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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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 and addition below.

Due to Covid-19, Goldsmiths’ has introduced changes to its existing categories for extenuating circumstances. With effect from 10 March 2019 and carrying on into the 2020-21 academic year the following are considered as acceptable categories:

  • Caring Responsibilities – additional caring responsibilities for children and/or other dependants
  • Key Workers – students who fall under the ‘key worker’ category outlined by the government and are required to work additional hours
  • IT Failure/Unreliability – as teaching and assessment has moved to online platforms, the reliability of IT has become critical. Students should ensure they contact their department if they have ongoing IT and accessibility issues so that these might be resolved in advance.  Students who experience IT failure or unreliability that might impact their ability to submit assessments can submit an EC request on this basis

Students need to provide self-certification for any category and do so by including a statement within their application confirming their details and how this has impacted their assessment(s). No further evidence is currently required when submitting an EC request.

Situations extenuating circumstances apply to

You can apply for extenuating circumstances to be applied to:

  • Non-submission of an assessment
  • An adjusted deadline for an assessment
  • Assessments submitted on time but extenuating circumstances have affected my performance

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:

  • Adjusted Deadline – a minimum extension of 10 working days should be applied wherever possible, students who are able can submit earlier than the extended deadline. It is important to note that departments will make the decision on the most appropriate outcome for students
  • 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

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.

Go to My Goldsmiths to apply

Select 'Request Extenuating Circumstances' from the menu on the right.

Help with applying through My Goldsmiths

You will need to complete the online form in full and attach your statement (see evidence section below) to confirm self-certification of your circumstance(s) and the impact this has had on your ability to complete your assessment(s) on time.

You need to make only one application covering all assessments you think have been or might be affected by your circumstances, regardless of where the assessment is taking place. Your application will be considered by your home department who will liaise with other departments where necessary.


Currently, students are not required to provide independent evidence to support an application of extenuating circumstances.

All students are required to provide a self-certification statement with their application which states what circumstance you are self-certifying e.g., ‘my caring responsibilities have increased since XX date and I have been unable to engage with my studies as normal’ or ‘I have been unwell (suffering from XX illness) from XX to XX date and have been unable to engage with my studies as normal’.


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.