Special circumstances

Dealing with personal issues that interfere with your studies

Reporting special circumstances

It is the responsibility of students to submit their request for consideration of special circumstances. School procedures exist to highlight these circumstances and seek consideration of them in course outcomes and degree classifications.

This is an evidence-based process and it is the responsibility of the student to report any special circumstances to the School they belong to in a timely manner. Students should submit applications as soon as possible and no later than one week after your last assessment in the semester.

Special Circumstances procedure and forms

How to fill out the form

The following shows an example of a completed Special Circumstances form:

Grounds for an application

Examples of circumstances likely to be accepted include:

  • Significant short-term physical illness or injury;
  • Significant short-term mental ill-health;
  • A long-term or chronic physical health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • A long-term or chronic mental health condition, which has recently worsened temporarily or permanently;
  • Bereavement or serious illness of a person with whom the student has a close relationship;
  • A long-term relationship breakdown, such as a marriage;
  • 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 significant emotional impact;
  • Military conflict, natural disaster, or extreme weather conditions

Examples of circumstances that are unlikely to be accepted include:

  • A long-term or chronic health condition (including mental ill-health) which has not worsened recently, or for which the University has already made a reasonable adjustment;
  • A minor short-term illness or injury (e.g. a common cold), which would not reasonably have had a significant adverse impact on assessment;
  • Occasional low mood, stress or anxiety;
  • Circumstances which were foreseeable or preventable;
  • Holidays;
  • Pressure of academic work (unless this contributes to ill-health);
  • Poor time-management;
  • Lack of awareness of dates or times of assessment submission or examination;
  • Failure, loss or theft of data, a computer or other equipment;
  • Commitments to paid or voluntary employment;

Key dates in 2019/20

Final deadline for submission of Special Circumstances forms for courses owned by our school:

  • Semester 1: Tuesday, 7 January at 5pm
  • Semester 2: Friday, 22 May at 5pm

Special Circumstances forms will be considered by the Special Circumstances Committee when it meets following the end of each semester. You will be informed of the outcome of your Special Circumstances application through Euclid. For Semester 1, we aim to inform students of their Special Circumstances outcomes by Thursday, 30 January.

Who to contact

To report special circumstances, please contact the School Student Support Office.

Student Support Office

  • School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences

Contact details



Room G.03
Dugald Stewart Building
3 Charles Street

Post Code