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Extenuating circumstances FAQs

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about extenuating circumstances.

Do I have extenuating circumstances?

What do I do if I think I have extenuating circumstances?

The University publishes a list of acceptable reasons for applying for extenuating circumstances and a list of unacceptable reasons. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply please read more about extenuating circumstances or contact an Information Point.

Sometimes using extenuating circumstances may not be the best course of action for you. Please view our additional assessment support options for some alternatives.

I am worried about my exams and coursework − does this mean I have extenuating circumstances?

Normal stress around exams or coursework deadlines is not considered to be an extenuating circumstance. Stress is a normal state of mental or emotional tension arising from demanding circumstances. Having concerns about taking an examination or submitting work by the deadline is quite common, but does not necessarily mean you are not able to successfully engage with the assessment.

Ordinary feelings of stress or anxiety do not mean you are unwell, or necessarily have mental health difficulties. However, in order to help you manage these feelings, the University has a number of resources which you can refer to if you are encountering stress relating to assessments. These include:

However, stress may become a mental health condition when fear, anxiety or avoidance is persistent and lasts for six or more months. If you find you are experiencing this please contact a Student Support Adviser or the University’s Wellbeing Service as soon as possible.

My academic studies are affected but I am not sure which process to use

UWE Bristol offers a number of additional assessment support services.

If you need to apply for an adjustment to a coursework deadline due to a disability/medical condition, please use the online reasonable adjustment to deadline request form (InfoHub log in required). Please note you will need to meet the eligibility criteria set out on the form.

I am having difficulty meeting my coursework deadline due to my disability/medical condition, is extenuating circumstances the right process to use?

No, please use the online Reasonable adjustment to deadline request form instead. Please note that only students who meet the criteria as set out on the form may make an application. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for a five working day extension.

Find out more about Disability Services at UWE Bristol. 

What happens if my extenuating circumstances application is rejected?

If you apply for an acceptable reason with independent evidence corresponding to the period affected and have not attempted the assessment, this should not happen. However, if in doubt, contact an Information Point before the date of your assessment wherever possible.

If you are on your very first go at a module (first attempt, first sit), then if you fail you will normally be entitled to a resit even if your application for extenuating circumstances is rejected. If you do not pass the resit then you would normally be entitled to a retake. Please see the academic regulations for more information.

Extenuating circumstances and assessment

What do I do if I miss some of the assessments for a module due to extenuating circumstances – do I continue with the rest?

That is your choice – we can only advise you what the consequences might be. Any advice will be limited to the procedures to be followed and the required evidence. The responsibility lies with you to make an informed final decision. Staff cannot judge the likely outcome of an application submitted under the procedure.

What happens if my application is accepted for an assessment I miss, but I still pass the module?

If you have extenuating circumstances accepted for a missed assessment, but still pass the module, the overall mark you have achieved will stand and you cannot retake it or have your mark adjusted.

However, we will record your extenuating circumstances for consideration when it is time for you to graduate. If a classification uplift is a possibility this may enable the examination board to exercise a little more discretion.

I have to resit a component but had extenuating circumstances accepted for my first sit. Can I carry over the marks for any individual elements of assessment from the first sit to the resit?

No. Even if you had extenuating circumstances accepted at the first sit, you must still submit/attend all the required elements of assessment at the resit even if you passed some of the work at the first sit.

If I do not attend an assessment or do not hand in any work due to extenuating circumstances does it count as a sit?

Yes. Once an assessment opportunity has passed it is gone and you cannot get it back. 

Practice-based modules

I am undertaking a practice-based module and I am experiencing circumstances that impact on my placement? Do I need to submit extenuating circumstances?

If you feel your performance in practice is being affected by extenuating circumstances then you need to consider if you are able to continue with the placement. Please follow the guidance in your module handbook or make an appointment to see a Student Support Adviser.

What if I become ill on my practice-based module and cannot complete the sufficient hours to be assessed? Do I need to submit extenuating circumstances?

You should apply for extenuating circumstances if you do not submit your assignment(s) explaining and evidencing the reason for you being unable to complete sufficient hours to be assessed in practice.

I experienced personal difficulties during my practice-based module but I have not missed any placement dates and intend to complete my assessments. Should I submit extenuating circumstances?

No. If you have not missed any practice placement dates and you submit your work then the implication is that you were fit to attend placement and there were no circumstances present which significantly adversely affected your performance. If you submit the work an Extenuating Circumstances claim would be rejected.

I am undertaking a practice-based module and I am experiencing circumstances that prevent me from submitting my assessment documentation. Do I need to submit extenuating circumstances?

You should apply for extenuating circumstances if you cannot submit your assignment(s) explaining and evidencing the reason for you being unable to complete the work.

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