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U: Mitigating Circumstances/Reasonable Adjustments

University Mitigating Circumstances/Reasonable Adjustments Guidance

(To be read in conjunction with the regulation governing Absence for Medical Reasons from a University Examination for First Degrees- Regulation 12)

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

1) Definition of Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are defined as:

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 Form as soon as possible. DEADLINES: For extension requests as soon as possible and definitely before the submission deadline. For all other mitigating circumstances that might be relevant to a Board of Examiners by the Departmental Deadline provided in the Student Handbook.

NOTE: Long term chronic conditions (normally greater than a term in duration and that are likely to continue) and disabilities are dealt with under the reasonable adjustments (RA’s) policy which can be found at: (

2) Definition of Reasonable Adjustments

  • 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.
  • Noting ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’ and that 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 Disability Services or Mental Health and Wellbeing and request an appointment to discuss their support requirements:


  • A reasonable adjustment may be unique to the individual and could include special examination arrangements, delayed 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 Disability Services or Mental Health and Wellbeing.
  • 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 at: 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.
  • Further information on disabilities and reasonable adjustments can also be accessed in the University’s Disability Policy at: (

3) Information for Students

If you want to submit mitigating circumstances, please read:

(PDF Document) Mitigating Circumstances Policy and

(PDF Document) Mitigating Circumstances Advice for Students  and please check with your department directly to obtain the specific form for submission of
mitigating circumstances for your course/department which will be modelled along the University Mitigating Circumstances Declaration Form

(Word Document) Mitigating Circumstances Declaration Form Template (for internal University staff use only) January 2019

4) Information for staff advising students on mitigating circumstances

Please read:

(PDF Document) Mitigating Circumstances Guidance for Staff

5) Information for departmental staff on processing and storing mitigating circumstances from the Information and Data Compliance Director

Please read:

(PDF Document) Mitigating Circumstances Processing and Storing Guidance from IDC