Extenuating circumstances | UniHub
Saved pages

    Close window

    myUniHub MDXSU
    Section navigation

    Extenuating circumstances

    There may be difficult circumstances in your life that affect your ability to meet an assessment deadline or affect your performance in an assessment. These are known as extenuating circumstances or ‘ECs’. Extenuating circumstances are exceptional, seriously adverse and outside of your control.

    As a student it is your responsibility to let the University know about any extenuating circumstances that have affected your work. Where appropriate, these circumstances can be taken into account by the Assessment Board when making its decision, or you can request a short extension, or a deferral of assessment to the next assessment period.

    Extenuating Circumstances can only be requested for summative assessment, not for formative assessment i.e. only for assessment that counts towards your overall module grade.

    If you make a claim for extenuating circumstances you must submit a completed extenuating circumstances form (located within the forms and letters section of MyUniHub at the following link) with supporting evidence.

    For guidance and information about how to apply for extenuating circumstances please read the Frequently Asked Questions below.

    The Students' Union run an independent advice service which supports students through issues relating to their academic experience. They can help if you need advice about any part of the process by email or the web.

    Your Support Services offer a range of advice, counselling, support and guidance for students with extenuating circumstances.

    The section of the Middlesex University regulations concerning extenuating circumstances (section D8) can be found here and the Policy and Procedures for extenuating circumstances claims can be found here.

    • Extenuating circumstances FAQs

      • What are Extenuating Circumstances?

        Extenuating circumstances are personal circumstances which have affected your performance in assessment; they are exceptional; they are outside of your control; supporting evidence must be provided.

        If you have extenuating circumstances you can request:

        - A short extension without penalty of up to 15 days from a coursework deadline

        -  A deferral of the assessment, without penalty to the next available opportunity

        -  Your extenuating circumstances are noted (without specific details) for the board that makes your progression/finalist decision. This allows the board to make an informed progression/finalist decision but will not change grades. Any decision is an outcome from the board and not an automatic entitlement

        The outcome of any Extenuating Circumstances claim might be different from what has been requested.


      • Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances and evidence required

        Listed below are examples that the University would normally regard as extenuating circumstances that could have seriously affected performance and/or attendance. This list is not exhaustive and where the University deems that a student’s application falls within the above definition, it shall be treated under this policy.

        Normally acceptable

        Suggested sources of evidence


        1. Illness, accident or severe trauma or an unexpected deterioration in an ongoing illness or chronic medical condition

        Medical certification of illness or serious accident of the student

        It is recognised that it can be difficult to get timely verification from hospitals, but you should submit your claim, pending confirmation.

        Evidence to show that reason occurs at the time of an assessment. Certification must be current, and not produced retrospectively.

        2. An unpredictable deterioration in an ongoing illness or an unexpected issue impacting on completion of assessments because of a disability or health condition

        Learning Support Form (LSF)

        Medical certification or independent verification

        Where relevant statements are included in the LSF

        University disability and mental health advisors should be consulted as appropriate.

        3. Recent death (< month) of someone close

        Death certificate

        “Close" can refer to parents (and guardians), children and siblings, a spouse/partner and it may include friends, in-laws, grandparents and grandchildren if it can be shown that the relationship was very close.

        4. Serious levels of prolonged stress or anxiety

        Medical certification

        Could be caused by long term effects of bereavement or diagnosed conditions.

        5. Unforseen accident/Serious illness of a close relative

        Medical certification

        Could include sudden deterioration of an ongoing illness.

        6. A significant change to the condition or circumstance of someone for whom the student has a caring responsibility

        Relevant medical certification or evidence from social services

        Illness or other event that precipitates more care required by the student just before or on the deadline.

        7. Serious personal disruption

        Independent verification such as supporting third-party evidence

        Fire, burglary, requirement to appear in Court etc. relevant to the date of the assessment event or the period leading up to it.

        Travel problems are not normally accepted as students are expected to plan ahead.

        8. Significant change of employment circumstances.

        Employer letter providing evidence


        9. If evidence of a declareddisability is provided too late to be taken into account in the deadline for assessment .

        Corroboration from a Disability or Mental health Advisor

        If evidence of a disability is provided too late to be taken into account in the delivery or assessment of the module.

        10. Religious Observance impact on scheduled examinations

        A letter from a religious leader explaining the nature of the obligation and the way in which it impacts on the student; (see http://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/your-study/exams)

        Arrangements will only be made for religious days of obligations where it is prohibited to partake in examination activity.

        Examples of invalid Extenuating Circumstances

        The following is a non-exhaustive list of circumstances unlikely to be regarded as falling within the relevant definition and is unlikely to be accepted as extenuating circumstances.

