Extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are where students experience circumstances that temporarily impair their ability to participate in a programme, submit assessments, or attend examinations or other assessment related events such as an in-semester test or a performance.

Regulations for extenuating circumstances (PDF)

Types of extenuating circumstance

What counts as an extenuating circumstance?

Please see regulation 8 of the regulations for extenuating circumstances (PDF) for full details. Examples include:

  • Bereavement through the death of a close relative
  • A long-term chronic health problem that has suddenly worsened
  • A serious accident
  • A serious short-term illness

What does not count as an extenuating circumstance?

Please see regulation 11 of the regulations for extenuating circumstances (PDF) for full details. Examples include:

  • A claim in relation to a medical condition with evidence that does not relate to the time when you claim the illness or condition occurred
  • A minor illness that would not normally lead a responsible and reasonable employed person to take sick leave
  • Circumstances that a reasonable person would view as foreseeable or preventable

Evidence of extenuating circumstances

Please see regulation 9 of the regulations for extenuating circumstances (PDF) for full details. Examples include:

  • A copy of an accident report in relation to an accident or injury
  • A death certificate
  • A signed and dated letter from a medical practitioner that states the dates when the illness affected the patient and how the circumstances affected or are likely to affect the student’s ability to prepare, submit or attend for an assessment or other event.

Self-certification of extenuating circumstances (ECs)

Students may submit up to three self-certified ECs applications per academic year. Applications must be submitted in advance of the coursework deadline or the start of a timed assessment event.

An application for self-certified ECs will not require supporting evidence. The maximum deadline extension per self-certified application is seven calendar days. If you require more time, you will need to submit a standard application for ECs with evidence.

Please note that students cannot use a self-certified EC to extend an existing self-certified EC.

More information on self-certification can be found on MySurrey.

If you have any questions, get in touch with your individual faculty:

Making an extenuating circumstances application

You should make an application as soon as you become aware that you have extenuating circumstances.

Outcomes of an approved extenuating circumstances application

The following will happen if an application is approved:

  • An extension to a coursework deadline
  • A deferral of coursework/an event to the next appropriate assessment period
  • The removal of a late submission penalty
  • An alternative assessment and/or extension and/or deferral
  • An extension to the deadline for submission of documents to a postgraduate research student progress review or confirmation review meeting and/or an extension to the date of the review meeting itself

On no account can your marks be increased as a result of a successful extenuating circumstances application.