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Who is this guidance for?

This guidance is for any student on a taught programme, except MBBS / GEP medicine. This guidance therefore does apply to dentistry students. MBBS / GEP medicine students should contact the School of Medicine and Dentistry for guidance. Research students should contact the Research Degrees Office for guidance.

Looking after yourself

This guidance focuses on what to do when things go wrong, and your studies are affected as a result. For many students though, problems can be easily remedied if you ask for help before your situation gets worse. It is your responsibility to look after your health and emotional well being, and there are many professional support services at the university that can offer you support. Seeking help as early as possible is always advisable. There is contact information at the back of this guide about the professional support services at QMUL.

What are 'extenuating circumstances'?

Under QMUL’s regulations, extenuating circumstances are:

‘Circumstances that are outside a student’s control which may have a negative impact on a student’s ability to undertake or complete any assessment so as to cast doubt on the likely validity of the assessment as a measure of the student’s achievement’.

The ‘circumstances’ mentioned in the definition above are usually personal or health problems. Health problems include your emotional wellbeing and mental health, as well as your physical health.

However, please note:

  • personal or health problems are only extenuating circumstances if they are outside your control
  • personal or health problems are only extenuating circumstances if they are likely to have a negative impact on your ability to undertake or complete academic assessments such as exams or coursework
  • personal or health problems on their own are not extenuating circumstances. See the section What if I have ongoing health or other problems? later in this guide
  • academic workload issues are not extenuating circumstances
  • employment commitments are not extenuating circumstances
  • observance of a religious festival or holy day is not an extenuating circumstance. You should plan your work to take into account participation in religious services and other forms of observance. As coursework deadlines are set in advance, if the deadline coincides with religious commitments you should be prepared to submit your work before the coursework deadline. Students wishing to notify the university of any religious reasons which may affect their ability to sit examinations on specific dates should complete the religious holiday exemption form available from your academic school office. There will be a deadline for this, so check with your academic school office.

Do I need to contact the Advice and Counselling Service if I have extenuating circumstances?

No, you don’t need to contact the Advice and Counselling Service about your extenuating circumstances claim specifically. However, there are ways in which this service can help you:

The Advice and Counselling Service can help you if:

  • You would like emotional support for personal or emotional issues that have contributed to your extenuating circumstances
  • You would like financial or welfare advice about the issues that have contributed to your extenuating circumstances, including help applying to hardship funds
  • You would like advice about your funding entitlements or other practical issues if your extenuating circumstances mean that you will take longer to complete your programme and / or you have a period of time out from your studies

The Advice and Counselling Service cannot help you if:

Where can I get help to complete my extenuating circumstances claim?

  • The Academic Advice Service at Queen Mary Students’ Union provides independent and impartial advice on extenuating circumstances claims. You can get advice about your application form, the strength of your supporting documentation and your supporting statement. You can also get independent advice about your rights and entitlements under the university’s regulations and procedures. See the Advice and Support section towards the end of this guide for contact details
  • You can also speak to your personal tutor or student support officer in your academic school. This is always advisable, so that your School is aware of your difficulties. But for detailed advice about what to include with your claim and how to make your case, you should contact the Academic Advice Service as explained above

I feel anxious about exams and coursework deadlines – is this extenuating circumstances? Should I not sit my exams?

Exams and academic assessments are designed to test your academic performance under a certain amount of stress, such as performing under exam conditions or completing a piece of work by a deadline. We often need a certain level of stress to help us to perform well.

 

Feeling ‘fit to sit’ is not about being on peak performance or feeling like you can perform at 100% efficiency – this is not realistic for anybody. It is quite common to feel anxious in the run up to an exam, to find it difficult to eat and to have a bad night’s sleep. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you are not ‘fit to sit’.

 

Having ordinary feelings of stress or anxiety is part of everyday life, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are unwell or have mental health difficulties. Building emotional resilience is useful, as it will help you to manage the day to day stresses that we all feel at certain times.

 

Studying can be demanding, particularly at times of extra pressure such as exams, deadlines and presentations. There are also other factors in your student experience which might cause stress, for example, living away from home, cohabiting with other students, or money issues.

