An Update On Extensions

As your VP Education, I am going to outline the changes to the extension policy for this year. As a result of the Christmas travel window and the implications that the Covid-19 climate has had on students this academic year, the College has revised its extensions policy to help support those students who are unable to meet deadlines due to their circumstances.

Changes to the Extensions Policy

The Standard Extensions Policy will continue to apply for all UG and PGT students, with the following amendments being applied:

  • IT issues will be considered as grounds for an extension on a case by case basis. This amendment has been agreed for the full 2020/21 academic year.
  • The number of five-day self-certified extensions has been increased to two per term (from two per Academic Year) in 2020/21. The clustering of assessments will continue to be monitored so that one self-certified application may be applied to several assessments which are due to be submitted at the same time.
  • For extensions requested for deadlines due between Monday 7 - Friday 18 December 2020, students may apply for a five-day extension on the grounds of substantial disruption to plans for travel. These extensions will not count towards the maximum number of five-day self-certified extensions permitted in the term.
  • Requirements for evidence for ten-day extensions have been relaxed for the full 2020/21 academic year. If you have already received evidence, for example, the hospital has sent an appointment letter or you have a previous letter confirming a long-term medical condition, then you should submit this. However, if you do not have evidence, you do not need to actively seek this from the NHS. Instead, you should provide a statement explaining your situation and include the fact that you cannot obtain evidence within this, and this will be taken into account when assessing the extension request.

What is NOT included in the extension policy?

All assessments that are usually not permitted extensions will remain exempt, this includes, but is not limited to, all timed assessments such as Open Book Exams and Online Tests and Quizzes. As expected, you should complete all these assessments on or by the dates and times that have been communicated and should aim to arrange travel around these assessments.

If you are unable to complete an assessment due to circumstances outside your control, you should contact your School for further advice and consider submitting Extenuating Circumstances. Please be aware that extenuating circumstances are there to prevent you from failing and they do not improve your marks or grades, so be mindful when applying for these. Click here for more guidance around extenuating circumstances. You can also discuss your options with the SU Advice Centre

Should I apply for an Extension?

Although this new extension policy may seem great and provide some much needed support for you all, I would strongly encourage you to be mindful when applying for an extension. It is important to bear in mind the following deadlines that you have coming up afterwards and how these will be affected if you apply for an extension, in terms of the amount of time you have to complete those ones. Naturally, it is advised to complete your work on time where possible to do so, but we appreciate that this is not always possible, especially in this climate.

Other things to be aware of is that where you have been granted an extension, it may delay the release of marks and feedback for these assessments. Also, consider that if you apply for an extension and have work to do over the Christmas break, your lecturer or module leader may not be available over this period. Prepping in advance where possible would be very beneficial so you can get the help or clarity you need beforehand, or consult with them before the end of term around their availability as we all know how frustrating it is when you are stressed, need help and can’t get in contact with anyone.

Additionally, the extensions team are currently operating on a two-day turnaround, but this could be extended and take longer to receive an outcome depending on the number of requests they receive. Just because you submit an extension request, you cannot assume it has been accepted and you're advised to submit work by the deadline if you have not heard anything. If you then receive confirmation after, you have the option to resubmit.

Despite these points, it’s great that a more lenient extension policy has been implemented as the university understands and appreciate the stress that travelling home may cause, but also that students have been struggling with assessment bunching, in particular, this year.

How do I apply for an Extension?

You apply for an extension through your Campus Connect account. You cannot do this more than 10 days before your work is due, but you ideally shouldn’t submit less than 2 days before its due, as it takes time to be processed. For more information on how to apply for an extension and how you receive your outcome, please refer to the drop-down questions here.