ACADEMIC ISSUES

 

Whilst your time at University can often be the best years of your life, there are bound to be times when you need someone to turn to for support, guidance or advice.  Please see the information below and feel free to contact SU Advice to book an appointment to discuss your situation further.

Extenuating Circumstances & Deadlines

Extenuating circumstances are defined by the University as "circumstances beyond the student's control which cause the student to perform less well in his or her coursework or examinations than he or she might otherwise have been expected to do." They tend to be of medical or personal nature and have an affect for a significant period of time and/or during the exam period.

 

If you think your performance in an exam or coursework or assessment may have been affected by a situation outside of your control, you can report this to the University for consideration. You just need to submit an Extenuating Circumstances form (this form can be found on your MyEssex account). As well as the form you will also need to submit relevant evidence (such as medical reports, death certificates, third party evidence etc) to support your claim.

 

 

You should make sure you report these circumstances before the deadlines below - once these have passed, no extenuating circumstances are considered.

 

 

If due to your circumstances you will be unable to attend an exam, or you have already missed an exam, you should report the non-attendance in addition to submitting your Extenuating Circumstances.

 

 

COVID-19 UPDATE

The University have confirmed as part of their 'No Detriment' policy, that they have introduced new assessment methods and streamlined the extenuating circumstances processes. As a result, they have suggested it will not be necessary to submit extenuating circumstances for the general diruption caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. However, if you circumstances have presented individual difficulties which have had a negative impact on your studies then you should still submit and EC form.

 

Additionally, this year, if you are unable to attend/sit an exam, you should complete the Notification of Absence form, but you will not need to also complete the Extenuating CIrcumstances form. The University has confirmed that all reasons for being unable to take an exam this year will be valid and you willl likely be given the opportunity to take the exam in the reassessment period instead.

 

HOW SU ADVICE CAN HELP

SU Advice can discuss and offer guidance on the Extenuating Circumstances procedures and assist you through the process. Please contact us to discuss your circumstances confidentially with one of our advisers.

 

You can book an appointment by emailing suadvice@essex.ac.uk followed by your query. You may wish to attach any relevant documents if you are booking an appointment via email, or to bring them with you to the appointment.

 

 

DEADLINES FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES

  • Undergraduate Students:
    • Summer exam period: Monday 14th June
  • Postgraduate Taught Students: Double check with your department
  • Postgraduate Research Students:
    • Please submit to your department as and when issues occur and in advance of any progress board meetings

LATE SUBMISSIONS

There is a single policy across the University for the late submission of coursework for all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students.

 

You should familiarise yourself with the primary submission of coursework method of each department that you are taking a module with. Each piece of coursework must be submitted by the deadline published in order to gain a mark. However, there may be occasions when you are unable to undertake, complete or hand in a piece of coursework due to circumstances beyond your control. The University has put in place policies for dealing with such extenuating circumstances.

 

Making a late submission request

If you miss your coursework deadline and believe that you have extenuating circumstances, then you should submit a late submission form within seven calendar days (including weekends and/or holidays) detailing those circumstances and any relevant evidence. It is your responsibility to inform the department of the circumstances.

 

Documentary evidence you need to provide

This will depend on the type of problems that you have experienced. Whilst documentary evidence is not always required, nor possible to obtain, the Extenuating Circumstances Committee reserves the right to reject cases where evidence is not provided.

 

See our guidance on documentary evidence.

 

Circumstances not taken into account

The following are examples of circumstances which are not considered to be relevant for the instatement of marks due to failure to meet a deadline:

  • minor ailments and illnesses on the day of coursework submission, such as colds, coughs, sprains, headache)
  • personal disruptions or events which could have been anticipated, such as holidays, weddings, changing address or employment, religious holidays or festivals which are usually known in advance
  • study-related circumstances, such as computer failure, printing problems, unavailability of books, photocopying problems, as these problems should be factored into the organisation of your work load (in cases where there are serious failures of relevant computing resources, the department may schedule a general change in the deadline for all students affected)
  • general pressure of work is not taken to be circumstances beyond your control, as you are expected to plan your work schedule
  • excessive demands on time or pressure of employment which could have been anticipated
  • financial constraints, as these are commonly experienced by students
  • misreading/confusing the coursework deadline
  • oversleeping on the day of the deadline
  • transport problems, such as car breaking down or delayed public transport

 

It is not appropriate, nor possible, to list all of the potential extenuating circumstances that a student may encounter which would be accepted by the Extenuating Circumstances Committee. The list above should give you an indication of the types of circumstance that are not accepted by the Committee.

 

Here is the late submission policy for both undergraduate and postgraduate students: Late submission of coursework policy.  

 

Don’t leave handing in your work until the last possible day!

CHANGING YOUR PROGRAMME OF STUDY

During your time at University you may decide you wish to change your course, take a break from your  studies or in some cases even leave your studies completely.  In these instances it is advisable to discuss your situation with someone before making any final decisions.

 

You can find the relevant forms on the University webpages. You will need to login to view the forms available.

 

It is advisable to speak to your department and the registry before completing the forms.  The forms will also need to be approved by the University so just submitting the form doesn't guarantee you will be granted the change to your studies.

 

We can help discuss the process for any of the above with you, please contact SU Advice to book an appointment with one of our advisers.

COMPLAINTS

We hope that your time at Uni goes swimmingly, but if things for whatever reason don't go to plan, you can speak to one of our SU Advice advisers about making a complaint.

 

1. University Complaints: If you are unhappy with an aspect of University policy, the provision of a service or the way a student has  been treated by a member of staff then you can submit a formal complaint.  The University provides guidance on the complaints procedures which you are advised to read before submitting your complaint. It is advisable to try and deal with any matter of complaint informally where possible, before submitting a formal complaint. Please use the following links to find the procedures and complaints form. If you would like to discuss your complaint or receive feedback on your complaint form, please contact SU Advice.

2. Complaints about students: If you wish to complain about another student's behaviour there is a separate procedure to use.  You can report students to the Student Conduct team using the Reporting Incidents form. If you are feeling unsafe or harassed may also want to refer to the Harassment Advisory Network or contact your sabbatical officer (VP Welfare & Communityvpwelfare@essex.ac.uk).

3. Complaints about the SU: The SU has made 4 promises to all of its members.   We promise to help you get an amazing degree and job, give you a kick ass membership, shape everything around you and benefit all students.

 

We do realise that sometimes not everything goes as planned, so we have this Complaints Procedure to make sure we try to resolve problems as soon as possible.  SU Advice is an impartial service and we can advise you on the SU Complaints process, however, if we feel there is a conflict of interest in your case we will discuss making a referral to an appropriate alternative service to ensure you get the best advice possible.

APPEAL

Unfortunately, there are times when your studies don't always go to plan.  If you don't pass your modules, the Board of Examiners will make decisions regarding whether you are able to progress to the next stage of study.  You can find more information about what action the Board of Examiners are likely to take in the University's Rules of Assessment (Undergraduate Rules / Postgraduate Rules).

 

If you feel you've got grounds you can submit an appeal against the Board of Examiners' decision. Information about appeals procedures, guidelines and forms for all students (Undergraduate, Taught Masters and Research) can be found on the University Appeals webpages.

 

Please be aware there are very clear guidelines on what is an acceptable ground of appeal. It's important that you read this information carefully before submitting your appeal form. 

 

You will need to supply any relevant evidence with your appeal (for example medical certificates, death certificates and other relevant third party information)

 

If you've had circumstances that you feel have affected your performance in your studies or during the exam period you should ensure you notify the Board of Examiners of these circumstances prior to them meeting to ratify your results (please see our Extenuating Circumstance pages for more info).  You shouldn't rely on the appeals process to report these circumstances.

 

How SU Advice can help

Students are encouraged to discuss their appeal with SU Advice prior to submitting, so if you have any questions please feel free to contact us to book an appointment with one of our advisers. You can book an appointment by emailing suadvice@essex.ac.uk followed by your query.  In order to advise you we will normally need to see your exam results and the Board of Examiners outcome information.  Please attach any relevant documents if you are booking an appointment via email, or ensure you bring them with you to the appointment.

FITNESS TO PRACTICE

All University students are required to comply with the regulations of the University regarding conduct. Students enrolled on courses where a practical professional placement is required have additional responsibilities placed upon them regarding not only their conduct but also their professional suitability as outlined in relevant regulatory and/or professional body codes of practice.  Failure to meet these responsibilities can lead to the Breach of Professional Conduct, Fitness to Practice and Termination of Training Procedure being invoked.  Students are notified at the point of enrolment if their course of study is subject to the terms of this procedure. 

