International students at Ravelin Park

Extra Time and Assessment Support

Helping you to work around issues with your health or personal life

If personal difficulties mean you can't attend, complete or submit an assessment, you may be able to get an extension to your deadline.

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What are extenuating circumstances?

Our extenuating circumstances process is here to recognise serious and significant short term issues that might come up at your time at uni and affect your ability to complete your assessments:

  • Short term illness
  • Bereavement
  • Transport difficulties

You'll also need to supply evidence for the issue affecting you, such as a medical certificate, or confirmation from a professional who is supporting you.

 

Full criteria and guidance

Want to know what's covered by extenuating circumstances?

Read the criteria

Want advice on the process and your options?

Read the guidance

 


 

What doesn't count as an extenuating circumstance?

Extenuating circumstances is for students who would otherwise be able to complete an assessment but would like an extension to account for issues that couldn't have been anticipated.

It's not an 'insurance policy' and some things are usually not covered, including:

  • Sitting an exam or submitting your assignment on time

If you attend an exam or submit an assignment on time, you've declared yourself "Fit to Sit" and you're unlikely to be granted extenuating circumstances. An application will only be considered if you are unable to submit coursework on time, were taken ill during an exam, or missed an exam entirely.

  • Longer term issues affecting your learning

If you have serious long-term circumstances impacting your ability to study, you'll need to request a suspension of your studies rather than extenuating circumstances. Students with a disability or learning difficulty will have declared these already, and accommodations will have been agreed or accounted for.

How to apply for extenuating circumstances

Find the Extenuating Circumstances claim form via your Student View. Click on your “My Results” tab, and then click on the link under “My Extenuating Circumstances”.

From here you can also view the status of your claim at any time.

Have details to hand ready to include - the module affected and the item number, plus the original due date for the assessment. Select the correct module and assessment item and input the submission deadline or exam date. Without this information the Extenuating Circumstances Officers will be unable to consider your claim.

You will need to submit a personal statement about the circumstances. Please ensure that your supporting statement is clear, including dates affected and the impact on the assessment.

Submit the relevant evidence with your claim. Evidence should be recent, cover the period affected by the claim, and clearly demonstrate the circumstances - otherwise your claim will be declined. Any applications that have been rejected for missing or inappropriate evidence can be resubmitted with the correct evidence.

Please note that we do not require any photographic evidence of illness or injury. Please refer to the list of acceptable evidence to ensure that any evidence submitted is appropriate in supporting your claim.

When submitting your claim, you must tick 'I Agree' to confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions, including that:

  • the information you have entered is correct to the best of your knowledge
  • you have uploaded evidence to support your request if required
  • you understand that appropriate staff will have access to the information provided in relation to your request

You must tick this box to consent before submitting your claim, otherwise it cannot be processed.

You’ll receive an automatic mail confirming receipt of your application. Allow up to 10 working days from the date you submit your application and evidence for a decision. This may mean that you find out about your Extenuating Circumstances decision after the assessment date. We work on claims as quickly as possible, and there is no need to email chasing your claim during the 10 working days after it is submitted.

What happens next when my claim is found valid?

With a valid EC, the coursework submitted after the original hand-in date and within the 10 working day deadline for late work, will receive full marks and no late penalty. 

If you cannot submit your work within the 10 day extended deadline,  you may have the chance to take an exam or submit deferred work in the resit period (there is no need to request this).   

The exam board will be made aware of your claim and consider this in making decisions about your assessment outcome, including any further attempt at assessment.

If you are unable to take an exam you will be given another opportunity (deferred assessment) and you will receive the full mark.  Deferred exams will usually take place during the formal Referral/Deferral Period for your course. 

Deadlines for applying for extenuating circumstances

Deadlines for the current academic year are below, and general key dates for the academic year are on MyPort.

Assessment undertaken in Deadline
Teaching Block 1 — including the assessment period and directed activity that follows Teaching Block 1 27 January 2023
Teaching Block 2 — including the Formal Examination Period that follows Teaching Block 2 16 June 2023
Referral period 4 August 2023
Summer block 4 October 2023

 

When will I hear back?

Please allow up to 10 working days from the date you submit your application and evidence for a decision. This may mean that you find out about your Extenuating Circumstances decision after the assessment date. We work on claims as quickly as possible, and there is no need to email chasing your claim during the 10 working days after it is submitted.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Once you have submitted your Extenuating Circumstances form, you’ll receive an automatic email confirming receipt of your application. If you do not receive this email, please contact your faculty MyPort Hub for confirmation that your form has been received.

Your claim will be considered by an Extenuating Circumstances Officer for your department, checking it meets the criteria and evidence required. This decision will be verified by a second Extenuating Circumstances Officer, and you’ll receive an email updating you on the decision within 10 working days (not including any bank holidays).

Please allow up to 10 working days from the date you submit your application and evidence for a decision. This may mean that you find out about your Extenuating Circumstances application after the assessment date. However any approved Extenuating Circumstances will be applied retroactively.

