Extenuating Circumstances

 

If circumstances outside your control are impacting on your ability to study or complete assessments to your usual ability, you can let the University know by reporting Extenuating Circumstances. Very importantly, if you have extenuating circumstances, the University expects you to report them straight away, unless you have good reason for not doing so.

 

What are Extenuating Circumstances?

 

An extenuating circumstance is something that either adversely affects, or prevents you from attending or completing your assessment(s), is usually outside of your control, and happens close in time to your assessment(s) (or where you can show has had a continued detrimental impact).

The University define Extenuating Circumstances as:

 

  • Severe and exceptional; and,
  • Unforeseen or unavoidable; and,
  • Close in time to the assessment, or where you can demonstrate that the circumstances would continue to have an impact on your academic performance in the assessment.

 

Examples of circumstances that are likely to be considered extenuating by the University include, though are not limited to:

 

  • Serious short-term illness or an accident;
  • Bereavement, i.e. the death of a close relative or friend, partner, or significant other person;
  • Significant adverse personal or family circumstances;
  • Being a victim of a serious crime such as sexual assault, discrimination, assault, burglary etc.;
  • Severe financial or exceptional technical issues;
  • Evidence of a long-term health condition or disability that has worsened or changed, and which is not covered by existing reasonable adjustments;
  • Disability which has only just been identified, and where it has not been possible to put reasonable adjustments in place in time for the assessment;
  • You are a carer for a person who experiences a change in their condition and subsequently their requirements and your responsibilities as a carer change.

 

Students who are studying part-time and working may request extension of a deadline on the grounds of exceptional professional commitments.

 

When should I report?

 

Reporting extenuating circumstances for assessments affected by a protected characteristic, long term health condition or caring responsibility:

 

Protected characteristics in law, are characteristics that are listed as being protected in the Equality Act (2010).

 

One of these protected characteristics is disability. Under this Act, a person is considered disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
 

If you have completed an assessment and experienced extenuating circumstances relating to a protected characteristic, long term mental health condition or caring responsibility you can submit a declaration of Extenuating Circumstances by the deadline published by your School.

 

You will need to provide evidence to support your declaration, either through Sims, or failing that, by emailing your evidence to your School Office.

 

If your circumstances do not relate to a protected characteristic or caring responsibility, you must decide whether you are fit to sit the assessment, or whether you should defer the assessment to the next available opportunity.

 

If you decide to sit/submit your assessments, this will be accepted as a declaration that you are well enough to do so, and your extenuating circumstances may be disregarded.

 

For Extenuating Circumstances Not Relating to a Protected Characteristic or Caring Responsibility:

 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for a coursework assessment:

 

If you are experiencing extenuating circumstances that are impacting your ability to complete a coursework assessment, you must submit a declaration of extenuating circumstances before your assessment deadline.

 

You will not need to provide evidence at this stage.

 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for an exam or equivalent time limited assessment that you are unable to attend:

 

You must submit your extenuating circumstances declaration no later than 24 hours from the start of the exam.

 

You do not need to submit evidence with your declaration but will be required to describe your circumstances.

 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for an exam or equivalent time limited assessment that you have started but were unable to complete due to becoming unwell:

 

You must submit a declaration of extenuating circumstances by the deadline published by your School.

 

You are required to submit evidence to support your declaration, which should be on headed paper, signed and dated, from a recognised authority e.g., a letter from doctor. If you are unable to submit the evidence via the form in SIMS, send it to your School via email. Your School Office should be able to confirm the relevant email address.

 

 

How Should I Report my Extenuating Circumstances?

 

The University’s rules state that you must use the Extenuating Circumstances reporting form through your SIMS online account. You must submit a new Extenuating Circumstances form for each assessment period.

 

It is essential that you explain how your circumstances meet the University’s definition of being:

 

  • severe and exceptional; and
  • unforeseen or unavoidable; and
  • close in time to the Assessment, or demonstrate that the circumstances continued to have an impact on your academic performance in the assessment.

 

If the University decide that your circumstances do not meet this criteria, they will be rejected.

 

When writing your form, it is important to explain how your particular circumstances meet the definition above and how they have prevented you from engaging in your course. You will need to explain not only what has happened but also when it happened, when your assessments took place and spell out the effect it had on you and your ability to study as normal, e.g. lost study time, difficulty concentrating and/or retaining information.

 

When explaining your circumstances, Student Advice recommend the following structure:

 

  • Explain what the issues are, when they started and if they are ongoing;
  • Explain how the circumstances have affected you (emotionally, physically and otherwise);
  • Explain exactly how this has affected your academic performance.

 

 

I need to provide evidence, what does this mean?

