Any student who believes that there are circumstances (sudden ill health or close family bereavement for example), that have seriously affected their performance in assessment can submit a mitigating circumstances claim through so that circumstances may be taken into account account when the Board of Examiners meet.

Mitigating Circumstances

Any student who believes that there are circumstances (sudden ill health or close family bereavement for example), that have seriously affected their performance in assessment can submit a mitigating circumstances claim so their circumstances may be taken into account when the Board of Examiners meet.

Should you feel that you wish to submit mitigating circumstance claim, please read the information below and the information provided by the University in the student handbook and the detailed FAQs produced.


What are Mitigating circumstances?

If you are ill or your studies have been affected by other serious events, you can submit a Mitigating Circumstances form. ‘Mitigating Circumstances’ are usually for unexpected, severe events that are sudden, severely disruptive and beyond your control and consequently have seriously affected your performance in an assessment.  Examples include: bereavement, an accident or acute ill health. These circumstances may then be taken into account by the Board of Examiners.  Please note that mitigating circumstances do not offer a longer-term solution and can’t cover you for attendance. If you have longer term issues that are likely to affect your performance and attendance across a year, you may want to explore intermission with your Tutor/s and Academic Registry, or the setting up of a SARA with the support of the University’s Disability Service and Wellbeing Services. 

Mitigating Circumstances are serious events which impact upon your performance and must be:

  • Severe: the event or circumstance must have had a serious impact on assessment performance.
  • Unexpected: In most cases students must have had no prior knowledge that a particular event would occur.
  • Unpreventable: there must have been no reasonable steps that the student could have taken to prevent the event or circumstance from occurring
  • Relevant: the event or circumstances must have occurred at the time of or during the period immediately leading up to the assessment
  • Corroborated: the claim must meet the requirements for independent documentary evidence outlined in this FAQ Document.

Mitigating Circumstances and Extensions are often confused as the same thing when they are in fact two completely separate processes. An extension is extra time to complete an assignment and it is usually always advisable to consider this option before applying for mitigating circumstances. Extensions are applied for through your Programme Coordinator. 

Mitigating circumstances should also not be confused with alternative or additional examination / assessment arrangements, which may be made for students with disabilities or specific learning difficulties. These arrangements should be made through completion of a SARA form, supported by the Student Support and Wellbeing team.

How do I apply for an extension?

You should discuss your needs for an extension with your Programme Coordinator. The Programme Coordinator might decline the request if the reason for non-completion of the work is not deemed sufficient. The Programme Coordinator may alternatively recommend that an extension will not give the student a reasonable chance of success and they should apply for mitigating circumstances. They might also provide an extension but additionally advise the student to apply for mitigating circumstances as a precaution.


How will mitigating circumstances help?

In any case of failure or failure to submit in a module, a student is usually allowed to take that assessment again, at the next point of assessment, without a capped mark of 40%, as a resit would be. If you have submitted a claim for mitigation and you pass your module, mitigation will not be applied, and the original mark will be accepted.

Marks are not normally altered because of a student’s mitigating circumstances. However, the Board’s decision on what to do in certain situations may be influenced by the mitigating evidence considered. Please be aware that mitigating circumstances cannot provide extensions, this is something you will need to contact your programme about and is at their discretion.


How do I apply for mitigating circumstances?

Apply for mitigating circumstances online at: (under ‘My Study’ you will see a yellow box to click on called ‘Mitigating Circumstances).

In the unlikely event you’re unable to complete an online application please email It is important to make sure you have included the correct modules code/s, date/s of assessment and type of assessment on your claim form.  Make sure you have included your independent supporting evidence to corroborate your claim. Your claim cannot be progressed any further unless you submit robust, independent supporting evidence to corroborate it.

Please note that claims for mitigation should normally be submitted before the point of assessment. If this is not possible, claimants should liaise with the Academic Quality and Standards Service who will give guidance on the maximum timeframe for submission.

It is recommended that if you need to discuss your claim in detail or have a sensitive query you wish to discuss in person, you first email or telephone: 01243 816074/816021 to make an appointment, appointments can be made in person or via Teams. This will enable a focussed approach when considering various circumstances.


What are unacceptable mitigating circumstances?

Mitigating circumstances are not a substitute for academic performance and should not be submitted as an insurance against possible poor performance. It is extremely unlikely that the University would accept evidence of events such as those listed (below) as mitigating circumstances affecting performance in assessments:

  • Alleged medical conditions without supporting evidence
  • Social activities
  • Temporary self-induced conditions
  • Minor ailments and other conditions
  • Job seeking / paid employment
  • Examination stress
  • Domestic or personal disruptions which could have been anticipated or planned/Time Management issues
  • Study-related issues
  • Examination conditions.
  • Failure of IT equipment related to your coursework/essay submissions
  • Pre-booked travel/holidays commitments
  • Travel disruption (cancelled public transport, traffic jams etc.)

If you need help, support or advice relating to specific mental, physical health or emotional/domestic circumstance issues, we would encourage you to contact Student Support and Wellbeing.


What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?

Any student aggrieved by the outcome of discussions at the Board of Examiners has the right to appeal against the Board’s decisions, within 14 days of publication of results.