If you experience circumstances that may affect your ability to perform in assessments you may be able to apply for Extenuating Circumstances.
Does this page apply to you?
This information applies to students on courses accredited by the University of South Wales (USW). If you enrolled on a University of Wales, Newport (UWN) course in or before 2012/13, the previous UWN extenuating circumstances regulations apply. Please contact your Advice Zone for details.
- What are Extenuating Circumstances?
- How does the Fit to Sit Policy affect Extenuating Circumstances?
- Why should I apply?
- How do I apply?
- What will happen to my application?
- Medical Certificates
- University regulations about Extenuating Circumstances
- University Support Services
What are Extenuating Circumstances?
Extenuating circumstances are defined by the University as “Exceptional circumstances which are outside the control of the student and which have prevented, or will prevent, him/her from performing in assessment at the level expected or required of him/her.” So, if you are unable to submit an assessment by the deadline, or undertake a test or exam on the appropriate day you may need to consider applying for extenuating circumstances.
If you are requesting extenuating circumstances:
- Claim forms and guidance notes are available from your Campus Advice Zone.
- The claim must be presented by you as soon as the circumstances arise.
- All circumstances must be supported by evidence from an independent source.
- It is your responsibility to seek and provide evidence. Forms will not be accepted without evidence attached. Where evidence is not provided in English or Welsh, it is your responsibility to provide a certified translated copy.
A successful claim may involve extending a deadline, or offering you a Non-Submission where you will be given the opportunity to retake a piece of assessment at the next available opportunity, e.g. the summer re-sit period. However, you should note that you cannot ask for the original piece of work to be re-graded. The options available to you will be explained when you meet with a Student Advisor to discuss your circumstances with your Campus Advice Zone.
How does the Fit to Sit Policy affect Extenuating Circumstances?
The University operates a Fit to Sit policy whereby when submitting each assessment and/or sitting an examination you are confirming that you are fit to sit.
This means that you cannot then claim your performance in that assessment was affected by extenuating circumstances. If you think you are not ‘fit to sit’, this must be for a significant reason and you should inform your Campus Advice Zone in advance unless this is not possible (as set out in the regulations ).
Therefore you will need to take the responsibility for making this decision in advance and seek advice from your Campus Advice Zone where necessary.
In making such a decision, you need to consider the consequences of delaying your studies and your Advice Zone/academics will be able to provide you with guidance about this should you require it.
Why should I apply?
If you feel the circumstances are beyond your control and have affected your ability to study effectively you should contact your Advice Zone to discuss making a claim.
Your claim will be dealt with privately and confidentially. We will never disclose information without your prior consent in conjunction with our confidentiality code.
How do I apply?
Making a claim is a straight forward process. Extenuating circumstances forms are available from your Advice Zone where you can also obtain advice and guidance on preparing your claim and the evidence you will be required to provide in support of your claim. Please note that applications without independent evidence covering the dates being claimed for will not be accepted. The Advice Zone will also be able to advise you on any other support mechanisms available to you.
Your claim must be submitted as soon as the circumstances arise and prior to the assessments taking place. If your circumstances make this impossible, the Advice Zone will advise you accordingly.
What will happen to my application?
Your application will be considered by an Extenuating Circumstances Panel, who:
- Will take into account circumstances that are verified by the independent evidence.
- Ensure your application is timely and the evidence provided is relevant to the module /assessment period and/or original deadline date(s) applied for.
- Consider the length of an extension request on the independent evidence provided. For example, if you have evidence of 10 days illness, you will normally be granted a 10 day extension from the original deadline date and not a 10 day extension from the date your claim was submitted. Therefore, you should aim to submit your work as soon as you are able to do so and not delay submitting while awaiting the Panel’s decision.
- The chair of the panel will make the final decision to accept, decline or defer your application for further information/evidence.
If you are a distance learner, please contact the Advice Zone on the campus where your course is administered – If you are unsure contact one of the Advice Zones and they can assist you. In most cases you will be expected to undertake an appointment via telephone or Skype (where available) during which you will be advised on the process. A claim form can be posted/e-mailed out to you for completion.
