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 (SCS) during this time you may want to include this to support your application. 

What you can include from SCS 

Your school will have a policy on the range of evidence they require. This usually means letters from your GP, but can also include your own description of contact with the SCS and copies of any email correspondence from us, such as offers of appointments, requests to complete questionnaires before appointments, emails with referral or self-help suggestions. 

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 us on 0117 394 0123 or student-counselling@bristol.ac.uk and ask to speak to one of our duty managers. 

If you have not kept the emails

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

We do not provide letters as evidence. If, following your application, your school require further information from SCS, then they can call SCS for a discussion, 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 Working agreement and consent v30-05-19 (PDF, 165kB)

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

  1. You have submitted an extenuating circumstances form and your school have requested further information  

  1. You have engaged with our service in the current academic year  

Updating your Working agreement and consent document

If you did not give consent when you originally signed your Working agreement document then you can either:  

  • 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, after receiving an extenuating circumstances application form, school staff need more information, they can contact the SCS on 0117 394 0123 and ask to speak to the duty manager. The duty manager will either speak to them immediately or call them back as soon as possible. 


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 Students’ Union has a useful guide to support you in making an appeal. 


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