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Are You Struggling?
Are You Struggling?

What is an EC?

Extenuating Circumstances, or ECs, are unforeseen, exceptional or serious issues outside of your control which have affected your ability to meet a deadline or your performance on your course. They may have prevented you from attending an exam, submitting a piece of coursework by the deadline date or adversely affected your performance in an assessment that you have submitted for the deadline.

EC or Extension?

If the circumstances preventing you from completing coursework by the given deadline for submissions are temporary and/or short term, then you should consider whether it may be more appropriate to request an extension.

It is really important that you speak to your Personal Academic Tutor or Student Support office about what might be best for you. They can help you to complete the EC form as well as provide support with your issues.

Completing the EC form

  1. There are strict deadlines for the submission of EC’s. Other than in exceptional circumstances, claims must be received within 5 working days of the missed exam or agreed submission date.
  2. Find the EC claim form here. 
  3. Be specific about your reasons for applying for an EC, eg Don’t just say ‘my mum was ill and it affected me’. Instead, give specific dates and descriptions of events and the affect it had on your performance.
    Like this:
    *My mum started Chemotherapy treatment on 1st February.
    *There is only myself and my mum in the house and so I am the only person that can look after her, and during her treatment, she is often very sick and weak and I have to spend the nights looking after her.
    *As a result, I only slept 2 hours per night in the weeks before my assignment is due.
    *That, in turn, is affecting my ability to concentrate and meet the deadline.
  4. Include the details of anyone who you might have spoken to on-campus regarding the issues you are facing, eg wellbeing, tutor, school support office.
  5. Have you attached your evidence – it is important that you submit your application for an EC on time, so if you haven’t managed to get your medical evidence, submit your claim regardless and add a note to say that it will follow in a day or so!
  6. Submit your form to your school via the email address at the end of the EC form, not as a paper copy unless you cannot submit electronically. Your school will then submit your form to Registry for their consideration.

Collecting evidence

For your claim to be approved you must submit independent evidence, usually in the form of a GP letter or Medical Evidence Form. Types of acceptable evidence can be found at this link.

For example, a GP must confirm the illness but more importantly they must confirm the impact that this illness has had on your ability to study / meet deadlines etc and the evidence must cover the period in question.

What happens next?

If your EC is approved – Your EC will be reported to the Course Assessment Board (CAB) at the end of the academic year for your mode of study. You will be notified on the formal day your results are released as to what steps you need to take next but you must ensure you make contact with your School Administration Office to find out whether you will have a further attempt at the assessment / exam and when this might be.

If your EC is rejected – The mark that you have achieved for that piece of work is the mark that will be presented to the CAB – whether that is the actual mark or a mark of 0% for a non-submission.

There is an appeals process and you have 10 working days to appeal the decision.

Other things to be aware of:

  1. Persistent submissions of claims for EC’s over several periods of assessments may result in you being required to consider suspension of your studies.
  2. Documentation which has been falsified in any manner may result in a disciplinary hearing. No decision will be made regarding the student’s academic performance until the outcome of the disciplinary hearing is known.
  3. Students who gain no credit in two consecutive sessions will have their registration withdrawn.
  4. Submission of EC's can affect progression and graduation - speak to your tutor about this.
  5. The full regulations on EC and additional guidance with respect to EC’s and extensions can be found here under Extenuating Circumstances and FAQ’s

Help and Support

The university offers a range of support services to help you deal with any challenging health and personal problems. You can access a wellbeing appointment by visiting iPoint or by telephoning 01484 471001. The wellbeing and disability service may also be able to support you with reasonable adjustment on your course via a Learning and SUpoort Plan.

The SU advice team are happy to read through your EC before you submit it as well as support you through any appeals process.

Contact us at or by phoning 01484 473446  to book an appointment.