Mitigating Circumstances Procedure
The university's guidance on the Mitigating Circumstances procedure can be found here
. You'll want to read the procedure carefully, and if you have any questions then please do approach the SU at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to assist.
What is a mitigating circumstance?
A mitigating circumstance is sometimes called an exceptional personal circumstance or a technical error. It's when something has gone wrong that you didn't have any control over and has impacted your work. You can request extensions for mitigating circumstances on the grounds of personal circumstances (such as illness) or technical errors (such as being told two different deadlines).
How do I do a mitigating circumstances application?
There are two types of mitigating circumstance. If you need a short-term extension for any reason, you can apply for a self-certification. If you need a longer extension (over 10 days), you need to do standard mitigating circumstances. These are explained further below.
1. Self Certification Extensions
Once per semester and twice per academic year you can apply for a self-certified extension. This is when you yourself tell the university that you need some extra time (up to 10 working days) to complete your assessment. You can find the self-certification form on your moodle. To successfully get a self-certification you need to:
- Apply no more than 5 working days in advance of your deadline
- Apply no later than 1 minute before your deadline
- Identify the correct modules with the module codes
- Only apply for assessments that are not formal exams
There is often confusion around when to apply, so please consider the following example. If your deadline is Friday 10th February at 2pm, you need to apply no earlier than Friday 3rd February at 2.01pm, and no later than Friday 10th February at 1.59pm.
You do not need to explain why you are asking for the extension if you do a self-cert, and you do not need to provide evidence for it. You simply send the form and if you are on time and you are eligible for it, then it will automatically be granted
2. Standard Mitigating Circumstances
For every other situation, such as if you need more than 10 days or you have already used your self-certification, then you need to do a standard mitigating circumstances application. Again, you should do this on moodle if you are able.
When you do a mitigating circumstances form you'll have the option to submit for a non-attempt or a late submission. Do not submit a non-attempt without speaking to your lecturers first.
To apply for a late submission, you need to do the following:
- Write a statement that explains your situation clearly
- Provide evidence that backs up what you're saying
When you go to the mitigating circumstances form, you'll have a space to write a short statement. This usually isn't enough words or characters, so don't write anything here, and instead write 'see student statement'. Write your statement in a Word document or similar, and attach it in the evidence section. You can see example statements below.
The sample statements provided by the Students’ Union Advice Team below are intended to demonstrate how you may wish to write a statement to explain an application for mitigating circumstances.
There is no guarantee that writing a statement using these as a template will ensure that your application for mitigating circumstances is accepted. They are only here to serve as an explanation of how we think a statement should be written to make it clear and easy to understand.
These letters don’t cover every version of events, and some situations may be much more complicated, but a statement that answers the following questions will usually serve you well:
- What happened?
- When did it happen?
- When was your deadline?
- Why do you need an extension/why did you miss your deadline?
If you need any further support or guidance on how to write a statement for mitigating circumstances, contact us.
I am applying for mitigating circumstances because I was unwell from DATE to DATE. I was suffering from the flu and I have a doctor’s note that confirms this (see evidence). I was extremely tired and was unable to get out of bed for over a week. I was also experiencing headaches, dizziness and general confusion/unease. I have been unable to attend classes for two weeks as a result of this illness and I have not been able to work on my assessment.
I would like an extension so that I can make up for the classes I missed and the weeks I was unable to work on this assessment.
I am applying for mitigating circumstances as I was suddenly hospitalised from 12th January to 17th January. I have evidence of this in the form of my medical charts. I had appendicitis and the hospital determined that the best thing to do was to operate. My deadline was on the 15th January, which was during my hospital stay. I was unable to access my laptop/phone during this time so I could not submit the work I had prepared. This meant I missed the deadline due to being in hospital.
As I have been unwell and missed the deadline through no fault of my own, I would like a late submission.
I am applying for mitigating circumstances as my father has passed away on 20th January. I have provided evidence of this in the form of an order of service for his funeral. Due to this loss I have been unable to focus on university work due to grief and as I have been involved in preparing for the funeral. I have missed my deadline of 25th January as a result of this. I would like a late submission as a result.
What is evidence? What evidence counts for my mitigating circumstance application?
Evidence is just proof that what you are saying is true. The following may count as suitable evidence, but it is absolutely not an exhaustive list:
- A doctor, nurse, or other medical practitioner note, if you are saying you are sick
- A patient record if you are saying you were hospitalised
- A death certificate or funeral order of service if you are saying a family member has passed away
- A letter from any other kind of professional if you are claiming any relevant reason
- Any other official letters such as bank statements or utility bills if you are claiming any relevant reason