Extenuating circumstances

If your education has been significantly disrupted through health or personal problems, you may want your school to consider the effect of these extenuating circumstances on your academic work or exams.

Please consult the University code of practice, which includes information in section 6 about how to deal with absences due to illness and other causes.

If you have used the Student Counselling service during this time you may want to include this to support your application.

Evidence you will need

Your school will accept the following as evidence of your contact with our service to support your extenuating circumstances application:

  1. a written/verbal account of contact with the the Student Counselling Service 
  2. copies of any email correspondence with us. This can include:
    • email offers
    • confirmations of appointments
    • emails from counsellors (where applicable)
    • any further correspondence with individual members of Student Counselling Service staff.

Please note that we are not able to provide a diagnosis, medical evidence or evidence of fitness to study as this must be done by a medical doctor (GP or Psychiatrist). If you have any questions about this then please contact one of our duty managers.

If you have not kept the evidence

If you do not have your original emails, email student-counselling@bristol.ac.uk to request copies.

We do not provide letters as evidence, but can give verbal clarification to appropriate academics in your school, provided you have given us permission.

Permission to share information 

We can only share relevant information with your school if you gave your consent when you signed the SCS Working agreement and consent (PDF, 175kB)

We will give you the SCS Working agreement and consent (PDF, 175kB)‌ at your first appointment. You can choose which level of permission you give us to share relevant information from the following:

For us to provide your academic department with information to support your extenuating circumstances application, you must have selected that option.

Updating your Working agreement and consent document

If you did not give consent when you originally signed your Working agreement document you can update it.

  • email student-counselling@bristol.ac.uk requesting it is updated or,
  • discuss it with your counsellor or mental health advisor if you are still receiving support from the service.

Additional information for school staff

If school staff need more information they can come to Student Counselling and speak to the duty manager. The duty manager will either speak to them immediately, or call back in an agreed timescale.

We will only be able to provide relevant information about a you if:

  1. you are being seen by our service and,
  2. have given us consent to share relevant information.

Further support

The Students’ Union Just Ask service also provides support and advice for students going through the extenuating circumstances process.

Help with academic issues

Certain situations can cause anxiety and stress. Knowing who to speak to or what you need to do can help.  Find out what help is available with academic issues


For information about submitting an appeal please see section 11 of the Examination Regulations.

The SU produces a useful guide to support you in making an appeal.


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