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Extenuating circumstances case studies

Extenuating Circumstances

Student A

Student A is taken ill on the day of an examination and is taken to hospital as a precaution. He recovers fully and is able to take the rest of his examinations later in the week.

The student submits an EC form together with the hospital discharge note which details his submission. This is approved by the EC panel and the student is able to take his missed examination at the next available opportunity without any penalty.

Student B

Student B has been in bed with flu for ten days. He sees his GP who gives him a medical certificate confirming that he was unfit to work/study for that period of time.

Five days after his recovery the student is due to submit an assessment. He has not been able to work on the assessment whilst ill, although he had completed more than half the work up until the point of becoming ill. The student thinks he could finish the work if he had just a little bit more time and therefore submits an EC form requesting an extension up to five working days after the deadline.

The student hands in the work three days after the deadline date. His EC submission for an extension is approved because he has medical evidence that confirms the dates of the illness. Therefore the student’s work is accepted as being on time and does not receive a late penalty mark deduction.

Student C

Student C is dyslexic and struggled with the completion of one of her assessments. She submitted an EC application together with the statement confirming her dyslexia and requested an extension.

The student’s application was rejected on the basis this was not valid EC. The student had been diagnosed with dyslexia for some time and provision for support was arranged by the University as part of the admissions process. This was not a short term unforeseen event; the student would need to manage her dyslexia for the duration of the course.

A meeting was arranged for the student with Access Solent staff to ensure the student fully understood the support available and was continuing to use it.

Student D

Student D's Grandmother passed away on 1 May with the funeral being held on 7 May.

The student had an assessment to submit on 1 June which they wish to delay taking until the next available opportunity. The student submits an EC form, a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the order of service.

This is not approved by the EC panel as the death occurred over ten days prior to the assessment deadline. Therefore the student gets an opportunity to submit the assessment at the next opportunity but because this is then a resit (referral) the mark would be capped at 40% and the student would be charged a re-assessment fee.

Special Action

Student A

Student A’s daughter was ill for nearly six weeks and she was required to stay at home to look after her.

The student’s timetable includes her dissertation unit and there was a large amount of directed learning; she had been able to continue to do some work on her dissertation. In fact, she thinks she could complete her dissertation on time but has missed one or two important seminars relating to her other units and is not confident about completing the final assessments for these units.

The student is very keen to complete this academic year and asks if it might be possible to hand in her final assessments for two units later than all the other students.

The period of absence is too long for an EC application and an extension would not give the student enough time to complete outstanding work. The Student Achievement Officer (SAO) explores the option of taking Special Action with academic staff. Student A’s attendance has been excellent throughout her course and she has always handed in on time.

The school consider if they can help and offer the student additional weekly tutorials to make up the missed learning; she is also given an extended deadline to hand the assessed work in two weeks before the Assessment Board. This is outlined in a Special Action form which confirms the agreement between the school and the student. The student is then able to undertake all her assessments and complete the academic year.

Student B

Following a planned operation student B has been absent from studies for 21 days and this is evidenced by a medical certificate.

Student B submits an EC application for an assessment due two days before they return and which they have been unable to complete because library access was essential. They ask to retake the assessment at the next opportunity which will be during the resit period.

The SAO notices that the assessment in question is a planning unit and is linked to the student’s dissertation unit. If the student does not complete this unit they will have no feedback for their final year dissertation and will be disadvantaged.

In the circumstances the SAO speaks to the course team who agree that the special arrangements can be made via Special Action to allow the student to hand in more than 5 working days after the deadline date. This also involves a formal request for an exemption from the university’s regulations and this is also agreed via Special Action.


Student A

Student A is contacted by the school SAO due to a very poor attendance record after returning from Christmas holidays.

The student advises that he has been receiving counselling for a personal problem and that this is on-going. At the moment he feels unable to attend class regularly and to work on the three assignments due in over the next 5 weeks. He asks to submit an extenuating circumstances form to request to submit them during the resit period.

The SAO reminds the student that EC is only for short term matters and the student is suffering from an on-going personal matter that they are receiving help for but have not yet resolved. Special Action is not appropriate because the student cannot commit to attending any additional learning support sessions.

The student is advised that it is in his best interests to suspend his studies until he has resolved his personal problems; he will then be able to recommence his studies to cover any of the missed learning and take his assessments when he is best placed to do so.

Page last updated on Wednesday 21 September 2016 at 11.25am.


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