Mitigating Circumstances

If an unexpected situation occurs, which affects your ability to undertake an exam or a written or practical assignment, you have the opportunity to inform the University that this affected your capacity to complete the exam or assignment to the best of your ability.

What does 'Mitigating Circumstances' mean?

A serious or significant event or situation that you could not anticipate which directly affected your performance in an examination or assignment. For example, an unexpected serious health issue, family bereavement, severe disruption within your exam. Warning! You will need to provide evidence to show that this unexpected event or situation occurred. The University will expect you to demonstrate how the event or situation affected your performance.

Note: if the unforeseen circumstances occurred more than 5 working days before the assessment, then you should submit a deferral application instead. This form can be downloaded from the VLE. Contact for further information on this.

CHECKLIST - What do I do next?

 If you decide to submit a Mitigating Circumstances application, you need to do the following:

  • Submit before the deadline: You have 10 working days from the date of the exam or assignment deadline to make sure that your application is received by the Office of Regulation & Compliance (ORC). Warning! If your application is late, you will need to submit a late submission form with supportive evidence explaining why you could not submit it within the deadline.
  • Gather your evidence immediately: You need to make sure that you have evidence to support your application and that it contains key details such as dates and times that the unexpected event / situation occurred. If it is not an email, the document needs to be signed by the author of the document.
  • If you are feeling ill, go and see your GP as soon as you can, preferably on the day and obtain written evidence from them of your appointment, what was diagnosed and if medication was prescribed. You will need to use this as evidence.
  • Inform your Programme Leader or Student Manager on the day if possible. Do this by email and get a read receipt to confirm that they have seen it. You can use this as evidence.
  • Write a strong statement: Many applications fail because they do not fully explain what occurred. If you cannot explain how and why this affected your performance and link this to the evidence you provided, your application is likely to be rejected.
  • Seek Independent Advice: Unsure of what to do or require feedback on your application before sending it off, get in touch with for confidential and impartial advice on how to make a successful statement.
  • Always keep a copy of your application: It is expected of you to have one to refer to later.
  • Proof of submission: If you send it by post, make sure it is by recorded delivery or if submitting to Student Advice, ensure you get a receipt to prove that they have sent it on your behalf.

What happens next?

Once submitted, your application will be considered by an ORC officer to determine if the information provided by you presents a  prima facie (on the face of it) case that satisfied the threshold for a valid mitigating circumstances application.

If a valid prima facie case is established, your application will be presented to the Mitigating Circumstances Panel for consideration.

Please click here to download the Mitigating Circumstances Application

Please click here to download the Late Submission Form