extenuating circumstances

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. Report non-attendance at an exam.


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 (suaclou@essex.ac.uk for Loughton students) 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. Before coming to an appointment, you should read the SU Advice guidelines for submitting Extenuating circumstances.


University Guidelines and form for Undergraduate students

University Guidelines and form for Postgraduate students

deadlines for extenuating circumstances

Undergraduate Students:

- Summer exam period: date to be confirmed


Postgraduate taught STUDENTS:

Main summer assessment period (for Interim Exam Board) and dissertation submissions and September reassessment period (for Final Exam Board):


Postgraduate research STUDENTS

Please submit to your department as and when issues occur and in advance of any progress board meetings.