education 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 (on the basis of other work) read more...

Late Submissions


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

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 read more...



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. read more...



If you would like to appeal against exam board outcomes, then the University has procedures in place. There are also guidelines for Progress Committees. read more...

fitness to practice


If during your studies you are informed of a potential fitness to practice issue you are encouraged to visit SU Advice. read more...

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






Q: How can I change my course?

A: 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:

Q: Where can I find my departmental administrators?

A: 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:

Q: What is the difference between Extenuating Circumstances and Late Submission?

A: 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:

Q: What happens at an Exam Board?

A: 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: