Special circumstances and extensions
Special circumstances can sometimes affect a student's performance in following a course, in producing coursework or in completing examinations.
The University is committed to supporting you during your studies. If there is a situation beyond your control that you feel may have an adverse impact on your academic performance, please talk to your personal tutor and/or the Student Support Office (SSO). They may advise applying for a coursework extension and/or for special circumstances.
The Student Support Team is available Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. All staff are working remotely but are still contactable by email and phone, and calls via Microsoft teams can also be arranged.
Special Circumstances applications must be submitted via a dedicated Extensions and Special Circumstances (ESC) service. The application process is now online via the new ESC Student MyEd portlet, please see Assessment Support (below) for details of the process.
Please do make sure to speak your problems through with your personal tutor and the Student Support before submitting a form and have a look at the Special circumstances explained webpage.
Please note especially that:
- A special circumstance is an exceptional situation outside of your control which has had an adverse impact on your studies. This circumstance has resulted in underperformance in an assessment or non-attendance/non-submission for a scheduled assessment.
- We will ask you to provide an account of the circumstances with your application, and- most importantly- information about how the circumstances affected your performance in assessment. Wherever possible, you should also provide further evidence with your application.
- If your special circumstances are accepted: This will then be passed onto the Board of Examiners, who will take this into account when deciding what action to take in regard to your assessment. They will decide what the most appropriate outcome is for you. Your School will contact you within one week of the meeting of the Board of Examiners to inform you of the outcome of the special circumstances request.
Dates for 2021/2022 will be posted to the UG Students in Learn (EASE Login required).
If you are enrolled in outside courses, you can check the deadlines for other Schools on the ESC website, below (note: most Schools have a standard deadline which is slightly earlier than HCA). We strongly encourage you to submit your application as close to your submission dates as possible, rather than waiting until the final deadline.
The Special Circumstances process is supportive and flexible, however we do need to balance the provision of support with our ability to manage your applications and our other pre-board workflows in a timely way. There are mechanisms built into the Special Circumstances policy that allow for the approval and processing of late applications, so please be assured that this support mechanism is still available to you if you do end up missing the deadline. However, any late applications will need to include a reason for the lateness and – if valid – you may not receive an outcome until the next Exam Boards in August 2022. We recognise that applying for Special Circumstances can be a stressful process. To avoid adding to this, submitting your application by our deadline will ensure that you receive your outcome quickly and easily.