Extenuating circumstances

If a serious event in your life has affected your work, it could be taken into account in your assessments.

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As a student, you are expected to stick to your assessment schedule.

Sometimes, however, circumstances beyond your control can affect your ability to submit work, attend an exam or affect your performance in an assessment.

When this happens, you can follow our Extenuating Circumstances Policy and Procedure (PDF).

What Goldsmiths consider extenuating circumstances

Extenuating circumstances are normally short term, unforeseen and unpreventable events that significantly impact on your ability to study.

Types of extenuating circumstances include serious medical conditions, trauma, bereavement, court attendance and caring responsibilities.

See the categories of acceptable and unacceptable Extenuating Circumstances and evidence.

What the outcomes might be

By having an accepted application for extenuating circumstances, your department can provide you with different routes of support.

Options your department may choose to apply are:

  • Change of deadline: between 5 and 10 days to the published deadline
  • Deferral of assessment to the next available opportunity: eg deferred assessment to late summer or the following academic year
  • Assessment performance consideration: where a student has passed, and it is not appropriate for the assessment to be retaken, the Board of Examiners can review the mark in line with the student's profile and consider if an uplift is appropriate. Where the mark recorded is a fail, the Board of Examiners can offer a further attempt without penalty (unless the assessment has been failed previously and is therefore already penalised).

The department will advise you which is most appropriate in your circumstances.

How to apply

Download and fill out the form below.

Your home department will provide information on how to submit your application.

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible and, unless there are exceptional reasons, no later than seven days after the assessment deadline or date of examination.

How to complete the form

Section 1: Student details

Complete this section with your personal information and your programme of study.

If you know the name of your Personal Tutor, please include it on the form.

Section 2: Modules and assessed work affected

Provide details of each module and assessment for each module that have been affected by your circumstances.

List each module and assessment type separately.

For each module you should indicate what you are requesting from:

  • Adjusted (change) to your deadline
  • Deferral assessment
  • Assessment performance consideration

The final decision regarding your application rests with the Board of Examiners.

Section 3: Type of Extenuating Circumstance

Tick the nature of the circumstances which have affected you.

See the categories of acceptable and unacceptable Extenuating Circumstances and evidence.

Section 4: Statement of Extenuating Circumstances

In this section, you need to describe the nature of the circumstances which have affected you and how this has impacted on your ability to participate in your assessment as it is scheduled.

You should give details of when the circumstances occurred and, where relevant, relate this to the assessments you have listed in Section 2.

In addition, if you are submitting your application after the deadline as published, you need to provide an explanation as to why your application is late in order that the department can make a decision.   

We understand that it can be difficult to raise these personal issues. All applications are treated confidentially and no details of the nature of extenuating circumstances are presented to the Board of Examiners.

In some circumstances, you may want to discuss the nature of your request in person. You should contact your department to arrange this.

Section 5: Evidence

Please indicate the evidence you are providing.

If you are unable to submit the evidence at the same time as the form, please indicate this on the form.

If you wish to speak with someone in person about your evidence, please indicate this on the form.

Evidence is treated confidentially and shared with staff who are required to make a decision.

Section 6: Checklist and signature

Use this section to check you have provided all the necessary information.

Sign and date the information you have provided is honest and accurate to the best of your knowledge. This also confirms that you have read these guidelines.


Applications for extenuating circumstances won’t normally be considered without supporting independent documentary evidence.

See the types of evidence required.

Relevant documents should normally be submitted at the same time but no later than 7 days after submission of the form.

Evidence must be provided in English and you have the responsibility to provide a translation of any non-English documentation.


Your application will be considered by your home department. They will provide a timeframe for considering your application.

Where necessary, your home department will liaise with the module teaching department to ensure the appropriate outcome is arranged.

Your department will establish whether your application meets the criteria and make a decision which they will communicate to you. These decisions are ratified by the Board of Examiners.


Your home department will inform you of the outcome and what steps you can take next.

If you are not satisfied you can talk to your department who can explain the decision. Once the mark for your assessment is ratified by the Board of Examiners, you can appeal the decision.