Extenuating Circumstances: The Basics

We know that life sometimes throws a curve ball your way, and sometimes that curve ball comes slap bang in the middle of exam season. For times like these, there are extenuating circumstances (ECs).

What are extenuating circumstances?

These count as instances or issues which are outside of a student’s control, and which may temporarily prevent a student from undertaking an assessment, or have a significant detrimental impact on their ability to undertake assessment to the standard normally expected. They are outside of your control as they are unforeseeable and unpreventable.

While the College will look to support you when such circumstances arise, please keep in mind that allowances can only be made within the regulations set by the relevant exam board.

Your ECs will also have to be evidenced, and that evidence accepted, before the exam board can make an allowance.

It’s very important that you inform your department, staff from Student Support Services, or Students’ Union advisors at the earliest opportunity, so that they can let you know what necessary steps you need to take next.

SU Advice Centre Drop-Ins

To give you a helping hand, the SU Advice Centre we will be holding drop-ins to answer any questions you have relating to extenuating circumstances on Tuesday 15 May and Tuesday 22 May, from 11am - 2pm. 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
  • ‘General exam stress’ (unlinked to mental illness)

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 speak more about this during the drop-ins. Although exam stress isn’t considered to be an EC, there are plenty of fun and rejuvenating Stressbusters activities happening across campus to help you get through the exam season.

When is the deadline?

For undergraduate students, the deadline for submitting your extenuating circumstances form along with relevant supporting evidence is Tuesday 29 May 2018 at 12 noon. Postgraduate students will need to contact their department to find out when their deadline is. It is the student’s responsibility to inform the department and submit the relevant proof to support a claim.

In regards to the recent UCU Strikes, the College is making sure that you won’t be tested on material which you haven’t been taught, which means you won’t need to put in separate extenuating circumstances to cover the industrial action.

Remember, these 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 advice@su.rhul.ac.uk.