 

Improving your emotional resilience will help you perform better in your studies and will prepare you for the stresses of working life. More information on building emotional resilience, and further reading on this topic, is available on the Advice and Counselling Service website: https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/emotional-wellbeing/self-help-resources-and-workshops/building-emotional-resilience 

What is the 'fit to sit' policy?

QMUL has a ‘fit to sit’ policy. This means that if you sit an exam, you are declaring yourself fit to do so. Being ‘fit’ generally means that you are feeling well and functioning effectively. Therefore, if you are feeling unwell because of medical or personal difficulties, you should not sit an exam. If you take an exam knowing that you are unwell, you will not normally be able to successfully claim extenuating circumstances. There are very limited circumstances in which a student can make a successful extenuating circumstances claim after having gone ahead and sat an exam knowing they were unwell. This would normally be limited to situations where a student was so unwell that they were unable to recognise or determine their own ill health, and medical documentation would need to be provided to confirm this.

If you do not sit an exam because you are feeling unwell, you must notify your School and submit a claim for extenuating circumstances. You will need formal documentation to submit with your extenuating circumstances claim so you might need to, for example, see a doctor urgently. This guide includes more information on what documentation you need and how to submit your extenuating circumstances claim; please read the relevant sections.

What academic assessments are Extenuating Circumstances considered for?

Coursework

If you do not submit academic assessments by the required deadline, you will usually be given a mark of zero, or a reduced mark after a late penalty has been deducted. If you are unable to meet the deadline due to extenuating circumstances you either need to be granted a deadline extension, or have a valid extenuating circumstances claim confirmed by your Subject Exam Board (SEB), in order to avoid receiving a reduced or zero mark.

Each academic school has its own procedures for dealing with late submission of academic assessments, and these procedures are normally described in the handbook for the academic school responsible for the module. If you do not know what the procedures are, you must find out. The best place to start is the academic school’s website, administrator or student support officer. This system may change in 2018/19, when a university wide system may be implemented, so check up to date details with your academic school.

There are two main systems for submitting assessments later than the published deadline if you have extenuating circumstances. You will need to check with your academic school which system applies to you.

Requesting a deadline extension

This is where you are given a later deadline (an ‘extension’) to submit your work. Whether or not you are granted an extension, and the duration of that extension, is for the academic school responsible for that module to decide. The information that you can provide about your extenuating circumstances will enable them to make their decision. You should always ask for an extension before the required deadline for submission.

If you are unable to meet the new deadline, you must talk to the academic school concerned again, about a further extension. Extensions can only be granted for a reasonable period of time e.g. you cannot submit your work after the answers have been released to other students, and / or other students have received feedback on their work.

If you have had extenuating circumstances and you fail to submit your work by the deadline without an agreed extension, you must contact the academic school responsible for the module as soon as possible and provide an explanation with supporting evidence if necessary. Your academic school may consider marking your work rather than giving you an automatic fail or reduced mark. However, you would need to have compelling extenuating circumstances and good reasons for not requesting an extension before the deadline. This situation is rare and you are strongly advised to always request an extension in advance of the deadline.

Submitting an extenuating circumstances claim for consideration by the Subject Exam Board

Some schools do not operate a deadline extension system. Instead, you submit an extenuating circumstances claim, with supporting documentation, to your academic school. Your Subject Exam Board (SEB) will meet after the exam period and will confirm which extenuating circumstances claims have been approved. This means that you will not know until after the exam period has passed whether your extenuating circumstances have been accepted as a valid reason for not submitting your assessment by the deadline. However, it is still advisable to speak to your tutor before the coursework deadline, so that they are aware of your situation and can advise you accordingly.

Exams

Attendance at exams

Remember that if you take an exam knowing that you are unwell, any extenuating circumstances claim you make will normally be rejected. See: What is the ‘fit to sit’ policy? above.

If you are having difficulties, and feel that you are not fit to take exams, you should try to arrange a formal interruption of study. The deadline for this is the last working day before the start of revision week, which in the 2018/19 academic year is Friday 20th April 2018. If your academic school approves your interruption of study, you will be able to take your exams at a later date. Interrupting your studies usually means that you will resume your studies at the same point the following academic year. For more information about interrupting your studies please see the Advice and Counselling Service’s guide: Resitting, interrupting or leaving your course. There is a guide for home and EU students, and also one for international students.

