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Extenuating circumstances

What are 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, unforeseen, seriously adverse and outside of your control.

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

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

Covid-19: University accepting claims without evidence

In recognition of the difficulties experienced in trying to get evidence whilst in the pandemic, the University has agreed to grant extenuating circumstances claims without the need to provide evidence. This process will be in place for work due to be submitted up till 1st October 2021.

It is strongly recommended, if you are able to, that you do complete and submit the assessments your tutors have set during any assessment period in order to give you the best possible opportunity to progress to the next stage of your programme or graduate in the summer.

In addition, deferring assessment may impact on student route visa requirements.

Applications for deferrals received after August 24th on work that was due in the summer term (ie up until 24th August) will not be considered, in accordance with the Extenuating Circumstances Policy. 

Summer Term Assessments - August 2021 
Short Extensions on work due in the summer term are not possible due to the timings of the assessment boards. If you cannot meet your deadline please apply for a deferral to the next assessment period for your module (this will normally be May 2022 if you are doing resit assessments in July​/August)

If a student applies for a deferral (which will be granted under the current situation) yet chooses to still submit their work on the first attempt, this will override the deferral as it will be assumed that the student wants the grade to be recorded against the module.

Please read the FAQs below before completing an EC form

Apply for Extenuating Circumstances

To apply for Extenuating Circumstances (ECs), you must submit a completed Extenuating Circumstances Form.

Please use Mozilla Firefox to complete the form and avoid use of a tablet or phone. Do not copy and paste information into the EC form.

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

Support and advice

Due to COVID-19 the current policy for Extenuating Circumstances claims is not in place.

Policy and Procedures for Extenuating Circumstances Claims as well as our University regulations concerning Extenuating Circumstances (section D8).

Our Students' Union run an independent advice service which can support you with any issues relating to your academic experience. They also offer advice about any part of the process. Please email the team or visit the MDXSU website for more information.

Please seek support as soon as your circumstances change. This may enable assessment deadlines to be met without the need for an extension or a deferral. Our Support Services provide a range of advice, counselling, support and guidance.

Students on a Tier 4 Visa

If you defer for a long period, we will have to inform UK Visas and Immigration and they will curtail your leave. You will need to leave the UK and apply for new Entry Clearance when you are ready to the UK and resume your studies.

For more information, please visit our Tier 4 visa page.

  • Extenuating circumstances FAQs

    • What are Extenuating Circumstances?

      Extenuating circumstances are personal circumstances which have affected your performance in assessment. They are exceptional and outside your control. Supporting evidence is currently not required.

      If you have extenuating circumstances, you can apply for:

      • A short extension, without penalty, of up to 14 days for coursework deadlines only and not for group work
      • A deferral of the assessment, without penalty, to the next available opportunity
      • If your assessment has been completed, your extenuating circumstances to be noted (without specific details) for the Assessment 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
      • For some modules, short extensions are not permitted. Please check with the module leader

      The outcome of any Extenuating Circumstances application may be different from what has been requested.

      Extenuating Circumstances must be requested before the end of the assessment period.

      FAQs

      FAQs
      FAQs
      FAQs
    • Under what circumstances can I apply for Extenuating Circumstances?

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

      • They are unforeseen and outside your control
      • 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 indicating attendance requirements have not been met)
      • Normally, deferred assessment or reassessment will not be permitted beyond two years following commencement of study for the module. Due to COVID-19 this may be extended to three years.

      <table border="1" style="width: 100%;"><thead><tr><th><p><strong>NOT normally acceptable </strong></p></th><th><p><strong>Examples </strong></p></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td><p><strong>1. </strong>Alleged medical conditions without supporting evidence</p></td><td><p>Claims will not be accepted without appropriate medical evidence.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>2.</strong> Alleged medical conditions without contemporaneous evidence or sufficiently detailed subsequent evidence</p></td><td><p>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.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>3</strong>. Social activities</p></td><td><p>Hectic social life, parties, visits by/to friends, sporting fixtures.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>4</strong>. Temporary self-induced conditions</p></td><td><p>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.)</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>5.</strong> Minor ailments and other conditions</p></td><td><p>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.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>6</strong>. Examination stress</p></td><td><p>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.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>7</strong>. Domestic or personal disruptions which could have been anticipated or planned</p></td><td><p>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.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>8</strong>. Study-related</p></td><td><p>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.</p></td></tr><tr><td><p><strong>9.</strong> Examination conditions</p></td><td><p>Disruption in the examination room: poor lighting, ventilation or heating, excessive noise, illness or behaviour of other students, noise from invigilators.</p><p>Normally such conditions will have been reported by the invigilators, who will pass reports on to the Faculty.</p></td></tr></tbody></table>FAQs

    • What can I apply for in my Extenuating Circumstances?

      You can apply for the following outcomes in your Extenuating Circumstances.  Please note the outcome of any Extenuating Circumstances application may be different from what has been requested.

      • Deferral

      Your circumstances have impacted on your ability to sit your exam or complete and/or submit your assessment. You are requesting an opportunity to sit the exam or submit the work at the next assessment opportunity.  A deferral does not excuse a lack of attendance to lectures or other teaching sessions.

