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Exceptional Circumstances

Exceptional Circumstances are unforeseen circumstances or factors outside of your control which may have impacted your ability to study or perform at your normal level or standard.

It is important that you notify your School at the earliest opportunity if you feel that something outside of your control is going to impact your studies, or has impacted your studies. If you attend an exam or submit coursework without notifying the School about any Exceptional Circumstances, it will be seen that you believe you are fit to be assessed or examined.

If at any stage you are unsure about the process and would like some support or guidance, please feel free to contact SU Advice on

  • Circumstances likely to be accepted
    • Death of a close friend or family member.
    • Serious illness
    • Severe pain
    • Serious illness of a close relative
    • Hospitalisation
    • Acute personal/ emotional circumstances
    • Victim of a crime
    • Significant financial problems
    • Pregnancy related illness or stress
    • Self-certified short-term illness

    Please note that just because your circumstances may seem to fall within one of the above categories, it does not mean that they will automatically be accepted. You will need to support your application for Exceptional Circumstances will evidence. If you cannot provide evidence, there is a likelihood that your application will not be successful.

  • Circumstances unlikely to be accepted
    • Social activities
    • Temporary self-induced medical conditions
    • Minor ailments
    • Non-serious personal and domestic disruptions
    • Work commitments

    Oversleeping, poor organisation and time management are also not likely to be accepted under this procedure.

  • How to report Exceptional Circumstances
    • Notify your school by telephone or email if you are going to miss a deadline or are unable to attend an exam.
    • Know the deadline date of the assessment or submission.
    • Confirm the deadline for the Exceptional Circumstances application
    • Establish whether or not your circumstances are likely to be seen as exceptional.
    • Complete the Exceptional Circumstances form:
      • Outline what the circumstances are and when they started (provide a timeline if necessary)
      • Outline the impact that this has had on you (physical or emotional strain)
      • Outline the impact that this has had or is going to have on your studies and your ability to attend or submit an assessment.
      • Explain what remedy you would like put in place.
    • Contact SU Advice if you would like feedback and guidance on the contents of the form and the evidence you are submitting alongside it.
    • Submit the form to your School office.

    Once you have submitted your form, the Schools Exceptional Circumstances Committee will consider your circumstances before the Board of Examiners meets and make recommendations regarding any remedy they may put in place.

    Remedies Available:

    • Resubmit failed coursework within a set time as a first attempt
    • Repeat a failed examination as a first attempt
    • Retake failed module as a first attempt

    If at any stage you are unsure about the process and would like some support or guidance, please feel free to contact SU Advice on