        NOT normally acceptable


        1. Alleged medical conditions without supporting evidence

        Claims will not be accepted without appropriate medical evidence.

        2. Alleged medical conditions without contemporaneous evidence or sufficiently detailed subsequent evidence

        If a student does not consult a medical practitioner at the time of the illness, it is not acceptable for a student to obtain generic corroborative medical statements at a later date. A letter from a medical practitioner stating, for example, “the student informs me that he/she was unwell during….” will not be deemed acceptable supporting evidence.

        3. Social activities

        Hectic social life, parties, visits by/to friends, sporting fixtures.

        4. Temporary self-induced conditions

        Hangovers, drug taking (unless possibly for a registered medical user influenced by the medical treatment involved including prescribed medication for certain conditions where it is known that there may be adverse reactions eg. drowsiness.)

        5. Minor ailments and other conditions

        Coughs, colds, sore throats, sprains (other than in the writing hand/arm). Long-standing medical conditions for which special arrangements could have been made or treatment anticipated and taken. Accidents/illness affecting relatives or friends unless serious or the student is the sole carer.

        6. Examination stress

        Examination stress or stress in practice placement will not, by itself, be considered as an extenuating circumstance. Support on how to deal with Exam Stress is available on Unihub.

        7. Domestic or personal disruptions which could have been anticipated or planned

        Moving house, holidays, weddings or other events where the student either has control over the date or may choose not to participate. Change of job or "normal" job pressure (exceptional crises at work might be acceptable), failed travel arrangements, illness of pets, oversleeping, misreading examinations timetable or other assessment details, poor time management.

        8. Study-related

        Computer difficulties, losing work not backed up on computer disk, deadline congestion, examination congestion, missing books, examination rescheduling, late distribution of materials by the Faculty/School, delays in printing, photocopying and/or binding of assessed work.

        9. Examination conditions

        Disruption in the examination room: poor lighting, ventilation or heating, excessive noise, illness or behaviour of other students, noise from invigilators.

        Normally such conditions will have been reported by the invigilators, who will pass reports on to the Faculty.


      • Under what circumstances can I apply for my Extenuating Circumstances to be considered by the Assessment Board?

        Your application for extenuating circumstances will only be considered if your circumstances meet the following criteria:

        • The circumstances are exceptional, and seriously adverse
        • They are outside of your control
        • You have provided original supporting documentary evidence of the impact on your ability to perform in the assessment
        • The circumstances relate directly to the timing of the assessment affected
        • You have met the attendance requirements of the module (Deferrals may be overridden by an X grade)
        • Normally, deferred assessment or reassessment will not be permitted beyond two years following commencement of study for the module
      • What evidence do I need to provide to support my application for Extenuating Circumstances?


        This should normally be an official document, signed as appropriate, and should normally state the dates during which the circumstances applied.

        Documentary evidence must be presented in English and where required, official translations must be provided by the student. It is not the responsibility of the University to translate any evidence provided by the student and any untranslated evidence may not be considered.

        The University reserves the right to check the authenticity of all documentary evidence submitted in support of your application. Any student who submits documentation that is not authentic may be subject to the University disciplinary procedures.

        See ‘what are extenuating circumstances’ for examples of acceptable evidence.

      • When must I apply for Extenuating Circumstances by?

          If you are requesting an extension or deferral of an assessment you should submit a claim at the earliest possible opportunity and by the deadline for completion of the assessment component wherever possible (see sections 13 – 18 of Policy and Procedures for Extenuating Circumstances claims).

          If you are requesting the Assessment Board to be notified of your circumstances you should submit a claim at the earliest possible opportunity and by the deadline of your last piece of assessment for the academic year.

          Any applications for extenuating circumstances received after the deadline will not be considered unless you can provide evidence that demonstrates why you were unable or, for valid reasons, unwilling to submit by the deadline.


      • How do I apply for Extenuating Circumstances?


        Applications for extenuating circumstances will only be considered if they are submitted using the Extenuating Circumstances Form along with the necessary supporting evidence.

        Guidance on completing the form:

        • *Student ID Number: This is the 7 digit or 9 character number (normally starting with ‘M’) on your student ID card.
        • *Surname: This is your official surname or family name as recorded on your student record.
        • *First Name: This is your official first name(s) as recorded on your student record.
        • *Programme Title: This should be the full title of the course you are registered to study for e.g. BA Accounting and Finance.
        • *Faculty/School: This should be the Faculty or School of Middlesex University responsible for your programme e.g. Science and Technology; Arts and Creative Industries; Business; Law or Health and Education.
        • What are you applying for?: Indicate which option you want to request.
        • Period of Time Affected: This should be the start and end dates of the period affected by your extenuating circumstances.
        • Module Code: This is the 7 character code for the module(s) affected e.g. ACC3140.
        • Module Title: This should be the full title of the module(s) affected e.g. Taxation.
        • Module Leader: This should be the name of the Module Leader, usually found on the Module Handbook. They will be informed if you are granted an extension or deferral so they know when to expect to receive your assessment.  
        • Assessment Description: You should state the type of assignment that your Extenuating Circumstances relate to e.g. coursework1/exam 2/presentation/class test.
        • Submission Deadline/Exam Date: This is the date you are due to submit your assignment or attend your examination.
        • Description of Extenuating Circumstances: You should provide a concise summary of your exceptional circumstances and how they have adversely affected your academic performance.
        • Documentary Evidence: You should attach documentary evidence in support of your claim (please read carefully the FAQs for further guidance as to what constitutes acceptable supporting evidence).
        • Declaration (I Agree): You must tick the boxes to confirm you have read and agree with the information detailed.

        *This field will be automatically populated after you have logged into MyUniHub – please check the information is correct. If any information is incorrect please contact UniHelp.

        For UK students: If you require further information please contact the Assessment Officers via UniHelp or visit the helpdesk weekdays between 2pm-4pm. Please note this will change to 11am-1pm from January 2017.

        For students studying overseas: Please contact or visit your local Campus or Student Office

        Students should be aware that discussing their application with a member of staff does not constitute a submission of an application for extenuating circumstances.

      • When will I know the outcome of my application for Extenuating Circumstances?


        You will be informed if your application has been successful within 5 days of the Extenuating Circumstances panel meetings.





        October 25th


        May 30th


        November 15th


        June 6th


        December 13th


        June 13th


        January 17th


        February 7th


        July 11th


        March 7th


        August 15th


        April 11th


        August 31st


        May 9th


        September 5th


        May 16th


        September 12th


        May 23rd

      • What if my deadline is before the date of the next panel meeting?


        Your claim may be processed prior to the panel meetings if it meets the following criteria:

        1. The claim is provided by the deadlines set by the University
        2. The claim is for one of the acceptable reasons for extenuation – See FAQ What are Extenuating Circumstances?
        3. There is relevant evidence provided with the claim
        4. The evidence relates to the period of time in which the assessment task or event took place

        Any work that is submitted after the assessment deadline will receive a mark of 20, unless there has been a subsequent successful claim for extenuating circumstances, in which case the work will be marked as if it had been submitted on time.

      • How will I be notified if my Extenuating Circumstances will be presented for consideration by the Assessment Board?


        You will be notified by UniHelp via your Middlesex University email account.

      • How will granted Extenuating Circumstances appear on my record?

        If a deferral has been granted, there will be an ‘I’ recorded in the grade column for the relevant module on your MyUniHub record, followed by the applicable deferral code:

        DA – Deferred all

        DC – Deferred coursework

        DE – Deferred exam

        DO – Deferred other

        If an extension has been granted there will be notes placed on your record that will be available to the Assessment Board.

        If extenuating circumstances have been confirmed there will be notes placed on your record that will be available to the Assessment Board.

      • When will I have to complete my assessment if my extenuating circumstances claim results in a deferral?

        You will normally be required to submit the assessment or sit your examination at the next possible opportunity. For further details you should contact the relevant module leader or refer to the module handbook.

      • Could a claim for extenuating circumstances that results in a deferral of my assessment have financial implications?

        There could be financial implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information can be found here.

      • Could a claim for extenuating circumstances that results in a deferral of my assessment have visa implications?

        There could be progression implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found here.

      • Could a claim for extenuating circumstances that results in a deferral of my assessment have implications for my progression onto the next stage of my programme?

        There could be progression implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found here.

      • How will my Extenuating Circumstances be presented to the Assessment Board?

        Unless you have been granted a deferral, a brief summary of your extenuating circumstances, noting what documentary evidence has been supplied will be made available to the Assessment Board. If you have been granted a deferral, the board will see the code I followed by DA;DC;DE; or DO (see FAQ 'How will Extenuating Circumstances appear on my record?')

      • Who will have access to view the original evidence I have submitted in support of my Extenuating Circumstances?

        Access to the original evidence you have submitted in support of your claim is restricted to the Assessment Officer and the Extenuating Circumstances Panel. In some cases this will extend to the Chair and external examiner (Faculty) of the Assessment Board and the Academic Registrar unless you declare otherwise.

      • Who can I contact if I need further information regarding extenuating circumstances?

        For UK students: If you require further information please contact the Assessment Officers via UniHelp or visit the helpdesk weekdays between 11am - 1pm

        For students based Overseas: Please contact or visit your local Campus or Student Office.

    In this section

    Back to top

    We use Cookies

    View our Privacy and Cookie policy


    myUniHub MDXSU