If you are too late to apply for an interruption of study and you are not fit to sit exams, you will need to submit an extenuating circumstances claim with supporting documentation to your academic school. Your Subject Exam Board (SEB) will meet after the exams have taken place and will confirm which extenuating circumstances claims have been approved. This means that you will not know until after your exam period has passed whether your extenuating circumstances have been accepted as a valid reason for you being absent from your exams.

It is therefore helpful for you to seek guidance from your personal adviser, or other student support staff in your academic school, about your extenuating circumstances and the documentation you have been able to get to confirm these, although the formal decision about whether your extenuating circumstances have been accepted will not be confirmed until the SEB has met. See the sections later in this guide on extenuating circumstances documentation, for information about what you need to provide. The Academic Advice Service in the QMUL Students’ Union, can offer you advice about your extenuating circumstances application form statement, and the strength of your documentary evidence. See the Advice and Support section of this guide for contact details.

Becoming unwell during an exam

If you are fit to sit an exam but you unexpectedly become ill during the exam and are unable to continue, you still need to submit an extenuating circumstances claim with documentary evidence. You will need to wait until the outcome of the SEB to see if your circumstances are accepted as a good reason for not completing the exam.

What happens if my claim for extenuating circumstances is not accepted?

Coursework

You may receive a mark of ‘zero fail’ for the assessment you failed to submit by the deadline or receive a mark with a penalty deducted depending on the type of coursework. Your programme handbook will provide further information.

Exams

If you are absent from your exam, or if you take the exam and fail, you will be given a mark of ‘zero fail’ for the exam. You will have the opportunity to re-sit the exam (as long as you have not exhausted all of your attempts) but the maximum mark you could get for the module will be ‘capped’ at the pass mark (40.0 for undergraduate students and 50.0 for taught postgraduates). Currently, the only exception to this rule is LLB and LLM students who do not receive a capped re-sit module mark. These rules are subject to change, so check the latest information with your academic school.

You cannot re-sit exams that you have passed to improve your marks.

What happens if my claim for extenuating circumstances is accepted?

Coursework

You will be given a mark for the coursework / assessment you submitted late, without any penalty. Or, if you have not yet submitted your coursework / assessment, you will be given a new submission date.

Exams

You will be granted a certified absence and will be allowed to take your exam at the next available opportunity. This is called a ‘first sit’. This means that your maximum mark will not be capped at 40.0 or 50.0 (unless the exam you missed was already a re-sit). Check with your academic school when the next available examination opportunity will be. Late summer exams are not available for all academic schools or in every year of a programme, so if you can’t take the exam in the late summer you will normally have to wait until the exam period in the following academic year. Late summer re-sits are not available for final year exams. This is due to change in 2015/16, when all students should be offered a late summer re-sit opportunity, including final year students.

How do I make an Extenuating Circumstances claim?

There is a standard Extenuating Circumstances claim form for QMUL. An example of the form is at the end of this guide and sample text is included on the form to help you to understand what information is required. Ask your academic school for a form, and check the deadline that applies to your programme.

To complete the form, you need to know the module code for the relevant exam or assessment. You also need to know the date of the exam or the assessment submission date.

The form has a box for you to summarise your extenuating circumstances. The following points should be included:

  • A description of the personal or health circumstances that have affected you
  • An explanation of how these circumstances were / are outside your control
  • A description of how these circumstances have affected you and your studies e.g. any personal, emotional, physical or medical effects
  • The date / dates that you have been affected by your extenuating circumstances
  • It can also be useful for you to describe any support that you have received, or are receiving, to address your difficulties. You might also wish to explain how you are making use of this support to ensure that your studies are less likely to be affected in the future

Make sure that you include all the information that is relevant to your circumstances, and explain it as clearly and concisely as possible. Don’t include extra information that is not relevant, as this will make your claim difficult to read and may mean that the most important information about your claim is not easy to see.

Your academic school should issue you with a signed receipt when you submit your form. Keep your receipt safe for the duration of your studies.

When should I make my extenuating circumstances claim?

Claims for extenuating circumstances are considered by a sub-board of a Subject Examination Board (SEB). The sub-board makes recommendations to the SEB. Some Extenuating Circumstances sub-boards have meetings throughout the year, with deadlines for each meeting. The university deadline for submitting an extenuating circumstances claim is three working days before the relevant Extenuating Circumstances sub-board meeting. However, your academic school may have an earlier deadline(s) so you should check this with your school. Your school will set a deadline(s) to make clear the latest date that you can submit your extenuating circumstances claim. Remember that ‘working days’ exclude weekends, bank holidays and university closure days.

