More details on acceptable circumstances are outlined in the EC Procedure

The University EC Regulations are outlined here.

The University Policy on Circumstances Affecting Students’ Ability to Study and Complete Assessments is outlined here


 Circumstance  Acceptable circumstances Unacceptable circumstances
IllnessThis is usually illness that spans more than 7 days for coursework, but can include acute cases for exams.  This includes students who have had a late diagnosis of a disability or long-term medical condition.

Short-term illness (less than 7 days) are not normally acceptable circumstances with regards coursework, where the student is given a number of weeks/months to complete and submit such work.

As general guidance an illness/ailment that does not require medical treatment or does not lead to a student being bedridden or will not cause a significant risk to others will not normally be acceptable circumstances.  Minor illnesses (e.g. colds) are not acceptable circumstances.  
HospitalisationThis circumstance is generally limited to extended or particularly seriously acute stays in hospital.  A short visit to minor injuries unit or A&E would not normally be considered acceptable circumstances.  
Acute injury

If you have recently had an accident, injury or are experiencing a short-term health condition (for the first time), you may be in a position to request a short-term adjustment for your upcoming in-person exams (e.g. a scribe if you have broken your hand, or more time/rest breaks).

Family illness

The claim should make clear the nature of the relationship between the student and the affected relative and how the student’s ability to study has been impacted.  This would normally only include close relatives (i.e. parents, siblings) but, with that concept in mind, it should be recognised that family structures vary. 

These would usually be a short-term condition. 

However, where the circumstances are external to the student and extend over more than one semester, such as chronic illness of a relative, it may be appropriate to accept the same circumstances for a longer period than one semester if it is not appropriate for the student to voluntarily interrupt their studies.  In such circumstances the student must discuss the situation with their School/Department and submit an extenuating circumstances form each semester to ensure that appropriate account is taken of the circumstances and appropriate support can be offered to the student.  

This would not normally be extended to family pets.
BereavementThe claim should make clear the nature of the relationship between the student and the deceased and how the student’s ability to study has been impacted. The circumstances of the bereavement may also be relevant. This would not normally be extended to family pets.
IT and/or computer failure during e-examinations

This relates to the period of an e-exam only (not for coursework or exam revision).  This applies whether the exam is undertaken online remotely or on UoN facilities. Evidence will always be required.

For e-exams, loss or corruption of files is not an acceptable extenuating circumstance.  It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all work which is electronically stored, generated and/or submitted is sufficiently backed up, including backing up drafts of the work to the cloud or external sources. 

IT and/or computer failure more broadly n/a

For assessed coursework (or exam revision), loss or corruption of files is not an acceptable extenuating circumstance. It is the student's responsibility to ensure that all work which is electronically stored, generated and/or submitted is sufficiently backed up, including backing up drafts of the work to the cloud or external sources.

Withdrawal of IT facilities or suspension for reason of debt are not acceptable circumstances.
Acute personal /emotional circumstancesThese may be considered acceptable circumstances, but students will need to demonstrate that they are seeking appropriate support including liaison with their personal tutor (or Here for You Guide if you are a student in the School of Law).  As with all extenuating circumstances, the University must be told about these circumstances in a timely manner (prior to the cut offs given in the extenuating circumstances procedure).   
PregnancyThe University has a policy on pregnancy related issues. Students who are pregnant should follow the guidance in this document. In some cases it may be appropriate to use the extenuating circumstances procedure (for instance when a student suffers from a specific illness caused by the pregnancy), in which case the requirements for illness or hospitalisation above should be followed. 
Maternity or paternity leavePlease see the guidance for supporting students with pregnancy and parental caring responsibilities.


Please note, fathers are permitted to request extenuating circumstances for paternity leave.

Victim of crimeIt will be necessary to demonstrate how this has affected the student’s ability to study and/or undertake assessment, with reference to other requirements as necessary (e.g. acute personal/emotional circumstances/hospitalisation). 
Domestic disruptionThis applies only in relation to examinations unless the circumstances are exceptionally severe and extended.Disturbances caused by housemates would generally be considered normal and therefore not acceptable as an extenuating circumstance. See also ‘accommodation disturbances’.
Accommodation disturbances It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have access to suitable accommodation, including for any assessments offered in the reassessment period and for the full calendar year for postgraduate students, and therefore ongoing or foreseeable problems with accommodation are not normally acceptable circumstances.  
Representing the University at a national event or involvement in some other significant/ prestigious eventThis would apply to a wide variety of events, including but not limited to sporting events. Reference should also be made to the High Performing Athlete policy. 
Jury service (UK)

A student who is asked to undertake jury service that would affect their ability to meet any of the requirements of their programme should make a request to the Court for the Jury Service to be deferred.  Only where the Court has refused such a deferral will Jury Service be considered as an acceptable extenuating circumstance.

