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 categories that are considered by Goldsmiths include serious medical conditions, trauma, bereavement, court attendance and caring responsibilities.

Due to Covid-19 we have added new categories of acceptable circumstances for the 2020-21 academic year:

  • Unexpected caring responsibilities resulting from Covid-19 such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in the household
  • Students who fall under the ‘key worker’ category outlined by the government and are required to work additional hours
  • IT failure or unreliability that impacts the ability to submit assessments

See the full list of acceptable and unacceptable categories.

Evidence required

Goldsmiths has agreed to waive the requirement for independent evidence for the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year.

However, students must self-certify by providing a written statement to explain their circumstances, as well as the impact that they are having on their assessments 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’.

Deadlines for applications have not changed. Automatic Deadline Extensions do not require a self-certification submission

Students with physical or mental impairments

Students with physical or mental impairments that have a substantial and long-term negative impact on their ability to study should seek support and reasonable adjustments to assessment through the Disability Service.

Reasonable adjustments and support, including variable adjustments such as extensions, should be approved as part of a Reasonable Adjustment Student Agreement (RASA), and should not be accommodated by using the Extenuating Circumstances Policy.

What the outcomes can be

If accepted the following can be applied:

  • Automatic deadline extension - where an extension to a course work submission deadline of no more than 10 working days will be automatically approved

    • It should be requested no earlier than 7 days prior to the assessment due date and cannot be applied retrospectively to a submission

    • You will not be required to submit evidence when applying for this outcome

    • Automatic deadline extensions can’t be requested for certain assessment types (eg take-home papers, unseen exams, weekly tests taken in class), presentations, in-person practical examinations and timed examinations and the final art or design degree shows. For these assessment types, you should request a deferral

    • If you have applied for an automatic deadline extension and your extenuating circumstance continues to the point where you may now need an official deadline extension or deferral (to the next available assessment point or to the next Academic Year), please request an EC application reset by emailing our registrysystems (@gold.ac.uk) team.

      In the email, you will need to provide them with the assignment name in question and your Goldsmiths student number. They will then reset your account and you will then be permitted to make a further EC application

  • Deferral - your assessment/exam may be deferred to the next available assessment period in the current academic year, eg late summer resit period

  • Deferral to the following session - your assessment/exam may be deferred to the next available assessment period in the following academic year

  • Change to a deadline - where a longer extension is needed an extended submission deadline can be requested. This is not suitable for some assessments, (eg take-home papers, unseen exams and timed examinations). For these assessment types, you should request a deferral

  • Assessment performance consideration - where you have completed an assessment but believe your circumstances have impacted your performance, you can ask for the Board of Examiners for an assessment performance consideration.

    The Board of Examiners will consider the impact of your circumstances on the affected assessment(s) and will determine what action should be taken in line with the options available in the Extenuating Circumstances Policy

How to apply

Applications (unless otherwise specified) 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 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.


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.