Please note that doctors/nursing staff can only provide independent confirmation in support of a case for extenuating circumstances if they have previously seen you and there is a written record of this in your medical notes. This independent confirmation will be a statement of fact, derived from the medical records. It will usually only cover the period of time for which you were being seen for that particular medical condition.
The University has prepared a guidance document which can be completed by your medical practitioner instead of a supporting letter. This will be provided by a Student Advisor, along with the application.
University regulations about Extenuating Circumstances
Extenuating Circumstances regulations can be found at the Extenuating Circumstances regulations page.
When should I submit my application?
As soon as possible! You must ensure your completed application and supporting information is submitted as soon as the circumstances arise and prior to the assessment(s) taking place. If your circumstances prevent this, then contact the Advice Zone immediately.
Extenuating circumstances claims will normally only be considered if they are received within four weeks before your assessment deadline. However, there are exceptions to this, for example if you have evidence in advance of specific circumstances which will impact you for a specific period of time, i.e. you have a hospital admission or where the assessment deadline relates to submission of a dissertation, where the illness lasts longer than a four week period.
If you have been unable to submit your application in a timely manner, you must provide an explanation for this in your personal statement, along with corroborating evidence; if you fail to do so, your application may be unsuccessful.
Whilst all applications should be submitted prior to the assessment(s) taking place for academic session 2016/17, applications received after 12.00(midday) on 23rd May 2017 will not be considered.
Following the release of finalised results, extenuating circumstances can be applied for any referral assessments/exams. Applications received after 12.00(midday) on 16th August 2017 will not be considered. These dates can be found on the University Calendar.
What happens if I miss the final deadline?
If a student has good reason for being unable to submit an extenuating circumstances claim prior to the published Advice Zone deadline (in advance of the assessment board which considers their results), you can use these regulations to appeal against the decision of the assessment board.
You are strongly recommended to discuss the appeal process with your Campus Advice Zone.
What happens if the Extenuating Circumstances Panel will not consider my claim until after the submission date?
You can choose to submit an assessment pending the decision of an Extenuating Circumstances Panel. If the Extenuating Circumstances Panel subsequently approves your claim, and if you choose to re-submit the assessment, the re-submitted assessment mark will be awarded. If the Extenuating Circumstances Panel subsequently declines your claim, the mark for the original assessment submission will be awarded.
Suspension of Studies
If you wish to suspend your studies during the academic year, you must make an application through the Extenuating Circumstances process. Further information is available on our Suspending Your Studies page.
University Support Services
The Wellbeing Service
If the Counselling and/or Mental Wellbeing Services are working regularly with you during a time of difficulty for which you wish to claim extenuating circumstances, then at your request and with your permission, they are able to provide you with a letter which confirms your attendance.
The Counselling and/or Mental Wellbeing Services will not be in a position to provide letters for students who have not been using the service during the time for which they are claiming extenuating circumstances.
Students who have on-going mental health conditions for whom an Individual Support Plan (ISP) has been put in place are advised to note the guidance below under Disability & Dyslexia Service.
Disability & Dyslexia Service
If you have a disability or health condition which impacts on your ability to study you should contact the Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) as soon as possible to discuss appropriate assistance and the possibility of additional funding in the form of the Disabled Student Allowance. It is your responsibility to inform the University and seek assistance for a disability or health condition as early as possible.
Extenuating circumstances can be applied for only in cases where there is a sudden or unexpected deterioration of a disability of health condition which has impacted on your ability to study.
When you complete a form for extenuating circumstances you will be asked whether you are registered with the DDS and if your application is in relation to an existing disability. You will be asked to give consent to the information about your support requirements to be shared between the DDS and Campus Support.
You may request an Adviser from the DDS to provide evidence to support an application for extenuating circumstances if you are registered with the service.
See the Advice and Support overview page for links to our other services.