Extenuating circumstances

If your education has been significantly disrupted through serious health or personal problems, you can apply for consideration of extenuating circumstances.

Please complete the Extenuating Circumstances Form 2020 (PDF, 211kB) and upload it to your applicant dashboard. We cannot accept this form via email or from a third party.

When we consider extenuating circumstances

The information you provide on the form is confidential (viewed by a panel of three Admissions members of staff alongside your application). It is used to help us assess your academic performance in light of your extenuating circumstances, if either your predicted or achieved grades are lower than our typical offer.

If your extenuating circumstances affect your exam performance, we can also consider these alongside your exam results if you narrowly miss the terms of your offer and the University has places available.

Submitting an extenuating circumstances form does not guarantee that the University will make you an offer or that we will accept you if you do not meet the conditions of your offer. 

We cannot say in advance whether an application is likely to be successful or not on consideration of extenuating circumstances.

Any circumstances deemed of a serious nature may be taken into account when assessing an applicant’s relevant qualifications. Examples include bereavement, severe illness or an abrupt change in circumstances which may affect, or have affected, attendance and/or examination performance.

While we appreciate the significant disruption caused by coronavirus in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years, we expect this to be considered in schools and through exam boards. At university level, we will consider disruption which has been significant and personal to the individual applicant, in line with the examples above.

How we consider extenuating circumstances

  • We consider the effect of extenuating circumstances on your qualifications and/or your examination performance.
  • We do not consider extenuating circumstances when assessing the rest of your application, such as the personal statement or reference.
  • If you have any extenuating circumstances that may affect your performance in an additional test such as the LNAT or UCAT, please inform the relevant test centre, who will then notify us. We are not able to consider extenuating circumstances relating to additional tests submitted directly to us by an applicant, nominated contact or school.
  • We do not consider extenuating circumstances in relation to interview performance. If you have not been able to attend an interview due to extenuating circumstances, we would encourage you to rearrange a new interview date as soon as possible. We cannot guarantee that you will be offered another interview.
  • If you are applying with achieved grades which are below our entry requirements, extenuating circumstances do not guarantee you an offer. If you are not resitting or taking an alternative qualification, we advise you to explain why on your extenuating circumstances form.

When to submit extenuating circumstances 

We only look at the extenuating circumstances you send us during the year that you apply. If you sent in extenuating circumstances for an application in a previous UCAS cycle, you will need to submit a new form for a new application. We will tell you if you need to re-submit further evidence.

You have extenuating circumstances at the time you apply to the University

If there have been ongoing issues affecting your studies, or if these have affected any qualifications taken in a previous year, please submit an extenuating circumstances form when you apply through UCAS. We can then take this into account when we assess your application.

A completed form should be submitted within four weeks of your application. If you have ongoing extenuating circumstances then we can consider these at application stage, and at results stage, should you receive an offer from Bristol.

Contact us immediately at admissions-ugec@bristol.ac.uk if there will be a delay in submitting your extenuating circumstances form. 

Applicants who submit an extenuating circumstances form after an unsuccessful decision has already been made can only by reconsidered if the form was submitted within four weeks of applying through UCAS. Otherwise we cannot reconsider an application.

You received an offer from Bristol but have extenuating circumstances which may affect your final year of study or examinations

If you have ongoing extenuating circumstances which are affecting your final year of study, or experience extenuating circumstances before or during your exams, you should submit a form. We will then take this into account when we receive your results but we cannot guarantee that we will still be able to confirm your place.

We must receive your extenuating circumstances form before we receive your exam results. The final deadline for submitting your form for 2021 entry is 15 July 2021. We will not be able to consider any information we receive after your exam results are published.

Please note on the form whether you have notified the exam board(s). If your extenuating circumstances have already been taken into account by the exam board(s), we will not normally be able to consider them as part of our admissions process.

We do not make contextual or other lower offers in light of extenuating circumstances. If an offer is made, it will be at the standard level (or contextual level if you are eligible). Then, if you do not quite meet your offer, we will use your extenuating circumstances when assessing whether we can accept you on to the course with lower grades. Please note that extenuating circumstances are not a guarantee of acceptance if you do not meet your offer in full.

Current students

If you are a current University of Bristol student and want to report extenuating circumstances relating to your degree work, please follow the guidance for current students requesting extenuating circumstances.

Students in the Faculty of Engineering should complete an online form. Please see Current students.

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