Find out how to submit extenuating circumstances.

Extenuating circumstances process

Who can submit

This process is for:

  • Undergraduate students
  • Postgraduate taught students
  • Postgraduate research students taking taught units

It is not for:

  • Postgraduate research students not taking taught units 
    Discuss your circumstances with your supervisor (s) first. If you aren't able to discuss it with them, you can complete the extenuating circumstances form and your school office will contact you. Further information about Regulations for extenuating circumstances for research students section 9.4.6.
  • Study Abroad and Erasmus students
    Contact the global opportunities team for help and advice: global-opportunities@bristol.ac.uk.

When to submit

  1. Submit your extenuating circumstances form by the first working day after each exam period so we can process your form and support you with your studies. Your school will confirm the final deadline.
    • If you miss the final deadline you will not normally be allowed to submit them.
    • If you miss the deadline for a good reason, you can follow the academic appeals process after you receive your results.
  2. Submit a form for each teaching block or assessment period affected by your circumstances.
  3. Submit a new form if your circumstances have extended beyond the end date of a previous request.

You can link your forms to show where circumstances are related.

If you transfer course

If you transfer to a new course you will need to submit a new form for any ongoing circumstances. This does not apply if you transfer to or from an integrated masters course.

Before you start to complete your form

You will need:

  • the evidence to support your request ready where possible
  • a list of all the assessments or units affected

You cannot delete the form once it has been submitted. Contact your school if you want to delete it.

How to complete the form

Provide as much information as possible. Be clear and concise and explain how the circumstances affected your academic performance.

Complete the form

Enter the dates affected

Tell us the time period your studies were affected. This is usually a period in the past longer than 7 days although it may be less in some circumstances.

If you know your circumstances will continue beyond the current date, you can select a date in the future. Examples where this may be appropriate are if you need recovery time after an operation, or have an upcoming court case. This does not replace your school's normal process for planned and authorised absences.

For circumstances submitted on or after: 

  • 1 October the latest affected end date you can select is 28 (or 29) February
  • 1 March the latest affected end date you can select is  30 June
  • 1 July the latest affected end date you can select is 30 September

within the same academic year.

The Extenuating Circumstances committee (ECC) usually meets after each exam period in September, February and June (for modular courses).

Restricting the dates on the form means your circumstances will be considered by the relevant ECC and exam board.

If your circumstances continue across more than one date range, submit a form for each period.

Select units and assessments affected

Select the units or assessments affected by your circumstances.

You must be registered on the correct units for the year. If you are not registered, or the wrong units show, contact your school office before you submit the form.

Evidence to support your request

You can use:

  • new evidence to support your request or,
  • evidence you have uploaded before for a previous request.

Where possible, only submit your form when you have the evidence ready. If you need to submit evidence after you have submitted the form, contact your school when you have it.

You cannot delete files once uploaded, so make sure you select the correct ones. If you do upload the wrong file, contact your school and ask them to remove it.

Submit the form

If you need to edit a submitted form, contact your school. They will set the status of your form to 'Further action required'. Resubmit the form after you have edited it.

Check the status of your form

You can check the status of your form at any point. Find out what the different statuses mean.

After you submit the form

Your school's Extenuating Circumstances committee (ECC) will review your form and evidence and assign a classification based on the duration of your circumstances.

The ECC is a small group of academic and professional services staff from your department or school.

The ECC provide the exam board with the extenuating circumstances classifications. The exam board are told which assessments and units have been affected but are not given any details about your circumstances.

Exam board members do not know your identity when reviewing your marks or making progression or award decisions. They decide what action to take, if any, to mitigate the impact your circumstances on your academic performance. This decision is usually taken at the exam board in June when your mark profile for the whole year or stage is available.

Extenuating circumstances may be considered at the end of your course when your degree classification is being determined.

What the exam board does

The exam board considers:

  • if your performance has been affected
  • how to take this into account and mitigate the impact for you.

Consideration of extenuating circumstances does not result in a change to an assessment mark, a unit mark, or your course mark.

Further information about the options exam boards can consider is in The University’s Regulations and Code of Practice Section 19.25 – 19.31.

Help completing the form

Talk to the Students' Union's Just Ask advice service or your personal or senior tutor.

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