Skip to main content

U: Mitigating Circumstances

University Mitigating Circumstances Guidance

(To be read in conjunction with the regulation governing Absence for Medical Reasons from a University Examination for First Degrees- Regulation 12) , accompanying PDF ‘Mitigating Circumstances Process and Procedures’, and additional information on Mitigating Circumstances online here (see paragraph 11).

The information below (and attached) is for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students. The definitions of Mitigating Circumstances are also intended to be helpful for Postgraduate Research Students.

(PDF Document) Mitigating Circumstances Process and Procedures

(Word Document) Mitigating Circumstances Declaration Form Template (for internal University Staff use only) Students must contact their academic department directly to obtain the specific form for their course/department

Defining Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating Circumstances are unforeseen events or circumstances which have a significant negative impact on your ability to successfully complete, or study effectively in preparation for, summative assessment tasks such as essays, written or oral examinations, assessed presentations or assessed laboratory work. If you want any such events or circumstances to be considered by the relevant Board of Examiners you are required to communicate formally (normally in writing) with your Department about them. Please note that while it is acknowledged that cultural attitudes to the disclosure of personal information may vary, students are expected to fully disclose all matters they wish to have taken into consideration by the Board of Examiners.If you are unsure whether something that has happened to you, or to someone close to you, is eligible to be considered as a Mitigating Circumstance, it is likely to be eligible if it was unforeseeable or beyond your control and if it also had a significant impact on your ability to prepare for or complete the assessment in question. If you are in any doubt about whether something that has happened to you or someone close to you is eligible for consideration then you should consult your Personal Tutor or Student Support or one of the advisers at the Students’ Union Advice Centre. Even if the event or circumstance is not eligible for consideration in this way it may nevertheless be something for which you should seek support and the tables below indicate, in their final column, where to go to access that support.The two tables below provide more detailed guidance on, and examples of, types of circumstance which are normally considered eligible (Table 1) and types which are not normally eligible (Table 2).

Submission of Mitigating Circumstances

If you think you do have an eligible Mitigating Circumstance you should complete and submit a Declaration Form to your Department and submit it as soon as possible after the circumstance arises along with appropriate supporting documentation of the sort outlined in the ‘Supporting Documentation’ column of Table 1, below. The University recognizes that it may be difficult to obtain supporting documentation in a timely fashion; however, you should still register the circumstance pending supply of supporting documentation.


Mitigating Circumstances can never result in the changing of marks for individual modules or assessments; however, they may affect your overall degree classification. For further information on the possible effects of your Mitigating Circumstances claim being accepted please see the separate PDF document ‘Mitigating Circumstances Process and Procedures’.

Table 1: Circumstances normally eligible for consideration

Table 2: Circumstances not normally eligible for consideration