Fit to Sit / Extenuating Circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances

If you experience circumstances that may affect your ability to perform in assessments you may be able to apply for Extenuating Circumstances.

Fit to Sit Policy

In submitting each assessment and/or sitting an examination you are confirming that you are fit to sit and you will not subsequently be able to claim that your performance in that assessment was affected by extenuating circumstances. If you consider that you are not ‘fit to sit’, this must be for a substantial reason and you should inform the University in advance unless this is not possible (as set out in the regulations). You will therefore need to take responsibility for deciding in advance whether you are unwell or facing other significant extenuating circumstances. If so, you should contact the University to seek either an extension for submission or non submission/attendance. In making such a decision, you need to consider the consequences of delaying your studies and your Advice Centre/tutors will be able to provide you with guidance about this should you require it.

What are extenuating circumstances?

Extenuating circumstances are defined as “Exceptional circumstances which are outside the control of the student and which have prevented, or will prevent, him/her from performing in assessment at the level expected or required of him/her.”

If you are requesting extenuating circumstances:

  • Claim forms are obtained from your Advice Zone.
  • The claim must be presented by you as soon as the circumstances arise.
  • All circumstances should be supported by evidence from an independent source.
  • It is your responsibility to seek and provide evidence.

A successful claim may involve extending a deadline, or offering you the opportunity to retake a piece of assessment. However, you should note that you cannot ask for the original piece of work to be regraded. The options available to you will be explained when you discuss your claim with your Advice Zone.

Why should I apply?

If you feel that circumstances beyond your control have affected your ability to study effectively you should submit a claim. Your claim will be dealt with privately and confidentially. We will never disclose information without your prior consent in conjunction with our confidentiality code.

How do I apply?

Making a claim is a straight forward process. Extenuating circumstances forms are available from your Advice Zone where you can also obtain advice and guidance on preparing your claim and the evidence you will be required to provide in support of your claim. Please note that applications without independent evidence covering the dates being claimed for will not be accepted. The Advice Zone will also be able to advise you on any other support mechanisms available to you.

Your claim must be submitted as soon as the circumstances arise and prior to the assessments taking place. If your circumstances make this impossible, the Advice Zone will advise you accordingly.

Univeristy regulations about extenutating circumstances

Extenuating Circumstances are covered in section A.2.6.7 of the Regulations for Taught Courses. The regulations and procedures can be found in the Extenuating Circumstances Regulations document. Please familiarise yourself with these sections to understand how your claim will be processed.

Medical certificates

For students seeking medical certification from the University Health Service, Ashgrove Surgery or Llanedeyrn Health Centre please note that doctors/nursing staff can only provide independent confirmation in support of a case for extenuating circumstances if a doctor/nurse has previously seen you and there is a written record of this in your medical notes. This independent confirmation will be a statement of fact, derived from the medical records. It will usually only cover the period of time for which you were being seen for that particular medical condition. It is your responsibility to explain how the medical condition affects your ability to study.

Whilst the Medical Officer, doctors and nursing staff appreciate that there are often other circumstances when your ability to study is affected, such as a bereavement, a relationship break-up, or other stressful life events, they are unable to issue a medical certificate under these circumstances, unless these circumstances are such that they have led to a recognisable medical condition. Further information is available from the Health Service.

If you decide to consult external agencies to obtain medical evidence, the University has prepared a guidance document which can be completed by your medical practitioner instead of a supporting letter. This will be provided by a Student Advisor, along with the application.

THe Wellbeing Service

If the Counselling and/or Mental Health Service are working regularly with you during a time of difficulty for which you wish to claim extenuating circumstances, then at your request and with your permission, they are able to provide you with a letter which confirms your attendance.

The Counselling and/or Mental Health Services will not be in a position to provide letters for students who have not been using the service during the time for which they are claiming extenuating circumstances.

Students who have on-going mental health conditions for whom an Individual Support Plan (ISP) has been put in place are advised to note the guidance below under Disability & Dyslexia Service.

Disability & Dyslexia Service

If you have a disability or health condition which impacts on your ability to study you should contact the Disability & Dyslexia Service (DDS) as soon as possible to discuss appropriate assistance and the possibility of additional funding in the form of the Disabled Student Allowance. It is your responsibility to inform the University and seek assistance for a disability or health condition as early as possible.

Extenuating circumstances can be applied for only in cases where there is a sudden or unexpected deterioration of a disability of health condition which has impacted on your ability to study.

When you complete a faculty form for extenuating circumstances you will be asked whether you are registered with the DDS and if your application is in relation to an existing disability. You will be asked to give consent to the information about your support requirements to be shared between the DDS and the faculty.

You may request an Adviser from the DDS to provide evidence to support an application for extenuating circumstances if you are registered with the service.

Further information

For further information and advice on processing an extenuating circumstances claim please contact your Advice Zone.