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 and court attendance.

Due to Covid-19 an additional category of acceptable circumstances for the 2021-22 academic year remains in place:

  • IT failure or unreliability that impacts the ability to submit assessments

See the full list of acceptable and unacceptable categories.

Self-Certification required

Students do not need to provide evidence of their extenuating circumstances. Instead, students must self-certify by providing a written statement to explain their circumstances, and then to explain the impact those circumstances have had on their assessments.


  • I experienced technical difficulties uploading my assignment due to the site crashing on DD/MM/YYYY from HH:MM to HH:MM, this meant I was unable to submit my assignment on time
  • I have been unwell (suffering from XX illness) from XX to XX date and have been unable to engage with my studies as normal’. This has meant I have been unable to complete my assignment by the deadline

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 and/or to engage with assessments 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.

Students who have a RASA in place that permits extensions to assessment deadlines, but who experience other extenuating circumstances (not relating to the circumstances on which their RASA is based) affecting their ability to engage with assessments, can make an Extenuating Circumstances application in the usual way. 

What the outcomes can be

If an extenuating circumstances application is accepted the following can be applied:

  • 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. Depending on how many assessments are affected and deferred this could have an impact on your ability to progress to the next level of study if you have not met the progression requirements for your programme of study

  • Change to a deadline - an extension to an assessment deadline may be granted which can be a minimum of 5 working days or a longer extension depending on the circumstances and their impact. This is not suitable for all assessments, (e.g. take-home papers, unseen exams and timed examinations). For these assessment types, you should request a deferral

Restrictions to an Application

An assessment element can only be deferred following approval of an EC application and, from 2021/22 can normally only be deferred a maximum of two times.

Extenuation may not be applied more than once to the same assessment element unless there are new extenuating circumstances presented by the student.

How to apply

Applications (unless otherwise specified) should be submitted no earlier than 14 working days before a deadline or examination and no later than 7 working days after a deadline or examination.

Applications submitted outside of this timeframe will be rejected unless you can demonstrate that you were prevented from disclosing the circumstances at the time.

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.