Deferral of Jury Service is only permitted once by the Courts.
Court attendance (UK)This would apply when a student had to make a court appearance (e.g. as a witness) or is accompanying someone attending court. This is different to jury service. 
Transport issuesExceptional and unforeseeable transport issues only. It is expected that students will ensure that they arrive at the assessment on time, irrespective of the form of transport used or relied upon. An inability to travel as a result of circumstances beyond the student's control may though constitute sufficient cause e.g. cancellation of a train/plane, car breakdown.  Students should, however, allow a reasonable contingency time in any travel arrangements made, including application for travel authorisation paperwork, as moderate delays are considered a normal expectation.
Holidaysn/aIt is the student's responsibility to ensure that they are available for all study activities and all assessments, including any assessments taking place on Saturdays in the main examination periods or offered in the reassessment period (August – September). All holidays and vacations should take place at a time that will not impact on the student's availability to study or undertake or prepare for an assessment(s).
Misreading the examination timetable It is the student's responsibility to ensure that they know and remember the location, time and duration of all formal assessments.
Scheduling of assessments/deadlines Deadlines being close together or examinations scheduled close together will not normally constitute acceptable circumstances.
Paid employment or voluntary workWhere unforeseen or exceptional work commitments arise, these may be considered acceptable circumstances (this would normally only apply for part time students or apprentices).

It is expected that students will ensure that any paid employment or voluntary work does not interfere with their ability to engage with their studies or assessments. It should be noted that examinations may be scheduled to take place on Saturdays during the published examination periods. The University has guidance for students undertaking employment or other activities during their studies.

Exam stressThis may be considered an acceptable circumstance if a medical diagnosis of illness is made (see illness above).  Medical evidence would be required. Preparing for and taking assessments can be a demanding time both physically and psychologically and feeling ‘below par', stressed and anxious leading up to and during an assessment(s) is a common experience of many students and therefore not an extenuating circumstance. The typical symptoms associated with ‘exam stress’ (e.g. anxiety, sleeping disturbances, feeling nauseous etc.) would not normally be considered acceptable extenuating circumstances.
Religious observance

If a student has completed the Religious Observance Form by the published deadline and it has not been possible to make alternative arrangements centrally, the School/Department should take reasonable steps to provide an alternative assessment opportunity. Where this is not possible, the School/Department may consider a claim under this policy. 

Students may submit extenuating circumstance claims in respect of performance in assessments affected by symptoms attributable to religious observance (e.g. Ramadan).

Absence from an assessment for reason of religious observance, where no Religious Observance Form has been completed, or where the relevant permission for absence has not been obtained prior to the assessment, will not be deemed an acceptable extenuating circumstance.

Religious observance requirements will not normally be regarded as an extenuating circumstance with regard to assessed coursework where the student is given a number of weeks/months to complete and submit such work. 
Criminal convictionn/aIf a student is convicted of a criminal offence any disruption caused by the investigation or sentence is not an acceptable extenuating circumstance.
Foreseeable/preventable circumstances n/aWhere the circumstances are within the control of the student they would not normally constitute sufficient cause for failure to comply with the assessment requirements or engage fully with their studies.
Being reluctant to disclose the circumstances for any reason Not informing the University of circumstances for any reason are not considered to be credible and compelling explanations for non-submission of contemporaneous claims. The University can only consider circumstances if they are disclosed in accordance with this policy.
Submitting the same extenuating circumstances more than onceThis would only be considered acceptable if the student has accessed appropriate support to manage the circumstances but there is an unexpected acute episode at a particularly significant time.Submitting the same extenuating circumstances more than once would not normally be considered an acceptable circumstance.
Long term conditionsn/a 

It is not normally possible for the circumstance to have arisen more than 12 months before the affected assessment for a claim to be made under this regulation.

Matters which extend over 12 months would need to claim under the Policy on long-term conditions or disabilities affecting students' ability to study and complete assessments so that appropriate support for study or individual arrangements for examinations can be put in place.