      • Short Extension - (Not available in Summer Term)

      Your circumstances have meant you have been unable to submit your assessment by the deadline and you are requesting a short extension in order to submit the work.

      • ECs noted only

      The ECs noted is being automatically applied to all finalist students for 2020/2021. Your circumstances may have affected your performance on other assessments for one or more modules and, although you intend to sit the exam or submit your assessment, you wish the Assessment Board to be aware of this in case there is a borderline decision to be made regarding your progression/finalist decision.  This means your circumstances are noted (without details) for the Assessment Board.  No grades are changed.

      • Deferral & ECs noted

      Your circumstances have impacted on your ability to sit your exam or complete and/or submit your assessment. You are requesting an opportunity to sit the exam or submit the work at the next assessment opportunity.

      Your circumstances may also have affected your performance on other assessments for the same module and, although you intend to sit the exam or submit your assessment, you wish the Assessment Board to be aware of this in case there is a borderline decision to be made regarding your progression/finalist decision. This means your circumstances are noted (without details) for the Assessment Board.  No grades are changed.

      • Short Extension & ECs noted - (Not available for Summer Term)

      Your circumstances have meant you have been unable to submit your assessment by the deadline and you are requesting a short extension in order to submit the work.

      Your circumstances may also have affected your performance on other assessments for the same module and, although you intend to sit the exam or submit your assessment, you wish the Assessment Board to be aware of this in case there is a borderline decision to be made regarding your progression/finalist decision.  This means your circumstances are noted (without details) for the Assessment Board.  No grades are changed.

    • When must I apply for Extenuating Circumstances by?

      FAQs

      If you are requesting an extension or deferral of an assessment you should submit an application at the earliest possible opportunity and if possible by the deadline for completion of the assessment component and no later than the end of the assessment period.

      If you are requesting the Assessment Board to be notified of your circumstances you should submit an application at the earliest possible opportunity and no later than the end of the assessment period.

      If the circumstances occur on or around the assessment deadline, you must submit your application as soon as possible.

    • How do I apply for Extenuating Circumstances?

      Applications for extenuating circumstances will only be considered if they are submitted using the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

      Due to confidentiality, applications and evidence are not shared across the university unless deemed to be necessary i.e. safeguarding.

      Guidance on completing the form:

        Check finished form

      • *Student Number: This is the 7 digit or 9 character number (normally starting with ‘M’) on your student ID card.
      • *First Name/Surname: This is your official first name and surname or family name as recorded on your student record.
      • *Programme Title: This is the full title of the course you are registered to study for e.g. BA Accounting and Finance.
      • *Faculty/School: This is 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.
      • 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.  Details of your circumstances will not be shared.  
      • Assessment Type: You should state the type of assignment that your Extenuating Circumstances relate to e.g. coursework 1/exam 2/presentation/class test.
      • Submission Deadline/Exam Date: This is the date you are due to submit your assignment or attend your examination.  (If you are submitting your application after your assessment deadline, you should outline why it would have been impossible for you to submit your application by the deadline and your evidence must demonstrate this. Failure to do so may result in your EC application being rejected.)
      • What are you applying for?: Indicate which option you want to request.  Hover your mouse over the option to see an explanation.
      • Description of Extenuating Circumstances: You should provide a concise summary of your exceptional circumstances including the following information:
        • What were your Extenuating Circumstance and why were they exceptional and out of your control?
        • How did the ECs affect your performance or impact your ability to meet your assessment deadline or sit your exam?
        • Any further relevant information.
      • 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 UniHelp, situated on the ground floor of the Sheppard Library.  Contact details and opening hours can be found at UniHelp

      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 submission of an application for extenuating circumstances or that it has been approved.

      FAQs

    • My circumstances occurred on the day of my exam or assessment deadline.  When must I submit my application by?

      If the circumstances occur on or around the assessment deadline, please submit a form as soon as possible and no later than the end of the assessment period.

      FAQs

    • I have registered with the University Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) as I have an ongoing condition.  Can I use the Extenuating Circumstances policy?

      If you have registered with DDS and have support arrangements in place, you can use the EC process if you experience an deterioration or fluctuation in your condition that means your support arrangements are not sufficient to allow you to complete your assessment.  For example, you may have been hospitalised unexpectedly, or had a flare up of a managed condition.

      FAQs

    • What evidence do I need to provide to support my application for Extenuating Circumstances?

      Currently evidence is not required due to the pandemic.

