sheet, etc. 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, the FAQs 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 (normally greater than a term in duration and that are likely
to be ongoing) and disabilities are dealt with using Reasonable Adjustments (RA).

Mitigating Circumstances involving examinations: 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.