I am worried about the effect of my extenuating circumstances on my final degree classification. Can I submit a claim?

The circumstances where you can submit an extenuating circumstances claim are explained above e.g. coursework deadline extensions, being absent from exams or becoming unwell during exams. There is no system for taking extenuating circumstances into account more generally, as you are expected to interrupt your studies if you are not in a position to study effectively.

However, if you feel that you have had extenuating circumstances during your final year of study, and you have not already had these taken into account through a valid extenuating circumstances claim, it may be worth you submitting a claim to your academic school so that staff are aware of your circumstances.

However, it will not normally be possible for your extenuating circumstances to be compensated for, as you are normally expected to interrupt if your studies are negatively affected by difficult circumstances. In some extremely limited situations, your circumstances maybe taken into account if your final mark is on the border between classifications. This is a matter of academic judgement, and happens very rarely. It should not be relied upon, as in nearly all cases, the examination board will take the view that you should have interrupted your studies if you were being affected by extenuating circumstances.

What documentation do I have to provide with my extenuating circumstances claim form?

You must provide formal documents to support your claim as evidence to confirm that your claim is true. If the documents that you have are not in English, you must provide a certified translation of the documents into English. Your documents must be provided by an independent professional; you cannot use documents written by a friend, family member or any other personal friend / colleague. All evidence must include details of the impact that the extenuating circumstances had on your ability to complete the assessment. The evidence that you might provide is described below, and is summarised in the annexe at the end of this guide.

 

Medical evidence

 

If your extenuating circumstances relate to physical health, mental health or emotional well being, you should get documentation from a medical practitioner who is registered with a recognised professional body such as the General Medical Council or Nursing and Midwifery Council (www.gmc-uk.org or www.nmc-uk.org). If you have consulted another type of health professional, they should be registered with the Health Professions Council (www.hpc-uk.org). Counsellors or Psychotherapists should normally be registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (www.bacp.co.uk). There are nine health professional regulatory bodies in the UK listed in Appendix 1. You should check that your medical practitioner is registered with one of these.

 

If you missed an exam because you were unwell, or you became unwell during an exam, your medical documentation must cover the date/s of all the missed exam/s.

 

If your documentation relates to medical circumstances, you should always have a medical consultation before getting your documentation, and this consultation should take place within 3 working days of you becoming unwell. If you are unable to get a medical appointment within 3 working days, or you have another good reason for not being able to meet this timeframe, you should explain this on your extenuating circumstances claim form. Ask your medical practitioner to confirm the delay in their documentation, if they are willing to.

 

You may have to pay for medical documentation.

 

What if I am not registered with a doctor?

 

All students should be registered with a doctor. If you are not registered with a doctor you will need to do so as soon as possible and try to make an urgent appointment to see a doctor. If you live in postcodes E1, E2, E3 or E14, you can register with the Student Health Service on campus. If you do not live in these areas, but you are unwell while you are on campus, the Student Health Service may see you as a temporary patient. If you are suddenly taken ill immediately before or during an exam, and the Student Health Service is closed, staff in university’s Occupational Health Service may be able to see you and provide you with documentation to confirm your circumstances.

 

Non-medical evidence

 

Extenuating circumstances may also relate to a non-medical event or incident. You must provide formal documentation to confirm this. The type of documentation you provide will depend on the type of incident or event. Examples might include:

 

    • Bereavement – a copy of the death certificate is required

 

    • An incident involving the police, ambulance or fire service – documentation and reference numbers are required

 

    • Travel delays – proof of a major disruption to travel arrangements is required. For local journeys, travel delays are not normally considered as valid extenuating circumstances and you are expected to make travel arrangements that enable you to arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the assessment or the submission deadline. For longer journeys, you are expected to have made travel arrangements that enable you to arrive at least one hour before the start of the assessment or the submission deadline

 

  • Jury service – Anyone who is normally resident in the UK can be asked to perform this public service. In some circumstances it may be possible to delay your jury service. If you receive a letter asking you to do jury service, please discuss this with your personal tutor or academic adviser immediately to help you decide if you should apply to delay it. Jury service is not normally accepted as grounds for an extenuating circumstances claim as it is not unplanned or outside your control. Further information about jury service is available at: https://www.gov.uk/jury-service/overview

What information does my documentation need to contain?