If you have not received a decision after 10 working days, please email your faculty MyPort Hub. Please note that working days do not include weekends or bank holidays - therefore there can be a delay during the Christmas and Easter period. 

If you submit a claim less than 10 working days before your deadline, you may not hear back before the assessment is due. Approved Extenuating Circumstances are applied to the assessment regardless of the date they are received - this means that if your application is approved, it can be applied retroactively though the deadline or assessment has passed.

Should I submit my assessment or sit my exam anyway, while I wait for an extenuating circumstances decision?

If you're unwell or unable to attend and complete an exam, it's best not to sit it. This because the University having a ‘fit to sit’ policy which means that if you undertake assessment, you are declaring that you are fit and well to complete the assessment to the best of your ability.

Therefore if you choose to submit or sit your assessment before the due date your Extenuating Circumstances application will not be accepted. This is because you are declaring yourself fit, by completing the assessment on time. You cannot retract your submission or apply for Extenuating Circumstances after an exam or coursework submission. This is why it is important to consider if you are feeling unwell, whether you wish to sit an exam or submit an assessment.

For coursework

If your application for extenuating circumstances is found valid, the late penalty mark cap will be lifted if you submit your work within 10 working days of the original deadline. 

The exam board will be made aware of your claim and consider this in making decisions about your assessment outcome, including any further attempt at assessment.

If you don’t complete the assessment by the late submission deadline, you may have the chance to take an exam or submit deferred work in the resit period. 

For an exam

If you’re unable to take an exam you will be given another opportunity to do so (deferred assessment) and you will receive the quality mark. Deferred exams will usually take place during the formal Referral/Deferral Period for your course

You should speak to your department and check Moodle regularly to stay updated with the details and deadlines of your deferral. 

The Students’ Union Advice Service can provide you with independent guidance on how to proceed.

The group member affected should submit an application but the rest of the group does not need to; the outcome will be applied to all group members. This will be co-ordinated by your module tutor.

If your application is declined, you’ll be given the reasons for extenuating circumstances not applying, and would need to submit your assessment or sit your exam as normal.

Depending on the reasons - for example lack of evidence - you may be able apply again, as long as you are still within the deadline period for making a claim (see deadlines above). You should refer to the full list of the criteria and evidence required to make sure you complete the application successfully.

If you wish to appeal the decision you can do so by following the Academic Appeal process - and you can get independent and impartial support with the process through the Students’ Union.

If you don’t complete your assessment on time without extenuating circumstances granted, it would be considered a ‘non submission’ for your module. 

You should speak to your personal tutor or the Students’ Union Advice Service for guidance on how to proceed.

Valid Extenuating Circumstances for a referred or deferred assessment will not provide you with an extension for coursework assessments, or a further opportunity to sit an exam assessment. 

If you miss (or are unable to complete) a referral or deferral with valid extenuating circumstances the Board will take this into account when looking at your results. You may be given a Deferred Repeat in the module, normally in the next academic year. Please note that this outcome will prevent progression to the next level of your course / delay an exit award.

The Board of Examiners will decide whether a deferred repeat requires attendance and whether you repeat the whole module or just the affected assessment(s). 

Extenuating circumstances are short term, unforeseen issues that may affect your assessments. This can include an exacerbation of a long term condition - for example sudden flare-up of symptoms.

A Disability, or Specific Learning Difference would normally be supported through 'reasonable adjustments' to your assessments, rather than extenuating circumstances. The University's Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre (ASDAC) can offer confidential advice and guidance on support available to help you manage your study effectively. If you are too unwell to study, you may need to consider a suspension of your studies or withdraw from your course.

Problems with a course that may have affected your performance, either individually or as part of a group should be raised initially through your tutor. If necessary, you can also use the student complaints procedure.

Help with your extenuating circumstances application

Top tips

  • Don't wait till the last minute - if you're not well, contact your personal tutor or the Students' Union Advice Service as soon as possible for advice and guidance.
  • Read the criteria and evidence required carefully - by making sure you submit the right evidence and your claim is on good grounds, you're likely to get a quick and successful response.

Get help with your application

Students' Union Advice Service

The University of Portsmouth Students' Union have an advice service that can help you with extenuating circumstances and appeals. You can fill in a support request form on their website or call them on +44(0)2392 843478 between 10.00am - 4.00pm, Monday - Friday.

Your faculty MyPort Hub

MyPort Information Hubs can help you with your extenuating circumstances application and connect you with your personal tutor. If they are aware of your difficulties, your tutor can provide you with a statement to support your online extenuating circumstances submission.

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor is there to support you academically and personally during your studies speak to them to find you to other University support to help. 

 

Support with University life

Student getting help at the Careers & Employability centre

Get help through the MyPort Information Hubs

If you're a current student, your faculty's MyPort Hub is your first port of call for any guidance you need with any aspect of University life. From questions about your course, to what support services are available to help you - contact the MyPort teams to help find what you need:

Opening hours

MyPort Hubs are open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Thursday, and from 8.30am - 4.00pm on Friday.