 

The University is permitting you to self-certify for non-submission of coursework or non-attendance at exams. This means that you are not required to provide evidence but, if you do have evidence, we strongly advise you to keep it safe just in case you are asked to submit it later. You should also explain in your application what evidence you have.

 

If you sit or start to sit an assessment and you report circumstances that relate to a protected characteristic, or becoming ill or suffering technical difficulties that meant you could not complete an assessment; you must submit evidence to support your declaration, which should be on headed paper, signed and dated, from a recognised authority e.g. a letter from doctor. If you are unable to submit the evidence via the form in SIMS, send it to your School via email. Your School Office should be able to confirm the relevant email address.

 

 

What Happens Next?

 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for assessments affected by a protected characteristic, long term health condition or caring responsibility:

 

If your extenuating circumstances are accepted, they will be reported to the Examining Board. The Examining Board will decide on the remedy.

 

The Examining Board Remedies that are available to be applied in this case are limited to:

 

- Disregard a failed attempt at the assessment or the module and allow a retake of the assessment element as a 1st attempt (or a 2nd/3rd if the student has failed previously).

 

- Offer the student a non-incremental retake of a passed assessment element, with a view to improving their mark.

 

- If the student has been awarded credit for the module without a further retake assessment, the Examining Board may discount module marks that have been affected by extenuating circumstances when calculating the final mark, as specified in the Academic Regulations Discounting Rules.
 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for a coursework assessment:

 

If the declaration of extenuating circumstances is either the first or second declaration submitted during the academic year in which you request an extension to the deadline for the submission of coursework, you will be permitted a 2-week extension to submission deadline of the coursework unless there are concerns regarding the veracity of the declaration.

 

If you have previously submitted two declarations of extenuating circumstances during the academic year requesting an extension, any subsequent declarations submitted will be referred to the Extenuating Circumstances Group to determine if a 2-week extension is permitted.

 

If you are unable to submit your coursework by the two-week extended deadline, you will be required to submit a further declaration of extenuating circumstances to specify the circumstances which prevent the submission of the coursework by the extended deadline. The Extenuating Circumstances Group will consider whether you are permitted to defer the assessment to the next time it is scheduled to be completed.

 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for an exam or equivalent time limited assessment that you are unable to attend:

 

Approve the request for a deferral.
 

  • Reporting extenuating circumstances for an exam or equivalent time limited assessment that you have started but were unable to complete due to becoming unwell:

 

If your extenuating circumstances are accepted, you will be able to retake the exam (attempt number not incremented) in the next academic year. This may impact your progression to the next stage of your programme.

 

If not accepted, the mark for the work completed will be awarded.

 

Technical Difficulties

 

If you start and are unable to complete an exam because of technical difficulties that are severe and exceptional and unforeseen or unavoidable, you should contact your School immediately to inform them of the circumstances.
 

The University states that where extenuating circumstances relate to technical issues, you should submit the work you have completed for the timed assessment prior to the assessment deadline.


After the exam, you must then submit a declaration of extenuating circumstances, with evidence, by the deadline published by your School.

 

You are required to submit evidence of the technical difficulties when submitting your declaration. As above, this evidence should be on headed paper, signed and dated, from a recognised authority e.g. a letter from an IT provider. If you are unable to submit the evidence via the form in SIMS, send it to your School via email. Your School Office should be able to confirm the relevant email address.

 

The school will consider your circumstances and whether it meets the criteria for extenuating circumstance.

 

Similar to if you were taken ill during your assessment, if your extenuating circumstances are accepted, you will be able to retake the exam (attempt number not incremented) during the next academic year.

 

This may impact your progression to the next stage of your programme and you will need to confirm whether this is likely to be the case for you by speaking to your School.

 

If your circumstances are not accepted, the mark for the work completed will be awarded.

 

Postgraduate Taught Masters

 

As a Postgraduate Taught student, the Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedure, detailed above, is also applicable for your assessments.

 

However, in the case of your Postgraduate Taught dissertation, if you are experiencing extenuating circumstances impacting your ability to complete your research and assessment, you must submit a declaration of extenuating circumstances before the dissertation deadline.

 

You do not need to submit evidence with your declaration, but you will be required to describe your circumstances for consideration by the Extenuating Circumstances Group.

 

If approved, the remedy is a 4-week extension to the submission deadline.

 

If you are unable to submit your dissertation by the 4-week extended deadline, We understand that the University are intending to require students to re-report their circumstances before the extended deadline. If your extenuating circumstances are accepted at this stage, your assessment may be deferred to a later date.

 

However, currently the University’s Policy does not mention re-reporting of circumstances to request a deferral of your deadline, and as such we would encourage you to speak to your School for clarification.