As already mentioned, your documentation must be provided by an independent professional or an official organisation. Most often this will be a medical or health professional, or an organisation like one of the emergency services or a travel company. You might provide evidence from a member of staff at Queen Mary if it is very difficult or impossible for you to obtain any other evidence. However, you should be aware that Queen Mary staff might not be able to provide this, as they might feel unable to authenticate your circumstances.

Acute medical conditions

A GP (doctor’s) certificate will usually be sufficient, without a more detailed supporting statement. Make sure that your condition is clearly stated and legible, and that the dates cover the dates of the affected exam/s or assessment/s. You must provide an original certificate, with an original signature. Photocopies are not accepted.

Long term ill health, chronic conditions and non-medical circumstances

Your documentation should include the following information. You might find it useful to show this list to the person who is providing your documentation so that they know what to include.

  • Brief information about your health circumstances or the incident affecting you
  • Dates of any consultations with medical/health professionals or meetings with officials / other professionals
  • Any outcomes of these consultations / meetings
  • Dates of the affected period, which should cover the date/s of the affected exam/s or assessment/s
  • If possible, details of any effects that medication, treatment or a particular incident is likely to have had on you
  • If your difficulties are time limited, information about when you are likely to recover or things are likely to return to normal
  • If your difficulties are ongoing, chronic or likely to be persistent, information about what episodes of a more serious nature you have had, and the likelihood of future serious episodes. It would be helpful to include some information about how you are affected in normal circumstances, when you are not experiencing a serious episode
  • If possible, information about how your health or other circumstances are likely to have affected your physical or mental capacity during the affected period e.g. any effect on your performance or ability to attend university, concentrate on your studies, complete assessment/s, take formal exams (written, practical and oral) or follow normal academic procedures
  • Any other relevant details

What if the person providing my documentation is unwilling or unable to include all of the required information?

Sometimes, medical or other professional staff might not feel able to confirm your circumstances or comment on how you might have been affected. For example, if you have recovered from being unwell by the time you see a doctor, they may not be able to confirm your illness or comment on how it affected you. This is why you are advised to see a medical practitioner while you are unwell.

Similarly, if you seek support from the university’s Advice and Counselling Service (and you are contacting them for the first time), staff will not normally be able to provide documentation as they will not have detailed knowledge about your situation yet, or have observed the effects of the difficulties you have been having. If you are using the Advice and Counselling Service for support, you still need to get documentary evidence from a medical practitioner, as explained above, (or one of the other types of documentation if your claim is non-medical) to support your extenuating circumstances claim. You may be able to obtain documentation from the Advice and Counselling Service, but this should be in addition to your formal medical or non-medical documentation, not instead of it.

If the person providing your documentation is unable or unwilling to provide all of the required information, you should explain this on your extenuating circumstances claim form. Explain, in your own words, what your circumstances are and how they have affected you. However, claims without proper documentation to authenticate them are unlikely to be successful.

How and when will I find out if my extenuating circumstances claim has been accepted?

The outcome of your claim should be available to you once your provisional results are released and you should be notified formally by your school, usually within two weeks of the date of the Subject Examination Board (SEB) for your programme. If you want to find out the outcome as soon as the provisional results are released, contact your academic school.

What if I have ongoing health or other problems?

Many students have ongoing health issues that are managed by medication or other treatment / support. Many students also have ongoing personal circumstances that are stressful or problematic.

 

These situations will not generally be suitable for the extenuating circumstances claims process. The extenuating circumstances process is designed to help students who have an ‘acute episode’ of difficulty. For example, if you have an ongoing health condition and you are normally fit enough to study, you would not normally be able to make a valid extenuating circumstances claim unless you have experienced a particularly acute episode which has caused difficulties over and above your ongoing situation.

 

If you have a disability or health condition or specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, contact the university’s Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) to see what support can be put in place to help you manage your studies more effectively. DDS can help you with circumstances that affect either your physical or mental health, or both.

 

You should always inform your academic school about any ongoing health or personal difficulties, so that any additional support arrangements can be considered.

