University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating Circumstances Procedures

Students who consider that their ability to study or their performance in (or their ability to attend) assessments such as University Examinations has been adversely affected by circumstances beyond their control, such as illness or attending the funeral of a close relative, should notify the Department as soon as possible and must submit a claim on one of these forms:

Documentary evidence must be provided and, in the case of illness, appropriate medical certificates are required.

Certificates from medically qualified relatives are not normally accepted as evidence. Neither are notes that state that a patient was not ill when seen but had reported to the practitioner that they had been unwell previously.

The information provided with the claim is considered by the Department's Mitigation Committee, which reports to the Assessment, Progression and Awarding Committee (APAC). The APAC meets at the times specified elsewhere in this handbook) to consider the results of the Sessional and Final Examinations.

Applications should be made on submission of the assessment or exam or as soon as possible thereafter (normally within 1 working day). Applications made more than 10 working days after the student 's circumstances have returned to normal will be deemed invalid unless the delay was beyond their reasonable control.

The University Guidelines for Mitigation state that:

Hence, Mitigating circumstances can only be taken into account if there is a clear indication that students may have been prevented from performing as well as they could have been expected to. In many cases, students should take action during their studies if they are adversely affected by circumstances (for example, seek appropriate support from personal tutors, study skills advisers or the AccessAbility or Cornwall Accessibility Centre, or use other mechanisms such as interruption or deferral as appropriate). The guidelines also stress that:

The most likely outcome of a mitigation application is deferral or, in the case of course work, a deadline extension.

The Committee makes decisions by allocating a code to each claim. Students are notified of these outcomes by email within five working days of the meeting. Codes normally used are:

IIE10.5.3(a) Invalid claim; the claim is excluded by University Guidelines and/or the evidence provided was insufficient to support it.
ILT10.5.3(a) Invalid claim; it was received too late.
NNAN/A Claim noted but no action taken/required.
VNAN/A Valid claim, no action. (The circumstances of the claim did not directly affect the outcome of an assessment.)
VDF10.5.4(a) Valid claim, a deferred assessment is permitted. (Normally during the summer resit week.) This can be recommended even where the assessment has been attempted if the Committee decides that the student may have been effectively incapable of sitting the assessment.
VDE10.5.4(b) Valid claim, deadline extended. The mark will be recorded on the transcript.
VWRN/A Valid claim, warning revoked. (The automatic Department's Warning Form was inappropriate.)

In exceptional circumstances where deferral or an extension to the submission deadline are not appropriate the following decisions may also be considered:

VIG10.5.5(a) Valid claim, the assessment mark or module mark will be ignored for the purposes of classification and/or condonement.
VMM10.5.5(b) Valid claim and a proxy mark will be awarded in line with the Department's Missing Marks Procedure and will appear on the transcript.
VAM10.5.5(b) Valid claim, a proxy mark calculated by increasing the mark of an assessment taken under adverse circumstances in line with Department policy, normally by 5%.

The references in the above table are to the applicable paragraphs in the University's Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes.

See also: Health, Wellbeing and Fitness to Study Procedure.

Claim Forms, Medical Certificates, and Other Evidence

A student who has been absent or adversely affected because of illness or other circumstances beyond their control should follow the applicable procedures for

and also consult the Mitigating Circumstances Flowchart to find out what type of certification will be required by the University.

The Department follows the University's Student Illness Procedures. These strictly limit the circumstance in which extensions to submission deadlines are possible, e.g.:

The Student Health Centre have their own guidelines concerning when they will issue sickness certificates.

A medical certificate must normally be obtained within 24 hours of the affected examination or missed deadline.


A death certificate, or similar document, provides evidence of the date of a bereavement but University regulations also require evidence of its impact on the claimant. This would normally be note from a medical practitioner or other appropriately qualified professional. This additional requirement can be waived in the following circumstances:

In the event of the death of a first-degree family member:

evidence of impact will not be required for a period of up to three months. Students in this position will often decide to interrupt their study for up to a year.

In the event of the death of a second-degree family member:

evidence of impact will not be required for a period of up to seven days.

It is recognised that the impact of bereavement can vary widely between individuals and the above waivers do not preclude any claims that are supported by appropriate evidence.

See also: Procedures for Handling Missing Marks.

University of Exeter Handbook (Physics) Questions/Comments Department (Physics)