Are you struggling to meet a deadline?

During your time at university you may find it difficult to study or perform in assessments due to unexpected circumstances. Some students may be under the assumption that you have to ‘get on with it’ and make sure you submit or sit exams on time, regardless of the circumstances you find yourself in. Students will struggle through the work in order to meet the deadline, therefore, producing work that is of a lower standard.

Extenuating circumstances are circumstances which are outside a student’s control and which may temporarily prevent a student from undertaking an assessment or have a marked/ significant detrimental/adverse impact on their ability to undertake assessment by coursework or examination to the standard normally expected. They are outside of your control as they are; unforeseeable and unpreventable.

The university can make allowances for when such circumstances arise through the extenuating circumstances process. It’s very important that you inform your department, staff from student support services or SU support advisors at the earliest opportunity, so that they can let you know what necessary steps you need to take next.

Students are not always aware that such a process is in place, for this reason at the SU Advice Centre we will be holding drop-in sessions to answer any questions you have relating to extenuating circumstances. The drop-in sessions will be on 28 February, 1 and 2 March, from 11am – 3pm. If you’re going through anything which you feel is affecting your studies, then come along to speak to the Academic Support Advisor at the SU, to go over any concerns you have.

Examples of some extenuating circumstances are:

  • Illness (excluding minor illnesses)
  • Hospitalisation
  • Bereavement
  • Worsening of a long-term condition
  • Major adverse family circumstances
  • Acute personal circumstances

Some issues that will not be considered as extenuating circumstances include:

  • Short-term illness (coughs, colds, sore throats etc.)
  • Computer/tech failure
  • Transport issues
  • ‘Exam stress’

It’s important to bear in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and if you think that your personal circumstances are impacting on your academic performance, then you can discuss this during a drop-in session. Even if you are aware of the extenuating circumstances process, but would like help with filling in your form, then that can be done during the drop-ins also. Remember, that such processes are in place to be a support for you during your time at Royal Holloway.

If you wish to discuss anything in more detail, please email