 

If you feel that your ongoing health or personal circumstances are making it difficult for you to manage your studies, you may need to consider taking a break from your programme. This is called an ‘Interruption of Study’ and basically means that you ask the university for permission to take a break from your studies and return in the future when your health or your personal situation is more manageable. For more information about how to request an interruption of study, and to find out about the practical and financial implications of doing so, see the Advice and Counselling Service’s guide: Resitting, interrupting or leaving your course. There is a guide for home and EU students, and also one for international students. You can find the guide here: https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/student-advice-guides

What if I am absent from university due to health or personal difficulties?

You should notify your academic school if you are absent from university. Check your school handbook for specific information about when and how to inform your school.

If your absence is likely to go on for a long time, you may need to consider asking for an interruption of study – see above. If your absence is temporary, you will need to decide if it is going to be possible for you to catch up on the work that you have missed. Talk to your personal tutor or academic adviser to get advice about what is, and what isn’t, possible. If you decide to try and catch up, you cannot usually use your absence to make a successful extenuating circumstances claim, so you should think carefully about how realistic it is to try and carry on with your studies at that point.

Absence isn’t, in itself, a reason to submit an extenuating circumstances claim. It may be relevant if you need more time to complete an assessment, but it is unlikely to be relevant for examinations as you should normally arrange an interruption of study if you feel that you are not going to be ready to take exams because of being absent from university.

However, if you experience extenuating circumstances shortly before, or during, the examination period, which mean that you are unexpectedly absent from university and unable to take your exams, you can submit an extenuating circumstances claim in the usual way.

What if I need to retake a period of study in attendance?

Students who fail to progress successfully to the next level of their programme are normally required to re-sit out of attendance (i.e. you would have to stop attending university until the next available opportunity to undertake your assessment / exams – most often this is not until the exam term the following year, as late summer re-sits are not available for all programmes or in every year of a programme).

 

However, in some extremely limited circumstances, where students have valid extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to attend classes and where there is very good reason why they did not interrupt at the proper time, students may be given permission to attend an academic year, or part of an academic year, again i.e. repeat a period of study. Any decision to allow you to do this will be considered through the usual extenuating circumstances process. If you feel that you have a good case to be given an opportunity to retake a period of study in attendance, you should explain this on your extenuating circumstances form. If you are given permission to retake in attendance, you will be liable to pay tuition fees again. For more guidance about the practical and financial aspects of retaking in attendance, please see the Advice and Counselling Service’s guide: Resitting, interrupting or leaving your course. There is a guide for home and EU students, and also one for international students. You can find the guide here:  https://www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk/student-advice-guides

Advice and Support

Academic Advice Service, Queen Mary Students’ Union

This service can give you independent advice about your extenuating circumstances application form and the strength of your supporting documentation. You can also get independent advice about your rights and entitlements under the university’s regulations and procedures. To get advice, you need to go to the Academic Advice Services web page and fill out the Academic Representation Form from that page, and then email it to a.c.mitchell@qmul.ac.uk 

QMSU Academic Advice Service
Students’ Union Hub
Mile End campus
020 7882 8042

Student Health Service

This service offers appointments with a doctor or nurse every day during the main university term times. You should register with a doctor as soon as you enrol at Queen Mary. To register at the Student Health Service, you must be living in one of the following postcode areas: E1, E2, E3 and E14. If you live in a different postcode, you should register with a doctor near to where you live.

Student Health Service
Ground floor, Geography building
Mile End campus
020 7882 8710
www.studenthealth.qmul.ac.uk

Disability and Dyslexia Service

This service offers professional advice and support for students with a disability (including a short term disability), specific learning difficulty or ongoing health condition (physical and mental health). You can get advice about what support can be put in place to help you to manage your studies effectively. Contact the service as early as possible, so that your disability or health condition has the least possible negative impact on your studies.

Disability and Dyslexia Service
Second floor, Francis Bancroft building
Mile End campus
020 7882 2756
dds@qmul.ac.uk
www.dds.qmul.ac.uk

Advice and Counselling Service

This service offers professional advice and support for a range of personal, emotional, financial and legal issues (including immigration advice). If you are experiencing any of these difficulties, contact the service as early as possible so that your circumstances have the least possible negative impact on your studies. The service has a lot of information on their website, including guidance on the most common issues that students experience. The service operates within a strict confidentiality policy.

