Notify absence from teaching, coursework extensions and extenuating circumstances
We are committed to ensuring that your final academic outcome will not be disadvantaged as a result of the change in how teaching and assessment is being delivered.
We start from the premise that we want to support you to progress. This applies to all taught students, those in their final year and those who will graduate in future years.
This page provides information about how undergraduate and taught postgraduate students can:
- Request a coursework deadline extension and/or defer coursework to later in the academic year
- Notify the University about absence from assessment and/or teaching and learning activities
- Notify the University about extenuating circumstances
The Revised extenuating circumstances policy for 2019/20 (PDF, 164kB) covering the circumstances below is in effect from 1 March 2020 and remains in place for the rest of the 2019/20 academic year.
Request a coursework extension, defer assessment to later in the academic year, or notify the University about absence
Use the new Extensions, deferrals and absence form to do any combination of the following:
- Request a 14-calendar-day coursework extension, if you feel unable to submit by the due date.
- Defer your coursework to later in the academic year, where illness or other cause means you are not able to study and complete it, even if you had an extension.
- Notify us of absence from timed assessment, where illness or other cause means you can't study and complete the assessment at the specified time so need to defer it to the second assessment period.
- Notify us of absence from teaching, if you are absent for more than 7 calendar days during the teaching period 20 April to 15 May 2020.
Please submit the form for any requests or notifications:
- by the coursework submission due date, if requesting an extension.
- at the start of your absence if you can, otherwise as soon as possible.
- All extensions, deferrals and absences will be approved and actioned as appropriate. You can use this form instead of submitting extenuating circumstances.
- There is no penalty for absence. You can submit one form to tell us about an absence of up to 14 calendar days, by entering the start and end dates of the absence.
- You do not need to submit evidence of the reason for absence, extension or deferral.
- You can use the form more than once, if necessary, but you can also combine requests in one form.
- You can request an extension for a piece of coursework, and if necessary, later submit the form again to defer the coursework to the second assessment period.
- If you defer coursework or assessment, it may impact your progression if you are not able to complete the attempt, or fail the attempt, in the second assessment period. For finalists, it may delay your graduation.
- All assessments in the first and second summer assessment periods will be online.
- Let your School Office know if you are struggling with connectivity and technical issues. They will be able to direct you to suitable technical support or put alternative arrangements in place.
Absence from timed assessments
Timed assessments are replacements for exams which you have a fixed period of time to complete. This might be a few hours within a 24 or 48 hour window, several days, or a number of weeks, depending on the assessment. Where you can see all your assessments in eVision, via MyBristol, timed assessments will be updated to show as type: ‘Timed Assessment’ or ‘Exam’. Where assessment information is held locally, your school will have provided this information.
As outlined in the policy, these assessments can be deferred due to absence, but are not eligible for extensions.
If you notify absence from a timed assessment in the first summer assessment period (May/June), you will have the opportunity to undertake the assessment during a second summer assessment period (for most this will be August, confirmed dates will be published as soon as possible).
We will update your records and schedule you to take the assessment in the next assessment period.
Coursework deadline extension and/or defer coursework to later in the academic year
Coursework assessments have a scheduled due date and time, but you can complete them at any time up to that point.
Unless you request an extension or defer your coursework, you need to submit the coursework by the due date, as late penalties will still apply. If you find that you are having or have had trouble doing so, please contact your School Office directly to discuss.
If you request an extension, we will update the due date for you. We need to keep track of when different students are expected to submit so that we manage the marking process to ensure you can progress or graduate at the appropriate time.
As outlined in the policy, PGT taught unit coursework is eligible, but PGT dissertations are not eligible for the 14-day extension. The University due date for PGT dissertations has already been extended.
Where due dates are after the end of term eg for PGT projects or dissertations, these due dates will not show in eVision. They will be provided by your school.
If due to illness or other circumstance a 14-calendar-day extension is not enough and so you defer your coursework, we will update your record and schedule you to submit the coursework later. Your school will confirm the new due date or date of the assessment. The new due date will be before the end of the second summer assessment period.
Notify the University about extenuating circumstances
If you find that there are exceptional circumstances personal to you that have affected your performance in assessment, which go beyond the arrangements we are putting in place, you can request that your exam board takes your additional circumstances into account when considering your progression or awarding a qualification.
- COVID-19 related circumstances: Automatic mitigations are in place to account for the general impact of COVID-19 on students; please only submit Extenuating Circumstances if you believe these don’t sufficiently account for the impact upon you. Details of the mitigations were set out in the letters sent to you on 3 April 2020.
- Non COVID-19 related circumstances: similarly, the automatic mitigations may account for the impact of your circumstance on your performance in assessment, but if you feel otherwise, submit an Extenuating Circumstance.
There is a new online, simplified version of the standard Extenuating Circumstances form available from your school now. Please submit this form as soon as possible and at the latest before the day of your exam board. Your school will confirm when this is.
- For Extenuating Circumstances relating to assessments after 1 March 2020 you do not need to provide evidence of your circumstance. If you have evidence, please submit it, but we understand evidence is difficult at this time so you can submit without it.
- For Extenuating Circumstances relating to assessments before 1 March 2020 you should provide evidence. If you unable to do so, please outline why in the form.
- If you have previously submitted Extenuating Circumstances, they will be considered in the normal way.
- Consideration of Extenuating Circumstances does not change any mark you receive for assessment. Instead, exam boards consider whether performance in assessment has been substantially affected, and any action required to take this into account and mitigate the impact for you.
Read our revised policy for Extenuating circumstances, coursework extensions and notifying absence from teaching and assessment due to illness or other cause.