Categories of acceptable and unacceptable Extenuating Circumstances and evidence

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Categories of Extenuating Circumstances and evidence (PDF)

Serious medical condition

  • Serious personal injury or medical condition, normally occurring for the first time, preventing attendance or completion of assessment or submission of work

  • Serious injury or illness of a child, partner or close relative (parent) but not extended family
  • Serious worsening or acute episode of pre-existing and ongoing medical condition or physical disability

  • Ongoing medical conditions, disabilities, learning difficulties or mental health conditions
  • Minor illnesses or injuries (such as colds, headaches, hay fever)
  • Normal pregnancy
  • Stress-related to undertaking assessment including written examinations


  • Death of parent (including stepparents and legal guardian), child, siblings, spouses or partners

  • Death of a close relative (not identified in 'Acceptable') or friend


  • Victim of serious crime (e.g. rape, assault, mugging)
  • Theft of work required for assessment
  • Direct experience of a terrorist incident or natural disaster
  • Major fire in a residence

  • Family breakdown (such as the divorce of parents or student's relationship, but not extended family)
  • Enforced eviction from housing

  • Minor crime
  • Financial problems or employment issues
  • Minor accommodation problems or choosing to move house
  • General domestic/family problems

Racial Trauma

Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress (RBTS), refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias and ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes.

Caring Responsibilities

  • Unexpected caring responsibilities caused by sudden death or illness or worsening of ongoing medical condition to child, partner or close relative

  • Caring responsibilities for minor illnesses, accidents or injuries

Court Attendance

  • Jury service or attendance at court or tribunal as a witness, defendant or plaintiff

  • Acting as a supporting friend or relative at Court or Tribunal


  • Serious disruption caused by a terrorist incident or natural disaster

  • Any circumstances which have not clearly impacted on academic performance or do not clearly relate to the timing of the assessment
  • Visa problems
  • Misjudging preparation or revision time
  • Misreading the timetable
  • Multiple assessments required in a short period of time
  • Private or public transport failure, holidays or booked travel arrangements, attendance at family occasions such as weddings