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Extenuating Circumstances have changed! And I promise that they’ve changed for the better.

What is an Extenuating Circumstance?

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances beyond your control which have a significant impact on your assessed work. In general, extenuating circumstances will be of a medical or personal nature affecting you for any significant period of time and/or on the day of the assessment event, or immediately preceding the time of the deadline.

If you complete the Extenuating Circumstances Process then your situation may be taken into account by the exam board which can help you in receiving the outcome that you are capable of.

What has changed?

From now on, all Extenuating Circumstances applications will be made online. This will help to make them far more accessible to students and will help to maintain their anonymity.

You can now Self Certify In situations where you could not or should not seek evidence. This represents huge change for the University but will aim to be similar to sickness periods when you enter the workplace.

There is now greatly improved guidance for filling out extenuating circumstances to help you fill out the forms. The old guidance was confusing to students and those with the most severe circumstances would often be discouraged from submitting a form at all.

Not only has the form changed but the process behind extenuating circumstances has also changed for the better. If you submit your claim during the year then it will be seen by an Extenuating Circumstances Committee which will mean that you will find out earlier if your case has been taken forward. Hopefully this will take some pressure off you about what is going on. In the past, you may have been expected to wait over 6 months to find out any information about your case!

How did this change happen?

The University has been developing the Extenuating Circumstances process for the last two years. My predecessor (Josh Gulrajani) and Chantelle from SU Advice did really amazing work such as the proposal for Self-Certification so when I joined last November I had my hands full with moving the project forwards with Chantelle. Throughout the year, we successfully negotiated some of the really good additions to the process as well as working closely alongside the University as they had excellent ideas that also got taken up and were just as keen as we were to create something amazing.

Towards the end of last year and the start of this year, the focus was on developing the webpage for Extenuating Circumstances. This was essential in being able to translate the great improvements we had made so far but with input from students and one final push, everything is now live!

If you have any questions, please contact me at


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