Biomedical Teaching Organisation

Special Circumstances: Postgraduate students completing 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 courses

Information for this particular cohort.

The University is committed to supporting you during your studies.

If circumstances outside of your control are impacting on your studies, attendance or assessments then you can apply for Special Circumstances.

Special Circumstances explained

If you are experiencing circumstances beyond your control that are having an adverse impact on your academic performance, you can apply for a short coursework extension and/or Special Circumstances.  

Apply for a short coursework extension (on-campus)

Apply for a short coursework extension (online)

Your Student Adviser (SA) or Supervisor should be your first point of contact to discuss your circumstances.  They will be able to advise you on a range of support services available through the University’s central services and external agencies. They will also be able to explain the process of applying for Special Circumstances and provide a statement to support your application.  

You can contact Student Support by email to: BMTOPGstudentsupport@ed.ac.uk

Some examples of special circumstances include (but are not limited to): 

  • Significant short-term physical illness or injury;
  • Significant short-term mental ill-health;
  • A long-term or chronic physical/mental health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • Death or serious illness of someone with whom you have a close relationship;
  • A relationship breakdown;
  • Exceptional (i.e. non-routine) caring responsibilities;
  • Experience of sexual harassment or assault;
  • Experience of other types of harassment;
  • Victim of a crime which is likely to have a significant emotional impact;
  • Military conflict, natural disaster, or extreme weather conditions.

You can find a full list of examples that are likely/not likely to be accepted in the Special Circumstances Policy (item 2.2). The policy also provides guidance on submitting documentary evidence to support your special circumstances application (item 6)

View Special Circumstances Policy document here.

If you have a long-term or chronic mental or physical health condition, the University can support you by putting in place a ‘Learning Profile’. This includes details of the reasonable adjustments to be made to support your study and assessment, meaning you don't need to apply for special circumstances unless your condition has significantly worsened.  If you think this applies to you, please contact the Student Disability Service to discuss any adjustments you may need. 

What happens next?

When a student’s Special Circumstances application is accepted, the relevant Board of Examiners will take into account the impact on the student’s assessments and take appropriate action in the best academic interest of the student without disadvantage or advantage in relation to their peers. The options available to the Board of Examiners are detailed in the Special Circumstances Policy 

How to apply

If applying for Special Circumstances for a 2020/21, 2021/22 or a 2022/23 course, please complete the attached application form and email it to the ESC team at escteam@ed.ac.uk.