 

Ongoing Circumstances

 

If you have personal circumstances that are affecting your studies over a long period of time, we recommend that you seek advice from The Disability and Dyslexia Service, who may be able to put adjustments in place to help you study. For ongoing mental health issues, you can speak to the University’s Mental Health Advisers. Disability and Mental Health Advisers can support you and liaise with your academic school to ensure you receive any special provision that might help you. You could also get special provision in exams, such as breaks or extra time.

 

You might feel that you would benefit from contacting the Counselling and Wellbeing service. They offer of a range of ways to support you during your studies: one-to-one counselling and wellbeing appointments, a drop-in service, interactive workshops, groups and self-help resources. We are awaiting clarification from them as to how their service will operate going forward.

 

You may also wish to take an Interruption of Study. If you would like more information on how to do so, please contact Student Advice.

 

School Extenuating Circumstances Contact Details

General Extenuating Circumstances Enquiries:
 

  • Cardiff Business School - carbs_studentcases@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Biosciences - BIOSI-UG@cardiff.ac.uk or BIOSI-PG@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Chemistry - chemistry-ec@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Computer Science and Informatics - comsc-office@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering - engin-registry@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of English, Communication and Philosophy - encap-excirts@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Geography and Planning - gandpenquiries@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Healthcare Sciences - HCAREExtCircs@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of History, Archaeology and Religion - Share-Cases@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Journalism, Media and Culture - jomecstudentsupport@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Law and Politics - LAW-circumstances@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Mathematics - Extcircs-MATHS@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Medicine - UGMedicExtCircs@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Modern Languages - mlang-ug@cardiff.ac.uk or, for Postgraduates, modernlanguages@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Music - musicoffice@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharamaceutical Sciences - PHRMY_extcircs@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Psychology - psychcoursework@cardiff.ac.uk or psych-extcircs@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Physics and Astronomy - physics-ug@cardiff.ac.uk 

To be confirmed: DENTL, EARTH, OPTOM, SOCSCI, WELSH, ARCHI 
 

To report Technical Difficulties (in addition to submitting a declaration through Sims):
 

  • Cardiff Business School - CARBS-UGHubQueries@cardiff.ac.uk or CARBS-PGHubQueries@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Biosciences - BIOSI-UG@cardiff.ac.uk or BIOSI-PG@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Chemistry - chemistry-ec@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Computer Science and Informatics - comsc-office@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering - engin-registry@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of English, Communication and Philosophy - encap-ug@cardiff.ac.uk or encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Geography and Planning - gandpenquiries@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Healthcare Sciences - HCAREExtCircs@cardiff.ac.uk or HCAREsubmit@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of History, Archaeology and Religion - Share-Cases@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Journalism, Media and Culture - jomecstudentsupport@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Law and Politics - LAW-Assessments@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Mathematics - Extcircs-MATHS@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Medicine - UGMedicExtCircs@cardiff.ac.uk or UGMedicAssessments@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Modern Languages - mlang-ug@cardiff.ac.uk or, for Postgraduates, modernlanguages@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Music - musicoffice@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharamaceutical Sciences - PHRMY_assessment@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Psychology - psychcoursework@cardiff.ac.uk or contact IT-Servicedesk@cardiff.ac.uk and specify PSYCH in the email subject
  • School of Physics and Astronomy - physics-ug@cardiff.ac.uk 

To be confirmed: DENTL, EARTH, OPTOM, SOCSCI, WELSH, ARCHI 
 

For Other Enquiries:
 

  • Cardiff Business School - CARBS-UGHubQueries@cardiff.ac.uk or CARBS-PGHubQueries@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Biosciences - BIOSI-UG@cardiff.ac.uk or BIOSI-PG@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Chemistry - chemistry@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Computer Science and Informatics - comsc-office@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Engineering - engin-registry@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of English, Communication and Philosophy - encap-ug@cardiff.ac.uk or encap-pg@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Geography and Planning - gandpenquiries@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Healthcare Sciences - HCAREdeanery@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of History, Archaeology and Religion - Share-UG@cardiff.ac.uk or Share-PGT@cardiff.ac.uk or Share-PGT@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Journalism, Media and Culture - jomecstudentsupport@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Law and Politics - law@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Mathematics - mathematics@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Medicine - medicine@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Modern Languages - mlang-ug@cardiff.ac.uk or, for Postgraduates, modernlanguages@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Music - musicoffice@cardiff.ac.uk
  • School of Pharmacy and Pharamaceutical Sciences - PHRMY-ug@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Psychology - psychenquiries@cardiff.ac.uk 
  • School of Physics and Astronomy - physics-ug@cardiff.ac.uk 

To be confirmed: DENTL, EARTH, OPTOM, SOCSCI, WELSH, ARCHI 
 

Contact Student Advice

 

Advice@cardiff.ac.uk
+44 (0)2920 781410

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