Short Courses

Special Circumstances and Appeals

What to do if you've been affected by adverse circumstances or wish to make an appeal based on assessment results.

If you feel that adverse circumstances have affected your performance, you are entitled to bring this information to the attention of the Centre for Open Learning.

Adverse circumstances

Students should contact us if they faced adverse circumstances and are seeking an extension for an assessment or for special circumstances to be considered by the Centre for Open Learning's Special Circumstance Committee.

Who to contact?

You should return the Late Submission Form to

Please note that extensions are not permitted for Art and Design courses.
For information and advice about Special Circumstances and deadlines for submission of the form, please see the Studying for Credit Guide Part 2 - Rules and regulations, available to download above.


For your case to be considered by the Special Circumstances Committee, you must complete a Special Circumstances Form and provide relevant documentary evidence, such as a medical certificate.

What happens next?

Your case will be considered by COL’s Special Circumstances Committee, which meets in February, May and July.

Academic Appeals

An academic appeal is a request for a decision made by the Final Assessment Board to be reconsidered. There are limited grounds for appeal:

  1. Substantial information directly relevant to the quality of performance in the assessment which for good reason was not available to the Final Assessment Board when their decision was taken.
  2. Alleged irregular procedure or improper conduct of an assessment. For this purpose “conduct of an assessment” includes conduct of a meeting of the Final Assessment Board.

If you have concerns about some aspect of your academic performance or assessment that were not made available to the Board, you should first of all raise these concerns as soon as possible with the Centre for Open Learning.

How to submit an appeal

By email

If you decide, after you have raised your concerns, to submit an appeal then you should send your submission in writing (by email if possible) to Registry Academic Services.

By post

If you would prefer to submit your appeal by post, as soon as possible, and no later than two weeks of receiving your record of credit, please send the information to:

Academic Services - Appeals

How long will it take?

You should be aware that the process of considering an academic appeal does take some time, with timescales being measured in weeks rather than days. Whilst we aim to keep the process moving as swiftly as possible, the average time for a full appeal is 9 to 10 weeks.

Studying for Credit Guide, Rules and Regulations and Terms and Conditions

Related Links

Find more about the University's academic appeals procedure