      <p>What evidence do I need to provide to support my application for Extenuating Circumstances?</p><p>This should normally be an official document, signed as appropriate, and should normally state the dates during which the circumstances applied<strong>.</strong></p><p>Letters/emails from module tutors or programme leaders would not normally be accepted.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p><em>See FAQ ‘<strong>Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances and evidence required</strong>’ for examples of acceptable evidence.</em></p><p>What evidence do I need to provide to support my application for Extenuating Circumstances?</p><p>This should normally be an official document, signed as appropriate, and should normally state the dates during which the circumstances applied<strong>.</strong></p><p>Letters/emails from module tutors or programme leaders would not normally be accepted.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p><em>See FAQ ‘<strong>Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances and evidence required</strong>’ for examples of acceptable evidence.</em></p><p>What evidence do I need to provide to support my application for Extenuating Circumstances?</p><p>This should normally be an official document, signed as appropriate, and should normally state the dates during which the circumstances applied<strong>.</strong></p><p>Letters/emails from module tutors or programme leaders would not normally be accepted.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p><em>See FAQ ‘<strong>Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances and evidence required</strong>’ for examples of acceptable evidence.</em></p>FAQs

    • Examples of acceptable extenuating circumstances and evidence required

      Currently evidence is not required due to the pandemic.

    • Examples of invalid Extenuating Circumstances

      Currently evidence is not required due to the pandemic.

    • I am awaiting evidence from a third party – should I submit my EC application without it?

      Yes, currently evidence is not required due to the pandemic.

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

      Currently all applications are being granted and therefore you can assume your request has been accepted. You will receive notification in writing as soon as possible.

    • What if I haven’t heard the outcome of my request before my deadline?

      All EC requests are being granted, therefore, if you have not had a response by the assessment deadline you can assume it has been accepted and you will receive a response shortly. If you attempt an assessment, the grade achieved will overwrite and short-extension or deferral entered on your record.

    • How will I be notified of the outcome of my Extenuating Circumstances request?

      You will be notified by UniHelp via your Middlesex University email account.  You can also check your UniHelp portal.

    • How will granted Extenuating Circumstances appear on my record?

      If a deferral has been granted, there will be an ‘I’ (I = incomplete) recorded in the grade column for the relevant module on your MyUniHub record, followed by the applicable deferral code (this may not appear on your myUniHub record until after the assessment board):

      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 you completed your assessment and extenuating circumstances are to be noted, there will be notes placed on your record that will be available to the Assessment Board.
      • The details of your extenuating circumstance will not be included in these notes.
    • 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.

      If at any time a full time student interrupts, is not attending but completing a resit/deferred work or is a deferred finalist, your Council Tax exemption may change.  More information can be found in the Welfare Advice guide for Council Tax.

      Students who have finished receiving all teaching on their programme, but have outstanding assessment to complete due to deferrals, may lose their DSA allowance.  Contact Disability & Dyslexia Support Service for information - disability@mdx.ac.uk.

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

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

      <p>There could be visa implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found <u><a href="https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/your-support-services/visas-international/while-you-are-studying/tier-4-visas/deferring-assessments">here</a></u>.</p><p>There could be visa implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found <u><a href="https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/your-support-services/visas-international/while-you-are-studying/tier-4-visas/deferring-assessments">here</a></u>.</p><p>There could be visa implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found <u><a href="https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/your-support-services/visas-international/while-you-are-studying/tier-4-visas/deferring-assessments">here</a></u>.</p><p>There could be visa implications as a result of deferring your assessment. Further information and advice can be found <u><a href="https://unihub.mdx.ac.uk/your-support-services/visas-international/while-you-are-studying/tier-4-visas/deferring-assessments">here</a></u>.</p>V<p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p>FAQs

    • 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. Students in receipt of Disability Support Allowance should seek advice regarding the impact of deferring assessments.

    • How will my Extenuating Circumstances be presented 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?’)

    • I missed assessments due to being temporarily withdrawn or deregistered. Can I apply for extenuating circumstances?

      It is the student’s responsibility to highlight any missed assessment at the earliest possible opportunity.

    • I’m not happy with the outcome of my Extenuating Circumstance application. What can I do?

      A student can use the procedures set out in Section G Academic Appeals following publication of results.

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

      For UK students: If you require further information, please first ensure you have read the FAQs on UniHub as well as the Extenuating Circumstances policy.

      If you still require assistance, please contact UniHelp. Contact details and opening hours can be found at UniHelp.

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

    • Will my grades be uncapped with resits in the next academic year?

      Students who failed modules in 2020/21 academic year with resits in the next academic year will get uncapped grades up until till May 2022.

      This includes:

      • Students who deferred first submission point, failed at second submission point will also have a resit opportunity from this academic year
      • Students who failed first submission point, deferred at second submission point will also have a resit opportunity from this academic year

      Students taking deferrals to next 2021/22 academic year will not get uncapped resits next year.

      This includes:

      • Students who deferred both first and second submission points from this year to next year (i.e. they have not failed in this academic year) and then failed their first submission, will also have a resit opportunity next academic year.

      March 2021 ND Statement

      Providing free re-sit opportunities that will be uncapped

      Normally, if you fail an assessment and have to re-sit it, the marks you can achieve are capped, so  you cannot achieve top grades for your work. This year, we are allowing an uncapped resit for all failed assessments. Furthermore, unlike many other universities, we don’t charge you to re-sit an assessment.

      And

      Ensuring our approach to deferrals is flexible

      …Our expanded Extenuating Circumstances provision will allow all students to defer assessments due between March and May 2021 and to submit in July/August 2021…

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