 

How the SU Advice can help

If during your studies you are informed of a potential fitness to practice issue you are encouraged to visit SU Advice.  We can help you prepare for your meeting and we can attend meetings with you if you wish.  Please contact us to book an appointment with one of our advisers.

 

For more information please click here.

TOP TIPS FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS

Hopefully you’ll love your degree, but we know that sometimes they can be hard, so here’s a quick guide to help you survive first year and beyond.

 

  1. Join your Academic Society! They’re full of people on your course that can give advice and know about the course demands..
  2. Keep on top of your reading – Don’t let it all pile up or it will start to feel unmanageable, equally books may be in demand at the library if you leave it too late!
  3. Review your notes regularly.  This makes things easier when it gets to exam time and revision.
  4. Make use of your lecturers’ office hours – this is your chance for one-to-one time, make use of it, that’s why they’re there.
  5. ASK QUESTIONS – Seminars, labs and tutorials are the place to question everything, so do! Debate with your colleagues and quiz the tutor.
  6. Make your views heard! If you are given an opportunity to give feedback – give it!
  7. Know what help is available - speak to the SU about Course Reps and any Academic Issues you may face.  You could even get involved and become a Course Rep or run for an Officer position to help make changes.
  8. Attend - its important to maintain a good level of attendance to ensure you don't miss out on important information and study aspects.  If you are having problems with your attendance, come and speak to one of our advisers who can give you more information about your options.
  9. Look after yourself - Eat well and keep active! It’s tempting to live off toast and Pot Noodles, but the food we eat plays a big part in our health and wellbeing so try to maintain a balanced diet.  There’s loads of clubs, sports teams and ways to keep active.
  10. Enjoy it! Your degree only lasts a few years, so love every moment before it’s over.  If you need any advice or help, you can get in touch with: SU Advice

FAQ:

 

 

How can I change my course?

You should discuss your thoughts about changing course with someone in your school/department/centre. If your new course is in a different department, you should also speak to someone in that department. Investigate your potential new course by looking at course information on the department's web pages, talking to students on the course and speaking to tutors. You should also look at our Rules of Assessment for the new course to check whether there are any course-specific requirements.

 

If you are considering changing course due to academic worries with your current course you might find it useful to seek academic support before changing course by contacting the Talent Development Centre.

 

Once you have discussed your plans and decided that you want to change course, you will need to make a formal request, using the online course change form which you can find in your MyEssex account. This will need to be considered by your department (and your new department if your new course is in a different department) and the relevant dean(s).

 

The department will consider your suitability to study the course (the modules you have studied and passed at Essex, and your existing qualifications) and also its capacity to accept additional students.

 

Please bear in mind that there are deadlines to be considered when submitting a course change request. Further information can be found here.

Where can I find my departmental administrators?

You need to go to your department’s webpage where you will find contact details for the professional services staff and details of who can help you with what.

What is the difference between Extenuating Circumstances and Late Submission?

Extenuating circumstances are defined by the University as "circumstances beyond the student's control which cause the student to perform less well in his or her coursework or examinations than he or she might otherwise have been expected to do." They tend to be of medical or personal nature and have an effect for a significant period of time and/or during the exam period. There are deadlines in June and September for the main and reassessment exam period respectively by which extenuating circumstances and accompanying evidence should be submitted:

 

Further details here.

 

Late Submission: if you miss your coursework deadline and believe that you have extenuating circumstances, then you should submit an extenuating lateness form within seven calendar days (including weekends and/or holidays) detailing those circumstances and any relevant evidence. It is your responsibility to inform the department of the circumstances. Each department has a Late Submission Committee which will normally meet at least twice during the year. The Committee will decide whether your work should be marked and whether that mark will count towards your formal assessment (which means the mark will be instated). The department will advise you of the outcome.

 

Further details here.

What happens at an Exam Board?

At the Exam Board each student’s marks will be checked individually for accuracy in terms of what outcome is recommended. In addition any extenuating circumstances will be considered and a decision on these reached. Results are usually released within a few days of each exam board. Further details here.