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The University recognises that from time to time you may experience personal circumstances which will make it difficult for you to attend class or submit your assessments on time.
Those circumstances may be short term or longer term and the University has a number of ways it can help you.
It is vitally important that you let us know you have problems as soon as possible so that we can advise on the best course of action for your particular circumstances. We cannot normally take retrospective action; so telling us about your problems at the end of the year, or after your results have been released, is too late for us to help you. Make sure you speak to someone at the Student Hub as soon as you think you might be having difficulties. They will be able to guide you to the appropriate support.
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The following are the main ways in which the University can offer help to students who are experiencing personal problems that affect their ability to study:
The University’s extenuating circumstances policy is the means by which you can ask to submit an assessment at a later date or delay taking an examination.
If your EC request is accepted this means that you will be able to take an exam, or submit work, at the next assessment period, which will normally be during the resit period for traditionally delivered courses. It is also the means by which you can ask for a 5 day extension on your assessment submission deadline so that you can submit your assessment up to five working days after the deadline date without incurring an academic penalty.
The University defines extenuating circumstances as: ‘Significant, unforeseen and normally short-term matters that result in a major impact on a student’s ability to be able to complete, or submit, or attend an assessment’.
It is very important to remember that the extenuating crcumstances policy can only be used for personal matters that are short term and where you do not miss too much learning. This policy is therefore only for issues that do not last longer than 20 working days (25 working days where there is a compelling reason). It is usually used where you have a minor illness and your doctor has signed a medical certificate which may, for example, say you are not fit to study for a specified period of time.
You also need to be aware that we operate a ‘fit-to-study’ policy, which means that you are responsible for deciding that you are fit to submit an assessment or take an examination. So if you sit an exam you cannot also submit an EC claim to say that you were not well and that you wish your illness to be taken in to account when marking. If you have taken the exam, or submitted a piece of work, then you have declared yourself fit to do so; your work will be marked and your EC claim ignored.
If, however, your circumstances are such that you feel unable to take an assessment – perhaps due to illness - then you must apply for your circumstances to be taken into consideration using the EC form below or available from the Student Hub. All applications must be supported by documentary evidence. Annex A to the procedure lists the type of circumstances covered and the evidence we would require you to produce to support your claim.
The assessment regulations allow you to submit an assignment up to five working days late with an academic penalty of the work being capped at the pass mark of 40%.
You may also submit EC for an approved deadline (i.e. you submit your work with no penalty) where you have experienced issues that have impacted on you completing your work on time.
If you submit your work late and your extenuating circumstances request is rejected, the late penalty will be applied. Extenuating circumstances that occur during the late submission period of 5 days will not be considered as valid as they occurred after the hand-in date.
Please note that there is no late submission for resit work except where a late submission on the grounds of EC has been accepted.
Extenuating circumstances forms must be submitted to the Student Hub or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible after the event/illness. Your EC form will be considered by the University’s EC panel.
Your form must be submitted no later than the deadlines indicated above in order to be considered by that panel. Decisions of the EC panel will be emailed to you at your Solent email address. The decisions of the EC panel will be one of the following:
ECFTS Extenuating Circumstances – Fit To Sit. We operate a ‘fit-to-study’ policy, which means that you are responsible for deciding that you are fit to submit an assessment or take an examination. So if you sit an exam you cannot also submit an EC claim to say that you were not well and that you wish your illness to be taken in to account when marking. If you have taken the exam, or submitted a piece of work, then you have declared yourself fit to do so; your work will be marked and your EC claim disregarded.
It is important to note that there are matters which are not valid for consideration under this policy (e.g. problems with IT equipment, peaks in assessment, accommodation and travel problems).The EC panel will not consider events that are known and for which you should have planned your work e.g. a hospital appointment or attendance at a family wedding; you are expected to take known events into account as part of your planning process and if necessary should submit work early.
Further details and guidance regarding the University’s Extenuating Circumstances policy and procedural guidelines and the submission form can be found below or can be obtained from the Student Hub.
Extenuating Circumstances Procedure for Students
Extenuating Circumstances - guidance for medical evidence
Extenuating Circumstances Form
Extenuating Circumstances Policy
Please read the Extenuating Circumstances case studies.
If you are experiencing difficulties that are not covered by the extenuating circumstances procedure, please contact the Student Hub who will be able to advise you.
If you are absent from studying for more than 20 working days the University will normally advise that you suspend your studies and start again the following academic year at the stage that you suspended.
This is because of the amount of teaching you will have missed. This may also provide the time you need to resolve all personal difficulties and commence studying without worry. You will then be in the best position to do as well as possible. Suspension means that you will keep all the marks you have achieved up until the point you suspend and when you return you will simply continue to complete the outstanding units and assessments. You cannot undertake any study whilst you are suspended from the course.
If you think you may need to suspend your studies you speak to someone at the Student Hub who will advise you and may direct you to further support where needed. You will then be provided with all the advice and guidance you need about the timing of your return to your course.
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Page last updated on Tuesday 19 September 2017 at 11.02am.
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