The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Extenuating Circumstances 2020

Due to COVID-19 and the disruption of the remainder of this year’s teaching and assessment, the procedure for notifying absence from teaching, coursework extensions and exenuating circumstances has changed.

You can check the up to date University guidance, and the revised University policy. The new procedure applies to all ECs from 1 March 2020 onwards.

A new simple online form is now available. This form can be used to:

  • Tell the University about absence from teaching
  • Request coursework extensions or defer your coursework to later in the year
  • Let the University know if you are unable to attend an exam.

See the relevant sections below for more information on each of these situations.

If you have completed any form of assessment which you feel has been affected by Extenuating Circumstances, then there is a new simplified process for reporting this to the University.

See the section below for more information on this.

If you are in any doubt about your personal situation or have questions about completing either of the forms, do get in touch with Just Ask for independent advice.

+ Absence from teaching

All teaching will be delivered online for the remainder of this academic year. If you are going to be absent during the teaching period 20 April to 15 May 2020 for 7 days or more, you should fill in the new form to explain this. No evidence will be required.

The form can cover up to 14 days of absence. If you need to be absent for longer you should complete a second form to update your School.

Deadline for form: Submit your form on the first day of absence or as soon as you are able.

+ Coursework extensions and Deferrals

If you have a coursework deadline that you are not going to be able to make, you should complete the new form to request 14 days extension or to defer your coursework until the second summer assessment period.

If you know you can’t complete the work even with a 14-day extension then you should request a deferral.

Otherwise you should request the 14-day extension. At the end of the 14 days, if you still don’t feel you can complete the work you should submit a form to request a deferral.

The University will automatically approve all requests for coursework extensions and deferrals.

Deadline for form: You will need to request an extension before your initial deadline. If you need more time after requesting an extension you will need to request a deferral before the new extended hand in date.

If you miss a coursework deadline without extending or deferring, late penalties will be applied as normal. If there was a reason why you were unable to extend or defer you should then use the form to submit extenuating circumstances and the late penalty may be removed.

+ If you are unable to sit an exam

If for any reason you feel you are unable to sit an exam in June, you can choose to defer it to August. To do this you should use the new form to notify the University of your absence of up to 14 days. You will then be given the opportunity to take the exam in the second summer assessment period.

Deadline for form: You will need to fill in the form before the first assessment that you are going to miss. You can notify absence for up to a 14-day period, so a single notification can cover multiple assessments within that period.

+ Submitting Extenuating Circumstances

The University has made a lot of changes to assessments and the way in which the marks will be considered by exam boards this summer in order to mitigate for the impact of both COVID-19 and the strikes.

Automatic mitigations are in place to account for the general impact of COVID-19. You should only submit Extenuating Circumstances if you feel these don't sufficiently account for the impact on you. For non COVID-19 related circumstances, again the automatic mitigations may account for the impact of your circumstances on your performance in assessment. If you feel that it does not, you can submit Extenuating Circumstances. 

There is an online simplified version of the EC form which your School will be able to provide you with.

For all Extenuating Circumstances from 1 March 2020 there is no need to provide evidence if you don’t have any. But you should provide evidence to cover any ECs from before 1 March 2020. If you are unable to do this, please explain why on the form.

You need to give brief, factual information about what has happened and how your study or assessment have been affected. You will need to submit the form to your School.

Deadline for form: You should submit the form as soon as possible after the affected assessment and at the latest before the day of your exam board. Your school will confirm when this is.

+ Appeals

You will receive your exam board decision in relation to summer 2020 assessments in early July 2020. If you feel that your particular outcome is unfair, you may be able to appeal against it. Just Ask can advise further about this process.

+ How Just Ask can help

Please contact us for advice if you are not sure of your situation or which form to complete. We can help you to identify which option to take and help you to draft your explanation of your ECs.