Advice and Counselling Service
Ground floor
Geography building
Mile End campus
020 7882 8717
welfare@qmul.ac.uk
www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk

Residential Support

Students sharing living space with others can sometimes experience conflict or disputes which can have a significant impact on their emotional wellbeing. Queen Mary provides a support service for students living in university residences, to help mediate in these circumstances so that any negative impact on academic work and personal wellbeing can be avoided or reduced. If you are experiencing problems in university residences, contact the Residential Support service as soon as possible so that a remedy can be found.

Residential Support
Residences Reception
France House
Student village
Mile End campus
020 7882 2610
residential-support@qmul.ac.uk

Sample Extenuating Circumstances Claim Form

This is for information only – please ask your academic school for a form.

EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES CLAIM FORM

Postgraduate Subject Examination Board for Classics

This form should be used by all taught course students to make claims for extenuating circumstances relating to missed examinations and assessments and non-submission of coursework, including extensions to coursework deadlines.

To be considered by the Subject Examination Board, students must complete all parts of this form and return it - together with appropriate documentary evidence – to XXXXXXXXXXXXX. Claims submitted without supporting documentary evidence will not be considered

Students must submit claims as soon as possible, and at the latest by XXXXXX. Claims submitted after this deadline will not be considered.

It is recommended that students read the student guidance booklet called Extenuating Circumstances available from the Advice and Counselling Service and online at www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk, and seek advice from academic advisors, senior tutors or school or institute administrators before completing the form.

Please complete this form using a word processor, or use a pen and write in block capitals if completing by hand.

Personal details

Student ID number:

123456789

Forename:

Anne

Surname:

Onymous

Contact address (term-time):

1 Avenue Way

Townville

Northshire

AB12 3CD

Telephone number:

09876 543210

Alternative telephone number:

01234 567890

QMUL email address:

a.n.onymous@qmul.ac.uk

Study details

Programme of study (e.g. BA French):

MA Classics

Year of study (0 - 7 or Masters):

Masters

Personal tutor:

Dr J. Smith

Details of claim

Please continue on a separate sheet if necessary.

Module code

Element of assessment e.g. examination, coursework

Examination date/

submission deadline

Did you attend/

submit?

CLA7865

Examination

4 May 2012

No

CLA7654

Examination

14 May 2012

No

       
       

Summary of extenuating circumstances

Please use the space below to explain your extenuating circumstances, and how these meet the following criteria. In order to be valid, the extenuating circumstances must be:

  • unplanned;
  • outside of the student’s control;
  • such that there has been a negative impact on the ability to undertake or complete any assessment;
  • cast doubt on the likely validity of the assessment as a measure of the student’s achievement.

This text should be as concise as possible and refer only to relevant information, whilst ensuring that everything that requires consideration is included. Additional paper may be used if required.

I missed two examinations as I was in a car accident on 17 April and suffered severe whiplash and bruising to my ribs. The hospital prescribed painkillers, which made me drowsy and unable to concentrate. Due to these effects and the pain I was unable to attend the examination.

Summary of documentation

Please use the space below to list the supporting documentation submitted as part of the claim. This should include outstanding documentation to be submitted at a later date, with an expected submission date and reason for delay. Refer to the guidance notes for information on required standards of documentation.

  • Letter from the hospital
  • Copy of the police report (awaited – not yet issued by Police, and expected by 20/05/12)

Declaration

I confirm that the information provided in this form, and any additional documentation relating to this request is, to the best of my knowledge, true and accurate.

Signed:

A.N.Onymous

Date:

11/05/12

Once completed, this form and all supporting documentation should be submitted to:

Your academic school will put their details here

Annexe

Summary of guidance concerning the provision of documentary evidence required to support claims for extenuating circumstances

 

Certification of evidence

 

All certification should be provided by an independent professional as defined below.

 

    • Certification will not be accepted from a family member, friend of the family, or a personal friend or colleague.

 

    • An appropriate member of staff of Queen Mary may provide statements to be used as documentary evidence in cases where (a) they have been informed by the student of their circumstances and (b) can comment on the impact on the student and (c) it would be very difficult or impossible to obtain any other evidence.

