Extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are where students experience circumstances that temporarily make it impossible 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 and, if the student and the deceased do not share a family name, independent evidence of the nature of the relationship of the deceased to the student
  • 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.

Making an extenuating circumstances application

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

You should make an extenuating circumstances application attaching the relevant evidence. The form is available on Surrey Self-Service under the modules menu.

If you have not got the evidence to support your extenuating circumstances application, you should submit an extenuating circumstances form anyway, and explain that your evidence is to follow.

Please do the following:

  1. Advise the invigilator or appropriate member of staff if the event is not a written examination and complete an ‘unfit to continue’ form
  2. Make an extenuating circumstances application attaching the relevant evidence within 5 working days after the deadline or affected event. The form is available on Surrey Self-Service under the modules menu.

If you have not got the relevant evidence at the time that you make your extenuating circumstances application, you should submit an extenuating circumstances form anyway, and explain that you will be submitting evidence once you have it. You should provide your supporting evidence at the earliest opportunity.

You should make an extenuating circumstances application attaching the relevant evidence within 5 working days after the deadline or affected event. The form is available on Surrey Self-Service under the modules menu.

If you have not got the relevant evidence at the time that you make your extenuating circumstances application, you should submit an extenuating circumstances form anyway, and explain that you will be submitting evidence once you have it.

You should make an academic appeal on the grounds of extenuating circumstances/

Your evidence will need to show two things:

  1. That your performance was affected by extenuating circumstances.
  2. That there were valid reasons why you could not report your extenuating circumstances at the time. (See Regulation 32 of the regulations for extenuating circumstances (PDF) for full details. for what may be considered a valid reason for not having provided evidence at the relevant time.)

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.

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