 

    • In the case of documents that are not in English a certified translation of the documents into English is required.

 

    • A Subject Examination Board or its Extenuating Circumstances Sub-Board may take reasonable steps to ascertain the authenticity of any documentation, and the relationship of the author with the student where there is any doubt.

 

Medical evidence

 

    • Medical documentation should be supplied by a practitioner who is registered with a recognised health care professional body. There are nine health professional regulatory bodies in the UK set up to protect and promote the safety of the public. These are listed in appendix 1. For example the General Medical Council (www.gmc-uk.org) for doctors, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (www.nmc-uk.org), counsellors or psychotherapists should normally be registered with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (www.bacp.co.uk), and the Health Professions Council (http://www.hpc-uk.org/) which covers 15 health professions. The Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence oversees the organisations that regulate health professionals across the UK.

 

    • Documentation relating to medical conditions should be obtained from a formal medical consultation that should take place within three working days of the condition commencing/occurring. If there is a ‘good reason’ why this is not possible it should be stated in the claim and if possible in the documentation, for example hospitalisation. Students who are unable to obtain medical appointments within this time frame should note the reason for this on the claim form. Medical documentation must cover the date of the missed or affected examination.

 

    • Students are responsible for bearing the costs of any charges for medical certification.

 

    • Originals of doctor’s certificates, showing original signatures, must be provided. Photocopies are not accepted.

 

Non-medical evidence

 

In circumstances where the claim for extenuating circumstances is based on a non-medical event or incident, formal evidence is required also. Examples include:

 

    • involvement in an accident or incident involving the police, ambulance or fire services. Evidence might include a police report and crime or incident number, the contact details of and/or a letter from the reporting officer if the student were involved in the incident, for example as a witness;

 

    • A copy of the death certificate will be required;

 

    • travel delays. Proof of major disruption to travel arrangements will be required.

 

For longer distance travel, original travel tickets/documents proving intention to travel to arrive for the assessment/examination at least one hour before the examination or deadline to hand in work, and documents setting out the revised travel arrangements are required.

 

For more local journeys, travel disruption will not normally be considered as a valid reason for an Extenuating Circumstances claim.

 

You should always allow extra time for your journey on the day of an examination or assessment, or to ensure that coursework is submitted before the deadline. Student must arrive in good time before an examination or test commences, for example at least 30 minutes before the start time.

Appendix 1

UK Health Professional Regulatory Bodies

 

There are nine health professional regulatory bodies in the UK set up to protect and promote the safety of the public. They do this by:

 

    • setting the standards of behaviour, competence and education that health professionals must meet;

 

    • dealing with concerns from patients, the public and others about health professionals who are unfit to practise because of poor health, misconduct or poor performance;

 

    • keeping registers of health professionals who are fit to practise in the UK;

 

    • the regulators can remove professionals from their registers and prevent them from practising if they consider this to be in the best interests of the public.

 

These bodies are overseen by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.

 

The nine health professional regulatory bodies are below. For more information see: http://www.professionalstandards.org.uk/what-we-do/our-work-with-regulators/find-a-regulator

 

General Chiropractic Council (GCC)

 

    • Chiropractors

 

General Dental Council (GDC)

 

    • Dentists

 

    • Dental nurses

 

    • Dental technicians

 

    • Dental hygienists

 

    • Dental therapists

 

    • Clinical dental technicians

 

    • Orthodontic therapists

 

General Medical Council (GMC)

 

    • Doctors

 

General Optical Council (GOC)

 

    • Optometrists

 

    • Dispensing opticians

 

    • Student opticians

 

    • Optical businesses

 

General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)

 

    • Osteopaths

 

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

 

    • Pharmacists

 

Health Professions Council (HPC)

 

    • Arts therapists

 

    • Biomedical scientists

 

    • Chiropodists/podiatrists

 

    • Clinical scientists

 

    • Dieticians

 

    • Hearing aid dispensers

 

    • Occupational therapists

 

    • Operating department practitioners

 

    • Orthoptists

 

    • Paramedics

 

    • Physiotherapists

 

    • Practitioner psychologists

 

    • Prosthetists/orthotists

 

    • Radiographers

 

    • Speech and language therapists

 

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

 

    • Nurses

 

    • Midwives

 

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)

 

  • Pharmacists
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